We are beginning to see the results of America’s recent presidential election. For the short term, the impact is already one of global concern, and, undoubtedly, the future consequences will prove far, far greater than we now envision.

There are occurrences which at first seem of little importance but end up being world-changing—that is the perspective we can gain from history. However, we don’t have to live our lives in uncertainty as events both small and large come to pass.

On an individual basis, one of the most fundamental truths of the Bible is that each person’s actions will impact them—we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). That puts the emphasis on the here and now—the present moment of our lives.

Jesus taught that we must, “‘seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…’” (Matthew 6:33). He adds focus to how we are to do this, stating, “‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble’” (Matthew 6:34).

Does this then mean that we should ignore future events? Quite the contrary! The focus of our lives is the coming Kingdom of God, but we must first attain godly character (Matthew 5:48). That involves conversion, overcoming and enduring—day-by-day throughout weeks, months and years.

No person in all of human history has had more impact than Jesus Christ! He did so through obedience to the Father (Hebrews 10:7)—seeking always to please Him (John 8:29). He lived each day of His life WITHOUT SIN (1 John 3:5). Jesus met His responsibilities by confronting whatever He faced and overcoming it (Revelation 3:21).

We can impact the future results of our calling from God by diligently fulfilling the job at hand, and that is to follow the example and lead of Jesus Christ—each and every day of our lives!

This Week in the News

Terror Strikes Germany! reported on December 21:

“Monday’s devastating terrorist attack at a Berlin Christmas Market was bleakly inevitable…

“Until last summer, Germany had been immune to the Islamist violence that has afflicted Madrid, London, Paris, Brussels and other European cities. But the rise of the Islamic State, the continued existence of which provides an alluring recruitment tool to disillusioned European Muslims, has sharply increased the threat of jihadist terrorism across the continent. Now, even Germany is under assault.

“The Christmas market attack — which killed 12 people and wounded dozens — bookends a tumultuous year in Germany. Last New Year’s Eve, as many as 2,000 migrant men sexually assaulted over 1,000 women just outside Cologne’s main train station. Police initially attempted to cover up the incident. Their motives — shielding Muslim immigrants from a xenophobic backlash — may have been benign, but the long-term effect has only redounded to the benefit of the far right.”

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 22:

“Klaus Bouillon of the state of Saarland who is currently spokesman for Germany’s 16 regional interior ministers said security was being tightened. ‘We will have more patrols, Officers will have machine guns,’ said Bouillon, referring to the more than 1,400 Christmas markets across Germany.

“Federal authorities searching for 24-year-old Anis Amri offered a reward for information leading to his capture and issued multilingual notices, including one in French.

“The public was warned that Amri could be armed. Police said ID papers identifying him as a Tunisian national were found in the cab of the truck used in Monday’s attack.”

Merkel and Police Under Fire

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 22:

“Both the Berlin police and Chancellor Merkel’s government faced heavy criticism on Thursday. The former for spending the first crucial hours after the attack focusing on a Pakistani suspect who turned out not to be involved in the attack, and the latter for its open-door refugee policy. The ire on behalf of the press and the public intensified as it became clear how much the intelligence services knew about Amri prior to the incident.

“According to Der Spiegel magazine, Amri had been under surveillance for associating with hate preachers online. He had offered to act as a suicide bomber on an Islamist website, and asked where he could obtain weapons. ‘He was even in deportation detention, but had to be released after a day,’ Stephan Mayer, the interior affairs spokesman for Germany’s conservative union in parliament, told RBB-Inforadio.

“Amri’s asylum application had been rejected in the summer and he was scheduled for deportation, but the procedure was postponed due to problems proving his Tunisian citizenship. Incidentally, his new Tunisian passport arrived in Germany on Wednesday. It was some of these asylum documents left behind in the truck used in the attack that turned the police onto Amri in the first place.”

