August 11, 2017
All the World Is Guilty!; Prophets, Prophecy and Prophesying
On August 12, 2017, Norbert Link will present the sermonette, titled, “All the World Is Guilty!” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Prophets, Prophecy and Prophesying.”
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 Norbert Link
Have we lost our first love? Have our works increased, or are they not perfect before God? Do we persevere and labor, or have we become weary? Are we zealous for God and His Way, willing to overcome and to repent of what may be wrong in our lives? Or have we become lukewarm?
The Bible uses the term “lukewarm” only once, in Revelation 3:16, where Christ addresses the Church of the Laodiceans. The Greek word, “chliaros,” describes someone who is somewhat warm, but not hot. It refers to “the self-sufficient and complacent security of a traditional faith” (Fritz Rienecker, Lexikon zur Bibel). The Nelson Study Bible agrees, adding that Christ “rejects the halfhearted efforts of self-satisfied Christians.”
God requires zeal, dedication, commitment, vigor and perseverance until the end. We are to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul. Our life must be in total service to Christ who bought us with His precious blood so that we do not belong to ourselves.
In our booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation“, we quote Lehmann Strauss as follows: “… the Lord is saying to those at Laodicea that if, instead of being lukewarm, they were so cold as to feel the bitterness and severity of that coldness, they would flee to the true warmth of refuge. If we are really cold, and admit to the fact, our confession will lead to the removal of our sin… The Greek word for ‘hot’ … means ‘boiling hot’… the members in the church at Laodicea were not boiling hot; they were not ardent Christians. They had no enthusiasm, no emotion, no zeal, no urgency. It is possible to have a large measure of doctrinal correctness without the fire of spiritual fervor and affection…”
We also point out in our booklet that “all in God’s Church must remain, or must become zealous, and they must repent… in order to be accounted worthy of escaping the terrible times ahead, and to stand before the Son of God when He returns (Luke 21:36).”
The Bible predicts an end-time falling away of true Christians from the Truth. We read that many will fall away (Matthew 24:10, Revised Standard Version). They will engage in works of unrighteousness so that the love of God within them will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). We must all be on guard, eradicating any temptation of wanting to give up and depart from God’s Way of Life while seeking pleasure in the affairs of this world. This can easily happen when we become “lukewarm”—when we become “too familiar” with what we are supposed to be doing, because familiarity may breed contempt.
In Malachi 1:13, God describes Laodiceans as saying about our dedication to God: “Oh, what a weariness!” (Compare also Isaiah 43:22). Rather than zealously pursuing what is right and good, they become guilty of offering “what is blemished” (Malachi 1:14); they depart from the Way and stumble at the Law (2:8); they engage in prohibited marriage relationships and divorce for unbiblical reasons (2:11, 14-16); and they rob God by neglecting or refusing to pay God’s tithes and give Him offerings (3:8). This attitude leads to a most serious condition of some of God’s people who say: “It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed…” (3:14-15).
We must not allow this kind of attitude to enter our lives. Have we been lacking in prayer, Bible study or Church attendance? Have we considered these commanded activities as weariness and as not being that important, instead of being deeply convinced of their necessity for our spiritual survival and growth? Have we become self-righteous and do we feel content with our spiritual condition instead of being willing to humble ourselves and to increase in the knowledge of Christ? Have we stumbled at the Law and engaged in conduct which God condemns? Are we slowly casting away our confidence and drawing back and drifting away (Hebrews 10:35-38)? If so, then the time to reflect and change is now! Christ tells us: “Be zealous and repent.” He is standing at the door. Let us open the door and let Him come in to take full control of our lives.
by Norbert Link
We begin with reports on the ongoing and so far failing Brexit negotiations; speak on continued desires to create a powerful autocratic European army; and focus on President Macron of France (the “Jupiter of the Roman gods”), and Angela Merkel as well as her challenger, former President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz (the German “Donald Trump”).
We point out Turkey’s threats towards Germany and ISIS’s determination to bring chaos and destruction to Europe.
We continue with reporting on new American-drafted UN economic sanctions against North Korea (which have been considered to be meaningless) and the close collaboration between North Korea and Iran; as well as the escalating situation between the USA and North Korea; the fear of a nuclear confrontation in the region; and perverted alleged “biblical” reasoning justifying nuclear war. Please view our new StandingWatch program, “Nuclear War Between North Korea and the USA?”
We point out the strained relationship between Jordan and Israel over the Temple Mount crisis and quote articles discussing Mr. Netanyahu’s political future in the light of several investigations against him, his family and close associates.
We conclude with the real possibility of a global stock market crash; speak on Glen Campbell’s death and his “demons” of alcoholism and drug addiction; and quote from an article about the unprecedented heat wave in large parts of Europe, called “Lucifer” and being compared with “hell on earth.”
