What Does Matthew 28:19 Prove? / Be of Good Cheer
On November 21, 2020, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “What Does Matthew 28:19 Prove?” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “Be of Good Cheer.”
The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
A while ago, in the UK, a row broke out about the seating position of two presenters in a BBC breakfast programme. Unknown to most people except those concerned with such matters, it appears that the one who sits on the left (as viewed on television) is the more senior of the two presenters. A new male presenter replaced the exiting gentleman and was placed on the left with the existing female presenter, continuing on screen, on the right.
A BBC spokesman said: “There is no seniority in terms of who sits where on the BBC Breakfast sofa. It’s all about judging which is the best camera angle for the presenters.”
A large sexism row broke out and the outcry, particularly from the female lobby, bordered on the ridiculous. One blamed “deep-rooted misogyny in newsrooms” for the way male presenters are nearly always seated in the position considered more senior on the left.
This got me to thinking about man’s (and woman’s) need for position, power, seniority and the need to feel and be important. It would appear that the seating arrangements were far more important than the content of the programme. Whether this was a breakfast programme or a serious news programme, the same rules applied.
On news programmes, no doubt some of the reports would have been about such serious issues as the migrant crisis, wars in different parts of the world, serious accidents and political issues which may well have impacted on the whole of the population. In addition, serious concerns with human suffering, population displacement and death and destruction tend to be a staple diet of news programmes but the main concern of the presenter and those supporting her position seemed to be about where she sat to report such news and what it said about her position as the senior (or otherwise) presenter of the programme.
Talk about getting priorities wrong! This was a classic example of the “me first” society that we live in today. Such an approach seemed to be that the need to be important, seen as important and anything that impacts adversely on those two requirements was to be challenged.
But what about true Christians – we’re different, aren’t we? We certainly should be, but how do we do in such circumstances?
The Bible gives a number of bad examples of where position was so very important to some. We read in Matthew 20:20-28 about the ambition of James and John. What was the motivation—to serve or be served? It was obviously to be served and therefore the fruits were those of selfishness as they wanted power, position and influence. In Acts 8:18-20, Simon Magus offered the disciples money in order to receive the Holy Spirit which he perceived to be power which would give him position and standing. And a third example is in Isaiah 14:12-14 where we read about Satan’s ambition being thwarted. It was all about himself, and he lusted about having the very highest position in the universe.
Do we have any of these failings? If so, then the example given by Jesus in Matthew 18:1-4 should be a clear reminder of the humility we need in order to make it into the Kingdom of God.
Of course, those who were fretting about where a presenter should sit were getting their priorities all wrong. It was an unhealthy concentration on minutiae, almost navel-gazing in personal self-interest. It was an ego trip and an example of coveting which God says we must simply not be involved with. Of course, such petty and self-serving examples reveal quite clearly that God is not involved in their lives, and that hardly comes as a surprise in today’s secular society.
We can smile at such nonsense but we had better be careful that we never fall into any such similar attitudes or it could spell disaster for us, because God does not accept behaviour of this sort from His people.
We had better remember to always do the right thing because right matters!
by Norbert Link
We begin with a startling report from Israel about a potential soon-coming attack of Israel and the USA on Iran; Trump’s unique relationship with Israel; and the ongoing developments and conflicting reports regarding the outcome of the Presidential Election. We also speak on the outbreak of violence in Washington D.C. between dissenting factions.
We continue with an eye-opening article about the hypocritical and political stance of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops towards Biden; further lockdowns and other governmental restrictions in the USA and Europe; a controversial and highly dangerous new law in Germany which has been compared to a law paving the way to Hitler’s dictatorship, “temporarily” limiting or abandoning individual rights and liberties granted in the German Constitution [please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Germany’s March to Dictatorship and its Corona Chancellor”];blatant hypocrisy of governmental leaders; religious discrimination in the USA; and some controversial anti-Semitic comments by a CNN moderator.
We conclude with the establishment of the world’s largest trade pact and the U.N.’s fear of wide-spread hunger and famine in 2021, due, in part, to new lockdowns and the consequential rippling economic impact.
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
A US-Israel Strike against Iran Coming Soon?
Israel 365 News wrote on November 12:
“It’s no secret that tensions between Washington and Teheran have been tense since Trump’s inauguration in 2016, recent developments indicate that a potential joint Israel/US strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities could be closer than we realize.
“US President Donald Trump has fired his defense secretary, Mark Esper earlier this week. And while many speculate that the reason is because Esper was at odds with his boss over deploying US troops into cities during violent Black Lives Matter protests, there could have been another reason for the move that many seem to be overlooking… Esper also contradicted Trump on Iran and the assassination of top IRGC general Quassem Soliemani – walking back some of the Commander in Chief’s statements. But that’s not all.
“The New York Times reported that ‘Defense Department officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries during his last days in office.’
“Trump then appointed Esper’s replacement, Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Officials claim that Miller was a driving force in some of Trump’s policies against Iran and its terror proxy, Hezbollah. He was also a catalyst for anti-terror efforts in both Syria and Iraq. And although those officials remain anonymous, former National Security Advisor H.R McMaster went on the record saying that ‘it’s a possibility’ Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear sites before Trump leaves office.’
“Finally, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has planned an upcoming visit to Israel where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss ‘joint efforts to address Iran’s malign activities.’ According to Israel’s Walla military reporter Avi Bohbot: ‘Pompeo’s visit appears to be a last ditch effort to move against Iran’ adding that IDF sources report that the Israeli Military’s commander in Chief Aviv Kochavi is ‘extremely concerned’ about the prospect of a Biden administration. He is then scheduled to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed ‘to discuss security cooperation and regional issues.’ Pompeo is also set to visit Qatar where he will discuss ‘bilateral and regional issues, including the importance of Gulf unity.’
“And if there’s anything that the Gulf can unite around, it is their opposition to Iran as demonstrated in the annual Gulf Co-operation Council summit where GCC member states were in agreement that ‘the greatest threat to the region was Iran.’”
Whether this will really happen remains to be seen. According to the New York Times, Trump had raised the issue to his advisors who allegedly dissuaded him from attacking Iran. However, it has been reported that Israel and the USA have worked together to secretly kill in Iran the No. 2 terrorist of al Qaida, Aby Muhammad al-Masri. He was accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa. At this point, no one — Iran, Al Qaeda, the U.S. or Israel — has publicly acknowledged the killing, but intelligence officials confirmed that he was killed, according to the New York Times which also stated: “The attack was carried out by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to four of the officials…”
Trump also announced that he will reduce US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Deutsche Welle commented on November 18: “Donald Trump’s plan to reduce US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to 2,500 each by mid-January is a slap in the face of US allies and strengthens extremism.”
