March 27, 2020
Comments on News and Prophecy (March 28, 2020) / God’s Message to Laodicea
On March 28, 2020, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy (March 28, 2020),” and the sermon, titled, “God’s Message to Laodicea.”
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.
What Will Tomorrow Bring?
by Michael Link
Restrictions get tighter and our “freedom” grows increasingly limited when it comes to what we were able to do just weeks ago. The question is whether more drastic measures are in the immediate future as cases of the Coronavirus increase and a “handle” on it looks grimmer, while leaders grasp for answers on how to deal with this crisis.
As the days continue, measures to cope with this new lifestyle become more extreme with “stay-at-home” orders. In focusing on California, people were encouraged just recently to go outside and go hiking, go to the beach, go to the park, and limit gatherings to less than 10 persons, and at the same time practicing “social distancing.” Yet, the public did what they assumed was “ok” to do, based on this convoluted information, until these recommendations were changed in California once again, leading to complete closures of beaches and parks and hiking trails along with threats of $1000 fines due to the overcrowding of people “gathering” at these places.
When there is nothing else to do, what can one expect? Now everyone is restricted from what one can do outside. What will the next day bring? As the days go by, people’s patience will run out and stress, depression and anxiety will increase, which could very well lead to anger and taking matters into one’s own hands. According to a report by CNN, dated March 19, “Gun sellers across the United States are reporting major spikes in firearm and bullet purchases as the coronavirus spreads across the country… ‘The world has never seen anything like this and people want to make sure they’re prepared for whatever lies ahead, whether that be food shortages, government shutdown, or worse,’ a spokesperson for Ammo.com said in an emailed statement. ‘When everything around you is uncertain, having a supply of ammunition can make our customers feel safer.’” This is a scary scenario and if people get tested on what they can or can’t do anymore, can we imagine what this could lead to, perhaps if martial law went into effect?
On March 10, 2017, I wrote an editorial, titled, “Civil War in America?” where this question was asked regarding the very possibility of this occurring in the near future, but at that time it focused on controversial governmental decisions which angered many people; yet were supported by others. We saw then a stark contrast in viewpoints from two different sides within the nation. Much hasn’t changed since then. In fact, things have gotten A LOT worse, as we can see now reactions to responses to the Coronavirus epidemic and what it has led to, not just in this country, but all around the world.
That editorial addressed what is extremely relevant right now, which is that “what WE in God’s Church know is that overall, America will not be able to emerge out of the mess they are currently in; that the relationship between America and the rest of the world will get worse and worse; and that this nation will end up in captivity and slavery because of the terrible sins they are committing (Zechariah 7:4-14; 8:7-15; 9:10; 10:6-10; 11:4-17).” This is still coming and that is why we need to be READY NOW, and continue to watch what is happening, as it says in Matthew 24:42: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
Mankind doesn’t seem to understand who the god of this world actually is, and it cannot connect the dots as to why all this is happening. On the other hand, God’s people DO understand why. The vast majority will be caught off guard even more so as things WILL get worse and they will not even know what hit them until it is too late.
I concluded the editorial in the same way this one is ending here, stating that, “This is why we in God’s Church must proceed in warning our people and the rest of the world of what is coming in the near future (Ezekiel 33:2-7; Isaiah 62:6; Luke 21:36).”
by Norbert Link
In this special issue, we are reporting on the coronavirus and worldwide governmental autocratic and totalitarian measurers in so-called democratic societies to deal with the crisis, raising the strong possibility of global economic collapse. While many people in Europe agree with extreme methods of their governments to combat the coronavirus, President Trump intends to end soon the pain of the shutdown in the USA. However, as can be expected, his medical team and certain governors oppose such a plan. In this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Please End the Pain of the Coronavirus Shutdown!”
We also compare the symptoms and the disproportionate rate of sickness and death of the coronavirus with other infectious diseases, and point out that legal scholars question the constitutionality of governmental methods restricting or abolishing individual freedoms.
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
Quarantine in US States
As of Sunday night, a statewide lockdown was declared in New York (after the governor had stated for days and weeks that he would NOT issue such an order) California (in a convoluted order by the governor), Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Louisiana.
Subsequently, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida and others joined the club of panic-stricken governors as well who have severely limited the individual freedoms of US citizens.
The Guardian reported on March 22 that this means that “Nearly one in three Americans was under orders on Sunday to stay home.”
This is totally insane.
Ending the Pain of the Shutdown?
