Current Events

by Norbert Link

We begin with concerns regarding a coming war between Iran and Israel; speak on the fear of civil war in the USA [please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Civil War, Violence and Misery in the USA”] and address the expectation of an energy crisis; the collapse of the financial system;  the incredible waste of vaccine doses; and California’s worst drought in 1,200 years.

We speak on the military’s control of Hollywood and the Navarro scandal. In this regard, please view our new message, titled, “Our Corrupt Political and Legal System—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 4, 2022.” We also report on the attempted murder of US Supreme Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.

We address Elon Musk’s fight with the DOJ and Dr. Oz’s victory in Pennsylvania; point out questions regarding the future of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly known as the British Commonwealth); Boris Johnson’s survival; and Russia’s opinion that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way. We also point out former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to apologize for her ill-conceived politics towards Russia.

We continue with Joe Biden’s terrible legacy in Afghanistan; the disunified summit of the Americas; rumors that Pope Francis might retire;  and the creation of aggressive hamsters by ignorant scientists.

We conclude with a funny and at the same time silly article about Turkey’s name change.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

A Pandora’s Box

In the introduction in our booklet, entitled, “God’s Teaching on Sexual Relationships,” we state the following: “We live in a world of ever-changing relationships, be it among nations, peoples, or individuals, and along with these changes, there is no end to personal opinions as to what constitutes right or wrong actions.  Yet out of the abundance of opinions, there is little regard for what God calls sin or what His standards are for happiness and health. Mankind, as a whole, is determined to live in ways that ‘seem right in his own eyes’ (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).”

There can be no argument that there have been monumental changes in every phase of society around the world in the last few decades, with the pace of change accelerating at a frightening pace.   A “Pandora’s box” has been opened.

Collins English Dictionary has this definition: “If someone or something opens a Pandora’s box, they do something that causes a lot of problems to appear that did not exist or were not known about before.”

In our booklet, we reference the ridiculous idea about there being 72 different gender designations.   We wondered what would be next.

In the UK, the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013 was passed in 2013. It legalised same-sex marriage in England and Wales, and former Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, was instrumental in this endeavour.   In many nations around the world, same-sex marriages have become totally acceptable. But it has gotten worse.

We now have the revelation that last year, three men made history in Colombia by becoming the first trio to wed in a same-sex ceremony in Colombia – called a polyamorous family. A newspaper report revealed that “Three people are legally allowed to marry each other in Colombia, where it is known as a ‘trieja’ – a word derived from two others: trio and pareja: trio and couple.”

Another type of relationship revealed was where three women were married to each other and, at the time, were the world’s only wedded female threesome – and one of them was expecting a baby.   This relationship, apparently, is called a throuple!   No doubt, since then, more people have jumped on the same bandwagon.

I came across an article about a divorced British woman who finally found the partner of her dreams – her dog – and married her in a “romantic ceremony in Croatia, and the ceremony was attended by 200 people!”   There have been quite a number of other such “arrangements”.

In this world, once Pandora’s Box is open, there is no going back.

To slightly misquote Rudyard Kipling: “We must keep our heads when all around us are losing theirs!”

Whatever next?

Well, hopefully, there won’t be many more ridiculous revelations about even more absurd relationships, before Jesus Christ returns to put a stop, once and for all, to this nonsense.  We can all be sure that in the soon-coming Government of God, which God will establish here on earth during the Millennium, marriage between humans will be between one man and one woman, and mankind will be all the happier that the godly and correct institution of marriage (see Genesis 2:24) will be the only marriage allowed.

This Week in the News

War Between Israel and Iran Coming?

The Daily Beast wrote on June 2:

“The ongoing war between Israel and Iran across the Middle East came out of the shadows and into the open long ago. But now, on the back of several suspected Israeli attacks inside Iran itself, the deadly contest threatens to escalate—possibly beyond the region.

“Last week, several quadcopter drones smashed into a suspected Iranian nuclear research and drone facility at Parchin, killing one engineer. Mere days before, two assassins on motorbikes shot dead an Iranian military colonel in the heart of Tehran…

“This is all part of what the Israeli government, just under a year in power, has come to describe as its ‘Octopus Doctrine,’ a new and risky expansion of its campaign against Iran’s military and nuclear capabilities.

“If in years past Israel did hit inside Iran, it was done covertly—usually through spies and cyber-attacks—and almost always targeted Iranian nuclear scientists and facilities… But now, Israeli officials openly describe a ‘new defense strategy,’ as one termed it to The Daily Beast, aimed at the ‘head’ of the octopus in Iran, and not just its ‘tentacles’ across the region in places like Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq…

“The dangers of this new Israeli approach are… obvious.”

US Civil War Coming?

The Daily Mail wrote on June 2:

“A new poll shows 44 percent of Americans believe the nation is headed toward another civil war…  That includes 53 per cent of Republicans and 39 per cent of Democrats.

