|Live Services||Offertory / Our Resurrection to Life|
|Editorial||Not As I Will…|
|Current Events||This Week in the News|
|Q&A||How can I stand up for my Christian values and beliefs growing up in contemporary society?|
|The Work||Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock|
Offertory / Our Resurrection to Life
On September 16, 2023, the Feast of Trumpets, Michael Link will present the Offertory, and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “Our Resurrection to Life.”
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.
Please NOTE: Due to our observance of the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, Updates will not be published again until October 20, 2023.
Not As I Will…
by Norbert Link
Christ gave us this powerful promise in John 14:13-14:
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
He adds in Matthew 21:22: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Further, we read this in 1 John 3:22: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
So, all of this sounds pretty straightforward. If we ask God the Father to do anything for us, He will do so, if we ask in Christ’s name (with His authority and on His behalf); if we believe that God will do it; and if we keep His commandments and do the things which are pleasing to Him.
And still, even though we might fulfill all these requirements, we still might not receive the desired answer to our prayer. Does this mean, then, that God did not hear us; that He broke His promise; or that He is displeased with us for not being obedient and faithful enough? Does this mean, then, that it makes no difference whether we believe and keep His commandments?
If there was one Man who never disobeyed God; in whom the Father was well pleased; and who had full, total and complete faith, it was Jesus Christ. He even said that He knew that His Father would always hear Him. But at one time, He did not receive the answer from God the Father which He had desired.
Even though He came for the purpose of suffering and dying for mankind, when He was faced with the reality of torture and death, He did not want to go through it. He prayed to the Father to spare Him from this terrible ordeal which was awaiting Him. He told His disciples who were with Him: “‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me…’” (Matthew 26:39).
Although hoping that there could be another way to accomplish the purpose of His coming, He knew, deep down inside, that there was really no other way, and so He added: “‘… nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will’” (same verse).
He submitted to God’s Will and made it His own. When Peter was willing to defend Him against the soldiers with the sword, trying thereby, however foolishly, to prevent His arrest, Jesus told him: “‘Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?’’ (John 18:11).
And so, we read in 1 John 5:14-15:
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
But how do we know whether our requests are in accordance with God’s Will? And if we don’t know, doesn’t this mean that doubts come in and diminish our faith? The answer is “No; that does not have to be the case.” When we pray to God, we must have the unconditional and unwavering faith that He will hear and answer us in the way we hope. And that He will make it abundantly clear to us if His Will differs from ours. Sometimes, that answer comes rather soon. After Jesus had finished His prayer, He knew that there was no other way; the soldiers came to arrest Him, and there was no escape.
But this realization of God’s Will, being contrary to ours, may not be manifested right away. It may take some time.
The Apostle Paul was a man after God’s own heart. He seemed to have suffered from an incurable sickness, and He asked God three times—apparently asking Him three times during the formal procedure of anointing by other ministers—to be healed from this sickness. Only after the third anointing did he know that God would not heal him, as this was not His Will. Paul describes this realization in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9:
“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’”
Paul accepted God’s Will. He continued: “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (same verse).
It took Paul a while to come to this conclusion. In the meantime, he had continued to ask God for healing. When we do not know yet whether God’s Will is contrary to our request, we have to continue to ask in faith. Giving up prematurely is not the answer, when God’s Will contrary to our desires had not been made clear. Christ said in Luke 18:1, 7:
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart… And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?”
God will make His Will abundantly clear to us, either immediately or in time. He may do so, for instance, by circumstances. We should know, however, that it is never God’s Will that we sin by not keeping His commandments. Even if circumstances might “indicate” that we “cannot” keep the Sabbath or the annual Holy Days, to draw the conclusion that we don’t have to would never be in accordance with God’s Will.
We are faced many times with difficult and uncertain situations. God’s Will might not be what we would like to see, and disappointment in the case of “unanswered” prayers may be the inevitable result. We all go through these emotions, but it is important to realize that God has the best for all of us in mind. And in time, we will clearly see why God’s decisions have always been the right ones.
by Norbert Link
We begin with further developments pertaining to Germany, pointing out that many Germans are unhappy with Chancellor Scholz while legal persecution of critics of the German government continues; and we report that many in the USA, Germany and in other countries advocate ending the “costly” military and financial support for Ukraine. At the same time, Ukraine is demanding of certain countries, apparently unsuccessfully, to extradite “able” men who have fled Ukraine to avoid conscription and fighting in the war. Also, NATO made an astonishing admission.