Reuters reported on March 23:
“President Donald Trump is… expressing concern at the damage the coronavirus shutdown is doing to the U.S. economy and is debating whether it can be safely reopened…
“In a tweet late on Sunday, Trump tweeted: ‘We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,’ adding that at the end of the 15-day shutdown period [by the end of March], ‘we will make a decision as to which way we want to go.’…”
“On Monday, the president also shared messages on Twitter thanking him for the suggestion. ‘If Trump saves us from the Depression everyone else was leading us into by reversing the country’s course on this, I am going to build a statue to him in my front yard…,’ lawyer Robert Barnes [see the article from Barnes below] wrote on Twitter. Trump wrote: ‘Robert, we will end up stronger than ever before. Thank you!’”
“Axios pointed out that such a policy would almost certainly result in strong disagreement with the health experts, who are expected to push for a longer period of social distancing and quarantining across the nation…”
On March 23, Trump repeated publicly in a press conference that he is thinking of easing the restrictions soon. He said: “Our country wasn’t built to be shut down…”
When asked whether he had received the endorsement of physicians for his plan, he answered that they are in consultation, but if it were up to the doctors, the whole world would stay in quarantine for two years and they would never open the world. He repeated the same assessment on Tuesday and said he would like to open it up by Easter so that Churches could have live assemblies again. Medical “experts” and the mass media reacted with anxiety, rejection and sometimes even with furor.
Others, politicians and doctors alike, have likewise expressed their objections to the lockdowns and have been heavily attacked by the mainstream press as a consequence. Let us hope and pray that President Trump will carry out what he expressed and make an end to the unconscionable measures of quarantining healthy people, leading to their personal destruction and the sure destruction of the entire economy.
Shutting Down our Economy
On March 24, Newsmax published the following article by Patrick Buchanan, which was titled, “Can We Afford Killing the Economy to Kill the Virus?”
“… all ‘nonessential businesses’ are being closed and their workers sent home to shelter in place and to keep ‘social distance’ from friends and neighbors to minimize the risk of spreading this easily transmissible virus. Unfortunately, what is ‘nonessential’ to some – bars, restaurants, hotels, stores, cruise ships, tourist sites, shops, malls – are places of employment and indispensable sources of income for millions of other Americans.
“Close the businesses where these Americans work and you terminate the paychecks on which they depend to pay the rent and buy the food and medicines they and their families need to shelter and live. And if the salaries and wages on which workers depend are cut off, how are these millions of newly unemployed supposed to live?…
“Many Americans can survive on what they have on hand for two or four weeks. Far fewer can survive without income for two or four months. If we shut down the economy, what will we have when the medical crisis passes, be that in May, June, July, August or September?…
“At some point, the country is going to have to open up the supply chains and take the risks to let the market work to provide food – or people will engage in panic buying, hoarding and using any means to get what they need for themselves and their families. Reports of folks in this heavily armed nation stocking up on guns and ammunition suggest a widespread apprehension of what may be coming…”
And if we don’t get back to “normal” pretty soon, we will have destroyed our economy completely.
Many Negative Reactions in USA
AP wrote on March 20:
“Solar Tactical… urged customers to call local police to protest the effort to close… ‘Your 2nd Amendment right is no longer considered essential during forced shelter in place,’ the shop said…”
This is just one example of many others who are VERY upset about the stay at home orders. As we mentioned in the previous Update, the sale of firearms has astronomically increased, and there is a REAL DANGER of civil unrest and civil war breaking out in the USA.
When Breitbart published the stay home order by Governor Newsom in California (the first US state declaring a lockdown), readers responded with furor. Here are some excerpts:
“California is a New Venezuela in the making… Politicians don’t have the authority to violate your Constitutional rights, period. Once you give up your rights it takes guns to get them back… The street people and illegals have more rights than working Americans apparently, so Newsom is locking up the working public to do more unnecessary damage to the economy… the incarcerated are being freed while law-abiding citizens are being locked in their homes. Sounds like Communism to me…
“Thousand are killed & raped each year by illegals – He sets killers loose on streets in his sanctuary state, yet he’s worried about Corona?… Most of us need to go out to work just to keep the roof over our heads. Staying home and waiting for things to get better is guaranteed homelessness… I need to take care of my family… He did announce the abortions will continue… 22,000 DEAD! In the USA! Oh wait. That’s just the normal flu since last August. Never mind…”
US Constitution Quarantined
On March 22, the Drudge Report linked to an article of RT in which they published an opinion piece by Robert Barnes, an American constitutional lawyer (mentioned above), as follows:
“Do we really think ‘it can’t happen here’ in America? Could we quarantine the constitution? Are we doing it already?
“Panics from pandemics unleash unchecked governmental power. The very premise of popular films like V for Vendetta reveal this: a group uses a virus to seize power and create a totalitarian society. Anyone could witness this from far-off lands, watching the news about China locking people up in their own homes and then removing them screaming from those homes whenever the state wanted. World War I and the Great Depression birthed virulent forms of governments with leaders like Hitler, Mao, Mussolini and Stalin.