The Telegraph added on December 21:

“Amri… had multiple identity documents with six different aliases under three nationalities, and a criminal record in Italy and Tunisia. He spent four years in an Italian prison before travelling to Germany after an expulsion order expired… It also emerged that the killer might have received hospital treatment for his injuries before slipping away.

“ The Polish lorry driver whose vehicle was hijacked sand used in the attack—claimed by the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was being hailed a hero…  Mr Urban’s injuries suggested he may have been alive as the lorry ploughed into Christmas shoppers, having perhaps been assumed dead by the hijacker who had stabbed and beaten him.

“It gave rise to the theory that he grabbed the steering wheel, forcing the lorry off its intended course through the middle of the crowd and potentially saving countless lives. His life came to an end when he was shot in the head by the hijacker…

“British experts said the bungled police investigation highlighted fundamental flaws in Germany’s counter-terrorism strategy…

“The German investigation has also been hampered by the lack of available CCTV footage. State surveillance is a sensitive issue in Germany because of extensive snooping by the Stasi secret police in Communist East Germany and by the Gestapo in the Nazi era. The result is that there are far less cameras in public places than in the UK. However, on Wednesday a bill was passed to allow more video surveillance in German society with greater weight given to ‘the protection of life, health and freedom’…”

These horrible mass murders by an insane fanatic pose a further threat to Angela Merkel’s political survival.

Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Assassinated reported on December 21:

“Tragedy struck once again in Turkey on Monday, this time targeting the Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov at an art exhibit. His assassin was a Turkish police officer, who shot the ambassador multiple times as he was delivering a speech.

“Video footage suggests that the assassin had drawn no suspicion as he was waiting calmly behind the ambassador before the attack—this is supported by the revelation that he used his police badge to get past the security checkpoint at the entrance of the exhibit.

“The footage also shows the assassin saying a religious verse in Arabic: a pledge for jihad for Muhammed moments after the attack. He also said in Turkish: ‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria. Until our towns are safe, you will not taste safety. Only death will take me away from here. Everyone who played a role in this cruelty will pay.’”

Barack Obama’s Long-Form Birth Certificate Determined to Be a Fake

WND wrote on December 15:

“A years-long forensics investigation into the computer image of the long-form Hawaiian birth certificate image that Barack Obama released during a White House news conference during his first term and presented to the American people as an official government document concluded it is ‘fake.’ The probe also confirms that those who were subjected to the derogatory ‘birther’ label from many media outlets and Democrats were right – at least regarding the document used to establish Obama’s eligibility to be president.

“The issue is that the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a ‘natural-born citizen’ but does not define the term. Scholarly works cited by the Founders defined it as a citizen at birth, born in the country to two citizens of the country, or merely the offspring of two citizens of the country. The birth certificate Obama displayed on the White House website as ‘proof positive’ of his eligibility states he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father… Now, what has been described as the only official law enforcement investigation ever done into the Obama birth certificate, ordered by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, has concluded it is ‘not authentic.’

“Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., WND senior staff writer and author of ‘Where’s the Birth Certificate?’ was credited by sheriff’s officials with contributing to the investigation. Corsi said Mike Zullo, head of the Cold Case Posse, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio ‘have done the United States a heroic service demonstrating by forensic analysis that the long form birth certificate produced in a White House news conference on April 27, 2011, as Barack Obama’s authentic birth certificate is a forgery… That President Obama’s birth certificate is fake, as proven now by a legitimate law enforcement examination raises serious questions that high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed at the highest level of government. The clear conclusion is that the Obama presidency may have been illegitimate, having violated Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. Impeachment procedures may be required, even if those procedures are conducted after Obama leaves office.’

