August 17, 2018
Comments on News and Prophecy; Deception Before Defeat
On August 18, 2018, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy,” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “Deception Before Defeat.”
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.
At Your Service
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Service – what is it? Today we live in an age of selfishness where the prevailing ethos is “I, me and mine” – and don’t forget “myself!” Service is “work done to meet some general, or specific, need”. In brief, it can be defined as “work done by one person or group that benefits another” and “an act of help or assistance”.
Being of service to others means that we want the best for them and that we are not concentrating on ourselves.
In the Old Testament, Jonah wanted to flee from an act of service that would save people’s lives – and he tried to get out of it (see Jonah 1:1-3).
In the book of Luke 22, verses 24-27, there was a dispute among the disciples who should be the greatest. Again, we see the problems associated with human nature. It is today, as it was then, that the top table contained the most important people – the VIPs – and yet Jesus said that He was One Who served. As we have to emulate the Saviour of mankind, we should take exactly the same stance – and be servers. What was the motivation among the disciples? To serve or be served? Obviously to be served and therefore the fruits were those of selfishness, but Christ told them to be servants. That was about 2,000 years ago, and the same is true today.
We have long understood in the Church of God that this life is our training ground for the Kingdom of God, and we must develop those Godly attributes that we will need to use after Christ’s return. And service is right there at the top of such requirements!
We are to be of service today – we are being trained as God prepares us for the Kingdom. Service is required – not being served. Do we look for jobs to do? Or are we so concerned with caring for self that we miss opportunities to serve now, or is it an afterthought?
In Philippians 2:5 we read: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” and if we have the mind of Christ, which this verse exhorts us to have, we will be following His example of service – a lowliness of mind so essential in the life of a true Christian.
Christ has been highly exalted and He is our elder brother. When we become spirit-born members of the Family of God, we will be working for and with Christ in the Kingdom of God for the good and welfare of humanity.
With the autumnal Holy Days only a few weeks away, there may be opportunities to be of service to the brethren at this time and particularly when we are all together at the Feast of Tabernacles. It might be that such things as providing transport or help in other ways could prove to be invaluable to some, and support, help and encouragement to others might just make the difference to someone to really appreciate and enjoy the Feast. Opportunities to be of service in such ways might present themselves where we can provide service that may not have been anticipated.
Let service become a habit – one that we will be able to use to a much greater degree in the near future when Christ returns.
by Norbert Link
We begin with reporting on the increasing possibility that the worst-case scenario of a “no-Brexit” will become reality, which would constitute a disaster and create chaos for Britain; continue with an insensitive or intentionally sinister decision of the EU to schedule its next summit on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur); and run a short article on developments and perceptions regarding the future of the Temple Mount.
We speak on Turkey’s deep economic trouble and its increasing hostility towards the USA; Iran’s continuing nuclear ambitions; Germany’s “warning” for the USA; and the government of Romania’s brutal conduct towards its own people.
We continue with several articles showing the “perverse” hypocrisy of America’s immigration policy; address the revocation of the former CIA Director’s security clearance; and focus on ungodly and despicable developments pertaining to euthanasia in Belgium and The Netherlands; legal assisted suicide in Belgium and Canada; experiments in the USA with human tissue from late-term abortions; and a huge San Francisco court decision against Monsanto, a unit of the controversial Bayer AG, producing and selling glyphosate-based cancer-causing herbicides.
We conclude with articles about massive destruction of marine life in Florida; harmful e-cigarettes; the first nomination by the Democratic Party of a transgender candidate for a governorship in Vermont; a report about terrible sex abuse of children and teens by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania; and Pope Francis’ controversial rule within and over the Catholic Church. In this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Worldwide Attack on Our Innocent Children.”
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Brexit: The Worst-Case Scenario Increasingly Likely
The Week wrote on August 13:
“Britain is still trying to figure out how to pack its bags. Back in 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union, but the departure won’t take place until March 2019. The big question in the interim has been how exactly ‘Brexit’ will go down. While the moment of truth remains a few months off, a worst-case scenario looks increasingly likely.
“British Prime Minister Theresa May and many other mainstream leaders would prefer a ‘soft’ Brexit. This would entail hanging on to some aspects of the old Britain-EU relationship, particularly around trade.
“… the EU won’t agree unless Britain also holds onto other rules, particularly around open immigration. That’s anathema to the British hardline conservatives who wanted Brexit in the first place. They push for a ‘hard’ Brexit — a clean break with the EU’s trade regime… even a hard Brexit requires all parties involved to actually agree to a plan ahead of time. But May’s own majority coalition is riven by disagreements between the Hard Brexiters and the Soft Brexiters…
“That’s all increasing the possibility that the March 2019 deadline is reached without an agreement in place. That’s the third option: the ‘no deal Brexit.’ It’s the aforementioned worst-case scenario.
“Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, recently said he thinks the chances of a no-deal Brexit are 60-40. A few days ago, Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney, told the BBC, ‘I think the possibility of a no-deal is uncomfortably high at this point’… what would a no-deal Brexit actually look like? Basically, it would be… chaos… rules governing everything from food standards to medicines to aviation and more would suddenly disappear in March 2019. And there would be nothing to replace them.
“Almost a third of Britain’s fresh food supply is imported from the EU, for example. The possibility of a no-deal Brexit is raising concerns that many of those shipments would get stuck at the border, with no clear rules or processes for getting them across. Then they’d rot in the ensuing confusion.
“Businesses’ passporting rights would also vanish: British companies couldn’t sell their services in the EU, or EU companies in Britain, without first securing licenses from each individual country. Estimates suggest that around 130,000 British businesses that export to the EU would suddenly find themselves facing customs for the first time.
“Arrangements governing aviation would also go away, potentially grounding planes until it’s all sorted, leaving both air travel and shipping in chaos… And none of this even gets into the precarious legal situation many EU nationals living in Britain would find themselves in.
“… if you’re wondering why reports are filtering in of the British government stockpiling food and medicine and other supplies, this is why… No one wants a no-deal Brexit… The assumption is that someone will swerve in time for an actual orderly Brexit to be arranged. But the closer the deadline gets, the less time there is to actually make that deal. And no one’s blinked yet.”
The Bible prophesies that the relationship between continental Europe and Britain will completely deteriorate and even become extremely hostile.
EU Summit on Day of Atonement—Insensitive or Sinister?
JTA wrote on August 13:
“Is it insensitivity or something more sinister? Some European Jewish leaders have expressed concerns about the scheduling of a European Union leaders’ summit in Austria on Yom Kippur. The date is Sept. 20, the day after Judaism’s holiest day, but the Austrian hosts have acknowledged that some of the events will indeed take place on Yom Kippur.
“Many Jewish leaders have cited the move as indicative of the lack of attention paid to their concerns, according to Politico Europe, and some see the meeting’s date as an intentional slight. The informal meeting of heads of state or government will be held in Salzburg…
“Péter Niedermuller, a Jewish member of the European Parliament from Hungary… noted that Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache is a member of the far-right Freedom Party, which has a long history of anti-Semitism. ‘OK, we will just signal that this is a Christian Europe,’ he said. ‘The main voices you can hear from the far right in Europe is that this is Christian unity, Christian Europe, Christian culture, and they never mention the Jewish culture or Jewish Europe. There is a lot of hidden and open anti-Semitism.’”
Politico added on August 13:
“The situation is especially awkward for Austria, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU and has long struggled with allegations of state-sponsored intolerance… The EU leaders’ summit… is set to begin with a dinner on September 19. Yom Kippur, when Jews fast and pray to repent for their sins, begins on the evening of September 18 and ends at sundown the following day when families typically gather to break the fast. For the observant, work and travel on the holiday is prohibited…”
One must indeed wonder whether this scheduling was just an unintentional oversight.
The Battle for the Temple Mount
Breaking Israel News wrote on August 10:
“It is well-known that Jews are restricted from praying on the Temple Mount… [The] battle for religious equality will determine whether the Temple Mount will take to its Biblical and prophesied role as a ‘House of Prayer for all Nations.’…
“‘Despite the conflict brewing on Israel’s southern border and the threats in the north [Caleb Waller, director of public relations for a Christian volunteer organization, feels that] the ‘real conflict is for the Temple Mount, the heart of Israel… ‘we are living in a time when there is actually Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount. It is clear that God’s plan centers on that place and it is going to happen soon.’”
Indeed, it will be. The Temple Mount will end up in Jewish hands for a while, and animal sacrifices will be given and a third Temple will be built there. This then will lead to European military intervention in the Holy Land and the Great Tribulation.
Turkey’s Economy in Deep Trouble—Also in Light of US Tariffs
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 10:
“Donald Trump said Friday his administration had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, imposing a 20 percent duty on aluminum and a 50 percent levy on steel… Trump’s announcement saw the Turkish lira drop even further, crashing to a 19 percent daily loss against the greenback. Minutes before Ankara learned about the higher tariffs, the lira had already hit an all-time low of 6.87 against the dollar…
“The marked drop came as Turkey’s current strains with the United States showed no sign of abating. Turkey remains at loggerheads with the US in one of the worst spats between two NATO allies in years over the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson and a host of other issues. The accelerated lira sell-off also deepened concerns about the exposure of banks to Turkey, particularly whether highly indebted companies would be able to pay back loans taken out in dollars and euros after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
“Erdogan on Friday once again urged Turks to exchange gold and dollars into lira to stop the currency from plunging…”
Reuters wrote on August 10:
“Food, rents and fuel prices in Turkey have all surged. The state pipeline operator last week raised the price of natural gas for electricity production by 50 percent… [Erdogan’s] loyal supporters see the currency sell-off as a U.S. attempt to undermine their country and president. ‘If they have their dollars, we have our people, our God,’ Erdogan said in a speech overnight…
“Newspapers and TV stations have cast the lira crisis as a political assault [by the USA]… The lira sell-off, driven by fears about Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy and Turkey’s worsening relations with the United States, has sent tremors through global emerging markets and dominated international financial headlines…
“Further U.S. measures are expected… over issues including U.S. sanctions on Iran and Ankara’s plans to buy a Russian missile defense system…”
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 14:
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned his country would boycott electronic goods from the United States in retaliation for recent sanctions imposed by Washington over the detention of an American pastor… ‘If the US has the iPhone, there’s Samsung on the other side,’ Erdogan said, referring to the top South Korean smartphone maker. ‘And we also have our Venus and Vestel,’ he said, with regards to Turkey’s own domestic brands.”