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
No Progress in Brexit Talks
The EUObserver wrote on August 7:
“The EU’s budget commissioner has warned that the UK would have to pay into the EU’s coffers until at least 2020, even after it has left the bloc in March 2019. Guenther Oettinger told the German newspaper Bild on Monday (7 August) that Britain is obligated to honour commitments it has made to the EU’s long-term programmes…
“The commissioner’s comments come as the Sunday Telegraph reported that the government in London is ready to pay €40 billion if the EU agrees to negotiate the financial settlement as part of the deal on future relations – including a trade deal… The 40 billion sum was dismissed by Downing Street sources, speaking to the Guardian. Several Conservative MPs questioned the need to pay at all…
“The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told EU ambassadors earlier that the lack of a UK position on the financial settlement is one of the main obstacles to any progress in the Brexit talks… Earlier figures of between €60 billion and €100 billion have circulated in the media.”
The relationship between continental Europe and the UK will deteriorate further and further, and in the end, any “results” of the Brexit negotiations will turn out to be very disadvantageous for the UK.
MPs Call for an Autocratic European Army
Express wrote on August 6:
“Euro MPs have drawn up terrifying plans for a complete EU army, navy and air force which could be deployed by Brussels without consulting member state parliaments. They say Brussels needs ‘autonomous’ military capabilities which would have their own budget, be under the direct command of eurocrats and wear the EU ensign into battle. The document, which has no official weight and is likely to be rejected by member states, will nonetheless unnerve some politicians who fear the bloc is creeping towards ever greater militarisation.
“EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has repeatedly insisted eurocrats are not creating their own army, but critics say a raft of recent defence reforms are preparing the ground for precisely that. The vision put forward by ALDE, which is dominated by eurofederalists, will almost certainly be deemed wildly unrealistic but even a significantly watered down version would mark a radical shift in the role of the EU.
“Committed europhiles have been pressing for more EU military integration for decades but with Britain – a longstanding opponent to such an approach – leaving the bloc there is a sense some of their ambitions will now come to pass. Linking to the document, Mr Verhofstadt tweeted: ‘The Internal & external threats Europe faces call for a major leap towards full-fledge European Defence Union, NOW!’…”
The Bible prophesies that such a European army WILL in fact be created; and member states will give their FULL authority and power to a charismatic political and military leader.
French President Macron—Jupiter of the Roman Gods
Breitbart and The Associated Press wrote on August 6:
“Less than three months after his election, France’s energetic and image-conscious president has seen his popularity drop… The reversal might not affect the visible international profile he has cut since taking office, but it could hurt Macron’s ability to secure his ambitious domestic agenda…
“The French media have started calling Macron ‘Jupiter,’ a reference to the mythological king of the Roman gods and what is perceived as the president’s superior attitude… Macron’s image also has taken a hit during his standoff with the French military chief over budget cuts. Gen. Pierre De Villiers resigned and was quickly replaced, but some saw last month’s public dispute as evidence of the president’s authoritarian tendencies…”
Even though his declining popularity in France (so is President Trump’s popularity rapidly declining in the USA), the reference to Macron as Jupiter, king of the Roman gods, is quite revealing.
Germany’s Schulz Against America’s Trump
On August 3, Der Spiegel Online conducted an interview with Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament who wants to unseat Angela Merkel as chancellor in September. We are bringing you the following excerpts:
“DER SPIEGEL: Before the U.S. election, you told us that as president of the United States, Donald Trump would be ‘not only a problem for the EU, but also for the entire world’…
“Schulz: It has actually been far worse… the merciless nepotism with which he conducts politics, in which he places himself and his family above the law, I wouldn’t have considered that possible… When it comes to a U.S. president, I consider the reduction of politics to a tweet to be truly dangerous. Trump is a risk to his country and the entire world.
“DER SPIEGEL: How would you deal with Trump if you became chancellor?
“Schulz: Fifteen years ago to the day, Gerhard Schröder showed how it is done by giving an unequivocal ‘no’ to a U.S. president on his war of aggression against Iraq that violated international law. At the end of the day, men like Donald Trump need to be given that which they themselves dispense: clear messages. I would confront him as clearly and explicitly as possible. It is not only the right, but also the duty, of the leader of a German government to do that…”
Schulz, who has been referred to in the press as the “German Trump,” would clearly be much more aggressive towards Trump than Merkel. It will be interesting to see what will transpire in September. While Schulz is an advocate for a strong united Europe and a powerful united European defense force, he is against spending much more money on the German army.
The Local reported on August 9:
“Six weeks before Germany’s national election in which Merkel will seek a fourth term, her main rival Martin Schulz is lagging behind in the polls. In the most recent survey at the end of July…, Schulz sank to his lowest level of support since being nominated as the Social Democrats’ (SPD) chancellor candidate. Just 21 percent of respondents said that hypothetically speaking, they would choose Schulz if they were able to vote directly for him. This was compared to 52 percent who said the same for Merkel.”