“Governments across America already used the pandemic, and the media-stoked panic around the pandemic particularly, to limit, restrict or remove First Amendment freedoms of speech and free association, with officials complaining about the potential restraints the freedom of religion imposed upon them. Others denied or declared the right to deny Second Amendment rights of gun purchase for personal safety… They want to coordinate with tech companies to surveil and spy on your everyday movements and activities, in violation of the Fourth Amendment and potentially waive, unilaterally, your medical right to privacy in multiple contexts. Stay-at-home orders deprive you of your profession, occupation, business and property, without any due process of law at all beyond an executive fiat in violation of the Fifth Amendment right to due process.
“Governments request the authority to involuntarily imprison any American on mere fear of infection without any probable cause of crime or clear and present danger of harm by that person’s volitional conduct, deny access to personal counsel in an unsupervised, un-surveilled manner in violation of the Sixth Amendment, and act as judge, jury and executioner in violation of the Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury, as jury trials themselves get suspended around the country in the nation’s quieted courts and fear-muted public…
“Our founders were intimately familiar with pandemics, viruses and plagues, yet they did not allow any to suspend our Constitutional liberties. Not one word in the Constitution about plagues or pandemics to exempt the government from any of our Bill of Rights. Why do our current courts allow it? Because the public is asleep at the wheel. Think the pandemic threatens to kill us all? A review of the data shows the pandemic is more panic than plague.
“Time to wake up… Only when an awake public asserts their human liberties to protest the loss of their liberties will, then, governments quit using public health crises to seize power that does not belong to them…”
Very well expressed and VERY true. We see the deprivation of individual liberties and freedoms all over the world.
Trampling on the Constitution
Fox News reported on March 26:
“… growing segments of the U.S. population say state and federal governments are trampling on freedoms central to American life in the name of protecting public health… Laws spelling out what steps a state can take during a pandemic can be complex and difficult for judges to sort through.
“Some haven’t been updated in decades… And they also differ state to state…
“A few Americans are already fed up and have taken their grievances to court by suing their respective states. But a relative trickle of legal challenges will likely become a flood if lockdowns drag on for weeks and frustrations mount…”
Totalitarianism in “Democratic” Societies—UK Becomes Totalitarian
The Sun wrote on March 20:
“PEOPLE suspected of being infected with Covid-19 could be held for up to six weeks under new powers being proposed by the Government. Patients would be initially detained for 14 days, but that can be extended if doctors still have concerns…
“The sweeping laws give the [government the] power to order [people] not to attend work or to stay in isolation, or ban them from travelling. And they will face a £1000 fine if they don’t comply… Officials will be able to suspend all plane and ship arrivals at airports or ports… The emergency powers will be able to be ‘switched on’ and ‘switched off’ if and when needed – for up to two years…
Deutsche Welle reported on March 24:
“The UK imposed a three-week lockdown, with the possibility of an extension. People may only leave their homes to go to work, buy groceries, visit the doctor, or for exercise. Gatherings of more than two people are not allowed.”
Upday added on March 26:
“Places of worship for services [are prohibited], with the exception of funerals, which are to be attended only by the immediate family… Police will be given the power to impose fines on people who do not adhere to the new measures…”
Live in Sin to Fight Coronavirus
BuzzFeed News wrote on March 24:
“Couples in the UK have been told they must either start living together or not see each other in person for what is potentially several weeks… deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said couples should consider the ‘strength of their relationship’ and commit to either spending the lockdown period together or apart…”
Pleading for a World Government
Breaking Israel News wrote on March 26:
“The United Kingdom’s former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on world leaders to form a ‘temporary’ global government to resolve both the medical and economic crises caused by the coronavirus pandemic… that could enjoy executive powers to execute the response…
“Highlighting the differences between the 2008 economic collapse that he dealt with and the current crisis, Brown added ‘This is first and foremost a medical emergency and there has to be joint action to deal with that. But the more you intervene to deal with the medical emergency, the more you put economies at risk.’”
Totalitarianism in Australia, France and Spain
Deutsche Welle reported on March 24:
“In Australia, traveling to foreign countries will be banned. Weddings can go ahead with no more than five people and funerals can go ahead with no more than 10 people.
“In France, people exercising may still go outside, but runners and walkers may only go out for up to an hour a day and must remain within a kilometer of their homes. Most marketplaces have been required to close. Since French President Emmanuel Macron put the country on lockdown a week ago, people have only been allowed to leave home for necessary reasons, as in the UK.”
“Spain also closed its external borders with its European neighbors. People are limited to only leaving their homes to go to the pharmacy and grocery shopping. [The same is true for Italy.] Outdoor exercise is also banned, except for taking a dog on a walk. Hundreds of thousands of police and military personnel are enforcing the lockdown.”
Dictatorships on the rise… in our “free” world. But not in Sweden… for now.