“In another concerning statistic, about one in five said they at least somewhat approved of assassinating a politician whom they believed was ‘harming the country or our democracy.’… The figure included 44 per cent of young Democratic men and 40 per cent of young Republican women…  A majority of both Republicans and Democrats believe their political opponents pose a threat to the country and want to harm their political opponents.”

These are frightening statistics.

Heading Towards an Energy Crisis…

CNN Business wrote on June 2:

“‘Now we have an oil crisis, a gas crisis and an electricity crisis at the same time,’ Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency watchdog group, told Der Spiegel in an interview published this week. ‘This energy crisis is much bigger than the oil crises of the 1970s and 1980s. And it will probably last longer.’

“The extent of that perfect storm — underinvestment, strong demand and supply disruptions from the war — will have wide-reaching consequences, potentially threatening the economic recovery from Covid-19,  exacerbating inflation, fueling social unrest

“Already, US gasoline prices have surged by 52% over the past year to record highs, angering the public and contributing to the nation’s inflation crisis. Prices for natural gas, a vital fuel for heating homes and powering the electric grid, have nearly tripled over the past year in the United States. Natural gas prices have skyrocketed even further in Europe…

“The 1973 oil crisis was marked by hours-long lines at gas stations, fuel shortages and panic. Experts said they worry about fuel shortages again today…”

… While Oil Executives Profit Big Time

The Daily Beast wrote on June 3:

“Gas prices have skyrocketed to record highs, forcing some families to choose between filling their tank and putting food on the table. But for the oil execs whose stock holdings have soared, these are happy days—and some of them are cashing in their shares at unusually high rates

“Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, [said:] ‘I don’t know that they’re doing anything illegal, but it’s clearly pretty unethical to be making this type of money off people’s pain…’… in the first quarter, oil industry execs collectively sold over $1 billion worth of stock….”

Greatest Credit Bubble to Burst?

Bloomberg wrote on June 3:

“Mark Spitznagel is paid to be prepared for when the market’s weakest links are exposed in a big way. Right now, the Universa Investments founder, whose fund aims to protect clients during black swan events, says the financial system is most vulnerable to ‘the greatest credit bubble of human history.’ ‘If this credit bubble ever pops, it’s going to be the most catastrophic market failure that anyone has ever read about — but let’s hope that doesn’t happen,’ Spitznagel… said… He’s long been critical of central banks keeping interest rates near-zero or even negative, which he says has propped up asset values and encouraged excessive borrowing. Officials around the world are now tightening monetary policy to combat elevated inflation.

“His warning follows other cautious remarks this week from JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who told investors to prepare for an economic ‘hurricane,’ and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President John Waldron, who said he’s seen an unprecedented number of shocks and expects ‘tougher economic times ahead.’ Traditional flight-to-quality assets like US Treasuries and gold are failing investors this year, adding to the pain, Spitznagel said…”

Many expect that this bubble will burst…

Millions of Wasted Vaccine Doses

The Huffington Post wrote on June 6:

More than 82 million COVID vaccine doses went to waste in the U.S. from December 2020 until the middle of May…

“Some waste is attributed to doses reaching their expiration date before they could be administered to patients, while others were ruined due to power outages that took freezers out of use. Unused doses from opened vials that had to be discarded at the end of the day also accounted for some of the waste…

“The news about wasted doses comes as the Biden administration warns the country is short on funds to pay for vaccines, treatments and tests… The White House said children under five years old could be able to get their first vaccine as early as June 21.”

California’s Worst Drought in 1,200 Years

CBS wrote on June 2:

“Southern California is imposing mandatory water cutbacks as the state tries to cope with the driest conditions it has faced in recorded history… Nearly all of California is experiencing severe, extreme or exceptional drought. Very little rain fell in January, February and March, when the state typically receives half its annual precipitation. As a result, the state is facing its driest ever start to the year, with one recent study calling the current drought the worst in 1,200 years

“Areas of California that depend on the Colorado River for water have so far been spared conservation measures, although water levels in the river are also unusually low

“This summer is also expected to be hotter than normal, which would create higher demand for air conditioning and strain the power grid further…”

How the Military Controls Hollywood

The Los Angeles Times wrote on May 30:

“[Top Gun: Maverick’s] F-18s and other military gear are courtesy of the Pentagon… which allows use of such assets in exchange for control of the script…

“Until recently, the scholarly consensus had been that this phenomenon was isolated to perhaps a couple of hundred films. In the past five years, however, my small group of researchers has acquired 30,000 pages of internal Defense Department documents… which show that the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have exercised direct editorial control over more than 2,500 films and television shows. These discoveries raise questions about the government’s reach at a time when deciphering propaganda from fact has become increasingly difficult.

“This includes a history of excising unsavory or controversial topics… including depictions of war crimes, torture, security of the nuclear arsenal, veteran suicide, sexual assault and racism in the ranks. At the same time, these institutions have used their clout to promote weapons, gin up recruiting and normalize U.S. military action around the world.

“We have also discovered dozens of instances where films, denied U.S. government assistance because of objectionable content, were ultimately never made. Jerry Bruckheimer, a top producer, said that ‘Top Gun and 2001’s ‘Pearl Harbor’ simply wouldn’t exist without military approval. Mace Neufeld, who produced virtually the entire Jack Ryan film franchise, also needed Pentagon and CIA support. Neufeld has acknowledged that Paramount Pictures would greenlight the first film in the series, 1990’s ‘The Hunt for Red October,’ only if it secured Defense Department approval first…

“[The Pentagon] found ‘no major problems with the storyline’ [in Top Gun: Maverick] but asked for ‘some revision to characterization and actions of Naval aviators’…  The ‘Production Assistance Agreement’ formally stipulated the Pentagon’s right to ‘weave in key talking points’ in exchange for all that expensive equipment.

“What exact changes did the Pentagon make to the new ‘Top Gun: Maverick’? We don’t know, and that’s part of the problem. While we have script change details for hundreds of other productions, such as ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Fast and Furious 8,’ the military has repeatedly invoked a ‘trade secrets’ exception to block our Freedom of Information Act requests when it comes to its most high-value assets.

“Americans should have a right to know the extent of the military’s influence on the shows and films they consume… producers and directors… should fight for creative integrity and refuse to give up control of their scripts…”

This is quite a shocking revelation.

Attempted Murder of US Supreme Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh

Breitbart wrote on June 8:

“‘A California man carrying at least one weapon near Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Maryland home has been taken into custody by police after telling officers he wanted to kill the Supreme Court justice,’ the far-left Washington Post [reported]. From the looks of it, the Democrat party and corporate media’s jihad against Kavanaugh, the one that started with all those lies about him being a serial rapist in college and continues over the possibility that the atrocity known as Roe v. Wade might be overturned, has finally borne some wicked fruit. ‘Two people familiar with the investigation,’ continues the Post, ‘said the initial evidence indicates the man was angry about the leaked draft of an opinion by the Supreme Court signaling that the court is preparing to overturn Roe. v. Wade[.]’

“He was also angry about the ‘recent spate [of] mass shootings,’—so, according to police, he grabbed a gun to go out and shoot a Supreme Court justice… Looks like we should also thank the corporate media for broadcasting the front of Kavanaugh’s home, which makes it so much easier for his enemies to find.

“And let us never forget that, contrary to written law,… Joe Biden and his corrupt administration championed these mass and unruly protests outside the justices’ homes. This is all on the media and Democrats who have demonized and scapegoated conservative justices as ‘threats to democracy’ and worse…”

First of all, it is a crime to protest “in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge” with “the intent of influencing any judge.” The refusal by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to enforce the law and the approval and instigation of  illegal protests by Joe Biden and his administration is deeply troublesome. Secondly, in March 2020, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stated to Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, “you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you, if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

At the time, Chief Justice Roberts responded to Schumer by saying: “… threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous.

It has been suggested by Fox News moderators that Schumer should be impeached for inciting violence, as there is allegedly no other explanation for his verbal outbursts.

The Navarro Scandal

Breitbart wrote on June 3:

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested former White House economic adviser Peter Navarro on Friday, acting on a referral from the Democrat-run House that held him in contempt for refusing to testify at the partisan January 6 Committee. The arrest came one day after Navarro appeared on left-wing MSNBC to promise that he would lead efforts to promote the impeachment of President Joe Biden if Republicans take Congress in the midterm elections, which they are expected to do…

“Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took the unprecedented step of refusing to seat some Republican members of the committee. When House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) withdrew all of his nominees in response, Pelosi hand-picked the committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans [RINOs], contrary to the eight Democrats and five Republicans that the resolution requires. The committee has no official ranking member, which critics say means its subpoenas are invalid…

“… The Department of Justice ignored referrals for contempt of Congress when a Republican-led Congress found then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt for refusing to hand over documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, which led indirectly to the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and when Congress found former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify about her agency’s effort to target conservative groups…”

Breitbart also wrote:

“An August poll reveales 58 percent of voters believe the January 6 Committee is biased toward Democrats.”

Of such blatant bias, there can be no doubt. The troublesome hypocrisy in all of this is shameful, clear and convincing.

Fox News added on June 3:

“Navarro alleged that the prosecution was acting in ‘bad faith’… ‘This is something that needs to get to the Supreme Court,’ he added. ‘Department of Justice appears to have colluded with the White House and Congress.’… Navarro has called the Jan. 6 committee illegitimate and is suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over the committee’s activity. In an interview with Fox News, he called any possible prosecution of him ‘domestic terrorism.’ Navarro continues to assert executive privilege since he worked at the Trump White House and said he was exempt from appearing before the committee.”