Newsmax wrote on August 15:
“Turkey announced Wednesday it is increasing tariffs on imports of certain U.S. products, escalating a feud with the United States that has helped trigger a currency crisis… Ankara said it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products, including rice, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.
“At the same time, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government turned toward Russia. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu of Turkey lashed out against Western sanctions Tuesday, and was joined by Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov. ‘This era when we are being bullied must end,’ Cavusoglu said… Lavrov added, ‘They are using methods of sanctions, threats, blackmail and diktat.’”
According to biblical prophecy, Turkey (“Edom” or “Esau”) will become an enemy to both the state of Israel and the USA.
Iran Receives More Uranium from Russia
Israel National News reported on August 12:
“Iran announced on Saturday that it will bring back a second batch of the 20%-enriched uranium which it sent to Russia in 2015 as part of its commitments under the nuclear deal signed with world powers.
“The uranium… is to be used in the Tehran Research Reactor… [B]ased on the nuclear deal, Iran is entitled to resume production of 20% fuel 15 years after the date on which the deal was endorsed… Iran recently reopened a nuclear plant that was idle for nine years as it prepared to increase uranium enrichment capacity in response to Trump leaving the 2015 deal…”
According to biblical prophecy, the collaboration between Russia and Iran will continue.
Germany Warns Trump
The Week wrote on August 12:
“President Trump’s trade war on allies and rivals alike is ‘slowing down and destroying economic growth, and producing new uncertainties,’ said German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier in an interview published Sunday. ‘The past has shown that during trade wars, consumers suffer above all because products get more expensive,’ Altmaier argued. ‘A global trade war would not know winners, only losers.’
“The economic minister also addressed Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose punitive sanctions on Iran. Germany is among the other signatory nations that remain party to the deal. ‘We won’t let Washington dictate us with whom we can do business,’ Altmaier said, ‘and we therefore stick to the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] so that Iran cannot build atomic weapons.”
However, many German firms buckled to Trump and decided to stop doing business with Iran.
Governmental Violence against the Romanian People
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 11:
“By deploying huge numbers of police and gendarmes, the authorities in Bucharest wanted to show the whole world who is in charge in Romania. Around 100,000 people had gathered in Victoriei (Victory) Square in front of the seat of government to demonstrate against corruption and despotism and call for a functioning constitutional state and an independent judiciary…
“It was an urgent call for democracy and normality… This kind of demonstration was an absolute first in Europe: Tens of thousands of expatriate Romanian citizens returned home during their holidays to show, together with their families, friends and acquaintances, that they have not forgotten their homeland. Romanians at home and abroad wanted to send a clear signal together: Stop Romania’s downfall!
“The government’s response was brutal. The police used tear gas, water cannon and truncheons indiscriminately… against families with children, against the elderly, against journalists… Such things just do not happen in a democracy… This was an open declaration of war against the Romanian people. The responsibility for this undoubtedly lies with the government. And with Liviu Dragnea, the powerful leader of the ruling Social Democrats…”
The future role of Romania is not clear. It has joined the EU, but it is not part of the custom- and border-free Schengen agreement, nor did it accept the euro. It could very well re-establish strong ties with Russia. Balkan Insight wrote on May 31: “Despite its historic anti-Russian outlook and strong support for NATO, Romania’s relations with Moscow are not as straightforwardly hostile as they sometimes appear.”
America’s Hypocritical Immigration Policy
The Week wrote on August 10:
“First lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became U.S. citizens on Thursday, taking advantage of a program that President Trump has long railed against. Trump has decried ‘chain migration,’ where adult U.S. citizens can obtain residency for their relatives. In November 2017, for example, Trump tweeted: ‘CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!’… The Knavses are from Slovenia, and the first lady, who became a citizen in 2006, sponsored them for their green cards.”
The New York Times wrote on August 9:
“News of the ceremony prompted an immediate response on Twitter. Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and political commentator, tweeted, ‘I guess when it’s Melania’s Family, it’s “family reunification” and should be applauded. Everybody else, it’s “chain migration” and must be stopped.'”
The blanket and unqualified opposition to chain immigration is quite inhumane and unconscionable. But it gets worse. Note the next article.