Merkel’s Fight with Russia’s Hackers and Fake Media
Time wrote on August 8:
“With German elections scheduled for Sept. 24, the Chancellor knows that her bid for a fourth term in office may be subject to the same dirty tricks employed in the U.S. presidential race. As Europe’s most powerful leader and its most determined critic of the Kremlin, Merkel has long been a target of Russian influence campaigns. Troves of emails were stolen from her political allies in 2015 by the same Russian hackers who later targeted the U.S. presidential race…
“Her concern is not just the Russian media outlets that spread disinformation… It is also the automated algorithms, known as bots, that help false reports go viral much faster than politicians or fact-checkers can debunk them…
“Russia and Germany have emerged as the most determined players in the scramble to adapt to this terrain and, where possible, to reshape it. The German vote will be an early test: either the campaign will unfold in the same atmosphere of hacks, leaks and disinformation that marred the U.S. elections last fall, or they will progress in typically German fashion, orderly and somewhat boring, under the rules that Merkel’s government is trying to rewrite on the fly…
“In an analysis of Russia’s influence operation in Germany published in June, the Digital Forensics Lab of the Atlantic Council, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, found News Front to be one of the Kremlin’s three main propaganda outlets in Germany, alongside Sputnik and RT. Taken together, these three operations have a sizeable audience in Germany, with nearly half a million followers on Facebook, enough to rival some of the country’s leading publications…”
The Germans will not take kindly any Russian interference in their parliamentary election. On the other hand, the gullible belief by some, if not many Germans in Russian propaganda is shocking.
Turkey Threatens Germany
Express wrote on August 5:
“Warmongering rhetoric is being spewed by Turkey towards Europe after a newspaper close to the Turkish regime declared the country could overrun Germany in three days… the move is the latest in a political spat between Ankara and Berlin… The paper said: ‘Germany is abandoned by its citizens. If we start in the morning, we can have our evening prayer in [Germany’s] Bellevue Castle.’…
“In April [Mr Erdogan]… called the EU ‘a continent that is rotting in every which way’. And he also made reference to going to war with the EU, saying in another interview: ‘If you continue to behave like this, not a single European will be able to securely take a step on a road anywhere in the world by tomorrow.’…
“Recently Berlin issued new travel warnings for tourists visiting the country, and foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said he could no longer guarantee investment in Turkey…”
At a very minimum, these developments will increase the negative attitudes of many Germans towards foreigners and especially Turks.
ISIS Trains Terrorists in Syria and Elsewhere to Attack European Cities
The Sun wrote on August 7:
“A secret unit behind the Paris and Brussels atrocities is training ISIS jihadis to launch murderous attacks in Britain, a member of the terror group has claimed. The ISIS fighter said European fanatics are put through a gruelling seven-month training camp before being smuggled out of Syria on a deadly mission to bring carnage to the West. Would-be suicide bombers are coached in bomb making, put through harsh physical endurance tests and drilled in fanatical ideology as they prepare to blow themselves up…
“British and European jihadis who cannot travel to Syria are given online instruction by the ISIS ‘external operations unit’ in how to carry out mass casualty atrocities, he said. One such attack by a ‘sleeper cell’ in Britain is said to have been foiled before the terrorists could put their plan into action. The captured jihadi’s account appears to tally with US and British intelligence reports that an ISIS external operations unit was behind the linked Paris and Brussels attacks that killed more than 160 people…
“He claimed the unit was still operational and using a smuggling route via Turkey as recently as February, despite huge losses of territory to Kurdish and Syrian government forces… He estimated 50 fanatics from countries including Germany, France, Belgium and Britain had completed the special training program. He said: ‘They will make more suicide attacks in Europe… They also want to carry out attacks in Lebanon.’
“Last week… a sinister list of 173 fanatics poised to strike in Europe had been found in a former ISIS stronghold in Mosul, Iraq.”
The threat from ISIS and other terrorist groups is real, and Europe will be forced to respond militarily.
Iran and North Korea
The Jewish Press wrote on August 7:
“In a resolution drafted by the United States after negotiations with China, the United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea. The sanctions include a ban on exports worth more than $1 billion [The resolution bans North Korea from exporting coal, seafood, lead, lead ore, iron, and iron ore and prohibits countries from starting new joint ventures with North Korea, according to The Week.] … But six rounds of sanctions already imposed by the UNSC have done nothing to halt the DPRK’s drive to improve its nuclear and missile capabilities.
“Moreover, the Jerusalem-based Begin-Sadat Center (BESA) pointed out… that economic sanctions against North Korea will not be enough to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile capabilities. Korean and Asian affairs expert Dr. Alon Levkowitz wrote that state leaders who suggest sanctions against North Korea will convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile program are ‘succumbing either to wishful thinking or false assumptions about North Korea.’
