This Week in the News

The Temple Tax—Preparing for the Third Temple

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 21:

“In preparation for the upcoming holiday of Purim, Jews around the world will be reading the section of the Torah that describes the giving of the sanctified half-shekel silver coin to the Tabernacle… From the time of the Tabernacle until well after the Temple was destroyed, every Jewish man was required to give one half-shekel weight of silver, approximately eight grams of silver (worth about $4 today), as a mandatory tax to support the Temple… Each man was obligated to give the same amount, regardless of his economic condition, with collection beginning on the first day of the month of Adar…

“Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, explained… ‘As the preparations for the Temple move forward, the need for that tax is reemerging. Without the half-shekel right now, there can be no Third Temple.’

“It is towards that end that the Sanhedrin minted a coin specifically for the current era. Mordechai Persoff who established the Mikdash Educational Center, a non-profit organization for education about the Temple, is marketing the coin… ‘[We are minting a series of coins to reflect a prophetic process that is unfolding right now,’ Persoff said. ‘Just as Cyrus paved the way that enabled the Jews to build the Second Temple, President Trump began a similar process’…

“Rabbi Weiss noted that the first coin issued by the Sanhedrin featuring Donald Trump and an image of King Cryus was wildly popular. ‘Unfortunately, that popularity came at a price,’ Rabbi Weiss said. ‘Other sources began minting and selling counterfeit versions of the coin… ‘Most of the counterfeiters were from China and Asia where the copyright laws are not as stringently enforced,’ Rabbi Weiss said. ‘It is no wonder that the coronavirus plague originated in a region that stole from the holy half-shekel.’

“Proceeds from the sale of the coin will be used in reenactments of Temple services as well as in other educational and practical endeavors that help prepare for the Third Temple. Should the need arise, the proceeds will be used for the actual building of the Temple.”

On one side of the new coin, it pictures Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu with the American and Israeli flags, including the words in English and Hebrew, “War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness,” and on the coin’s reverse side, it pictures King Cyrus, the second Temple, a lion with a sword and under it the words “Persian Empire,” and the words, “The Temple Coin” in Persian, Hebrew and English, together with the words “Half Shekel 2020”; and “Cyrus is My Anointed King Isaiah 45” in English and Hebrew.

Final Destination—the Third Temple

Haaretz wrote on February 22:

“Once annexation is achieved, the messianic prize awaits: the gradual takeover of the Temple Mount, in stages. First by allowing Jewish prayer on the Mount and ultimately by establishing a holy temple and renewing ritual sacrificial slaughter.. the final destination of this train is the Temple Mount…

“From the Temple Mount blows a fascist wind unique to Jewish nationalism, and it will not be calmed until the injustice of Al-Aqsa is obliterated and a holy temple is rebuilt…

While Haaretz is against all of this, their statements are nevertheless revealing.

Eating Unclean or Living Animals!

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 19:

“Many of the early headlines in the international press link the appearance of the virus to the sale, in food markets in China, of many kinds of non-kosher animals, including live foxes, crocodiles, wolf pups, salamanders, snakes, rats, peacocks, porcupines and live koalas… Eating part of a living creature is one of the most severe sins from the Torah, even for non-Jews…

“In Jewish thought, the prohibition against eating from a live animal teaches a deeper lesson. If we tear a limb from a live animal to eat, not only is it cruel, but it also reflects another base character trait. Someone who grabs what they want and eats immediately is focused only on their animal desires. They lack the willpower and refinement to properly prepare their meal before indulging in it.”

Even the very thought of eating such unclean animals like the ones described above or eating parts of a living animal (clean or unclean) is absolutely revolting, disgusting and appalling.

Coronavirus a Serious Problem

Deutsche Welle reported on February 23 [the numbers in the article have been changed as to reflect the status on Wednesday evening]:

“Several Italian towns have taken urgent measures to stop the virus from spreading following the deaths of [by now at least 11] people and more than [320] infections.

“Venice has called off its Carnival celebrations due to the outbreak… The spike in cases also prompted regional authorities to order the closure of schools, businesses and restaurants in Veneto and Lombardy, as well as the cancelation of religious services until further notice…

“Iran has reported [at least 139 infections and 19] deaths, and now Turkey and Pakistan have responded by closing their borders with the Islamic Republic. Afghanistan has suspended air and ground travel to Iran.”

Newsmax added on February 23:

“Concern about the reach and rapid spread of the coronavirus also grew in Europe and the Middle East… Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey imposed travel and immigration restrictions on Iran, while Oman on Sunday urged its citizens to steer clear of countries with high infection rates and said arrivals from those nations would be quarantined.”

The Guardian wrote on February 23:

“The world is fast approaching a ‘tipping point’ in the spread of the coronavirus, according to experts who warn that the disease is outpacing efforts to contain it… experts say the situation will soon reach a critical threshold.”

The Drudge Report linked an article of the Associated Press on February 25 with the headline, “World on Lockdown.” Bild wrote: “Mailand (Italy) is becoming a ghost town.” ARD stated that the German Bundespost (German mail) has suspended deliveries to affected areas in Italy.