“The sheriff’s video said there were nine images on the Obama birth certificate that appear to be identical to, and copied from, another birth certificate issued in Hawaii just days after his birth. That certificate belongs to Johanna Ah’nee… Forlabs, an Italian company that specializes in extracting information from multimedia files, also produced the results [showing the birth certificate to be a forgery]. ‘We had two experts from two countries in separate disciplines of forensics that came to one conclusion: Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate it not authentic,’ the report said…

“The investigators also said they had developed credible evidence that Obama’s Selective Service card was a forgery, based on an examination of the postal date stamp on the document. Also, records of Immigration and Naturalization Service cards filled out by passengers arriving on international flights originating outside the United States in the month of August 1961, examined at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., were missing… for the week of President Obama’s birth…

“Zullo has noted that Reed Hayes, a document examiner who has served as expert witness for Seattle law firm Perkins Coie – the firm that flew an attorney to Honolulu to personally deliver two paper copies of the birth certificate to the White House – has concluded in a signed affidavit that the document posted on the White House website is ‘entirely fabricated.’

“… at the time Obama was born, only a short time after Hawaii was admitted as a state, there were a number of ways a Hawaiian birth certificate could have been obtained without the person having been born in Hawaii…

“Among the many records the Obama camp has refused to release are the marriage license of his father (Barack Sr.) and mother (Stanley Ann Dunham), name-change records (Barry Soetero to Barack Hussein Obama), adoption records, records of his and his mother’s repatriation as U.S. citizens from Indonesia, baptism records, Noelani Elementary School (Hawaii) records, Punahou School financial aid or school records, Occidental College financial aid records, Harvard Law School records, Columbia senior thesis, Columbia College records, record with Illinois State Bar Association, files from his terms as an Illinois state senator, his law client list, medical records and passport records.”

Newsmax added on December 15:

“Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio held a press conference on Thursday to release information he says proves that President Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate is a forgery. Arpaio said he received information in 2011 that indicated the certificate could have been forged, and he consulted forensic experts from around the world who agree it is not authentic. Arpaio and his team are not claiming that Obama was not born in Hawaii, but only that the long form birth certificate is not authentic. So-called ‘birthers’ have questioned Obama’s place-of-birth, saying he was born in Kenya, which they say disqualifies him to serve as president of the United States. Obama says he was born in Hawaii.

“… lead investigator Mike Zullo… showed video of Obama’s birth certificate alongside one of a person named Johanna Ah’Nee. Zullo said that the forensic experts found ‘nine points of forgery’ from which parts of Zullo’s birth certificate was copied to the one purporting to be Obama’s. Among them was a stamped date that had the exact same angle. By comparison, a set of twins born five minutes apart had birth certificates where the stamp did not align exactly… Zullo said the ‘safety paper’ used by Hawaii is easily obtained on eBay, but even at that, no original piece of paper has been seen by very many members of the press. Instead, the White House provided a .jpg image to the Associated Press, which distributed it to members. As for the stamp, one was obtained at Kinko’s for $25, ‘no questions asked.’ Arpaio… called on Congress to look into the matter.”

Mr. Trump did himself and the country a great disservice when he stated, without any explanation whatsoever for his 180-degree “turn-a-around” and “change” of mind, that Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii. Whether Congress would be willing to even look into this matter is a highly dubious question. It seems more likely that they would want to let sleeping dogs lie—being afraid of potentially horrible consequences for the country (and for an indifferent Congress which could be viewed as allegedly complicit in a potential cover-up), if Mr. Obama were to be found of not having been a legitimate president. We can be certain that America’s mainstream media—liberal AND conservative—will continue to speak of the horrible “LIE” of ignorant or malicious people (indiscriminately calling all of them “birthers”) to the effect that Mr. Obama was allegedly not born in Hawaii. But what IF it were to turn out one day that the mass media have perpetrated a propagandistic “LIE” in claiming, without evidence, that he WAS born in Hawaii? Many democratic and conservative politicians and the mass media are in panic about such an undesirable outcome.

Mass Media Wrong Again—President NOT Exempt from Conflict of Interest Laws

The Huffington Post wrote on December 15:

“When President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20, he will be banned from using nonpublic information for private profit under the 2012 STOCK Act, the Office of Government Ethics said in a letter clarifying the law’s interpretation.