Democracy in Danger

Newsmax wrote on June 4:

“The arrest of Peter Navarro on an indictment charging him with contempt after refusing to comply with the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 incidents at the U.S. Capitol sets a precedent that is ‘dangerous to democracy,’ Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said on Newsmax Saturday. ‘It’s as if somebody was called to testify about what he told his priest or his doctor or his lawyer… He invokes the privilege and immediately gets indicted, instead of the government going before a court and the judge rules whether or not the privilege applies.’

“If the judge ruled that executive privilege did not apply in the case and ordered Navarro to testify, then he could be held in contempt for refusing, argued Dershowitz. ‘But you cannot constitutionally be held in contempt of Congress without a judicial order,’ said Dershowitz…

“This, he continued, makes Navarro’s arrest ‘dangerous to democracy, dangerous through the rule of law and dangerous to the concept of privilege, whether it be a priest privilege or a doctor, privileged lawyer privilege or executive privilege. I’m shocked that the justice department brought it without there being a judicial determination that he was compelled to testify.’ This means Navarro’s indictment is ‘unconstitutional,’ and that’s a ‘real scandal’… ‘That’s for a court to decide, not for a partisan congressional committee that has almost all Democrats and a few anti-trump Republicans on it, to be able unilaterally to ask the Justice Department to enforce a subpoena without first going to the court,’ he said… ‘ I don’t think it will be allowed by the courts… But of course, in this these days of partisan, even judicial decisions, one can’t be absolutely certain…’”

Our legal and political system is corrupt. True Christians are told to come out of it, rather than be an active part of it. Please listen to our new message, titled, “Our Corrupt Political and Legal System—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 4, 2022.” 

Pure Ugly Politics

The Editorial Board of the New York Post wrote on June 3:

“Former Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro was cuffed and dragged in to custody Friday. For no reason: the 72-year-old said he would have voluntarily surrendered over his contempt of Congress charges relating to his refusal to work with the Jan. 6 Committee and noted he was given no warning that he was going to be arrested.

“The man has no history of violence and zero flight risk. And the judge in his case released him on his own recognizance — an admission that no one really thinks Navarro is going anywhere. Defendants in similar situations are nearly always given the opportunity to surrender.

“Instead the feds pulled Navarro off a plane at a Nashville airport as he was off to a TV appearance.

“This is pure, ugly politics. The Justice Department and the Jan. 6 committee are coming down hard on Navarro for being a Donald Trump ally, nothing else…”

What a despicable mockery of justice.

Elon Musk vs. DOJ

Fox News wrote on June 5:

“Elon Musk took to Twitter Saturday to ask if anyone was bothered by how quiet the ‘leaking’ Justice Department is when it comes to… Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said the DOJ, which grew notoriety for leaking under former President Donald Trump, was remarkably silent about the deceased convicted pedophile… Maxwell, Epstein’s former assistant and lover, was convicted on December 29, 2021, of recruiting and grooming teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 28. While Maxwell disputed the impartiality of a juror who failed to disclose he was a victim of sexual abuse, a federal judge denied her a retrial.

“Epstein died after an alleged suicide in Manhattan — though the official story is widely disputed — in 2019 while awaiting a federal sex trafficking trial… Last month, Musk also garnered tremendous attention on social media when he suggested that he might die ‘under mysterious circumstances.’”

Famously, Musk is attempting to acquire Twitter to make it less partisan, but he is running into some “difficulties.”

Dr. Oz Wins in Pennsylvania

The New York Post wrote on June 3:

“Celebrity surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz has secured the Republican nomination for the US Senate in Pennsylvania after his opponent, former hedge fund manager David McCormick, conceded the race Friday amid an ongoing statewide recount… Following a bitterly fought campaign, Oz — boosted by an endorsement from former President Donald Trump — led McCormick by a mere 974 votes out of 1.34 million votes cast in the May 17 primary — a margin of just 0.07 percentage points. With McCormick’s concession, Oz’s nomination was confirmed.

“Oz will now face off against progressive Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November in what is expected to be a hotly contested election as both parties look to take control of the closely divided Senate… Oz, who is best known as the host of “The Dr. Oz Show,’ faced several attacks throughout his campaign from his opponents’ and from die-hard Trump supporters who were wary of Oz’s position on Republican issues likes guns, abortion, transgender rights… His opponents attacked his dual citizenship with Turkey. If elected, he would become the country’s first Muslim senator.

“Although born in the United States, Oz served in the Turkish military and voted in its 2018 election. He said he would renounce his Turkish citizenship if he won the election in November…”

It appears that Trump only endorsed Dr. Oz because of his celebrity status, hoping that thereby Dr. Oz will defeat Fetterman, as philosophically, McCormick is much closer to Trump than Dr. Oz.

The Future of the Commonwealth

France 24 wrote on June 4:

“As the United Kingdom celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s 70th year on the throne, many in Britain and abroad are questioning the future of the Commonwealth of Nations, a group of 54 nation-states largely comprised of former British colonies which the Queen has championed throughout her reign…

“Although some of the wealthier nations in the Commonwealth, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, still retain the Queen as their head of state, members in the Caribbean seem keen on breaking with the royal hierarchy. Officials in at least six countries in the Caribbean have indicated they plan on removing the monarch as their sovereign following Barbados, which became the region’s newest republic at the end of 2021… Yet, even as smaller states move to reject the monarchy as a symbol of a colonial past to which they no longer wish to be tethered, staying in the Commonwealth could be seen as a way to continue to reap certain benefits under the British crown…

“As the monarch celebrates her platinum jubilee, many are asking what the future of the Commonwealth will look like when its strongest champion is succeeded by Prince Charles, who is presently heir to the British throne. The Commonwealth has been criticised as being ineffective, with a poor track record of bringing about major policy changes, and many have suggested that it has perhaps run its course historically…

“In recent days, speculation has arisen that Australia may be the next Commonwealth nation to become a republic after the new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, appointed an Assistant Minister for the Republic…  For British conservatives, further engagement with the Commonwealth could help the UK achieve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘Global Britain’ strategy, which consists of reconnecting with ‘old friends and new allies’ in a post-Brexit world. Yet the success of this aspect of the country’s foreign policy remains to be seen.”

The Bible prophesied thousands of years ago the existence of the British Commonwealth—now referred to as the Commonwealth of Nations. However, due to Britain’s sins, the Bible also foretold the downfall of Britain and its Commonwealth.

Boris Johnson’s Survival… For Now

CNBC wrote on June 6:

“U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has survived a vote of confidence triggered by his own lawmakers amid increasing dissatisfaction in his leadership. Some 211 Conservative Party lawmakers voted in favor of the prime minister on Monday, while 148 voted against him. Johnson needed the support of a simple majority of 180 MPs to win the vote, but the figure of 148 was worse than many expected. It is also worse than the result of a similar vote faced by former leader Theresa May in 2018. She resigned as prime minister just six months later.

“The secret ballot of Tory lawmakers comes at a time of deep dissatisfaction with Johnson’s leadership and behavior in office less than three years after he secured a whopping parliamentary majority. Given the narrow margin of Johnson’s win, there is now a possibility that he might face another confidence vote in the near future.

“Usually, if a British leader wins a confidence vote, they are protected from another vote for 12 months. However, there have been reports that these rules may be changed — and the close nature of Monday’s result could make this more likely.”

Horsemen of the Apocalypse on Their Way

Metro wrote on June 4:

President Joe Biden announced this week that his administration was sending long-range missiles to Ukraine, backtracking on an earlier statement that the US would not be giving the war-torn country advanced weaponry.

“Dmitry Medvedev, a former prime minister under Putin and current chairman of the national security council, warned there would be consequences if these were used on Russian soil. He told Al Jazeera: ‘If, God forbid, these weapons are used against Russian territory then our armed forces will have no other choice but to strike decision-making centres. Of course, it needs to be understood that the final decision-making centres in this case, unfortunately, are not located on the territory of Kyiv.’

“He also warned that fighting in Ukraine was pushing the world dangerously close to nuclear Armageddon ‘The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are already on their way and all hope now is with Lord God the Almighty,’ he said.

“Kremlin-controlled state TV has said on a number of occasions that the war in Ukraine could turn nuclear, with attacks on the UK and the rest of Europe…

“The White House said it had agreed to provide Ukraine with the new missiles after receiving assurances from President Zelensky that they would not be used to hit targets inside Russia. However, the Kremlin said it did not believe Zelensky.”

‘The United States is directly and intentionally adding fuel to the fire,’ Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, said.”

Merkel Shows No Regrets

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 8:

“In her first interview since leaving office, the former German chancellor has defended her policy toward Russia and said she doesn’t blame herself for the current situation in Ukraine… She refused to apologize for her policies towards Moscow, but stressed there was no justification for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…

“Putin told her that the collapse of the Soviet Union had been ‘the worst event of the 20th century.’ Merkel replied that for her, as someone who grew up in communist East Germany, the fall of the Berlin Wall meant she could live her life in freedom… Putin, she said, ‘hated’ the Western model of democracy and wanted to ‘destroy’ the European Union

“Merkel defended her opposition to Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO in 2008… In Tuesday’s interview, Merkel said that if NATO had granted them membership, Russian President Vladimir Putin could have caused ‘enormous damage in Ukraine.’ As it was, Russia invaded Georgia less than six months after this declaration in Bucharest, instigating Europe’s first war in the 21st century. Merkel also cited systemic corruption issues in Ukraine as reasons to block their membership…. Merkel conceded that there could have been a harsher response to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea…

“The former chancellor also touched briefly on the controversial, now-mothballed Nord Stream 2 pipeline, largely to criticize the US decision to sanction entities over their participation in the gas project… Merkel’s government has been criticized for steering Germany into its considerable dependency on Russian oil and gas…  Germany’s appeasement of Russia runs through decades of German foreign policy.”

