Update 832

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God’s Children; Joy of Living Today

On June 16, 2018, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “God’s Children,” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Joy of Living Today.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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It’s the Attitude that Is so Concerning

by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

There is a wonderful piece of Scripture that very clearly defines what a true Christian’s attitude should be, and we find this in Ezekiel 9:4: “… the LORD said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’”

“Sigh,” as defined in Strong’s #584, means “to groan,” “to mourn,” and “to moan.” “Cry,” as defined in Strong’s #602, also means “to groan,” and to “to shriek.” It means that this is not just a cursory look at the world’s evils, mumbling something about how bad things are, but then carrying on with life as if nothing had happened. We can certainly become accustomed to the manifold sins of the world and inured and uncompassionate because we see so much of what is going on through the ubiquitous news media where the unacceptable becomes acceptable through constant application and usage. We can, in short, have a much lower threshold of what is right and wrong, if we’re not careful, through the brainwashing and availability of news, 24 hours a day.

The Scripture quoted above refers to abominations in the city of Jerusalem. However, this can be extended to cover any and all societies and places where abominations are prevalent but are seen as being the norm. We read in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” In this sin-sick world, Satan has cleverly manipulated the thinking of man to accept that which is unacceptable to God and make it totally acceptable. How very clever he is, as the people of God know only too well.

Of course, we have to know what is abominable to God, and 1 John 3:4 states that “sin is the transgression of the law” (Authorized Version) and “…by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).

One commentator stated that “Some people can see sin right before their eyes, they can hear it around them, they can live amidst it, but they can never sigh and cry over it because they refuse to allow God’s law to be the standard of their behaviour.” But it must be our standard.

That brings me to one of the latest events where we should all, in the Church of God, “sigh and cry over all the abominations” that we see in front of us.

On Saturday, 26th May 2018, the final results of the referendum to repeal Ireland’s abortion ban was approved by a big majority. In 2015, in another vote, this same country approved same-sex marriage by a landslide. It is remarkable as this is a Catholic country which has defied the teaching of their church. There was unbridled joy by so many young people in that country that was seen in print and on television. It was as if they had just won a world war or some other mighty achievement and, it would appear, that the enormity of what they had done was missed by those who voted for abortion on demand. I suspect that many who were celebrating would also have been among the number of those protesting at the killing of innocent women and children in war. They simply don’t see that abortion is murder and is just as bad as killing others in warfare. It is a double standard that they are oblivious to. ALL killing is wrong as the 6th Commandment of God reveals to all who have an ear to hear.

We cannot sigh and cry if we are unaware of what is happening in the world today. We need to keep ourselves continually updated in what is happening and be amongst those who have compassion on the plight of others and grieve over the problems we can see in every corner of the world. In Ireland, it was the attitude that was so concerning! There didn’t seem to be one iota of concern for the good and wellbeing of the unborn, just the celebration of women being able to make a choice in terminating a life and seen as their “right” and “entitlement”.

Of course, there are many more abominations for us to sigh and cry over as the world descends into chaos. As the great tribulation nears, additional appalling abominations will surface or increase. What we are seeing today, and what we saw in Ireland, is just another manifestation of the power and influence of Satan who convinces the world that sin is acceptable.

The good news is that his time is short and the coming of God’s Kingdom is near.

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by Norbert Link

In this special edition, we are discussing the two most recent summits involving the USA. The diametrically opposite results of Donald Trump’s summits with US trading partners in Canada and with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore show how prophecy is marching on, if we have eyes to see. The distinctions between America’s friends and allies and America’s enemies become increasingly blurred.

Europeans are determined to take matters into their own hands, while America becomes marginalized and isolated. A trade war is on the horizon, and maybe more than that. Please view our most recent StandingWatch program, titled, “US Summits in Singapore and Canada—with Opposite and Frightening Prophetic Results.” 

We are also reporting on President Trump’s declaration to support overdue changes regarding the federal prohibition of medical Marijuana; the possible come-back of former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz; an ongoing dangerous situation for Angela Merkel; Austria’s crackdown on mosques and imams; adopted and contemplated regulations within the EU pertaining to data protection and copyright laws; Italy’s commitment to the euro; a hypocritical resolution of the UN condemning Israel; and Israel’s and America’s pride for gay parades. We are pointing out in our comments that developments are happening right now which we have declared to occur for a long time.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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North Korean Summit

The Japan Times wrote on June 12:

“In a vaguely worded agreement signed at their unprecedented summit Tuesday in Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inked what Trump said was a ‘comprehensive document’ declaring that Kim’s regime would ‘work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’ while committing to a ‘lasting and stable peace.’

“In exchange, Trump committed to provide ‘security guarantees’ to Kim — including a halt to joint military exercises… But the agreement… offered few specifics about how the two sides would reach these goals, while also leaving ‘complete denuclearization’ undefined

“Trump, however, did note that the U.S. would be halting its war games… adding that this would save the U.S. ‘a tremendous amount of money.’ He also suggested that South Korea had failed to contribute enough money and said the drills would be ‘inappropriate’ as the U.S. and North Korea negotiate a new relationship.”