Trump—the Anomaly for Israel
The Jerusalem Post wrote on November 12:
“Israelis have forgotten what a non-Trump president looks like. Whether it was Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama, every president opposed settlement activity and actively pushed for a two-state solution.
“Some focused on it more, others less… The point is that opposition to settlements has always been US policy. The change came with Trump, the most unconventional of presidents, who took an alternative position on a complicated conflict. He was the anomaly, not the new normal.”
Assumption there is a Second Term
Politico wrote on November 13:
“White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Friday that the Trump administration is operating as if it will extend into a second term… ‘We are moving forward here at the White House under the assumption there will be a second Trump term,’ Navarro said on Fox Business, echoing a refrain from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president’s most steadfast allies…
“The president has refused to concede to Biden and his administration has rejected any appearance of assisting with the transfer of power while Trump’s campaign pursues a portfolio of legal challenges in a last-ditch attempt to save the president’s reelection. ‘Until we do that, our assumption is a second Trump term,’ Navarro said. ‘Any speculation about what Joe Biden might do, I think, is moot at this point.’”
Trump Did NOT Concede
The Hill wrote on November 15:
“President Trump seemingly acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in a tweet early Sunday while continuing to [speak] about a rigged presidential election. ‘He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more!’ Trump tweeted in response to a clip from Fox News’s Jesse Watters.
“‘All of the mechanical “glitches” that took place on Election Night were really THEM getting caught trying to steal votes. They succeeded plenty, however, without getting caught,’ the president said in a subsequent tweet. ‘Mail-in elections are a sick joke!’ Trump said in a tweet later Sunday morning, however, that his earlier post was not meant as a concession. ‘He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING!’ the president said. ‘We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!’”
Among many other publications within the mass media, the UK’s Independent also falsely reported on November 15 that Trump “admits for the first time that Biden won the election.” So did the Daily Mail: “Trump Admits Defeat.” The left-leaning anti-Trump Drudge Report also wrote falsely: “Trump finally admits: Biden ‘won.’”
Wishful thinking by the anti-Trump mass media.
“I Won the Election”
Newsmax wrote on November 16:
“President Donald Trump late Sunday night declared on Twitter, in a four-word, all caps tweet, that he ‘WON THE ELECTION.’ The message came after a day of speculation that he’d admitted Joe Biden had won the presidential election in a message posted earlier in the day…
“Sunday night Trump also posted messages attacking the ‘fake news media’ for saying Biden will ‘ascend to the Presidency’ by not allowing his campaign to show ‘how badly shattered and violated our great Constitution has been in the 2020 Election.’ He also claimed, in posts flagged by Twitter, that large numbers of poll watchers were thrown out of vote counting rooms, ‘millions of ballots’ were altered by Democrats, and that votes were allowed after the election was over. Also, he tweeted that the ‘Radical Left owned Dominion Voting Systems, turned down by Texas and many others because it was not good or secure’ had helped throw the election Biden’s way. ‘Those responsible for the safeguarding of our Constitution cannot allow the Fake results of the 2020 Mail-In Election to stand,’ said Trump. ‘The World is watching!’…
“Newsmax has not called the election for Biden, citing the numerous legal complaints mounted by the Trump campaign.”
“The Greatest Theft in American History”
Newsmax added on November 15:
“President Donald Trump appears to be nowhere close to conceding the presidential election to former Vice President Joe Biden… In a story published Saturday night, Trump told [New York] Post columnist Michael Goodwin that the election ‘was stolen.’ ‘It was a rigged election, 100 percent, and everyone knows it,’ Trump said in the Friday night interview. ‘It’s going to be that I got about 74 million votes, and I lost? It’s not possible.’…
“Goodwin writes that Trump seems convinced that Biden’s victory was corruptly engineered by Dominion Voting Systems, a technology used by most states, including Michigan and Georgia. Trump repeatedly cited Dominion, according to Goodwin. ‘It was turned down by the state of Texas because it is insecure,’ Trump told Gooodwin. Trump also repeated allegations that the company’s owners and investors have ties to Democrats. Goodwin reports that ‘it is true the firm made a contribution and worked with the Clinton Family Foundation during the Obama-Biden administration.’
“The Associated Press also reported that a former top aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the company’s lobbyists. The firm also employs a lobbyist who worked for Republicans Dick Cheney and John Boehner.
“Trump, according to Goodwin, views the suspicious election results as ‘the concluding act of a confederacy against him that began with the Obama-Biden administration’s corrupting of the FBI and CIA to spy on him in 2016 and tip the election to Hillary Clinton. That effort gave birth to the Russia, Russia, Russia narrative that wasn’t fully revealed as false until the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally concluded in 2019.’… ‘Then this, the greatest theft in the history of America. And everybody knows it,’ Trump told Goodwin.”
More than half of Republicans believe that the election was “rigged” against Trump.
The Week wrote on November 18:
“President Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening that he has fired Christopher Krebs, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who [had denied] voter fraud… In his tweet about Krebs, Trump claimed that it was ‘inaccurate’ for Krebs to say the election was secure, and ‘therefore, effective immediately,’ Krebs has been terminated.”
In fact, Krebs or those speaking on his behalf even said that the vote was “the most secure in US history.” As many reports show, this allegation is laughable and totally wrong. So, Krebs’s termination should not surprise anyone.
Trump’s Legal Strategy?
Newsmax wrote on November 14:
“The legal battle for President Donald Trump is no longer about him reaching 270 electoral college votes, but denying Joe Biden from reaching it, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax TV… ‘What he’s trying to do is to deny Joe Biden 270 votes, by challenging in Pennsylvania, Georgia, in Nevada, in Michigan, in Arizona.’ Keeping Biden from 270 would put the election on the House delegations – a state-by-state majority held by Republicans 26-23-1 – as designated by the U.S. Constitution. ‘If he can keep the Biden count below 270, then the matter goes to the House of Representatives, where of course there is a Republican majority among the delegations of states, and you vote by state if it goes to the House,’ Dershowitz told host Carl Higbie…
“You need a perfect storm for it to work. You need to get enough states, enough state attorneys general, or state departments, or whoever, secretaries of state or governors that are Republican that legitimately refuse to certify the results because they’re under challenge on the day the electoral college meets by statute. ‘If on that day, Biden doesn’t have 270 votes – you don’t get to vote two or three times on that; as far as the Constitution’s concerned, it’s one vote – and if the one vote doesn’t give the leading candidate 270 electoral votes, then automatically it goes to the House of Representatives, where a whole new process takes over, and a process that clearly favors President Trump.’”
Dershowitz has been wrong before on numerous occasions. We will see…
Massive Planned Centralized Election Fraud?
Breitbart reported on November 19:
“Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers representing President Donald Trump’s campaign outlined their case Thursday that the Nov. 3 presidential election was so deeply flawed in several key states that the results should be overturned in the president’s favor.
“Giuliani said there was a pattern to the alleged irregularities in key states that suggested, he said, a ‘plan from a centralized place’ to commit voter fraud in cities controlled by Democrats. He said widespread adoption of vote-by-mail had allowed Democrats to take big-city corruption practices nationwide. ‘They picked the places where they could get away with it.’…
“Voting machines and software are allegedly owned by companies with ties to the Venezuelan regime and to left-wing donor George Soros. Sidney Powell argued that U.S. votes were being counted overseas, and that Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic software were controlled by foreign interests, manipulating algorithms to change the results. Powell noted specifically that Smartmatic’s owners included two Venezuelan nationals, whom she alleged had ties to the regime of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The legal team alleged that there were statistical anomalies, such as huge batches of votes for Biden, that could not be explained except as manipulation — which, they alleged, happened in the wee hours of the morning as vote-counting had stalled.”
It will be interesting to see whether Giuliani and his legal team can prove those outrageous allegations in a court of law.
Judge Jeanine Pirro: Not Going Quietly into the Night
The Daily Mail wrote on November 16:
“Judge Jeanine Pirro launched an attack on Democrats and others who are telling President Donald Trump and his supporters to accept that he lost the election… at the top of her Fox News show on Saturday night… The host… insisted Trump has no obligation to concede until they are investigated fully.
“‘We’ll pursue all legal avenues where there are irregularities, anomalies, illegalities and corruptions, and until the certification and the electors vote, that is not a lot to ask,’ she said of herself and other Trump supporters. ‘So don’t you dare ask us to just accept it and move on, and don’t you dare tell me I’m being un-American by questioning what even a Supreme Court justice has put a hold on. ‘And don’t you dare ask us to go quietly into the night.’
“Pirro pointed out that it is not up to the media to declare the winner of the election… She also questioned the true motivations behind changes made to this year’s election procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, as Trump has done. ‘We are criticized because we are asking questions,’ she said. ‘Under the cover of Covid, rules were changed, providing opportunities for wrongdoers…
“Pirro listed off several allegations of voter fraud pushed by the Trump campaign in lawsuits across various states, such as GOP poll watchers being barred from counting centers, ballots being accepted late and corruption of machines that tally votes… Pirro insisted that they must be probed extensively.”
Fox News’ conduct and position has been more than dubious. Newsmax had reported that Fox News had suspended Pirro for a week and had cancelled her proposed show about election fraud.
It Has Begun–Violence Breaks out
Fox News reported on November 14:
“President Trump lashed out against ‘ANTIFA SCUM’ and the media Saturday night as violence continued in Washington, D.C., where pro-Trump supporters gathered for the ‘Million MAGA March.’ In a series of Twitter messages before midnight ET, the president also blasted counter-protesters as ‘Human Radical Left garbage’… Trump accused Antifa activists of returning under cover of darkness to cause mayhem…
“Trump also accused the ‘Silent Media’ of ignoring the Washington clashes, retweeting a message from Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, who alleged a ‘total media blackout’ as leftists launched ‘abhorrent’ assaults against Trump supporters… Earlier Saturday, the march was largely peaceful. But as the sun went down, snippets of scenes shared on Twitter showed chaos had overtaken areas of the nation’s capital…
“A National Park Service permit for the rally was issued for up to 10,000 people, although several thousand more appeared to show up.”
This is just a small foretaste of what is going to happen…
US Catholic Bishops under Attack over Biden/Harris Pro-Abortion Agenda
Breitbart wrote on November 14:
“National pro-life leaders from the American Life League (ALL) have denounced the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for congratulating abortion rights supporter Joe Biden, asserting the bishops are accepting of a so-called Catholic politician who is ‘spitting at the face of Christ.’ Judie Brown, the president of ALL, the nation’s oldest grassroots, Catholic pro-life organization, said in a statement this week: ‘The USCCB has affirmed what many of us have suspected for many years, and that is that most Catholic bishops have no problem with a Catholic politician spitting at the face of Christ by supporting the vile murder of the preborn. Joe Biden is such a man; he claims to be Catholic, yet he gives 100 percent support for abortion every day of the week and in every manner of brutality against the innocent. The Catholic bishops have erred, and as a Catholic, I am ashamed of them.’…
“Hugh Brown, ALL’s executive vice president said in the statement the election is still contested and ‘is not over.’ He added, nevertheless, Catholics should not be shocked that the bishops have congratulated Biden: ‘The reality of the USCCB issuing a statement of congratulations to Joe Biden should not be a surprise to anyone. The USCCB is a feckless spineless conglomerate of dead souls. They are not the descendants of the Apostles. They are what St. John Paul II referred to when he wrote of the Anti-Church. Every Catholic should shake the dust from his feet regarding the USCCB. Listen to them not. We must put our faith in Christ.’
“Jim Sedlak, ALL executive director and founder of its STOP Planned Parenthood… program, said in the statement the bishops’ message demonstrates the conference is a ‘political entity’: ‘In issuing its congratulations, the USCCB calls on Catholics to COMPROMISE with regards to the law and public policy. For Catholics, the law is the Law of God as expressed in the 10 Commandments. Which commandments should we compromise on? Perhaps God really didn’t mean ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ After all, Biden/Harris have spent all of 2020 telling us that, if elected, they would expand abortion in the United States. They also said they would restrict religious liberty. The clearest takeaway from the USCCB’s statement is the confirmation that they are now a political body issuing a politically correct statement.’
“Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, also tweeted his deep concerns about the USCCB statement of congratulations to Biden: ‘A dark cloud has descended on this nation when the USCCB and Planned Parenthood speak in unison in support of a Biden-Harris administration that supports the slaughter of innocents by abortion for all 9 months of pregnancy.’”
The entire Roman Catholic Church, led by the Pope and the Vatican, has always been a political organization, being identified as the fallen woman riding the beast in the Book of Revelation. The Catholic Church does not even purport to be loyal to the Ten Commandments… it has flagrantly abandoned the fourth commandment of keeping the sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) by replacing it with the worship of a pagan day—Sunday—which was kept by Gentiles to worship their pagan sun gods.
Racism against Whites in New York City
Daily Mail wrote on November 18:
“Journalist Megyn Kelly will pull her kids from their ‘far-left’ New York City school because they have ‘gone off the deep end’ following the death of George Floyd. Her sons Edward, 11, and Thatcher Bray, 7, attended the Collegiate School (inset) on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where a letter was sent around to faculty that claimed ‘white school districts across the country [are] full of future killer cops’. She said the letter asserted that white children are inherently racist, that ‘there is a killer cop sitting in every school where white children learn’ and that ‘white school districts across the country [are] full of future killer cops.’ Kelly said the schools ‘have always been far-left’ but they’ve now ‘gone around the bend… I mean, they have gone off the deep end.’”
Travel Advisory for People Coming to California
KCRA reported on November 13:
“… the California Department of Public Health on Friday issued a travel advisory saying that people entering the state should self-quarantine for 14 days… ‘Persons arriving in California from other states or Californians returning from other states or countries could increase the risk of COVID-19 spread…’
“During the quarantine period, people should limit their interactions to their immediate household, according to the advisory, which applies to both visitors and Californians returning home… The advisory also encourages Californians to stay home or in their region and to avoid non-essential travel to other states or counties… [LA county even “advised” that residents don’t travel out of state for Thanksgiving and, if they do, that they quarantine for 14 days upon their return.]
“The governors of Oregon and Washington state on Friday also issued travel advisories that urge against non-essential, out-of-state travel and ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country…”
The Associated Press added on November 14:
“The governors of Oregon and New Mexico ordered near-lockdowns Friday in the most aggressive response yet… Oregon Gov. Kate Brown [Wikipedia: “the first openly bisexual governor in US history”] ordered a two-week ‘freeze’ starting Wednesday, under which all businesses will be required to close their offices to the public and mandate work-from-home ‘to the greatest extent possible.’ While most Oregon stores will remain open, gyms, museums, pools, movie theaters and zoos will be forced to close, and restaurants and bars will be limited to takeout. Social gatherings will be restricted to six people. The Democratic governor warned that violators could face fines or arrest.”
MSN added on November 14:
“Violators could face up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both.”
At the same time, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on November 13 about California Governor Newsom’s hypocrisy, as follows:
“Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a birthday party for one of his political advisers last week that included people from several households, the type of gathering his administration has discouraged during the coronavirus pandemic. The dinner the night of Nov. 6 at the famed French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County brought together at least 12 people to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a longtime friend and political adviser to Newsom who is also a partner at the lobbying firm Axiom Advisors. In addition to the governor, his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was in attendance.
“State guidelines limit gatherings, defined as ‘social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,’ to no more than three households. Representatives for Kinney and Newsom declined to specify how many households the diners represented, but did not dispute that it was more than three.”
Incredible! He seems to be following the lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who has “defended holding a large dinner for incoming members as Democrat leaders across the country urge Americans to cancel their traditional Thanksgiving plans to combat the Chinese coronavirus” (Breitbart, dated November 13). Due to the enormous backlash from co-Democrats, the dinner was finally cancelled.
Fox News wrote on November 13:
“While President Trump and Republican lawmakers have long been criticized for appearing to not take the pandemic seriously by not practicing mask-wearing and social distancing at multiple large events, it’s been Democratic officials who have been slammed for urging others to be cautious but appear to scoff at their own advice. Earlier this year, Pelosi was caught maskless on a security camera at a hair salon in San Francisco, breaking state and city ordinances in the process. Pelosi remained defiant, however, insisting she was “set up” by the salon owner.”
Pelosi has been under attack from Democrats “of all persuasions,” being blamed for not having achieved a (bigger) victory in the House and the Senate, due to her compromising attitude toward the “Squad” and other radical socialists.
More Draconian Measures in the USA—amidst Newsom’s Hypocrisy
Breitbart wrote on November 19:
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a curfew Thursday that will run from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., starting Saturday, lasting for a month, in “purple tier” counties hardest hit by the coronavirus surge, covering 94% of the state’s population…. An ongoing surge in coronavirus cases has prompted several [Democratic-majority] U.S. governors to bring back draconian lockdown rules and tighten other restrictions, severely limiting where people can go, how they can worship, and whom they can see, all ahead of Thanksgiving and other holidays.”
Why is it always Democratic governors and mayors who are quick in restricting personal liberties and freedoms?
Also, as the LA Times reported on November 19:
“Anger over the perceived hypocrisy of California lawmakers continued to boil over Wednesday, as newly published pictures raised doubts about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s claim that his French Laundry dinner was held outdoors… To add insult to injury, two top officials from the California Medical Assn. — a leading organization representing doctors in the state — were among those in attendance at the dinner…
“…All of which intensifies the anger over the decision made by more than half dozen a California lawmakers to attend an annual policy conference at a luxury Hawaiian resort this week… the names of more lawmakers attending a Maui junket surfaced. The opulence of both indiscretions — a nine-course dinner at a world-famous restaurant [with and several days at a Hawaiian resort where even the street-view rooms will set you back upward of $500 a night — certainly adds salt to the wound. Many Californians have been financially devastated by the pandemic, and the latest round of restrictions puts even more businesses and livelihoods in jeopardy.”
Fox News added on November 19:
“Among the Purple Tier counties are Napa, where the Democratic governor attended a friend’s birthday party earlier this month at the upscale French Laundry restaurant – even as coronavirus cases were spiking and as he preached daily to exercise increased caution. His administration didn’t acknowledge the birthday dinner until a week later when a reporter was tipped and asked about it… Last month, his office was widely ridiculed for tweeting: ‘Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites.’”
Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace added: “If you look up hypocrisy in the dictionary… there is a picture of Gavin Newsom.”
New Restrictions Coming, but… Lockdowns and Masks Don’t Work
Breitbart wrote on November 15:
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) promised he would do ‘everything’ he could to ‘prevent’ a lockdown if former Vice President Joe Biden officially wins the presidency… Paul said the country cannot be under lockdown and be forced to wear masks like it has the majority of 2020 ‘forever.’ The physician-turned-senator said the idea of remaining inside and canceling Thanksgiving is ‘ridiculous’ and ‘not based in science.’
“‘Today, Biden’s talking more about a lockdown. This is absolutely why he’s going to be a terrible president if we get him,’ Paul warned. ‘He’s going to ruin the country. Lockdowns don’t work. And in fact, all of the evidence on mandatory masks show that they don’t work either. There’s about 10 different countries or venues, maybe 20, that instituted mandatory masks, and [in] every one of them — to a T — the infection rate, the COVID rate went up after the mask mandate…’”
Trump said last week that under his administration, there would be no lockdown. Dr. Fauci said on Sunday that even after someone is vaccinated, they should still continue to wear the mask and practice social distancing. Even though another company (US Firm Moderna) just announced their vaccine is 94.5% effective. And Pfizer declared, their vaccine is safe and 95% effective. Of course, we would not want to blindly accept such announcements. But what is Dr. Fauci up to?
In Germany, a draft for new regulations proposes:
“People being urged to abstain from private parties completely; Youngsters being encouraged to meet with only one particular friend in their free time; Families limiting private get-togethers to their own household and people from one other particular household; Meetings in public restricted to members of one household and a maximum of two people from another household; Masks that cover the mouth and nose are to become compulsory for teachers and pupils of all ages on school premises and during lessons” (see Deutsche Welle, November 16).
AFP/The Local reported on November 16:
“Germany may see four to five more months of coronavirus restrictions, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Sunday, dashing hopes of a quick end to a partial lockdown introduced two weeks ago… Several demonstrations against the restrictions were held on Saturday across Germany, including one in Frankfurt where water cannons were used against counter-demonstrators.”
This would be complete lunacy. Another example of lunacy: “Germany has applauded the country’s ‘heroes’ who stay at home, ‘lazy as raccoons.’ In the ad, the government encourages citizens to do what is expected: ‘Absolutely nothing.’” (Deutsche Welle, November 15).
Jens Spahn and Sebastian Kurz—the new Dictators
Bild Online reported on November 12 that the two most popular German politicians are Angela Merkel (74%) and Jens Spahn (65%). It also informed about the proposed new health law which would give Spahn unique powers so that he would become the “corona chancellor,” according to the mass tabloid. As sole ruler, he would be able to reign without consent by the different German state premiers or mayors.
Not surprisingly, Austria follows suit. As Der Spiegel reported on November 14, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced a total lockdown for Austria, generally prohibiting to leave one’s home, beginning on Tuesday, November 17, and lasting, for now, until December 6. He said: “Do not meet anyone for the next few weeks. Every social contact means, it’s one too many.” Only one important person outside one’s own household can be met with.
Dr. Fauci declared that it is time for Americans to “obey” and to set aside their “independent spirit.” The world’s “rulers” and “scientists” must all be talking to each other. More and more are speaking now of a “dark winter,” suggesting that new lockdowns will last much longer than just for one month.
More Powers to German Government to Abolish Liberty and Freedom
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 18 that the German Parliament approved a revision of the Infection Protection Law which was also signed by the German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This law, which has been highly propagated by Jens Spahn, has been widely compared to the Enabling Act of 1933 and the signing of the law by German Reichspresident Paul von Hindenburg. That law paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. At the same time, Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Reichskanzler:
“… today’s Infection Protection Law does indeed transfer some legislative power from the parliament to the executive, the government… It will now create a legal basis for the government to restrict some fundamental rights enshrined in the German constitution in its attempt to fight the pandemic… In fact, a comparison to the Weimar Republic, Germany’s first democracy that lasted from 1919 to 1933, could be drawn… In 1923… Germany was facing a currency crisis, hyperinflation with severe economic and social repercussions. The Reichstag then passed an ‘Enabling Law,’ making it possible for the government to take financial, economic, and social measures it considered necessary… And ten years later, it became a precedent for the ‘Enabling Act’ the Nazis pushed through.
“… the movement against lockdown measures seems to be growing steadily. According to a survey by the Allensbach polling firm, the percentage of Germans critical of the government’s anti-coronavirus policies has risen from 15 to 28 % over the last three months.”
One must indeed be blind not to see the parallels between what is happening now in Germany and what occurred in Nazi Germany. According to Die Tagesschau, dated November 18, the new law temporarily supersedes the German Constitution and permits the government to “temporarily” restrict or abandon personal liberties and freedoms, including ordering the wearing of masks and practicing social distancing, travel restrictions, prohibitions to leave the home, contact limitations, closure of shops and businesses, prohibitions of assemblies and church services. These prohibitions and mandates can be unilaterally enacted by the government for four weeks, and can be extended if “reasons” are given to the parliament.
The Local wrote on November 18:
“In the parliament (Bundestag) 415 delegates voted on Wednesday in favour of the reform, which aims to give coronavirus measures a stronger legal footing. A full 236 voted against it, while eight abstained in the roll-call vote. During parallel protests, several thousand participants rallied against the change in the law as well as current coronavirus measures on Wednesday. There were clashes with police and more than 100 arrests…
“In the debate, federal Health Minister Jens Spahn defended the coronavirus restrictions and asked for further trust in government crisis management… The parliamentary director of the AfD faction, Bernd Baumann, said: ‘Today’s bill is an authorisation of the government, the likes of which has not been seen since historical times.’ Members of other parliamentary groups rejected the accusations. But the AfD was not the only parliamentary party that spoke against the reformed law, with members of the Free Democrats (FDP), Greens and Left Party also speaking out.”
The German government did not respond kindly to such comparisons. Breitbart wrote on November 18:
“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas reacted sharply to the accusation from some protesters that the measures were akin to the 1933 ‘Enabling Act,’ which allowed the Nazis to enact laws without parliamentary approval. ‘Everyone, naturally, has the right to criticize the measures, our democracy thrives through the exchange of different opinions,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘But whoever relativizes or trivializes the Holocaust has learned nothing from our history.’”
It appears it is Maas who tries to relativize or trivialize troublesome developments in today’s Germany.
The Associated Press wrote on November 13:
“Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sounded an alarm about restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying they shouldn’t become a ‘recurring feature after the pandemic has passed.’ ‘The pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty,’ Alito said… he said it is an ‘indisputable statement of fact’ that ‘we have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020.’
“Alito was particularly critical of two cases earlier this year where the court sided with states that, citing the coronavirus pandemic, imposed restrictions on the size of religious gatherings. In both cases, the court divided 5-4 in allowing those restrictions to continue with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court’s liberals. In May, the high court rejected an emergency appeal by a California church challenging attendance limits at worship services. The justices turned away a similar challenge by a Nevada church in July. Alito said in both cases the restrictions had ‘blatantly discriminated against houses of worship’ and he warned that ‘religious liberty is in danger of becoming a second-class right.’
“Both cases came to the court before the death in September of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The liberal justice’s replacement by conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett could change how the court might come out on similar cases in the future. Currently before the court is a case involving the Catholic church and limits on in-person services in New York.”
The unconstitutional prohibitions of religious services continue in most of the Democratic-run US states. The hypocrisy in all of this is mind-boggling.
“CNN Host’s Comparison of ‘Kristallnacht’ to Trump Era Derided as ‘Despicable’”
The Algemeiner wrote on November 13:
“CNN anchorwoman Christiane Amanpour raised eyebrows on Thursday when she marked the 82nd anniversary of ‘Kristallnacht’ — the November 1938 pogroms targeting Jews in Germany and Austria — by appearing to liken the values of the Nazis to those of US President Donald Trump. ‘This week, 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened,’ Amanpour said. ‘It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity.’ ‘And, in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history, and truth,’ she continued. ‘After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden/Harris team pledges a return to norms.’
“Amanpour’s remarks were met with widespread derision on social media. The Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) called her words ‘despicable.’ The StopAntisemitism.org watchdog group tweeted, ‘Hey @CNN @camanpour please stop using the horrors of the Holocaust to justify an agenda. Our suffering is not yours to play political ping pong with.’”
Many asked for her resignation or an immediate public apology for the “unacceptable comparison.” JTA reported on November 17: “CNN’s Christiane Amanpour said she ‘regrets any pain’ caused by her invoking the Kristallnacht pogroms in criticizing President Donald Trump, saying she ‘should not have’ juxtaposed the two issues.” Not quite an apology or a retraction.
Macron: Europe Needs Own Defense
Reuters reported on November 16:
“Europe still needs its own independent and sovereign defence strategy, even if it is dealing with a new U.S. government which may result in friendlier ties, French President Emmanuel Macron [said]… Macron rebuffed comments from German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to Politico on Nov. 2, in which the German minister said Europe would have to remain dependent on U.S. military protection for the near future.
“‘I am in complete disagreement with the opinion article published in Politico by the German defence minister,’ said Macron, adding he believed German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared his position on this issue. ‘The United States will only respect us as allies if we are serious about our own position, and if we have our own sovereignty regarding our defence,’ said Macron.”
The statements by German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer were indeed totally out of line with what is happening in Europe.
The World’s Largest Trade Pact
The Associated Press wrote on November 15:
“China and 14 other countries agreed Sunday to set up the world’s largest trading bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity… Apart from the 10 ASEAN members, it includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but not the United States. Officials said the accord leaves the door open for India, which dropped out due to fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, to rejoin the bloc…
“ASEAN members include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.”
Very soon, we can expect that Russia will join that fold as well, while countries such as Australia and New Zealand might be leaving the bloc.
Worldwide Hunger and Famine
The Associated Press wrote on November 14:
“20 countries ‘are likely to face potential spikes in high acute food insecurity’ in the next three to six months’… Of those, Yemen, South Sudan, northeastern Nigeria and Burkina Faso have some areas that ‘have reached a critical hunger situation following years of conflict or other shocks,’ the U.N. agencies said, and any further deterioration in coming months ‘could lead to a risk of famine.’
“Other countries requiring ‘urgent attention’ are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, they said. [An official said:] ‘We’re very, very, very concerned’ that with deferred debt payments for low- and middle-income countries resuming in January, new lockdowns and the rippling economic impact, ‘2021’s going to be a very bad year…’”
These terrible lockdowns will greatly accelerate worldwide hunger and famine. It is interesting that the Editorial Board of the Washington Times published an article last week, saying that LOCKDOWNS DON’T WORK.
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.
The Pope has recently spoken about indulgences. How do you understand this? (Part 5)
In the first three parts of this series, we began to discuss the concept taught by the Roman Catholic Church that the “immortal souls” of departed ones may be in hell or purgatory, and that “indulgences” or prayers for the dead can allegedly remove, partially (“plenary”) or completely (“in full”), punishment for sin, so that their souls can be freed from purgatory or even hell to go to heaven. In order to answer the question regarding indulgences, we reviewed, among other questions, related issues such as the fact that we do not have an immortal soul; that we neither go to heaven (where we, as immortal saints in heaven, could allegedly receive prayers from the living and intervene on their behalf), nor do we go to hell or purgatory when we die.
We also discussed the spirit in man and showed that it is not just another concept for an immortal soul; but that the spirit in man has no consciousness when a person dies. Rather, upon death, the entire human being—spirit, body and soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23)—ceases to “live” or have any conscious “life” in any manner, shape or form.
In part 4, we began to review the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on purgatory, and we will continue to show in this part why this concept is wrong.
We again quote from the website of https://www.catholic.com/tract/purgatory in regard to this Catholic teaching, falsely attempting to “prove” that the early Christian Church believed in it:
“Why No Protests?
“A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs. They were extremely conservative people who tested a doctrine’s truth by asking, Was this believed by our ancestors? Was it handed on from the apostles? Surely belief in purgatory would be considered a great change, if it had not been believed from the first—so where are the records of protests?
“They don’t exist. There is no hint at all, in the oldest writings available to us (or in later ones, for that matter), that ‘true believers’ in the immediate post-apostolic years spoke of purgatory as a novel doctrine. They must have understood that the oral teaching of the apostles, what Catholics call tradition, and the Bible not only failed to contradict the doctrine, but, in fact, confirmed it.
“It is no wonder, then, that those who deny the existence of purgatory tend to touch upon only briefly the history of the belief. They prefer to claim that the Bible speaks only of heaven and hell. Wrong. It speaks plainly of a third condition, commonly called the limbo of the Fathers, where the just who had died before the redemption were waiting for heaven to be opened to them. After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19). These people thus were not in heaven, but neither were they experiencing the torments of hell.”
There are several matters to address in the above statements.