“Among others, China has been one of the major actors to selectively impose sanctions against Pyongyang, he contended, adding that some sanctions can be bypassed, particularly those dealing with the nuclear and missile industry. In many cases, Iranian companies were able to do the same, Levkowitz noted, simply by ‘changing their names or working with new middlemen. North Korea uses the same tactics with the help of Chinese middlemen whom it pays for the service.’
“The bottom line, he wrote, is that sanctions are not effective. And soon North Korea will have the capability to launch a nuclear missile. ‘It will become more difficult to constrain it through sanctions, particularly as long as China and Russia fail to implement them…’
“Iran’s newly inaugurated President Hassan Rouhani… welcomed North Korean officials to Tehran on Wednesday in time for… the opening of the new North Korean embassy. The newly-built DPRK embassy was ‘built to boost exchanges, contacts and cooperation between the two countries for world peace and security and international justice,’ according to the KCNA (Korean Central News Agency)… Iranian vice-minister Ebrahim Rahimpour said in his speech, ‘The Iranian people, who remember the DPRK’s sincere help and solidarity to Iran when it was in hard times, will fully support the struggle of the Korean people at all times.’…
“‘There could be very problematic cooperation going on because of the past history and because it makes strategic sense, especial for Iran now,’ Emily Landau told CNBC this weekend. Landau is a senior research fellow at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies think tank affiliated with Tel Aviv University… ‘For North Korea… [it’s] all about who can pay in hard cash. That’s what makes North Korea a very dangerous source of nuclear technology, components and know-how.’”
Reuters reported on August 7:
“North Korea denounced the United Nations’ latest sanctions [and] reiterated Pyongyang’s previous stance that it will never place its nuclear program on the negotiating table as long as the United States maintains a hostile policy against the North…”
North Korea, in collaboration with Iran, and the clandestine support of China and Russia, remains a threat to the West and especially the USA. Short of military actions, the USA does not seem to have any viable options, but a war with North Korea might prove devastating for the region and may set in motion a cataclysm of terrible repercussions. But military action and a preemptive strike are apparently measures which the USA might be contemplating. Note the next article.
Trump’s Apocalyptic Warning to North Korea
AFP wrote on August 8:
“US President Donald Trump issued an apocalyptic warning to North Korea on Tuesday, saying it faces ‘fire and fury’ over its missile program, hours after US media reported Pyongyang has successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead.”
The Wall Street Journal elaborated on August 8:
“President Donald Trump on Tuesday demanded North Korea not ‘make any more threats’ to the U.S., saying the U.S. would respond ‘with fire and fury like the world has never seen.’… Mr. Trump’s remarks came in response to provocative statements from Pyongyang in recent days, including a threat to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. if militarily provoked, and a vow never to negotiate on its nuclear and missile weapons programs… If the U.S. attacks North Korea, the country ‘is ready to teach the U.S. a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force,’ the country said in a statement… Other countries weren’t being threatened unless they joined the U.S. in a military attack, it said.”
Breitbart added on August 8:
“A grim milestone appears to be passing, as both U.S. and Japanese intelligence analysts believe North Korea has developed the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads and fit them inside long-range [intercontinental ballistic] missiles, years ahead of schedule.
“Japan’s annual defense review, released on Tuesday morning, described the threat from North Korea’s nuclear missile program as ‘acute.’… The Washington Post reported on Tuesday afternoon that U.S. analysts at the Defense Intelligence Agency reached similar conclusions about North Korea’s capabilities… The DIA report also raised the official estimate of North Korea’s nuclear inventory considerably, from the handful of bombs hypothesized by most earlier analyses to almost 60 nuclear devices…
“A new poll from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs released on Monday found 90 percent of Americans ‘reject the idea that North Korea should be allowed to produce nuclear weapons,’ 75 percent see the North Korean nuclear program as a ‘critical threat facing the United States,’ and 62 percent would support using American troops to defend South Korea from a North Korean attack.”
These percentages are frightening.
The Sun added on August 9:
“Donald Trump has said that the US nuclear arsenal is ‘more powerful than ever before’ in a fresh warning to North Korea after… Kim Jong-un threatened to unleash ‘enveloping fire’ around its Guam airbase.
“Trump today tweeted: ‘My first order as President was to renovate and modernize our nuclear arsenal. It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before. Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!’…”
However, the Bible says that time will come soon when the USA is no longer the most powerful nation on earth—and the “pride of your power” will be broken!