We report on the Republican demand to begin a [long overdue] formal impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden’s misconduct; problematic US deals with Iran and Saudi Arabia; more of Biden’s fairy tales; and the “likely” violation of the Constitution by the Biden Administration.
We address the “outrageous” imprisonment of members of the Proud Boys because of “sedition” and speak about the ridiculous “magic bullet” theory.
We continue with the COVID hysteria and the fear of rising oil prices; and we address an absolutely crazy bill in California regarding “child’s gender identity”; an admission by a California scientist that he distorted climate change findings; and the terrible earthquakes in Morocco and the devastating floods in Libya.
Please view our new message, “Departing from God—Comments on News and Prophecy—September 8, 2023.
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
Germany Ready for Change?
The Telegraph wrote on September 10:
“[Scholz] said his country was afflicted by a ‘blight’ of timidity and risk aversion that only an ‘act of national strength’ can heal… the country has been brought down to earth by a gloomy economic reality… ‘The government’s story that green investments will bring a big boom is clearly misleading,’ Ifo head Clemens Fuest told The Telegraph. Climate policies such as a decision to phase out gas heating that was passed… by the German parliament on Friday are ‘of course raising costs and slowing down production’ in the crisis-hit building sector, he added…
“Berlin estimates that it needs to build some 8,600 miles of extra power lines to transport electricity from its new renewable wind and solar sources. But so far, less than 1,200 miles of the new lines have been completed…
“The picture of economic doom and gloom is playing into the hands of the far-Right Alternative for Germany party, which has been surging in polling in recent months. The pro-Russian party says it would tackle high energy prices – one of the core issues facing German industry – by repairing the sabotaged Nord Stream pipelines and buying gas from the Kremlin again. The price they are willing to pay is an end to military support to Ukraine.
“A recent poll from Saxony, one of three states in the former communist east that is going to the polls next year, found that all three parties in Mr Scholz’s coalition may struggle to win even the five per cent necessary to make it into the state legislature. Meanwhile, the AfD is set to win the most seats with 35 per cent of the vote while the CDU would come in second with 29 per cent….”
IF Germany was willing to change, it would have to start at the very top. But the question is, what kind of change? Note the next article.
Persecution in Germany Continuing
The Ron Paul Institute published on September 12 the following article by C.J. Hopkins (an American author living in Germany. We reported on this development in our Current Events in our Update #1083, dated September 1, 2023):
“So, the Berlin State Prosecutor has launched another criminal investigation of me. Apparently, I’m being charged with reporting on the original investigation of me that the Berlin State Prosecutor launched in June…
“What happened is, the prosecutor visited my blog and read a column I published in July… which included screenshots of the alleged ‘hate-crime’ Tweets that the original criminal investigation is based on, and that resulted in the Order of Punishment that the Berlin District Court handed down two weeks ago. So, the prosecutor opened a new criminal investigation and sent my attorney an official notice explaining the gravity of the additional charges… I am officially accused of ‘relativizing’ or ‘minimizing’ the crimes of the Nazis … by republishing the two Tweets that I originally tweeted…
“You would have to be a certified moron to believe they ‘minimized,’ or ‘relativized,’ or in any way made light of the crimes of the Nazis. You and I are not certified morons. Neither is the Berlin State Prosecutor. Neither is the District Court of Berlin… They are a blatant pretext to crackdown on dissent… [As was pointed out before in our above-mentioned Update, the allegations against Hopkins of minimizing the crimes of the Nazis are indeed preposterous and laughable.]
“I’m not at all enjoying my introduction to the so-called ‘German legal system.’ It is taking up my time. It is making me angry. It is upsetting my wife, which I do not appreciate. It is costing me a lot of money… The goal of… prosecutions like mine (and those of many other dissidents currently) is (a) to punish us for speaking out against ‘New Normal’ totalitarianism by making our lives as miserable as possible, (b) to make examples of us to discourage others from speaking out, and (c) to intimidate us into shutting… up… They may cloak themselves in the mantle of the law, but their modus operandi is brute force… their message is simple: ‘either do what we say, or we will hurt you.’..
“Never, ever, give in to a bully. The second you do, that bully owns you. What the bully wants, more than whatever he is demanding, more than anything else in the world, is your fear. The bully interprets your fear as respect, because the bully doesn’t understand respect. The bully craves your fear, and your obedience, because they reify the bully’s ‘authority.’ They enable the bully to feel powerful and important. The bully needs to feel ‘powerful’ and ‘important’ because the bully feels weak and unimportant, and afraid…
“Michael Ballweg, the founder and lead organizer of the ‘Querdenken’ movement… just spent nine months in jail. The German authorities have seized his assets, and frozen all his funds, so he is homeless, and bankrupt, and they are prosecuting him for attempted fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion, or, in other words, for launching a protest movement… The most absurd aspect of Michael’s case is the German authorities’ ‘theory of his crimes.’ According to this theory, Michael’s devious scheme was to commit serious fraud by … basically, launching a nationwide protest movement that was certain to get a ton of media attention and incur the wrath of the German authorities…”
These developments in Germany are indeed deeply disturbing. They are reminiscent of persecutions in Germany’s recent past. Hopkins’s comments on a bully are quite insightful.
Ukraine’s Costly War
On September 9, FPMag wrote the following:
“‘Supporting the USA proxy war in Ukraine is not a necessity. Ending this war is a necessity,’ exclaimed Alona Adamovich, humanitarian team lead providing women’s shelters in the Ukraine war zone…
“Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told Tucker Carlson the way ahead is ‘peace’. The only way to achieve that, PM Orbán said, is ‘call back Trump’…
“All the while, some 40,000 NATO troops are present at Russia’s borders and the Pentagon has called up 8,500 U.S. troops to prepare for ‘shipping out’ to join others… as a plan for 50,000 more is in the works…
“‘All this undeniably proves that Washington, contrary to White House and Pentagon claims, is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine,’ the RF defence ministry has repeatedly said in the past…
“‘Half a million people have died in Ukraine in the last year,’ said Irish MEP Claire Daly at a EU Parliamentary session with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, while Kiev resorts to conscripting disabled people into the army having lost 400,000 to 500,000 military personnel.”
And the way to peace they do not know…
Many “Able” Men Flee Ukraine
European Conservative wrote on September 9:
“Neither the Austrian, nor the Czech government is willing to bow to Ukraine’s demands and extradite Ukrainian men who have fled the war-torn country…
“David Arakhamia, parliamentary faction leader of Ukraine’s governing party, Servant of the People, said last week that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies should demand the extradition of men of military age who had illegally left Ukraine to escape mobilisation. With the war against Russia costing thousands of lives, the Ukrainian leadership is stepping up its efforts to recruit soldiers… But there are more and more reports of men fleeing the country to avoid military service.
“President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a general mobilisation after Russia’s invasion in February of last year, and military reservists between the ages of 18 and 60 are eligible for conscription. The number of Ukrainian men who have successfully avoided mobilisation and sought refuge abroad could be in the tens of thousands… What Eurostat’s statistics do tell us is that 17.7% of the 4 million Ukrainians who have been granted temporary protection in the EU since the start of the war are men aged 18-64…
“… there are around 14,000 Ukrainian men aged between 18 and 54 who have been registered as refugees in Austria… 80,000 Ukrainian men of military age may have entered Poland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the German Interior Ministry has registered more than 200,000 men in the same age group since the start of the war…”
This demand to extradite Ukrainian men seems to be in violation of international law.
NATO Admits Its Responsibility for the Ukraine War
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on September 11:
“During a speech at the EU Parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg clearly and repeatedly acknowledged that Putin made the decision to invade Ukraine because of fears of NATO expansionism… It would have been so very, very easy to prevent this horrific war…”
Formal Impeachment Inquiry Into Joe Biden
The New York Post wrote on September 12:
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that Republicans plan to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden’s alleged involvement while vice president in his son Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. ‘House Republicans have uncovered serious and credible allegations into President Biden’s conduct. Taken together, these allegations paint a picture of a culture of corruption,’ McCarthy (R-Calif.) said at the Capitol…”
Fox News added on September 12:
“The speaker said House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., will lead the inquiry in coordination with House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio… ‘Through our investigations, we have found that President Biden did lie to the American people about his own knowledge of his family’s foreign business dealings. Eyewitnesses have testified that the president joined on multiple phone calls and had multiple interactions, dinners resulted in cars and millions of dollars into his sons and his son’s business partners,’ McCarthy said.
“‘We know that bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates through various Shell companies. The Treasury Department alone has more than 150 transactions involving the Biden family. Another business associates that were flagged as suspicious activity by U.S. banks. Even a trusted FBI informant has alleged a bribe to the Biden family. Biden used his official office to coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners about Hunter’s role in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company,’ he continued.
“‘Finally, despite these serious allegations, it appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration. Treatment that not otherwise would have received if they were not related to the president,’ McCarthy said. ‘These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they want further investigation by the House of Representatives.’”
The concept, propagated by some, that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden is laughable, in light of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Whether McCarthy will garner enough votes for an impeachment inquiry or an impeachment is a different question.
At the same time, Hunter Biden was indicted on Thursday on three firearm charges, carrying prison terms (even though it is unlikely that the President’s son, if convicted, will be imprisoned.). He was not charged (so far) with FARA or tax violations. It was pointed out that the indictments are the only alleged criminal violations which do not directly implicate Joe Biden.
The US-Iran Deal
The Associated Press wrote on September 11, 2023:
“The Biden administration has cleared the way for the release of five American citizens detained in Iran by issuing a blanket waiver for international banks to transfer $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions. In addition, as part of the deal, the administration has agreed to release five Iranian citizens held in the United States… Congress was not informed of the waiver decision until Monday…
“The outlines of the deal had been previously announced and the waiver was expected. But the notification marked the first time the administration said it was releasing five Iranian prisoners as part of the deal. The prisoners have not been named. The waiver drew criticism of President Joe Biden from Republicans and others who say the deal will boost the Iranian economy at a time when Iran poses a growing threat to U.S. troops and Mideast allies.”
The Biden Administration announced that the money will only be used by Iran for “humanitarian” purposes. This has been flatly contradicted by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi who said that the money will be used “wherever we need it,” continuing, “This money belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money’ (compare Newsmax, dated September 12).
Besides everything else, the timing is just awful. So is the timing for the next “announcement”:
White House Praises Saudi Arabia
Daily Dot wrote on September 11:
“The White House is facing backlash online after praising Saudi Arabia on the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks… In a tweet on Monday, National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson applauded the foreign regime after it committed tens of billions of dollars towards the Partnership for Global Infrastructure (PGI). The initiative, spearheaded by President Joe Biden, seeks to spur economic growth in low- and middle-income countries with investments in infrastructure.
“But users on X were quick to label the tweet as out-of-touch given the day’s date. ‘Posting on 9/11 and 20 minutes after the first tower fell,’ one user wrote. ‘Just incredible timing.’
“Saudi Arabia has long been accused of helping to fund and assist the 9/11 terror attacks. Of the 19 Al Qaeda members involved in hijacking the four commercial airliners that day, 15 were citizens of Saudi Arabia…
“‘Great tweet for 9/11,’ wrote Chuck Ross, a journalist for the Washington Free Beacon. The tweet comes just three days after Bloomberg reported on allegations from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that Biden’s Deputy Assistant Brett McGurk was actively working against the interests of the families of 9/11 victims in order to curry favor with Saudi Arabia. The victims’ families for years have attempted to convince Congress to strengthen a law aimed at allowing U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments that funded or aided terrorist attacks…”
More Biden Fairy Tales
Fox News reported on September 11:
“President Biden claimed Monday, without evidence, that he stood at Ground Zero in New York City viewing the damage from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks just one day later, despite records showing he was in Washington, D.C. that day… and gave a speech on the floor of the Senate. Records show the Senate met in the morning, and a classified briefing was held for all senators that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET…
“Records also show Biden participated in a joint resolution vote condemning the terrorist attacks later that afternoon. Biden was the Democratic manager of the resolution… Biden also contradicted his own claim in his autobiography detailing his actions after the attacks. Biden said in the book that he ‘headed back to the Capitol’ on September 12, and made no mention of visiting Ground Zero that day.”
It looks like, Joe Biden has a very difficult time to tell the truth.
Biden Violated Free Speech
Breitbart wrote on September 8:
“A federal appeals court ruled that the Biden administration likely violated Americans’ First Amendment rights when it worked to censor speech during the COVID-19 pandemic… the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said the White House, surgeon general, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly commandeered speech…
“The decision modifies a lower court preliminary injunction which prohibited a wide-ranging group of government officials from coercing social media platforms to take down or limit posts on their websites. While agreeing with much of the lower court’s premises, the new order limits the scope of the restrictions imposed to the groups it found culpable — the White House, surgeon general, CDC, and FBI…”
That the Biden Administration exerted undue pressure on social media outlets to suppress politically inconvenient opinions is without any doubt. That those social media outlets bowed to such pressure is shameful.
Guilty of Sedition?
The Future of Freedom Foundation wrote on September 6:
“This week, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sentenced Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the Proud Boys, to 22 years in jail for the crime of ‘sedition’ arising out of the January 6 protests at the Capitol. It wasn’t the first time that the judge, Timothy Kelly, meted out a high jail sentence for the sedition offense. Last week, he handed out an 18-year sentence to Ethan Nordean, one of Tarrio’s co-defendants. Last May, another D.C. federal judge, Amit P. Mehta, sentenced leader of the Oath Keepers militia, Stewart Rhodes, to 18 years for the federal crime of ‘sedition.’
“Those high jail sentences… are so ridiculous… The federal crime of ‘sedition’ is akin to the local crime of ‘disorderly conduct.’ It is designed to give federal authorities the ability to severely punish people who have committed no real crime to justify severe punishment…
“How did Kelly arrive at 22 years for Tarrio when the law expressly limits sentences to 20 years? He used some sort of enhancement provision relating to terrorism law, even though Tarrio was convicted of ‘sedition,’ not “’terrorism.’…
“The notion that the January 6 protests were an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government is laughable to the extreme. After all, everyone knows about AR-15s and other assault rifles. Everyone also knows about regular mass killings in the United States. If people are going to attempt a violent overthrow of the federal government, they are going to go into the Capitol with AR-15s or other assault rifles. They are immediately going to start shooting and killing people and taking hostages… They are not going to settle for smashing a few doors and windows, forcing their way past security police, or damaging some desks.
“In fact, it is ironic that the only person who was killed on January 6 was an unarmed protestor. That was Ashli Babbitt, who was shot dead by a Capitol policeman who got scared during the protest. Notwithstanding the fact that he shot an unarmed woman in cold blood, that cop got away scot-free, unlike Tarrio and Nordean, who didn’t kill anyone…
“There is no doubt that on January 6, people were filled with passionate emotions… There is also no doubt that given the heightened emotions, such protests oftentimes get out of hand. That certainly is what happened in the January 6 protests. But to jump from that to the notion that the protestors were attempting to overthrow the U.S. government is so patently ridiculous that it defies credulity…
“It’s one thing to charge January 6 protestors who got out of control with such crimes as trespass, assault, or destruction of government propriety. It’s quite another thing to punish them for sedition…”
The conviction and the length of incarceration are unworthy examples of a country which claims to be “brave and free.”
The Magic Bullet
The Independent wrote on September 10:
“A former Secret Service agent who was metres away from John F Kennedy when the former president was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 has spoken out to cast fresh doubt on the official findings.
“Paul Landis, 88, who had been assigned to protect first lady Jackie Kennedy, challenged the Warren Commission’s findings that a ‘magic bullet’ had struck and exited the president before hitting then-Texas governor John Connally Jr.
“Mr Landis told the New York Times he recalled hearing several shots ring out in Dealy Plaza as he walked just behind the president’s limousine, and saw the president slump forward after being struck in the head… Investigators claimed [the bullet] passed through Kennedy’s throat, and then somehow hit the former governor’s right shoulder before causing wounds to his back, chest, wrist and thigh.
“It became known as the ‘single bullet’ or ‘magic bullet’ theory, and was relied on by the Warren Commission as evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald had carried out the assassination alone….”
The “magic bullet” theory is so ridiculous. The idea that Oswald acted alone has been dismissed for a long time by many experts as absolutely unbelievable. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said on September 11 during a Fox News interview that he is convinced that his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was not killed by just one person, acting alone, and that the concept that his father, Robert F. Kennedy, was killed by just one person must likewise be dismissed. Kennedy stated that the CIA was probably behind both murders.
Covid Hysteria and New Elections
Newsmax wrote on September 9:
“Former President Donald Trump warned ‘COVID hysteria’ is coming back because ‘there’s an election coming up,’ and Republicans have to step in to stop the tyranny…
“Trump has long believed Democrats ‘used COVID to cheat’ on the 2020 presidential election, including having key battleground states impose mass mail-in ballotingwithout constitutionally required authorization from state legislatures…”
Trump definitely has a point. The connection should be obvious.
Brownstone wrote on September 11:
“In a recent piece for the Washington Post, Ramesh Ponnuru wrote that ‘the public is not going to accept restrictive coronavirus mitigation measures again, regardless of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other public health authorities say.’…
“If there’s an upside to the lockdowns that never, ever made sense… it’s that government has forfeited a great deal of the little credibility it had…
“Much worse than the [arrogant] conceit [of lockdowns] were the lockdowns themselves, that to varying degrees blinded the very people who very much needed to see clearly. Precisely because the arrival of the coronavirus brought with it unknowns, a country with sane leadership would have turned the unknowns into knowns by getting out of the way.”
People say a lot these days that they will never comply again. But the “sheep instinct” of most may paint a very different picture.
Oil Prices Climb
LifeSiteNews wrote on September 9:
“Oil prices shot passed $90/bbl Wednesday after Saudi Arabia and then Russia announced a continuance of production cuts through the end of this year. The BRICS alliance is going to deliver some pain to the Western alliance…
“Gasoline, energy products, petroleum products, home heating oil, groceries, everything will cost more as the geopolitical battle continues; but we are supposed to pretend we are unaware of the global political dynamic…
“Saudi Arabia said it would extend the voluntary cut of 1 million b/d of for another 3 months, from October until the end of December, well beyond the expectation of just 1 more month… Russian deputy PM Novak said Russia would also extend its reduction of oil exports until the end of the year, reducing its oil output by 300kb/d in voluntary cuts until December 2023.”
Crazy California Child’s Gender Bill
Breitbart wrote on September 8:
“The California legislature approved a bill this week that would punish parents who do not ‘affirm’ their child’s gender identity… If Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signs the bill, it would require custody judges to consider a parent’s ‘affirmation’ of their child’s gender, as judges consider the ‘health, safety, and welfare of the child’ when making decisions.
“Threatening the standard of ‘health, safety, and welfare’ of a child under the California Family Code can carry penalties under the California Penal Code—prompting parents, activists, and lawmakers to speculate that AB 957 could result in parents being charged with child abuse or neglect for not participating in a child’s transgenderism.
“In a hearing about the bill, California Sen. Scott Wilk (R) said the bill would force parents to leave the state. ‘In recent years, we have put government bureaucrats between parents, children, and doctors when it comes to medical care—and now we have this where if a parent does not support the ideology of the government, [children] are going to be taken away from the home,’ Wilk said, adding, ‘if you love your children, you need to flee California.’”
God sees California’s ungodly policies.
Climate Change Findings Distorted
Fox News wrote on September 9:
“A California scientist admitted that he ‘left out the full truth’ about climate change, blaming it primarily on human causes, to get his study published in a prestigious science journal. [He admitted] that he distorted the findings of his studies to appeal to the editors at Nature and Science magazines, which are prestigious online science journals.
“‘And the editors of these journals have made it abundantly clear, both by what they publish and what they reject, that they want climate papers that support certain preapproved narratives—even when those narratives come at the expense of broader knowledge for society,’ Brown wrote in The Free Press.”
Joe Biden said in Vietnam during a “confused, bizarre and rambling” press conference, that those who question man-made global warming, are “lying dog-faced pony soldiers,” quoting from a John Wayne movie.
Devastating Earthquake in Morocco
CNN reported on September 10:
“The [6.8] quake, the strongest to hit Morocco in more than 120 years, killed more than [in excess of 2,900] people. Many others remain missing… The difficult access to the vast earthquake-hit area has hampered aid delivery efforts. While emergency camps have been set up in some places, people in other inaccessible areas have been left to fend for themselves…
“Many are exhausted and heartbroken, and emotions are running high… With each passing hour, the chances of anyone being pulled out of the rubble alive are disappearing.”
Devastating Floods in Libya
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 12:
“At least 2,300 people have died in an eastern Libyan city alone [Derna] after a powerful storm caused devastating floods in the area over the weekend… The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) earlier Tuesday reported that around 10,000 people were missing…
“Libya is divided between rival administrations in the west and east… The chaos and split in governance in the oil-rich nation has long left cities with crumbling and inadequate structures.”
It has now been reported that the death toll hit 11,300 and could reach 20,000.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.
How can I stand up for my Christian values and beliefs growing up in contemporary society?
Growing up is hard. During our teens and twenties, we discover our values, form our identity, and transform from childhood to adulthood. Going through the experiences inherent during the formative years, we learn about the world, ourselves, and how we fit into the world. These are foundational moments in life with tremendous value.
Growing up with Christian values brings an added element into the picture. It is first and foremost a great advantage to begin life with a solid Christian foundation. Developing knowledge of the Truth at an early age makes it possible to establish values that will lead us into the most satisfying life. The challenge, of course, is that Christian values are at odds with the world in which we live. Inevitably, being a Christian brings with it the certainty of confrontation with the world, and those who abide by worldly values. Being a young person willing to live a Christian Way of Life multiplies the challenge because peers, the education system, and the need for a sense of belonging in the community are very strong forces to deal with at a young age.
We don’t have to look very far to see how opposed the pressures of contemporary society and education are to the Truth. Schools teach the theory of evolution as fact, denying the biblical Truth of creation and the amazing Creator. Gender identity has become a fluid construct, by which people impose their feelings of gender dysphoria upon others in defiance of how God created male and female. Societal norms consider the exclusion of ourselves from voting, participation in worldly politics, jury duty, and military service as a denial of civic duty and national patriotism. The world glorifies premarital sex, drug use, tattoos, and other physical mistreatments in open rebellion against the physical well-being that the Bible teaches. Social and school events regularly conflict with the weekly Sabbath and God’s Holy Days. On top of it all, being atheist or vaguely “spiritual” is considered to be transcendent, while being Christian is considered naïve. We are sure you can think up many more examples of how difficult it is being a young person with Christian values in this world.
With so many pressures to conform to worldly values that are unique to the life of a Christian, what can one do to stand up for the Christian Way of Life that leads to the greatest possible reward? This is the question we will answer in this Q&A. However, there is no prescription of do’s and don’ts that guarantee an easy path. Rather, we will cover a few principles that can help when facing challenging circumstances as a young man or woman who is set apart and called to the Truth.
Strengthening Christian stamina begins with having the right frame of mind. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Standing up for our beliefs must originate with personal convictions founded on the Truth learned from the Bible and the ministry of the Church of God. Without being convicted in what we believe, we are vulnerable to the swindles of rhetoric and biased media. To be conformed to the world is to not think critically and independently. To be renewed in our mind is to develop an understanding of the Truth proven to ourselves and rooted in faith. We ought not merely follow a friend’s or classmate’s ideas because it appeals to our human nature. We must independently think for ourselves, so that we can prove to ourselves what beliefs we have that are worth standing up for.
Rejecting the pressure to conform to the world by thinking critically is the way to begin the Christian journey. However, we cannot stop here. Strengthening Christian values requires that we receive the Word of God with an open mind. Give the Truth a chance! When Paul and Silas went to Berea, they taught in the synagogues to people who were ready and willing to learn, and took ownership in proving what they learned.
“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (Acts 17:11-12).
Having an open mind, willing and ready to learn about the Truth is required to develop convictions and beliefs worth standing up for. Without taking the time to learn about the Truth, we will not be able to defend our beliefs.
Just as in school, having the right attitude about learning can make all the difference in putting lessons into practice for our benefit. The Parable of the Sower demonstrates a variety of common attitudes and circumstances that affect our spiritual growth (compare Matthew 13:18-23). When we hear or read the Word of God, but don’t ask questions and take the initiative to understand what we learn, Satan will snatch away our understanding. The Word of God will not profit if we only hear the words without having the ability to explain why we believe them. If we learn about the Truth and become enthused without having a firm conviction about it, we will stumble when our beliefs are put to the test. In addition, we must value the Truth if we are to stand up for it. If we don’t value the Christian Way of Life far above the worldly way of life, we will inevitably slip back into the grip of the world.
The way to profit in life with the Truth requires that we invest our efforts so that we bear fruit. Jesus Christ ends the Parable of the Sower by characterizing the model of successful individuals. These are the ones who are receptive to learning the Truth; who put in the effort to ensure they understand it; and finally, value it enough to put the lessons into practice so they bear fruit. Putting this model to work at an early age will make it much easier to stand up for Christian beliefs in all kinds of adversity, because the Truth becomes embedded into our identity.
Having a solid foundation in learning to live by the Truth places us in a strong position to withstand the temptations in the world. Going further, we must learn to also love the Truth. If we really, truly love this Way of Life, the ways of the world will have no power to persuade us to give it up! But the corollary of not developing a love for the Truth places us in a precarious position. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Without having a love for the Truth, we become vulnerable to giving it up.
The final principle to put into practice follows naturally from the above. And that is to live by the commandments! Doing so brings inherent blessings, but it also increases the understanding needed to more firmly establish our beliefs. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10). By following God’s commandments, we learn from experience why it is valuable to live obediently. And when we understand the value of the Truth from experience, we become stronger in our convictions.
As a young person with Christian standards, his or her values are in their formative state. Even though the development of Christian values is a deeply personal process, it helps to have a guiding framework for how to do so successfully. The process begins by refusing to be conformed to the world and having an open mind to learn about the Truth. From there, the process continues by putting in the effort required to understand what we learn and to love the Truth. Finally, we put everything into practice when we live by what we learn and strengthen our understanding. This progression takes place continually, but is even more vital when we are young.
If we love God and prove it by the way we live in obedience to Him from an early age, we will have the strength to stand up for what we believe without any fear of the consequences.
Lead Writer: Eric Rank
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
2023 FALL HOLY DAYS: Feast of Trumpets—September 16th; Day of Atonement—September 25th; Feast of Tabernacles—September 30th until October 6th; Last Great Day—October 7th.
A new Member Letter (September 2023) has been posted and mailed to our subscribers. Dave Harris points to the Fall Holy Days reminding us that Christians will comprise those in the First Resurrection who will accompany Jesus Christ when He returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
“Unsere Auferstehung zum Leben,” is the German Trumpet’s sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Our Resurrection to Life.”
“Departing from God—Comments on News and Prophecy—September 9, 2023,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
In this program, we discuss astounding recent news which all signify a further departure from God: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Joe Biden telling fairy tales; France at the brink of civil war; American nuclear bombs on European soil; NATO’s collapse; Corona restrictions and the “we will not comply movement”; stiff sentences against the Proud Boys because of “sedition”; funding of the US government is being threatened; the push for President Biden’s impeachment and the GOP reluctance; the Burning Man Festival; England’s Church priests support premarital sex and gay marriage; and gender change of children.
“Isaiah 58 – A Chapter for Modern Times,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Isaiah 58 is an interesting chapter that speaks about some of the things that Christians need to be doing in their lives. It also talks about things that a Christian should be careful not to do. How exactly does this chapter find relevance in our modern times, seeing that this book was written sometime in the early 700s BC?
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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