Why Didn’t Jesus Christ Physically Perform Baptisms?

The Bible records a peculiar fact about the history of Christ’s ministry. In John 4:1-2 we read, “Therefore… the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples).” Knowing the importance of the doctrine of baptism in Christianity, it is interesting to see that Jesus did not baptize personally. What does the Bible say about this recorded fact? Is it a contradiction when the Bible says that Jesus “baptized more disciples than John” while also stating that “Jesus Himself did not baptize”?

To begin with, it is important to note that baptisms have taken different forms and serve different purposes. We find that when Israel “…passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). John the Baptist performed baptisms of repentance for the remission of sins that prepared the way for Jesus’ ministry (compare Luke 3:3-5). The baptism of Jesus serves yet an additional purpose, being a baptism with, and of, the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist understood the distinction between the baptism by water for repentance and the baptism by water with the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Matthew 3:11. John the Baptist is quoted, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

At the same time, we must realize that John’s baptism for repentance was an integral part of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. One cannot receive the Holy Spirit without being properly baptized in water, and that baptism includes repentance. Jesus insisted to be baptized by John, even though He did not have anything to repent of, as He never sinned, but He wanted to give us an example, to fulfill all righteousness, showing that we must be baptized today in water for repentance. At the same time, John’s baptism for repentance was not enough. In Acts 19:1-5, Paul baptized disciples who had been baptized by John for repentance, but they had not known anything about the Holy Spirit. He explained that they had to believe in Jesus and that they had to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, to receive the Holy Spirit.

From this we see that the type of baptism by water that Jesus would fulfill is different than the baptism by water for repentance performed by John. This distinction is further elaborated in John 1:32-33 when John the Baptist describes his experience baptizing Jesus Christ, “And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”’” We can clearly see that John’s work was to perform baptism by water for repentance, and Jesus’ primary responsibility involved performing baptisms by water, not just for repentance, but also, for granting the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Part of the answer to the question of why Jesus didn’t personally perform the physical act of baptism involves the fact that He made the decision to delegate the physical task to His apostles. This shows that the baptisms of His apostles WERE in fact done pursuant to Christ’s responsibility and instruction, and this is the reason why we read on several occasions that Christ baptized (John 3:22 and 3:26). Even though He did not baptize personally, baptisms through His apostles were viewed by God as baptisms through Christ. The same is true today. When God’s ministers baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, then God and Christ view this as if the baptism had been done by God the Father and Jesus Christ themselves. We also need to stress that today, ONLY ordained ministers should baptize. It is true that at the time of Christ, He used His apostles (who were not converted, as they had not received the gift of the Holy Spirit] to baptize in preparation for the gift of the Holy Spirit at the time of Pentecost. But the apostles were in quite a different category as we are today. For instance, God gave them also power to cast out demons (something which unordained members should NEVER attempt to do). But once the New Testament church was founded, the Bible is very clear that the Holy Spirit would only be given after water baptism and the laying on of hands by ordained ministers of God.

This is an example of a division of labor in the work of the ministry. The Bible makes it clear that the distribution of ministerial responsibilities is an important part of the composition of the Church of God. We read, “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function” (Romans 12:4). In addition, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). From these Scriptures, we can conclude that there are divisions of responsibilities, and that the primary focus of one’s ministry may not be the same as another’s. As evidence of this, we can see that Paul’s primary responsibility in Corinth was not to baptize, but to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17). At the same time, this did not preclude Paul from baptizing. We have already seen that he baptized disciples who had not known of the Holy Spirit, and Paul had just recounted in 1 Corinthians 1:14-16 whom he had baptized in the church at Corinth.

When we read about Paul’s experiences, we find another potential reason that Jesus chose not to perform physical baptism by water. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul expresses his frustration about the contention and the fissures in unity that occurred in the Church because of allegiance to the men in leadership positions. Paul writes, “Now I say this, that each of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ or ‘I am of Apollos,’ or ‘I am of Cephas,’ or ‘I am of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name” (1 Corinthians 1:12-15). Paul acknowledges that the sinful divisions within the Corinthian Church might have been worse if he had performed more baptisms. The divisive behavior of the Church at Corinth is an indicator to Paul that a baptism performed by him in Corinth would have become a problem. He conjectures that if more people in Corinth had been baptized by him, it could have caused people to falsely inflate its legitimacy. Paul thanks God that he didn’t baptize more people in Corinth because the divisions among men there could have been worse.

Jesus Christ may have had the same perception that Paul had about how a baptism performed by Him would be used as a status symbol. One potential explanation for Jesus not generally performing the physical act of baptism by water is that He didn’t want the event to become a stumbling block for those being baptized. Knowing that a baptism by Jesus Himself would have been a very special event, it could have overshadowed the true meaning of a baptism of repentance with water for the remission of sins and the subsequent receipt of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that the act of repentance, and the commitment made during baptism, was critical, and He certainly would not want to do anything to shift the focus away from that.