Trump’s Sole Power to Order a Nuclear Strike
The Week wrote on August 9:
“President Trump is headed toward a conflict with North Korea that he likely doesn’t understand… Trump drew a red line. North Korea crossed it hours later when it said in a statement that it would effectively burn the U.S. territory of Guam to the ground… Now Trump surrogates and allies on television are spinning military action as inevitable…
“It seems what Trump loves most about the military… is the fact that they’ve taken the pressure off of him when it comes to actual decision making. But there is one decision they can’t take away: whether or not to go to war. And though that power technically lies with Congress, it’s been so eroded over the decades that Trump wouldn’t be stopped from personally directing the military to attack North Korea. And, of course, the president alone has the power to order a nuclear strike.
“Given what we know about how the president governs and receives information he is given by aides, the possibility for an uninformed and rash act of war with North Korea is high, higher perhaps than with almost any other president in history…”
Fear of Nuclear War in Light of 72nd Anniversary of Nagasaki
Fox News wrote on August 9:
“President Trump’s warning of coming ‘fire and fury’ was meant to send ‘a strong message’ to North Korean despot Kim Jong Un, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday… Tillerson’s comments come as Japan is marking the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki amid threats of a new bombing in the region resulting from the growing tension between the U.S. and North Korea.
“Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said the fear of another bomb attack is not in the distant future and urged nuclear states to abandon their weapons. He criticized Japan’s national government, being under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, for not contributing to the U.N. nuclear arms ban treaty…
“The U.S. launched the world’s first atomic attack with a bomb dropped Aug. 6, 1945, that killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima. The bombing of Nagasaki three days later killed 70,000 more…”
Frightening Perversion of Biblical Teaching
The Huffington Post wrote on August 8:
“A right-wing pastor who serves on Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory board claims God has given the president ‘full power’ to launch an attack on North Korea. Robert Jeffress, head of the First Baptist Dallas megachurch, told CBN on Tuesday that a biblical passage in Romans allows rulers to use ‘whatever means necessary ― including war ― to stop evil.’…
“While the New Testament is full of pacifist teachings, Jeffress told The Washington Post that those instructions are aimed at Christians. The government, he said, has another set of rules laid out in Romans 13… Jeffress told the Post ‘that gives the government the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment, to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un.’…”
This perspective is appalling, but not surprising, given the fact that orthodox Christianity has perverted true biblical teaching in many respects. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Should YOU Fight in War?” Please also view our StandingWatch program, “Obeying Trump to Launch Nuclear Strike?”
Reuters reported on August 10:
“If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday.”
Pacific Daily News added on August 10:
“If North Korea fires missiles toward Guam, they would take about 14 minutes to reach the island, said Guam Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde.”
Israel and Jordan
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 7:
“King Abdullah II has flown to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian President Abbas for the first time in five years…
“Abdullah’s visit comes amid rising Jordanian-Israeli tensions and is seen as a message to Tel Aviv that the Jordanian monarch is aligning with Palestinians on key issues – particularly concerning a contested Jerusalem holy site. A crisis erupted last month at the Al Aqsa mosque compound when Israel installed metal detectors at Muslim entrances following the killing of two Israeli policemen…
“Jordan has been the custodian of Jerusalem’s… holy sites since the 1920s… “
The Times of Israel wrote on August 7:
“Abdullah did not meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the trip, which was seen as the latest in a series of diplomatic measures meant to underline Amman’s unhappiness with Israel…
“Recent weeks… have seen Palestinian officials openly criticizing the White House for its handling of the Temple Mount tensions, and its inability to curb Israeli settlement construction and back the long-accepted two-state solution to the conflict…
“Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told journalists after the two-hour meeting between Abdullah and Abbas that ‘… [it] was agreed to form a joint crisis team, which will continue to assess the past phase and its lessons, and to assess any challenges we may face at the Al-Aqsa Mosque’…”
The challenges or conflicts at the Temple Mount will continue.
Israel after Netanyahu?
The New York Times wrote on August 8:
“For the past eight years, Mr. Netanyahu has dominated the Israeli political scene and become nearly synonymous with the state on the world stage. Long called ‘the magician’ for his survival skills, he has quashed rivals from right and left despite never enjoying particular popularity in the street. Yet Mr. Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister since Israel’s first, David Ben-Gurion, suddenly appears not so invincible after all…
“Mr. Netanyahu has fought off swirling scandals for much of his public life, but experts say that Friday’s signing of a state’s witness agreement by Ari Harow, who served as Mr. Netanyahu’s chief of staff and directed his 2015 re-election campaign, could be a game changer. Mr. Harow was offered a light sentence in an unrelated matter in return for information about Mr. Netanyahu in what the police have called Case 1000 and Case 2000.