“The letter from OGE Director Walter Shaub released Thursday night expanded on an earlier letter to Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) to make it clear Shaub’s official guidance is that the STOCK Act does apply to the president. ‘The STOCK Act bars the President, the Vice President, and all executive branch employees from: using nonpublic information for private profit; engaging in insider trading; or intentionally influencing an employment decision or practice of a private entity solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation,’ Shaub’s letter reads.

“The guidance further states the STOCK Act prohibits the president and vice president from participating in an initial public offering and participating in any action that could benefit or influence any person with whom they may be negotiating future employment or compensation after leaving office. This official guidance was necessary because OGE had not issued the guidance formally declaring how the law applied to the president and vice president…

“This law could cause significant problems for Trump, who appears ready to continue to hold a stake in his multibillion-dollar business enterprise. He has hinted that he will hand off control of the company to his two oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump. If at any time he gives them profitable information that he has learned through his presidential duties and that has not been disclosed to the public, he would be committing a felony…”

It has been uniformly misrepresented by the uninformed mass media—both liberal and conservative—that there are NO laws prohibiting the President from engaging in actions, constituting a conflict of interest. As we have reported before in our Update, these interpretations are manifestly erroneous.

Another Turn-Around by FBI Director James Comey?

The Washington Post wrote on December 16:

“FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are in agreement with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the White House, officials disclosed Friday, as President Obama issued a public warning to Moscow that it could face retaliation. New revelations about Comey’s position could put to rest suggestions by some lawmakers that the CIA and the FBI weren’t on the same page on Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s intentions. Russia has denied being behind the cyber-intrusions, which targeted the Democratic National Committee and the private emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Trump, in turn, has repeatedly said he doubts the veracity of U.S. intelligence blaming Moscow for the hacks…

“The positions of Comey and Clapper were revealed in a message that CIA Director John Brennan sent to the agency’s workforce Friday. ‘Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,’ Brennan said, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message…”

As we reported previously (note Update #764), it had been James Comey’s position that 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; that James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, agreed with this FBI assessment; and that it remained to be an open question whether the Russians did it and that it was just as likely that the hacking was done by people who had no direct connection to the Russian government.

Serious Test for U.S.-China Relations

Bloomberg and Newsmax wrote on December 17:

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump slammed the Chinese navy’s capture of an American Navy underwater drone in international waters in the South China Sea, just hours after the country signaled it wants to resolve the issue smoothly. ‘China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act,’ Trump wrote Saturday in a Twitter post. After much criticism, the Tweet has since been deleted and re-posted to reflect the correct spelling of the of the word ‘unprecedented.’ …

“A Chinese naval ship unlawfully seized the small unmanned vehicle Thursday while the USNS Bowditch, a U.S. Navy survey ship, was [to] pick up the drone in a routine operation 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay in the Philippines, according to a Defense Department statement…

“While the motive remains unclear, the move threatened to exacerbate tensions between the U.S. and China at a time when policy in Washington is becoming uncertain. Trump has threatened higher tariffs on Chinese products and questioned the U.S.’s policy regarding Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory. The seizure was ‘one of the most brazen actions that the PLA Navy has taken against U.S. Navy for a very long time,’ said Ashley Townshend, research fellow at the U.S. studies center at the University of Sydney. ‘Against a background of rising tensions in the South China Sea and Trump’s increasingly hawkish comments on China policy, this incident will be a serious test for U.S.-China relations.’”

It will remain to be seen in what way these developments will result in a prophesied closer collaboration between Far Eastern nations, such as China and Russia. See our article below, titled, “Russia and Japan Getting Closer.”  

Europe’s Responsibilities in Light of the Trump Administration

The EUObserver wrote on December 16:

“In European capitals like Warsaw, Budapest, and Bratislava, Trump’s election is being openly welcomed. Others, including the heads of EU institutions, appreciate the possible risks but are unwilling to make any moves. ‘We need to wait until we know who his cabinet picks are and what he wants to do,’ a high-profile EU diplomat told me recently… acting on such an assumption is reckless, particularly given what we already know about the foreign policy outlook of the new administration.