We do not know exactly what the apostles said and did when they baptized before Christ’s death. We would conclude that they had knowledge of the Holy Spirit, and that they would have included this aspect, together with repentance, in their baptisms. We also know that the apostles had been baptized when Christ washed their feet in John 13. He said to Peter that the one who is “bathed” (literally, “baptized”) needs only to wash his feet to be clean (John 13:10). We would assume that they had been baptized by John the Baptist, as Christ was, but we cannot totally rule out that Christ had baptized them as well, even though He did not baptize the multitudes of disciples.

Jesus Christ’s role in baptism has always been a vitally important one. We learn from the Bible that He was involved in and ordered baptisms by water, but that He did not physically perform them. Personally performing baptisms (with the possible exception of His apostles and other selected disciples) was not a required job for Him during His life on earth. This responsibility was delegated to His apostles, and continues to be a responsibility of His ministry today. Because He chose not to perform physical baptisms, He prevented people from treating a baptism by Him as a status symbol. The most important role Jesus plays in water baptism involves the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, which continues to be His responsibility today.

Lead Writers: Eric Rank, Norbert Link and Dave Harris

This Week in the News

Donald Trump vs. the CIA

The Washington Post wrote on December 10:

“The simmering distrust between Donald Trump and U.S. intelligence agencies escalated into open antagonism Saturday after the president-elect mocked a CIA report that Russian operatives had intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help him win.  The growing tensions set up a potential showdown between Trump and the nation’s top intelligence officials during what some of those officials describe as the most complex threat environment in decades…

“Trump’s reaction will probably deepen an existing rift between Trump and the agencies and raised questions about how the government’s 16 spying agencies will function in his administration on matters such as counterterrorism and cyberwarfare… The tensions between Trump and spy agencies could escalate even further as dozens of analysts begin work on a project, ordered by President Obama, to deliver a comprehensive report on Russian intervention in the election before Trump’s inauguration in January…

“In a statement, Trump suggested that the CIA had discredited itself over faulty intelligence assessments about Iraq’s weapons stockpile more than a dozen years ago. ‘These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,’ he said.”

CIA and FBI Disagree

ABC wrote on December 12:

“In an unprecedented public display of acrimony, President-elect Donald Trump and the CIA are engaged in a war of words over the extent and details of Russian efforts to interfere with the American presidential election… Trump used his Twitter account this morning to continue his effort over the weekend to discredit the CIA and its reported conclusion that the Russians hacked into the Democratic Party computers in an effort to help elect Trump. Trump tweeted: ‘Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!’…

“Responding to Trump’s comments over the weekend, an intelligence official said that ‘It is concerning that intelligence on Russian actions related to the U.S. election is being dismissed out of hand as false or politically partisan… The inclination to ignore such intelligence and impugn the integrity of U.S. intelligence officials is contrary to all that is sacred to national security professionals who work day and night to protect this country,’ the official said…

“Over the weekend, Reince Priebus, who is RNC chairman and has been selected to be White House chief of staff in the Trump administration, told ABC News’ This Week that the RNC’s systems were ‘absolutely not hacked.’ ‘We contacted the FBI months ago when the [hacking of the Democratic National Committee] issue came about. They reviewed all of our systems. We have hacking-detection systems in place, and the conclusion was then, as it was again two days ago when we went back to the FBI to ask them about this, that the RNC was not hacked,’ he said.”

Newsmax wrote on December 14:

“In telephone conversations with Donald Trump, FBI Director James Comey assured the president-elect there was no credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election by hacking the Democratic National Committee and the emails of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. What’s more, Comey told Trump that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment…

“During their phone conversations, Comey informed Trump that the FBI had been alert for the past year to the danger that the Russians would try to cause mischief during the U.S. presidential election. However, whether the Russians did so remains an open question, Comey said, adding that it was just as likely that the hacking was done by people who had no direct connection to the Russian government…”

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 15:

The government of the outgoing US President Barack Obama claimed on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for the hacker attacks during the US election  campaign.

“‘Nothing of such a bearing’ is done within the Russian government, without Putin knowing, said the Obama advisor Ben Rhodes on MSNBC television. Putin was ultimately responsible for the deeds of the Russian government.’

“The White House also said it was ‘fact’ that such actions helped Donald Trump’s campaign.”

This does not look like a “smooth transition” of the US Presidency, as previously claimed by President Obama.

Donald Trump’s Controversial Nomination of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

JTA wrote on December 13:

“President-elect Donald Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, who is close to the Russian leadership, as secretary of state. Trump in his statement Tuesday morning emphasized Tillerson’s executive skills…

“Tillerson faces a tough nomination fight [in the Senate] because of his associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He led the expansion of Exxon’s joint drilling with Russia in recent years and has objected to sanctions imposed on Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. Tillerson in 2012 was honored with the Russian Order of Friendship decoration.

“Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. told NPR on Tuesday that he was withholding judgment on Tillerson. Calling Putin a ‘thug’ [and a ‘murderer’] for his expansionism in Ukraine and his human rights abuses, McCain, who will be key to getting Tillerson confirmed, said in the interview, ‘Did he ever raise those issues with Mr. Putin? Is it strictly business?’

“Oil companies have in the past clashed with the pro-Israel lobby, in the 1970s over the Arab boycott of Israel and in the 1990s over the imposition of sanctions on Iran.”

BBC News added on December 13:

“Although he has no formal foreign policy experience, as Exxon chief Mr Tillerson oversees a company with 75,000 employees and business activities in more than 50 countries. He has warned of the ‘catastrophic’ impact of unchecked climate change, although his company has been accused of deliberately misleading the public about the role of fossil fuels in global warming.

“But it is his connections to Russia that have drawn most flak. He has forged multi-billion-dollar deals with Russia’s state oil company, Rosneft…

“As rumours of his nomination gathered pace in recent days… Marco Rubio… said being ‘a friend of Vladimir is not an attribute I am hoping for from’ the next secretary of state… Reacting to the nomination, Mr Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yury Ushakov, said all Russian officials and not just the president enjoyed ‘good, businesslike relations’ with Mr Tillerson…”

Tillerson’s Nomination “Deeply Disturbing” to Jews

JTA wrote on December 13:

“‘Exxon Mobil has not been a friend to Israel through the years,’ said Abraham Foxman, the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League… ‘There was a time that being associated with oil made you automatically deemed hostile when it comes to Israel,’ said David Makovsky, the Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy…

“Through his role at Exxon, Tillerson forged deep and friendly ties in the Arab world… ‘Tillerson’s nomination is deeply disturbing, as he is the leader of one of the world’s largest energy corporations — which has polluted the global environment, developed close relationships with dictators, and used its resources over 40 years to suppress climate science,’ said AJWS [American Jewish World Service] President Robert Bank.”

Mr. Trump’s nomination of Mr. Tillerson as Secretary of State, as well as his nomination of Andy Puzder, who runs the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains as CEO of CKE Restaurants, to lead the Department of Labor, are indeed controversial picks. Other somewhat controversial picks include so far Betsy De Vos for Education; Ben Carson for Housing and Urban Development; Jeff Sessions for Attorney General; retired General “Mad Dog” Jeff Mattis for Defense; Michael Flynn as Security Advisor; former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary (see article below); and former Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist.

Ex-Texas Governor Rick Perry Nominated as US Energy Secretary

Deutsche Welle reported on December 14:

“US President-elect Donald Trump has formally chosen Rick Perry [who recently performed in “Dancing with the Stars”] as his future secretary of energy. If the oil industry ally is confirmed to the post, it could have profound consequences for US environmental policy…

“As energy secretary, Perry would be in charge of policy decisions on boosting the US domestic supply of oil and on investments in oil exploration and technology. The Energy Department also plays a major regulatory [role] in the areas of nuclear power and natural gas, as well as maintaining and securing the country’s nuclear arsenal… Perry is expected to try to push through the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project, which has provoked major protests in North Dakota, along with similar enterprises by the oil industry.

“He is currently board director at Energy Transfer Partners LP and also at Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, which together developed the Dakota Access Pipeline. The US Army Corps of Engineers decided last month to delay the pipeline to allow talks with the Standing Rock Sioux and other project opponents.”

At one time, Mr. Perry announced that if he were to become President, he would eliminate the Energy Department.

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem?

The Washington Post wrote on December 13:

“Every four years, presidential candidates routinely signal their support for moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Then, after they’re sworn into office, they balk when faced with the potential ramifications. Comments from Trump aides and the mayor of Jerusalem, though, suggest that Trump could be poised to discard yet another diplomatic axiom and relocate the embassy ‘fairly quickly’ after he enters the White House.

“That move would be highly political, effectively meaning that the United States was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which it has refused to do for decades out of concern about provoking Palestinians who want part of the city to become their own capital. ‘They are serious about this,’ Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Tuesday after returning from a trip to the United States, where he met with transition aides whom he declined to identify. ‘I am optimistic that this will happen sooner rather than later.’

“The question of Jerusalem’s status is the most sensitive and complicated issue in the long-running conflict between ­Israelis and Palestinians. It is fraught with political, religious and nationalist implications that potentially could create an uproar throughout the Middle East and the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.

“Trump will have an opportunity to decide the fate of the U.S. diplomatic mission on June 1, at the expiration of another six-month waiver President Obama signed to the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by Congress in 1995 mandating that the embassy be moved by 1999.