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 24: “While other European countries are adding to growing lists of restrictions on public life, Sweden has kept schools, bars and restaurants open and is encouraging its citizens to go out for some exercise. Gatherings of up to 500 people are still allowed in Sweden… Swedish authorities believe harsher restrictions aren’t worth the impact on society…”
What does Sweden understand that most other countries don’t? But it may not last for long.
The Daily Mail wrote on March 26:
“Sweden is considering cutting off Stockholm from the rest of the country after a spike of coronavirus deaths in the city… Sweden has so far resisted following other European countries – including neighbours Norway and Denmark – into full lockdowns, but the latest figures have spooked politicians into a re-think… Now there are concerns that people living in the city could spread it to previously-unaffected parts of the countryside as they visit holiday homes during the Easter break…
“As a result, ministers are drawing up plans to isolate Stockholm from the rest of the country to try and contain the spread. However, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell advised these are only plans and stressed ‘we are not there yet.’ It marks a dramatic shift from where Sweden was just 24 hours ago – with schools and bars open, and people being encouraged to go outside for fresh air.
“Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, in a televised speech on Sunday, urged people to ‘take responsibility’ and follow the government’s recommendations.
“Those include working from home if you can, staying home if you feel sick, practice social distancing, and stay home if you belong to a risk group or are over the age of 70. Gatherings of more than 500 people have been banned – compared to more than two people in Britain and Germany – and the government has advised secondary schools and universities to close their facilities and conduct classes online.”
Germany Becomes Totalitarian
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 20:
“The mounting coronavirus crisis has led to speculation that the German government will impose a state of emergency (“Notstandsgesetze”) for the first time ever…
“The German government… is already using powers… to limit some constitutionally-mandated freedoms during an epidemic: Namely, the freedoms of movement, assembly, and the inviolability of the home.
“However, if stronger powers are deemed necessary, then a state of emergency can be implemented… it also allows for the restriction of certain freedoms… citizens may be obliged by law to join ‘civilian services for defense purposes, including the protection of the civilian population.’… the right to the privacy of mail and telecommunications can also be restricted… the federal government can… effectively take over their police forces. As in a natural disaster, a threat to the free democratic order may also be used as a reason to deploy the armed services.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 19:
“The German military is preparing for a long-term operation inside the country… soldiers may also be used to maintain public order. Germany has around 180,000 soldiers in its standing army, plus 120,000 military reservists…”
In addition, the German media points out that police officers may be used more and more to enforce Merkel’s new convoluted “social-distancing” restrictions (see below), demanding for example of citizens walking on the street to identify themselves, which might constitute a violation of the German Constitution (compare t-online, dated March 22). But will the government care about this breach of the law? Note the next article.
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 22:
“The northwestern state of Lower Saxony has instituted a new wave of restrictions, including a ban on social contact, to hinder the spread of the coronavirus. Police in Hanover, Oldenburg, Braunschweig, Goslar and Göttingen have increased police presence to enforce the new restrictions.”
The ”free state” of Bavaria (“Freistaat Bayern”) became the first German state to impose lockdown measures. Other German states such as Saarland followed.
It has been reported that after a public debate in recent weeks on the authority of the German federal government vs. the German states, German Health Minister Jens Spahn (who has ambitions to become chancellor and whom Merkel praised as doing a good job) wants to get a law enacted to the effect that the federal government will take over the authorities of the German states in the attempt to fight the coronavirus. The German states would have to agree to voluntarily surrender their powers and to give their authority to the German federal government under the lead of Spahn.
Merkel in Self-Quarantine after Announcing New Convoluted Restrictions
npr wrote on March 22:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself under self-quarantine after learning that her doctor who had vaccinated her against pneumonia on Friday has tested positive for COVID-19… The news of Merkel’s quarantine came soon after her government imposed new social-distancing rules that limit public gatherings to two people, not including families. [That’s the interpretation of what Merkel announced, which was in really poor German and also as equally convoluted as the announcement by the Governor of California.]…
“From now in Germany, when people do go outside, they are being told to keep a distance of four feet (1.5 meters) from anyone else… Germany is just one of many countries limiting crowds… The U.S. government has said that no more than 10 people should gather in one place [but some US states have been restricting this further], while Switzerland says people in groups of fewer than five must stay at least two meters apart or face a fine.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 24:
“Unlike other European countries, Germany has so far stopped short of ordering its over 80 million population to remain at home — instead opting for strict social distancing measures which were issued on March 22. Public gatherings of more than two people are banned, except for families and those who live together…”
Deutsche Welle added:
“In the event that [Merkel] becomes too ill to work, her cabinet would continue to function without her. There are plans for such an event, too. Article 69 of the Basic Law, or constitution, features a simple sentence: ‘The federal chancellor nominates a minister from the cabinet as deputy.’”