“We know, for example, that Rex Tillerson, the new US secretary of state, is generally opposed to sanctions and is also a recipient of the Kremlin’s Order of Friendship. We know that the president-elect has a reserved attitude towards Nato and America’s duty to defend allies, should they come under attack. Neither is it a secret that Trump has peculiar ideas about trade and liberalisation and is unlikely to champion further trade liberalisation with the EU or other trading blocs around the world.

“… these snippets add up to a coherent view of the world in which America abandons much of its global responsibilities. It can no longer be expected to act as the world’s policeman, the leading voice in free-trade negotiations, nor a country that necessarily holds its friends and allies to high standards of democracy and rule of law… However, history shows that when global hegemons become derelict in their duties, turmoil ensues.

“After World War I… the United Kingdom was not in a position to be the world’s leading nation. It’s natural successor, the United States, was not willing to take on the responsibilities… When the economic crisis of 1929 hit, there was no government willing to step in and prevent the Western world from descending into protectionism and competitive devaluations. It was the near-collapse of international trade that made the Depression Great… democracies were unable to stop Mussolini and Hitler in Abyssinia, Spain, Austria, or the Sudetenland…

“Trump needs to understand that he will not be remembered fondly if he presides over the demise of Nato, another Great Depression, or a world war. European leaders need to reach out to him quickly… It should not be impossible to explain to the Trump family just how much the post-Cold War order depends on America’s leadership.

“More importantly, Europeans have to be prepared also to do things – to invest in their security, to step in where they know America will be absent, and to be prepared to lead by example.. After all, these are the right things to do even if Trump’s administration turns out to be perfectly benign. If it is not, however, being ready is what will stand between Europe and a geopolitical disaster of proportions unseen since 1945.”

Based on biblical prophecy and the signs of the time, it does not appear that there will be a “benign” relationship between Europe and “Trump’s administration”. Europe will undoubtedly realize this, and in order to prevent “a geopolitical disaster of proportions unseen since 1945,” they WILL work toward a strong unified European power bloc of ten nations or groups of nations—united economically by the euro and militarily by a common army. The Bible shows that ultimately, war will break out between this future European configuration and the USA.

Strong Dollar – Weak Euro

Deutsche Welle reported on December 16:

“After the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise rates, a lot of cash has made its way into the United States. That makes other currencies like the euro drop. Now even parity is on the horizon – meaning one euro buys one US-dollar.”

But this will only last so long, until the dollar drops and the euro rises again.  

CSU’s Seehofer: Cap on Migrants a Precondition for Next Government

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 15:

“Never before has Bavaria’s state premier spoken so bluntly about limiting the influx of migrants. Now, Merkel’s conservative ally has said a cap will be a prerequisite to forming a new government next year. ‘Without an annual threshold of 200,000 migrants allowed to enter Germany, the Christian Social Union (CSU) will refuse to be part of the next government,’ the Bavarian party’s head Horst Seehofer told news agency dpa on Wednesday.

“While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far refused to entertain the notion of such a cap, Seehofer sought Wednesday to enforce his position…”

The relationship between Angela Merkel’s CDU and Horst Seehofer’s CSU has been difficult for some time. If Mr. Seehofer carries out his threat, the CDU would not gain enough votes for Angela Merkel to become the next German Chancellor.

No Euro Crisis in Italy

AFP wrote on December 15:

“Italy’s banking problems can be solved and the EU will do everything to help, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday, dismissing fears of something akin to the euro crisis. New Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni has said his government was prepared to come to the aid of the country’s third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS), if private rescue efforts fail.