Government Tries to Deport Asylum-Seekers in Breach of Promise
The Wall Street Journal wrote on August 10:
“A federal judge on Thursday stopped the deportations of an asylum-seeking woman and her young daughter who were already aboard a plane to El Salvador, criticizing the Trump administration for trying to remove them while they were challenging their cases in court. In Washington, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan… threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court if U.S. officials didn’t immediately return the pair to the U.S. ‘It’s outrageous,’ Judge Sullivan said, according to a transcript of the hearing. ‘I’m also directing the government to turn that plane around either now or when it lands… and bring those people back to the United States.’
“An official at the Department of Homeland Security said the agency was complying with the judge’s order. ‘Upon arrival in El Salvador, the plaintiffs didn’t disembark and are currently en route back to the United States,’ the official said. They were back in the U.S. on Thursday night…
“The government had agreed not to deport Carmen and her daughter before 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, but the judge learned Thursday morning that the pair was already on a plane back to Central America. He [said] it was unacceptable that immigrants who alleged credible fear should be ‘spirited away’ while their attorneys argued their cases…
“Carmen and her daughter fled their home in El Salvador seeking refuge from years of sexual abuse by her husband and death threats from a gang, the ACLU said in its lawsuit…”
The federal government contends that these threats, even if true, do not justify asylum. What is especially troublesome in this case is the blatant breach of the government’s promise.
But this is still not all. A most shocking development is being described in the next article.
USA Plans to Persecute LEGAL Immigrants
The Week wrote on August 9:
“Trump… has slammed literally every law-abiding legal immigrant group — refugees, asylum seekers, foreign family members of Americans, low-skilled immigrants, high-skilled foreign workers on H-1Bs, their wives, foreign students, and even naturalized citizens. Still, none of that compares with what the administration is planning next…
“The proposed guidance, evidently the brainchild of Stephen Miller… is relying on an 1891 law that barred immigrants ‘likely to become public charges’… Miller’s scheme would brand anyone who receives — or is likely to receive — services or subsidies (barring a few explicitly exempted) worth greater than 3 percent of the poverty line a public charge… immigrants don’t actually have to avail of these benefits to have their petitions rejected. They or their family simply have to be eligible for these subsidies because they are sick, old, have young children, or don’t have unsubsidized coverage — unless they make 250 percent of the poverty level, in which case they’d be exempted.
“The perversity of this cannot be overstated. An immigrant would be barred from upgrading his status if he married, say, an American woman on Social Security disability till he crossed the 250 percent earning threshold. Or consider, a real-life example of a Haitian green-card holder who works 80 hours a week as a nursing assistant but has a severely disabled American daughter who receives public assistance. His citizenship petition may not have a prayer. In effect, Miller’s plan would penalize immigrants not because they are needy but because they have Americans in their lives who are.
“What’s particularly unfair about this is that it’s not like legal immigrants get any reprieve from taxes. With very, very few exceptions, they pay all the taxes that Americans do and then some… A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that an average immigrant arriving today would contribute $150,000 more in taxes than he or she would consume in benefits over their lifetime…”
We totally agree: “The perversity of this [scheme] cannot be overstated.” As the next article shows, a very interesting author shares this sentiment, with an astonishing and deeply disturbing revelation.
Stephen Miller an Immigration Hypocrite
On August 13, Politico published an article by Dr. David S. Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist, formerly a member of the Neurology faculties of Boston University School of Medicine and Jefferson Medical College:
“Let me tell you a story about Stephen Miller and chain migration. It begins at the turn of the 20th century… Beset by violent anti-Jewish pogroms and forced childhood conscription in the Czar’s army… Wolf-Leib Glosser… fled a village where his forebears had lived for centuries and took his chances in America.
“He set foot on Ellis Island on January 7, 1903, with $8 to his name. Though fluent in Polish, Russian and Yiddish, he understood no English. An elder son, Nathan, soon followed. By street corner peddling and sweatshop toil, Wolf-Leib and Nathan sent enough money home to… buy the immediate family’s passage to America in 1906. That group included young Sam Glosser, who with his family settled in the western Pennsylvania city of Johnstown…
“The Glosser family quickly progressed from selling goods from a horse and wagon to owning a haberdashery in Johnstown run by Nathan and Wolf-Leib to a chain of supermarkets and discount department stores run by my grandfather, Sam, and the next generation of Glossers, including my dad, Izzy. It was big enough to be listed on the AMEX stock exchange and employed thousands of people over time. In the span of some 80 years and five decades, this family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens.
“What does this classically American tale have to do with Stephen Miller? Well, Izzy Glosser is his maternal grandfather, and Stephen’s mother, Miriam, is my sister.