In the meantime, more cases in Austria, Croatia, Spain and Switzerland have been reported as well, while three infected tourists from Germany, Italy and Britain were detected in the Canary Islands and in Mallorca. As of Wednesday, there are 19 cases in Germany, 13 cases in Great Britain and 12 cases in France, amongst others. [It was reported on Wednesday that one person died of the virus in France.]  China has reported more than 80,000 infections, but the actual figure might be much higher.

The death toll in China as of February 26 was over 2,700. Some experts have stated that it is already too late to avoid a pandemic, and that the pandemic is already here. The WHO seems to want to downplay the matter, stating that the virus has “pandemic” potential, but is not here yet. The WHO seems to be terribly wrong. And the USA might not be spared. See the next articles.

Here are some further updates as of Thursday evening:

Deutsche Welle reported on February 27:

“Italian cases surge… [Italy’s number now stands at 650, and 17 people have died from the respiratory virus.] EU countries said borders will remain open. Germany’s health minister said the country is facing a ‘coronavirus epidemic.‘”

 The Associated Press wrote on February 27:

“The testing in western Germany came after a 47-year-old man with the virus was hospitalized in serious condition in Duesseldorf. The man’s wife, who works in a kindergarten, was also confirmed to have contracted the virus. A soldier in the German air force who had contact with the hospitalized man also has tested positive… [He is the] acting head of the German military hospital in Koblenz.”

Bild Online reported that in Germany, the confirmed cases of people who are infected with the virus have tripled within the last 24 hours, and that over 1,000 people are in quarantine.

The Week wrote on February 27:

 “More than [8,400 people] are being monitored for the coronavirus in California, and 33 people have tested positive… The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that a person who tested positive for the coronavirus in California might be the first U.S. case of community spread, as they hadn’t recently traveled out of the country or come into contact with anyone who had the virus.”

USA in Danger

Breitbart wrote on February 25:

“As of Tuesday, 57 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., which includes the 40 American citizens repatriated from the virus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.”

The Washington Post wrote on February 25:

“Health officials in the United States warned Tuesday that the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country appears inevitable… as global travel disruptions continued to worsen…”

The Sun added on February 25 an article with the following headline:

“Killer Virus Chaos. Americans warned ‘bad’ coronavirus outbreak [a] case of ‘when not if’ as San Francisco declares emergency.”

The article continued:

“The move comes as officials predict hospital overcrowding and less cops on the streets… [The official] cited widespread school closures, a decrease in cops, overloaded hospitals, and deaths as possible outcomes of the outbreak…

“Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II… said the US will need as many as 300 million masks for health care workers, as well as more ventilators for hospitals to prepare for the deadly disease – but the country only stockpiled 30 million N95 surgical masks.”

Our whole health-care system, fragile as it is anyway, can break down in a heartbeat when confronted with a pandemic for which no one is prepared and no vaccines exist.

How the Virus Spreads

MSN wrote on February 24:

“Italy’s experience… shows how the virus can slip onto a new continent undetected, only to then erupt as a sudden crisis, while bringing with it the interruptions and fears that once seemed far away.  Four days ago, Italy had only three confirmed cases of the virus. Now, it has the largest known outbreak outside Asia, pushing the world closer to a pandemic, in which epidemics spread across multiple countries and continents at the same time…

“Some infectious-disease experts have speculated that the virus was already in Italy for weeks, carried by one or more people with negligible symptoms, before it was detected… ‘Half of Italy in quarantine,’ a headline in one of the country’s major newspapers, La Repubblica, said Monday.”

Despite so-called “precautions,” the global spread of the coronavirus is unstoppable. This will have terrible consequences for air travel, and could also adversely affect members and ministers of the Church of God for the upcoming Passover season.

At the Brink of Recession?

CNN wrote on February 23:

“Markets closed out last week on an anxious note. It’s not difficult to see why: the coronavirus continues to spread, and there are signs that some of the world’s top economies could slide into recession as the outbreak compounds pre-existing weaknesses.

“Take Japan: The world’s third-largest economy shrank 1.6% in the fourth quarter of 2019 as the country absorbed the effects of a sales tax hike and a powerful typhoon. It was [the] biggest contraction compared to the previous quarter since 2014.

“Then there’s Germany. The biggest economy in Europe ground to a halt right before the coronavirus outbreak set in, dragged down by the country’s struggling factories…

Hong Kong is in recession and Singapore could soon suffer a similar fate. Fourth quarter GDP data from Indonesia hit a three-year low, while Malaysia had its worst reading in a decade… Meanwhile, engines of growth like China and India slowed in 2019…

“All of this brings to the fore concerns about the global economy’s ability to withstand a shock from the coronavirus. [It] is poised to make matters worse…

“Even the United States may not be in as strong a position as previously thought… [The] US services sector contracted in February, with the reading hitting a 76-month low. It’s the first time the sector has contracted in four years.”

The Dow Jones dropped by more than 1,000 points on Monday morning, because of fear of the spread of the virus. This was its worst day in two years. On Tuesday, February 25, the Dow dropped a little bit under another 900 points. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to a record low as coronavirus fears of a global pandemic will slow the world economy.

The Week reported on February 27: 

“The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Thursday down almost 1,200 points [the worst point drop in US history, according to CNN], or over 4.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were each off 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. President Trump has sought to reassure investors that the coronavirus outbreak, which has affected countries around the world, is only a small worry for the stock market… The Dow has lost more than 3,000 points this week.”