“The bank, seen as being in danger of failing if it is not recapitalized, needs to raise five billion euros ($5.29 billion) to avoid a state-subsidized rescue. ‘I do not think that we have to expect that the problems of the Italian banks have to be considered as unsolvable,’ Juncker said in an interview with the German public television ZDF.”

As we have been saying repeatedly, Italy will not exit the Eurozone or the EU.

Cold Shoulder for Theresa May

Daily Mail wrote on December 15:

“Theresa May’s Brexit challenge was laid bare for all to see today as European leaders gave her the cold shoulder at a key EU summit in Brussels. As the other 27 heads of state hugged and kissed ahead of the meeting, the British Prime Minister was left with no one to talk to… After 11 seconds of looking around…, she gave up and took her seat at the table. To many it symbolises the EU’s attitude towards Britain following the decision to leave the EU in June.  EU leaders even excluded Mrs May from their dinner tonight so they can discuss their Brexit plans in secret… Theresa May did find some friendly faces to talk to eventually, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel… and European Parliament President Martin Schulz…

“[Mrs. May said:] ‘As we are going to invoke Article 50 and trigger Brexit by the end of March next year, it is right the other leaders prepare for those negotiations as we have been preparing. We will be leaving the EU, we want that to be a smooth and orderly process as possible – it’s not just in our interests, it’s in the interests of Europe as well.’”

The Brexit will ultimately take place, and even though the German government (modern Assyria) is not too happy about this, they will not be able to “help” Britain (modern Ephraim) and to prevent the prophesied outcome. In fact, the relationship between the UK and continental Europe under German leadership will continue to deteriorate.

Russia and Japan Getting Closer

Deutsche Welle reported on December 16:

“Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Japan’s leader Shinzo Abe failed to reach a breakthrough on the Kuril Islands during Putin’s two-day visit. Officials from both sides, however, inked dozens of economic deals…

“The dispute started with the USSR claiming the four islands at the end of World War II, and has burdened bilateral ties ever since. Tokyo and Moscow have yet to sign a peace accord to formally end wartime hostilities…

“Speaking alongside Putin on Friday, Abe said overcoming the issue was a complex task, considering the deal ‘has not been concluded in more than 70 years.’ ‘I think we as the two leaders were able to show our sincere determination toward signing a peace treaty, although a difficult path lies ahead,’ he said. Putin concurred, but stressed that signing a peace deal should be a priority in the relations between the two neighboring countries….

“During the talks in Nagato and Tokyo, representatives of the two countries finalized nearly 70 deals on economic, cultural, science and sports cooperation. Among other initiatives, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and Japan Bank for International Cooperation agreed on creating a $1 billion… joint investment fund. Also, Novatek Chief Executive Leonid Mikhelson said his company had signed agreements with Japan’s Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi Corp and Marubeni Corp for the liquefied natural gas plant in the Arctic.

“… Putin expressed concern about US missile defense systems in Japan, calling it an overreaction to the threat from North Korea…”

According to biblical prophecy, nations from the Far East will form an economic and military alliance which will be hostile towards Europe. This alliance will include China and Russia, and, in all likelihood, countries such as Japan and India.

The New False “Wisdom” of Pope Francis on Evolution

The Independent wrote on December 17:

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’, Pope Francis has declared… the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the ‘pseudo theories’ of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they ‘require it’.

“‘When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,’ Francis said… ‘Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.’

“… Pope Francis’s comments were more in keeping with the progressive work of Pope Pius XII, who opened the door to the idea of evolution and actively welcomed the Big Bang theory. In 1996, John Paul II went further and suggested evolution was ‘more than a hypothesis’ and ‘effectively proven fact’.

“Yet more recently, Benedict XVI and his close advisors have apparently endorsed the idea that intelligent design underpins evolution – the idea that natural selection on its own is insufficient to explain the complexity of the world. In 2005, his close associate Cardinal Schoenborn wrote an article saying ‘evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process – is not’”

These comments by controversial Pope Francis are the product of faulty human reasoning. Allegations that God cannot do everything are highly offensive. If you want to understand what the Bible says about the hypothesis of evolution, which has not been and cannot be proven, please read our free booklets, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?” and Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man.”