“Jerusalem sits in the middle of the contested land, figuratively and literally. To avoid the appearance of favorites, the United States and every other country place their embassies in and around the commercial city of Tel Aviv and drive to Jerusalem to meet government officials…

“During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised that if elected he would ‘100 percent’ move the embassy. About a week after the election, Jason Greenblatt, a real estate lawyer and Trump adviser, told Israel’s Army radio that Trump was ‘going to do it.’ That confidence was reinforced Monday when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway said moving the embassy was a ‘very big priority’ for Trump.

“Meir Turgeman, the head of the Jerusalem building and planning committee in the Jerusalem City Council, said on Israeli radio this week that the transition team contacted Barkat asking for help finding an appropriate property. ‘The decision was already approved by Congress, and it is the right thing to do to recognize Jerusalem. It’s been the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years,’ said Barkat, who is a friend of Trump son-in-law Jarad Kushner…

“The move would be unpopular among Arabs across the Middle East and make it even more difficult for Arab governments to acknowledge publicly that they have been developing under-the-table relations with Israel, said Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. ‘It would fan the flames of a region already on fire,’ he said…”

JTA wrote on December 15:

“President-elect Donald Trump is nominating a top Jewish surrogate, David Friedman, to be ambassador to Israel, with a statement saying Friedman will serve from Jerusalem and describing the city as ‘Israel’s eternal capital’.”

Such a transfer would indeed be very interesting in the light of biblical prophecy.

China Responds to Trump Policy

The National World wrote on December 12:

“An official Chinese newspaper called Donald Trump ‘as ignorant as a child’ on Monday after the president-elect again suggested that he was reconsidering how the US deals with Taiwan – one of the most sensitive issues in the relationship between Washington and Beijing. The Global Times, a Communist Party-controlled newspaper, was responding to Mr Trump’s comments in a television interview on Sunday that he would not feel ‘bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade’.

“Beijing was already angered by Mr Trump’s December 2 call with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen, the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to a Taiwanese leader in nearly four decades. China considers the self-governing island to be its territory and any reference to a separate Taiwanese head of state to be a grave insult. Hours after Mr Trump’s interview with Fox News Channel aired, the Global Times published a Chinese-language editorial headlined: ‘Trump, please listen clearly: “One China” cannot be traded.’…

“The Global Times, which is published by the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, often runs commentaries that target nationalistic sentiment with provocative language…”

“China Warns Trump: Taiwan Is ‘Not for Bargaining’”

Newsmax added on December 12:

“China warned Donald Trump against using the One-China policy regarding Taiwan as a bargaining chip in trade talks, a swift response that indicates Beijing is losing patience with the U.S. president-elect as he breaks with decades of diplomatic protocol… the official Xinhua News Agency warned that world peace hinges on close and friendly ties between the U.S. and China…”

Germany Won’t Change China Policy

ABC wrote on December 12:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that her country, Europe’s biggest economic power, won’t be changing its policy on China and Taiwan after President-elect Donald Trump raised questions about the future U.S. stance. Merkel was asked Monday whether she, like Trump, would be prepared to speak to Taiwan’s president and what Trump’s recent comments on China mean for Europe. She replied: ‘We continue to stand by the one-China policy and we will not change our position.’

“The one-China policy means recognizing Beijing as China’s capital and maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. Trump said over the weekend he wouldn’t feel ‘bound by a one-China policy.’ Merkel has visited China regularly over 11 years as chancellor and cultivated economic ties, though she irked Beijing by receiving the Dalai Lama in 2007.”

As this article indicates, even a “minor” incident such as taking a phone call from Taiwan could lead to deteriorating relationships between the USA and Europe under German leadership.

Donald Trump on Paris Global Warming Agreement

Newsmax wrote on December 11:

“Trump said Sunday he was ‘studying’ whether the U.S. should stick with the global warming agreement struck in Paris a year ago, signed by more than 100 countries to reduce carbon emissions… ‘I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries,’ he said.  ‘As you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement.  I don’t want that to give China or other countries signing agreements and advantage over us.’”

USA Economic Downfall Coming

Express wrote on December 12:

“An Economist has warned American citizens to prepare for a ‘once in a generation’ economic collapse, similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Harry Dent, an economics forecaster and writer, said the rise in investment since Donald Trump’s presidential election win was setting America up for a fall.

“He said he expected the country’s economy to grow sharply over the next few months before crashing in scenes not witnessed since the inter-war period. Mr Dent predicted: ‘I think this is going to be a stock market peak of a lifetime followed by a crash very similar to the early 1930s. This happens once in a lifetime. I think this is the last rally in this bull market. You can’t have stocks keep going up at this rate when earnings are going nowhere.’

“He said Mr Trump’s many election pledges, primarily creating millions of jobs in the country and kick-starting dying industrial towns, would prove to be his downfall. Once his promises go unfulfilled, Mr Dent explained, investors would panic, withdrawing their funds and creating a devastating economic collapse.

