September 27, 2019
The Only Thing to Fear; Sustaining Our Light in Darkness
On, September 28, 2019, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “The Only Thing to Fear,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, title, “Sustaining Our Light in Darkness.”
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.
Monday, September 30, 2019, is a Holy Day—the Feast of Trumpets. Services will be broadcast live in the morning and afternoon. Morning services will begin at 10:00 am Pacific Time, and afternoon services will begin at 3:00 pm Pacific Time. Morning: The sermonette will be presented by Dave Harris, titled, “A Great Sound!” and the sermon will be presented by Eric Rank, titled, “Special.” Afternoon: The Offertory will be presented by Kalon Mitchell, and the sermon will be presented by Norbert Link, titled, “The Warning of the Watchmen.”
Acts of God
by Robb Harris
Recently, we had hail damage to an automobile totaling several thousand dollars. Our insurer covered the cost of repairs. Several years ago we filed an insurance claim for damage to our roof, also from hail, which insurance covered as well. These kinds of unexpected natural occurrences are usually covered by insurance, to a point. We know of someone who was dropped from their insurance company for filing too many claims for roof damage.
While it seems counterintuitive to lose insurance for using it, insurance companies are built on calculating risks. One consumer advocate states, “Filing more than one claim per year could cause your insurance company to drop you. So, say your vehicle is vandalized a few times, or stolen, or your vehicle is carried away by a flood, you’ll make a claim with your insurer, and rightfully so, but making too many claims (of any type) can make you too expensive of a customer to keep around” (clark.com).
Most of the industrialized world relies on the insurance industry for protection of property and health issues. But we know that reliance on these institutions is not lasting, nor will they stand for long with the nearing judgement upon mankind. The prophet Daniel stated, “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Everyone who is found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Reliance on anything that is of man will not deliver or protect oneself in the Day of the Lord. Any assurances we give ourselves, that aren’t focused on God, will be worthless. As Ezekiel stated of this time, “…Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them In the day of the wrath of the LORD…” (Ezekiel 7:19).
God has based the growth of His family on risk as well. But He stands by the choice to call each of us as long as we commit to relying upon Him for true salvation. “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” (Deuteronomy 4:7 ESV).
Judgement for sin is an inevitable truth that the world ignores. Our escape from this judgement is being built daily as each of us strives to overcome the sins that ensnare this world. The meaningful acts of God are “…faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
God’s Holy and infallible Word is our best assurance for the future events that will unfold upon this earth. It was decreed to His angels to conduct themselves soon in this way: “‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’ And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed…” (Revelation 7:3-4). Let’s be sure that each of us invests in our insurance plan with God—today—before calamities are at our door.
by Norbert Link
We begin with renewed attempts to impeach Donald Trump and we explain as to why they will fail, no matter what. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Impeaching Donald Trump? No Way—and here Is WHY!”
We also report on the UK Supreme Court’s decision finding that Boris Johnson’s conduct to suspend Parliament was unlawful. We report on Russia’s ongoing persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses and on a ridiculous, but quite alarming, unbinding resolution of California’s state legislature.
We speak on Italy’s and Germany’s popular far-right parties; and address the dangerous escalation involving the USA, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, as well as, potentially, other countries such as Israel, China and Russia.
We report on Netanyahu’s fight for political survival and his desperate attempt to form a coalition government; Egypt’s dictatorship; and the collapse of the Thomas Cook airline and its devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of customers and employees.
We conclude with the “blackface” and the “gender fight” nonsense.
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
Trump in Hot Water… Again!
The Associated Press wrote on September 20:
“President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer [during a phone conversation] to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden… It was the latest revelation in an escalating controversy that has created a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration…
“During a rambling interview Thursday on CNN, Giuliani was asked whether he had asked Ukraine to look into Biden. He initially said, ‘No, actually I didn’t,’ but seconds later he said, ‘Of course I did.’”
The Wall Street Journal reported that over the course of the call, Trump encouraged Ukraine’s new leader, Zelenskiy, eight times to work with Giuliani on an investigation into the Bidens. A rough five-page transcript of a reportedly almost 30-minutes-long phone conversation, which was subsequently released by the White House, does not support this allegation. In fact, “Biden” is only expressly mentioned twice in the entire transcribed conversation, and “Biden’s son” is only mentioned once.
… But So May Be Biden…
The Daily Mail wrote on September 23:
“In 2014… Biden’s son Hunter was hired to sit on the board of a Ukrainian gas company…
“Trump has urged reporters to ‘look into’ Biden’s comments in early 2016 when the then-VP said the Obama administration would freeze $1 billion in American loan guarantees unless Kiev fired its top prosecutor, who was looking into the gas company…
“On Saturday, the former vice president said he never speaks to his son about his overseas business dealings. Hunter Biden said the opposite in an interview for a July article in The New Yorker…”
Vice President Pence stated in an interview with Fox on September 23 that while there was no evidence for a quid pro quo regarding the dealings between Trump and Zelenskiy, there was allegedly much evidence of a quid pro quo regarding the dealings between Biden and the Ukrainian government. In fact, there is suspicion of a quid pro quo on both sides; that is, regarding Biden and his son (for instance, Sen. Rand Paul said, “Biden is the one who threatened Ukraine’s aid, not Trump, and that has to be investigated”) as well as other Democratic senators who allegedly threatened to withhold aid, unless Ukraine were to act in a particular way, as well as regarding Trump. Prior to his phone conversation with Zelenskiy, Trump had withheld money approved by Congress to be given to Ukraine, and in the released transcript of the phone conversation, statements are made which could be construed as an attempt of a quid pro quo arrangement. Democrats are now raising again the ghost of impeachment (see articles below). Whatever they may want to do, Trump will stay in office and he will be reelected in 2020.