What Should Our Approach Be Concerning Music Today?

The Bible talks about music quite a bit, showing its importance, as well as a couple of famous musicians who used music to praise God. Music can refer to lyrics, as well as instruments – the same types of instruments we use today, such as stringed instruments, harps, trumpets, horns, cymbals and percussion.  These instruments have been modified over time but the principle still applies.

Music goes all the way back to the Old Testament of the Bible. In Exodus 15:1-18, Moses and the children of Israel sang out to the Eternal, praising God during the crossing of the Red Sea and being led out of Egypt.  The prophetess Miriam, Aaron’s sister, “took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances” (verse 20).

David, a man after God’s own heart, was a musician.  When he was very young, his musical skill on the harp was admired by Saul who was at times troubled by a distressing spirit.  David played the harp, and the evil spirit left Saul.  We read in 1 Samuel 16:16, 23: “Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well… And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.”  This musical “performance” was very calm and soothing, as we can imagine.

David also played, sang and danced with joy to praise the Eternal.  One particular example is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 15:16, 28 when the Ark of God was brought to Jerusalem: “Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy… Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn, with trumpets and with cymbals, making music with stringed instruments and harps.”  The music was loud and full of rejoicing and it pleased the Eternal.  Here, in 1 Samuel 16 and in 1 Chronicles 15, we see two different types of music – one of which was calm and soothing and the other as being loud and full of rejoicing, and in both cases, it pleased the Eternal.

David wrote many songs throughout his life and many of these psalms are attributed to his authorship, which we read about in the Book of Psalms.  These songs were accompanied by instruments, mostly stringed, that David himself played.   All these songs are praising the Eternal.  He was able to use his musical skills for himself and for others as many of the psalms he wrote we sing in hymns in worship services today, thereby also praising the Eternal and thanking Him.

Solomon followed in his father’s footsteps as a song-writer musician.  The Song of Solomon is one long song—a love song with metaphors and imagery.  This book is arranged like scenes in a drama with 3 main speakers.  According to some interpretations, we have the Shulamite, the bride who might also picture the Church; the king who would be Solomon; and the chorus, the daughters of Jerusalem.  There are other interpretations regarding the identity of the speakers and actors, but all agree that it is a love song. At the beginning, there is a summary that explains the meaning behind this song.

David loved music, and he expressed his appreciation to the Eternal with music, dance and instruments – all kinds of instruments, as it says in Psalms 150:1-6: “Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” Also in Psalms 98:4-6: “Shout joyfully to the LORD , all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the LORD with the harp, With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.”

What about music today?  Since there are so many different genres of music, and since everyone has a particular taste, how can one determine between what is “good” and “bad” music?  Some like Rock music, some like classical music, some like operas, operettas and musicals, and there are others who like pop music, country, jazz, hip hop, techno, metal, and so on.  What about Christian music?  Are there any guidelines a Christian can follow or are there certain liberties that allow Christians to listen to what they like?  Is it wrong for a Christian to listen to different varieties of music?

First of all, we need to be mindful of what we are listening to, or what kind of music we might be performing.  Music with bad language and profanity or using God’s name in vain would not be acceptable; nor, when it comes to certain “worship” music with lyrics referring to things which are not correct from a biblical standpoint.  One should not attend a concert with religious music if the performance would be similar to, for example, a “Pentecostal worship service.”   We need to be careful. In the end, it is also about one’s personal conscience.  If we have doubts about the music we are listening to or which we might perform and feel it is inappropriate or offensive, then we should not listen to or perform it.  This also applies to parents who need to be aware of what their children are listening to or playing.  Again, we must be cautious that we don’t become too strict and pharisaical or liberal, but we must have a “balanced” approach.

When it comes to the type of music we might be listening to on the Sabbath, we need to focus on the godly principles when deciding what’s appropriate.  Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide what kind of music helps him or her to keep the Sabbath in the right frame of mind, focusing on God, His beautiful creation and the restful nature of His holy Sabbath day. Some might disagree as to what type of music is appropriate for the Sabbath, but it is important that we don’t become too liberal or too strict, and we must not judge and condemn someone for the type of music which he or she may be listening to on the Sabbath, even though we would prefer listening to something else.

We need to be careful that we don’t become too judgmental on what others listen to or play, but at the same time, we need to be cognizant not to offend others with “our” music.  If someone prefers a certain type of music which is not necessarily “approved” by us, we should not try to impose our beliefs and our personal preference on them, and vice versa. As mentioned, the same principle applies to “Sabbath music” as well. Paul says, “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:10, 12-13).

For example, if we are traveling in the car with someone whose taste in music is not necessarily our taste, we shouldn’t play “our” music as it would be considered offensive to him or her.  We would make it a stumbling block to them, which would be sin.  If they are disturbed over the music we listen to, we should not play it in their presence. If we perform music in a band, and we know that some don’t like the type of music we play, then we should not invite them to one of our concerts. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19) and don’t “do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak”  (Romans 14:21).

When it comes to being too judgmental, if we look at the example where Paul had to deal with the Church at Corinth, we see that members were too quick to judge others, and they were not resolving things between themselves or bringing the matter to the Church ministry, but they were suing one another in court, getting into arguments over things which should have never been brought to a worldly judge. Paul was not happy about this and said in 1 Corinthians 6:1-6, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?  And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels?  How much more, things that pertain to this life?  If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?  I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!”

At the same time, Paul was also very unhappy about the far too “liberal” approach in the Church at Corinth, and especially the local ministry, which allowed flagrant sins to go on without taking preventive action.

If a certain type of music causes someone to sin by violating one’s conscience, then it would be best not to listen to or perform it in that person’s presence.  And again, music with profanity or taking God’s name in vain should be avoided, and this also includes music with sexually explicit content or words inciting violence or glorifying war, which could even cause one to inflict spiritual or physical harm.

It is important to keep a right perspective and balance, and we must be careful not to offend others.  Everyone has particular tastes.  Music is fine with a balanced approach.

Lead writer: Michael Link

Don’t Look Back; The True Christmas Story

On December 24, 2016, Thilo Hanstein will present the sermonette titled, “Don’t Look Back,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “The True Christmas Story.”

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.

Current Events

We begin citing news of the horrible terrorist attack in Germany and the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey; report new scientific evidence showing that Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate was a forgery. The question is whether this will have any consequence whatsoever for those responsible; and whether they will be held accountable in any way. We continue with an interesting article showing that the American President is subject to conflict of interest laws; proving again how the mass media consistently misinforms the American people.

We address the position of the CIA and the new-found altered position of the FBI regarding the email hacking scandal, claiming (now) that Russia was behind it to help Donald Trump win the White House.

We speak on the rising tensions between China and the USA; Europe’s concerns and “responsibilities” in light of a Trump administration; developments in Germany and Italy; and the frosty relationship between the UK and continental Europe.

We also address interesting developments pertaining to Russia and Japan.

We conclude with new comments by Pope Francis regarding the Bible and Evolution, which must be strongly rejected.

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

Our new German booklet, “Kennen Sie den Jesus der Bibel?” (German translation of, “Do You Know the Jesus of the Bible?”)  has been sent to our German printer.

“Die wahre Weihnachtsgeschichte ,” is the title of this coming Sabbath’s new German sermon. Title in English: “The True Christmas Story.”

“Find Peace,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

In a world where conflict at every scale demands attention, it is a relief to find a source of enduring peace. How can we find peace in our lives to overcome our struggles?

“Your Eyes—Your Ears,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

We have knowledge that separates us from other people. So much so that we are outcasts—aliens to the societies in which we live

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