The following assertion is patently wrong: “A study of the history of doctrines indicates that Christians in the first centuries were up in arms if anyone suggested the least change in beliefs.” The Catholic Church brought in the change of Sunday worship instead of the weekly seventh-day Sabbath and we don’t read of protests at all at that time.
In an old Global Church of God booklet from 1995, we read about what happened to the Church.
“When we look at the story of the mainstream, professing Christian church throughout the centuries, it appears to be a vastly different church from the one described in the pages of your New Testament. In the book of Acts we find that God’s church celebrated ‘Jewish’ holy days (Acts 2:1; 13-14, 42, 44; 18:21), talked about the return of Jesus Christ to judge the world (Acts 3:20-21; 17:31) and believed in the literal establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth (Acts 1:3, 6; 28:23).
“Yet, less than 300 years later, we find a church claiming apostolic origination, but observing the ‘venerable day of the Sun’ instead of the seventh-day Sabbath. When that church assembled its bishops to discuss doctrinal matters at the council of Nicea, the meeting was presided over by, of all people, a Roman Emperor – Constantine! How could such an amazing transformation have taken place? What happened?
“Protestant author Jesse Lyman Hurlbut acknowledged the dramatic change that took place in his book, The Story of the Christian Church. He wrote, ‘For fifty years after St Paul’s life a curtain hangs over the church, through which we strive vainly to look; and when it at last rises, about 120 A.D. with the writings of the earliest church-fathers, we find a church in many aspects very different from that in the day of St Peter and St Paul” (page 41).
“The story of the Christian church between Pentecost of 31 A.D. and the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., almost 300 years later, is an amazing story. It is the story of how yesterday’s orthodoxy became today’s heresy and how old heresies came to be considered orthodox Christian doctrine. It is the story of how church tradition and the teaching of the bishops came to supersede the Word of God as a source of doctrine. It is a story that is stranger than fiction, yet it is very much historically verifiable.”
That explains why this heretical church changed the weekly Sabbath day to the first day of the week and why there were no protests. The fact of the matter is, the true Church became persecuted and had to go into hiding, while the false church produced and published a narrative to its liking. Dissenting viewpoints were systematically suppressed and dissenters declared to be “anathema” and killed. However, the true Church of God remained intact keeping the doctrines that had been given to it and has remained faithful down through the ages. Although small, apostolic Christianity is today taught by the Church of God which is comprised of those who have the Holy Spirit after repentance and baptism (compare Acts 2:38).
We also need to address the assertion that “After his death and before his resurrection, Christ visited those experiencing the limbo of the Fathers and preached to them the good news that heaven would now be opened to them (1 Pet. 3:19).” This is in error. This cannot be a reference to dead human beings as Jesus went to preach to the spirits in prison who were the angels who sinned. In 2 Peter 2:4 we read: “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.”
“We are told in 1 Peter 3:19–20: ‘… by which [the Spirit] also he [Christ] went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water’ (Authorized Version).
“The correct understanding of this passage is that Jesus Christ preached to the spirits in prison—the demons—at the time of Noah, when God was about to protect Noah from destruction. Christ used this example to show that the demons who had sinned ‘sometime’—before the creation of man—were still awaiting their judgment.”
This was not after Christ’s resurrection but more than 2,000 years earlier and it is talking about “in the days of Noah”. As we explained in previous instalments, when Christ died, He was in the grave for three days and three nights without any consciousness. He—or His “soul”—did not keep on living. Christ could not have gone anywhere after His death and before His resurrection. He could not have gone to “spirits” to preach to them about the past or the good news that “heaven was open to them” or the coming judgment—because we read that those who are dead know NOTHING. To try and say that this describes the limbo of the Fathers AND that heaven would now be opened to them is a blatant twisting of Scripture. As we proved earlier, no one ascends to heaven after death.
There is also no hint that any “oral teachings of the Apostles” and the Bible confirm the concept of purgatory and/or limbo. As we have seen, the Bible totally rejects the concept of limbo and purgatory. And God’s true apostles would not have preached something which is so diametrically opposite to foundational biblical teachings. The “tradition” of the Catholic Church is just that—human ideas which deny the Truth of God. These traditions, as so many others, have been adopted, as we saw, from paganism and are strongly condemned by God. Compare Matthew 15:3, 6; Colossians 2:8.
Again, returning to the website: https://www.catholic.com/tract/purgatory and reading the explanation “Purgatory Not in Scripture”:
“Some Fundamentalists also charge, ‘The word purgatory is nowhere found in Scripture. This is true, and yet it does not disprove the existence of purgatory or the fact that belief in it has always been part of Church teaching. The words Trinity and Incarnation aren’t in Scripture either, yet those doctrines are clearly taught in it. Likewise, Scripture teaches that purgatory exists, even if it doesn’t use that word and even if 1 Peter 3:19 refers to a place other than purgatory.”
The existence of purgatory has never been a part of the teaching of the true Church of God and is not mentioned in Scripture, although the great false church has adopted this as they have in many other areas. The trinity is not mentioned in Scripture either as they rightly say because it has never been a doctrine of the true Church of God. For a thorough explanation on this subject, please see our booklet: “Is God a Trinity?”
The third area they mention that is a teaching but not mentioned in Scripture is Incarnation. Wikipedia gives this explanation of the word Incarnation: “Incarnation refers to the act of a pre-existent divine person, the Son of God, in becoming a human being.” Also, in the incarnation, as traditionally defined by those Churches that adhere to the Council of Chalcedon, the divine nature of the Son was united but not mixed with human nature in one divine Person, Jesus Christ, who was both ‘truly God and truly man’. This is central to the traditional faith held by most Christians.”
The concept of the TRUE incarnation is indeed taught in Scripture, but not the concept of the false incarnation, as erroneously taught by the Catholic church and most Protestant churches. We have already addressed the impossibility that Jesus was fully God and fully man. It is impossible to be both at the same time, when both concepts are in opposition, in spite of mainstream Christianity’s belief that it is so.