And Now… the “Whistleblower” Complaint
Axios wrote on September 25:
“House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday after reviewing the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint behind closed doors that the materials he viewed ‘exposed serious wrongdoing’… The Democratic members who were willing to speak to reporters… expressed alarm at the contents of the complaint…
“Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas)… said he didn’t think the report was that damaging, and that the information in it doesn’t justify impeachment. He did say the report provided information that went beyond the transcript. Ratcliffe also said lawmakers don’t know who the whistleblower is…
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi… told reporters that… the whistleblower complaint… had been ‘retroactively classified’ by the Trump administration.”
The complaint shows that the whistleblower was not even a witness to the phone conversation, but only heard about it second- or third hand. In a court of law, such “testimony” would be totally inadmissible. However, impeachment procedures have nothing to do with the law, but they simply constitute a political circus.
Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano Charges Trump with a Crime
Fox News reported on September 24:
“Judge Andrew Napolitano told Fox News host Shepard Smith on Tuesday that the president effectively confessed to a crime when he admitted he asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Napolitano, a Fox News senior judicial analyst, had framed President Trump’s earlier statement as an admission that he tried to ‘solicit aid for his campaign from a foreign government.’
“‘So that to which the president has admitted is in and of itself a crime,’ Smith followed. Napolitano responded, ‘yes’… Napolitano indicated that the president’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, could have committed a crime if he urged Ukraine to investigate Biden in a bid to help the president’s reelection efforts…”
Napolitano was impolitely accused of being a “fool,” but in a Fox News interview with Shepard Smith the next day (September 25), he stood by his prior comments. What an incredible mess. Chaos rules Washington. But if the Democrats’ attempt to actually impeach Trump fails—which is expected—then this will undoubtedly help Trump for his reelection in 2020. Note the next articles.
Pelosi’s Incredible Blunder
The Week commented on September 24:
“On Tuesday evening Nancy Pelosi made one of the most colossal blunders in the modern history of American electoral politics… she set aside her own instincts and announced the beginning of formal impeachment proceedings against President Trump on the basis of a third-hand rumor about a phone call with the president of a Eurasian republic.
“Pelosi knows this will not be popular. She knows more than that. She knows that it will be a disaster for the Democratic Party, that it will inflame the president’s base and inspire even his most lukewarm supporters with a sense of outrage. She knows that in states like Michigan, upon which her party’s chances in 2020 will depend, the question of impeachment does not poll well. She knows, further, that Joe Biden will not be able to spend the next 14 or so months refusing to answer questions about the activities of his son, Hunter, in Ukraine, and that increased scrutiny of the vice president’s record in office will not redound to his credit.”
Why Trump Won’t Be Impeached
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 24:
“The founders of the United States gave Congress powers [to] remove from office ‘the president, vice president, and all civil officers of the United States’ if the accused is convicted of ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’
“Simply put, to impeach means to bring charges similar to an indictment in court… The House has the ‘sole power of impeachment.’… The House debates and votes on whether to bring charges by a simple majority of the House’s 435 members…
“The Senate has the ‘sole power to try all impeachments; meaning that it has the power to convict. When the president is tried, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over proceedings. Only two presidents in US history have been impeached: Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. However, neither was removed from office by the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned to avoid a House impeachment vote.
“The House has initiated impeachment proceedings more than 60 times. However, only a third of cases resulted in full impeachment. Just 8 officials — all federal judges have been convicted and removed from office… For the president to be removed from office, a two-thirds majority in the 100-seat Senate must vote to convict. If they do, the president must step down. In the case of Donald Trump, his Republican party currently controls the Senate, making it highly unlikely he will be forced out.”
That’s why “The Week” felt that Pelosi, in trying to appease left-wing radicals in the Democratic Party, made a colossal blunder.
Trump Accused Germany and France
Deutsche Welle reported on September 25 that in the released transcript of the phone conversation between Trump and Zelenskiy, the following was stated:
“In his conversation with Zelenskiy, Trump also lauded US support for Ukraine, adding that European countries, especially Germany, ‘should be doing much more.’ ‘Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about,’ Trump said according to the transcript. ‘When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything.’ Zelenskiy agreed with Trump, and said the US president’s criticism was ‘1000% absolutely right.’
“Zelenskiy said he had asked both Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to do more on enforcing sanctions against Russia. ‘They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine,’ Zelenskiy said in the transcript, adding that although the EU should ‘logically’ be Ukraine’s strongest partner, in fact, the US ‘is a much bigger partner’ than the EU.’
According to the Bible, the relationship between Europe and Ukraine will drastically deteriorate, and so will of course the relationship between the USA and Germany.
Boris Johnson’s Suspension of Parliament Unlawful
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 24:
“The UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful. The ruling [of the 11 judges] was unanimous. No further appeal by the government is possible. ‘This was not a normal prorogation in the run-up to a Queen’s Speech,’ said Brenda Hale, the president of the Supreme Court. ‘The court is bound to conclude, therefore, that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful.’ It means that ‘the prorogation was void and of no effect.’ Parliament can therefore reconvene ‘as soon as possible,’ she concluded.