“I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country. I shudder at the thought of what would have become of the Glossers had the same policies Stephen so coolly espouses— the travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees, the separation of children from their parents, and even talk of limiting citizenship for legal immigrants — been in effect when Wolf-Leib made his desperate bid for freedom. The Glossers came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the ‘America first’ nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family likely would have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol…
“Stephen and Trump may have become numb to the resultant human tragedy and blind to the hypocrisy of their policy decisions. After all, Stephen’s is not the only family with a chain immigration story in the Trump administration. Trump’s grandfather is reported to have been a German migrant on the run from military conscription to a new life in the United States, and his mother fled the poverty of rural Scotland for the economic possibilities of New York City. (Trump’s in-laws just became citizens on the strength of his wife’s own citizenship.)…
“When confronted by the deaths and suffering of thousands, our senses are overwhelmed, and the victims become statistics rather than people…”
This article is extraordinary in that it tries to appeal to the conscience and decency of those involved in formulating and enacting their highly controversial immigration policies. And paradoxically, most Americans are NOT in favor of these policies. Note the next article.
Patriotism and Immigration
The Week wrote on August 11:
“75 percent of Americans think immigration is ‘generally a good thing‘ for the country… More patriotic Americans also tend to be more pro-immigration… for most Americans, there is no contradiction between love of country and a welcoming attitude toward those who wish to move here. The idea that we are ‘a nation of immigrants’ has deep roots, and it won’t be undone easily.”
This is encouraging and astonishing. Most patriotic Americans are pro-Immigration. What does this mean for those, then, who are anti-Immigration?
Trump Revokes Security Clearance of former CIA Director
Politico wrote on August 15:
“President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, who has become a harsh critic of the president, and appeared to be targeting others who have disagreed with the administration. ‘Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilities, the very aim of our adversaries which is to sow division and chaos,’ White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, reading a statement from Trump while briefing reporters on Wednesday. ‘Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this Administration,’ the president‘s statement continued.
“In addition, Sanders said, the administration is evaluating clearances for former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year, and Bruce Ohr, who is still in the Justice Department although he was demoted from associate deputy attorney general. ‘More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets long after their time in government has ended,’ Sanders said.
“Brennan later responded on Twitter. ‘This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics,’ he wrote. ‘It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,’ he wrote. In a later phone interview on MSNBC, Brennan added that if the president believed that the action would lead the former CIA director ‘to just go away and be quiet, he is very badly mistaken.’ ‘I‘ve seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots and autocrats during my CIA and national security career,’ he said. ‘I never thought I would see it here in the United States. And so I do believe that all Americans really need to take stock of what is happening right now in our government, and how abnormal and how irresponsible and how dangerous these actions are.’… ‘I must tell you that Mr. Trump‘s dishonesty, his lack of integrity, his nastiness, mean-spiritedness, the types of things that he has just tweeted out the past 72 hours, the terms that he uses, this is not what I think of an American president, nor of America,’ Brennan said. ‘We’re better than this. We have to be better than this. We have been a shining example to the world, and Mr. Trump is letting this country down’…
“John McLaughlin, a former acting director of the CIA, who was not listed as having his clearance under review but has criticized the president’s policies in the past, said on Wednesday that he thought the choice to revoke the clearance was to ‘silence critics.’ ‘This really has the feel of someone simply trying to do two things: silence critics and also distract from another damaging political event that‘s going on with Omarosa,’ he said during a phone interview on MSNBC, referring to former presidential adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman, whose new book includes scathing criticism of Trump and his administration.”
How the average American citizen can make head or tail of all of this is hard to decipher. Arguments are advanced pro and con on different news channels, on the Internet and in newspapers and magazines, and when viewing, reading and listening to the different viewpoints and contradictory “statements of fact,” one is left with the fundamental question as to who IS telling the truth, if anyone.
Newsmax wrote on August 15:
“Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said President Donald Trump’s revocation of ex-CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance could be the basis for constitutional violations… ‘I do think if the president denies security clearance only to his critics, he will be in court on the wrong side,’ Dershowitz [said]. The professor conceded ‘it would be a close question.’…
“’If the case went up to the Supreme Court, it would be like the case involving the travel ban,’ he added. ‘The court would ask the question: “Are we allowed to look at the motive of the president in doing this, or do we look at the action?” The president clearly has the power to revoke security clearance . . . but if he does it for an impermissible basis . . . it would be a basis for constitutional violations.’
“…’But I think he’s [Brennan] gone overboard in his criticism’ of Trump, he said. ‘It makes it sound, when he makes criticism, that he knows it because he was in the CIA– he has some special information,’ he said. ‘I think a former director of the CIA has to be much more discreet in his level of criticism.”
For instance, Brennan called Trump quite inappropriately a traitor and guilty of treason after he met with Putin in Helsinki.
Euthanasia of Children in Belgium!
The Washington Post wrote on August 6:
“Deliberately taking a small child’s life is unlawful everywhere in the world, even when the child is terminally ill and asks a doctor to end his or her suffering once and for all. There is an exception to this rule: Belgium. In 2014, that country amended its law on euthanasia, already one of the most permissive in the world, authorizing doctors to terminate the life of a child, at any age, who makes the request…
“Between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, Belgian physicians gave lethal injections to three children under 18… The oldest of the three was 17; in that respect, Belgium was not unique, since the Netherlands permits euthanasia for children over 12. Belgian doctors, however, also ended the lives of a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old…
“… the Belgian public’s support for euthanasia remains undiminished. The precedent for euthanizing children has been established, and more will almost certainly receive lethal injections this year, next year and the year after that.”