“In Case 1000, investigators are looking at whether Mr. Netanyahu offered favors in return for gifts of expensive cigars, pink Champagne and other goods from wealthy friends… Case 2000 involves back-room dealings with a local newspaper magnate… Mr. Netanyahu has vehemently denied any wrongdoing…
“There is, as yet, no clear contender to replace Mr. Netanyahu, who is serving his third consecutive term and fourth overall. An Israel without Mr. Netanyahu at the helm would, in any case, be an unfamiliar place for its inhabitants, the Middle East and the world… A departure would leave Israel, its allies and its enemies in uncharted terrain…”
JTA wrote on August 9 about further investigations against Mr. Netanyahu’s family and close associates:
“Here’s some info on Cases 3000 and 4000, targeting Netanyahu’s associates, plus another scandal involving his wife and another his son… ‘Case 3000’ involves alleged corruption in the sale of German submarines to Israel. Police have accused businessman Michael Ganor of bribing government officials to become the negotiating agent for ThyssenKrupp, the German company that built the subs. In addition, Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, David Shimron, was simultaneously acting as Ganor’s representative during the negotiations over the sale.
“In ‘Case 4000,’ the director-general of Israel’s Communications Ministry, Shlomo Filber, is accused of illicitly allowing Bezeq, the national telephone company, to buy shares of YES, a satellite cable provider. Filber was appointed by Netanyahu, who also serves as communications minister.
“Meanwhile, Sara Netanyahu is likely to be indicted for misusing public funds at the couple’s official residences. The Israeli first lady is accused of using government money to pay for private chefs at family events, a caregiver for her father and weekend electrical work at the couple’s home in the tony coastal town of Caesarea…
“Finally Molad, a left-wing Israeli think tank, has sued Yair Netanyahu for libel. Yair, the eldest son of the Netanyahus at 26, wrote a Facebook post last week calling the group a ‘radical, anti-Zionist organization funded by the Fund for Israel’s Destruction’…
“So what does this all mean for the prime minister…? It depends on two factors: Whether he is indicted, and whether that creates enough pressure to force him to resign… A poll by Israel’s Channel 10 found that 66 percent of Israelis believe Netanyahu should resign if indicted. There is intrigue within Netanyahu’s Likud party as well…
“Nine years ago, facing multiple corruption scandals, centrist Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned even before police recommended an indictment. But stepping down didn’t help him, as Olmert was sentenced to prison in 2015 and served 16 months before going free in July. Nor did resigning help Olmert’s Kadima party. His successor, Tzipi Livni, lost the subsequent election in 2009 — to Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Whether or not Mr. Netanyahu will be removed from office or resign is an interesting question—even with the somewhat and so far weak charges against him. He is a staunch advocate for his nation, and his knowledge of history relative to the Jewish people places him in a role that just may be for establishing the third Temple… even though he has so far publically denied any ambition to change the status quo regarding the Temple Mount. But this could change very quickly.
Global Stock Market Crash Coming?
Express wrote on August 7:
“Barry James said the global market was ‘upside down’ and in the ‘latter stages’ of an economic meltdown. In a flashing red warning, share valuations have soared to their second-highest ever level, suggesting that many stock investments are over-bought and could be in bubble territory. The only other time indicators were at this level was before the dot com crash at the turn of the millennium.
“Mr James, president of the James Advantage Fund, said although there were currently good signs, there were vital concerns for the future… Stock markets in both the United States and Britain have continually topped their highest ever levels in recent months. But experts are now worried that history is about to repeat itself.
“If companies are in good health and profits are growing, soaring share prices may be justified. But one method of assessing share values… suggests that stocks are very expensive. Another measure of stock health also suggests the picture may not be as rosy as soaring indices suggest. Dividend cover for UK’s largest listed companies, a measure of how sustainable share payouts are, is at its lowest level since 2009…”
The worldwide economy, and especially the economy in the USA and the UK, is very fragile. A complete global crash in the not-too-distant future is not impossible.
The Death of Glen Campbell and the Demon of Alcoholism and Cocaine
Bloomberg and Newsmax wrote on August 8:
“[Famous American country and pop singer Glen Campbell (81)] died Tuesday… No cause was given. Campbell and his wife [Kimberly] disclosed in June 2011 that he had Alzheimer’s disease…
“His failed marriages, plus a turbulent romance with Tanya Tucker, offered hints at a troubled private life that included abuse of alcohol and what he called ‘my personal demon,’ cocaine. He said in his autobiography that the ‘self-imposed mental and spiritual bondage’ of his life was in stark contrast to ‘my public image of the clean-cut, all-American boy next door.’ He kicked his destructive habits in the late 1980s, crediting his evangelical Christian faith and the support of his fourth wife, the former Kimberly Woollen.