“Responding to the decision, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would abide by the court ruling. Speaking from a UN General Assembly in New York, Johnson also said he ‘strongly’ disagreed with the Supreme Court…
“The leader of the Brexit party and the founder of UKIP, Nigel Farage, took [shots] at prime minister’s trusted adviser, Dominic Cummings, who allegedly spearheaded the idea of suspending Parliament. ‘The calling of a Queen’s Speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever,’ Farage said on Twitter. ‘Dominic Cummings must go.’”
The Sun wrote on September 24:
“The ruling represents a catastrophic blow for Boris with the loss now allowing Remainer MPs more time to block us leaving the EU – with just 37 days until the Halloween deadline… [It] will have far-reaching consequences for Britain for years to come – and could make it harder for future PM’s to shut down Parliament… Despite the drama – Boris Johnson can’t be forced out by today’s ruling.
“MPs could try and table a vote of no confidence in him when Parliament does come back. If he loses, he would have 14 days to command control of the House, or a general election is automatically called. With Boris now in a minority government he would be unlikely to win such a vote – meaning an election is sure to happen within weeks. However, Remainer MPs and Labour would be incredibly wary of this because it could cause Britain to crash out without a deal on October 31…
“Brexit is still set to take place at the end of October as planned. But Remainers passed a new law earlier this month which would force the PM to seek a third Brexit extension if he hasn’t got a deal in place. Boris has repeatedly saying he won’t ask for another delay, but hasn’t said what he will do instead.”
What an incredible mess. Chaos rules in Britain.
Queen in Middle of Political Storm
BBC News wrote on September 24:
“This is precisely where the Queen does not want to be – right in the middle of a political and constitutional hurricane, with the Supreme Court redefining the relationship between judiciary, legislature, government and monarch… what happened today was painful for the Palace…
“It wasn’t just Mr Johnson’s request for a prorogation that was found by the Supreme Court to be unlawful, void and of no effect. It was also the Order in Council, the legal mechanism that the Queen personally approves, that was found to be unlawful, void and of no effect… More importantly, the Queen has been dragged by the PM’s unlawful prorogation into the place where for decades politicians have agreed she should never be – right into a domestic political argument…
“Elizabeth… has been a conservative monarch, content to play little more than a symbolic and ceremonial role. She understands that her position is dependent on her staying deep in the shadows of government. But now daylight has flooded in. No wonder the Palace has decided to stay silent.”
None of that sounds good as the Queen is deemed more or less as being “untouchable” in Britain.
Ongoing Russia’s Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 20:
“A Russian court has sentenced six Jehovah’s Witnesses to jail [of two up to three-and-half years] for belonging to an ‘extremist organization’ in the western city of Satatov. Since 2017 the movement founded in the USA has been outlawed in Russia… which reportedly has 170,000 followers in Russia and 8 million worldwide.
“Russia’s Orthodox Church which is allied with President Vladimir Putin, had cast Jehovah’s Witnesses — who reject military service and blood transfusions — as belonging to a foreign sect that erodes state institutions… Thursday’s jailings followed the conviction and jailing for six years of a Danish individual in Russia for his association with Jehovah’s Witnesses last May…
“Over 250 in Russia are facing criminal charges, with 41 in detention and 23 under house arrest, according to the movement… Those convicted, all men, had been jailed for nothing, said Rachel Denber of the US-based Human Rights Watch.”
Shameful… and no one in a governmental position raises their voices in opposition to Russia’s abominable conduct.
California Resolution Blames ‘Religious Groups’ for LGBT Suicides
Life Site News wrote on September 17:
“The California legislature has voted in a resolution that blames ‘religious groups’ who hold to biblical understandings of sex and gender as responsible for ‘disproportionately high rates’ of suicide among homosexuals and transgenders.
“Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 declares that homosexuality and transgenderism are ‘part of natural variations that occur in sexual orientation and gender identity’ and condemns counseling services that help people resolve unwanted gender confusion or same-sex attraction… The resolution… has no legal force but formalizes the official position of the state legislature…
“Despite the common pro-LGBT narrative that outside ‘stigma’ is the primary driver of LGBT suicides, a wealth of data suggests otherwise. Research out of LGBT-friendly Sweden has found that homosexual and transgender residents remain more likely to attempt or commit suicide, despite having achieved the type of culture advocated by ACR 99.
“The University of Cambridge’s Stonewall report found that 96% of trans students in Scotland attempted self-harm through actions such as cutting themselves, and 40% attempted suicide. 40% in the United States have attempted suicide, as well, according to a 2016 survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). According to a 2011 study from Sweden, trans people remain 19 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population, even after ‘sex-change’ surgery.”
That should make us think. But the carnal human mind, which is ruled by Satan, is hostile towards the Law of God condemning homosexuality, transgender and other sexual abnormalities. It is incapable of understanding or keeping God’s true values.
The Daily Mail wrote on September 21:
“Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died on September 3, prompting his family to search his home in Illinois. His widow found 2,246 preserved aborted fetuses that he had been keeping since 2000 in their garage. They were being kept in sealed bags filled with formalin, a preservative. The Chicago Tribune reports that they had dates on them but police will not verify that detail. They say however he carried out the abortions between 2000 and 2002…
“Klopfer… was once known as Indiana’s ‘most prolific abortion doctor’ but was hit with a spate of malpractice allegations towards the end of his career. In 2016, he had his license suspended for a number of violations including failing to report abortions on two 13-year-old girls.”