It was subsequently announced that Merkel tested negative initially, but that more tests are needed to establish that she did not contract the coronavirus.
And the People Want It So
Politico wrote on March 20:
“Despite having the most severe restrictions imposed on their liberty since World War II, polling suggests that people across Europe are largely behind their leaders…
“In times of crisis, leaders often benefit from a ‘rally around the flag’ effect, meaning that support for government rises, provided the situation is not obviously mishandled…
“In Italy, which was the bloc’s first country to introduce a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday last week, two-thirds of citizens said this week they are satisfied with the government’s response… In Belgium, which this week also imposed far-reaching restrictions on public life… 66 percent of participants… said they back the measures…
“[In] Germany… almost half of people are satisfied with the crisis management of their federal state… In Austria… [s]upport increased from 63 percent last week to 88 percent this week…”
Due to ongoing propaganda to the effect that certain measures must be taken to save lives, the approval ratings from European citizens for the dictatorial methods of their governments and the apparent unquestioned willingness to surrender their individual liberties and freedoms are frightening. When the beast arises in Europe, the same thoughtless reaction will be seen… and much worse.
Totalitarianism in Hungary
The Tiroler Tageszeitung reported on March 20 that the Hungarian government placed 140 companies under military supervision. According to n-tv, Hungary is also preparing for enacting emergency laws.
Totalitarianism in Israel — Netanyahu Uses Coronavirus to Stay in Power
The AP wrote on March 20:
“In recent days, Netanyahu and his surrogates have shut down the court system, approved the use of sophisticated phone-surveillance technology on the general public and temporarily suspended the activities of parliament… He has ordered people to stay indoors, ordered tens of thousands of people into home quarantine and virtually sealed its borders
“… his hand-picked justice minister all but closed the court system in a middle-of-the-night order just two days before Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges was to begin. In another overnight move, Netanyahu’s Cabinet authorized the Shin Bet security agency to use phone-tracking technology to retrace the movements of infected people and identify those who had come into contact with them…
“Then, on Wednesday, Parliament Speaker Yuli Edelstein abruptly suspended activities at the Knesset… Edelstein rejected the public uproar and said he was committed to reconvening parliament.”
Subsequently, Israel’s Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein resigned rather than accede to a Supreme Court order to call a vote on his replacement.
Breaking Israel News wrote on March 23:
“The Israeli Army is preparing for an increased role in assisting the national effort to stem the spread of the Coronavirus. If a nation-wide quarantine [lockdown] goes into effect, Israeli troops in tandem with police units are readying to patrol the streets and enforce regulations.”
Austria’s Sebastian Kurz thanked Benjamin Netanyahu for his radical measures in his fight against the coronavirus, stating that this prompted him to do the same in Austria.
Now Billions in Lockdown
AFP wrote on March 24:
“India ordered its billion-plus population on Tuesday to stay inside for three weeks, bringing a third of the world under lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic forced Japan to postpone the Olympics until next year… Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘total lockdown’ call doubled the number of people around the globe under some form of movement restriction to more than 2.6 billion people…
“Nearly 130 million Americans, or 40 percent of the population, are under or will soon come under some lockdown order, including in the largest state of California…
“The extraordinary measures being imposed around the world have radically altered daily life and have also revealed horrifying tales. Soldiers in Spain reported finding abandoned elderly people — some dead — at retirement homes. Younger people have been warned not to visit elderly loved ones to avoid spreading the virus to the most vulnerable.”
This is indeed a horrible testimony of man’s incompetence.
Coronavirus—Overwhelmingly Only Mild Symptoms and Mass Recovery
The Associated Press wrote on March 20:
“For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. It can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, for some people, especially older adults and those with existing health problems. [This is true for every flu.] Most people recover — those with mild illness in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks…”
Of the currently 530,000 pending cases of people who had been diagnosed with the virus, about 24,000 have died (many times of or in combination with other underlying illnesses), while about 121,500 have totally recovered (as of bing.com, March 26, 2020).
By comparison, the World Health Organization has determined that the flu kills between 250,000 to 500,000 people each year. About 10% of U.S. residents get influenza each year. About 36,000 Americans die each year from complications of the flu. So far, about 700 Americans have died of the coronavirus. The world’s deadliest infectious disease is tuberculosis. Each year, on average, 1 million people die of it.
The Week wrote on March 25:
“A plurality of COVID-19 cases in New York City are among those aged 18 to 44… 95% of people who have died so far [worldwide] had an underlying health condition.”
Downfall of the Economy
The Hour wrote on March 20:
“The U.S. economy is deteriorating more quickly than was expected just days ago, as extraordinary measures designed to curb the coronavirus keep 84 million Americans [by now, the number is even much higher] penned in their homes and cause the near-total shutdown of most businesses… Already, it’s clear that the initial economic decline will be sharper and more painful than during the 2008 financial crisis.
“Next week, roughly 3 million Americans will file first-time claims for unemployment assistance, more than four times the record high set in the depths of the 1982 recession… That’s just the start of a surge that could send the jobless rate spiking to 20 percent from today’s 3.5 percent… Estimates of the pandemic’s overall cost are staggering. Bridgewater Associates… says the economy will shrink over the next three months at an annual rate of 30 percent.
“… keeping friends and co-workers apart is a recipe for crippling the consumer spending that drives 70 percent of the $21 trillion economy… The sudden turnaround in U.S. economic fortunes is without historic parallel. As 2020 began, the U.S. had been growing without interruption since the middle of 2009… Now, the economy is screeching to a halt…”
The Atlantic wrote on March 20:
“No one alive has experienced an economic plunge this sudden…
“… we’re in a recession and everyone knows it. And what we’re experiencing is so much more than that: a black swan, a financial war, a plague… What is happening is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced… the unemployment rate seems certain to reach heights not seen since the Great Depression or even the miserable late 1800s…
“None of that is surprising. Planes have been grounded, conferences canceled, millions of Americans told not to leave their homes except to get groceries and other necessities. Because of the emergency measures now in place, businesses have had no choice but to let workers go. The list of employers laying off workers en masse includes cruise lines, airlines, hotels, restaurants, bars, cabinetmakers, linen companies, newspapers, bookstores, caterers, and festivals…
“The markets are not normal, either. The stock market lost 20 percent of its value in just 21 days–the fastest and sharpest bear market on record, faster than 1929, faster than 1987, 10 times faster than 2007. The financial system has required no less than seven emergency interventions by the Federal Reserve in the past week…
“Yet in the real economy, everything has halted, frozen in place. This is not a recession. It is an ice age.”
CNBC wrote on March 20:
“The Dow is down more than 24% for March and is currently on pace for its biggest one-month fall since September 1931.”
It picked up on Tuesday in response to Trump’s declaration of intent to lift the lockdown shortly, and with hope that a stimulus package would be approved soon. But the roller-coaster will continue. This man-made Satan-inspired catastrophe is without precedence.
UK Agriculture in Big Trouble without EU Workers
Forbes wrote on March 24:
“The U.K. organization for farmers, landowners and businesses in rural England and Wales has said labor shortages caused by coronavirus could be devastating for this years’ harvest. They are calling for a ‘land army’ of local labor to be recruited to assist the sector, which expects to see its labor supply cut by 75% as EU workers who normally come to the U.K. to work for the harvest season are prevented from coming.
“The U.K. agriculture sector was already in trouble, heavily reliant on EU workers as it is. Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, when the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, labor supply from the mainland has been dwindling, and the government’s recent immigration stance emphasizing high-skilled migration has provided little comfort.
“… the agriculture sector usually uses around 60,000 seasonal laborers per year to complete the harvest, and they expect only around 25% of that amount this year. Factor in a 20% coronavirus infection rate… they estimate some 80,000 people will need to be mobilized to protect Britain’s harvest…
“Crucially the government have classified agricultural workers as ‘key workers’, meaning under the new lockdown measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, they will be allowed to travel to work. But first you need to find them… without EU labor, the situation is dire for U.K. agriculture…”
Another example of how a country destroys itself.
US Nuclear Bombs to Stay in Germany
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 26:
“The US has stored nuclear bombs across Europe… including in Germany…”
“In the case of a nuclear strike, the American soldiers who guard the bombs located on the German air base… would attach the bomb to German fighter jets and activate the code. Then German crews would embark upon what insiders refer to as a ‘strike mission’ — delivering the American bombs to their destination… This agreement — American bombs guarded by American soldiers on a German base but flown by crews and planes of Germany’s military forces, the Bundeswehr — dates back to the Cold War and NATO’s nuclear deterrence strategy aimed at keeping the Soviet Union at bay…
“While the precise number of American bombs stored in Europe is unknown, estimates put them at roughly 150. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy are all part of the sharing agreement. With the exception of those on Italian soil, all of the bombs are located within a few hundred kilometers of each other…
“In March 2010, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, passed a cross-party resolution urging the government to ’emphatically’ work towards getting its American allies to withdraw all nuclear weapons from Germany… But, a decade on, that goal seems ever more elusive, following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and investment in nuclear-capable medium-range missiles. Now, rather than working towards the bombs’ withdrawal, the US military is set to modernize and upgrade them…
“For now, however, despite a clear majority of its citizens firmly opposed to nuclear weapons, Germany seems unlikely to withdraw from the deal any time soon. Rather, it is set to receive modernized bombs… The modernization program, which will see the old bombs being dismantled and new ones delivered to American military sites in the US and across the world, is extremely expensive…
“The new bomb — the B-61-12 — will have ‘significantly enhanced capabilities‘… It is equipped with a tail kit, which enables it to be delivered and hit its target much more accurately… The current bombs are simply dropped from the plane, rather than like ones with tail kits, which guide themselves once released…
“It remains unclear when Germany will actually receive the bomb, as there has been a delay in the production of the bombs in the US, due to problems reproducing components… But… first tests for the integration of the weapon onto German Tornado jets are set to happen this year…”
Quite remarkable in the light of biblical prophecy.