“A 2003 drunk-driving arrest in Phoenix produced a widely published, unflattering mug shot and a painful reminder for Campbell of the price of addiction. He spent a few days in the Maricopa County Jail and a month in rehabilitation at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California…
“Campbell had five children from his first three marriages, all of which ended in divorce… His fourth marriage to Kimberly… produced three children, all musicians who accompanied their father on his farewell tour…”
“Lucifer”—Uncommon Heat Wave in Europe
The New York Times wrote on August 6:
“The long hot spell gripping parts of Europe this past week is uncommon. People looking for relief from the heat in countries like France, Spain and Italy grappled for just the right name for the phenomenon — and settled on ‘Lucifer.’ The waves of heat sent temperatures soaring to record highs for several days, caused at least two deaths, kindled wildfires and drove tempers through the roof…
“High temperatures this summer have brought punishing heat to regions in the United States like the Pacific Northwest — where generations had shunned air-conditioning — reaching as high as 104 in Seattle and 107 in Portland, Ore. In parts of Asia, like Pakistan, a blast of scorching weather this year also had people there reaching for comparisons to hell on earth…
“Sun-kissed Italy has become sun-cursed. With temperatures in recent days regularly rising north of 100 degrees, a nationwide drought leaving rivers and mouths dry and countryside kindling and arsonists combining to ignite the landscape, Italians are, well, boiling. Farmers are lamenting more than $1 billion in revenue lost to drought and singed fields… About half of Spain was placed under an emergency alert over the weekend because of the heat wave, as forecasts predicted temperatures of up to 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius). In the southern city of Córdoba, the temperature reached almost 113 degrees on Friday afternoon…
“The French Riviera was not spared either, especially inland. In Puget-Théniers, a village about 25 miles northwest of Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes Department, the national weather forecaster registered a record high of 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday… Temperatures were forecast to reach 108 degrees in parts of mainland Greece over the weekend… Scorching temperatures also caused dramatic weather breakdowns, including strong storms that brought a whirlwind, as well as hail the size of tennis balls, injuring dozens of people across the country [of Poland]…
“Of course, there were some parts of Europe… that have escaped the blistering heat. ‘There is no heat in Germany. It is a cool 68F in Berlin, and even chillier in Munich. Parts of Austria are being flooded, so there is no heat in the German-speaking world’… ‘No sweltering in Moscow. Been the coldest summer for years. Today was considered “hot,” but temp only rose to low 70s. Much the same in Baltics…’”
In general, the Bible predicts unprecedented rising temperatures and excruciating heat waves. The terms “Lucifer” and “hell on earth” might give us a clue as to why these conditions will occur.
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.
Can You Explain What the Bible Says About Wrath?
In this Q&A, we will focus on the kind of wrath which is ungodly and which we must not have. In the next installment, we will continue to discuss a different kind of wrath or indignation which is righteous and godly.
To begin with, we need to understand that this world is Satan’s world. Satan is the ruler and the god of this world (John 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; compare Ephesians 6:12)–the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). He has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9), and the whole world is in his power and lies under his sway (1 John 5:19).
Satan is God’s adversary. He is a spirit being and invisible to the human eye, but he is very real. He is an exceedingly angry being, full of wrath and contempt for God and for all of mankind. He has influenced every human being from birth; and even though God’s creation of man was very good (Genesis 1:31), man became very wicked under Satan’s influence, and “every intent of the thought of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
God destroyed wicked man in a worldwide Flood and saved only eight people in Noah’s Ark, but God knew that human nature would not change for the better, declaring after the Flood that “the imagination of man’s heart” is “evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21). Paul confirmed that carnal human nature is hostile towards God (compare Romans 8:7), and that there is “none righteous, no, not one… they have all turned aside… there is none who does good, no, not one… their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways” (Romans 3:10-16).
Man’s “human nature” is actually Satan’s nature, but most don’t realize it. As his “children” (compare John 8:44), human beings conduct themselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, being “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). At this present time, God is delivering some from this evil world (Galatians 1:4) to become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
But acquiring God’s nature and overcoming Satan’s nature is a process which requires time and effort. Bad habits and characteristics die only very slowly. And even though we are to come out of this world, we are still living in this world, and Satan is still on his throne, anxious to destroy us physically and spiritually. And if we are not careful, his wrath can become our wrath.
The Bible warns us that especially in the end time, Satan has “great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12). A future martyrdom of Christians is prophesied, because Satan–the Dragon–will be enraged with the Church of God and persecute and attack those who will not be protected at a place of safety here on earth (Revelation 12:17).
Under Satan’s influence, man has built, designed, invented and constructed his political, economic, military and religious systems, which are not godly, but destructive and full of wrath, violence and corruption. The Bible calls all of these aspects of the God-defying system, “Babylon.”
The Book of Revelation tells us that Christ will destroy this wrathful Babylonian system of this world, when He returns. This event is described in vivid terms: “And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication’ (Revelation 14:8). And again in Revelation 18:2-3: “And he [an angel] cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit… For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
As Satan is the real originator of this world’s Babylonian wrathful system, we are told by God to “‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'” (Revelation 18:4). This includes the godly command to come out of Satan’s wrath, in which we all walked in times past. James 1:20 tells us succinctly that “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
Rather, man’s wrath–which is actually Satan’s wrath–caused wicked Cain to murder his righteous brother Abel (Genesis 4:4-8). Cain did so because he was of the wicked one (1 John 3:12). King Herod became so angry that he killed all male children in his jurisdiction, from two years old and under, thinking that he would thereby kill the Christ child as well (Matthew 2:16). Herod was being influenced by Satan, the great fiery Dragon, when he acted in this way (Revelation 12:4).
People reacted with wrath and anger towards Christ when they did not agree with His teaching, and they were willing to throw Him down over the cliff (Luke 4:28-29). They were as much under Satan’s direct wrathful influence as those people in Paul’s day who rejected his teaching (Acts 19:28).
Human wrath (which is actually produced by Satan) is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) which will prevent us from inheriting the Kingdom of God. We are admonished to put away such wrath and anger (Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8). Rather, as the children of God, we ought to pray without wrath and doubting (1 Timothy 2:8). As Christian parents, we are not to provoke our children to wrath (Ephesians 6:4), and as wise people, we are to turn away wrath (Proverbs 29:8).
We are not to fret because of the wicked who prospers in his way and who brings wicked schemes to pass (Psalm 37:7), but we are to wait patiently for God while ceasing from anger and forsaking wrath (verses 7-8). David even continues to tell us in verse 8 that fretting only causes harm. In fact, his son Solomon informs us that “A man of great wrath will suffer punishment” (Proverbs 19:19); and that “Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent” (Proverbs 27:4); and this is especially true for a “fool’s wrath” (verse 3).
At the same time, there is a different kind of wrath which does not originate with Satan and with carnal human passions and desires. But even when addressing this different kind of justified wrath, we are admonished to be very careful, as Satan is anxious to take advantage of us.
Proverbs 14:29 says: “He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, But he who is impulsive exalts folly.” Psalm 4:4 adds: “Be angry [the margin states: Literally, tremble or be agitated], and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” In quoting part of this verse, Paul adds an important aspect to it, when he says in Ephesians 4:26-27: “‘Be angry, and do not sin,’ do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place [Margin: an opportunity] to the devil.”
Even when we may have righteous indignation in a given situation, we must be aware that Satan–that angry, wrathful, destructive spirit being–will try to influence us in such a way that our righteous anger will become unrighteous. That can happen if we dwell too long on a bad situation or on injustice which someone may have perpetrated against us.
If we go to sleep with anger and hatred in our hearts towards another person, we are giving in to Satanic wrath. Rather, we should make sure that our wrath, even if justified, is short-lived. We are to cease quickly from our anger and forsake our wrath.
Jeremiah 48:30 states: “‘I know his wrath,’ says the LORD, ‘but it is not right…'” This indicates that there is wrath or anger which is right; and we will discuss this aspect of righteous indignation in the next installment.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“How to Find the True Church of God,” our newest booklet, has been sent to graphic designer Shelly Bruno in preparation for printing. We anticipate having this booklet ready for distribution to attendees during the Feast of Tabernacles. The mailing of the booklet to our subscribers will occur after the Feast.
A Tech Team meeting was conducted last Sunday morning via SKYPE. Hosted by Eric Rank, various tasks associated with foreign language postings, website presentation of StandingWatch programs along with sermons and sermonettes and equipment needs for Sabbath services and the Feast were among topics presented.
“Nuclear War Between North Korea and the USA?” is the newest StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Many feel that the most recent economic sanctions by the UN Security Council will not halt North Korea’s nuclear power program. But what can America do, short of a military strike, which would be a devastating move? Is it possible that North Korea could attack American territory, like Guam, and American cities? Does the Bible give us any hints?
“Nuklearkrieg zwischen Nordkorea und Amerika?” is the German AufPostenStehen program, covering the same topic.
“Die ganze Welt ist schuldig vor Gott,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “All the World is Guilty Before God.”
“Christ’s Praise and Rebuke,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
In Revelation 2 and 3, Christ addresses seven local churches, seven Church eras, and every Christian throughout the ages. What are some of Christ’s statements of rebuke, praise and admonition which speak to us individually, and which all of us should take to heart?
“True Freedom,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The Declaration of Independence written 241 years ago contained some familiar information that has been remembered throughout the years as a symbol of freedom. Interestingly enough, the Bible shares some similarities that the Declaration touches upon, such as liberty, happiness, slavery, and divine protection. What does the Bible have to say about these very issues and what does it take to become truly free in God’s eyes?
Here are the dates for the 2017 Fall Holy Days:
Feast of Trumpets—September 21
Day of Atonement—September 30
Feast of Tabernacles—October 5-11
Last Great Day—October 12
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Noelle Link, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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