“The top finance expert also said economic instability in Europe, particularly Italy, could have a knock-on effect in America. He said: ‘I think the trigger is people seeing sometime early next year that Donald will not be able to do everything that he said, and the economy may be slowing by then. ‘The biggest trigger, kind of like the subprime crisis in 2008, is going to be Italy.  Italy is bankrupt. Its bonds are trading at lower rates than ours which is ridiculous.’

“Mr Dent concluded his warning by conceding his prediction could be way off target – but claimed he felt he had to warn the public of what may lie ahead.”

Certain words in the article, such as “fall”; “downfall”; “economic collapse”; and “what may lie ahead” are quite interesting in light of our free booklet, The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.

The Revival of Roman Catholicism in France

MSN wrote on December 8:

“For many French voters, François Fillon is more than a leading contender for president in next year’s elections: He is viewed as a crusader in the throes of a holy war… represent[ing] an astonishing prospect: the political reawakening of Catholic France after decades of slumber.

“As right-wing and populist leaders across Europe — such as Viktor Orban in Hungary and Marine Le Pen in France — increasingly turn toward Christian values, Fillon has ignited a wave of nostalgia for a nation of traditional families and quaint village churches. It is a nation that he and many of his supporters say is under siege from the dual threats of multiculturalism and Islamist terrorism. As evidence, conservatives cite the slaying of an 85-year-old village priest in July by Islamic State-inspired militants, explaining it as an assault on the essence of France…

“When the fervent Roman Catholic responds to terrorist violence, he often does so in the lofty language of religious rapture. The war against the Islamic State, he wrote in his recent book, is ‘a battle of the end times,’ sounded with ‘trumpets of the apocalypse.’ In short, what he promises is a return to his nation’s roots. And in his eyes, those roots are fundamentally Catholic.

“Although France is renowned for strict prohibitions on religious displays in public spaces — notably on certain types of veils worn by many Muslim women — it is also a country of some 45,000 Catholic churches and one whose public holidays are almost exclusively Christian in origin [We understand, of course, that they are not speaking of true biblical Christianity and biblical “Holy Days,” but of “orthodox” or “traditional “ Christianity which has adopted many pagan holidays, rites and traditions, and which has rejected most of the biblical doctrines]…  Some insist that France would not exist without the Catholic Church: The nation’s oft-invoked creation myth begins, after all, with the baptism of Clovis I, who united the kingdom of the Franks in the 6th century…

“In provincial towns like Chartres — and in Fillon’s native northwest region — that ancient relationship is apparent everywhere. Anchored by a majestic medieval cathedral, Chartres is home to a relic said to be the tunic that the Virgin Mary wore at the birth of Jesus…

“Members of the clergy explain this increasing embrace of religion in the context of recent terrorist attacks, which they say have drawn many secular French Catholics back into churches for the first time in years…”

Challenges of the 64th Italian Government in Past 70 Years

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 11:

“Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella has asked Paolo Gentiloni to form a new government as prime minister. Mattarella has rejected calls for immediate elections… President Mattarella said on Saturday he would act quickly to give the country a fully functioning government after holding 23 separate meetings with leaders of all parties over the past three days following the resignation of the previous caretaker prime minister, Matteo Renzi, who was defeated in a referendum on constitutional reforms last Sunday…

“Gentiloni is a 62-year-old former journalist and member of the Democratic Party (PD) which Renzi still leads. The new prime minister was one of the most trusted ministers and his appointment should allow Renzi to retain some influence on public affairs ahead of a possible candidacy in the 2018 elections…

“Italy has had 63 governments in the past 70 years…

“The challenges for the new prime minister are not just political… The country’s heavily indebted banking sector is also in need of substantial funds to recapitalize. The third-largest lender and the oldest surviving bank in the world, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS,) may need state intervention to avoid collapse. The bank has been in business since 1472, but it failed European stress tests in July and needs to raise 5 billion euros ($5.2 billion) to cover losses… The European Central Bank (ECB) refused on Friday to allow more time for a private bailout meaning a state-funded salvage operation was more likely. Under EU rules, state funds can be injected into troubled banks only if private creditors accept losses. In the case of BMPS this could hit many small investors who hold the bank’s junior bonds.”

Terror Attacks in Turkey

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 11:

“Ankara has declared a day of mourning after a terror strike outside a soccer stadium on Saturday night in Istanbul killed 38 people and wounded 155. The target was police officers, according to the Interior Ministry… Turkey came to terms with its latest large-scale attack, this one targeting police officers, killing 30 of them together with seven civilians and one unidentified person. On Sunday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters that 13 people had been arrested in connection with the ‘terrorist attack.’… ‘Nobody should doubt that with God’s will, we as a country and a nation will overcome terror, terrorist organizations … and the forces behind them,’ [President] Erdogan said in a statement.

“The Kurdish militant group TAK claimed responsibility for the blast, Reuters news agency reported on Sunday, citing a TAK member who said Turkish civilians were not the direct target of the bombings. Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus had told the private news channel CNN Turk that ‘arrows point to the PKK,’ the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party… The ‘Islamic State’ (IS) group has also been blamed for previous strikes, including one in June, when militants killed 45 people in a gun attack on Istanbul’s airport. Last week, the group threatened to target Ankara’s ‘security, military, economic and media establishment.’”

Subsequently, Mr. Erdogan began another crackdown on those who are not sympathizers and supporters of his policies, even though they are not in any way aligned with TAK, PKK or IS.

The Netherlands’ Geert Wilders Convicted for “Insulting” Moroccans

The EUObserver wrote on December 9:

“Dutch anti-EU politician Geert Wilders has been convicted by a Dutch court on Friday (9 December) for insulting a group and inciting discrimination, for remarks he made about Moroccans in 2014. The court said it was ‘legally and convincingly proven’ that Wilders had insulted Moroccans as a group when he rhetorically asked a crowd if there should be ‘fewer Moroccans’ in the country. However, the court did not impose a fine or jail sentence. Wilders was acquitted from the charge of inciting to hatred…

“Wilders’ defence lawyer announced he would appeal. Wilders was not present during the ruling. In a tweet, Wilders called the verdict ‘completely crazy’, said the judges ‘hated’ his political party and that ‘half the Netherlands’ had been convicted with him…

“Ahead of the verdict, Wilders had said the verdict ‘whether acquittal or conviction, will not change anything de facto’, and that he would continue to speak his mind. Several political analysts had pointed out, ahead of Friday’s ruling, that both outcomes would be a political win for Wilders.

“Having lost the case, he can now play the role of the victim who is being silenced by the establishment… Had he won the case, he would be able to prove he was right all along. In any case, Wilders is expected to do well in the upcoming national elections in the Netherlands, on 15 March 2017. His party has been leading in most polls for weeks and has consistently been doing well since the migration crisis broke out in September 2015…

“Earlier this year, he campaigned against an EU-Ukraine treaty, and correctly predicted… that ‘the chances are very big that a majority of the people will vote No in this referendum’… “

Following his “conviction,” Mr. Wilders’ popularity rose even more in the polls.

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” One of the Favorite Books Among Italian Schoolchildren

Breitbart wrote on December 11:

“A survey by Italy’s Education Ministry showed that students at Italian high schools all over the country included Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf in their list of their top ten favorite books. Alessandro Fusacchia from the Education Ministry said the choice was a ‘particularly nasty case,’ The Local reported. He added that the vote was not counted since students had been asked to pick from books by Italian authors that were published after 2000…

“Mein Kampf – translated as ‘My Struggle’ – details Hitler’s anti-Semitism and worldview that led him to perpetrate the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust. In June, Italian rightwing newspaper Il Giornale faced an outcry after it distributed free copies of an annotated version of Mein Kampf. The paper, which is owned by Paolo Berlusconi, the brother of former premier Silvio Berlusconi, justified the move by saying, ‘know evil in order to reject it.’…

“A 70-year-old copyright on Mein Kampf held by the German state of Bavaria expired at the end of last year, prompting the publication of a 2,000-page, two-volume annotated version of Mein Kampf by Munich’s Institute for Contemporary History in order to ‘thoroughly deconstruct Hitler’s propaganda in a lasting manner.’”

Martin Schulz—New Threat to Angela Merkel?

The Local wrote on December 9:

“Outgoing European Parliament President Martin Schulz has gained tremendous ground in a new poll, emerging as a potential threat to Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year’s election. When Schulz announced last month that he would not seek a new term as EU Parliament President to return to German politics, he was immediately pegged by German media as being a potential candidate for Chancellor for the Social Democrats (SPD) to run against Merkel. And now a new poll shows that he may actually have a fighting chance, more so than the current SPD leader and Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel…

“When Merkel was pitted against Gabriel, she received 57 percent of the vote, while he received 19 percent… But when respondents had to choose between Merkel and Schulz, Merkel… received 43 percent of the hypothetical vote, while Schulz took in 36 percent… Whether Schulz will run rather than Gabriel is yet to be disclosed, and the party has said it will announce its decision in January. Schulz could also reportedly be a potential replacement for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is expected to leave his post next year as he has been nominated as the country’s next president…

“After Merkel was officially selected by her party this week to be candidate for Chancellor once again… 59 percent of respondents said it was ‘good’ that she was running for a fourth term… And when asked how they felt about Merkel’s policies, 57 percent of respondents said they were happy or very happy… Schulz also received 57 percent approval…”

Meet Martin Schulz

We are told by Wikipedia that “Schulz (60) is married [he has been married for 30 years] and has two children… [After completing elementary school], Schulz attended the Heilig-Geist (Holy Spirit) grammar school, a private Roman Catholic school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers (or Spiritans) [without graduating; he did not advance twice to the next grade. At 24, he became an alcoholic and wanted to commit suicide, according to Der Stern, dated December 11. His brother, a doctor, helped him to overcome alcoholism… he stopped drinking immediately, from one day to the next. He also stopped smoking from one day to the next]…

“Schulz is widely considered an ardent EU supporter [Der Stern called him a “Super European”. He speaks fluently six languages: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.] … In 2016 Schulz stated that Donald Trump is a problem ‘for the whole world,’ and linked the Trump phenomenon to far-right populism in Europe. He called Trump an ‘irresponsible man’ who ‘boasts about not having a clue’… In 2015, amid the Ukrainian crisis, Schulz suspended a committee made up of Russian and EU lawmakers that meets several times a year to improve ties.

“When Russia barred entry to two European Union politicians who had planned to attend the funeral in 2015 of murdered opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, Schulz criticized the barring as ‘a high affront to EU–Russia relations and the work of democratic institutions’… On a visit in February 2014, Schulz gave a ‘generally pro-Israel’ speech to the Knesset, but he implied at one point, based on what he himself described as unverified data, that Israel was denying Palestinians a fair share of water resources in the occupied West Bank. This part of the speech sparked a walk-out by several lawmakers from the right-wing Jewish Home party, and drew a public rebuke from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…

“On 24 November 2010 the British MEP Godfrey Bloom caused a row in the European Parliament when he interrupted a speech by Martin Schulz, heckling him with the Nazi propaganda slogan ‘Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer’ (‘one people, one empire, one leader’) and accusing him of being an ‘undemocratic fascist’… Schulz had criticised the role played by the United Kingdom, which was involved in the discussions despite not being a member of the eurozone, and said that some eurosceptics would take pleasure in the collapse of the European Union.”

Der Stern wrote that Schulz is driven by an “unrestrainable ambition.”

Pope on Syria: Accustomed to War and Destruction?

Zenit wrote on December 11:

“Pope Francis again reiterated his appeal for peace in Aleppo, turning once more to the plight of the Syrian city… The Pope has already made public appeals on behalf of Aleppo a handful of times. ‘Every day I am close, above all in prayer, to the people of Aleppo. We should not forget that Aleppo is a city. That there are people there: families, children, elderly, sick people,’ he said.

“The Pope lamented that ‘we have already grown accustomed to the war, to the destruction…’”

Gruesome Murders in Aleppo

The Telegraph wrote on December 14:

“The government’s operation to recapture the rebel-held eastern part of the city is in its final stages and reports of atrocities are coming in. The Syrian army is reportedly going from house to house and executing residents on the spot. At least 82 civilians, including women and children, were shot on Monday, according to a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Residents fear summary executions, forced disappearances, torture, and rape – a grim litany of war crimes. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime and the Russian government are ignoring calls for the safe passage of civilians from war-torn Aleppo, as more than 100,000 terrified people are still trapped inside the city.

“If this story sounds familiar, that is because we have heard it before. We have seen it on the killing fields of Cambodia, the ghost towns of Iraqi Kurdistan poisoned by chemical weapons, in the faces of machete-wielding Rwandans, the sieges of Sarajevo and Srebrenica, and the desert death camps of Darfur. ‘Never again,’ the world pledged in the wake of these atrocities. And yet the same horrors are now being inflicted on the people of Aleppo and we are reacting with much the same carelessness…

“Five years into the civil war, Syria has turned into the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our time. All red lines have been crossed. One of the greatest failures of our political leadership has been to allow Syria and Russia to dominate the narrative around Aleppo. Everyone is now a terrorist. Every hospital bombed a secret weapons storage. Every use of chemical weapons a false flag operation by the rebels…

“Aleppo will become the ultimate symbol of anger and disillusion. It will drive more young men into the arms of Islamic State and other terrorist groups and it will bring more refugees to Europe’s shores…”

Highly Regarded Scientist Recognizes God as the Creator of the Universe

Express wrote on December 12:

“Michio Kaku, who is highly regarded in the scientific community thanks to his work in helping to popularise the String Theory, has developed a new theory which he says points to the existence of God or an intelligent designer for the universe. The American scientist, who is a professor in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, came to his conclusion by studying ‘primitive semi – radius tachyons’.

“These tachyons are theoretical particles that have the ability to ‘unstick’ matter in the universe or vacuum space between particles, essentially leaving everything free from the influence of the universe. This led Mr Kaku to the conclusion that the universe was created through design, and not random chaos…

“He said of his research: ‘I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence. Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.’

“With all of the calculations that would need to go into creating a successful universe, Mr Kaku says… [that] ‘the mind of God, we believe, is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11-dimensional hyperspace.’”

This is a refreshing position of light in a foolish world of evolutionary darkness. Most scientists do not believe in God and attempt to “explain” a creation without a Creator; even suggesting that the universe “created” itself. To give you much biblical information on the truth and to expose the lies of so-called “scientific knowledge,” please read our free booklets, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?” and Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man!”

Democracy Is Fine, but Only when It Goes My Way

An interesting phenomenon took place this year, that of democracy at work but not working for many of its adherents. The definition of democracy can be “a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.”

There have been times when a government didn’t get the result they wanted and so they brought out the propaganda machine and waited until they were confident of getting the desired result, or they did deals to make sure that their will prevailed.

In Denmark, a second referendum was held after voters rejected the Maastricht Treaty.  A deal was done giving the country an opt-out of the Euro and home and justice affairs, and the second referendum was successful.  In Ireland, a second referendum was held after the original referendum had rejected the Nice Treaty. Again, concessions were made and the second vote passed.  Ireland also had two votes on the Lisbon Treaty.

In a BBC article on June 28th, it referred to the above examples and said: “In each case, the unanimous approval of EU members had been needed for treaty changes, so the whole process would have stalled if the referendums had not passed.”

The UK, as a whole, voted on being in or out of Europe in the vote on 23rd June 2016, and Brexit was the outcome with 48% voting to stay in and 52% to leave.   Some of the 48% didn’t like the verdict at all and there were street protests and marches.   Democracy hadn’t produced the verdict that they wanted – and expected!   Although it was a binding UK vote, some parts of the UK who voted to stay in the EU thought that they ought to be allowed to remain as before.  In a Daily Express article dated 28th November 2016, headed “This remorseless drive to overturn referendum result”, examples were given of famous British leaders who still hang on to some sort of hope that it was all a big mistake.  It’s amazing what the human mind will come up with in order to get democracy on their own terms.

Then we saw street protests across the USA after Donald Trump was elected as the new President in November 2016.   Democracy was again fine but only so long as the right result was reached and to many across the USA, this hadn’t happened.

Winston Churchill wryly observed: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”   So, what form of government is best – perhaps a benevolent dictator?   The definition is: “A benevolent dictatorship is a theoretical form of government in which an authoritarian leader exercises absolute political power over the state but does so for the benefit of the population as a whole.”   But who would be the dictator?   Human nature being what it is, no human being would, or could fit the bill, and so we get back to democracy as at present.

But there is a time coming when Jesus Christ will reign on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, and He will rule with the best interests of everyone uppermost in his mind.   He will execute justice and usher in the Millennium (See Isaiah 11:1-5).   At that time, there will be some initial teething problems but as soon as earth’s inhabitants realise it is for the best for everyone alive, then resistance will cease and democracy will be forgotten, as the perfect form of government—true Theocracy—will be enjoyed for 1,000 years.

It shouldn’t be too long now!

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

A new German booklet, titled, “Kennen Sie den Jesus der Bibel?” (German translation of, “Do You Know the Jesus of the Bible?”), has been sent to Shelly Bruno for graphics finalization.

A new publication, “Fall and Rise of the Jewish People,” has been written and entered the review process. We anticipate printing this booklet very early next year.

“Coming—USA Without Internet?”, is the title of a new StandingWatch program presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

Is it possible that the USA will experience a total shutdown of the Internet and the destruction of its satellites in space? Before we dismiss this idea as farfetched, we should focus on most recent national and international developments and dangers from without and within our country.

“Was sagt uns Gott über die Arbeit?, Teil 2,” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon. Title in English:  “What does God tell us about Work?, Part 2.”

“Yes or No,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Life seems to come down to our ability to make choices.  There are a lot of grey areas or maybe’s in life.  But the fact is that our lives come down to being able to say yes or no.  What is that we will choose in our lives as we learn to use God’s wisdom and knowledge?

“The Fools and the Foolish,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

There are 3 aspects the Bible talks about when it comes to the words “fool”, “foolish”, or “foolishness”. How does the Bible describe a fool and what does the Bible say about foolishness? What does it mean when the Bible talks about the foolish things of the world?

Current Events

We begin with Donald Trump’s fight with the CIA; his controversial nominations; his explosive plan to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; his fight with China; and his comments on the Paris “climate change agreement”; and we continue with an alarming article about the possible economic downfall of the USA in the very near future.

We speak on the revival of Roman Catholicism in France; challenges of a new government in Italy; recent terror attacks in Turkey; and the conviction without punishment of Geert Wilders for “insulting” Moroccans.

We address the love of Italian school children for Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”; speak on outgoing European Parliament President Martin Schulz who could became a serious challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the 2017 German election; and report on some interesting facts about Mr. Schulz.

We conclude with articles about the terrible situation in Aleppo, Syria; and the astonishing recognition of God as the Creator of the universe by a highly regarded scientist.

Find Peace; Your Eyes—Your Ears

On December 17, 2016, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “Find Peace,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Your Eyes—Your Ears.”

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.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God