January 11, 2019
Comments on News and Prophecy (January 12, 2019); Naked or Clothed
On January 12, 2019, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy (January 12, 2019),” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Naked or Clothed.”
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.
Right Before Our Eyes
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
In my previous Editorial a few weeks ago, I gave the marvellous example of a dog’s nose and how incredible it is that even the small nose of a small dog can house well over 100 million scent-detecting receptors, which for those who have eyes to see is a brilliant example of God’s marvellous creativity.
Recently, due to the generosity of a family member, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Australia and New Zealand. It reminded me yet again, if I ever needed to be reminded, how ridiculous the theory of evolution is.
As we travelled down the western side of the south island of New Zealand for hundreds of miles, the amazing scenery of small mountains, hills, lakes, rivers, trees, hedgerows, flowers, rocks and boulders was an assortment of natural delights. The thought that this backdrop of natural beauty and creativity could be part of an evolutionary process is absurd.
On the livescience.com website, we read the following: “Life on Earth first bloomed around 3.7 billion years ago, when chemical compounds in a ‘primordial soup’ somehow sparked into life, scientists suspect. But what turned sterile molecules into living, changing organisms? That’s the ultimate mystery.”
From the position of “scientists suspecting,” they then go on to guess what happened which is an “understanding” of sorts, which allows them to omit the possibility of an all-powerful Creator God. My thoughts turn to Romans 1:18-22 when I hear, see or read about man’s ridiculous postulations on this vital subject. It is a passage that is well worth reviewing again and again.
In addition, John 1:3 states that “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made,” showing from the Bible that the great God was responsible for and the instigator of everything at creation.
I have had the privilege of seeing similar scenery in a number of other parts of the world, and I am always amazed at those who refuse to acknowledge a mighty hand in the production of such beauty—rather believing theories, explanations, conclusions, conjecture, propositions and human rationale instead of admitting that a greater force than man must have instigated all that we see in nature today. And what I saw was but a fraction of God’s artistry in this world of ours.
How different it will be in the Kingdom of God on earth when all of man’s consistent mismanagement of earth’s rich and plentiful resources are replaced by correct and sustainable applications and when people will then realise that evolution was a satanic smokescreen to divert people from God’s Way. At that time, the wonder of a dog’s nose and the incredible array of natural beauty will be understood—not as a product of chance, a primordial soup or any other imaginings of fertile but misguided minds, but as the accomplishment of a Creator whose thinking and implementation of wondrous things far surpasses anything that mere man can come up with. And what I have mentioned today is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of the creative power of our great God.
While most of the world refuses to believe that God is the Creator who has made the life and beauty that surrounds them, God’s people have been given such knowledge of the Truth even though they are not the great of this world, as we read in 1 Corinthians 1:26-28: “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.”
The time is coming when everyone will know the Truth and appreciate that God did create all things, and all other theories were just flawed arguments used as a diversionary tactic by our arch enemy and believed by far too many people.
The Truth is there, right before our eyes and, in God’s due time, the Truth will prevail!
by Norbert Link
We begin with new developments pertaining to President Trump’s announcement to withdraw all American troops “immediately” from Syria, followed by a contradictory statement by John Bolton, which in turn prompted an angry response by Turkey.
We continue with President Trump’s fight for a border wall and the resulting ongoing partial government shutdown [please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “How America Is Destroying Itself… Terrible Consequences of the Shutdown”] and the broken American health care system with its unique astronomical costs.
We address the increasingly hostile relationship between the Trump administration and the EU; and speak on the terrible consequences of America’s horrible nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands.
We report on another defeat of Theresa May in the British Parliament regarding Brexit and Germany’s strong warning that the EU will not accept a hard border between EU member state Ireland and Northern Ireland which is part of the UK.
We speak on a new law in parts of Belgium, dealing with the ritual slaughter of animals. This law, which is similar to laws in some European countries, has been described as anti-Semitic and as foreshadowing further persecution to come. We also address a violent and apparently politically motivated attack on a leader of the anti-immigrant German AfD party; Pope Francis’ warning against nationalism; and the interesting role of German cardinal Reinhard Marx.
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
Bolton Contradicts Trump on Withdrawal from Syria
The Jewish Telegraph Agency wrote on January 7:
“U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said in Israel that there is no timeline for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria and that American troops will remain until the Islamic State is defeated.
“Bolton met Sunday with Israeli security and intelligence officials to reassure them over the withdrawal unexpectedly announced by President Donald Trump last month… Bolton reportedly disagrees with the withdrawal decision.
“Trump also walked back the timetable on Sunday, telling reporters he had ‘never said we were doing it that quickly.’”
Of course he did say that. On his program of January 7, Shepard Smith of Fox News made this VERY clear. One wonders what is going on behind the scene. General Mattis resigned over President Trump’s announcement that American troops would be withdrawn from Syria “immediately.” Is John Bolton speaking for the President, and with his consent? The next article wonders about this too.
Axios wrote on January 7:
“Trump now says U.S. troops will withdraw ‘at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary.’ He initially announced: ‘They’re all coming back, and they’re coming back now.’…
“There is a pattern of ‘Trump saying we’re getting out and his advisers saying we’re staying in,’ Philip Gordon of the Council on Foreign Relations says. Gordon… [says] the moment of truth may be when Trump is asked about the apparent contradictions between his statements on Syria and Bolton’s: ‘I guess we’ll find out then if Bolton actually speaks for the president or if we’re back to “ISIS is defeated and we’re getting out.”’…
“The bottom line: ‘The danger of such inconsistency is that America’s word becomes meaningless, leading allies to doubt Washington’s promises and adversaries its resolve,’ writes Joel Rubin of the Washington Strategy Group. ‘… it’s unclear how committed he is to the Syria withdrawal.’”
And that IS the bottom line: America is perceived as being unreliable and its promises as being meaningless. First, President Trump shot from the hip when he announced on Twitter that American troops would withdraw now and immediately. When General Mattis tried to talk him out of that plan, he did not react kindly, so General Mattis resigned. Subsequently, John Bolton, Senator Graham and others were seemingly successful in getting President Trump to change his mind. But how long will it last? Regardless, the damage towards America’s allies has been done.
Turkey Unwilling to Give Assurances to USA
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 8:
“Bolton said on Sunday, in Israel, that he would seek assurances that Turkey would not harm US-allied Kurdish forces in Syria, a condition of the withdrawal…
“Erdogan gave a fiery speech to parliamentarians from his Law and Justice Party (the AKP), saying Bolton made a ‘serious mistake’ calling for the condition. ‘We cannot make any concessions,’ he told his party’s MPs. ‘Those involved in a terror corridor in Syria will receive the necessary punishment.’
“The United States fought alongside and supported the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militant group in Syria against the so-called ‘Islamic State.’ Kurds in Iraq also fought against IS militants in alliance with NATO powers, while Turkey is fighting an insurgency within its own borders against Kurdish groups.”
The Guardian wrote on January 8:
“Turkey has asked Washington to hand over its bases in Syria as the Trump administration appeared to reverse plans to withdraw from the country’s north-east on Tuesday, jeopardising Ankara’s plans to launch a widespread military operation targeting Kurdish groups…”
The relationship between Turkey and the USA is bound to deteriorate further, as prophesied in the Bible.
Former Presidents Debunk Trump’s Claim that They Support a Border Wall
The Week wrote on January 7:
“President Trump claimed last week that former presidents had told him that they supported the idea of building a wall on the southern border…
“All four living ex-presidents told The Washington Post on Monday that this is untrue. Former President Barack Obama’s spokesman referred to previous comments in which Obama said a wall would ‘run counter to our history as the world’s melting pot,’ while former President Jimmy Carter said he does ‘not support [Trump] on the issue.’ Representatives for former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton said they had never discussed the matter with Trump.”
The Huffington Post added on January 8:
“Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday struggled to back President Donald Trump’s lie that former presidents have affirmed their support for his proposed border wall… attempting to claim that the president meant that it had been ‘his impression’ and that he meant ‘the importance of border security.’”
Trump’s Case for a Border Wall
The Associated Press reported on January 8:
“President Donald Trump made a somber televised plea for border wall funding Tuesday night, seeking an edge in his shutdown battle with congressional Democrats as he declared there is ‘a humanitarian crisis, a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.’… saying it was ‘immoral’ for ‘politicians to do nothing.’
“Responding in their own televised remarks, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused Trump of misrepresenting the situation on the border as they urged him to reopen closed government departments and turn loose paychecks for hundreds of thousands of workers…
“Trump used emotional language, referring to Americans who were killed by people in the country illegally, saying: ‘I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible.’
“The president often highlights such incidents, though studies over several years have found immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the United States.
“Trump has been discussing the idea of declaring a national emergency to allow him to move forward with the wall without getting congressional approval for the $5.7 billion he’s requested. But he did not mention that Tuesday night… Trump embraced the ceremonial trappings of his office as he tries to exit a political quagmire of his own making. For weeks he has dug in on a signature campaign promise to his base voters, the pledge to build an impregnable ‘beautiful’ wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 9:
“For his inaugural prime-time television address to the nation two years after taking office and during one of the longest government shutdowns in recent memory, President Donald Trump… could have used the bully pulpit accorded to US presidents to present himself as the true leader of the country, one who will earnestly try to bridge the gaping divide that threatens to tear the nation apart.
“… Instead… Donald Trump has once again shown he is incapable or unwilling to fulfill a key requirement for a president: To unite, not divide the nation.”
Shutdown to Continue
The Guardian wrote on January 5:
“Donald Trump said [the partial government shutdown] could go on for months or years, if he is not given funding for a wall on the Mexican border…
The Week wrote on January 5:
“President Trump… [asserted] in a… tweet that everyone ‘other than drug dealers, human traffickers, and criminals’ wants the wall ‘very badly.’ Recent polling shows just one in four Americans say shutting down the government is better than accepting no wall funding.”
CNBC wrote on January 9:
“President Donald Trump on Wednesday stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over an ongoing partial government shutdown, calling it ‘a total waste of time.’
“The breakdown in already fraught negotiations over border wall funding, which have kept nine federal agencies shut down for 19 days and counting, appeared to heighten the possibility that Trump might declare a national emergency.
“‘I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO,’ Trump explained in a tweet… ‘I said bye-bye, nothing else works!’ Trump added.”
Affecting Air Travel
The Associated Press wrote on January 8:
“The partial government shutdown is starting to affect air travel. Over the weekend, some airports had long lines at checkpoints, apparently caused by a rising number of security officers calling in sick… Safety inspectors aren’t even on the job.”
Please view our new prophecy program, titled, “The Ongoing Shutdown– Comments on News and Prophecy (January 5, 2019)”
Tax Refunds Still To Be Sent Out
The Week wrote on January 7:
“Lawyers for the Trump administration ruled on Monday that the Internal Revenue Service will be able to issue tax refunds, despite the government shutdown. During earlier shutdowns, including one last year, the IRS said it would not send out any refunds.
“A senior official with the Office of Management and Budget told The Washington Post it was decided that processing tax refunds is similar to paying Social Security benefits, which is allowed during a government shutdown. Since the shutdown started on Dec. 22, 90 percent of IRS staffers have had to stay home without pay…”
Food Stamps to Continue through February
Axios wrote on January 8:
“The Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that it has found a way to continuing providing food stamps to millions of Americans during the month of February, despite the government shutdown.”
Trump Did Not Realize what a Shutdown Would Do!
The Intelligencer wrote on January 7:
“Just as Trump did not expect to win the election and neglected to plan for his transition, he shut down the government on a whim, after right-wing media complained about his plan to approve a government funding bill. Nobody in the administration had a clear understanding of just what a shutdown would entail…
“Trump appears to have no endgame in mind. He told Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer he would ‘look foolish’ if he agreed to reopen the government without extracting concessions. But Democrats have no incentive to give him any. Voters in general tend to blame the president for problems… it especially holds true when the president personally engineers the calamity and announces beforehand on camera that he won’t blame the other side for it…”
And that is the big problem in other areas as well: How much WOULD President Trump understand when it comes to actions of war which might threaten the very survival of the USA?
USA Today wrote on January 9:
“… the shutdown’s most obvious impact has come in the form of trash pileups and overflowing toilets at national parks, where bathrooms have been closed and garbage is not getting picked up…
“Accidents like last week’s horrific crash in Florida that killed seven people — five of them children on the way to Disney World – will not be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board… Transportation Security Agency officers… are no longer just calling in sick. Now… some are resigning… the situation poses a… massive security risk for American travelers… At the very least.. the shutdown will mean increased wait times for travelers going through security checkpoints…”
CBS Chicago added on January 9:
“Funds from an emergency farm-aid bill are frozen and government employees who offer several services to farmers are [prevented from working]… This is happening on top of less demand for American crops as China retaliates in response to President Trump’s tariffs. Farmers… have to store much of the biggest soybean crop ever.”
Astronomical Health Care Prices in USA
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health wrote on January 7:
“The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on health care than other developed countries [which] was due mainly to higher prices—including higher drug prices, higher salaries for doctors and nurses, higher hospital administration costs and higher prices for many medical services.
“… the U.S… health care spending [was] about 25 percent higher than second-place Switzerland… It was also 108 percent higher than Canada… it was more than double… the U.S. spent per capita on health care in 2000…
“Not only does the U.S outspend other OECD countries, on the whole it has less access to many health care resources…”
An abominable report on America’s failing health care system.
Trump Cuts Aids to California’s Fire Victims
Roll Call wrote on January 9:
“President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he has ordered FEMA to withhold funds from California’s state government until officials there ‘get their act together’ fighting forest fires. But he tweeted he thinks that is ‘unlikely.’
“The president long has criticized California state officials, sometimes with dubious claims, over wildfires there and their steps to prevent and nix them. But stopping the flow of federal funds is an escalation of the feud, and one that might raise the ire of lawmakers — even the sizable House GOP delegation from the Golden State.
“Trump appeared… unconcerned that cutting off the FEMA aid might put more people at risk of injury, death or losing their homes…”
This is indeed a major blow to past, current and future fire victims of California.
Europe to Defend Its Interest against Trump
Euractiv wrote on January 3:
“[Manfred Weber,] the EPP’s Group leader in the European Parliament and candidate for the EU Commission top office said Europe does not want a trade conflict. ‘We have tried everything to make dialogue and mutual understanding prevail. If President Trump decides to treat Europe as an enemy, we will have no choice but to defend the European industry, European jobs, European interests,’ the German conservative politician emphasised. ‘This will have consequences for the American people too. In a trade conflict there are only losers,’ Weber added.
“The Bavarian politician also said the new situation with increased US isolation, should be seen as a wake-up call for Europeans to be the ‘bridge-builders’ and reliable partners towards the rest of the world.”
Europe will fill the gap “for the rest of the world,” created by America’s exclusivist policies.
Trump Downgrades Diplomatic Status of EU
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 8:
“The Trump administration has downgraded the diplomatic status of the European Union’s delegation to the United States… The demotion happened at the end of last year without notice… ‘I can confirm that this has not been well received in Brussels,’ [an EU official] said…
“The diplomatic downgrade of the EU’s mission in Washington appears to be in line with what is widely being perceived as an anti-EU stance by the Trump administration. Trump was an avid supporter of Britain’s exit from the European Union during his presidential campaign, and as president has repeatedly lashed out against the European Union on issues such as trade or defense.
“In a major foreign policy speech in Brussels in early December, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Trump, a self-declared nationalist, and urged European countries to reassert their national sovereignty vis-a-vis the EU…”
The Guardian added on January 8:
“The change… potentially means that the EU mission would have less clout and access to US officials… ‘This is a gratuitous and entirely unreasonable swipe at the EU by the Trump administration,’ said Nicholas Burns, who was under secretary of state for political affairs in the George W Bush administration.
“‘It coincides with Trump’s campaign to depict the EU as a competitor, and not a partner, of the US. It continues the administration’s delegitimization of… the supranational organization that is the EU. Americans should remember that the EU is our largest trade partner and largest investor in our economy,’ Burns added. ‘Trump’s entire policy toward the EU continues to be misguided and ineffective.’”
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 9:
“The US Congress has been sent an open letter by EU parliamentarians fuming over the sidelining of the EU’s mission in Washington. The MEPs again accuse President Donald Trump of eroding trans-Atlantic relations.
“[The] letter published Wednesday by the 58-member EU parliamentary Delegation for Relations with the United States slammed the White House’s ‘increasingly harmful approach’ to trans-Atlantic relations and urged Congress to help ‘strengthen and not undermine’ ties… The EU signatories urged Congress to build on a ‘long-cherished’ trans-Atlantic relationship. ‘This is no way to treat partners,’ they wrote…
“The delegation’s letter specifically takes aim at President Trump, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland. ‘They lambast the EU as bureaucratic, make no secret of their preference to deal with individual member state governments bilaterally, and have praised populist and nationalist movements,’ wrote the delegation in its open letter.
“In a resolution passed last September, the European Parliament said it regretted ‘that the current US administration has chosen a one-sided “America first” policy that harms the interests of both the EU and the US and undermines mutual trust.’”
Whatever the practical consequence of this downgrade might be, the Europeans are again VERY unhappy with President Trump. But there is more. Note the next article.
US State Department Warns of China AND Europe!
Business Insider wrote on January 3:
“The US State Department has issued a travel advisory urging Americans to ‘exercise increased caution’ when traveling to the People’s Republic of China. The State Department’s elevated travel advisory is out of concern that China may arbitrarily enforce local laws and detain US citizens without cause.
“‘Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit US citizens from leaving China by using ‘exit bans,’ sometimes keeping US citizens in China for years,’ the State Department said in its advisory. ‘US citizens may be detained without access to US consular services or information about their alleged crime,’ the State Department said. ‘US citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to “state security.”’ ‘Security personnel may detain and/or deport US citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government,’ the agency added.
“The new China travel advisory is a level-two advisory, which urges increased caution. A level-one advisory suggests travelers ‘exercise normal precautions,’ while a level-three advisory urges Americans to ‘reconsider travel.’ A level-four advisory recommends that Americans avoid traveling to a particular country.
“Other countries or regions with a level-two advisory include Algeria, Antarctica, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Myanmar, and the United Kingdom.”
The level-two travel advisory towards China seems more than justified, based on the facts reported in this article. BUT that the USA has such two-level travel advisories in place against its closest European allies is quite ridiculous.
In addition, as Handelsblatt reported on January 9, “The US and European Union have not made progress in solving their trade dispute, EU Commissioner Cecila Malmström said after a visit to Washington D.C..”
The Curse of Nuclear Weapons Tests
The Sun wrote on January 8:
“Deadly radioactive plutonium is leaking into the Pacific Ocean from a tiny island where the US detonated dozens of Cold War nukes. During its clean-up operation on Enewetak Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, the American military built a giant concrete dome to house the toxic material left over from the nuclear tests. And now with rising sea levels, the storage facility is leaking into the Pacific Ocean, potentially spreading its deadly contents far and wide.
“It has now been claimed that the dome, which was built with a porous base of seashells and sand, was not sealed properly – which has further contributed to the radioactive leak… Over the course of 10 years, during the Cold War, 43 nuclear bombs were detonated, blasting craters and vaporising islands. Back in 2013, a report commissioned by the US Department of Energy confirmed the dome is leaking its highly toxic waste. Locals refer to it as ‘the poison’ and have already been complaining of birth defects and high cancer rates.
“One of the substances buried within the nuclear dump is plutonium — which has a half-life of 24,000 years – and is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic substances on the planet. Exposure can cause a number of health issues, including radiation sickness, genetic damage, cancer and death…
“Some of the largest nuclear bombs ever tested were detonated in the tiny tropical islands. In the ’70s, US media reports labelled the area the most decimated and toxic in the world. One of the bombs tested in the area was called the ‘Bravo Shot’ — 1000 times more powerful than those bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki…
“The 2013 US government report also warned that the increasing severity of storms in the region meant the dome was at risk of being blown apart…”
It is just terrible what man in his morbid and sick desire for war and destruction is capable of doing. But Christ will come to destroy those who destroy the earth.
Brexit: May Suffers Further Defeat in Parliament
Reuters wrote on January 8, 2019:
“British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government suffered a defeat in parliament on Tuesday when lawmakers who oppose leaving the European Union without an accord won a vote that created a new obstacle to a no-deal Brexit. The 303 to 296 defeat means that the government needs explicit parliamentary approval to leave the EU without a deal before it can use certain powers relating to taxation law.
“The defeat highlights May’s weak position as leader of a minority government, a divided party, and a critical parliament just days before she is due to hold a pivotal vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal she has negotiated with the EU…
“The government downplayed the significance of its defeat. ‘This amendment does not change the fact that the UK is leaving the EU on the 29 March, and it will not stop the government from collecting tax,’ a spokesman said…”
May Suffers Another Defeat
The Sun wrote on January 9:
“Theresa May has been defeated on Brexit for the second time in 24 hours today as rebels wrestled back power from the Government. Hopes that she can get next week’s deal passed by MPs are now fading fast after she was slapped down yet again by politicians demanding more of a say on our EU exit.
“The PM will now be forced to make a statement within three days if her withdrawal agreement gets thrown out by MPs on Tuesday as expected.”
Germany Warns Britain
Deutsche Welle wrote on January 8:
“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU would not accept a hard border between Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Maas pledged the EU’s full support for the Republic of Ireland…
“The British parliament is set to vote on May’s deal on January 15. Many observers expect it to end in defeat for the prime minister, who was forced to postpone an earlier vote in December due to lack of support… Any extension of the deadline for Britain leaving the EU would require unanimous approval from the EU’s remaining 27 member states.”
None of this looks good for Great Britain.
Belgian Region of Flanders Bans Halal and Kosher Slaughter
Express wrote on January 8:
“Under the new law [in the Belgian region of Flanders] animals must be stunned before being slaughtered, which animal rights campaigners argue is more humane. However, traditional halal and kosher rituals involve cutting the animals throat without stunning the animal first. Halal and kosher meat will continue [to] be sold in shops but it must be sourced from elsewhere.
“The move – initiated by right-wing nationalist Ben Weyts – has prompted a furious outcry from religious groups, with claims it is motivated by Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
“Muslim leader Saatci Bayram told The New York Times: ‘This ban is presented as a revelation by animal rights activists, but the debate on animal welfare in Islam has been going on for 1,500 years. Our way of ritual slaughtering is painless.’
“Yaakov David Schmahl, a senior rabbi in Antwerp, added: ‘It is impossible to know the true intentions of people. Unless people state clearly what they have in mind, but most anti-Semites don’t do that. It definitely brings to mind similar situations before the Second World War, when these laws were introduced in Germany.’”
JTA wrote on January 4:
“Antwerp’s Jewish community was still recovering from its Holocaust-era devastation when Wim van den Brande’s grandfather opened one of Europe’s largest kosher slaughterhouses. Since its establishment in 1966, the Kosher Poultry factory grew together with the local Jewish community, which numbered only a few thousand people after Nazis and their collaborators murdered most of the Jews in Flanders — the Belgian region whose capital is Antwerp.
“By the end of last year, van den Brande’s factory was processing 80,000 chickens a month — a testament to how the region’s Jewish population has more than quadrupled to 20,000 since 1945. But all that ended last month, when a law banning methods used in ritual slaughter went into effect, forcing van den Brande, who is not Jewish, to fire his 10 employees and close up shop, in the hope of moving his factory to Hungary. For van den Brande, 42, and hundreds of meat industry professionals, it means ‘an attack on traditions and on an entire industry,’ he told JTA.
“It has less immediate implications for Antwerp’s Jews — who can simply switch to importing customs-free kosher meat from elsewhere within the European Union trading bloc. Yet many of them view the law both as a declaration that they are not wanted in Belgium, and as the opening shot of further hostile action…
“Schuldiner fears the law, which he considers a ban, is a ‘prelude to a ban on importing kosher meat,’ and a move heralding ‘new restrictions, be it on milah or other elements of Jewish life.’ Milah is the Hebrew word for circumcision of men…
“In this context, the law passed in Belgium ‘is clearly only the beginning,’ said Ari Mandel, an Antwerp Jew who in 2011 opened Kosher4U, an online store that specializes in shipping kosher products to remote European Jewish communities, such as in Sweden and Norway. ‘We’re talking about a domino effect. Kosher slaughterhouses can move but moving appears to be a temporary solution, a stay of execution,’ he added…
“Ritual slaughter of animals is allowed in France, Germany, the United Kingdom [but with restrictions], Ukraine and Russia… Five European Union member states — Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania and Slovenia — have blanket bans on ritual slaughter. So too do three other non-EU countries in Western Europe: Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.
“In Belgium, it is currently illegal only in Flanders, or the Flemish Region, which is one of three states that make up the federal kingdom. Another region, Wallonia, will impose a ban in September. Austria and Estonia also enforce strict supervision of the custom that some Jews there say makes it nearly impossible…”
Anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise, and what we observe here in some European states (others will follow) is an obvious preview of the future when European armies will invade the Middle East and the state of Israel to suppress the animal sacrifices which will be offered at the rebuilt third temple.
CNA wrote on January 8:
“Yaakov David Schmahl, a rabbi of Antwerp, reflected on fears the Belgium rules conceal anti-religious bigotry under animal protection concerns… He also voiced concern about a new Belgian law regulating homeschooling, a common practice for his Jewish community, as another example of a European trend he said makes it more difficult for observant Jews to live according to their practices.”
Homeschooling is, for example, prohibited in Germany, which places an undue burden on many religious parents who are opposed to the German school system and its many questionable teachings, including courses on sex education and unbiblical religious activities.
Germany and France Sign Security Policy Agreement
The EUObserver wrote on January 9:
“German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron will sign a bilateral cooperation and integration agreement on 22 January at a ceremony in Aachen town hall, the German government announced on Tuesday. The new Treaty of Aachen builds on the Elysee Treaty of 1963 on reconciliation between Germany and France and will further strengthen relations in areas such as economic policy, foreign and security policy.”
Aachen was the capital of Charlemagne from which he ruled, and where he is buried.
Needed—a European Army
Handelsblatt added on January 9:
“The common defense project is currently the hot topic. US President Donald Trump recently reconfirmed through his conduct that the times when we could rely completely on the US are over. There can be no doubt about it: There is an urgent need for action, and it is ultimately a question of building a ‘real European army,’ as Chancellor Angela Merkel would have it, or an ‘army of Europeans,’ per Defense Minister Ursula Von der Leyen — whatever the difference may be…
“In the discussion about joint armed forces, the German army has a critical role… In no other field than security and defense is more Europe more urgent and necessary. The majority of European citizens agrees…”
Violent Attacks on Germany’s AFP Party
The Sun wrote on January 8, 2019:
“Frank Magnitz, chairman of Germany’s AfD party, was left with a gaping wound in his head after he was reportedly knocked unconscious by three attackers on Monday… The party has described the assault as a ‘politically-motivated attempted assassination’… German Chancellor Angela Merkel has led condemnations of the assault with her spokesman saying on Twitter the ‘brutal attack’ was to be ‘condemned sharply’…
“An AfD office in Saxony was damaged by an explosive device left in a bin and three people were detained.
“… it was Merkel’s reaction to the refugee crisis that propelled the far-right party into the Bundestag lower house. It is expected to attract even more votes in May’s European elections.”
Deutsche Welle added on January 8:
“Monday’s attack on Bremen’s… AfD leader Frank Magnitz is not the first time the far-right populist party has been targeted in the northern German city. In the past, windows have been smashed and a car vandalized. Yet the brutal beating of Magnitz does mark a new level of violence in Bremen.
“The 66-year-old Magnitz, who remains hospitalized, was reportedly set upon by masked assailants, who struck the parliamentarian in the head with an object. When Magnitz went to the ground, the attackers apparently continued beating him. Passersby ultimately came to his aid. Bremen’s police and state security authorities suspect the attack was politically motivated…
“Leading politicians from all parties in Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, condemned the attack on Magnitz… Alice Weidel, who leads the AfD’s parliamentary group together with Alexander Gauland, said… that ‘the hatred against the AfD and the media coverage against this democratically elected party is bearing fruit.’”
Political propaganda from all sides and hatred and fanaticism in all their regrettable forms are taking their toll. Terrible incidents like these remind us of the violence which was experienced in Germany after the First World War.
Pope Francis Warns Against Populism and Nationalism
Breitbart wrote on January 7:
“Pope Francis compared today’s emergence of populist and nationalist movements to the days of Nazi Germany in an address to a group of diplomats accredited to the Holy See Monday… During the period between the two world wars, he said, ‘populist and nationalistic propensities prevailed over the action of the League of Nations…”
His speech was directed, in part, at President Trump. This is remarkable, as the Catholic Church will support the coming European power in their launch of a military attack on the USA in the not-too-distant future.
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx a Lightning Rod in Francis’s Papacy
Crux Now wrote on January 5:
“President of the German Episcopal Conference and archbishop of Munich and Freising, Marx is also a member of the pope’s ‘C9’ advisory council. Almost from the moment Francis took office in 2013, he has been a consistent provocateur, taking a leading role in the Vatican’s financial reform as president of the Council for the Economy, pushing for a more progressive interpretation of Francis’s 2016 exhortation on the family…, advocating for intercommunion in mixed marriages when one spouse is Catholic and one is not, and also calling for greater openness to LGBT relationships.
“Most recently Marx stirred the waters on the issue of celibacy, which will be openly debated during the German bishops’ permanent council meeting in the spring on the grounds that it could have an impact on the Catholic Church’s clerical sexual abuse crisis… He said that 2019 will be a year of ‘unrest and opposition’ in the German Church… “From the beginning, Marx has been a key player in virtually every aspect of Francis’s papacy… Marx’s role as a major point of reference in the Francis papacy seems destined to endure.”
It will be interesting to see as to what faction in the Vatican will ultimately prevail.
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.
How can we know that Christ’s return is near? (Part 6)
The Bible shows that Great Britain will leave the EU. The Church of God has been proclaiming for many years that Great Britain will not be a part of the European unification in its final configuration. The main reason for this warning has been that the Bible predicts a devastating war between Great Britain and continental Europe.
Many falsely believe that the house of Israel and the Jewish people are one and the same. But Judah, from whom the Jewish people descended, was just one tribe of the descendants of Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel (Genesis 35:10). They separated from their Israelite brothers and, along with the tribes of Levi and Benjamin, formed the “house of Judah.” The other tribes became known as the “house of Israel.” The “house of Israel” went into captivity first, never to return to the “Promised Land.” Today, they are called the “lost ten tribes.” The “house of Judah” also went into captivity but did eventually return to Palestine. Many descendants of the house of Judah are living today in the state of Israel.
In due time, as history and archeology reveal, the lost ten tribes of the house of Israel migrated to and settled in Europe and the British Isles. One tribe in particular, the descendants of Manasseh—the older son of Joseph—migrated from there to the United States of America, where they still are today. The descendants of Ephraim—the younger son of Joseph—can be found in Great Britain and in some of today’s Commonwealth nations [once known as the British Commonwealth], including Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Bible shows that just prior to the return of Christ, the United States and Great Britain, as well as some of the other Commonwealth nations, will be overthrown and enslaved by a mighty European power bloc, constituting the last revival of the ancient Roman Empire. When we see that hostile relationships develop between continental Europe and the USA, Great Britain and the state of Israel, and that these hostilities are escalating towards outright military confrontations, we know that Christ’s return is imminent.
A remarkable prophecy for our time can be found in Zechariah 11, which is directed against the USA, the United Kingdom and to some of the Commonwealth nations, as well as the state of Israel. The passage refers specifically to three powerful religious and/or political leaders: “(8) I dismissed the three shepherds in one month. My soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me… (14) Then I cut in two my other staff… that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”
This indicates that in the times just ahead of us, the close relationship between the USA and Great Britain on the one hand, and the state of Israel on the other hand, will cease. We will soon know for sure who the three shepherds or human leaders over these three nations are or will be who will be “dismissed” “in one month.”
That the relationship between the USA, the UK and the state of Israel will deteriorate, just prior to Europe’s attack on these powers, is confirmed in Isaiah 9:20-21, which tells us: “… Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm. Manasseh (USA) shall devour Ephraim (UK), and Ephraim Manasseh, Together they shall be against Judah. For all this His anger is not turned away, But his hand is stretched out still.”
The Germans will be the dominant people of the coming united Europe, which will attack and conquer both the United States of America and Great Britain, as well as the state of Israel. Isaiah 10:5 describes the person who will launch the world into a devastating war, stating: “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger and the staff in whose hand is My indignation.” God will use Assyria to punish Israel and Judah, but afterward, He will deal with Assyria as well.
The Church of God has recognized for a long time that the modern Assyrians can be found today in large parts of Austria and Germany (especially the southern part and perhaps the eastern part of Germany). At least three leaders (the German Otto the Great, the Austrian Charles V and the Austrian Adolf Hitler), and possibly as many as seven leaders (the three Germanic Barbarian tribes and Charlemagne or Charles the Great) of the various revivals of the ancient Roman Empire, were descendants of the Assyrians. The last leader, called the king of the North, the beast, the king of Assyria and King Jareb, will also be an Assyrian. This means that the “beast” will be of German or Austrian descent.
There currently still exists a superficial friendly alliance between Germany and the State of Israel, the United States and Great Britain. However, recent events have shaken that alliance considerably, at least between Europe and the USA and the UK, mostly due to the controversial leadership of President Donald Trump and the failing Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU.
The time will soon arrive when any friendly relationship between Europe and the USA, the UK and the state of Israel will come to a complete end. The days of calamity are looming, when the United States, Great Britain and the modern state of Israel will seek the help of the modern Assyrians, without receiving it.
We read God’s words in Hosea 5:9-14: “Ephraim [modern Great Britain and possibly here, by extension, the USA] shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure. The princes of Judah [modern leaders in the state of Israel] are like those who remove a landmark; I will pour out My wrath on them like water. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, Because he willingly walked by human precept.
“Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, And to the house of Judah like rottenness. When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah saw his wound [a military defeat in war and lingering consequences], Then Ephraim went to Assyria… [the German Menge Bible and the New American Bible add: “…and Judah…”] sent to King Jareb [the “beast”–note that the Elberfelder Bible explains that “Jareb” means, “fighter; or one who seeks quarrels”]; Yet he cannot cure you, Nor heal you of your wound. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away; I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.”
Ephraim and Judah will attempt, unsuccessfully, to obtain help from Assyria, perhaps pursuant to a covenant or a treaty which Ephraim and Assyria had entered into (Hosea 12:1). Only later, after they had to experience their terrible destruction through the Assyrians, all of “Israel” will come to recognize reality and turn to God, as Hosea 14:1-3 states:
“O Israel, return to the LORD your God, For you stumbled because of your iniquity… Say to Him, ‘Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips. Assyria shall not save us, We will not ride on horses, Nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, “You are our gods.” For in You the fatherless finds mercy.’”
Considering the former greatness of the British Empire and comparing it with today’s British Isles, we can see how accurate the following descriptions are in Hosea 7:8-9, 11-12. We read in verse 8: “Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned…”
The Nelson Study Bible has the following interesting annotation: “Instead of depending on the Lord for political stability, Israel formed alliances with surrounding nations. The destructive outcome of this policy is compared to a cake that has been placed over a fire and left unturned.”
Modern Israelites and modern Jews will try in vain, at their time of distress, to obtain assistance from Assyria. But quite to the contrary, the Assyrians will fight against modern Israel and Judah. Enslavement and mass deportation of peoples will be the result. Assyria, which will invade the territories of the modern Israelites and the Jewish state, will bring some of the prisoners into its own country (as in the Second World War many of the imprisoned Poles and Yugoslavs were deported to Germany as forced laborers).
Hosea 9:3 tells us: “They shall not dwell in the LORD’s land, But Ephraim shall return to Egypt [not to the land of Egypt, but to “Egyptian” captivity and slavery, as they had endured it in Egypt], And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.” Hosea 11:5 adds: “He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king.”
What all of this means is that the relationship between Europe and the USA, the UK and the state of Israel will deteriorate more and more. Finally, the last European revival of the ancient Roman Empire will attack the USA, the UK and the state of Israel with nuclear and bio-chemical weapons of mass destruction.
That war may not only be directed against the state of Israel, Great Britain and some of the Commonwealth nations (such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand), as well as the USA, but also against some of the Israelite nations in Europe which can be found today in Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and the northern part of Germany.
On the other hand, the name of Israel should rest specifically on the descendants of Joseph (Genesis 48:16), the father of Ephraim (the UK) and Manasseh (the USA), and biblical prophecies about the modern house of Israel are mainly directed towards them. Therefore, a departure of other Israelite nations from the EU or even the Eurozone is possible, as we pointed out in the last installment, but it is not compelling. It is also possible that many or all of the Israelite nations in Europe (apart from the UK) will remain as members of the EU—in the case of France, Belgium, Luxembourg or Ireland, as well as those living in the northern part of Germany, this is very likely.
For instance, none of the descendants of Dan in today’s Ireland are mentioned in the book of Revelation as part of the 144,000 who will be sealed to receive special protection from the awesome plagues of the terrible “Day of the Lord” (see Revelation 7:4-8), perhaps because of their ongoing idolatry and their alliance with or being part of core European nations. Therefore, the possibility exists that some of these Israelite nations will be part of the European power bloc so that they will participate in fighting against the UK and the USA, as well as the State of Israel. Historically, there have been many times when Israelite nations fought against each other.
We read in Zechariah 14:14 that “Judah”—that is, some or many of the Jews from around the world—will fight not only “at,” but also against Jerusalem. (Compare Revised Standard Version; New American Bible; New Jerusalem Bible and the Moffat translation; as well as the German Elberfelder Bible; the Luther Bible 1891; the Luther Bible 1984; the new Luther Bible 2009; the Luther Bible 2017; the Menge Bible; and the Zuercher Bible.)
In addition, other Israelite nations outside “core Europe” might not actively participate in the fighting, but they may not do anything to protect or defend the USA, the UK or the state of Israel. They may stay “neutral,” as the Israelite nation of Switzerland has famously done many times throughout its history, thereby clandestinely supporting both sides.
Major events have already occurred in the recent past, setting the stage for the final crescendo of end time prophecies—including the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany; the introduction of the euro; the expressed and repeated desire for a strong unified European army; the current power vacuum in Germany which will be filled soon; the deteriorating relationship between Europe and the USA under Donald Trump’s isolation and exclusivist nationalistic policies; the ongoing animosity of Turkey towards America and the Jews; and the resurgence of the Russian military might under Vladimir Putin in collaboration with Middle Eastern and Far Eastern nations, such as Iran, Syria, China, Japan, India and others.
As another necessary preparatory step, the momentous prophetic event of Britain’s exodus from the EU is in the process of being fulfilled. It is expected that Germany (under a new leadership following Angela Merkel’s departure) will fill the vacuum left by Britain, especially in the areas of the economy and “European security.”
The next major development will then be the revelation and manifestation of the “beast”—King Jareb of Assyria—at the same time when ten European nations or groups of nations unite powerfully economically, politically and militarily. We know from previous installments that very shortly thereafter, the newly created unified European army will invade the Middle East and Jerusalem to suppress the daily sacrifices and to occupy the third temple. When these ten nations or groups of nations establish themselves as the leading core European nations and give their power and authority to the beast (who will only rule for a very short time), we know that Christ’s return is imminent.
We do not set any dates, but we can tell from the signs of the times that Christ’s return cannot be that far off (compare Matthew 24:32-33). Some speak of twenty or thirty years, which seems to be clearly outside the realm of reality. It is therefore very important not to fall into the self-destructive trap of some who claim that their Lord delays His coming (Matthew 24:48) and that He won’t come for a long time. The Bible clearly warns against such attitude.
Peter told us in 2 Peter 3:3-4 that in our time, “scoffers will come in the last days… and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” Peter continued to tell us that they “willfully forget” that God has patience with us (verse 9), but that His patience will run out, stating, “the day of the Lord WILL COME as a thief in the night” (verse 10).
Ezekiel 12:21-28 adds this pronouncement for us today, and we had better take it to heart:
“And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, “The days are prolonged, and every vision fails”? Tell them therefore, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’”
“‘But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak WILL COME TO PASS; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it,” says the Lord God.’”
“Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, “The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.” Therefore say to them, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak WILL BE DONE,’ says the Lord GOD.”’”
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“2019 in der Prophezeiung!” (2019 in Prophecy), has received over 33,000 views during the past week on our AufPostenStehen German language program, which was presented by Norbert Link.
“How America Is Destroying Itself… Terrible Consequences of the Shutdown,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Was Abraham Lincoln right when he prophesied that America would destroy itself? Sadly, the crazy government shutdown gives us a foretaste of what is going to happen. Millions upon millions of people are already affected, and it will get much worse, as this program shows. The Bible condemns very strongly what is happening, but most people are sound asleep.
“Wie man Depressionen überwinden kann,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “How to Overcome Depression.” “Die Macht der Emotionen,” the German sermonette presented last Sabbath by Mario Danisch, is now posted. Title in English: “The Power of Emotions.”
“The Ongoing Shutdown– Comments on News and Prophecy (January 5, 2019),” the presentation last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The partial government shutdown is continuing, with no end in sight. President Trump claimed it may last months, if not years. Food, tax, transport, trash collection and much more are being threatened. Most Americans are opposed to the shutdown, but what would be a swift solution to end this and future shutdowns caused by bickering politicians, once and for all?
“Don’t Delay,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What is it that we should be focusing on and preparing for so we are not caught off guard in the soon coming end times, while the rest of the world, especially the English speaking nations, are sound asleep? How can this be and what does the Bible say about this very fact? What is prophesied for 2019, especially what’s happening in Europe which can cause things to develop very quickly?
“Saul’s Demon,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
With whom did King Saul and the witch of Endor communicate? Was it indeed the dead prophet Samuel, as some commentaries claim, who told Saul about the future, even though God had refused to talk to him through prophets? Or are other commentaries correct, which state that it was a demon who pretended to be Samuel? Could Saul’s prior experiences with a demon be significant? What does God tell us about demons and those who want to consult the dead?
How This Work is Financed
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