Newsmax added on June 12:

“President Donald Trump rocked the region with the stunning announcement Tuesday that he was halting annual U.S.-South Korean military drills — and wants to remove the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in the South… The remarks contradicted countless previous declarations by U.S. political and military officials over the years that the drills are routine, defensive and absolutely critical.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 12:

“North Korea’s abysmal human rights record, which previous US administrations have sharply criticized, was not even mentioned in the declaration. ‘We wish he [Trump] had covered detention facilities and prison camps [in North Korea],’ Arnold Fang, an expert at Amnesty International, told DW…”

Time will tell where this will lead. We should note, however, that in the not-too-distant future a power bloc of Far Eastern nations will form, consisting of countries such as China, Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan, and, in all likelihood, a united Korea. (In this context, note our quoted article below, titled, “A World without the USA.”)

These collaborating “kings of the East” will be hostile towards the West, and vice versa. The “success” of the summit in Singapore stands in blatant contrast to the failure of the G-7 summit in Canada, as the many articles, quoted below, will show.

How North Korea Describes the Summit with President Trump

ABC News June 13:

“All of the media, limited as it may be, in North Korea is controlled by the state…

“North Korea’s newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, featured a series of pictures of Trump and Kim Jong Un shaking hands and standing side by side on its front page Wednesday. The headline reads, ‘A summit meeting of the century that pioneered a new history in DPRK-US relations,’ with a subheadline of ‘A joint statement adopted.’ Overall, the paper reads as if complete denuclearization was not a major issue… The article mentions ‘denuclearization’ — without the word ‘complete’ — only once, in a paragraph buried in context… The article ran across four pages out of the six-page newspaper with 33 color photos from the summit.

“North Korean TV’s most famous newsreader Ri Chun Hee, also known as the ‘Pink Lady,’ announced the results of the Trump-Kim summit on Wednesday at 4 a.m. ET, specifically highlighting Trump’s ‘intention to halt the U.S.–South Korea joint military exercises … offer security guarantees to the DPRK and lift sanctions against it as mutual relations improve.’

“Details about sanctions being lifted is unclear, as Trump specifically said they would not be lifted in a press conference following the summit…”

Trump’s Tweets: North Korea No More Threat to the World and America’s Real Enemy is the Free Press such as CNN and NBC

Newsmax wrote on June 13:

“President Donald Trump declared that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat, even though Kim Jong Un hasn’t committed to a timetable for giving up his weapons. ‘Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,’ Trump said on Twitter…

“Trump and Kim’s summit produced a historic handshake and a joint statement that committed North Korea to ‘complete denuclearization’ without providing any details about how that would happen. U.S. defense analysts have said Kim retains as many as 60 nuclear bombs and a range of missiles, including some he says can strike the U.S. ‘Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,’ Trump said in another tweet. ‘President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!’”

CNS wrote on June 13:

“Criticizing some of the liberal media’s coverage of the U.S-North Korea summit on denuclearization, President Donald Trump said ‘Fake News’ outlets NBC and CNN are trying to ‘downplay’ the summit… and added that America’s ‘biggest enemy is Fake News’ which is ‘so easily promulgated by fools!’”

When they say, “Peace, Peace”, there is NO PEACE!

 The G-7 Summit

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 8, 2018 [prior to the beginning of the G-7 summit]:

“The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, the EU and Mexico due to ‘national security’ concerns has enraged US allies and threatens to unleash a trade war… The scale of the crisis between the United States and the other G7 members was highlighted early, when, in off-the-cuff remarks, Trump suggested Russia be allowed to rejoin the elite club of rich nations after it was expelled from the G8 following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea… European members of the G7 agreed that conditions were not ripe for Russia to be readmitted as long as the Ukraine crisis was not resolved.”

Newsmax wrote on June 9, 2018 [during the G-7 summit]:

“U.S. trading partners have been furious over President Donald Trump’s decision last week to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, the European Union and Mexico as part of his ‘America First’ agenda. Some countries have retaliated with their own levies on U.S. imports…

“While G7 leaders confronted Trump with a slew of data on imports and exports in a bid to sway his thinking, Trump countered (with) his own numbers and held his position that the United States was at a disadvantage on international trade…

“Trump’s ‘America First’ message to allies has hardened since he brought hardline national security adviser John Bolton on to his team…”

Trump in Warrior Form

The Associated Press reported on June 10:

“Insulting the host, alienating allies and threatening to suspend business with other countries: President Donald Trump was in full trade-warrior form for the weekend summit of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies in Canada.

“The president’s acrimony raised the risk of a trade war that could spook financial markets, inflate prices of goods hit by tariffs, slow commerce, disrupt corporations that rely on global supply chains and jeopardize the healthiest expansion the world economy has enjoyed in a decade.

“Leaving the conclave in Quebec on Saturday, Trump threatened to ‘stop trading’ with America’s allies if they defied his demands to lower trade barriers. And he shrugged off the risk that his combative stance would ignite escalating tariffs and counter-tariffs between the United States and its friends — the European Union, Canada, Japan and Mexico…”

Total Blowup—Trump Refuses to Sign Joint Statement of G7

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 9:

“The summit between the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Britain and Italy was one of the most fractious ever… a deep rift was highlighted as host Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended the summit by saying he would move forward with retaliatory tariffs against the United States starting on July 1. He called US tariffs on its ally under the pretext of national security ‘kind of insulting’ and said Canada would not be ‘pushed around.’…

“Only hours later Trump took to Twitter to assault the Canadian prime minister’s ‘false statements’ and instructed US representatives to renege on the US endorsement of the joint communique. He also said he would be looking to impose tariffs on car imports into the United States.  Trudeau’s office responded later, saying they were focused on what was accomplished at the G7 summit and that the prime minister said nothing at the press conference that he hadn’t mentioned ‘before – both in public, and in private conversations with the President.’

“… the summit showed the United States was increasingly isolated…”

The New York Times wrote on June 9:

“With a petulant tweetstorm from Air Force One, Mr. Trump all but blew up the Group of 7 nations that the United States has led for more than four decades and essentially declared open political war on America’s closest neighbor… The blowup left the United States alienated from its allies even more than it had been entering into the summit meeting…

“Mr. Trump’s unvarnished post-summit Twitter insults aimed at Mr. Trudeau… left the Canadian-American relationship at its most overtly hostile since, perhaps, the War of 1812. Indeed, Mr. Trump had already clashed with Canada before the summit meeting by reportedly accusing it of burning down the White House during that war (it was really the British)…”

Wars Begin with Words—“Special Place in Hell for Trudeau”?

Fox News reported on June 10:

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door,” [White House Director of Trade Policy Peter] Navarro said. “And that’s what bad faith Justin Trudeau did with that stunt press conference. That’s what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did…’”

The New York Times wrote on June 12:

“Peter Navarro, one of President Trump’s top trade advisers, said on Tuesday that it was a mistake to suggest that ‘there is a special place in hell’ for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, offering a rare apology from a White House that almost never walks back heated rhetoric… While Mr. Navarro backed down from his attack, Mr. Trump did not, continuing on Tuesday to accuse Mr. Trudeau of acting in bad faith and trying to take advantage of the United States.”

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted in response: “There is a special place in heaven for Justin Trudeau.”  British Prime Minister Theresa May “is fully supportive of Trudeau and his leadership,” a senior UK government source said.

Canada Condemns Trump

Reuters wrote on June 11:

“Canada’s House of Commons on Monday unanimously condemned the personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by U.S. President Donald Trump and his surrogates… Lawmakers… gave a standing ovation for the government’s response to the Trump administration’s verbal attacks on Trudeau… While the agreement of legislators who are normally opposed on most fronts was remarkable, the anger also spread to pundits, officials, celebrities and ordinary citizens as Canadians vowed consumer boycotts of American goods and brainstormed insults of Trump on social media.”

France and Germany Condemn Trump’s Angry Behavior

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 10:

“The French president’s office has said there is no place for anger and insults in international cooperation…

“[German] Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday the US president’s tweets had destroyed trust and Europe should answer by staying even closer together…”

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 10:

“Germany’s Angela Merkel… told German broadcaster ARD that Trump’s ‘withdrawal via Twitter is of course sobering and a little depressing’…  Saturday’s events only reinforced the chancellor’s commitment to forging a stronger, more unified European Union. Europe must take its fate into its own hands and no longer ‘imprudently’ follow the US, Merkel said.

“The chancellor also announced during Sunday’s interview that, just like Canada, the EU was also preparing counter-measures to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. ‘We won’t let ourselves be ripped off again and again,’ Merkel said, taking on an unusually combative tone…’”

Trump’s Figures All Wrong?

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 12:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday struck back at President Donald Trump’s repeated complaints over the US’ trade deficit. Merkel pointed out the US actually runs a significant account surplus with Europe if one factors services into the equation.

“Several German economists have long made similar arguments. The chancellor also stressed that German direct investment into the US was significantly higher than the other way around.”

The Associated Press agreed, stating on June 10:

“Economists and trade analysts note that the rules of world trade rules aren’t as one-sided as the president argues. According to the World Bank, America’s average tariff is 1.6 percent, the same as the EU’s, only slightly higher than Japan’s 1.4 percent and double Canada’s 0.8 percent…”

So did Newsmax in an article, dated June 11:

“MarketWatch has pointed out that Trump has significantly overstated the U.S. trade deficit with the EU. And the web site of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative even refutes the main thrust of Trump’s argument, stating that ‘two-way U.S.-EU trade has been roughly balanced over time and the very high levels of foreign investment accounted for by each in the other’s markets means that the transatlantic economy is arguably the most integrated on Earth.’”

USA and Europe on Collision Course

Handelsblatt Global wrote on June 10:

“The failed G7 summit has made it more likely that a trade war between the US and other countries will escalate, a leading German economist, Ifo president Clemens Fuest, said.”…

“For the first time ever, Germany is developing a strategy on how to deal with the US, because Berlin has lost faith that its current policy of ‘damage control’ [no] longer works with Donald Trump’s administration. Currently, political strategies only exist for adversaries, such as Russia and China…

France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged Germany to support France in reforming the EU and euro zone, otherwise the region might become too weak to cope with Donald Trump’s administration and China.”

“Time for Europe to Fill US Vacuum, Says ex-Danish PM”

The EUObserver wrote on June 11:

“In the wake of a disastrous G7 summit where US president Donald Trump all but broke off the Western alliance, the EU should… prepare to take over global leadership. That is the message on Monday (11 June) by a former member of the EU leaders club… ‘If we don’t find solutions we will be irrelevant,’ warned Denmark’s Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a year ahead of the next European elections…”

Trump’s and White House’s Rhetoric “Worsened”

Newsmax wrote on June 11:

“President Donald Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron that the European Union is worse than China on trade during a meeting at the White House in April… The rhetoric has only worsened in the days since, with White House officials insulting G7 leaders and Trump himself doubling down on his threats.

“International officials have in response been highly critical of Trump, as have many in Congress, including Republican Sen. John McCain, who slammed the president in a tweet.”

In Trump, Some Fear the End of the World Order

The Washington Post wrote on June 9:

“As each day brings a new series of punches and counterpunches between President Trump and longtime U.S. partners, the question appears to be moving beyond the realm of the academic… ‘What worries me most . . . is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged,’ European Council President Donald Tusk said… What is surprising, Tusk said, is that the challenge is driven not by the ‘usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor, the U.S.’

“Trump’s actions, he said, ‘play into the hands of those who seek a new post-West order where liberal democracy and fundamental freedoms would cease to exist.’ Tusk’s usual suspects certainly include China and Russia…

“Trump… often describes countries that have been historically aligned with the United States, including Germany, France and Canada, as ‘so-called allies’ who take advantage of the nation…

“‘…where I’m wringing my hands is the 2020 presidential election,’ said Cliff Kupchan, chairman of the Eurasia Group, which advises investors about the impact of politics on risks and opportunities in foreign markets. ‘If President Trump is reelected… then during his second term, we have to worry about the end of the liberal world order,’ Kupchan said. ‘A second term would allow him enough time to do irreparable damage to liberal institutions, to the WTO [World Trade Organization] and Bretton Woods,’ the 1944 conference where the current international financial system was created, which was quickly followed by the establishment of the United Nations…

Americans have long had a love-hate relationship with Europe and foreigners in general, along with a strong current of belief that others have taken advantage of U.S. beneficence, sentiments that Trump has been more than willing to exploit…”

Angela Merkel’s Dark View of the World

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 5:

“The chancellor has made frequent excursions into history lately. Indeed, the Peace of Augsburg also came up four weeks ago during her visit to the residence of the German ambassador in Washington. The treaty initiated a 60-year phase of peace between Protestants and Catholics after the bloody turmoil of the Reformation and it initially seemed as though people had finally come to their senses. But that image turned out to be a deceptive one. In 1618, a war began unlike any the Continent had ever seen before. By the time the inferno ended 30 years later, large parts of Germany had been depopulated and many cities left in ruins.

“To Merkel, the Peace of Augsburg is much more than some distant historical date. Rather, it is a warning of just how thin the varnish covering civilization really is. Just as people in the late 16th century were erroneous in their belief that the Peace of Augsburg would be enduring, we could be just as mistaken today in the belief that the postwar order, with all its treaties and alliances, serves as a guarantee that the scourge of war will not return…

“For her, [Donald Trump] is a man who has turned back the historical clock to zero hour and casts doubt on everything that has united the West for decades: NATO, trade agreements and the United Nations. Many in the German government had hoped that Trump wouldn’t be so bad once he was actually sworn in. But Merkel is no longer under any illusions. Trump is implementing his campaign promises, no matter how asinine they might be, as if going down a checklist…

“She feels everything needs to move much faster, in Europe and in Germany, which can’t even manage to build an airport in its capital city — in stark contrast to a China that can build entire metropolises from scratch within just a few years. During her trips to China, there is always a hint of appreciations for the Chinese government… China is governed from the top down.

“Something has to happen, Merkel said with concern as she traveled back to Berlin, impressed by the drive of Beijing’s leaders. And then, in the same breath, she went on to explain why nothing could happen: because her hands are tied by German federalism…”

But this will change soon. A European power bloc will emerge which will NOT be a democracy.

A World Without the USA

The Website of lobelog wrote on June 8:

“Given the unpredictability of US policy, imagine a South Korea/China/North Korea/Japan agreement that leads to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, mutual security commitments, greater exchange between the two Koreas, increased economic support for North Korea, and South Korean request for the US to withdraw its troops. The US would be effectively marginalized…

“How might unhappy European allies respond, over time?… By strengthening, for the first real time, their security forces in the European Union, as opposed to the NATO framework…

“The world is in the midst of a power shift that is resetting roles and relationships in a fundamental way. The impact of the Trump doctrine may be to accelerate these changes, leading to the emergence of new actors, processes and institutions where the US does not lead, and a very different perspective on the US role…”

Amazing! All of this is what we have been saying for quite a long time, based on biblical prophecy, and this article, quoted above, was written BEFORE Mr. Trump announced his desire to withdraw American troops from South Korea. Also note the next article.