All of this shows how quickly our entire somewhat artificial economic system can collapse because of widespread fears and uncertainties.

Tomb of Romulus Found?

AFP wrote on February 21:

“An ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus was presented to the world on Friday… The 6th century BC stone sarcophagus, with an accompanying circular altar, was discovered under the Forum in the heart of Italy’s capital over a century ago — but experts could not agree on whether or not it belonged to the fabled figure.

“According to legend, Romulus founded the city after killing his twin brother Remus. The brothers had been raised by a she-wolf — the symbol of Rome shows them sucking at her teats — but later fell out over where to build the new metropolis. Historians have long been divided not only over whether the pair actually existed, but if so where Romulus’ body — which was reportedly dismembered after his death by angry senators — may have been buried.

“… archaeologists called for caution, saying it was impossible to scientifically confirm — and no bones were found inside the sarcophagus… Legend has it he went on to establish the Roman senate and rule as the city’s first king for nearly 40 years… Romulus acquired a cult following, making it more than plausible that the ancient city built a shrine to its beloved — and possibly mythical — founder.”

Regarding the history of ancient Rome, Herman L. Hoeh wrote the following in the Good News magazine in April of 1958:

Nimrod was the first who totally turned aside after the flood… Later, Nimrod was killed, so they introduced the custom of mourning 40 days in his honor… The ancient Romans celebrated Nimrod’s birthday on December 25…

“After years of oppressing the people for his selfish interests, Shem (according to ancient records) forced Nimrod to flee… to [what became known as] ROME! The ancient name of Rome was ‘Saturnia’… It means the dwelling place of ‘Saturn.’ And the inhabitants of ancient Italy called Nimrod ‘Saturn,’ meaning ‘the hiding one’ — because he ‘lay hid’ from his pursuers… A pagan shrine was later set up on Vatican hill to commemorate this event…

“And the birthday of Nimrod — December 25 — was called the Saturnalia by the Romans. Saturnia fell into decay. A new city, Rome, was later built on the same site — named after Romulus, according to Latin writers.”

The Catholic Church and the Vatican… Compromise upon Compromise

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 21:

“A meeting between the Chinese Foreign Minister and his Vatican counterpart last week resulted in a ‘secret agreement’ that will bring the Chinese government into the process of appointing Catholic Bishops… the agreement… was initiated and approved by Pope Francis… The agreement allows for the Chinese government to pre-approve the Vatican’s appointment of Chinese Bishops… ‘With a view to sustaining the proclamation of the Gospel in China, the Holy Father Pope Francis has decided to readmit to full ecclesial communion the remaining ‘official’ Bishops, ordained without Pontifical Mandate,’ [the Vatican announced]… in return, Beijing would recognize some, though not all, of the bishops previously appointed by the Vatican…

“Retired Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun has long been a critic of Pope Francis’ relations with the Chinese government… Zen issued a statement criticizing the deal, accusing the Vatican of ‘selling out’ mainland Chinese Catholics in order to normalize ties with Communist China. ‘With a totalitarian regime, there’s no possibility of any talk or bargaining…,’ [Zen said].”

This reminds us of the compromise of the Catholic Church when entering into covenants (“concordats”) with Hitler and Mussolini. And as the Church lost in the aftermaths of the bargain, so they will lose again with trying to make a bargain with China.

Trump in Office Beyond 2024?

Inqusitr wrote on February 21:

“At a rally in Las Vegas on Friday, Trump for at least the 28th time said that he planned to remain in office beyond the end of his term… Trump twice alluded to what appears to be his desire to remain in the White House… beyond 2024 — the last full year of his second term…

“In what seemed to be an off-the-cuff monologue in which he congratulated himself for his role in bringing the 2028 Olympic Games to Los Angeles, California… Trump said that there was a ‘distinct possibility’ that he would still be in office by the time of those Olympics.”

We have been saying that Trump will be reelected in 2020 and that he will be the last President of the USA. But this does not have to mean that he could only stay in office until the end of 2024. Note the next article.

The Atlantic wrote on February 22:

“If he is reelected, then, barring other circumstances…, his administration will terminate… in 2025… Trump would cease to be president immediately upon the expiration of his term. But what if he won’t leave the White House?

“The American Constitution spells out how the transfer of power is supposed to work. Article II provides that the president ‘shall hold his office for the term of four years.’ The 20th Amendment says that the president’s and vice president’s terms ‘shall end at noon on the 20th day of January … and the terms of their successors shall then begin.’ Of course, a president may be reelected to a second four-year term, but under the 22nd Amendment, ‘no person shall be elected to the office of president more than twice.’

“… the former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted, President Trump ‘will be eligible for a 3rd term due to the illegal attempts by Comey, Dems, and media , et al attempting to oust him as [President] so that’s why I was named to head up the 2024 re-election.’… Huckabee is not the first person to suggest that Trump might not leave when his presidency ends.

“In May, the faith leader Jerry Falwell Jr. tweeted an apparent reference to the completed investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian election interference. ‘I now support reparations,’ he wrote. ‘Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.’ Trump retweeted Falwell’s post.

“One of Trump’s former confidants, Michael Cohen, has suggested that Trump won’t leave. In his congressional testimony before heading to prison, Trump’s former attorney said, “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”

“Trump himself has joked about staying in office beyond his term, and even for life. In December, Trump told a crowd at a Pennsylvania rally that he will leave office in ‘five years, nine years, 13 years, 17 years, 21 years, 25 years, 29 years …’ He added that he was joking to drive the media ‘totally crazy.’ Just a few days earlier, Trump had alluded to his critics in a speech, ‘A lot of them say, “You know he’s not leaving”… So now we have to start thinking about that because it’s not a bad idea.’ This is how propaganda works. Say something outrageous often enough and soon it no longer sounds shocking.

Refusal to leave office is rare, but not unheard of. In the past decade, presidents in democracies such as Moldova, Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gambia have refused to leave office, sometimes leading to bloodshed. In 2016, Joseph Kabila decided not to step down after three five-year terms as the president of Congo, announcing that he would delay the election for two years so that a census could be conducted. His decision was met with mass protests in which 50 people were killed by government security forces. Still, he followed through and an election took place in 2018. He left office thereafter.

Elected officials in the U.S. have also refused to step down, albeit from lower offices than the presidency… The closest thing to a refusal to leave office that the U.S. presidency has experienced was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s break with tradition by seeking a third term. Roosevelt rejected the norm set by George Washington, and followed by successive presidents, to step down after two terms. FDR was elected to a third and even a fourth term, but concern about a permanent executive led to the ratification of the 22nd Amendment in 1951, limiting presidents to two terms…”

“… if Trump should fail in his final duty as president to transfer power peacefully, the nation’s laws, norms, and institutions will be responsible for carrying out the will of the electorate. Should those fail too, then the American experiment’s greatest achievement will come to a grinding halt…”

Of course, the Constitution can always be amended. In a time of war, when a president in power is perceived as strong, while his “successor” would be looked upon as weak and timid, everything could be possible.

Democratic Primary Race a Mess

The Huffington Post wrote on February 26:

“Most of the Democratic field stepped into the debate hall here Tuesday night needing a clear win to upend a messy 2020 presidential primary race. None of them got it.

“In less than a week, South Carolina voters will cast their ballots in the fourth election day of the 2020 presidential cycle — the first race in which African American voters will make up the majority of the electorate. And in exactly a week, 14 states, American Samoa and Democrats abroad will follow suit on Super Tuesday, by the end of which 40% of the American population will have voted.

“But no candidate stepped up to claim a victory, and instead the five men and two women on the debate stage engaged in a shambolic mess of a debate that seems unlikely to have a significant effect on the state of the race, which currently favors Sen. Bernie Sanders. The other candidates chasing him…  didn’t deliver the type of major moment necessary to vault themselves past Sanders in polling. 

“Sanders was the debate’s center of gravity, but the candidates also took plenty of time to jab at candidates who weren’t leading the race ― a telling sign of just how divided the field remains and a look at how Sanders can continue to exploit that division to rack up delegates without becoming a clear front-runner.”

During this chaotic debate, some of the candidates shouted that Sanders and others could not beat President Trump. We agree. None of the candidates will beat Trump. It is a given and pre-ordained that Trump will be reelected. One reason is that he will be used to help in building the prophesied Third Temple. Another reason is to bring this country down, perhaps to the point of civil war, and to totally destroy America’s formerly somewhat friendly relationship with its European allies, which will lead to World War III and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Note the next article.

USA and Europe … Worlds Apart

CNN wrote on February 17:

“What will a second Donald Trump presidential term look like…? That was the thought in many delegates’ minds as they gathered over the weekend in the southern German city of Munich for a security conference…

Attacking Trump has become something of a hobby at this annual Bavarian gathering. It is symptomatic of how many in Europe feel that America, and Trump in particular, is withdrawing from the post-World War II world order… Germany in particular has drawn Trump’s ire

“But for anyone thinking a Democrat may be different… America’s isolation is not a Trumpian thing… it had begun under Obama, the last President’s policies in the Middle East being an example of that… Europe may find America has grown out of love with its Western roots and moved on…”

Controversial US Ambassador to Germany new US Intelligence Chief

The Local wrote on February 21:

“US President Donald Trump’s administration insisted Thursday that new US intelligence chief and Germany ambassador Richard Grenell would serve without a partisan agenda…

“The 53-year-old former political advisor, who has no directly relevant background or top-level management experience, will supervise 17 agencies including the CIA. He has been unusually outspoken for an ambassador in criticizing the country where he serves… His outspoken behaviour… has led some German politicians to demand his expulsion…

“The longtime media commentator and former US spokesman at the United Nations will be the first openly gay US cabinet official… Avoiding a potentially contentious confirmation fight, Trump named him acting director, meaning he can serve for 210 days without approval from the Senate…

“Grenell has cheered on the rise of right-wing populists in Europe, including hailing Austria’s ultra-conservative chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, as a ‘rock star.’ He previously drew controversy as a spokesman for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign

“Senior congressional Republicans were muted in their response to the nomination. But Representative Matt Gaetz, a conservative who backs gay rights, praised the historical importance of the appointment. ‘Fifty years ago a gay man or woman couldn’t work in the intelligence community,’ he said.”

The New York Post added on February 22:

“[His] new job… makes Grenell the highest serving openly gay man to hold federal office in United States history.”

Some achievement! Grenell has been extremely unpopular in Germany, but his “sexual orientation” had nothing to do with it.

Brexit News

 Bloomberg wrote on February 27:

 “U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the European Union he’ll walk away from the negotiating table in June if it’s not clear he’s going to get a Canada-style trade agreement with the bloc…”

 The Guardian added:

 “The UK is to abandon a crucial tool used to speed up the transfer of criminals across borders with other European countries. Acting against the warnings of senior law enforcement officials, the government said it would not be seeking to participate in the European arrest warrant (EAW) as part of the future relationship with the European Union… The UK’s loss of the EAW became inevitable after Brexit; the treaty only applies to EU member states…

 “When Britain left the EU on 31 January, three EU countries – Germany, Austria and Slovenia – announced they would stop surrendering their nationals to British law enforcement…”

It is feared that Britain may become the harbor for European criminals.

Trump Administration Enforces Public Charge Rule against Legal Immigrants!

Breitbart wrote on February 24:

“President Trump’s administration on Monday started implementing the federal regulation geared toward stopping likely welfare-dependent legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the United States.

“After the U.S. Supreme Court gave the green light for the regulation, the Trump administration has now begun applying what is known as the ‘Public Charge’ rule—a rule whereby legal immigrants are less likely to secure a permanent residency in the U.S. if they have used any forms of welfare in the past, including any cash benefits for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)– otherwise known as food stamps, Medicaid, and certain taxpayer-funded housing programs.

“The rule will now apply nationwide…”

A horrible and ungodly rule, and even though many in this country might support it, as Breitbart claimed in their article,  it only shows why God is so angry with America’s government and its people. The next article shows even more why we are saying this.

Incredible US Supreme Court Decision

npr wrote on February 26:

“A sharply divided [U.S. Supreme] court first ruled that the parents of a Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. border patrol agent cannot sue the officer who killed their son… In 2010, 15-year-old Sergio Hernandez and his friends were playing chicken at the U.S. Mexican border, running up and touching the border fence and then running away and hiding. Video of the scene shows Sergio peeking out from behind a railroad trestle on the Mexico side, as Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. points a gun, fires, and kills the boy.

“When the U.S. government declined to prosecute the agent or turn him over to Mexican authorities to face murder charges there, the boy’s parents sued the agent for damages, contending that he violated the U.S. Constitution by depriving Hernandez of his life. The suit was brought under a 1971 Supreme Court ruling that allowed such damage claims against officers who act in bad faith.

“The panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that no reasonable officer would have done what Agent Mesa did under the circumstances, but the full appeals court said that it didn’t matter whether Mesa had acted unreasonably because Hernandez was standing on the Mexican side of the border when he was shot, his parents couldn’t sue.

“On Tuesday, the Supreme Court threw out the suit entirely and went much further… The vote was 5-to-4 with the court’s conservative justices refusing to allow damage suits for cross-border shootings…

“Mexico filed a brief in the case saying the U.S. should ‘hold the agents accountable’ and pointing out that the U.S. ‘would expect no less if … a Mexican government agent, standing in Mexico and shooting across the border, had killed an American child standing on U.S. soil.’”

No matter what the legalese and the concocted arguments, if there are any, the Supreme Court came up with, this ungodly decision decries any sense of justice. We are facing a grim future of our country with these kinds of unconscionable decisions of our highest court.

Mubarak Died

Deutsche Welle reported on February 25:

“Former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, has died at the age of 91… Mubarak, who had ruled Egypt for three decades and was ousted by mass protests in 2011, died of health complications at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery… The former strongman and his two sons were convicted to a three-year sentence and ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines for embezzlement of state funds… Egypt’s current president, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, mourned the death of ousted Mubarak as a ‘military leader and war hero’ and offered the government’s condolences to his family…

“A former bomber pilot, Mubarak came to power after his predecessor Anwar Sadat was gunned down standing next to him at a military parade. Throughout his rule, Mubarak was a staunch US ally, fought back against Islamic militancy and promoted Egypt’s peace with Israel. But in 2011, tens of thousands of young Egyptians rallied against him for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square that drew the participation of millions of people.

“Mubarak’s downfall was a stunning development that marked the Arab Spring movement. But his overthrow plunged Egypt into years of instability and set the stage for a power struggle between the country’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The Algemeiner added on February 25:

“‘On behalf of the citizens and government of Israel, I would like to express deep sorrow on the passing of President Hosni Mubarak,’ Netanyahu said in a statement. ‘President Mubarak, my personal friend, was a leader who led his people to peace and security, to peace with Israel.’…

“Mubarak… was widely respected in Israel for his preservation of the peace treaty signed in 1979 by his assassinated predecessor Anwar Sadat.”

The Week reported:

“Mubarak was Egypt’s longest-serving leader in 150 years, and his violent crackdown on the protests led to his arrest and life imprisonment. He was released in 2017 after a higher court acquitted him of most charges.”

Some might recall Herbert W. Armstrong’s highly publicized friendly relationship with Anwar Sadat and his visit with Mubarak after Sadat’s murder.

Germany’s Uncertain Political Future

According to new polls, only every 5th German would like to see Angela Merkel stay in power. Local elections in the city of Hamburg (the second-biggest city of Germany), which has been traditionally SPD-friendly, have also shown another defeat for Merkel’s CDU, with the historically lowest numbers of only about 11.2%. The Green party gained, while the AfD barely made the 5% hurdle. The FDP did not even qualify. The SPD has maintained its status as the biggest party in Hamburg, but it too registered substantial losses. The CDU wants to elect their new leader on April 25. This leader would then also normally become the successor to Angela Merkel as the candidate for Chancellorship.

Germany Allows Assisted Suicide

Deutsche Welle reported on February 26:

“Germany’s highest court has overturned a section of the criminal code forbidding all forms of assisted suicide… The law was adopted in 2015 by Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, to prevent associations or individuals from turning suicide into a kind of business. Specifically, the law states that ‘anyone who, with the intention of assisting another person to commit suicide, provides, procures or arranges the opportunity for that person to do so and whose actions are intended as a recurring pursuit incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine.’

“Legal experts have since hotly debated whether the law also criminalizes consultations — or merely mentioning, for example, that one may end one’s life by foregoing food… The Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany reject all forms of assisted suicide…

“The country‘s top court on February 26 ruled that paragraph 217 is incompatible with the constitution, making assisted suicide once more possible in Germany… The verdict opens the door to legislation that would allow doctors to counsel patients about this option and provide them with lethal drugs, yet not administer them. The court found that individuals have a right to ‘self-determined’ suicide, including the freedom to take one’s own life and to enlist organized services provided by third parties…”

Suicide is always wrong. It violates God’s commandments. In German, the word for suicide is “Selbstmord”—that is, murdering oneself. And so, assisted suicide is helping another person to kill or murder him- or herself, which is of course also wrong. Even though man’s courts and laws might allow such conduct, this does not mean that a Christian should or could engage in such practices.

Daredevil Wanted to Prove that the Earth Is Flat and Died in the Process

The Los Angeles Times wrote on February 22:

“Mike Hughes, the self-made engineer who billed himself as the ‘world’s greatest daredevil,’ was killed Saturday outside Barstow during a launch of a homemade rocket gone wrong… Hughes, who went by the nickname ‘Mad Mike,’ was captured on video as he rode a rocket into the sky, failed to activate a parachute and then plummeted to his death… The daredevil had been hoping to use Saturday’s launch to reach a height of 5,000 feet… None of Hughes’ backup parachutes activated, either…

“Before that launch, Hughes told the Associated Press that he believed Earth is flat – or, in his words, ‘shaped like a Frisbee’ – and that he wanted to fly into space to make sure… the flat Earth argument helped drum up publicity and sponsors for Hughes, who made his rockets at his home in Apple Valley… [Hughes also] did have some governmental conspiracy theories…”

Bild Online added that he wanted to reach space “high-up” with a self-made rocket to “prove that the earth is a disc.” The flat earth theory is total nonsense. We don’t know whether any relationship exists between some of his stupid ideas and his death.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

We See in a Mirror, Dimly

There are a number of passages in the Bible that show us that there are many things that we do not understand in this age. The title of this editorial is from 1 Corinthians 13:12, first part. In fact, the same verse goes on to explain that “…Now I know in part…” The apostle Paul was saying here that in his human life, there were things that he could not see clearly but darkly, or as an enigma as the Greek can be translated. The mirrors in those days were usually polished metal and not fully effective, and he used the image in a poor mirror as an analogy of his understanding.

When we study God’s Word, there are many things we read but as humans cannot fully understand. We read them and know them to be true but with human reasoning we cannot understand how or why. An example of this is in 1 Corinthians 15:35: “But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?’” Paul goes on to answer this question by beginning with an analogy comparing physical with spiritual things.

Just recently, in a question and answer series, the question was answered, “How can God listen to billions of prayers at the same time?” As a human being, we can usually only concentrate on one conversation at a time, which is why the question would be asked. But with God, whose understanding is infinite (Psalm 147:5), He could listen to all the prayers of faithful and sincere people at the same time. As was mentioned in the Q&A, in this present age, the number would certainly be a very small fraction of billions, but it would be well within God’s ability to listen to billions.

One might ask, “How could God know, before He created the world, who would be alive in Ephesus in the first century so He could choose His firstfruits from them?” (compare Ephesians 1:4). As a human, our experience and therefore first-hand knowledge extends from some time after birth to death. But with God, who created time, He knew before the world was created whom He would call to become one of His firstfruits prior to Christ’s Second Coming.

Through Moses, God explains to us in Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God.” Then He informs and encourages us, “But those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” So even though there are some things we may not understand because they are not revealed yet, there are many things that God has revealed to us for our benefit. And God has given us this revelation in the form of His Bible. It reveals all we need to know about God and His Plan.

Much is revealed to us in it including that God has a desire for everybody to be ultimately saved as we read in 1 Timothy 2:3-4: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” He does not exclude anyone for any reason from His desire but when they are called, they must of course respond to Him.

This is also stated in John 3:17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This not only includes His firstfruits but provides the possibility for everyone to be saved in his or her due time. God’s Plan is all inclusive.

However, through His Word, God gives His firstfruits knowledge of rewards for us. Romans 8:29-30, 32 states: “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified… He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.”

God also promises that He will not give up on us if we do not give up on Him. Philippians 1:6 says: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God can be totally relied upon to carry out His part of His agreement with all those He calls now.

Again, God addresses us in 1 John 4:9-10, 14. He reveals to us that His Son is not only our Saviour, but the Saviour of the world: “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Saviour of the world.” Again, it is revealed to us that Jesus is the Saviour of both us and, later, the world.

And He reveals to us knowledge of the great rewards ahead through king David. Psalm 16:11 reads: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Many things are revealed in the pages of the Bible but some things will not be revealed until our resurrection or change.

If we knew and understood all things, there would not be any reason for faith and hope. Both faith and hope can only be present if we do not see everything clearly but rely on God’s promises, and His promises are awesome. But in this life God requires us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Both faith and hope are mentioned in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hope is also mentioned in Romans 8:24-25: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Considering the end result of this process of believing what we cannot see, we can read in the rest of 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am also known.” God knows us fully now but then we shall know all things fully.

The question in 1 Corinthians 15:35, pertaining to the first resurrection, that Paul answered at first with an analogy, before explaining it fully, is also answered in full in 1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are the children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” That is, a glorious Spirit being as John saw in a vision in Revelation 1:13-16.

So the conclusion to the subject is that if we live in faith and hope, not understanding all things now but believing what God has revealed and His promises, this will be the ultimate result, as stated in Revelation 21:7: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”

Chaos and Order / The Falling Away Has Begun!

On February 29, 2020, Kalon Mitchell will present the sermonette, titled, “Chaos and Order,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “The Falling Away Has Begun!”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Und weil die Gesetzlosigkeit ueberhandnimmt,” our new German booklet on Lawlessness, has been translated and is in final preparation for printing. In addition, numerous German translations of English articles have been posted on our German website, including parts of the Current Events section and the last member letter by Brian Gale. 

“The Third Temple and the Coronavirus” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary.

There is an alleged unrecognized connection between the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China and the preparation for the Third Temple in Jerusalem. What is that purported relationship? And in light of last week’s breaking news, how far are we with the building of the Third Temple which is prophesied to occur so that Jesus Christ can return?

“Der Abfall geht weiter,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English:  “The Falling Away Continues!”

“Leben wir nach Gottes Willen?,” the German sermonette presented last week by Thilo Hanstein, is posted. Title in English: “Do we live according to God’s Will?”

“Now What?” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank is now posted. Here is a summary:

As we see the current events march ever closer towards the denouement of God’s plan, how should we respond?

“Who is Jesus?, the sermon presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. Do you?

  • Initial information about our 2020 Feast sites (US and Germany) is posted on our website along with contact information.
  • The 2020 Church Conference will be conducted in Escondido, California. Arrival will be Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and departure is scheduled for Monday, March 30, 2020.

Current Events

by Norbert Link

We begin with interesting developments pertaining to the biblically prophesied building of the third temple on the Temple Mount prior to Christ’s return; a revealing article about the consumption of unclean meat and meat from a live animal; and the speedy global spread of the coronavirus and its consequences for the lives of all of us, including the world economy and travel limitations. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled,The Third Temple and the Coronavirus.”   

We report on the alleged find of the tomb of Romulus, the perceived co-founder of Rome, and address the virtually unknown history of the city; ongoing compromises of the Catholic Church which are reminiscent of the church’s treaties with Mussolini and Hitler; and, based on his repeated announcements, the fear that Trump might refuse to vacate his office after completion of his second term. We also emphasize again why we are convinced that, according to biblical prophecy, Trump will be reelected in 2020.  

We publish articles on the irreconcilable differences between the USA and Europe (especially Germany); the latest on the Brexit negotiations; and we report on the Trump Administration’s policies on immigration and a decision by the US Supreme Court, evidencing once more WHY God is so angry with our nation.

We speak on the death of former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak; Germany’s uncertain political future; the decision of the highest German court to allow assisted suicide; and the death of a “daredevil” in his futile attempt to “prove” that the earth was “flat.”

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

Should We Be Afraid of the Future? (Part 1)

(Español: ¿Deberíamos tener miedo al futuro?)

The world lives in fear—in fear of a nuclear war; fear of sickness and disease; fear of the end of the world; fear of a car accident; fear of dying in an airplane crash; fear of financial disaster and the loss of work; and fear of death in general. One of the greatest fears is also directed towards our fellow men… the concern how they would act and react when one stands up for the Truth.

How about true Christians? How about you? Do you live in fear? If so, this series of articles will explain how we can overcome our fears.

As mentioned, one of the biggest fears which we could have is the fear of men—what they might think or say or do if we embrace and live by the Truth of God’s Word.

But God is very specific and explicit in telling us that we must not fear other people.

Moses said the following to the people of Israel and then to Joshua, in Deuteronomy 31:3, 6-8:

“Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel… ‘The LORD your God Himself crosses over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua himself crosses over before you, just as the LORD has said… Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’…

“Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.’”

Many centuries later, Isaiah gave the same message of encouragement to the people of Israel at his time, while looking at their distant future when they would be freed from captivity after Christ’s Return. We read in Isaiah 51:11-13:

“So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. ‘I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid Of a man who will die, And of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the LORD your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens And laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day Because of the fury of the oppressor, When he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?”

This is the key problem: While fearing man, we forget to fear God. And God tells them through Isaiah that in the end, an evil oppressor, apparently referring to a military leader called “the beast,” will arise whom the whole world will fear and follow. But his time will be short, and Christ will kill him when He returns.

The prophet Jeremiah repeats the same message of encouragement in Jeremiah 1:4-8, 17, 19:

“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Then said I: ‘Ah, LORD God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.’ But the LORD said to me: ‘Do not say, “I am a youth,” For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,’ says the LORD… Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them…They will fight against you, But they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to deliver you.’”

In Ezekiel 2:3-8, we read God’s message to the prophet Ezekiel:

“Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD God.’ As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse–for they are a rebellious house–yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.

“And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

Also note God’s words to Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:9:

“Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”

In Hebrews 13:6, Paul echoes God’s same message to His people, as follows: “So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”

In general, we are told this in Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

Again, we see that when we fear man, then we might lose the fear of God. That is the warning expressed in the above-quoted passage, and that is the same warning which we can read in Isaiah 57:11-13:

And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, That you have lied And not remembered Me, Nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old That you do not fear Me? I will declare your righteousness And your works, For they will not profit you. When you cry out, Let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, A breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, And shall inherit My holy mountain.”

We either stand up for God or we deny Him. Fearing other people and being concerned as to what they believe and how they might act diminishes and destroys our fear and respect for God.

That is why we read time and again the same biblical warning, which Jesus Christ also expressed so vividly in Luke 12:4-9:

“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell [Gehenna fire; the lake of fire and brimstone which will burn up the sinner]; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God…”

To show the tremendous power, concern and love of God for us, Christ also added this fundamental statement, in Luke 12:32: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

In Matthew 10:32-39, Christ repeats some of the warnings, as expressed and reported in Luke, but He adds additional serious observations to tell us that we must NEVER fear others and let them influence us to depart from God, and that our love for God must always be our first priority:

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it…”

And so, we read this important admonition by Peter in 1 Peter 3:14-16:

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.”

We discussed this passage in our previous Q&A, written by Eric Rank and titled, “What Are Our Responsibilities in Bearing Witness of Jesus Christ?” When we are called upon by sincere and honest people to give a defense or an answer, we must not be too afraid or timid to do so, nor must we be afraid of the threats of others when we do so. In the above-mentioned Q&A, we also addressed Christ’s warning not to be ashamed of Him and His teaching (compare Mark 8:38).

At the same time, it is not always good to “give a defense,” but when refusing to do so, it must not be because of fear of men, but rather of godly wisdom. Amos 5:13 tells us that it is good at times not to give an answer: “Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time.”

When Christ was challenged by Pilate and the Jews, He gave them no answer and presented no defense to their accusations (compare John 19:8-9; Matthew 26:63). In Matthew 27,12-14, we read:

“And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’ But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.”

Jesus knew that any “defense” would have been useless, as His conviction and condemnation was predetermined. He did not waste His breath by giving what is holy to the “dogs” and casting God’s pearls of wisdom before the “swine” (Matthew 7:6). But He did not act in this way because of fear of men; He was not afraid of their threats.

Sadly, the Bible contains many examples when God’s very fundamental warning and exhortation, not to be afraid of man, has been ignored or violated.

Many refused to speak about Jesus in approving terms because they were afraid of others. John 7:12-13 reads:

“And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.’ However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.”

After Jesus had healed a blind man, his parents were questioned by the leaders of the synagogue who were opposed to Christ, but because of fear, they did not speak up, as John 9:18-23 reports:

“But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered them and said, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’”

Another example is given in John 12:42-43:

“Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

The question which we must always ask ourselves is this: Do we love the praise of God more than the praise of men? Are we more afraid of men than of God?

Even Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable, good and just rich counselor, who might have been Christ’s uncle with whom He might have made extensive journeys before He began His public ministry, was afraid to confess publicly his belief in Christ and that he was one of Christ’s disciples. John 19:38 reports:

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.”

The next verse tells us that Nicodemus was apparently also a secret disciple. He had originally visited Jesus “by night,” apparently because of fear of the Jews:

“And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.”

Focusing briefly on the apostle Paul, he stands out as a bold and courageous person. But even he needed encouragement from time to time and occasional reconfirmation from God. In Acts 18:8-11, we read that God told Paul to speak up for God as God wanted to convert some in the city of Corinth:

“Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.’ And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

Paul had no fear of men, as Luke confirms in the book of Acts. In Acts 14:19-20, we read about Paul’s amazing courage:

“Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there; and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city.”

Paul went right back to the people who had stoned him. This required courage and boldness. We will show in the next installment how Paul could and did have such courage—and how we can have it too.

Paul was not afraid of people outside the Church, nor of those inside the Church who opposed him in rebellion. His letters provide ample testimony of this fact.

He states in 2 Corinthians 13:10:

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.”

Also note his comments in 2 Corinthians 10:1-11:

“Now I, Paul, myself am pleading with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–who in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you. But I beg you that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh…

“For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed–lest I seem to terrify you by letters. ‘For his letters,’ they say, ‘are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.’ Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.”

The reason for his righteous anger with some in the church is explained in 2 Corinthians 11:29: “Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?”

He knew that some would try to deceive the brethren and draw them away after themselves (Acts 20:30). Paul was not afraid of them; he stood up to them to protect the flock, even though he was judged by some who did not understand why he spoke and acted in that way and who accused him of lack of love. The same is true today—there is nothing new under the sun.

(To be Continued)

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

©2024 Church of the Eternal God