There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

Biden’s Legacy in Afghanistan

The Week wrote on June 5:

“Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically since President Biden ordered the U.S. military to complete its withdrawal in August. When the Taliban returned to power, women’s rights advocates took to the streets demanding to keep advances made during the U.S. occupation, such as education for girls. Many of those protesters were beaten and detained, while activists fled or went into hiding. In March, the Taliban announced that girls could only attend school up to the sixth grade. Last month, the hard-line government announced that Muslim women must be covered from head to toe while in public, with only their eyes exposed, and ordered woman TV broadcasters to cover their faces. Now women have started vanishing from the workforce…

“[The economy] has virtually collapsed. [It] was heavily dependent on foreign aid, which made up nearly 80 percent of the government’s budget before the Taliban took over. Foreign aid has been reduced to a trickle, as countries reduce or even suspend assistance to the Taliban-led government because of its human rights abuses… Nearly 1 million Afghans have lost their jobs since the Taliban takeover. Restrictions on women’s employment have led to up to $1 billion of economic loss… There is almost universal poverty in the country… In extreme situations, people desperate for money are selling their daughters into marriage or selling their own organs, which is illegal yet commonplace… a laborer… received $4,500 for his 15-year-old son’s kidney to pay off his debts…

Many Afghans have little or no income to buy food for their families; meanwhile, prices keep rising due to inflation, supply chain woes, and higher customs fees… The United Nations estimates that 95 percent of Afghans do not have enough food, and half the population of 39 million is suffering from acute hunger…

“Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate, known as Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K, has carried out a string of deadly attacks targeting minorities…

“Taliban’s hard-line leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada,… and ultraconservative Taliban hard-liners… have instituted other retrograde policies targeting women, including warning them not to leave their homes without men accompanying them. The hard-liners include bands of young Islamist radicals and leaders of the Haqqani network, an internationally designated terrorist group, who jointly seek to intimidate the population into complying with sharia law…”

This was all predictable. The incredible fiasco caused by the USA in Afghanistan was so unnecessary.

Disunified Summit of the Americas

Axios wrote on June 6:

“Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Monday that he will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles this week, citing concerns over the exclusion of leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela… It’s a blow to President Biden, who is seeking to reassert U.S. influence in Latin America and the Caribbean, which have become more closely tied to China in recent years..

“Some other leaders, including Bolivian President Luis Arce and Honduran President Xiomara Castro, had previously threatened to reject Biden’s invitation to the summit, citing the possibility of leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela being excluded…

“López Obrador said he hopes to visit the White House in July to talk to Biden about the ‘integration’ of all American countries, with the goal of forming something similar to the European Union.”

Pope Francis to Retire?

The Associated Press wrote on June 5:

“Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013. Italian and Catholic media have been rife with unsourced speculation that the 85-year-old Francis might be planning to follow in Benedict’s footsteps, given his increased mobility problems that have forced him to use a wheelchair for the last month.

“Those rumors gained steam last week when Francis announced a consistory to create 21 new cardinals scheduled for Aug. 27. Sixteen of those cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave to elect Francis’ successor.

“Once they are added to the ranks of princes of the church, Francis will have stacked the College of Cardinals with 83 of the 132 voting-age cardinals…

“The basilica in L’Aquila hosts the tomb of Celestine V, a hermit pope who resigned after five months in 1294, overwhelmed by the job. In 2009, Benedict visited L’Aquila, which had been devastated by a recent earthquake and prayed at Celestine’s tomb, leaving his pallium stole on it. No one at the time appreciated the significance of the gesture. But four years later, the 85-year-old Benedict would follow in Celestine’s footsteps and resign, saying he no longer had the strength of body and mind to carry on the rigors of the papacy.

“The Vatican announced Saturday Francis would visit L’Aquila to celebrate Mass on Aug. 28 and open the ‘Holy Door’ at the basilica hosting Celestine’s tomb… Francis has praised Benedict’s decision to retire as ‘opening the door’ for future popes to do the same…

“Christopher Bellitto, a church historian at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, noted that most Vatican watchers expect Francis will eventually resign, but not before Benedict dies. The 95-year-old retired pope is physically frail but still alert and receiving occasional visitors in his home in the Vatican gardens. ‘He’s not going to have two former popes floating around,’ Bellitto said in an email…”

Stranger things have happened. In Catholic church history, there were indeed at one time three “popes” floating around, all claiming to be the legitimate office holder.

Scientists Create Super-Vicious Aggressive Hamsters

Daily Mail wrote on June 4:

“Scientists inadvertently bred a horde of unusually aggressive hamsters after a gene editing experiment to ‘reduce aggression’ went wrong.

“Researchers at Georgia State University produced new rodents without hormone vasopressin in an effort to raise ‘social communication’ between the rodents. Yet the chemical change turned the Syrian hamsters wild, prompting fights inside cages. The ultra-vicious hamsters were pictured pinning, biting and chasing each other.

“Lead researcher Professor Elliott Albers said: ‘We anticipated […] we would reduce both aggression and social communication — but the opposite happened…. We were really surprised at the results.’… The study’s striking conclusions challenge scientists’ understanding of the relationship between biology and behaviour. The professor added: ‘We don’t understand this system as well as we thought we did.’”

What lunacy. Man is trying again to play God… with disastrous consequences…

Turkey’s Name Change

Express wrote on June 3:

“Turkey will now be known as Türkiye, which will be adopted by the United Nations this week. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is understood to be embarrassed by their country’s association with the ground feeding festive bird and the Cambridge English Dictionary’s definition saying the meaning of the word is ‘something that fails’ or is ‘a stupid or silly person’…

“Exported products will now feature ‘Made in Türkiye’ instead of ‘Made in Turkey.’”


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 Do You Understand the Covenants of the Bible? (Part 5)

God does not forget His covenant with the children of Israel, but in order to receive the blessings of the covenant, the people had to return to the LORD. God gives a strong warning to those who break the laws and the covenant in Deuteronomy 17:2-5: “If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant, who has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones.”

Near the end of the book of Deuteronomy, just before the death of Moses and the children of Israel entering the Promised Land, God had Moses address all the people. We read in Deuteronomy 29:10-15. “All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water—that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today, that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, but with him who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.”

This is very comprehensive, as it included all the children of Israel as well as others who were not of the children of Israel but were present. The expression “as well as with him who is not here with us today,” could include those who may have been sick or indisposed for some other reason at that time. However, the Jewish Soncino commentary suggests it means the posterity of those standing there. This is confirmed in Scriptures like Deuteronomy 5:10 where God shows “…mercy to thousands (of generations), to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” In other words, those who live by the laws on which the covenant was based.

To show God’s consistency, the statement concerning the stranger or foreigner is also mentioned in Isaiah 56:6-7: “Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant—Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” An interesting point about this passage in Isaiah is that here, the Sabbath and the covenant are treated as separate items. We noted previously that the Sabbath was a stand-alone covenant as well as being a part of the Ten Commandments.

A further point of interest in Deuteronomy 29:11 is the term “the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water.” A similar term is only used again concerning the Gibeonites in Joshua 9:27; so again, did the elders of that time remember what God had promised in Deuteronomy 29 as stated previously, or was it that the one who cuts your wood and the one who draws you water were the lower class of citizens?

In Deuteronomy 5:2-3, Moses states that God made a covenant with them at Horeb, even though most of them standing there were not even born at the time. Only a handful of those over twenty years old at the time God made the covenant with the children of Israel had not died in the wilderness. We read Deuteronomy 5:2-3: “The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive.” The literal translation of Deuteronomy 5:3 by Richard Elliot Friedman is enlightening: “YHWH did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us! We! These! Here! Today! All of us! Living!”

His comment on this passage is both interesting and informative: “…Moses mixes past, present, and future. He speaks to the people in front of him as if they had all been at Sinai forty years earlier. Now he says it explicitly, powerfully, unmistakably, with seven different words: Each generation must see themselves as personally standing at Sinai, not just as inheriting their parents’ covenant, but as making the covenant themselves. It is a present, living commitment” (Friedman, Richard Elliott. Commentary on the Torah (p. 2579). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.)

So even when God made the covenant with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, just before they entered the land of Canaan (compare Deuteronomy 29:1, 12), they could consider that they, in effect, partook of the original covenant at Sinai.

The final chapters of the book of Deuteronomy contain many warnings of what would happen if they broke their covenant with God. In fact, God warned Moses that they would break the covenant and follow after other gods and God would punish them as He had promised. In one place, Deuteronomy 5:29, God lamented that the people did not have a heart to obey the commandments: “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” Two translations, the Douay-Rheims and the Richard Elliot Friedman translations, render the passage as a question, as follows: “Who would make it so, that they would have such a heart (or, “Who shall give them to have such a mind”, Douay-Rheims) to fear Me and observe all My commandments every day, so it would be good for them and for their children forever?”(Friedman). The implication is that only God could make it so but He needs to give the people a new heart and a new mind, so that they are going to obey Him voluntarily.

Actually, the question is answered which we will learn, when we read about the New Covenant.

In Old Testament times, however, very few were able and willing to obey God. Moses told the people again in Deuteronomy 29:4: “Yet the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day… “

Also, Joshua tells the people in Joshua 24:19: “…You cannot serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”

At the end of the book of Joshua, just before he died, he warned the people again not to serve foreign gods. Joshua 24:20 states: “If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.” Then the people answered in Joshua 24:24-27: “And the people said to Joshua, ‘The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!’ So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.’”

As mentioned previously, the covenants often had a sign, or witness, for them to be remembered by. In this case, the stone that was set up under the oak tree was to be a witness.

When we come to the book of Judges, there is a continual description of the people breaking the covenants that God had made with their ancestors and, by extension, with them. The result was, of course, that God allowed them to be conquered, but when they cried out to God, He would send them judges to release them from this captivity. Judges 2:1-3 describes this: “Then the Angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said: ‘I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers; and I said “I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.” But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said, “I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”’”

This is either an angel speaking God’s words or, more probably, Jesus Christ Himself—the Angel or Messenger of God the Father—as it was He who led the children of Israel to the land of Canaan.

In fact, in the book of Judges, the term “The people did evil in the sight of the LORD” occurs at least eight times. Actually, when we examine the history of the nation of Israel after the split with the nation of Judah, there were no good kings in the House of Israel who observed their covenant with God, and because of that, God sent them into captivity in Assyria.

Considering the nation of Judah, there were many kings who ignored their covenant with God, but there were some who observed it. The last of these was Josiah. 2 Chronicles 34:29-33 describes his actions and his humility when he heard the words of the law: “Then the king sent and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the Levites, and all the people, great and small. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. And he made all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin take a stand. So the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not depart from following the LORD God of their fathers.” So, while Josiah made a covenant before the LORD, it was to observe the covenant that God had made before with the “fathers.”

Unfortunately, after Josiah was killed at a young age in battle, the following kings and the people following them did evil in the sight of the LORD (compare Jehoiakim in 2 Chronicles 36:5; Jehoiachin in 2 Chronicles 36:9; and Zedekiah in 2 Chronicles 36:12). Therefore, God also sent the nation of Judah into captivity in Babylon.

And yet, even when a small number returned from Babylonian captivity after seventy years, some of the priests and Levites and others had taken pagan wives from the people of the land. So in Ezra 10:3, we read, “Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.”

So many men had taken pagan wives that it took two months to examine each individual case and to determine the correct judgement.

(To Be Continued)

Lead Writer: Paul Niehoff (Australia)

Comments on News and Prophecy—June 11, 2022 / God’s Spirit of Mercy

On June 11, 2022, Norbert Link will present, “Comments on News and Prophecy—June 11, 2022,” and the sermon, titled, “God’s Spirit of Mercy.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at (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.

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Civil War, Violence and Misery in the USA” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Is the United States going to experience another Civil War in our days? Alarming signs point at that possibility. This program explores the reasons for these frightening developments, and points at illuminating passages from the Bible.  

A new member letter for June has been written. It is being printed and has been posted on our Website. In the letter, Paul Niehoff describes God’s love, concern and compassion for His people. 

 The new German booklet (“Haben wir eine unsterbliche Seele?”) translated from our English booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul,” has been sent to graphic artist Shelly Bruno in preparation for printing.

The draft of a new booklet about the nature of God and our destiny by Norbert Link has entered the first round of editorial reviews.

“Warum Gott die Abtreibung verbietet!” is the title for this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Why God Prohibits Abortion!”

“Der Heilige Geist IN uns!” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Robert Muhr, is now posted. Title in English: “The Holy Spirit IN Us!”

“Our Corrupt Political and Legal System—Comments on News and Prophecy, June 4, 2022,” a message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

To ban or not to ban assault rifles; victory for Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania; acquittal of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann; military control of Hollywood productions; and the controversial arrest of Peter Navarro—what do all these events have in common? Do they show by example the incredible corruption in our political and legal systems? If so, what is a true Christian supposed to do? Is it too far-fetched to say that our eternal salvation may be at stake?

“Mental Stability for the People of God,” the first split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Mental stability for God’s people is paramount. It is not something that we often talk about but it is very important for us to realize that each of us have issues with staying in a mentally healthy place. When we need it most God is there to help us when we turn to Him and allow Him to help us. He is waiting for us to take the power and the strength that He offers. Even in the midst of fear, anxiety and hard stresses, which we ALL face, there is no place for shame.

“Honor To Be Honored,” the second split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

By obeying God and keeping His commandments, we honor Him and in return, He will honor us.  At the same time, we are shown in the Bible how we are to honor others and how we will be honored in return.

“Offenbarung Jesu Christi,” the Offertory for Pentecost presented by Manuel  Mueller, is now posted. Title in English: “Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

“The Right Attitude,” the Offertory for Pentecost presented by Paul Niehoff, is now posted. Here is a summary:

What attitude does God have concerning His offering of His Son for us, and with that as an example, what attitude should we have when we bring an offering to God?

“The Gift of God Which Is in You,” the sermon for Pentecost presented by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Christians are given exceedingly great and precious promises to be partakers of the divine nature and to be among the firstfruits of salvation. To that end, God has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit. Are we faithful with what God has given to us?

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