Russia, China and Other Allies Make Show of Unity

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 8:

“Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Beijing on Friday, with both men hailing the importance of working together strategically… The meeting underscored a growing closeness at a time of prickly relations with the US for both countries…

“Putin said he and Xi had enjoyed fruitful talks… ‘Cooperation with China is one of Russia’s top priorities and it has reached an unprecedented level.’… Moscow is increasingly looking to China for investment after a sharp decline in relations with the West after the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. China is seeking allies amid growing criticism of its militarization of the South China Sea and continued accusations of human rights breaches and unfair trade practices.”

AFP wrote on June 9:

“Chinese President Xi Jinping will open late Saturday a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the US over trade and Washington’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal… world leaders arrived Friday for the 18th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia. Its member states also include four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics, Pakistan and India. Iran is an observer member.

“Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state — a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to UN sanctions…

On June 10, Bloomberg News ran an article with the following headline: “China, Russia Solidify Growing Eastern Bloc as Trump Rattles G-7.”

Trump To End Federal Ban on Marijuana?

Breitbart wrote on June 8:

“President Donald Trump told a gaggle of reporters Friday that he will ‘probably’ support efforts by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to end the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized it. ‘I support Sen. Gardner… We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.’

“President Trump has taken a hard line against drugs. In March, he proposed that the death penalty be made available in prosecutions of drug traffickers. Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy of not enforcing the federal marijuana ban in states that had voted to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational use, allowing federal prosecutors in each state to use their own discretion.

“In response to that decision, Garnder threatened to hold up future nominations for positions in the Department of Justice. He backed down after he said Trump had agreed not to intervene in states that had legalized the drug, and said privately that he would support Garnder’s legislation. Friday’s statement, however, was the first time Trump had made that support public…”

Newsmax added on June 9:

“President Donald Trump said Friday that he was inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation’s legal landscape for pot users and businesses. The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with about 30 states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system at the state and federal levels. The legislation would ensure states have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders, but some U.S. restrictions would remain, including sales of non-medical pot to people under 21…

“The president’s remarks place him in conflict with his own Justice Department and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who staunchly opposes marijuana. He lifted an Obama administration policy and freed federal prosecutors to more aggressively pursue cases in states that have legalized marijuana. Asked about the measure in an interview with Colorado Public Radio, Sessions said, ‘We’ll see how far it goes and how much support there is. … My view is clear: The federal law remains in effect nationwide, just as it does for heroin and cocaine.’…

“The bill would change the definition of marijuana in federal drug law to exclude industrial hemp, which like marijuana is part of the cannabis plant family but doesn’t contain the THC that gives pot users the high. Hemp produces the non-intoxicating cannabinoids, or CBDs…”

Hopefully, these changes will be made soon, as it is ignorant and unconscionable to place MEDICAL marijuana in the same category as LSD and heroin.

Germany Elected to UN Security Council

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 8:

“The United Nations has voted to give Germany a two-year seat on the Security Council… Germany was voted onto the United Nations Security Council for the sixth time on Friday [since it became a UN member in 1973], after it secured a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

“Germany and Belgium will be joined by South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia as the new faces on the Security Council for 2019 and 2020. Sweden, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Kazakhstan are set to leave the council at the end of this year after completing their two-year term. The other five temporary seats not up for election this year are held by the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland.

“The Security Council is made up of five permanent members with veto powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 temporary members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Every year, five countries are elected by secret ballot. A seat on the Security Council is viewed as the pinnacle of diplomatic achievement, as it gives countries a strong voice in matters concerning international peace and security. The council is also the only UN body with the power to impose sanctions and authorize the use of military force.”

Comeback of Martin Schulz?

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 6:

“Some Social Democrats want their ex-leader to take another turn as a candidate — this time for the 2019 European elections. He has the Brussels experience…

“Former party leader and chancellor candidate Martin Schulz had one of the most meteoric rises in recent German political history — and an equally steep and speedy fall. When Schulz handed over leadership of the center-left SPD to Andrea Nahles earlier this year, it seemed to be a safe assumption that Schulz’s time in the political spotlight was over.

“However, a suggestion last month from Berlin Mayor Michael Müller has set off a round of chatter that Schulz may yet have another turn as a candidate in front of him… Schulz [has] already built up a profile in Brussels through his two decades in the European Parliament: he served as the body’s president from 2012 to 2017. As a candidate and SPD leader in last year’s federal elections, Schulz frequently promoted greater European integration, calling for what he referred to as the ‘United States of Europe.’

“It wasn’t just Müller who backed the idea of Schulz as the center-left’s leading candidate and would-be European Commission president, a position currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker. The SPD’s Seeheimer Circle, known as the more centrist and pragmatic wing of the party, also ‘wholeheartedly’ endorsed the idea. ‘Europe is his topic,’ Johannes Kahrs, the group’s spokesman, told Der Spiegel. ‘Martin Schulz is known across Europe, esteemed, connected, and can and will advance Europe.’

“… German political experts acknowledge that Schulz is by far the SPD politician with the biggest profile on the European political stage… ‘Martin Schulz has obvious shortcomings, but also several advantages: he’s somebody who’s highly qualified, who knows everybody in Europe and everything about Europe, and feels at home in Brussels,’ Marcel Dirsus, a political scientist at the University of Kiel, told DW…”

We have said from the outset that we did not believe that Schulz’s political career was over.

 Are Merkel’s Days as German Chancellor Numbered?

Handelsblatt Global wrote on June 13:

“Angela Merkel faces fresh trouble from her Bavarian allies, the Christian Social Union, over her stance on the refugee question. This time around, though, the chancellor looks more isolated than ever, as more and more Christian Democrats side with the hardline Bavarians, abandoning their leader.

“As the dispute escalates, the stakes are growing and could eventually bring Ms. Merkel’s chancellorship to an end. The issue is already dividing Europe, a split that’s now being exacerbated by the Bavarian CSU leader, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, as he allies himself with other European leaders who oppose Ms. Merkel’s asylum policy…

“The ongoing feud between Ms. Merkel and Mr. Seehofer over immigration flared up again suddenly on Monday when the chancellor rejected the interior minister’s proposal to turn refugees away at the German border if they had already applied for asylum in another European country…

“On Tuesday, CDU lawmakers in the Bundestag overwhelmingly supported Mr. Seehofer’s plan during an internal debate within the party’s parliamentary group… In all, ‘75 percent of the group support Mr. Seehofer’s plan,’ said Andreas Mattfeldt, a CDU politician from Lower Saxony. He said in the nine years he has been in the Bundestag, ‘I have never seen so many politicians voice their disapproval of the chancellor’s position so clearly.’…

“On Tuesday, Mr. Seehofer invited Mr. Salvini, his hardline Italian counterpart, to Berlin next week to discuss a joint proposal to protect the EU’s external borders. Mr. Salvini is not just any interior minister. A member of the anti-immigration League party, Mr. Salvini was behind Italy’s decision to close its ports to a rescue ship carrying 629 migrants at the weekend. The far-right politician was sworn in last month with a pledge to deport 500,000 migrants from his country. According to Italian officials, Mr. Salvini and Mr. Seehofer are in ‘full agreement’ on security and immigration.

“On Wednesday, Mr. Seehofer… chose… to meet with another chancellor — from Austria. Sebastian Kurz is another long-standing Merkel critic and thus a natural ally for Mr. Seehofer. Although his proposal to reject migrants at Germany’s borders would cause Austria major problems, both politicians opted to ignore this difference, and emphasize instead their agreement on how to defend the EU’s borders…”

Deutsche Welle added on June 14:

“Germany’s conservative bloc may be coming apart at the seams, as its Bavarian wing lines up behind Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and against the chancellor. It’s the greatest challenge ever to Merkel’s authority.”

Austria’s Crackdown on Imams and Mosques

AFP wrote on June 8:

“Austria said Friday it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on ‘political Islam’, triggering fury in Ankara… Even Austria’s opposition parties were broadly supportive of Friday’s announcement, with the centre-left Social Democrats calling it ‘the first sensible thing this government’s done’…

“Turkey’s relations with Austria have long been strained, most recently when Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he would ban Turkish politicians from campaigning in Austria for upcoming elections. Around 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals. Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Kurz, saying: ‘This immoral chancellor has a problem with us’…”

Erdogan’s reference to Kurz’s immorality might have been in regard to the fact that Kurz has been living together for many years with his girlfriend, without being married.

Daily Mail wrote on June 8:

“… other European far-right leaders welcomed the announcement. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French Front National, said on Twitter: ‘Austria is taking things in hand and showing that “when you want to, you can!’”’ Matteo Salvini, head of Italy’s League and interior minister in the new government, also tweeted his approval, saying: ‘Those who exploit their faith to endanger a country’s security should be expelled!’

“… The government recently announced plans to ban girls in elementary schools and kindergartens from wearing headscarves, adding to existing restrictions on veils.”

Results of Germany’s New Data Protection Law

Bild Online reported on June 9:

“Because of fear of warning notices and fines because of the Data Protection Law, over 70 percent of small and medium size companies either limited their digital activities or abandoned them altogether.

“2,400 German companies were surveyed, and 40% did limit their Online activities to some extent, while 26 percent did so to a large extent. Almost 3 percent abandoned such activities completely.”

Intrusive European Copyright Law Next?

The New York Post wrote on June 8:

“The proposed [EU] regulation will force websites to filter out text, audio, photos and video shared by users against an ever-expanding database of copyrighted works… privacy advocates warn the rules… violate the fundamental rights of internet users and could be used to excessively censor the web… A campaign against the law says the proposals could ‘destroy the internet as we know it.’ ‘Should Article 13 of the Copyright Directive be adopted, it will impose widespread censorship of all the content you share online,’ it said…

“Meanwhile, non-profit The Electronic Frontier Foundation and 56 other rights organizations sent an open letter to European lawmakers in October highlighting their issues with Article 13. ‘Article 13 appears to provoke such legal uncertainty that online services will have no other option than to monitor, filter and block EU citizens’ communications if they are to have any chance of staying in business,’ it read.”

Europe becomes more and more an autocratic power bloc, as prophesied in the Bible.

More Censorship and Restrictions of Free Speech Coming in Germany?

The Guardian wrote on June 13:

“The head of Germany’s most powerful cultural body has called for the plug to be pulled on the nation’s multitude of political talkshows for a year… Olaf Zimmermann, who heads the German cultural council… said public broadcasters needed to step back and rethink a format that has helped cement gloom-ridden public attitudes towards refugees and Islam, and propelled the Alternative für Deutschland party into parliament at last September’s election…

“For their part, the AfD… have been deeply critical of the extent to which they are excluded from TV debates. Last week that impression was only intensified after Alexander Gauland, the party’s leader, had his invitation to appear on Hart Aber Fair withdrawn in protest at his description of the Nazi era… AfD supporters reacted to the ban with fury on social media, calling it part of a campaign to squeeze the party off the airwaves…”

Italy Commits to Euro

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 10:

“Italy’s new Finance Minister Giovanni Tria has said the government aims to stick with the euro and also cut debts levels. His words should help assuage fears of an Italian spending splurge and exit from the EU currency… ‘The position of the government is clear and unanimous. There is no question of leaving the euro,’ Tria said, adding that the government would work actively to prevent the likelihood of such an event…

“Tria’s words echoed those of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who earlier this week said a departure from the euro was ‘not up for discussion.’”

We have repeatedly announced dogmatically that Italy will not abandon the Euro.

Hypocritical UN Condemns Israel

Deutsche Welle reported in June 14:

“The UN General Assembly on Wednesday adopted by a sweeping majority a resolution condemning Israel for killing Palestinians in Gaza and rejected a US attempt to pin the blame on Hamas. The resolution put forward by Algeria, Turkey and the Palestinians secured 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions…

“The resolution deplores Israel’s use of ‘excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force’ against Palestinians, particularly in Gaza. Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Togo and the Solomon Islands joined the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution. Germany abstained

“The resolution did condemn rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, but did not explicitly mention Hamas. About 70 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza on May 29, most of which were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system… Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon told the General Assembly before the vote that in supporting the Arab and Islamic backed resolution UN members were supporting a ‘terrorist organization’ and ‘empowering Hamas.’

“The United States sought to add an amendment to the resolution blaming Hamas for ‘inciting’ violence. The amendment received 62 votes in favor, with 58 against and 42 abstentions. However, it failed to get the two-thirds majority needed to be adopted. US Ambassador Nikki Haley called the resolution biased against Israel. ‘For some, attacking Israel is their favorite political sport…’

“General Assembly resolutions are non-binding and there is no veto, but they carry political weight…”

JTA wrote on June 13:

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement thanked Haley for her defense of Israel. ‘The U.N.’s incessant focus on Israel not only brings shame to the organization, it also draws attention away from so many other pressing issues that demand the attention of the international community,’ he said…

“In a similar scenario in December, the General Assembly approved a resolution condemning the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv by a wide margin after the United States vetoed a similar resolution in the Security Council. Nine countries voted against [that] resolution, including Israel, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Togo, and 35 abstained, including EU member states Poland, Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Latvia. The rest of the European Union was among the 128 nations that voted in favor.”

Tel Aviv’s 20th Annual Pride Parade

JTA wrote on June 8:

“A crowd of 250,000 attended Tel Aviv’s 20th annual Pride Parade, which featured a performance by Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai. At least 30,000 foreign tourists attended the parade on Friday morning… The event, which topped last year’s overall attendance by some 50,000, according to estimates, is held in congruence with LGBTQ Pride Month. The parade also featured a tribute to longtime LGBTQ activists, as well as a performance by the Israeli-Arab diva Nasreen Qadri…

“‘I am proud of everyone who is marching in the #TLVPride Parade in support of… diversity and… equality,’ tweeted U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman (who was appointed to the post by Donald Trump). ‘Promoting, protecting and advancing human rights – including the rights of #LGBTI persons – has long been the policy of the United States.’”

Nothing to be proud of.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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How can one follow the Bible with so much tenacity when it is branded especially in the Old Testament with some very terrible things?

A: One does not have to go searching very far on the Internet to find people who are taking the writings of the Old Testament out of context and finding fault with the words of God. People will go to any extreme to rule out the need for God and His laws. The issues that people take umbrage with range from murder, sacrifices (including human sacrifices), slavery to rape, just to name a few. Some say that the Old Testament was harsh in its exacting. But they fail to realize it was mainly dealing with people’s hardness of heart.

Quoting from our Q&A:  “God revealed the law of the Ten Commandments to the people, but since they did not have the Holy Spirit, they were unable to keep the spiritual intent of the law. However, God expected them to keep at least the letter of the law, but they were also disobedient in that regard. They sinned gravely, and sin is the transgression of the spiritual law (1 John 3:4). Because of their sinful conduct, God introduced a sacrificial system of ritual laws and regulations to remind them of their sins and to make physical amends (Hebrews 10:1-4). This system of ritual laws was only temporary (Hebrews 10:8-10). It included the laborious task of offering animal sacrifices, and sometimes it included very rigorous physical penalties, such as death by stoning. Dealing with carnal human beings, God knew that only harsh measures could prevent them from totally rebelling against Him and from living a terrible life of depravity and violence (compare Ecclesiastes 8:11). Nevertheless, even those measures did not help, and they ultimately became totally and completely corrupt (Ecclesiastes 9:3).

“It was never God’s desire to ‘force’ people to obey Him. It was never His desire to introduce harsh physical penalties for disobedience. He never wanted a sacrificial system. He did not desire animal sacrifices, but rather, that men lived in a way that such sacrifices [and penalties] would not be necessary (Psalm 40:6; 50:8-14; 51:16-17).

“God had created man as free moral agents, with the faculty of deciding for himself whether or not to follow God’s rules. God had offered Adam and Eve the gift of the Holy Spirit (symbolized by the Tree of Life), but they rejected that gift and ate instead from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, representing the concept of determining and deciding for themselves what seemed right to them. The consequence was that man began to call good evil, and evil good (Isaiah 5:20), ending up in his unspeakable depravity and his destruction in a worldwide flood (Genesis 6:5-7).“

We can easily see that many of the things that happened in the Old Testament were not what God wanted. When trying to discredit the Bible, people don’t and cannot see the entire plan of God laid out. They have no clue that God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8; 1:8-12). God doesn’t change. He still expects the Ten Commandments to be followed, both in the letter, but more importantly, in the spirit. For instance, Christ made clear that it is not only wrong to murder someone, but hatred is equally forbidden.

Nor do people realize that there is a distinction between the ritual laws introduced in the Old Testament, which had reached their finality and were abolished when Christ died for us, and the spiritual law, which is still in place. Christ did NOT come to abolish the entirety of God’s Law, but rather, Christ came to magnify the Law through the Holy Spirit. (For more detailed explanation, please read our free booklet, “Old Testament Laws Still Valid Today?”). For the last 6,000 years or so, man has been allowed to reap the rewards of his own choices. The Old Testament helps to show that the ways in which people chose to act and the things that they chose to do were not necessarily right. 1 Corinthians, chapter 10, speaks about the warnings to Israel. Verse 11 says: “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”

In some cases, God expressly condemned certain conduct, such as human sacrifices. In other cases, the Bible just reports the events without specifically stating that the particular human conduct was wrong, but the reader is supposed to know that it was wrong, when it clearly violated the Ten Commandments and the statutes and judgments, defining the Ten Commandments even more (for instance, when people lied). Sometimes, the Bible may give us additional information or hints, when stating that there was no king in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes. God had simply permitted human beings to make their choices, without intervening and preventing them (for instance, in the case of polygamy or slavery). In still other situations, God even used wrong choices (such as warfare) to bring about His specific purpose (for instance, to fulfill His unconditional promise to Abraham to bring his descendants into the Promised Land).

People fail to see that when the children of Israel in the Old Testament obeyed and heeded the teachings of God, they were blessed, healed, and taken care of all around. For instance, look at King Solomon who had peace in his kingdom. There was no reason for war and all the atrocities that come along with war, because God kept it peaceful.

But then the opposite is true as well. Hebrews 3:9-11; Isaiah 53:6; and Jeremiah 4:16-22 are just a few Scriptures, outlining the problems that ensued because of Israel’s and Judah’s lack of following after the laws of God.

In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told that we must be able to give an answer for the things we believe. If we don’t know the answer to some of these errors, then we could be led away from the knowledge of the Truth. It can be easy to be swayed by people who sound like they know what they are talking about. Many arguments against the Bible found on the Internet are attempting to disprove and discredit the Bible in any perceivable or dishonest way, without showing any understanding of the Scriptures (compare Jeremiah 23:36; 2 Peter 3:16). Matthew 24:10-12 points out that this type of conduct will increase as we move towards the end of this age. Notice that because of the growth of wickedness or lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. This love for the Truth is quickly replaced with hate, iniquity and vileness.

It is the responsibility of God’s true Church to teach the Truth to its members and to others in general, as we read in Ephesians 4:11-15:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints… till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God… that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ…”

At the end of the day, we must accept the guidance of God’s true ministers when they explain to us the Word of God in the light of the Scriptures (compare Acts 8:31; Romans 10:14-15) , and we all must individually study the Word of God for clarity and understanding in the matters mentioned earlier in this Q&A. We must understand where we stand individually in relation to God’s words and commands. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows us why we must make the effort to study. If we truly claim to be Christians and say we believe the Bible, we must understand what the Bible says in many different areas of life and be able to back it up with Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15).

Lead Writer: Kalon Mitchell

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“US Summits in Singapore and Canada—With Opposite and Frightening Prophetic Results,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

The diametrically opposite results of Donald Trump’s summits with US trading partners in Canada and with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore show how prophecy is marching on… if we have eyes to see. The distinctions between America’s friends and allies and America’s enemies become increasingly blurred. Events are being set in motion right now which are not accidental, but which might determine your future—including your physical and spiritual survival.

“Was sagt uns der Prophet Daniel über die Endzeit?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “What Does the Prophet Daniel Tell Us About the End Time?”

“Renewal of Your Mind,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What does the Bible really mean when it talks about renewing our minds? What are we doing every day to renew our minds in relation to our Christian calling? Does it really make that much of a difference how we think? Does God command it?

“God or Man—Part 2?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

How do we correctly manifest love towards our neighbor? Are there laws or biblical teachings which man doesn’t consider to be sinful when God clearly does? In this second part, the next 6 commandments will be covered which describe the love towards our neighbor, or fellow man.

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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