Deutsche Welle wrote on March 20:
“The Vatican has announced that the sins of faithful Catholics who have been struck down by the coronavirus will be forgiven… provided they say a certain number of prayers and read the Bible ‘for at least an hour.’”
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.
Why will a loving God inflict the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord on Mankind?
To answer this question, let us first of all look at some definitions.
In a previous Q&A we wrote:
“…the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) is followed by the Heavenly Signs (Revelation 6:12-14; Joel 2:30-31; Matthew 24:29) and by the Day of the Lord (Revelation 6:17). The indication is, from Scripture, that the Day of the Lord begins one year before Christ’s return (compare, for example, Isaiah 34:8). But even as the Day of the Lord does not end with Christ’s return, but is ongoing, so the Great Tribulation (which begins approximately 2½ years prior to the Day of the Lord) does not end, either, when the Day of the Lord starts. Rather, it continues until Satan, who causes the Great Tribulation to occur, is removed from his throne.
“Christ returns to cut the Great Tribulation short (Matthew 24:21-22). This means, the Great Tribulation is still ongoing — it overlaps for one year, in that sense, with the Day of the Lord. So, all in all, the Great Tribulation lasts approximately 3½ years, but during the last year of the Great Tribulation, God starts to intervene — approximately one year before Christ’s actual return…” We also understand that God could shorten these days to less than 3 ½ years. (Compare our free booklet, “When and How Will Christ Return?”)
In the above-quoted Q&A, we also pointed out that the Day of the Lord is the day of GOD’S wrath, while the Great Tribulation is the time of Satan’s wrath.
There have been many disastrous and catastrophic wars down through the ages. In World War 1 and World War 2, many millions were killed or injured as we can read below.
On the historyonthenet.com website, we read:
“World War One was one of the deadliest conflicts in the history of the human race, in which over 16 million people died. The total number of both civilian and military casualties is estimated at around 37 million people. The war killed almost 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel.”
On the worldwar2-database.blogspot.com website, these figures are given: “… most suggest that some 60 million people died in World War II, including about 20 million soldiers and 40 million civilians. Many civilians died because of disease, starvation, massacres, bombing and deliberate genocide. The Soviet Union lost around 27 million people during the war, almost half of all World War II deaths. One of every four Soviet citizens was killed or wounded in that war.”
We rightly think of the horrors that both sides of the war suffered, but we read in Matthew 24:21-22 about a time in the not-too-distant future, which will dwarf anything that has happened in the last 6,000 years of mankind on earth: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
God does not mince His words. Mankind will be on the brink of extinction when Jesus Christ returns to stop that happening.
Why is this happening? God who created all things through Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 3:9) has given instructions on how and how not to live. God instructed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and they were deceived by Satan the devil. Mankind then continued on the wrong path so much so that “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God was sorry that He had made man on the earth and was grieved in His spirit” (verse 6). This seems to be about 1,650 years after man was created.
About a thousand years later, God gave Israel the choice between blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28). History shows that Israel, generally, made a mess of such opportunities. The Old Testament is replete with examples of some kings of Israel and Judah who had the right approach but following David and Solomon, only a few kings of Judah lived righteous lives, while none of the kings of Israel did. Usually, the leaders lived in opposition and rebellion towards God, and the people followed their bad example. In short, God’s Way was usually superseded by men who thought that they knew better.
Fast forward to the New Testament when Jesus Christ was listened to and sought after by many thousands, but on the day of Pentecost, there were just 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) awaiting the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). Since that time, the true Church of God has been a small, persecuted group and mankind has, in general, been a God-defying race.
Down through the ages, we have seen behavior and attitudes that are incompatible with God’s Way of Life, with man always seeming to think that he knows better than the One who created us all.
Do our present societies around the world reflect the Way of Life that God would have us live, and always for our own benefit? The answer to that question can be seen by the mess that the world is currently experiencing.
Many pages could be used in showing how evil this world is, and it is getting worse by the day. Wars and military conflicts abound; atheism seems to be a “religion” on its own; blasphemy by the young and the old; perversion in many sexual areas has become the norm; and abortion annually murders millions of innocent unborn children. The Ten Commandments are shunned by most of the world, and man makes up his own laws and rules, usually in direct opposition to God’s expressed Will. The list could go on for many pages.