The Truth is that Christ was fully man. He became fully flesh and blood. This is explained in our Q&A, titled, “Who was Jesus Christ when He was here on earth about 2,000 years ago?”. We also explain there what the biblical concept of the Incarnation means. Simply put, it teaches that God became Man:
“Jesus Christ was God before He came to this earth… He was and had to be God–the ‘Immanuel’ or ‘God with us’–when He came to this earth during His First Coming. God clearly tells us that the Word—Jesus Christ—who was God before His human birth, BECAME flesh. Christ came in the flesh by BECOMING flesh. This means that He became totally and fully flesh and blood, like you and I! This is CRUCIAL for you to understand! When Christ BECAME flesh, He was no longer Spirit. He was no longer fully God, because He had become fully man!…
“When Mary became pregnant with Jesus, how did that happen? We read that the Holy Spirit of God, the Father, came upon her—that the power of God overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). From this we can understand that through the Holy Spirit, God, the Father, changed the all-powerful Spirit being, Jesus Christ, into a tiny physical human sperm, fertilizing the egg in the womb of Mary, thus impregnating her. The fetus grew within Mary’s womb like any other human fetus. Jesus was born as a little baby like every other human baby. He was fully flesh, just like you and I are fully flesh…
“The Bible teaches clearly that Jesus Christ–the God of the Old Testament–‘emptied’ Himself and became a human being… It was absolutely NECESSARY for Christ to become FULLY MAN, because only in that way could He become the Savior of man… The only way that Christ—who had been GOD since all eternity—could die, was to become flesh. When He became flesh, He was totally human!… When Christ became flesh, He gave up all of His divine attributes and powers. Simply put, He became a man so that He could die! He was no longer a Spirit being, He was no longer God as we think of God, since God, a Spirit being, cannot die (compare Luke 20:35–36; Isaiah 57:15; 1 Timothy 6:16; 1 Timothy 1:17)…
“Christ became flesh so that He could overcome sin in the flesh. He had to prove that it is possible for man, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit within him, to overcome sin!… Christ was tempted in all points, as we are, but He stayed sinless (Hebrews 4:15, ‘[He] was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.’). He overcame sin in the flesh, resisting temptation (Revelation 3:21). God, a powerful perfect Spirit being—cannot be tempted (compare James 1:13). But we read that Christ WAS tempted. This proves that He was not the all-powerful perfect Spirit being when He was here on this earth that He HAD been prior to His birth as a human being…
“Christ had been an immortal God being. He was changed into a human being, but He was still the same personage He had been since all eternity. Christ, who became human, was still the personage He had always been. He was still the one who had previously met with Abraham, the one who created Adam and Eve, and the one who spoke to Moses face-to-face. He lived as a human being—growing as children do, developing into a young man, and then becoming a rabbi, or teacher, in Judah. But He was still the same individual that He had always been. He had been an immortal God being and He knew that He would become an immortal God being again, subject to qualifying by being and remaining sinless… Christ, when He was here on earth, was, quite literally, Immanuel, or, ‘God with us.’…”
Discussing the concept of purgatory, we read the following on the website https://www.equip.org/article/is-purgatory-a-biblical-concept/ :
“The interpretation of Scripture (called hermeneutics) is built on three preliminary laws. The first is this: Scripture interprets Scripture, called ‘the rule of analogy.’ The second law of hermeneutics is this: The plain meaning of Scripture is usually the true meaning. The third rule is this: Simple passages of Scripture help explain complex passages of Scripture—the simple informs the complicated. Roman Catholic hermeneutics concerning supposed proof texts for purgatory violate all of these laws of hermeneutics. There is no clear, plain, and simple text about purgatory, as there is about both heaven and hell. The Apocrypha cannot be placed equal to inspired Scripture. The Bible plainly speaks about life, death, and judgment: ‘And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment’ (Heb. 9:27)… There is no mention of postmortem purgation at all. Purgatory is an extrabiblical idea, imported into the church in the Middle Ages—a product of tradition but not Scripture. And the Catholic efforts at grasping for hermeneutical straws to support this false belief—‘fire,’ ‘the age to come,’ ‘souls in prison’—betray a lack of clear, precise, and biblical evidence for that place called purgatory.”
With this extensive background, we will now begin to show the connection between the erroneous concept of purgatory and the erroneous concept of indulgences. We will address this connection in much detail in the next instalment. To conclude this part, let us quote from Wikipedia, as follows:
“Catholic doctrine on purgatory is presented as composed of the same two points in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, first published in 2005, which is a summary in dialogue form of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It deals with purgatory in the following exchange:
“‘210. What is purgatory?
“‘Purgatory is the state of those who die in God’s friendship, assured of their eternal salvation, but who still have need of purification to enter into the happiness of heaven.
“‘211. How can we help the souls being purified in purgatory?
“‘Because of the communion of the saints, the faithful who are still pilgrims on earth are able to help the souls in purgatory by offering prayers in suffrage for them, especially the Eucharistic sacrifice. They also help them by almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance.’”
Wikipedia also states the following under their comments on “the history of purgatory”:
“The idea of Purgatory as a physical place (like heaven and hell) became Roman Catholic teaching in the late 11th century. Medieval theologians concluded that the purgatorial punishments consisted of material fire. The Western formulation of purgatory proved to be a sticking point in the Great Schism between East and West. The Roman Catholic Church believes that the living can help those whose purification from their sins is not yet completed not only by praying for them but also by gaining indulgences for them as an act of intercession.”
If there is no purgatory, there is no need for indulgences. In fact, indulgences would be worthless and a waste of time (and money). This will become much clearer in the next instalment.
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Germany’s March to Dictatorship and its Corona Chancellor,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
A new law in Germany regarding the coronavirus, granting the government and its health minister, Jens Spahn, unilateral powers to restrict fundamental rights of liberty and freedom, as guaranteed in the German Constitution, has caused many to compare it with the Enabling Act of 1933 which paved the way for Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. But Germany’s new law is only the last step so far in a series of developments which are deeply troubling.
“Deutschlands Marsch in die Diktatur und sein Corona-Kanzler,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This program addresses the same material presented in English–as described above.
“Hatte Salomo jemals den heiligen Geist Gottes?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Did Solomon Ever Have God’s Holy Spirit?”
“Taking God to Work,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:
As this world continues its spiral, members of God’s Church must remember that a relationship with God and with Jesus Christ must not end with the Sabbath. In order to be sure we are following His Commandments, we must rely on Him as we face challenges in our work life as well. In this sermonette we will explore Scriptures that help us to honor Him and reflect our faith in our work and all that we do.
“Maintain the Grit to Succeed,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Too often we become stuck in a rut of spiritual complacency. Understanding and practicing the necessities in our relationship with God can become rote. It takes a concerted effect to grow and not just sustain our connection with God. We must always be learning and increasing in wisdom and in so doing, our lights will continue to shine brightly.
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom