|Live Services||Gaining Help and Strength from Others; When It Rains, It Pours|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||God says that He is a jealous God. How can that be?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Gaining Help and Strength from Others; When It Rains, It Pours
On August 17, 2019, Brian Gale will present the sermonette, titled, “Gaining Help and Strength from Others” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “When It Rains, It Pours.”
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.
by Eric Rank
I have a memory from an elementary school recess when my classmates and I were picking teams for a game of basketball. One of my classmates looked me in the face, and plainly said, “You’re weird.” I didn’t get the impression that it was intended to hurt my feelings, or to express that there was something “wrong” with me. It was just a simple statement made in a non-judgmental kind of way, expressing that I was different. Even then, I remember having a feeling of mutual agreement.
I look back at that moment, now finding it quite humorous, because it wouldn’t be the last time my playful nature would be seen as being different and a little goofy. But there’s more to it than just a funny story. I look at that moment and find evidence of having confidence to think and act independently at an early age, not worrying if I didn’t fit into the compartments defined by society. I now see how early in my life God began working with me to develop a drive to search for the Truth and build the conviction to live by it, regardless of what others thought. Following in suit, I can recall several moments as I made decisions to draw closer and closer to God, while turning further and further from the ways of the world.
What a relief it is to see that the Bible provides support for not fitting into the world! In Romans 12:1-2, Paul provides guidance for us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” As Christians, we undoubtedly encounter pressure to conform to the world at the expense of following the Truth, but we are instructed not to do so. As soon as our desire to be judged as “normal” by the world exceeds our desire to follow God, we put ourselves in danger of compromising our relationship with God. Following the Truth is infinitely more important than fitting in, even if the world thinks it is “weird.”
While it is unhealthy to fall prey to the pressure to conform to the world, it is even worse to follow whims of what our carnal minds might justify if those ways are absent from the direction of God. As Paul wrote to the Romans, we are to be transformed by renewing our minds in seeking the Will of God. We are to conform to God, not the world. In being different from the world by turning away from those ways of living, we find strength by living our lives in obedience to God’s commandments. Independence from the way of the world is dangerous without following the Way of God.
In this age prior to the return of Jesus Christ, there is no way of removing ourselves entirely from living in the world. In fact, it is our assigned obligation to live our lives in this world as an example. But we cannot allow ourselves to be pulled in by its deceitful enticements. If we do, it will choke out the Truth, threatening to jeopardize our salvation (compare Matthew 13:22). Our confidence and conviction must be in living the Way of Life that God commands. If the world thinks we’re weird, but God thinks we’re right, we have nothing to worry about.
by Norbert Link
We begin with renewed American threats to withdraw its troops from Germany; report on Russia’s nuclear catastrophe; address the background of the Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, murderers; and address the belief of many Evangelicals in their “God-given” right to bear arms.
We continue with past persecutions of Jews in Italy; and speak on turmoil on the Temple Mount which is only bound to increase, as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s claim that modern Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Canaanites.
We address the plight of immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea and the political turmoil caused by Italy’s extreme right-wing Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini; and we continue with the double-talk of Britain’s “Chameleon” Boris Johnson and the surprising fact that most Brits are for a Brexit from the EU without a deal.
We address the USA-China trade war and its real winners and losers as well as “Trump’s deficit economy” and the reckless spending of the federal government and American citizens [please see our new StandingWatch program, titled, “America’s Fragile Economy–the Calm before the Storm!”]; address new ungodly immigration restrictions by the Trump administration for LEGAL immigrants; speak on the fishy “suicide” of sex offender and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein; and conclude with the prohibition to conduct a straight parade in California.
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
US Threatens to Withdraw Troops from Germany
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 9:
“The United States is considering withdrawing some of the US troops stationed in Germany, with Poland mooted as a possible new deployment, the US ambassador to Germany has said. The threat of withdrawal comes amid ongoing differences between Berlin and Washington over Germany’s contribution to NATO and a current spat caused by the German refusal to take part in a US-led naval mission in the Persian Gulf.
“‘It is actually offensive to assume that the US taxpayer must continue to pay to have 50,000-plus Americans in Germany, but the Germans get to spend their surplus on domestic programs,’ US Ambassador Richard Grenell told the DPA news agency, in comments carried widely by German media on Friday. His remarks come after the US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, tweeted that her country would be happy for the American troops in Germany to move there instead…
“Germany is the European country where most US troops are posted, with 35,000 soldiers deployed there along with 17,000 American civilians employed by the US military. Some 12,000 German civilians also work in jobs connected with the deployment. Rumors that the US might be considering a partial pullout of troops from Germany have long been rife, with the US administration under Donald Trump often voicing anger that Berlin is not contributing enough to NATO. Germany intends to spend 1.36% of GDP on defense this coming year, an amount that, while marking a strong increase, is still well under NATO’s 2% goal for member states. Although the government says it wants to increase the current figure to 1.5% by 2024, the financial planning for 2023 envisages spending only 1.24% of GDP on the military.
“Grenell’s comments come shortly after Germany sparked Washington’s ire by refusing to take part in a US-led operation in the Strait of Hormuz to protect trading vessels from Iranian aggression and rejecting a US request to send ground troops to fight the extremist group ‘Islamic State.’ They also come ahead of Trump’s twin trips to Europe at the end of August — with neither trip including a visit to Germany.
“The first will take Trump to the G7 summit in the French resort of Biarritz, where he will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The second, from August 31 to September 3, will see him visiting Denmark and Poland. Among other things, both these countries share Washington’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that has been strongly promoted by Germany.”
DPA added on August 9:
“Germany is host to the largest number of US troops in Europe and has the largest contingent of US troops abroad after Japan. US command centres for its troops in Europe and Africa are in Stuttgart and the most important US air base in Europe is at Ramstein in the south-west of the country. The southern state of Bavaria is home to one of the largest US military exercise grounds in Grafenwoehr.”
The German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on August 9 that even though the cost of deployment is now mainly borne by the US Armed Forces, the German government annually allocates about 50 million euros, and Germany has passed more than 100 properties to the American Armed Forces at no charge, which spared the US an estimated sum of almost 600 million euros per year.
The Algemeiner and Reuters wrote on August 10:
“U.S. complaints about Germany’s defense spending pre-date Trump but relations with the United States have deteriorated since he became president… It is believed the United States also has nuclear warheads in Germany.”
The once more or less friendly relationship between the US and Germany is deteriorating by the week, if not by the day. Core Europe under German leadership will react by building their own powerful united army with nuclear weapons.
Russia’s Nuclear Catastrophe
AFP wrote on August 12:
“Russia’s nuclear agency chief on Monday confirmed that five scientists killed last week were developing ‘new weapons’ and vowed to continue testing despite the explosion… The explosion caused a spike in radiation levels… The missile was being tested on a platform at sea when its fuel caught fire and caused an explosion… Several staff were blown into the sea by the blast… The military did not initially say that the accident involved nuclear equipment… But the nearby city of Severodvinsk recorded elevated levels following the accident and panicked residents rushed to buy iodine to counteract radiation…
“Last month, 14 Russian navy officers were killed in a fire on a top-secret nuclear-powered submersible in circumstances that have not been fully revealed.”
The most recent incident has been compared to the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. Nuclear catastrophes like these, caused by unscrupulous power-hungry war-mongering politicians and corrupt governments, will ultimately contribute to the prophesied destruction of mankind, if it weren’t for the fact that Jesus will return in time to stop man’s Satan-inspired madness and save some from utter annihilation and extinction.
The Dayton Ohio Murderer and Satanism
The Daily Mail wrote on August 9:
“Connor Betts gunned down nine people and injured dozens more in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday. Now DailyMail.com has obtained chilling notebook scrawls by the 24-year-old who had an appetite for murder, drugs and Satanism…
“Betts’ rambling contributions, written around 2017, include a Satanic pentagram with the words ‘Hail Lucifer’ and numerous references to death and murder. The warped loner declares himself a servant of ‘evil incarnate’ and rants about everything from schizophrenia to satanic rituals and massacres.
“The pages read in part: ‘I am the servant of the serpent evil incarnate, flesh consumer, light destroyer, fueled by hate, rage my strength, distrust my shield’… ‘I am Azrael and this is my human Connor’… ‘Beasts of darkness called upon from fiery pits. Armies massing, soon to shed blood,’ it reads.”
Clearly, we are dealing here with a deranged murderer who gave himself over to and was used by Satan and his demons to carry out his despicable and cowardly acts. Scientists, medical doctors and “experts,” the police, governmental agencies and the media simply do not understand what is going on, and so they try to “interpret” any involvement with Satanism as just a symptom of a “sick” mind. Nothing could be further from the truth. View our StandingWatch program, title, “Is There No Solution to Violence and Mass Shootings?”
El Paso Mass Murderer Driven by Hate of Mexicans
The Associated Press reported on August 9:
“The man accused of carrying out last weekend’s deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in the Texas border city of El Paso confessed to officers while he was surrendering and later explained that he had been targeting Mexicans, authorities say… Twenty-two people were killed and about two dozen were injured. Most of the dead had Hispanic last names and eight were Mexican nationals.
“Authorities believe that shortly before the attack, Crusius posted a racist screed online that railed against an influx of Hispanics into the U.S. The document parrots some of President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric about immigration, but the writer said his views predate Trump’s rise and that any attempt to blame the president for his actions was ‘fake news.’ Many El Paso residents, protesters and Democrats have blasted Trump over his incendiary words, blaming Trump for inflaming political and racial tensions throughout the country… Authorities say Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his hometown near Dallas to carry out the shooting in the largely Latino border city of El Paso…”
This murderous attack was apparently carefully planned, and his hatred developed over time. Satan is the murderer from the beginning. It is clear to us that he was behind this attack.
Evangelicals and their God-Given Right to Bear Arms?
The Week wrote on August 11:
“For those who profess to follow the Prince of Peace, the support for sensible gun control regulations might seem like a proper Christian response to the ongoing slaughter of innocent Americans… Yet, in the wake of the deadly attacks in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton that left more than 30 dead, conservative religious leaders instead are doubling down on what they argue is their ‘God-given right’ to bear arms, a message the NRA has been all-too-happy to promote…
“41 percent of white evangelicals own a gun… Influential evangelical leaders have supported gun ownership and advocated for its growth among fellow believers. After a gunman murdered 26 worshippers at a rural Southern Baptist church in Texas in 2017, Jeffress told Fox News he felt particularly safe preaching at First Baptist Dallas knowing that so many of his congregants brought guns with them to church. In 2015, following the massacre in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people, Jerry Falwell, Jr., exhorted students during a convocation at Liberty University to get concealed weapons permits and carry guns on campus…
“Around the world, various countries have shown that tough gun laws can diminish and even prevent gun violence. God help the nation that won’t take similar steps for its own citizens.”
Regarding the highly controversial subject of gun violence, please see our recent StandingWatch program, tilted, “Is There No Solution to Violence and Mass Shootings?”
The Past Persecution of Jews in Rome and throughout Italy
Times of Israel wrote on August 7:
“[The] Arch of Titus [in Rome is] the first-century structure associated with tragedy in Jewish history. It was built in 81 CE in honor of Titus, the Roman emperor who viciously put down a Jewish rebellion, leading to the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70. We felt especially moved to be there on the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day that marks the breach of the walls of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, initiating the siege that led to widespread death and destruction among the Jews, and the fall of the holy site three weeks later on Tisha b’Av (the 9th of Av)… Most poignant was witnessing the famous carvings on the arch marking the triumphal procession of the Roman soldiers, carrying off the spoils of war, including sacred items from the Temple. The largest shown is the menorah, carved in deep relief. One shudders to imagine the scene depicted on the arch, showing some of the estimated 200,000 Jews who were captured in Jerusalem and brought to Rome to be sold into slavery, as they were being marched past hostile, taunting crowds.
“… the nearby Colosseum [is] the most dramatic and popular symbol of the Roman Empire, completed in the year 80 by Titus, and ‘financed with the spoils of the Jewish War of 70,’ according to a visitors’ guide at the site. It was there that up to 75,000 people would fill the largest of the empire’s amphitheaters to witness a full day of animal hunts, public executions and fight-to-the-death contests between gladiators.
“Throughout our visit to Italy, we learned of the ghettos where Jews were confined and mistreated, of the centuries of persecution Jews suffered from the Church, and, in the 20th century, from the fascists and Nazis…
“We came away with a deeper appreciation of how, over time, Italian Jews were able to withstand periods of prejudice and persecution from the Church, as well as from fascism and racial laws from the Mussolini government in the 1930s that contributed to Nazi deportations during World War II. About 15 percent of the 44,500 Jews living there at the time were murdered in the Holocaust… the remaining Jewish population, believed to be about 45,000, faces the great challenge of maintaining Judaism and Jewish life in an open society with dramatic levels of assimilation…”
Sadly, we will experience very soon in Italy and throughout continental Europe renewed gruesome persecutions of Jews and especially of those Christians who will be viewed as “Jewish,” due to their observance of God’s commandments such as keeping the weekly Sabbath, God’s annual Holy Days or the abstention from unclean meat, while refusing to keep paganized “Christian” holidays such as Christmas or Easter. This is described in the Book of Revelation as the opening of the fifth seal. Many will compromise and try to “assimilate” to keep alive, thereby accepting the “mark of the beast,” but in doing so, they will incur the seven last plagues of the wrath of God.
Turmoil and Violence on the Temple Mount
The Times of Israel wrote on August 11:
“Clashes broke out between Muslim protesters and Israeli police forces on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount holy site on Sunday, during a period of peak religious tensions over the confluence of Jewish and Muslim holy days… Sunday marks both the start of Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday commemorating the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, and the Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the temples that once stood on the Temple Mount and other disasters in Jewish history…
“On Friday, the Muslim Waqf trust, which oversees the site, urged Muslim worshipers to crowd the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount to keep Jews from visiting, after police said they would consider allowing non-Muslims to visit the holy site… Likud Knesset Member Yehudah Glick, another Temple Mount activist, called the Waqf’s move a “cheap provocation.”
The Associated Press wrote on August 11:
“Jewish extremists have called for destroying the [Al-Aqsa] mosque and rebuilding the Biblical temple… The compound is in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip…
“Israel views all of Jerusalem as its unified capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Israeli-Palestinian tensions have spiked following President Donald Trump’s decision in 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there.”
Reuters and The Algemeiner wrote on August 11:
“Israeli police fired sound grenades to disperse Palestinians during confrontations on Sunday outside Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque where tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered for the Eid al-Adha holiday… Facing off with police in the packed compound outside Islam’s third-holiest site, Palestinians chanted, ‘With our soul and blood we will redeem you, Aqsa.’…
“Revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the site of two biblical Jewish temples, and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, the area is one of the most sensitive sites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…”
Changing the Status Quo?
The Algemeiner wrote on August 13:
“Israel’s interior security minister endorsed changing the status quo on the Temple Mount in an interview on Tuesday, calling it an ‘injustice’ that Jews are allowed to enter the holy site but are prohibited from praying…
“Erdan — a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — declared that the status quo should be changed ‘in order that Jews in the future can pray on the Temple Mount, which is the holiest place to the Jewish people…’”
This occasional violence on the Temple Mount, which would increase if the status quo is changed, is nothing in comparison to that kind of turmoil which will ensue when the Jews begin to build the Third Temple and offer animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount. Dozens of Scriptures teach the fact that the Jews will begin to build a Temple prior to Christ’s Return. For more information, please read our free booklets, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People” and “How Can We Know that Christ’s Return Is Near?”
Palestinians the Modern-Day Canaanites?
The Times of Israel wrote on August 13:
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas… contended that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the region [of the West Bank] according to the Biblical history… ‘We are the Canaanites,’ he added…
“Abbas’s reference to the Canaanites, an ancient people who predated the Israelites’ settling of Canaan, according to the Biblical narrative, came in response to recent comments by Netanyahu that Palestinians only recently arrived in the area… Netanyahu said in early July that the ancestors of the Palestinians came from the Arabian Peninsula… [appearing] to back the theory that the biblical Philistines came from somewhere other than the Middle East… Abbas also said that despite the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the city belongs to the Palestinians.”
Abba’s comments regarding the Canaanites do not give him any favors. Canaan was the son of Ham, one of the three sons of Noah. Shem was white, Ham was black, and Japheth was yellow. From the website, “Got Questions?”, under “Who were the Canaanites?”:
“The Canaanites are mentioned over 150 times in the Bible. They were a wicked, idolatrous people… Canaan was cursed because of his… sin against Noah… The land of Canaan was the land God promised to give to Abraham’s descendants… The Canaanites are described in the Bible as a large and fierce people, not easily defeated, so the Israelites would need divine help to come against them, defeat them, and take their land away. God promised Moses and Joshua that help…”
Omar and Tlaib Refused Entry to Israel–Netanyahu Takes Big Loss in Following Trump’s Advice
NBC News wrote on August 15:
“Netanyahu… had to make Israel look bad to make Trump happy. In doing so, he handed his critics around the world pallets full of rhetorical ammunition…
“The move was deemed bad enough for Israel — harmful enough to that country — that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which is usually as close to Netanyahu as his suit, softly but publicly disagreed with it.
“… as Omar and Tlaib made plans to visit Israel and Palestinian territory this month, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, said that they should not have a problem gaining entry.
“Trump didn’t agree. ‘It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit,’ Trump tweeted Thursday morning… ‘They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds.’”
As far as we know, that is the first time in American history that an American President is asking a foreign country to deny entry of American members of Congress. The many critics of Israel were given ample opportunity now to question Israel’s democracy.
The Plight of Migrants in the Mediterranean Sea
Fox News wrote on August 9:
“Richard Gere on Friday boarded a Spanish humanitarian ship that has been stuck in the Mediterranean Sea for more than a week because no European government will welcome the 121 migrants who are aboard. In a bid to draw attention to the standoff, Gere boarded the Open Arms some 27 nautical miles off Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost island. The vessel, which faces a fine of up to 1 million euros if it enters Italian waters, has been idle for eight days…
“Italy’s firebrand Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is popular for his hardline stance against migrant arrivals and who this week plunged Italy into a political crisis, mocked Gere on Twitter… Such standoffs have persisted over the last 14 months since Italy’s populist government took office and Salvini became interior minister…
“He… raised the stakes this week by winning parliamentary approval for a new security decree that increased fines on ships entering Italian waters without permission to 1 million euros from 50,000 euros. Migrant arrivals in Italy are down dramatically to some 4,042 so far this year, down 78% from last year’s 18,897 and 96% from 96,847 in 2017. Many migrants continue to arrive on their own in Lampedusa, often from Tunisia, despite Salvini’s campaign against humanitarian rescue ships.”
Standoff over Stranded Immigrants Temporarily Resolved–Salvini Strongly Criticized
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 15:
“The latest standoff over immigration in the Mediterranean appeared to be resolved on Thursday after six European Union countries agreed to take in asylum-seekers who are stuck on a rescue vessel off Italy. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the move in an open letter to far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who refused to allow them to disembark. ‘France, Germany, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Luxembourg have told me that they are ready to welcome the migrants,’ Conte wrote in the letter.
“Some 150 people were picked up by the Spanish charity ship, Open Arms, off the coast of Libya in early August. They were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa, but have been stuck on the vessel for two weeks after being blocked from docking.
“The Italian premier also strongly criticized Salvini in the letter, saying that the minister is focusing too much on migration and reducing the complex issue to a simple solution of closing ports in order to score political points. ‘If we really want to protect ‘national interests,’ we cannot limit ourselves to representing positions of absolute stubbornness,’ Conte said.”
Salvini becomes more and more popular in Italy, as the next article shows. Will Europe finally intervene and do something about this dangerous development, also in light of Salvini’s inhumane conduct towards migrants? Or will other European countries embrace Salvini by moving themselves to the extreme right?
Salvini Demands New Elections
In reference to Italy’s political crisis, as mentioned in the article above, Fox News elaborated on August 9:
“Italian Deputy Prime minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the country’s largest nationalist party, demanded a snap election Thursday — a move that almost certainly dooms the fragile governing coalition and could see Salvini’s party move from a coalition partner to Italy’s sole governing party… Salvini needs at least 40 percent of seats in an election to form a government. If the League does not achieve that, it could ally up with the right-wing Brothers of Italy or former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia… to get over the line…
“Should that go as Salvini hopes, and the League govern by itself, it would certainly shift the country even more to the right on issues such as immigration, E.U. relations and taxes — and mark a significant win for the right-wing, nationalist-populist movement sweeping through the continent since the 2015 migration crisis.”
Salvini and Berlusconi… what a combination! Deeply concerning parallels to Italy under right-wing nationalist “Il Duce” Benito Mussolini come to mind. Bild Online quoted financial experts as saying that an Italian government under confrontational Salvini would also mean an economic catastrophe for Europe. Italy—the third-greatest economy in Europe—is already the European country with the second-highest debt, after Greece, with virtually no economic growth. Analysts feel that Salvini’s current politics as Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are largely responsible for Italy’s precarious situation.
Pope Warns Against Salvini
The Washington Post wrote on August 9:
“Pope Francis called for a united Europe in an interview published by Italian daily La Stampa on Friday, saying recent political rhetoric has echoed that of Nazi Germany. ‘I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934,’ he said… It is not the first time the pontiff has made such remarks, but his comments published Friday came as Italy’s populist government appeared to be on the verge of collapse.
“In January 2017, in response to a question about populism, Francis told Spain’s El Pais that before World War II, there was ‘a people who were immersed in a crisis, who were searching for their identity until this charismatic leader came and promised to give their identity back, and he gave them a distorted identity, and we all know what happened.’… But if he’s now trying to appeal to Salvini, his calls may not find a receptive audience. Salvini has openly criticized the pope…”
It is interesting that the relationship between Mussolini and the Popes was very contentious.
The “Double Talk” of Boris Johnson—the Political Chameleon
The Week wrote on August 10:
“Husky and blond, he’s a larger-than-life character who spouts Shakespeare and Latin but can’t seem to comb his unruly hair or arrive anywhere on time… Twice divorced, with four kids by the wife he left last year, he has another child out of wedlock, and at least one of his mistresses had an abortion. When he moved into 10 Downing Street last week, he brought his current flame, the PR agent Carrie Symonds, 31, and the two became the first unmarried couple ever to live in the prime minister’s residence. A brilliant and wildly entertaining writer and speaker, Johnson has been a columnist, member of Parliament, mayor of London, and foreign minister, yet his policy achievements are thin. The British regard him either as a buffoon or as a refreshing rebel against political correctness… Yet no matter his sins, he always manages to get a pass…
“During the campaign leading up to the 2016 referendum on leaving the EU, Johnson recognized that many Britons felt deep resentment over the erosion of national identity and unimpeded influx of foreign labor. So he abandoned his pro-Europe, pro-immigration mayoral persona and broke with his party leader, then–Prime Minister David Cameron, to become the face of Vote Leave. ‘Johnson’s a political chameleon,’ says his biographer, Sonia Purnell. ‘There are no core beliefs, no values, just instincts.’… But when Leave won and Cameron resigned, Johnson appeared shocked and paralyzed. He withdrew from the running for prime minister, and compromise candidate Theresa May won. May surprised many by appointing him foreign minister, and Johnson made a mess of it.
“… when May presented a deal that would keep the U.K. closely bound to the EU, he resigned in protest. That stance positioned him as the hard-Brexit favorite to succeed May when she resigned without an agreement last month… Johnson insists that he will renegotiate a deal with Brussels that gets rid of the dreaded ‘Irish backstop.’ This is the provision that requires the U.K. to stay in the EU customs union as long as necessary to avoid a hard border between EU-member Ireland and the U.K. region Northern Ireland. The EU says May’s deal can’t be changed…
“If there is no better deal, Johnson says he will crash the U.K. out of the union with no deal by the October 31 deadline — an option many warn would cause economic chaos and a British recession… With his ‘record of double-talk, about-turn, and mendacity,’ says The Guardian‘s Simon Jenkins, Johnson can be relied upon only to deliver something other than what he promised.”
Interesting times for Britain are awaiting us…
Boris Johnson: EU Same Goal as Hitler to Create European Superstate
Breaking Israel News wrote on August 12:
“In an interview with the Telegraph back in 2016, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that ‘the European Union is pursuing a similar goal to Hitler in trying to create a powerful superstate.’ He also warned [that] although politicians in Brussels are implementing ‘different methods’ than those of the Nazi dictator, they both have the same goal of a united Europe under one authority… In the same interview, Johnson explains: ‘The euro has become a means by which superior German productivity is able to gain an absolutely unbeatable advantage over the whole eurozone.’…
“Eitan Meir, of the pro-Israel Im Tirtzu organization, said: ‘EU has an unhealthy obsession with Israel. They are certainly one of the largest funders of propaganda used to undermine the state of Israel. They are behind all of the NGOs waging legal warfare against Israel in Gaza and are behind the NGOs accusing Israel of ethnically cleansing the Negev of Bedouins’…
“Some lesser-known recipients of EU funding include the Ma’an Network, who published a video showing terrorist attacks against Israelis, accompanied by a Hebrew song with the lyrics ‘I will clean my country of every Jew’… The European governing body funds a wide array of Antisemitic and pro-BDS organizations including Miftah, EIDHR and The Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)…”
The double-talk of the EU and their real anti-Israel politics will become much clearer as time progresses.
Most Brits for No-Deal Brexit
Breitbart wrote on August 11:
“The poll by Opinium published on Saturday revealed that a no-deal Brexit had a 17-point lead over the next most popular option, cancelling Brexit… 46 per cent of respondents said [Boris Johnson] should ‘go ahead with Brexit on October 31st even if it means leaving with ‘no deal”’.
“Just 12 per cent back Mr Johnson delaying Brexit for a third time ‘until we can negotiate a deal that can pass the House of Commons’, and less than one-third, 29 per cent, said he should ‘cancel Brexit and decide to remain in the European Union after all.’…
“The poll also revealed that Britons are becoming increasingly convinced that the UK will leave the EU on the planned exit date, with 61 per cent believing that Mr Johnson will make good on his promise, up from 53 per cent two weeks ago…
“Johnson is expected to return to the House of Commons in September after the summer recess to face the Remainer-dominated parliament and likely calls for a vote of no-confidence in the government in order to thwart Brexit. Reports that Mr Johnson would ignore calls for him to step down appear to have the backing of the public.
“The Opinion poll also revealed that 40 per cent of respondents would want the prime minister to refuse to resign, and for him then call a snap General Election after October 31st to ensure the UK leaves the EU by that date — even in a clean break. Just 29 per cent said he should step down so another government could be formed to stop a no-deal Brexit.
“Lord Jonathan Sumpton, a former Supreme Court Judge, said last week that Prime Minister Johnson was legally entitled to ignore a vote of no confidence and call an election even after a no-deal Brexit.”
Brexit is prophesied to happen… in God’s due time.
Third Party Countries the Winners in the US-China Trade War
Quartz wrote on August 9:
“The US-China trade war continues to accelerate. America has put 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, and is slated to add an additional 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion. China currently collects tariffs between 5% and 50% on about $113 billion of US imports…
“Quartz analyzed the trade flows of product categories affected by the Chinese and US tariffs. The data show that the winner of the US-China trade war so far is neither the US or China. It’s third-party countries… who have stepped in to the void and found new buyers in the US and China…
“Australia has been the biggest beneficiary of the trade war… Most of the increase has been from exports of natural resources to China. With China imposing tariffs on imports of petroleum gases and gold from the US, Australia has been filling the gap for China. The Chinese imports of Australian cotton saw strong growth, as US cotton exports to China declined…
“Similar to Australia, Switzerland dramatically increased its gold exports to China. Switzerland also increased its exports to US, though to a smaller extent. It exported an additional $25 million of electronic devices… while Chinese exports to the US in that category dropped by $190 million…
“Mexico has replaced China as the US’s largest trading partner in the first half of 2019. The US now buys more data processing and storage devices as well as electric wire and fiber optic cables from Mexico…
“Brazil has benefitted from the reduced US agricultural exports to China. Now China goes to Brazil for soybeans and cotton…
“Canada has seen its exports to both US and China grow since tariffs kicked in. Canadian computer chips and circuit boards as well as industrial molds are replacing Chinese ones in the US market. Canadians are also selling more soybeans to China than before, though that still pales in comparison to the drop in US purchases.”
US-Chinese Trade War Benefits Europe
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 13:
“European Union economies would benefit from the trade diversion… The European Union is expected to see an additional income of €1.5 billion, if the US goes ahead with the 10% tariffs. Italy with €183 million would be the biggest beneficiary followed by France (€129 million) and Germany (€94 million).
“If China retaliates with a further 10% tariff on US goods, the EU would see additional revenue of €1.7 billion. Germany would be the biggest gainer with €323 million in additional income. Italy(€231 million) and France (€168 million) would also significantly benefit from the Chinese retaliation…
“But increased exports from the EU to the US are likely to further strain the bloc’s ties with Washington as they would enlarge its trade surplus with the US. Trump has threatened tariffs on EU goods over the trade surplus…”
The Bible does not indicate that China will become the world’s most powerful economic country, but it clearly shows that American influence and power will decline. The markets reacted positively when the USA announced that new tariffs on certain Chinese consumer items including cell phones, laptop computers, computer monitors, video game consoles, certain toys, and certain items of footwear and clothing would be delayed until December 15, while other products were being removed from the new China tariff list altogether. About $300 billion in Chinese goods will be subject to the tariff on Sept. 1 as planned.
Axios wrote on August 13:
“The threat of a crashing stock market and higher Christmas shopping prices appears to have spooked the Trump administration, despite the president’s false insistence that China pays the cost of tariffs directly into the U.S. Treasury.”
So, Trump may have indeed recognized that his dealing with China was not working and that it was harming US consumers, but then, who knows? Note the next article.
Trump’s Deficit Economy
Project Syndicate wrote on August 9:
“In the new world wrought by US President Donald Trump, where one shock follows another, there is never time to think through fully the implications of the events with which we are bombarded. In late July, the Federal Reserve Board reversed its policy of returning interest rates to more normal levels, after a decade of ultra-low rates in the wake of the Great Recession. Then, the United States had another two mass gun killings in under 24 hours, bringing the total for the year to 255 – more than one a day. And a trade war with China, which Trump had tweeted would be ‘good, and easy to win,’ entered a new, more dangerous phase, rattling markets and posing the threat of a new cold war.
“… the Fed action spoke volumes. The US economy was supposed to be ‘great.’ Its 3.7% unemployment rate and first-quarter growth of 3.1% should have been the envy of the advanced countries. But scratch a little bit beneath the surface, and there was plenty to worry about. Second-quarter growth plummeted to 2.1%. Average hours worked in manufacturing in July sank to the lowest level since 2011. Real wages are only slightly above their level a decade ago, before the Great Recession. Real investment as a percentage of GDP is well below levels in the late 1990s…
“If it takes trillion-dollar annual deficits to keep the US economy going in good times, what will it take when things are not so rosy?
“The US economy has not been working for most Americans, whose incomes have been stagnating – or worse – for decades…The Trump tax bill made matters worse by compounding the problem of decaying infrastructure, weakening the ability of the more progressive states to support education, depriving millions more people of health insurance, and, when fully implemented, leading to an increase in taxes for middle-income Americans, worsening their plight… the enormous Trump fiscal deficits have led to huge trade deficits… as the US has had to import capital to finance the gap between domestic savings and investment.
“Trump promised to get the trade deficit down, but his profound lack of understanding of economics has led to it increasing, just as most economists predicted it would. Despite Trump’s bad economic management and his attempt to talk the dollar down, and the Fed’s lowering of interest rates, his policies have resulted in the US dollar remaining strong, thereby discouraging exports and encouraging imports. Economists have repeatedly tried to explain to him that trade agreements may affect which countries the US buys from and sells to, but not the magnitude of the overall deficit… Trump believes what he wants to believe, leaving those who can least afford it to pay the price.”
The USA is in big trouble. Its economy is in a bubble which will burst soon. So is the inflated housing market. Recession, if not depression, will be the consequence.
Indication of a Coming Recession
The Washington Post wrote on August 14:
“U.S. stocks tumbled at open Wednesday after the inverted yield curve, one of the most reliable indicators of a recession, sparked a new wave of investor fears, erasing the short-lived bump from Tuesday’s trade easing. For the first time since 2007, the yields on short-term U.S. bonds eclipsed those of long-term bonds. This phenomenon, which suggests investors’ faith in the economy is faltering, has preceded every recession in the last 50 years. Recessions typically come within 18 to 24 months after the yield curve inverts…”
npr agreed, stating on August 14:
“Stocks are falling sharply Wednesday on deepening worries over a slowdown in the global economy. The Dow has dropped more than 600 [our note: the market dropped 800] points, or 2.5%… Germany posted negative growth in the latest quarter, and China’s industrial output fell to a 17-year low.
“An even bigger worry: The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell below 2-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007… Such an inversion in yields has a strong track record of predicting a recession, especially the longer it continues. Each of the last seven recessions, dating back to 1969, were preceded by the 10-year falling below the 2-year.”
Reuters and The Algemeiner wrote on August 15:
“Oil fell by three points to below $58 a barrel on Thursday, extending the previous session’s 3% drop, pressured by mounting recession concerns…”
The Dow Jones recovered somewhat on Thursday, until the next drop. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled “America’s Fragile Economy–the Calm before the Storm!”
Government Leads in the Wrong Way…
The Week wrote on August 13:
“The U.S. budget deficit grew to $867 billion for the first 10 months of the fiscal year, an increase of 27 percent compared to this time in 2018, the Treasury Department reported Monday. The deficit for fiscal year 2018 was $779 billion. The fiscal year ends on September 30, and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget predicts by that point, the deficit will reach $1 trillion for the year.
“Experts say the 2017 Republican tax plan, which included $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, is one reason why the deficit is growing so much. Spending is also up, and while tax revenue increased by 3 percent since October 1, federal spending is up 8 percent. Spending is only going to continue to increase, as a two-year budget deal signed into law by President Trump this month will raise spending by $320 billion.”
When the government spends without discretion, the subjects will follow that bad example. Note the next article.
The USA – a Debtor Nation?
The New York Post wrote on August 11:
“More consumers nationwide are falling behind on their payments and filing for bankruptcy to resolve overwhelming debt loads… And unmanageable debt is also forcing more companies to file for bankruptcy, triggering a wave of job cuts…
“Meanwhile, record American household debt, near $14 trillion including mortgages and student loans, is some $1 trillion higher than during the Great Recession of 2008. Credit card debt of $1 trillion also exceeds the 2008 peak. Americans are spending heavily, again — and often recklessly, say analysts…
“Dick Bove, a financial strategist at Odeon Capital Group in New York [said that] ‘I feel very confident — unfortunately — that there will be increases in bankruptcies.’”
Some may end up in debt due to unforeseen circumstances, through ungodly conduct of others and through no fault of their own. However, the Bible warns against going into debt, due to reckless spending to fulfill one’s greed and desires. Many Americans have never learned how to live within their means. But the Bible says, “The borrower is servant to the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). This warning is directed at the US government as well. After all, US national debt which is owed by the government is over 22 Trillion dollars.
Further Outrageous Immigration Restrictions for LEGAL Immigrants!
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 12:
“US President Donald Trump’s administration announced a new set of rules on Monday aimed at blocking legal immigrants who need public assistance from receiving permanent residency or citizenship… In order to apply for a green card (a permanent residency permit) or citizenship, applicants must prove that they are not a ‘public charge’ or burden on the state… Under the new regulations, this means that immigrants using the government-run health program Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps or other public benefits for a certain period of time will be disqualified.
“Immigrants who are seeking to come to the US legally will also be blocked from entering the country if they are deemed likely to need public assistance. The rules will not apply to children receiving public benefits or pregnant women who are on Medicaid. Programs including emergency medical assistance, homeless shelters or disaster relief are also excluded from the rules change.
“The change could impact the 22 million legal residents who are not yet citizens… The rules change has also raised concerns that immigrants will no longer seek help or assistance in order to not jeopardize their green card or citizenship applications. In a statement, the White House said the new rules were aimed at targeting ‘large numbers of non-citizens and their families’ who use benefits. However, an analysis of census data carried out by the Associated Press found that immigrants make up only a small portion of those receiving benefits in the US and access those services at a much lower rate than US citizens.”
The Washington Post wrote on August 12:
“The new policy for ‘Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds’… sets new standards for obtaining permanent residency and U.S. citizenship… The Trump administration will broaden the public charge definition to encompass not just those primarily dependent on public assistance programs, but anyone who uses a public benefit, including publicly funded health care programs including Medicaid, food stamps, other nutrition-related programs, or housing assistance…
“Factors that can count against a green card applicant include having ‘a medical condition’ that will interfere with work or school; not having enough money to cover ‘any reasonably foreseeable medical costs’ related to such a medical condition; having ‘financial liabilities;’ having been approved to receive a public benefit, even if the individual has not actually received the benefit; having a low credit score; the absence of private health insurance; the absence of a college degree; not having the English language skills ‘sufficient to enter the job market;’ or having a sponsor who is ‘unlikely’ to provide financial support…
“Immigration advocates expect the rule to draw an immediate flurry of lawsuits…”
npr wrote on August 12:
“A preliminary draft published last year drew more than 260,000 comments. Many of the comments expressed outrage that the administration would penalize immigrants for using benefits that they are legally entitled to receive… Under the rule, green card and visa applicants can be denied not merely for being ‘primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,’ as in the past, but if they are likely to need public assistance ‘at any time.’…
“The new rule would apply not retroactively but to future applicants for green cards and visas. Past use of most benefits would not be held against the applicant, and neither would the use of such benefits by dependents and other family members…” Adding on August 13, npr quoted acting immigration chief Ken Cuccinelli as saying: “The new rule will go into effect Oct. 15, and only government aid used after that point will be assessed.”
However, this seems to contradict what is expressed in the next article.
Axios added on August 12:
“The new rule will go into effect 60 days after it is published in the register [which will be on August 14]. At the same time, the Trump administration is planning to find ways to force immigrant sponsors to pay the government back for any use of public benefits by the immigrants they’ve sponsored. Trump gave government agencies 90 days to implement such rules in a May memo.”
Words fail! This is INCREDIBLE!!!!!! This is NOT in line with the American dream but resembles policies employed in Nazi Germany and Communist Russia and China. God condemns such inhumane practices and curses a country which engages in them.
Trump’s Betrayal of America
The Week wrote on August 13:
“Under the new policy, federal authorities will use ‘aggressive’ wealth tests to reject residency or citizenship for an immigrant ‘because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge’ — receiving food stamps or other taxpayer-funded welfare state benefits…
“This is a betrayal of America’s historic promise: The immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island a century ago did not, for the most part, come here on private yachts or in first-class berths. They came here to build new lives for themselves, and in the process, helped build their new country…”
The Los Angeles Times added on August 13:
“Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has redefined a public charge as someone who is ‘more likely than not’ to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now weigh whether applicants have received public assistance along with other factors such as education, income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.”
First Lawsuit Filed
The Hill wrote on August 14:
“Two California counties on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit against the Trump administration’s new ‘public charge’ rule… The National Immigration Law Center said it will sue the administration…New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) announced Monday that she would sue over the rule, while California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) vowed to fight the rule.”
The 23-page complaint filed by the City and County of San Francisco and Santa Clara is an eye-opener regarding the appalling nature of the reinterpretation of the public charge concept. It would include, inter alia, non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D subsidies, credit history and credit scores and the mere application for benefits, even if they were denied.
It would even include all those legal residents who apply for changes or “adjustment” of status (for instance, green card holders applying for citizenship or retuning to the USA after a 180-day absence) or extensions of visas, requiring of them to prove that they have not received enumerated public benefits and are unlikely to receive them in the future. Until now, it had been the universal rule, as understood by the INS and numerous court decisions, based on “the plain statutory meaning, historical usage, and case law, and extensive consultation with benefit-granting agencies,” that the “public charge” requirement does not include non-cash benefits such as Medicaid, housing assistance, food stamps, etc.
The complaint concludes that the new policy is not only harmful, but that it is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and unlawful. Assuming that the matter will end up before the US Supreme Court, it will have to be seen how their politically motivated judges will decide.
As this matter could have great negative consequences for members of all of the Churches of God, as well as their families, it would be advisable to pray to God that He intervenes and prevents the enforcement of this new rule.
Suicide of Epstein Fishy and Suspicious
The Washington Examiner wrote on August 10:
“Many reactions to the Saturday morning suicide death of alleged sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein expressed suspicion around the circumstances of his death. Epstein allegedly killed himself in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center early Saturday morning…
“His death follows the unsealing of 2,000 pages of documents on Friday that implicated many other high-profile individuals in Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring.”
The Huffington Post had reported on August 9 that “[a]nother batch of documents [was] expected to be released in the coming weeks…”
The Week added on August 10 about his previous “suicide attempt”: “Epstein… previously found in his cell in July semi-conscious with marks around his neck from what two sources said may have been an attempt to hang himself, while other sources suggested he may have faked, or actually been the victim of, an attack.”
Fox News reported on August 10:
“President Trump added fuel to the conspiracy theories surrounding multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide on Saturday when he retweeted a post that implied former President Bill Clinton was linked to Epstein’s death. The tweet came from self-described comedian Terrence K. Williams who echoed many on social media in suggesting a connection between the Clintons and Epstein… Williams’ video argued that ‘for some odd reason, people with information on the Clintons end up dead and they usually die from suicide.’”
JTA wrote on August 11:
“Jail guards failed to check Jeffrey Epstein in his cell every 30 minutes per procedure… In addition, the jail had transferred his cellmate and allowed Epstein to be housed alone in a cell just two weeks after he had been taken off suicide watch, a violation of regular procedure…”
Doubts galore. It reminds us of the alleged suicide by former Nazi Deputy Chancellor or Fuehrer Rudolf Hess in a Russian prison in Spandau, Germany, in 1987. He was the only inmate. After his death, the prison was demolished. Very few doubt that the Russians killed him.
Straight Parade Denied
The Washington Times wrote on August 11:
“Modesto city officials [in Northern California] denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park. Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization.
“Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities. City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use. However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.”
We wonder whether the organizers of gay pride parades always have liability insurance. How biblical values have been turned upside down in this world ruled by Satan.
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.
God says that He is a jealous God. How can that be?
The first reference to God saying that He is a jealous God can be found in Exodus 20:5 where we read: “…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” This is part of the second of God’s Ten Commandments.
Young’s Analytical Concordance shows that the word for jealousy in this verse is “qanna” which can mean zealous and jealous. The same word is used in the same context in other verses as follows:
Exodus 34:14: “…for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God…”
Deuteronomy 4:24: “For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
Deuteronomy 5:9: “… you shall not bow down to them [carved images] nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me…”
In passing, the meaning of this verse, and also the one in Exodus 20:5, quoted above, is explained in our Q&A, titled “What does it mean that God will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him (compare Exodus 20:5)?” In short, it points out that the negative conduct of the parents may have in many cases a negative impact on the children, but the children are not doomed to have to follow their parent’s bad example.
Deuteronomy 6:15: “…(for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.”
The word “ganno”, also meaning zealous and jealous, is used in Joshua 24:19 and Nahum 1:2, also referring to God being a jealous God. There are a number of other references too. We can quickly understand that God is zealous which can be defined as “jealous for the good or the promotion of some person or object; ardent; eager; fervent; devoted.” That is a quality of God and must also be a quality that we must have. It is not within the scope of this Q&A to look at the zealous nature of God but to answer the question about jealousy.
Deuteronomy 4:23-24 states: “Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the LORD your God has forbidden you. For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”
The following Scriptures also show that God would not accept unfaithfulness towards Him and had to be first in the lives of the ancient nation of Israel and, therefore by extension, in our lives today:
Leviticus 18:3: “According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.”
Leviticus 20:23: “And you shall not walk in the statutes of the nation which I am casting out before you; for they commit all these things, and therefore I abhor them.”
Deuteronomy 12:30: “… take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them [pagan nations], after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’”
They were instructed to put God first, to love God with every fiber of their being, to teach God’s Way to their children and not to learn the way of the heathen. Nothing else would be acceptable.
God was making sure that His people kept Him at the center of their lives, and we should do exactly the same today.
We know that God is perfect in every way. How then do we understand the verses quoted above?
One commentator observed that “this is part of the second commandment – you shall have no other gods before God. The meaning is clear, beautiful and as righteous as a man being jealous for his wife. In an environment where many gods compete for the affection of man God is intensely competitive in vying for the affections of His people.”
God was “jealous” in the sense that He expected full devotion, not merely a partial, lukewarm commitment. Worship belongs to God, and He is right to be “jealous” of it.
God entered into a committed relationship with the ancient nation of Israel. In Exodus 19:4-6 we read: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
The commitment was that Israel was to “obey My voice” and “if you keep My covenant”, as God put it. The demands of the covenant were the laws and statutes that regulated the relationship between Israel and God and between the Israelites themselves. We read the response from the Israelites in Exodus 19:8: “Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” So, Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.” Agreement had been reached.
We know that Israel reneged on these commitments time and time again. We can read this in Psalm 78:10-11, where the sub-heading to the chapter in the New King James Bible is “God’s kindness to rebellious Israel”: “They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, And forgot His works And His wonders that He had shown them.”
As the people of God, Israel failed miserably much of the time. As the people of God and “spiritual Israel” today, we have a special relationship with God. In our booklet “God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships” we state on page 26 the following: “As we can see from Ephesians 5:31-32, Paul is addressing here the mystery of the relationship between Christ and His Church. He emphasizes that those who are called must come out of the ways of this world in order to be joined with Christ. Christ must be continuously living within them (1 John 2:15–17; Romans 12:2; Galatians 2:20). Paul also shows that the physical institution of marriage is pointing at a spiritual union between God and man. It is pointing at a spiritual marriage between Christ and His Church.”
In 2 Corinthians 11:2, the apostle Paul wrote: ”For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul desired that the church be fully devoted to Christ. His “jealousy” was one of wanting the very best for the Church and their relationship with God. Anything that would divert their attention and commitment of worshipping God would be seen as a disaster. That was a type of Godly jealousy, where Paul earnestly wanted the best outcome for the Church which would be their closeness and commitment to worshipping God.
If Paul could be “jealous” for God in the right way, how much more would the perfect Creator God have righteous jealousy for the spiritual well-being of His people?
However, jealousy with man is usually a very negative force. In the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:20, we read some traits to be avoided: “idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,” none of which, along with the other “works of the flesh,” are to be part of a true Christian’s way of life.
In 1 Corinthians 10:22 we read: “Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” This was talking about idolatry, and it is a very dangerous exercise to provoke God in such a way; particularly, when true Christians should have known then, and should know today, that God always has our best interests at heart and God’s jealousy is based on his love and concern for us. He wants us to make it into His kingdom – for eternity!
We can see that jealousy is used in God’s Word in both a positive and a negative way. When jealousy is used as an attribute of carnal man, it is invariably used in a negative way, but when used as an attribute of God, it is always used in a positive sense because God is perfect in all His ways.
Isaiah 42:8 contains more than just a clue as to why God is a jealous God: “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.” He clearly states that He will not share His praise with any other so-called god as He is the only true God and all the other gods are just idols from the imagination of man. He looks after His own and protects us mightily and that is divine jealousy, all in the best interests of man.
In Matthew 10:37 we read: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
This Christian struggle of choosing God above all else is vividly described in James 4:4-5, where we read: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?”
We have to live a life worthy of our calling. In 1 John 2:6 we read: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” By following such instructions we will be able to get our priorities right and God will be first in our lives. It has been said and written many times that God should be first, followed, in that order, by our mate, our children and then our job, but how many times have we failed to get our priorities right?
In the Church of God, we have often used the phrase that God’s jealousy can be defined as “intolerant of unfaithfulness.” God demands of us, for our own benefit, complete fidelity to Him as He knows what is best for us and guides us down that path through the lead of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the jealousy of the carnal human mind is always linked to envy and covetousness of which we must not be guilty. The difference between Godly jealousy and man’s jealousy is unbridgeable.
We should be very grateful that God is a jealous God as He has the very best interests of all of His people at heart.
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
The text for our new German booklet has been sent to Shelly Bruno for finalization. It is the German translation of our English booklet, “The Book of Zechariah–Prophecies for Today!” In German: “Das Buch Sacharja—Prophezeiungen für die heutige Zeit!”
“America’s Fragile Economy–the Calm before the Storm!” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
We hear that America’s economy is booming. But how good is it really… or how fragile? This program discusses the real winners and losers in the US-China trade war as well as the US government’s astronomical debt and its budget deficit due to reckless spending, which bad example is followed by many American citizens.
“Ist Stolz immer verkehrt, oder gibt es berechtigten Stolz?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Is Pride Always Wrong, or Is there Justified Pride?”
“Mass Shooting, Satanism and the Third Temple (Comments on News and Prophecy August 10, 2019),” presented by Norbert Link last Sabbath, is now posted. Here is a summary:
It is obvious that the Dayton Ohio murderer who killed nine innocent victims was acting because of his fascination with Satanism, while being demonically influenced or possessed. Satan’s activities are becoming more and more blatant. At the same time, the fulfillment of other end-time prophecies evolve around the building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem and President Trump’s potential role regarding the same, as he himself seems to be aware of. You might be surprised to learn about most recent developments in this regard.
“Small to Big,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
How can we as True Christians relate to the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13?
“Christian Evolution,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
As a Christian, it is imperative to change. But how should one change? Why should one change? Does God expect it? And if so, how can we do so in our modern busy world?
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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