This is insane. And note the next article as well.
Euthanasia and Legal Assisted Suicide in Belgium and Canada
CBN News wrote on August 8:
“… it’s not only children who are being euthanized. According to The Telegraph, the annual number of euthanasia cases across all age groups has multiplied almost five-fold in 10 years in Belgium. From 2016 to 2017, that number was 4,337 who requested assistance with their suicides. Most were cancer patients.
“Canada runs a close second in the world for legal assisted suicides. Physicians and nurse practitioners have killed almost 4,000 patients since euthanasia was legalized in Quebec in December 2015 and ultimately throughout the country… Ontario recently passed a law requiring all doctors to kill a legally qualified patient even though the judge acknowledged it violated the religious and conscience rights of doctors who did not want to perform legally assisted suicides.”
Legal assisted suicide is murder and a grave sin in the eyes of God. So is, of course, euthanasia.
Experiments with “Fresh” Human Tissue from Late-Term Abortions
The Catholic Medical Association wrote on August 9:
“… the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed a new contract last month to acquire ‘fresh’ human fetal tissue to transplant into ‘humanized mice’ proving the animals to have functioning ‘human immune systems’… The experiments would be funded with federal tax dollars. ‘The FDA says the research using aborted babies is critical to understanding how the human immune system responds to certain drugs and biologics, helping to better understand diseases that affect millions of Americans. We strongly disagree. We oppose sacrificing any human life that justify this form of human experimentation,’ said Stephen White, Chair of the CMA’s Health Care Policy Committee.
“The FDA claims the experimentation requires tissue from late-term aborted babies, not miscarried ones to create its ‘humanized mice.’…”
Abortion is another example of a grave sin in the eyes of God, as is the capitalization of it by conducting highly-questionable experiments in deference to the “god” of science.
Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Cause Cancer
The Guardian wrote on August 11:
“It was a verdict heard around the world. In a stunning blow to one of the world’s largest seed and chemical companies, jurors in San Francisco have told Monsanto it must pay $289m in damages to a man dying of cancer which he claims was caused by exposure to its herbicides. Monsanto, which became a unit of Bayer AG in June, has spent decades convincing consumers, farmers, politicians and regulators to ignore mounting evidence linking its glyphosate-based herbicides to cancer and other health problems. The company has employed a range of tactics – some drawn from the same playbook used by the tobacco industry in defending the safety of cigarettes – to suppress and manipulate scientific literature, harass journalists and scientists who did not parrot the company’s propaganda, and arm-twist and collude with regulators…
“Now… Monsanto’s secretive strategies have been laid bare for the world to see… The jury’s verdict found not only that Monsanto’s Roundup and related glyphosate-based brands presented a substantial danger to people using them, but that there was ‘clear and convincing evidence’ that Monsanto’s officials acted with ‘malice or oppression’ in failing to adequately warn of the risks…
“Glyphosate-based herbicides are so widely used around the globe… that residues are commonly found in food and water supplies, and in soil and air samples. US scientists have even recorded the weed killer residues in rainfall. Exposure is ubiquitous, virtually inescapable…”
Handelsblatt Global added on August 14:
“Everyone knew Bayer was taking a calculated risk in acquiring Monsanto for $63 billion (€55 billion) because of more than 5,000 pending lawsuits charging that its glyphosate-based pesticide Roundup causes cancer. Nonetheless, investors reacted with shock to a California jury verdict awarding $289 million to a plaintiff claiming Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the cancer of white blood cells. The share price fell nearly 14 percent Monday… This slashed Bayer’s stock-market value by more than €10 billion.
“… analysts also noted Bayer’s numerous problems beyond the glyphosate liabilities. There have been issues with over-the-counter drugs in the US, as well as a weak drug pipeline. The US Food and Drug Administration recently found fault with Bayer’s production facilities in Germany and ordered the company to clean them up…”
In an article by EcoWatch, dated September 10, 2016, it was stated that glyphosate has also been found in vaccines. Many famous German companies, including Bayer, have a sad reputation of having cooperated with and worked for the Nazis. For instance, I.G. Farben was the big corporation that owned the Auschwitz concentration death camps. I.G. Farben was a merger between Bayer, BASF, AGFA, Hoechst, and other German companies. IG Farben also manufactured the cans of Zyklon B gas that were used in Auschwitz’s gas chambers.
CBS wrote on August 15:
“A new report found glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children. The study… discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientists consider safe for children…
“The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a ‘probable carcinogen,’ and California lists it as a chemical ‘known to the state to cause cancer.’”
Massive Destruction of Marine Life in Florida
Fox News reported on August 14:
“A blanket of red tide along Florida’s Gulf Coast that’s killing marine life in addition to emptying normally packed beaches with an unrelenting stench has caused the state’s governor to declare a state of emergency for parts of the region…
“Red tide — a naturally occurring toxic algae bloom that can be harmful to people with respiratory problems — has spread throughout the region since October and stretches about 150 miles from Naples to Anna Maria Island. The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have discovered turtles, large fish, and even manatees washed up dead. In Sarasota County, 11 dead dolphins have been found and marine biologists are investigating if their deaths are linked to red tide…
“Officials are now trying to figure out why this year’s red tide is so intense…”
The Huffington Post added on August 15:
“Fish and other wildlife have been washing up dead on beaches throughout Florida, including more than 300 sea turtles, manatees and even a whale shark that may have been killed by the phenomenon… The bloom of algae began last October and extends from Naples to the Everglades region, with no sign of slowing down… More than 100 tons of dead fish have been removed from area beaches…”
The Bible warns that the fish of the sea will be taken away (Hosea 4:3).
E-Cigarettes More Harmful Than Many Might Have Thought…
Newsmax wrote on August 14:
“While vaping has regularly been touted as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking, emerging research is starting to paint a different picture [showing] that vaping could ultimately destroy the important immune cells in the lungs that help keep the air spaces clear of potentially harmful particles… Vapor contained in e-cigarettes can damage the alveolar macrophages, which are responsible for engulfing and removing dust particles, bacteria, and allergens that can enter the respiratory tract…
“Lead author Professor David Thickett said that… e-cigarettes… may… be harmful in the long term… Vaping is becoming increasingly common among youth… more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes just 30 days during 2016. A separate study previously found that vaping delivers potentially cancerous chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes to teens, even if an e-cigarette has no nicotine.”
The Church of the Eternal God rejects the use of e-cigarettes, as it does, of course, the smoking of cigarettes.
Transgender Woman Wins Vermont Governor’s Primary
The New York Times wrote on August 14:
“Christine Hallquist… listened closely as Danica Roem, the Virginia state delegate who won national recognition when she became the first transgender person elected to her state’s Legislature… Ms. Hallquist is transgender, too…
“Ms. Hallquist, a Democrat, made history of her own. She became the first transgender candidate to be nominated for a governorship by a major party [in Vermont]… It is a remarkable milestone, even for an election year already dominated by an influx of women and a record number of candidates who identify as lesbian, gay, transgender or queer…
“Ms. Hallquist was not the only transgender candidate on the ballot in the country in recent days. In Hawaii on Saturday, Kim Coco Iwamoto, a lawyer, lost her bid to be the Democrats’ nominee for lieutenant governor.
“And more transgender candidates will be on the ballot soon, including Alexandra Chandler, a former naval intelligence analyst who is running in Massachusetts’s Third District… ‘I’m running for Congress,’ she said in a recent campaign video, ‘to be a voice for trans kids out there.’…
“Ms. Hallquist… is likely to draw national attention — and fund-raising dollars — because of the historic potential of her candidacy…”
The signs of the times…
Child Abuse by Catholic Priests
The Washington Post wrote on August 14:
“More than 300 Catholic priests across Pennsylvania sexually abused children over seven decades, protected by a hierarchy of church leaders who covered it up, according to a sweeping grand jury report released Tuesday. The investigation, one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history, identified 1,000 children who were victims, but reported that there probably are thousands more…
“The grand jury reviewed more than 2 million documents, including from the ‘secret archives’ — what church leaders referred to the reports of abuse they hid from public for decades, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Tuesday… Shapiro said… that he was bound by the state’s statutes of limitation. In Pennsylvania, victims of child sex abuse have until they are 30 to file civil suits and until they are 50 to file criminal charges. The oldest victim who spoke to the grand jury was 83.
“… The investigation has helped renew a crisis that many in the church thought and hoped had ended nearly 20 years ago after a church scandal erupted in Boston. But recent abuse-related scandals, including in Australia and Chile, have reopened questions about accountability and whether church officials at the highest levels are still covering up crimes…
“The new allegations have focused attention on Pope Francis and his handling of abuse as many Catholics look to him to help the church try to regain some of its credibility… The grand jury’s report follows the resignation last month of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a towering figure in the U.S. church and a former archbishop of Washington who was accused of sexually abusing children and adults for decades…
“In France, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is facing a trial on criminal charges of not reporting sexual abuse. In Australia, one archbishop was recently convicted in a criminal court for concealing sexual abuse, and Cardinal George Pell, a top Francis lieutenant, will soon stand trial on charges related to sexual offenses…”
Pope Francis—the Dictator Pope?
Life Site News wrote on August 14:
“A Vatican consultant who leads the Canadian Catholic media organization Salt and Light Television [CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica] has issued a statement publicly recognizing… that Pope Francis ‘breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants’ and that he rules by his own personal authority, rather than the… tradition of the Catholic Church…
“‘The pope’s openness, however, also a signature of his Jesuit training and development, means that not even he is sure where the spirit will lead,’ writes Rosica… Rosica’s open proclamation of Francis’ rule as an ‘individual’ apart from the authority of historic Catholic doctrine is reminiscent of H. J. A. Sire’s portrayal of Francis as ‘the dictator pope’… According to Sire… Francis rules as an aloof and ‘arrogant’ autocrat, indifferent to Catholic doctrine.”
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.
What is the basis or reason for ordination?
Ordination, as a practice, is clearly set forth in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Aaron and his sons were chosen by God to serve as priests (Exodus 28:1), and they were specifically ordained for this responsibility:
“Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood which was on the altar, and sprinkled it on Aaron, on his garments, on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he consecrated Aaron, his garments, his sons, and the garments of his sons with him” (Leviticus 8:30).
Quoting from the NASB:
“‘The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, that in them they may be anointed and ordained’” (Exodus 29:29).
The priestly responsibility was to serve as God’s representative to the Israelites. Note Malachi 2, verse 7:
“‘For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.’”
The Book of Hebrews speaks of the duties of the High Priest and shows that God commissions this office:
“For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’” (Hebrews 5:1-6).
In another example, God told Moses to choose Joshua to lead Israel in his place:
“So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him (better: commissioned him, so NIV and RSV), just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses” (Numbers 27:22-23).
In the New Testament, we note that Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church of God (Ephesians 1:22), has established ministerial positions:
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11).
Speaking of the Church, Paul writes:
“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:27-28).
From the outset, the process of choosing ministers and deacons for particular service in the Church has been the result of careful consideration. Note what is said about how Jesus selected the original apostles:
“Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).
Paul and Barnabas were prophets and teachers. They were subsequently ordained to the rank and function of apostles (Acts 14:14) for the particular job they would then fulfill in the Church:
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away” (Acts 13:1-3).
Paul specifically acknowledges this ordination for the proclaiming of the gospel, saying, “to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (2 Timothy 1:11; compare, also, Romans 11:13).
While the Church of God began in Judea on the Day of Pentecost, the message of the gospel was to be proclaimed to all nations (compare Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:8; 10:44-48; 11:18). Paul addressed the unique responsibilities given in preaching the gospel:
“But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised” (Galatians 2:7-9).
However, neither Peter nor Paul were able to do all of the work their commissions required. They ordained others to help in administering the Church of God. For example, following the establishment of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, it became apparent that more help was needed, as noted in Acts 6, verses 1-7. Likewise, Paul instructed Titus to “appoint elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).
However, this was not done in a random fashion, as Paul continues to explain in his letter to Titus, charging him to appoint or ordain elders:
“…if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:6-9; compare, also, 1 Timothy 3:1-13).
Throughout the Church of that day, there was a need for ordained servants, and this is why Jesus Christ gave structured leadership to the Church:
“[F]or the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 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 of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:12-16).
Jesus spoke of the Work which lay before His servants:
“Then He said to them, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” (Luke 10:2).
Finally, consider that God emphatically promises to help those who are ordained in His service, as Jeremiah was told:
“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Then said I: ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.’ But the LORD said to me: ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:4-8).
Therefore, in like manner, the Church of the Eternal God in the USA and its international affiliates, both have and will ordain people as the need is made apparent to further the Work of God given to His Church.
Lead Writer: Dave Harris
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Worldwide Attack on Our Innocent Children,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
This program gives you several abominable examples of the society’s attack on our children and encourages you to counteract such vicious and immoral deceptions, from euthanasia of young children at any age, to late-term abortions in the name of science, to cancer-causing glyphosate in vaccines and children’s food, to harmful e-cigarettes, to promotion of transgender, to sexual child abuse by Catholic priests. None of these examples are in line with the biblical admonition to train up our children in the fear of God and allow them to come to Christ.
“Besiegen Sie Ihre Sucht nach Rauchen, Saufen, Kiffen, Alkoholmissbrauch, illegalen Drogen und Sex!” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Conquer your Addiction with Smoking, Pot, Alcohol Abuse, Illegal Drugs and Sex.”
Our new Member Letter for August, which was written by Kalon Mitchell, has been mailed and it has been posted on the Web.
Our new Feast Flyer for the Feast of Tabernacles in Germany has been posted on the Web. http://www.ewigengottes.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LHF-2018.pdf
“A Few More Things about the Two Witnesses,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Will the two witnesses help in preparing the spiritual temple for Christ’s return? What connection exists between the two witnesses and God’s angels? Why are the two witnesses clothed in sackcloth? Does the Bible tell us where they will operate prior to their death; where they will be killed; and how long they will be dead? Will they work alone, or may others support them? If so, who might those supporters be?
“In the Presence of God,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We all come before God in prayer. But do we ever take the time to think about what that really means? Are we cognizant when we are praying that we are actually coming before God’s throne? How should this affect us and our thinking? How important do we consider the time that we spend with God? What do we expect the outcomes to be?
Here are the dates for the 2018 Fall Holy Days:
Feast of Trumpets—September 10
Day of Atonement—September 19
Feast of Tabernacles—September 24-30
Last Great Day—October 1
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, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
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United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom