Update 876


No Other Gods; Preparing for Kingship

On May 18, 2019, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “No Other Gods,”  and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Preparing for Kingship.”

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

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“Prepping” for Our Future

by Robb Harris

Many believe that the current world is not going to remain as it is today. Be it political or racial unrest or even the increase of natural disasters, a subculture of people are preparing for apocalyptic conditions. “Preppers”, as they are called, stockpile food, survival gear and even construction of secure facilities to safeguard against what they perceive as tumultuous times ahead.

A survey taken in 2017 on finder.com lists the following results, “More than 160 million American adults (65.45%) are estimated to have either recently purchased survival gear or, interestingly, are already in possession of survival gear because they always keep them on hand. The remaining 85 million (34.55%) are not preparing for the end of the world as we know it. Of those who report prepping, 36.35% spent up to $400 on survival kits in the past 12 months.”

This “prepping” has become more than safeguarding from a local disaster, it has become a multibillion-dollar business.  Currently, you can go to your local Costco and buy a $6000 1-year food supply pallet for a family of four. An article in Marketwatch.com states, “Preppers shell out impressive cash in the name of survival. One prepper, Bob McDevitt of Reno, Nv., told Moneyish that he’s spent between $150,000 and $200,000 stocking up on supplies, including two years’ worth of medical equipment, food, and water. He now lives full-time in an RV.”

While there is nothing wrong in being prepared for natural disasters, we must understand that there is no escape from the judgment that is going to come upon this earth. “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3).

This “prepping” mindset can easily overtake and consume our time and focus. The Jews of Christ’s time fell into this trap with their reliance on the physical instead of the spiritual laws. Christ stated, “‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone’” (Matthew 23:23).

We must be “preppers” but not in a physical sense.  Our actions and efforts must build up stores of spiritual fruit, not the foodstuffs that are perishing. Christ gave us advice on the kind of daily focus we must strive toward, “‘Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods’” (Matthew 24:44,46-47).

For those who humble themselves before God, we know that there will be an escape from trials and tribulations. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

God kept Noah and his family alive as the world was destroyed around them and will likewise guide us through the coming judgment on this world if we keep our focus on satisfying His Will.

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by Norbert Link

We begin with the trade war between the USA and China, which could lead to devastating consequences for both countries with global ramifications; continue with the volatile situation in the Middle East, including, but not limited to, the standoff between the USA and Iran and attacks on Arabian ships; and address unforeseen and dangerous consequences of cyber warfare. We also speak on the deteriorating relationship between the USA and the EU (Note our recent StandingWatch program, “The USA and Britain Are Failing… Who Will Replace Them?”).

We address President Trump’s new immigration proposals which seem to be dead on arrival; and report on the ongoing war against the anti-vaccination movement.

We continue with several articles about the nonsense of political correctness and its ridiculous applications, as well as attempts to censor deviating viewpoints. Culprits insofar would include Twitter and Facebook, publishing companies and the left-liberal mass media such as the BBC.

We conclude with Alabama’s controversial abortion law (note our new StandingWatch program, When Does God Allow Abortions?”) and Pope Francis’ warnings against the evil one.

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China Retaliates… Trade War Escalates

CNBC wrote on May 13:

“[Starting on June 1,] China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday. Beijing will increase tariffs on more than 5,000 products to as high as 25%. Duties on some other goods will increase to 20%. Those rates will rise from either 10% or 5% previously.

“The move follows President Donald Trump’s decision to raise duties on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10%. The world’s two largest economies have struggled to sign a trade deal and end a widening conflict that threatens to damage the global economy. The latest shot in the trade war rattled investors. Major U.S. stock indexes dove more than 2% Monday [at times about a 700 point nose-dive] amid the escalation…”

However, on Tuesday, the Dow Jones rose by 200 points, when it was announced that “relevant discussions” between China and the USA are continuing. Until the next major dip in this ongoing roller coaster ride!… Note the next article.

“U.S. Prepares Tariffs On Additional Chinese Goods”

npr wrote on May 14:

“The Trump administration is preparing a new list of $300 billion worth of Chinese imports that would be hit with tariffs of up to 25%, after China retaliated Monday in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a list of Chinese goods that would be hit with new duties, ranging from artists’ brushes and paint rollers to clocks and watches. The list also includes a wide range of sporting goods, from baseballs to fishing reels. And it dedicates several pages to agricultural products, from livestock to dairy, plants and vegetables. Staples such as rice and tea are on the list… The U.S. proposal will enter a public comment period and could take effect sometime in late June or July…

“Trump is expected to speak directly to China’s President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan, which will take place late next month. But while Trump continues to speak favorably about Xi and insist they have a close relationship, those sentiments have yet to translate into a trade deal… China’s retaliations for higher U.S. duties have targeted a list of U.S. products that ranges from sorghum, soybeans, meat and whiskey to airplanes and cars. The ongoing dispute has sparked concern among soybean farmers: Before the tariff war began, China was buying some $14 billion in U.S.-produced soybeans every year — nearly a third of the American crop.”

Such a trade war will hurt both sides. There won’t be any winners, only losers. And the biggest losers will be Chinese and American citizens. But it’s all in line with prophecy, as the next article points out.

“Trade War Pushing Asia Closer Together”

Asia Times wrote on May 8:

“In a joint statement in Fiji [last week], governments ‘agreed to further enhance communication and coordination between China, Japan and Korea to contribute to strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth.’… China’s role in bringing Asia together is complicated… But its stabilizing role is unmistakable as Xi’s aggressive stimulus gains traction…

“‘China… is suddenly more important to global economic health than the US,’ says market analyst Dion Rabouin of Washington-based Axios. Recent events in Fiji suggest. ‘America first’ is catalyzing an ‘Asia first’ rejoinder.”

The Bible shows that Asian countries will come together and form a powerful alliance against the West.

Trump Declares National Emergency Targeting China

The Washington Post wrote on May 15:

“Amid a deepening trade war with China, President Trump on Wednesday declared a ‘national emergency’ to protect U.S. communications networks in a move that gives the federal government broad powers to bar American companies from doing business with certain foreign suppliers —including the Chinese firm Huawei.

“Trump declared the emergency in the form of an executive order that says foreign adversaries are exploiting vulnerabilities in U.S. telecommunications technology and services. It points to economic and industrial espionage as areas of particular concern… the Commerce Department indicated it had placed Huawei on its ‘entity list,’ effectively barring the sale or transfer of American-made technology to the Chinese telecom giant.

“In a statement, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross… cites an ongoing criminal matter in which the Justice Department has accused Huawei of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran…”

This directive also arguably tries to discourage European firms from doing business with the Chinese firm. Europe has strongly objected to such restrictions in the past.

Europe Will Not Cooperate

Deutsche Welle reported on May 16:

“The leaders of Germany, France and the Netherlands said Thursday that their governments do not plan to follow the lead of the US and ban Chinese telecommunications company Huawei from building up their national 5G high-speed mobile networks… The US has urged allied governments to exclude Chinese companies such as Huawei from the 5G expansion over concerns the Chinese government could use the equipment as a backdoor for spying.

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, said Thursday companies could participate in expanding Germany’s 5G network if they met established safety criteria… Speaking alongside Merkel in Berlin, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands would not exclude companies in advance of any auction for 5G networks. French President Emmanuel Macron said separately that it was ‘not appropriate’ to start a trade dispute over technology. The goal is not to exclude Huawei or other companies from network expansion but to provide the necessary security, he said…

“The European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, has not told national governments to avoid using Huawei’s 5G equipment. Nevertheless, the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands has started an investigation into possible ‘secret back doors’ on Huawei products…

“British ministers have discussed giving Huawei a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network. The final decision has not yet been published. However, a former head of Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service said Thursday that Huawei poses such a grave security risk to the United Kingdom that the government should ban it from the expansion…

“Huawei is one of the largest suppliers of telecom equipment in the world. Founded in 1987, the company said on its website that its products reach over a third of the world’s population in 170 countries.”

Tensions Flare in the Middle East

AFP wrote on May 13:

“Saudi Arabia said Monday two of its oil tankers were damaged in ‘sabotage attacks’ in the Gulf as tensions soared in a region already shaken by a standoff between the United States and Iran. It came as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned visit to Moscow to head to Brussels instead for talks with European officials on Iran… ‘Two Saudi oil tankers were subjected to a sabotage attack in the exclusive economic zone of the United Arab Emirates, off the coast of the Emirate of Fujairah, while on their way to cross into the Arabian Gulf,’ [Saudi Arabia] was saying.

“Fujairah port is the only terminal in the UAE located on the Arabian Sea coast, bypassing the Strait of Hormuz, through which most Gulf oil exports pass. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait in case of a military confrontation with the United States. One of the two tankers that was attacked was on its way to be loaded with crude oil from a Saudi oil terminal for customers in the United States…

“Almost all the oil exports of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Iran itself, at least 15 million barrels per day, are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz.”

Newsmax wrote on May 14:

“Two editors of Iranian news outlets say Iran is claiming responsibility for the attacks on four ships anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to MEMRI, an international media monitoring organization. One editor noted there was also an attack at the Saudi Arabian Port of Yanbu in the Red Sea.”

Blaming the USA

The EUObserver wrote on May 14:

“Europe’s leading diplomats have said US actions risked triggering a conflict with Iran… The UK, America’s main ally in Europe, and Germany, the EU’s most powerful country, issued the warnings in Brussels on Monday (13 May)… ‘We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,’ British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said…

“The German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: ‘We are worried in view of the developments and the tensions in the region … We don’t want a military escalation’… But if a conflict were to break out, Europe might be more inclined to blame the US, French president Emmanuel Macron said at an EU summit last week.”

If there was a war between the USA and Iran, America would be blamed by the EU for sure.

War with Iran… What Might Happen

Project Syndicate wrote on May 10:

“For now, both the United States and Iran say they do not want a war. Yet, step by inexorable step, they are moving onto a collision course… In the event of a war, Iran would not have the military capacity to stand up to American firepower. The US could quickly take out Iranian military installations, nuclear sites, and major infrastructure facilities. In addition, it could prevent Iran from blocking the Strait of Hormuz, through which some 30% of the world’s oil is shipped.

“Yet Iran is capable of making any US military assault – with or without Israeli and Saudi Arabian support – very costly for America and the region. The Iranian regime may be able to sink a few ships at the Strait of Hormuz’s narrowest point – where the shipping lanes in either direction are only two miles (3.2 kilometers) wide – in an effort to choke it off. More important, Iran has nurtured an asymmetric-warfare strategy based on both hard and soft power. Although Iran lacks a modern frontline air force, for example, it has made significant progress in developing and producing short-, medium- and long-range missiles, which have the capacity to hit targets as far away as Israel.

“Furthermore, the regime could target landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – the world’s tallest building ‒ in order to trigger a financial meltdown across the region. Even if the accuracy of Iranian missiles cannot be guaranteed, many of them could still evade defensive systems. Israel’s state-of-the-art Iron Dome anti-missile defenses, for example, have been unable even to neutralize all the primitive missiles launched from Gaza.

“Moreover, the Iranian regime has forged a network of proxy forces across the region. Syria and Iraq have become crucial links in an Iran-led Shia strategic arc stretching from Afghanistan to Lebanon. The regime’s proxy forces include segments of Afghanistan’s Shia population, Iraqi Shia militias, and Hezbollah, which controls southern Lebanon and has thousands of rockets ready to target Israel

“In addition, Iran can mobilize thousands of extremely dedicated suicide bombers to sacrifice themselves for the cause of Shia Islam and nationalism that the regime has successfully promoted…  any major military assault could result in an uncontrollable regional inferno…”

The Bible says that the state of Israel will receive a wound, which is presumably some kind of defeat in a war or a massive terror attack, prior to the Great Tribulation.

Heightened Tensions in Iraq

Deutsche Welle reported on May 15:

“Germany’s Bundeswehr has halted its military training exercises in Iraq amid heightened tensions in the region. The US has put troops on high alert and removed nonemergency diplomatic staff from Baghdad and Erbil.

“… the Netherlands… suspended its military training mission because of a security threat…”

USA Threatens Sanctions Against Europe

The EUObserver wrote on May 15:

“Joint EU military projects will not hurt US arms firms, Europe’s top diplomat has said, following yet another American sanctions threat… ‘In the EU there is no “Buy European Act” – and around 81 percent of international contracts go to US firms in Europe today…’

“Mogherini spoke after two senior US defence officials, Ellen Lord and Andrea Thompson, sent her a letter on 1 May which threatened to impose sanctions on European arms firms if new EU schemes for joint military procurement ended up locking out US ones.  ‘It is clear that similar reciprocally imposed US restrictions would not be welcomed by our European partners and allies, and we would not relish having to consider them in the future,’ the letter, leaked to European media in recent days, said.

“The US complaint targeted the European Defence Fund (EDF) and Permanent Structured Cooperation (Pesco) initiatives.  The EDF is a €13bn EU pot to help fund joint military projects. Pesco, launched in 2017, has already outlined 34 schemes, such as the creation of new attack helicopters or armoured infantry vehicles, to be rolled out by small coalitions of member states. They are part of wider plans to create what some have called a future EU ‘army’ for the sake of European ‘strategic autonomy’…

‘The German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, also defended the EU initiative on Monday, saying it was ‘doing what our American friends have been demanding we do for years…’ But her Dutch counterpart, Ank Bijleveld, said the [EU’s upcoming] June decision ought to contain an ‘emergency brake’ for keeping out non-EU firms if member states did not want them to take part.

“The dispute… comes amid US threats to sanction EU firms who did business with Iran or who built new gas pipelines to Russia. It also comes amid a widening transatlantic rift on trade tariffs, aircraft subsidies, and climate change in what amounts to the worst period in US-EU relations in modern times.”

The rift will continue to widen.

“Merkel: Europe Must Unite to Stand Up to China, Russia and US”

The Guardian wrote on May 15:

“Europe must reposition itself to stand up to the challenges posed by its three big global rivals, China, Russia and the US, Angela Merkel has said before her final European election as German chancellor. Facing challenges that range from Russian interference in elections to China’s economic clout and the US’s monopoly over digital services, Europe needs to get better at putting up a united front, Merkel said…

“‘They [China, Russia and the US] are forcing us, time and again, to find common positions. That is often difficult given our different interests. But we do get this done… Our policies on Africa, too, now follow a common strategy, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable. So we keep putting one foot in front of the other. However, our political power is not yet commensurate with our economic strength.’”

Not yet, but very soon.

Cyber Attacks

European Leadership Network (ELN) wrote on May 9:

“Governments and legislators are struggling to keep pace with the rapid development of cyber capabilities. As military systems become more technically complex it would be easy to assume that they are more secure. The opposite is true. Increased automation and connectivity increases vulnerabilities to cyber attacks. Measures such as air-gapping a system (ie. de-connecting it from the internet) can fall short. A recent US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report assessed the cyber security of US weapons systems and found ‘mission critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapons systems […] under development.’ While the report does not make reference to any specific system type, one can reasonably assume that nuclear weapons systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks.

“Cyber attacks can take many forms. Activities range from cyber espionage, data theft, infiltration of nuclear command, control and communications (NC3), denial of service/distributed denial of service (DoS/DDoS) attacks, false alarms (jamming and spoofing), sabotage and physical damage. When directed against nuclear weapons systems, in the worst possible case this may escalate to a deliberate or inadvertent exchange of nuclear weapons.”

Trump’s New Immigration Proposals… Dead on Arrival

The Huffington Post wrote on May 16:

“President Donald Trump offered a broad outline of his administration’s new dead-on-arrival immigration plan Thursday…

“The… Democrats… control the House of Representatives and hold enough seats in the Senate to block legislation. Some have already dismissed the proposal, which lacks protections for so-called Dreamers who came to the U.S. as kids…

America’s current system of immigration allows family members to sponsor relatives for immigrant visas, which account for about 65% of immigration visas issued annually… The priority on family unification was set into law with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, but the trend has existed for most of U.S. history. Members of Trump’s own family emigrated to the U.S. to reunite with family members.

“Under Trump’s proposal, however, the legal immigration system would reserve some 60% of immigrant visas for applicants with higher levels of education or job skills the administration views as desirable… Those seeking entry would also have to demonstrate English language fluency and pass a civics test…”

PBS added on May 16:

“The president’s plan would limit the types of family members who can be sponsored to come to the United States to children and spouses. That would eliminate the ability for others, like parents and siblings, to come through family ties.”

The War Against Anti-Vaccination Movement Continues

JTA wrote on May 15:

“Jews are being persecuted as disease carriers amid the outbreak of measles, a New York haredi Orthodox rabbi said at a symposium with leaders of the anti-vaccination movement attended by hundreds of haredim. ‘We Hasidim have been chosen as the target,’ said Rabbi Hillel Handler, a Holocaust survivor… ‘The campaign against us has been successful.’

“The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] pinned the pinned the resurgence [of measles in New York City and state] on the unvaccinated and those who brought back measles from other countries. The outbreaks in Orthodox Jewish communities have been associated with travelers who carried the disease back from Israel and Ukraine, according to the CDC.

“Among the speakers at the Monsey event on Monday were Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the British physician whose study [linked] measles vaccines with autism…, appearing via Skype; and pediatrician Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, who is regularly cited in pamphlets circulated in New York City that urge women not to get their children vaccinated… Palevsky said failed vaccines are being given in the haredi communities…

“The meeting… was denounced by local elected officials, health authorities and some haredi rabbis…

“Last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a public health emergency over the measles outbreak in Brooklyn’s haredi Orthodox community. De Blasio ordered unvaccinated people living in four ZIP codes in the Williamsburg neighborhood to get the vaccine or be required to pay fines of up to $1,000.

“Despite institutional pressure, a strain of opposition to vaccines has persisted in haredi communities based on… claims that vaccines are ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

“… on Monday, the Yeshiva of Central Queens was ordered closed after failing to comply with a Health Department order to prevent unvaccinated students from coming to school. It is the ninth Orthodox Jewish school to be ordered closed over the measles epidemic but the first outside of Brooklyn.

“On Tuesday, hundreds of New York parents against vaccinations rallied outside the state capitol in Albany calling on lawmakers to protect a state law that permits people not to vaccinate their children for religious reasons… Some lawmakers have proposed eliminating the religious exemption in light of the current measles outbreak.

“Also Tuesday, de Blasio’s office released a video calling on the Orthodox Jewish community to vaccinate their children…”

The article was written with the goal of discrediting the anti-vaccination movement. We have chosen to omit some of those rather questionable comments while supplying instead some of our own comments in brackets.  Further attempts to discredit the anti-vaccination movement can be expected.

For instance, on May 3, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives (called “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2019”), stating that for a “State to be eligible to receive a [federal] grant, the State [must require] each student enrolled in one of the State’s public elementary schools or public secondary schools to be vaccinated.”

So, financial pressure is being exerted on States to follow suit.

Anti-Gay Radical US Minister Barred from Entering Ireland

The Guardian wrote on May 13:

“An anti-gay US Christian fundamentalist pastor… has become the first person to be barred from entering Ireland under a 20-year-old immigration law… More than 14,000 people signed an online petition set up by the Christian gay rights campaign group Changing Attitude Ireland calling on the Irish government to block Anderson’s trip to the country…

“It is understood Anderson, 38, was scheduled to give a sermon [on May 26] to 150 followers at a secret location in the Irish capital on the fallout from the legalisation of abortion in Ireland last year. The Anti-Defamation League said a video Anderson posted from his base in Arizona in 2015 showed him arguing that millions of Jews were not gassed and burned in ovens but rather died of hunger and disease in Nazi concentration camps. The video… also repeats the antisemitic trope that Jews lied about the Holocaust in order to create the state of Israel.

“Anderson set up his Faithful Word Baptist Church on Christmas Day 2005. It is not affiliated to any mainstream Christian churches across the world…”

Fox News reported on May 13:

“A controversial anti-gay and anti-Semitic preacher from Arizona [Seven Anderson], the pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, was immediately forbidden to enter the country on Sunday as part of the Immigration Act of 1999… Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan signed the exclusion order — section four of which states: ‘The Minister may, if he or she considers it necessary in the interest of national security or public policy.’ ‘I have signed the exclusion order under my executive powers in the interests of public policy,’ Flanagan said. It was the first time Ireland has banned someone from entering the country since the act was signed, the department told the news outlet…

“The pastor made headlines in 2009 after he delivered a sermon titled, ‘Why I Hate Barack Obama.’ He reportedly told Fox station KSAZ-TV that he ‘hope[s] that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today.’

“Anderson also seemingly praised the Pulse Nightclub shooter, who killed 49 people in Orlando, Fla., in June 2016. ‘The good news is that at least 50 of these pedophiles are not going to be harming children anymore,’ Anderson said in a YouTube video… ‘The bad news is that a lot of the homos in the bar are still alive, so they’re going to continue to molest children and recruit people into their filthy homosexual lifestyle.’ Anderson continued, ‘The other bad news is that this is going to now be used as propaganda not only against Muslims, but also against Christians.’

“The pastor is also banned from South Africa, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, which he planned to visit May 23.”

As reported, such statements by the pastor would indeed be highly objectionable. The deeper issue is, however: When does it become necessary to prohibit entry in the interest of national security or public policy? In the case at hand, it surely had nothing to do with national security, as the government admitted. It had to do with its interpretation of the vague and undefined clause of “public policy.” Note the next articles.

Twitter Blocks Accounts and Reaps Condemnation

Der Stern reported on May 13:

“The account of the ‘Jüdische Allgemeine,’ the only Jewish weekly newspaper in Germany, was hindered in its functions, after the paper referred to one of its articles per Tweet. In the article, the Israeli Ambassador in Germany explained why he would not want to meet with representatives of the AfD [a right-wing German party].”

Der Stern continued that social media was outraged about this kind of censorship.

Facebook Interfering in EU Election in Italy

Breitbart wrote on May 13:

“Facebook has shut down 23 major populist Italian pages with 2.5 million followers just two weeks before the European elections. According to Italian media, the majority of the pages supported the populist parties La Lega (The League) and the 5-Star Movement (M5S) — who currently govern Italy in a temporary coalition. Facebook has justified its dramatic move by claiming that the sites shared fake news, so-called ‘hate speech’, and ‘divisive content’ regarding immigrants, vaccines, and Jewish people. Facebook used information from a report produced by a left-progressive NGO called Avaaz, which deals with ‘human rights’ and environmental campaigns…

“The most active page in support of the Lega party was among those closed, just as polls are showing that the Lega is currently the party with the most support among Italians for the upcoming elections. Facebook’s efforts in Italy to influence the European elections are just the tip of the iceberg, Italian media noted. According to the Italian daily La Repubblica, on May 2 Facebook opened a ‘war room’ in Dublin devoted full time to the European electoral campaign, with 40 teams of engineers, scientists, researchers, threat specialists, and experts for each country. There are 500 people working on the elections, with the assistance of 21 supposed ‘fact-checkers,’ operating in 14 different languages.”

These are indeed very questionable and troublesome actions by Twitter and Facebook, which appear to be politically motivated.

The Nonsense of Political Correctness—“Will Political Correctness Kill Classic Movies?”

The Hill, May 12:

“The rise of political correctness can be seen across movie screens this weekend… Even older films, and the stars who made them great, are now seen through the PC prism. Just ask the estate of John Wayne. The legendary star got pummeled a few months ago, decades after his passing, for a racially insensitive Playboy interview in 1971. Some critics demanded that his name be stripped from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif.

“Singer Kate Smith’s film career is dwarfed by her radio, TV and stage accomplishments. Yet Smith’s recording of two 1930s songs deemed racist convinced two professional sports teams – the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Flyers – to strip her iconic rendition of “God Bless America” from their programming.

“It’s easy to imagine the culture attempting to do something similar to films that don’t mirror today’s cultural mores… Even a comedy classic such as 1959’s ‘Some Like It Hot,’ featuring two men dressed in drag, could be insensitive given modern mores.

“Could problematic films eventually be pulled from home video and streaming services? Sound hysterical? It’s currently in vogue to tear down statues that don’t align with current groupthink. So why would pop culture artifacts be spared? In fact, it’s already been done.

“Two years ago, a Memphis theater nixed a screening of the 1939 classic ‘Gone with the Wind’ because of its ‘insensitive’ content. Disney’s Oscar-winning ‘Song of the South’ won’t be seen on the company’s forthcoming streaming platform. The 1946 film’s antiquated, and some say racist, portrayal of black life turned the movie into cultural poison. It’s never made it to home video, and that’s unlikely to change in the near future…”

Plain nonsense rules these days in the USA and elsewhere…  Just enjoy John Wayne movies and other classic pieces, as well as American songs, as long as you can. Perhaps owning them on DVD or CD might be worthy of consideration.

Censorship on the Rise because of Political Correctness

JTA wrote on May 13:

On April 16, Dzanc Books announced its latest release, ‘The Siege of Tel Aviv,’ a novel that imagines an Iran-led attack on Israel that leaves the country decimated. Author Hesh Kestin, a former journalist who had already published two novels with the small independent press, said the book was inspired by his experience living in Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Stephen King contributed a glowing blurb.

“But a week later the Michigan-based nonprofit publisher announced it was axing the book amid a flurry of comments on social media, including from other authors published by Dzanc, alleging that the book is Islamophobic. The book ‘perpetuates harmful narratives regarding Muslims that we cannot support,’ as Dzanc’s publisher and editor in chief, Michelle Dotter, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

“Meanwhile, the 75-year-old Kestin, who lives in Southampton, New York, but spent two decades in Israel and served in its army, denies the allegations and says nixing the book is an act of censorship… some say the focus on political correctness is stifling artists. They speak of a ‘censor culture’ in which publishers are quick to terminate books at the first whiff of controversy…

“The book imagines a conflict similar to the Yom Kippur War, except this time it is Iran that takes charge when its leaders call for Israel’s destruction, followed by Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah fighters…”

The Bible prophesies that Arab nations will collaborate with Europe in an attempt to destroy Israel. So, when is the Bible censored next?

Anti-Israel Imam Gives Invocation on White House Floor—No “Censorship” There

JTA wrote on May 13:

“The Texas imam who gave an invocation on the House floor responded to those who criticized his invitation over social posts in which he demonized Israel…

“Omar Suleiman… wrote that since giving the invocation… ‘I have never attacked the Jewish community or peddled conspiracies about it. So imagine my surprise to be accused of anti-Semitism’ in the wake of his invocation, he wrote…

“Two years ago, however, the German-Israeli researcher Petra Marquardt-Bigman compileda lengthy record of incendiary social media statements about Israel by Suleiman that was posted on the Algemeiner Jewish news site. On multiple occasions, according to the research, Suleiman has wished for a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising, likened Israeli troops to Nazis, and has wished for the end of Zionism, calling Zionists ‘the enemies of God.’ He is a backer of the boycott Israel movement.

“Suleiman’s congresswoman, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, invited him to deliver the prayer through a standard form on the webpage of the Office of the Chaplain of the House, according to a congressional official.”

Shocking indeed!

BBC’s Attack on Nigel Farage Backfires

The Sun wrote on May 13:

“The meteoric rise of the Brexit Party proves increasing numbers of people are fed up with the fashionable values of the ruling elite and its cheerleaders… Nigel Farage is challenging the very basis of the discredited traditional order. His party has soared in polls, with new figures showing that 34 per cent of voters back it.

“Nowhere is the terror of the establishment felt more keenly than in the corridors of the BBC, the lavishly funded state broadcaster which has long acted as a propaganda machine for the creed of political correctness and the Left… Yesterday, in a blatant attempt to turn back the Brexit party’s tide, the BBC called on its interviewer Andrew Marr to perform a hatchet job on Farage. Marr in turn dredged up a long list of quotes from the past, with the aim of exposing Farage as a dangerous extremist.

“Interviews should, of course, be robust and it is the duty of television hosts to question politicians closely about their policies. And there’s no denying that some of the views Farage aired when he was leader of UKIP were questionable. But this was not a hard-hitting exchange, but rather a clear attempt at character assassination. The aim was not to enlighten, only to destroy… Yet Marr’s effort backfired disastrously – not only because Farage is one of the most experienced, eloquent campaigners in Britain, but he was able to give as good as he got…

“If the tables had been turned, and yesterday Farage had been able to highlight some episodes from his interrogator’s past, he could have pointed out that Marr in his youth was a ‘Maoist’…

“That is how the BBC really sees its role: to stamp out certain ideas and reshape the public consciousness to match the outlook of the elite. This crusade can be found everywhere, such as the enthusiasm for open borders, the obsession with cultural diversity and the hysteria over climate change…”

Sadly, the same can be said for the left-liberal mass media in this country and in many other countries around the world.

Alabama’s Controversial Abortion Law

The Sun wrote on May 15:

“ALABAMA lawmakers last night passed a near-total ban on abortions – including in cases of rape and incest… State governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, [signed the] controversial law after local senators voted in favour by 25 to six… the new law [makes] it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy – punishable by up to 99 years in jail. The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk.

“The historic legislation is designed to go against the US Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalised abortion nationally. This means it will likely be challenged in the courts – but if backed by the current conservative-led US Supreme court, could see abortions banned across America…

“Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected – which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy. The Alabama bill goes further by seeking to outlaw abortion entirely. Unlike measures in other states, Alabama would punish only the abortion provider – not the woman receiving the abortion… [The new law will] take effect in six months.

“Critics have promised a swift lawsuit and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama is drafting a legal complaint.”

Newsmax wrote on May 15:

“Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson said Wednesday that Alabama’s… abortion ban is an ‘extreme law’… Robertson said Alabama lawmakers went ‘too far… my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one’ll lose.’”

Deliver Us From the Evil One

Breitbart wrote on May 15:

“[Pope Francis said:] ‘There is a mysterious evil… that penetrates silently into the folds of history… Silent like the snake that carries its poison silently…’… With this expression [‘But deliver us from evil’], the one who prays is not only asking not to be abandoned in the time of temptation, but also begging to be freed from evil…

“‘The original Greek verb is very strong: it evokes the presence of the evil one who tends to grasp and bite us and from whom we ask God for deliverance… The apostle Peter also says that the evil one — the devil — is around us like a furious lion, looking to devour us, and we ask God to deliver us…’

“We are called to place our trust in the Father’s care ‘even and especially at times when the evil one makes his threatening presence felt,’ the pope said.”

Very true. Please read our free booklet, “Teach Us to Pray!”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

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

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How will we be able to train and lead unconverted people in the Millennium?

First of all, let us get our bearings as to what we should be doing today as baptised members of the true Church of God and begotten members of the God Family.

In Matthew 20:20-21, the mother of James and John was asking for top positions for her two sons, and this upset the rest of the disciples, because they were probably desirous of those top positions themselves.  Instead, they should have been looking at what they could do, not what position they would like to have had.  In verses 25-28 we read: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.  And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’”

Jesus Christ told the scribes and Pharisees that their approach was hypocritical (see Matthew 23), which was exactly the opposite approach that He expected His followers to adopt.

Jesus Christ showed just prior to the Passover (see John 13) that His humble attitude which was manifested by His actions was one which they then, and we today, are to follow.   Washing the feet of others was an act of humility, not that of power and position that James and John had pursued, along with their mother.   The actions of Jesus were in complete contrast to that which men, in their self-serving way, can see as important.

We are to have the attitude of love and service towards others. This attitude is shown in many Scriptures.   Here are just a few of them.

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.   And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).

This is the basis of true Christianity.

In Luke 19:11-27 we read the parable of the minas.  In this parable, the nobleman called the first of his servants to see how much he had gained by his trading.   The answer was 10 minas (verses 16-17), and he was given authority over 10 cities.   The second servant had earned 5 minas (verses 18-19) and was given authority over 5 cities.   “Another one came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief’” (verse 20).   The Master asked why he did not put his money in the bank to gain interest (verse 23) and was told that he was a wicked servant.   He had made no effort at all.

In Luke 8:9-10 we learn about the purpose of parables: “And He said, ‘To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that “Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.”’”

Then, and today, God’s people can understand the parables that Jesus gave, and in the one quoted above in Luke 19, it is clear that His people ARE to be about their Father’s business, doing whatever they can, whenever they can, not making excuses for inaction.

One online commentator made these observations: “The main idea is that the servant’s responsible use of the master’s mina will be rewarded with increased responsibility in the future kingdom. The servant has shown himself faithful in a little thing; he will thus be faithful in much, and so much is now given to him.  While salvation is by grace alone (the master freely gave the mina to each servant, apart from anything they had done), rewards will be proportionate to our service.   We also learn that the servants’ service here was a test and a preparation for their future service in the kingdom.  The master tested them to see if they would be faithful in a little thing. Their performance of their duties in this little thing was preparing them to graduate from servants to rulers, yet still under the Master.”

Inaction constitutes working against that which is required of us and will lead to serious loss.   The third servant had a negative view of his Master which suggests that a failure to appreciate the Son of God for who He is and what He has done for us, and expects of us, can lead to serious neglect.

In short, God expects a return, that is the growth of all of those who have been called to His service.  Because we all will have to give an account of ourselves at the return of Christ, we must faithfully do business with what we have been given (talents and abilities) until He returns.

God’s servants who have been faithful to Him and endured to the end will be rewarded accordingly.  Those who have not been involved in the Work of God as they should have been, either through complacency or neglect, will suffer the consequences.

We read in Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

As born-again Spirit-composed members of the God Family at that time, we will assist Jesus Christ to educate those who will have survived the terrible time of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord which will have left the world in such a mess.

We will help to turn the world to God through education. Those who did not die during this terrible time will begin to listen to God’s instruction and to practice God’s Way of Life. And we, who have had the responsibility of being involved in announcing God’s message to the world at this time, will then be able to work with those people to show them how to fulfil God’s purpose for their lives.

How are we being prepared to become tomorrow’s teachers?  There are teaching opportunities all around us.  Parents are to teach their children. Employers instruct employees. We teach ourselves by developing our talents. And in a small way, we are all, even now, teaching the world around us about God’s Way by the examples we set.

We are not all called to be ministers or those with big responsibilities in the Church but we can use those talents that God has given us, however meagre we may think they are, in His service.   Everyone has something to give; it may be to help and encourage the brethren each Sabbath when attending Church services; it may be to assist those who need help in many other ways, but we do have to be DOERS. Sitting back and not doing anything or making excuses as to why we shouldn’t do this, that or the other is the inaction of an unprofitable servant and the ending won’t be good.

We all have to do whatever we can, however small that may seem, and God will reward us according to our works.   We must never forget that our abilities that we currently have will be multiplied many times over in the Kingdom of God and we will be up to the job that we are to accomplish in God’s Kingdom.

When God calls us, He knows all about us, and our capabilities, and as long as we do the best we can with the talents that we have been given in this life now, we will be profitable servants for eternity.

In his book “The Wonderful World Tomorrow – What it Will Be Like,” Mr Herbert Armstrong makes these observations about great men in the Bible, but the same principle applies to all of God’s people.   He wrote:

“Take outstanding, superior men, having undergone a human lifetime of this attitude, this training in the ways of success and perfection!  But now change these men by a resurrection into the perfection of immortality!  And consider that immortality will multiply their aptitudes, abilities and powers perhaps a million times above what they achieved as humans, by infusing into them the power and GLORY of God!”

As members of the Family of God at the resurrection, we will be perfect and, therefore, able to deal with any and all situations, and training and leading unconverted people during the Millennium will be just one of the many jobs that we will have to do and will do perfectly, as we will be perfect at that time – and forever!

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Our newest booklet, “How Can We Know That Christ’s Return is Near?” is now finalized for printing. It will be posted on our website in the next few days, and copies will be sent to our subscribers once printing is finished.

A Tech Team meeting was conducted over SKYPE on Sunday, May 11, 2019. Hosted by Eric Rank, discussion for translating our literature into French and Spanish were explored; plans for presenting short YouTube programs in Australia using our literature were established; and, ad campaigns featuring our newest booklet, “How Can We Know That Christ’s Return is Near?” will be run in mid-summer.

“When Does God Allow Abortions?” is the title of this week’s new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortion. Other states have approved bans under certain circumstances. Then there are those states which allow abortion under any and all circumstances. Ultimately, the US Supreme Court is bound to decide the issue, re-visiting its 1973 landmark decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationally. How does God look at the matter of abortion? And what do the Christian teachings about Born Again, Sexual Relationships and Predestination have to do with the concept of abortion? Our free booklets on these topics will give you the answer.

“The USA and Britain Are Failing… Who Will Replace Them?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

“Foreign Policy” wrote recently that the era of Washington’s unilateralism is over; but most do not recognize how much the worldwide influence of the USA and Great Britain has decreased. Who will play the most influential role on the world scene in the very near future? It is not China or Russia, as some feel. The true and surprising answer can be found in your Bible.

“Die USA und England versagen… wer wird sie ersetzen?” is the title of the program described above, presented in German by Norbert Link.

“Wie kann man rein sein vor Gott?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “How Can One be Pure Before God?”

“Das Kreuz-ein Symbol Jesu Christi?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Thilo Hanstein, is now posted.

“P.R.A.Y.” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted.

“Do You Believe in the True Jesus?” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Christ told you: “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” What did He mean by that? What is it exactly that you have to believe, and what kind of faith is required? What are the most important descriptions, specifications and characteristics of Jesus, in which you have to believe, in order to inherit eternal life?

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How This Work is Financed

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

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

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

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