These are the evil fruits of the ungodly practices of abortion.
Italy’s Salvini—His Comeback Certain?
The EUObserver wrote on September 20:
“Italian politics is never short of drama, and the past few weeks have been no exception… [As Salvini] now retreats to lick his wounds, there will be one thing only on his mind: a glorious comeback. A 21st century March on Rome… And in all likelihood, all he would have to do is sit back and await his turn… The alliance between the two longstanding foes has looked dysfunctional from the start… Their loose 26-point joint programme will almost certainly be unable to [endure]…
“All the while, Salvini will be on a war footing, whipping up a blizzard across the land in preparation for the inescapable general election. And that’s where Salvini will flourish… Over the past year in government, he has monopolised the public debate with his anti-migrant rhetoric, belligerent attitude towards Brussels, and extensive social media following… His zero-tolerance approach to irregular migration, including a ban on migrant-rescuing NGO vessels docking in Italian ports, has won him many supporters…
“And as the new government begins to unpick his hard-line policies and move towards a more conciliatory relationship with the EU, expect public anger to grow and for Salvini to duly capitalise on it… if there’s one certainty in Italian politics, it’s that stable governments are not the order of the day. Much less when they’re composed of two sworn enemies. On that basis, Salvini will be making a return sooner rather than later. And this time it could well be as prime minister, at the head of a hard-right coalition with the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy party.
“October local elections will give an early indication of the impact the saga has had on the Lega vote, with opinion polls currently giving them as much as a 13 point lead at 33 percent. That’s only likely to increase as the government fumbles. Salvini’s recent gambit may have failed but dismiss him at your peril – in his own words ‘From today you will find me even more…. [omitted] and determined. I will go from town to town and we will take this country back.’”
Italy to Join the EU Military Coalition
The Defense Post wrote on September 19:
“Italy’s government said… that it is ready to join a European military coalition to react to crises near the continent’s borders, as the country’s new government rekindled ties with the E.U.… Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom have signed up [already]…”
With Italy, the military coalition would consist of ten nations, but the United Kingdom will not remain a member for long.
Germany’s AfD –as Powerful as Ever
NPR wrote on September 20:
“The center-left coalition governments in both Brandenburg and Saxony managed to hold onto power by just single percentage points. The two state elections confirmed what political analysts have been warning for years: that the [extreme right-wing party] AfD is rapidly gaining popularity among German voters. In 2013, when the party was founded, it didn’t have enough votes to sit in Germany’s Bundestag or parliament. Six years later, the AfD is now the third-largest party in Germany, winning 94 of the Bundestag’s 704 seats in the last federal elections…
“Polling data released this week shows that… the AfD… is rapidly gaining in national popularity. A monthly survey by the Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach shows the AfD achieving its highest popularity score all year among voters throughout Germany… Political analysts will be closely watching the upcoming state elections in the eastern state of Thuringia on Oct. 27, where the AfD is polling neck-and-neck with centrist and leftist parties.”
The incredible success of extreme right-wing parties in Europe such as the AFD in Germany will force the “established” main-stream parties to turn more and more to the right.
Trump Sends Troops to Saudi Arabia
The Sun wrote on September 21:
“DONALD Trump will send troops [as well as military hardware] to Saudi Arabia after a drone attack on the world’s biggest oil plant. The US President confirmed the deployment of US forces as tensions ramp up in the Middle East amid fears of a vicious new war… Defense Secretary Mark Esper said today the attack was a ‘dramatic escalation of Iranian aggression’… Esper said ‘all indications are that Iran was responsible for’ the drone attack on the world’s biggest oil plant that could cut the world’s supply in half…”
Germany, Britain and France said on Monday that Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities.
US-Iranian Tensions Escalate
The Telegraph wrote on September 22:
“Iran’s president has warned American and other foreign forces to ‘stay away’ from the region, as Tehran paraded long-range missiles capable of reaching American bases… and arch-foe Israel…”
Trump’s Misconceived Middle East Policy
The Guardian wrote on September 21:
“The president’s immediate reaction to the attacks was to declare the US ‘locked and loaded’ for retaliatory strikes. Then… Trump switched tack, saying the attacks were no big deal, even as global oil prices rocketed, because the US no longer needed Middle East energy. That’s not strictly true. Official figures show the US imported 48 million barrels of oil and petroleum products a month from the Gulf in 2018…
“Trump ended the week still trying to have it both ways. He imposed additional sanctions on Iran and ordered a limited number of troops to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for defensive purposes… It had become painfully clear Trump simply had no idea what to do… he… has no strategy, no back-up plan – and no clue…
“Trump could start firing off missiles at any moment. His unpredictability is part of the problem. The Iranians, emboldened, could overplay their hand… Military analysts say missile strikes, or a naval blockade of Iranian ports, would invite devastating retaliation. After the Iraq experience, ground troops are out of the question…
“European governments… blame aggressive US policy for the current escalation. Britain does not say so in public, but Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, is not so timid…
“All told, Trump’s misconceived Iran policy has suffered a comprehensive, very public drubbing… The harshest reality laid bare… is that the age-old fight between Iran and Saudi Arabia is not necessarily America’s fight – and few Americans believe that murderous Saudi royal despots are worth dying for.”
This article is quoted to show Europe’s perspective without taking ourselves a position on the issue.
China’s Giant $400 Billion Iran Investment Complicates U.S. Options
Forbes wrote on September 19:
“Amidst historic U.S. – Iran tensions, Beijing is doubling-down on its strategic partnership with Tehran, ignoring U.S. efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic from global markets… the two countries agreed to update a 25-year program signed in 2016, to include an unprecedented $400 billion of investment in the Iranian economy…
“[Iran] has little choice but to forge a closer relationship with China… Russia, too, is a major Iranian partner, weapons and nuclear, rocket, and military technology supplier.”
The Bible indicates that a collaboration will indeed exist between China, Russia and Iran.
Netanyahu Fights for His Political Survival
Reuters wrote on September 20:
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced Israeli media headlines on Friday suggesting power is slipping from his grasp…
“Netanyahu and Gantz will now seek potential coalition allies, prominent among whom is the far-right former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman. He secured eight seats for his Yisrael Beitenu party, making him a potential kingmaker.
“Increased turnout by Israel’s 21-percent Arab minority saw the Arab-dominated Joint List coalition grouping win 13 seats, making it the third largest grouping…”
Both Netanyahu und Gantz insist that they should be the next Prime Minister. They are now also toying with the idea to create a rotating office of Prime Minister to prevent the prospect of a third election — the mandatory last resort if nobody can form a coalition. However, they could not agree as to who should be the first Prime Minister.
The Jerusalem Post reported on September 25 that “President Reuven Rivlin formally gave Netanyahu four weeks to form the government” “for the sixth time, after succeeding in his five terms in office,” after “a meeting at the President’s Residence with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz failed to bring about a breakthrough. The deadline will be October 24.”
Everyone agrees that Netanyahu’s task won’t be an easy one.
The Week reported on September 25 that “Netanyahu earned one more seat than Gantz in the country’s parliamentary elections earlier this month, but neither were able to secure a majority government, leaving Rivlin to decide who would get the first opportunity to do so. Netanyahu currently holds 55 seats in parliament, but needs at least six more to form a government… If Netanyahu is unable to form a government after 28 days, which could be extended by another 14, the task will then pass to Gantz.”
The Wall Street Journal wrote on September 21:
“Egyptian authorities made dozens of arrests after hundreds of people took to the streets of Cairo and other cities overnight in the first significant antigovernment protests in years, raising a new challenge to the rule of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi… The protests were significant because they defied a vast government effort overseen by Mr. Sisi to stamp out political dissent since he took power after a military coup in 2013…
“According to Twitter, more than a million tweets [were] calling for the removal of Mr. Sisi and supporting the call for protests…
“Living standards have dropped for most Egyptians in recent years as Mr. Sisi’s government devalued Egypt’s currency and raised the price of basic goods and services like fuel, electricity, and subway tickets… with 32.5% of Egyptians now living in what the government describes as extreme poverty…”
Dictatorships seldom provide for the people.
Thomas Cook Airline Collapses
The Associated Press wrote on September 23:
“Brought down by a variety of factors, including crushing debts and online competition, the 178-year-old travel agency… ceased operating in the middle of the night. Its four airlines stopped carrying customers, and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries lost their jobs. The company’s failure rippled across the tourism industry, particularly around the Mediterranean, with travelers uncertain how they would get home, hotels worried they wouldn’t get paid, guests afraid they wouldn’t be allowed to check out without settling their bills, and resorts hit with cancellations.
“Overall, about 600,000 people were traveling with Thomas Cook as of Sunday… British government swung into action, lining up flights to bring an estimated 150,000 Britain-based customers back home from vacation spots around the globe in what was called the biggest peacetime repatriation effort in the country’s history.
“Some 50,000 Thomas Cook travelers were reported stranded in Greece, up to 30,000 in Spain’s Canary Islands, 21,000 in Turkey and 15,000 in Cyprus. Travelers lined up at airports, looking for other ways to get home… An estimated 1 million customers also found their bookings for upcoming trips canceled…”
The Sun added on September 23:
“Travel firms have been accused of hiking the price of their holidays and flights following the collapse of Thomas Cook. Social media users have slammed operators such as Jet2 and Virgin for being ‘greedy’ with some flights costing double the amount overnight.”
A Virgin spokesperson denied, of course, that prices were increased because of the Thomas Cook collapse, but admitted at the same time: “… we operate a dynamic pricing system that is based on availability and demand.” A similar “disclaimer” and admission was made by a Jet2 spokesman: “Our pricing, as is common practice in the travel industry, is based on the principle of supply and demand.”
Deutsche Welle reported on September 23:
“Thomas Cook may have been born and headquartered in Britain, but it is a familiar name in dozens of countries and its bankruptcy is causing a ripple effect, particularly in Germany. More than 140,000 German holidaymakers have been impacted and tens of thousands of future travel bookings may not be honored…
“The travel firm [includes] one of its main German subsidiaries, Neckermann Reisen… The German subsidiary has applied for a €200 million bridging loan from the government for its airline, Condor, which is being assessed. The airline made a €43 million profit last year and is on course to beat expectations in 2019… In May, Germany’s flag carrier Lufthansa made a non-binding offer for the airline, which was thwarted after China’s Fosun took a stake in Thomas Cook group. Condor said on Monday that its operations were continuing ‘on schedule’ but that it could not fly Thomas Cook customers to their destinations…”
Bild Online reported on September 23 that Germany’s federal government and the state government of Hesse agreed to provide Condor with a €380 Million bridging loan for six months. However, the European Commission must still approve the loan. In August of 2017, Air Berlin received a loan in the amount of €150 Million to avoid bankruptcy. In the meantime, the airline has paid back the loan in its entirety.
It is remarkable to observe the different ways of dealing with the crisis, as Boris Johnson refused to bail out Thomas Cook. While Britain is suffering even in this regard, Germany is not. On the other hand, according to Deutsche Welle, dated September 25, “Germany’s Thomas Cook GmbH, a daughter company of the UK’s Thomas Cook, filed for insolvency in Germany, and several subsidiaries across the EU were also left scrambling after the parent company’s demise. Thomas Cook’s Polish arm has also announced it was insolvent… On Monday, the German company halted all of its trips. Some 140,000 people were currently traveling abroad with the subsidiary or its brands Neckermann, Öger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen.”
The Blackface Nonsense
AFP wrote on September 21:
“Three separate images of the Canadian leader in blackface makeup decades ago were published a month before Canadians go to the polls on October 21 … Trudeau… apologized publicly for the blunders from his teens and 20s. ‘Darkening your face, regardless of the context or the circumstances, is always unacceptable because of the racist history of blackface,’ Trudeau said. ‘I should have understood that then and I never should have done it.’
“The blackface photographs and video footage were taken of Trudeau at a high school talent contest belting out a Harry Belafonte hit, at a party with fellow rafting guides in the early 1990s and at an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed event at a school where he taught 18 years ago…”
Former Fox and NBC Moderator Megyn Kelly lost her job with NBC when she defended whites wearing blackface costumes, saying, “When I was a kid, it was ok.” It sure was then and it still should be today. This exaggerated hype is just ridiculous. Is anyone equally upset when a black person pretends to be white at a costume party? Neither should they be, but it goes both ways.
Daily Mail wrote on September 23:
“Piers Morgan has slammed Sam Smith for ‘causing a Brit Awards shake-up’ after it was revealed the ‘best male’ and ‘best female’ categories could be abolished. The change could affect next year’s Brit Awards and comes just a week after the singer, 27, who was nominated in the best male category at this year’s ceremony, pleaded ‘after a lifetime of being at war with my gender’ to be referred to as ‘they’ rather than ‘he‘.
“On Good Morning Britain on Monday, Piers said: ‘I think it’s just great that time honoured traditions should be scrapped because one guy can’t decide if he is male or female.”
Morgan also said that this a bunch of nonsense. We agree.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
How to Conquer Disappointments, Discouragement and Depression.
Most people have encountered disappointments in their lives at one time or another; quite a few become discouraged; others begin to suffer from a mild or even deep depression; and then there are those who entertain the thoughts of suicide and might even go through with it. Great biblical heroes were not immune from falling into depression and even from entertaining suicidal ideas.
In our recent Q&A, we stated the following:
“What circumstances would give rise to such a thought? Perhaps someone has an incurable disease (by man’s reckoning) and is in such severe pain that it seems to be the only way out of a terrible situation? Or someone doesn’t think him- or herself worthy of God’s calling and cannot reconcile the fact that he or she is a sinner who doesn’t seem to be making any progress in his or her life, perhaps even going backwards? What about someone who experiences demonic activity in his or her life which presses that individual to take such action as a way out of this misery? Drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness, depression, family issues, bullying and marital and financial problems can also be reasons why suicide might seem to be the answer, but it never is…
“Suicidal thoughts can happen to the best of people. Towards the end of his life, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 2:17: ‘Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind…’
“Both Elijah [1 Kings 19:4] and Jonah [Jonah 4:1-3] at one point wanted to die; Jeremiah encountered serious moments of despair (note Jeremiah 15:10, 17-18; 20:14-18); and the apostle Paul and his friends were under significant pressure at times. We read in 2 Corinthians 1:8: ‘For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.’”
In addition, Moses argued with God at a time when he felt that his task, responsibility, or job was too difficult for him and so he was willing to give up (Numbers 11:11-15). Moses thought that death was a relief from his trials. When Job was being tested, he experienced momentary feelings of depression, wishing he was dead. He even stated during this time of frustration and hopelessness, that it would have been better if he had never been born (Job 3:11, 13, 20-22; 7:11-15; 10:18-21).
We said in our comments to an article about suicide in the Current Events section:
“Factors might be involved which may lead a desperate person to perform that terrible step [of committing suicide], including the horrors of wars and their evil consequences [regarding veterans who return from war and experience terrible nightmares], as well as the inability to find work or adequate health insurance.”
We also pointed out in our StandingWatch program on suicide, titled, “Suicide—Why…and How to Prevent It?,” that one leading cause is depression.
We must be sure that we do not allow disappointment, discouragement or even depression to bring us to the point of entertaining, let alone committing, suicide. We should try to conquer and fight disappointment and discouragement right away and not allow those emotions to fester in our minds and lives.
In our free booklet, “Human Suffering, Why… and How Much Longer?”, we state the following in chapter 7, “Discouragement and How to Conquer It”:
“All of us have become discouraged at times, especially during severe trials and suffering. We may even question why we are here, what we are doing, and what is the purpose of it all. We all have experienced, to some degree, those nagging feelings of despair, helplessness, or even hopelessness. Life may not seem to make any sense, and what difference does it make, anyway? We may be tempted to just give up, throw in the towel, walk away from whatever we are struggling with. We may ask ourselves, What’s the use? Why go on like this?…
“But in moments of despair, frustration, hopelessness and depression, GOD IS STILL THERE! God has not left us… God is watching over His people, and He is there to help us, giving us strength and encouragement to go on and reach our ultimate goal—entrance into His Kingdom…
“Many times, the conditions in which we find ourselves seem to be hopeless… Rather than looking at our physical circumstances, which can and will make us depressed, we must look at the living Christ…, leading us out of our trials and suffering—the physical realm—to a spiritual understanding, which goes far beyond what the human brain may grasp. When we are depressed in this life, we need to focus on our future. God is always there to encourage us. And the greatest encouragement He could possibly give us, is to reassure us and to remind us of our future… Once we have entered our ultimate human potential, we will be free from pain, suffering, disease, sickness and disappointment. All sufferings will be a thing of the past. God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and crying and pain won’t exist anymore for us (compare Revelation 21:4).”
But “just” having hope in our ultimate painless future, when having become a God being, may not be enough to deal with the pain and suffering which we might be experiencing right now. We would love to be strengthened, encouraged and freed from depression right now, rather than having to wait a long time for such deliverance.
And so, we are addressing the “here and now” in our free booklet, “Sickness and Healing – What the Bible Tells Us”. First, we explain how we CANNOT and WILL NOT find comfort and freedom from discouragement and depression:
“Today’s ‘science of psychology’ is operating from a fundamentally wrong foundation, and as such, very few, if any, will receive lasting help from such treatment… Clinical depression may well be, amongst other things, the end result of a development beginning with feelings of temporary frustration and self-pity. Rather than fighting and overcoming those feelings, affected people are often told by medical ‘experts’ to concentrate on their own selves and to bolster and inflate their ego—their inner self—thus developing a better ‘self-esteem.’ At the same time, they are told to place the blame for their condition on others, including parents, friends, relatives, or society as a whole. THAT, however, is the surest way NOT to overcome depression!
“The feeling of self-pity, the ‘woe-is-me syndrome,’ may even lead to suicide if not overcome in time. Judas committed suicide when he realized what he had done. Rather than truly repent in a godly way and rather than seek help from GOD to go on, he succumbed to his own grief and took his own life (see Matthew 27:3-5).”
What, then, IS the way out of disappointment, discouragement and depression? Continuing with the above-quoted booklet, we state:
“… we must look to God for help and we must develop a love for others, the same kind of love God has for humanity… When we focus on others and how we can help them, we are less concerned about and occupied with ourselves—what WE are and what WE can get from others. It is in giving to others that we are ‘more blessed’ and happier persons… It may seem to be a contradiction, but if we concentrate on others and how we can help them, we WILL become happier persons ourselves. This is the godly way of overcoming depression. It includes forgiving others of what they might have done to us, recognizing that we have done wrong things to others as well (compare Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13). It includes an understanding that true love ‘covers all sins’ (Proverbs 10:12)…
“Depression originates from Satan. We are told to resist Satan, and he—with his destructive feelings—will flee from us (James 4:7). We must submit to God and He will lift us up (James 4:7-10), which is to say that He will give us comfort, consolation [and] happiness… Christ never allowed Satan’s feelings of frustration, hopelessness and depression to find a place in His mind… He came to share His love with us so that we could overcome depression and become happier persons…”
There can be no doubt that Satan’s evil influence and his thoughts of frustration, disappointment and depression with which he bombards us on a daily basis are much responsible for a desperate state of mind. That is especially true when we approach God’s annual Holy Days which picture God’s plan for mankind. Satan hates God’s plan and His Holy Days as he knows that they reveal his fate—that he will ultimately be replaced as the ruler over this world—and his anger becomes more and more unleashed as he sees that the Day of Christ’s Return is very near.
Christ came to do the Work and the Will of God (John 17:4; John 4:34). He was totally filled with this desire so that He simply did not ALLOW thoughts of disappointment, frustration, discouragement or depression to enter His mind and to overpower Him. A sure way out of frustration and depression is to be heavily involved in God’s Work. God is having His Work done today in an effort to proclaim the good news of His Kingdom; to warn mankind of impending disaster; and to help those in despair to find rest and peace for their souls (Matthew 11:28; Philippians 4:7). Ask yourself what you can do to assist in God’s most important Work. And if you have questions in this regard, just ask us for further input.
But there is another additional and most powerful godly tool of which we should avail ourselves to conquer frustration, discouragement and depression.
We continue to state in our above-mentioned booklet:
“One possible cause of depression is worry—worry about the future, worry about the present, worry about the past. Such worry is unwise and can make us physically [as well as spiritually and mentally] ill. Proverbs 12:25 warns: ‘Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.’ So we must be careful not to worry needlessly about things we can’t change. Most of our worries never even come to pass…
“The effect of a ‘heavy’ or ‘broken’ or ‘depressed’ spirit on the body is also emphasized in Proverbs 17:22: ‘A merry heart does good like medicine… But a broken spirit dries the bones.’ Proverbs 18:14 elaborates: ‘The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?’ This shows that a strong spirit can contribute to the healing process of a sick person, whereas a broken or depressed spirit might delay and even prevent healing…
“Today, when we look, in spirit, with deep and genuine repentance at Christ’s suffering and death on the cross, we can obtain forgiveness and healing. We don’t have to continue in sickness and fear of death, physically and, more importantly, spiritually. The spiritual aspect of ‘healing’ must not be overlooked. Christ suffered and died for us, so that we can have both physical and spiritual healing…”
In fact, Christ gave His life so that we can be healed spiritually—which includes receiving healing from spiritual and mental sickness including depression. What then ought a spiritually “sick” person do to be freed from depression and destructive, frustrating thoughts—in addition to replacing them with constructive, positive, uplifting and encouraging thoughts (compare Philippians 4:8)?
Continuing with our booklet:
“When we are in need of spiritual healing, we must understand that… God can provide such healing, but He does do so, many times, through His trusted and faithful ministers (James 5:14). We are not to place our faith in God’s faithful ministry, however, but we must place our faith in God. Still, God has established certain procedures… that need to be applied and that involve His ministry, when it comes to physical, as well as spiritual healing…
“We find that when Christ’s disciples anointed a sick person with oil, the sick person was healed (compare Mark 6:12–13). In order to receive the benefit of God’s healing today, God’s ministers are instructed by God to anoint sick persons with oil (James 5:14) [and to lay hands on them (Mark 16:18)]…
“Some may wonder whether God has promised to heal only converted members of His church… The answer is ‘No’… The Bible is very clear that God heals sick people who try to obey God and who have faith that He will heal them. He tells us in Exodus 15:26, ‘If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.’…
“Many times, a ministerial visit may not be possible, as the sick person might live in a remote area. If this is the case, then elders are permitted to pray over a cloth, anointing it with a drop of oil as the symbol of the Holy Spirit [laying hands on the cloth] and asking God to heal the sick person who will receive this cloth. This is based on numerous passages in the Bible, showing us that people were healed when they touched the garments of Christ (Mark 6:56) or the aprons or handkerchiefs from Paul’s body (Acts 19:12)…
“It is necessary… that the sick person has faith in the sacrifice of Christ, believing that he or she will be healed by God because of what Christ did for us. We find that Christ healed many people who were not converted… If a sick person asks one of our ministers for anointing or an anointed cloth, believing that God will heal them, they will receive what they request. God commanded His servants to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and to ‘heal the sick’ (Matthew 10:8; Luke 9:2; 10:9).
“If a sick person has the faith in God to be healed, they should take advantage of the tremendous benefit that God bestows on us to heal us from our sicknesses and diseases. Our sicknesses are important in God’s eyes. If we are suffering with a sickness, let us ask God for His intervention. After all, He is the God Who heals us!”
This most certainly applies to physical as well as spiritual and mental sickness and impairments, such as depression. If you are in such a situation, don’t delay, but turn to God in faith, with heart-rending prayer and fasting, and avail yourself of His free beneficial offer to heal you from lingering thoughts of disappointment, frustration and depression. And He tells you that HE WILL heal you. Don’t doubt, but just believe (Matthew 21:21-22; James 1:6).
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
The 2019 U.S. Festival Brochure, prepared by graphic artist Shelly Bruno, is now posted. Here are the dates for the Fall Holy Days:
- Feast of Trumpets—September 30, 2019
- Day of Atonement—October 9, 2019
- Feast of Tabernacles—October 14-20, 2019
- Last Great Day—October 21, 2019
“Impeaching Donald Trump? No Way—and here Is WHY!” is the title of a StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
During a phone conversation in July of 2019, President Donald Trump spoke with the new leader of Ukraine, Mr. Zelenskiy, about investigating the son of former Vice President Joe Biden. As a consequence, many congressional Democrats are determined to impeach President Trump, alleging a quid pro quo deal, as Trump had withheld money approved by Congress to be given to Ukraine. At the same time, others allege that a quit pro quo existed regarding the dealings between Biden and other Democratic senators and the Ukrainian government, allegedly threatening to withhold aid, unless Ukraine were to act in a particular way. This program discusses the underlying circumstances, as well as the released transcript of the phone conversation and the whistleblower complaint, and shows you why Trump will stay in office and be reelected in 2020.
“Entmutigung, Depression und Selbstmordgedanken… Was kann man tun?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Discouragement, Depression and Thoughts of Suicide… What Should One Do?”
“Probleme bei LVF” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermonette, presented by Michael Link. Title in English: “Problems with PFT.”
“Comments on News and Prophecy ( September 21, 2019),” the message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival; while the USA is wavering in its response to Iran’s perceived attack on Saudi Arabia. Europe blames President Trump for the current escalation. We also discuss China’s and Russia’s influence in Iran; Europe’s revival of the Roman Empire and its coming destruction in a nuclear war; Russia’s ongoing persecution of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; the future of Italy’s ultra-right politician Matteo Salvini and the growing popularity of Germany’s ultra-right AfD party; America’s mistrust in the press; the blackface nonsense; and Trump’s attempts to instigate an Ukrainian investigation of Joe’s Biden’s son Hunter.
“A Time for Everything,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Everything has its time as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about. How can we apply each of these verses in our physical and spiritual lives?
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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