Mankind today, generally, has no interest in God, most certainly not in the true God of the Bible, many denying that He even exists. To give one of so many examples that could be used, let us quote, selectively, the words that a British actor and entertainer made in 2015. This famous atheist described what he would say if he got to heaven – of course we know that we don’t go to heaven when we die and he doesn’t believe in God and so this would never happen anyway – but it is quite a blasphemous attack against God that he made. He said:
“I will say bone cancer in children, what’s that about? How dare you, how dare you create a world that has such misery that is not our fault. It is not right. It is utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world that is full of injustice and pain?”
He added: “Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him?! What kind of god would do that?
“Yes, the world is very splendid but it also has in it insects whose whole lifecycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind. They eat outwards from the eyes. Why? Why did you do that to us? You could easily have made a creation in which that didn’t exist. It is simply not acceptable.
“It’s perfectly apparent that he is monstrous. Utterly monstrous and deserves no respect whatsoever. The moment you banish him, life becomes simpler, purer, cleaner, more worth living in my opinion.”
We quote that as a dire example of those who categorically refuse to see the hand of a great Creator God, but would add that there are many others who can be just as objectionable in their blasphemous approach. Statements like the one quoted above do reflect an utter ignorance of the fact that this is not God’s world, but that it is ruled by Satan the Devil who has also had tremendous influence on the nature of the animal world. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man.” Other booklets, which address the issues raised by the above-quoted atheist, are “Punishment for Our Sins,” “Sickness and Healing—What the Bible Tells Us,” and “Human Suffering—Why… and How Much Longer?”
In the 16th chapter in the Book of Revelation are further telling examples of man’s rebellious “intractability” – a word that can mean: unmanagableness, defiant, rebellious, obstinate, stubborn, disobedient – which is the trait of beings unwilling to obey. Here we see the horrors of the seven bowls – the first one being malignant or loathsome sores on the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image, which shows the result of ignoring the Way of God (verse 2).
In the third verse, we read about the second bowl with the sea turning to blood.
The third bowl in verse 4 reveals that the waters turned to blood.
The fourth bowl (verses 8-9) reveals that men will be scorched and instead of repenting, “they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.”
The fifth bowl is about darkness and pain (verses 10-11), and again, men were unrepentant and “they gnawed their tongues because of the pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.”
With the sixth bowl, the Euphrates dried up, and when the seventh bowl is poured out, the earth was utterly shaken, “And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great (Verse 21).”
In spite of such terrible events, some, or many, will blaspheme God’s Name, and will refuse to repent and simply will not give God the glory. Of course, these events are right at the end of the time of terrible trouble, but the attitude manifested even at a time of very great distress shows how stubborn, defiant and obdurate man can be.
It should be become obvious why a loving God will allow the Great Tribulation and why He will bring about the Day of the Lord on the human race except for His people whom He will protect at that time. It is because there is no other way of getting their attention and even at such a time of unprecedented horror, some will still not be entreated. Rather, they will still curse God and be disobedient and rebellious. Man will have brought this upon himself by his continuous rejection of the Way of God.
God wants to get the attention of man and show him the right way to live, but a 6,000 year history, under the evil sway of Satan, has twisted and distorted many minds; so much so that even in the most adverse of conditions, some will still go the way of the evil one. Man has to learn, once and for all, that the only right way of living is the Way of God which will be a loving, joyous and righteous way, and any who refuse to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will ultimately be as if they had never existed.
There is so much more on this subject. We have several additional booklets, addressing these important questions, including “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord” and “How Can We Know that Christ’s Return Is Near?” All our booklets are free for the asking.
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A shortened Church Conference will be conducted via SKYPE this coming Sunday and Monday (March 29-30, 2020).
“Please End the Pain of the Coronavirus Shutdown!” is the title of the new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Do we “let the cure be worse than the problem itself”? President Trump thinks so. This program shows the dangerous consequences of governmental measures causing unparalleled suffering for our people and incredible damage to our economy, with fears of massive suicides and even civil war. Why is the public “asleep at the wheel,” when it comes to mounting violations of our constitutional rights and freedoms?
“Coronavirus und Gottes Botschaft an Laodizäa” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Coronavirus and God’s Message to Laodicea.”
“Gott wird für Sie sorgen!” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Pastor Michael Link. Title in English: “God Will Take Care of You!”
“Einsicht,” is the title of last Sabbath’s German sermonette, presented by Mike Richter. Title in English. “Understanding.”
“God’s Letter to Philadelphia,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Why is the letter to the church in Philadelphia extremely important for us today? What is meant with the key of David; the open door; the hour of trial; the place of safety; the third horseman of the Apocalypse; and Satan’s wrath; and how are we to understand the prophesied expensive time and the reactions to the coronavirus which cause the financial ruin of many businesses and contribute to the complete destruction of our economy?
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
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