Full Growth

Stay-at-home orders due to the Coronavirus have meant that the changes which we normally see in small ways were missed. However, it can be really surprising when we are confronted with things or people we haven’t seen for a while.

During the past week, my wife and I had the opportunity to see our eight grandsons for the first time in several weeks. They all had changed—some less and some more in terms of their growth. On the other hand, our grandsons probably thought that granny and grandpa looked older!

This experience caused me to reflect on spiritual growth—the challenge we face in growing as Christians, “…to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). In small ways and in big ways, we are to “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Have you seen Christian growth in others? Do you know people who, over the years, have developed spiritual maturity regarding faith, hope and love? Have you ever been shocked by how much a person has changed their life by growing in the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit?

Now for the hard question, can we see this kind of spiritual growth in ourselves? Do we have love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? That is, do we have more of these godly characteristics now than last year or the year before?

Put another way, can we say that we are overcoming—sin, this world and Satan? Are we overcoming our own selfish desires and yielding completely to God’s Will? Let’s remember and never lose sight of the strong admonition Jesus gave to His Church in the passages of chapters two and three of the Book of Revelation. Simply stated, we must be overcomers!

Christians are to reach full growth, and that is perfection, once we are born again members in the Family of God. But we must strive towards that perfection already now (Matthew 5:48). Along the way, we, too, must be showing recognizable growth in godliness. One way to do so is to face up to ways in which we know that we are not growing as we should—and change!

If we do, perhaps we will hear these words spoken to us, “‘Well done, good and faithful servantyou were faithful…” (Matthew 25:21, 23).

This Week in the News

Ghosts and Self-Isolation

DNYUZ wrote on May 14:

 “For those whose experience of self-isolation involves what they believe to be a ghost, their days are punctuated not just by Zoom meetings or home schooling, but by disembodied voices, shadowy figures, misbehaving electronics, invisible cats… and even, in some cases… free-floating, full-torso vaporous apparitions…

“In 1999, immediately before Y2K… a spike in reported ghost and poltergeist activity [was reported], as well as U.F.O. sightings… [It could] have something to do with our heightened state of anxiety… Times of great unease…, when there is an increased drive to find meaning in chaos, can lend themselves to perceived hauntings…

 “In quarantine… you are trapped at home… it’s comforting to think that there’s a supernatural agent here with you…”

For important information on this subject, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled “Haunted Houses and Ghosts during Self-Isolation?”  

Boris Johnson Wants to Impose Two Week Quarantine on Air Travelers

Business Insider wrote on May 10:

“[Boris] Johnson… announced plans to, at a future date, impose a two-week quarantine on people arriving in the country by air… ‘To prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time… to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air,’ he said. The prime minister did not explain whether the same restrictions would apply to those arriving in the UK by sea or train.”

In fact, Johnson did not explain anything. Airlines already responded by saying that this would be their ruin, as nobody would want to come to the UK anymore. Express added on May 11 that, due to a special agreement, “Britain will not quarantine travellers coming into the UK from France.”

Germany is facing similar challenges. Note the next articles.

Travel Ban… Some Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 8:

“The European Commission on Friday recommended extending travel restrictions for non-EU nationals at the bloc’s external borders until June 15, saying ‘the situation remains fragile both in Europe and worldwide.’…

“EU officials said frictionless travel within the bloc’s internal borders and the visa-free Schengen area would be prioritized over non-essential travel from non-EU countries. ‘Restrictions on free movement and internal border controls will need to be lifted gradually before we can remove restrictions at the external borders and guarantee access to the EU for non-EU residents for non-essential travel,’ said Ylva Johansson, EU Commission for Home Affairs….

“Going forward, the European Commission said, ‘Any further prolongation of the travel restriction beyond June 15, 2020, would need to be assessed again, based on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.’”

Breitbart wrote on May 13:

“The German government is recommending that a requirement for people arriving from other countries in Europe to self-quarantine for 14 days be dropped. Germany last month imposed a requirement for all people arriving in the country to go straight home and stay there for two weeks, except those who were on very short trips, commuting to their jobs, transporting goods or in some other essential functions.

“A court in the northern state of Lower Saxony suspended the rule for that region this week. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday he is recommending that state governments, which are responsible for quarantines, drop the requirement for travelers from other European countries but maintain it for arrivals from other nations such as the United States and Russia.”

It will have to be seen what is going to happen after June 15. We hope and pray that travel bans between the USA and Europe will be lifted by then, and that the discriminatory self-quarantine regulations for 14 days especially towards US travelers will be dropped as well.  

German Tourism Industry Suffers with the Support of Many Germans

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 10:

“… every third job in the German tourism sector could be lost… around a million… of the some 3 million people working in the sector in Germany were at risk of becoming unemployed… 70% were already working short-time… [It was felt that] big online companies [would be] dominating the market while smaller travel agencies and tour operators [would disappear].

“The tourism industry in Germany is likely also to suffer under the current unwillingness of Germans to travel amid the uncertainties created by the coronavirus crisis. A recent YouGov survey showed that almost half of Germans (48%) do not want to see European borders reopened for the summer holidays… Some 42% had dropped the idea of taking a holiday at all…”

This happens when fear and panic reigns.

Large Demonstrations in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on March 9:

“Over 3,000 people rallied in Munich and thousands more gathered in Stuttgart and across Germany [including Berlin] on Saturday to demand the lifting of restrictions ordered by the German authorities…

“The protesters accuse politicians and medical workers of spreading panic and infringing on the population’s rights with the prolonged lockdown. Some of the rallies included anti-vaccination activists

“Over two-thirds of German residents support the need for social distancing, according to the latest research published by the official BfR Institute. However, this still marks a sharp drop from the numbers reported in March, when 92% supported the restrictions.”

Bild Online reported that over 15,000 demonstrators protested in Germany over the weekend. As governmental restrictions continue, more and more Germans will be found opposing the same. The accuracy of above-quoted figures of alleged approval by the majority of Germans must be disputed anyhow, based on the many comments on social media. 

Germany Bans Conversion of Gays who are Minors

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 8:

“German lawmakers voted to pass a law on Thursday banning so called ‘conversion therapies’ that are aimed at suppressing sexual orientation or gender identity. ‘Homosexuality is not an illness,’ said Health Minister Jens Spahn who is openly gay. ‘Therefore the term therapy is already misleading.’

“Under the new law, advertising or offering conversion therapy will be prohibited for children up to the age of 18. Violators can be fined up to up to €30,000 ($33,000) or sentenced to up to one year in prison. Parents and guardians who force their children to undergo the programs can also be charged for violating their duty of care… the new law… carries punishments as well if an adult consented to the therapy after being deceived, coerced or threatened…

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partners voted in favor of the ban, as well as the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP). The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) largely abstained, except for one vote against the law. The Left Party and the Greens also abstained from the vote, but argued that the law didn’t go far enough to protect young adults…”

We agree with Jens Spahn that homosexuality is not an illness. According to the Bible, it is an abomination.

New Controversial Law in France

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 13:

“Legislation that passed the National Assembly on Wednesday gives platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat a [24 hour] deadline to remove… ‘manifestly illicit’ [posts] — such as hate speech, racist comments, or religious bigotry

“The law also sets up a prosecutor specialized in digital content and a government unit to observe online hate speech… The law has been severely criticized…

“Arguing against the law on Wednesday, conservative lawmaker Constance Le Grip warned of a danger to ‘in a way, entrust the policing of thought and expression’ to private businesses mostly based in foreign countries. Populist leader Marine Le Pen said the law was ‘a serious violation of the freedom of expression.’”

In this, Le Pen is absolutely correct. In addition, the definition of hate speech and religious bigotry is open to arbitrary interpretation and discrimination.

“The US Government Is Failing Us”

Reuters wrote on May 7:

“Since losing her position at the makeup counter at the Macy’s department store in Orlando, Florida, on March 28, Alejandra spends her days trying to secure the unemployment benefits that should have arrived weeks ago, sometimes placing more than 100 calls a day.

“The online application, a 10-hour ordeal of error messages, ended with a notice that her identity could not be verified. If she’s lucky, she’ll reach a representative who will say there’s nothing they can do to help. Otherwise, it’s a busy signal, or an hours-long wait on hold, followed by a sudden hang-up…

“In the past six weeks, states have struggled to process over 33 million jobless claims, more than they typically see in a year. That figure does not capture those who have been unable to even file a claim due to bureaucratic hurdles — up to 14 million more, according to an Economic Policy Institute study released last week.”

There is no question that our entire system is breaking down.

Unemployment in the USA MUCH WORSE than Previously Announced

In a related article, Reuters wrote on May 8:

“Millions of U.S. residents were counted as employed in April despite having no job, suggesting April’s true unemployment rate was closer to 20%, much higher than the official 14.7% reported, the Labor Department said Friday. The jobless rate should have included people on temporary unpaid leave, furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government said.

“But responses to the survey by which the data was collected show 11.5 million people were categorized as employed but absent from work because of vacation, parental leave or other reasons, but including 8.1 million absent for ‘unspecified’ reasons, a group that usually numbers about 620,000… The jobs report probably also undercounted the unemployment rate in a second way – by missing people who wanted work but weren’t looking for it because of near-ubiquitous stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The Labor Department excludes people who are not in an active job search from its count of the unemployed, classifying them instead as out of the workforce. But in April, 9.9 million people who were not in the labor force – one in every 10 – also said they wanted a job, the highest number since the Labor Department began keeping track.”

Another 2.98 million Americans filed jobless claims last week. Taking the last two articles together, the actual number of unemployed workers is even much higher than 20%. This is astronomical.

Katie Miller Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

JTA wrote on May 8:

“Katie Miller, the wife of presidential adviser Stephen Miller and the spokesperson for Vice President Mike Pence, has tested positive for the coronavirus… the news has big implications: her husband, who handles speechwriting and immigration policy duties, is one of Trump’s closest advisers…

“Stephen Miller and Katie Waldman married in February at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Rabbi Aryeh Lightstone, a senior adviser to David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, officiated.”

We are very sad about anyone who contracts the coronavirus, and that includes of course Katie Miller. But that her husband Stephen Miller is Jewish (his great-grandmother escaped the 1903–06 anti-Jewish pogroms in Belarus and other parts of the Russian Empire to immigrate to the USA) and still pursues the terrible immigration policy of his (note articles on immigration in our Update, Number 922, from May 1, 2020), is even more shameful in light of the appalling atrocities the Jews had to suffer when similar immigration policies prevented them escaping from Nazi Germany.

Listening to the “Experts”?

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on May 12:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared before a US Senate Committee today to warn Senators against opening the country after the coronavirus outbreak. Opening too soon – before a vaccine – will bring needless death and suffering, he said.

“No mention of the needless death and suffering caused by the lockdown itself – cancer treatments cancelled, surgeries cancelled, Depression-level economic collapse, depression, suicide, abuse. How long must we continue listening to this ‘expert’ who has gotten everything wrong thus far?

Fauci’s fascination with and interest in a global vaccine is quite remarkable.

Fox News Moderators Attack Fauci

The Huffington Post wrote on May 13:

“Fox News’ prime time personalities lashed out Tuesday [against] Dr. Anthony Fauci…

“[Tucker] Carlson, in a lengthy monologue, ranted about Fauci being an unelected official, asked whether he should be entrusted with the power to make long-term health recommendations and called him out for what the host said were past contradictory statements… ‘This is not the result of any kind of democratic process at work at all,’ he continued. ‘Yet, in the last four months, Fauci has become one of the most powerful people in the world… Carlson also appeared to call Fauci the ‘chief buffoon of the professional class.’…

“[Laura] Ingraham also seized on Fauci’s unelected status, claiming Democrats want to ‘keep this panic parade going’ until the 2020 election. [Sean] Hannity, meanwhile, accused Fauci of siding with ‘the left’ to favor ‘massive restrictions with no end in sight… It’s time to reopen our country and our economy safely… Americans are a free people. It is up to all of us to calculate the risk and make our own decisions.’”

President Trump needs to be careful not to appear to turn over too much authority to Fauci, given the strong opposing voices of his influential supporters, such as Carlson, Ingraham and Hannity. Trump might be sensing this himself, calling Fauci’s caution on schools reopening “not an acceptable answer” (CNN, May 13). The Independent added on May 13:

“Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has struck down Governor Tony Evers’s stay-at-home order… The court declared that the order was ‘unlawful, invalid and unenforceable’ in its ruling.”

The Danger of Draconian Measures

The Ron Paul Institute published on May 13 the following article from the Rutherford Institute, dated May 12:

“COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on the nation emotionally, physically, and economically, but there are still greater dangers on the horizon… Now there’s talk of mass testing for COVID-19 antibodies, screening checkpointscontact tracing, immunity passports… and snitch tap lines for reporting ‘rule breakers’ to the authorities…

“This war on COVID-19 will be yet another war on the American people, waged with all of the surveillance weaponry at the government’s disposal: thermal imaging cameras, drones, contact tracing, biometric databases, etc. So you see, when you talk about empowering government agents to screen the populace in order to control and prevent spread of this virus, what you’re really talking about is creating a society in which ID cards, round ups, checkpoints and detention centers become routine weapons used by the government to control and suppress the populace, no matter the threat.

“… in Germany, the Nazis required all Jews to carry special stamped ID cards for travel within the country. A prelude to the yellow Star of David badges, these stamped cards were instrumental in identifying Jews for deportation to death camps in Poland…

“In South Africa during apartheid, pass books were used to regulate the movement of black citizens and segregate the population. The Pass Laws Act of 1952 stipulated where, when and for how long a black African could remain in certain areas…

“Through the use of identity cards, Ethiopian authorities were able to identify people with Eritrean affiliation during the mass expulsion of 1998. The Vietnamese government was able to locate ethnic Chinese more easily during their 1978-79 expulsion. The USSR used identity cards to force the relocation of ethnic Koreans (1937), Volga Germans (1941), Kamyks and Karachai (1943), Crimean Tartars, Meshkhetian Turks, Chechens, Ingush and Balkars (1944) and ethnic Greeks (1949). And ethnic Vietnamese were identified for group denationalization through identity cards in Cambodia in 1993, as were the Kurds in Syria in 1962.

“And in the United States, post-9/11, more than 750 Muslim men were rounded up on the basis of their religion and ethnicity and detained for up to eight months. Their experiences echo those of 120,000 Japanese-Americans who were similarly detained 75 years ago following the attack on Pearl Harbor…

“In the case of a national identification system, it might start off as a means of tracking COVID-19 cases in order to ‘safely’ re-open the nation, but it will end up as a means of controlling the American people…”

Many will not agree with such sentiments, perhaps thinking that they are overblown and based on paranoia. But even among those who might be willing to give them a more serious thought, who will really heed those warnings and contemplate the dangers involved? Note also the next article.

Three Reminders from the Bill of Rights

The Ron Paul Institute published on May 13 an article from the “Future of Freedom Foundation”:

“As a condition for accepting the Constitution, the American people… wanted a Bill of Rights to make it clear that the federal government was prohibited from doing the things that are listed in the Bill of Rights…

“First, the Bill of Rights, does not give people rights. Our ancestors understood that rights come from nature and God, not from government. People’s rights preexist government.

“Second, the Bill of Rights consists of prohibitions and restrictions on the federal government… our ancestors knew that the federal power would inevitably attract people to public office who would do the types of things that were being restricted. They would criminalize speech, especially speech that was critical of federal officials. They would ban protests against government. They would force people to subscribe to a certain religion. They would seize people’s guns. They would punish any malefactor by simply having civil or military agents take people into custody, incarcerate them, torture them, or execute them, all without trial by jury and due process of law. The Bill of Rights was to serve as a reminder that federal officials had no legitimate power to do any of these things.

“Third, the Bill of Rights contains no emergency or crisis exception… our ancestors knew that historically crises and emergencies were the time-honored way by which people lost their liberties at the hands of their own government. During such times, people become afraid and their natural tendency is to look to the government to keep them safe and secure. They forget that the biggest threat to their liberty is their very own government, as reflected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Thus, they eagerly trade away their liberty for ‘security.’ Later, when the crisis or emergency has passed, they discover that the government is unwilling to give up the power it has acquired over them.”

 Americans who are far too willing to unquestionably embrace and agree with draconian governmental restrictions limiting our freedoms would be well advised to remember the contents and the purpose of the Bill of Rights.

Mobilizing the Military

Reuters wrote on May 14:

“President Donald Trump is mobilizing the U.S. military to distribute a novel coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available and will focus first on older Americans… ‘Our military is now being mobilized so at the end of the year, we’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly.’ …

“The White House has set a target of having 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. No such vaccine for this pathogen has been approved though a number are under development…”

So, will Americans be forced by the military to take that vaccine, however unsafe, if one were to be developed and delivered by the military? 

According to Homeland Security Today, dated May 12, “the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announce[d] a $138 million contract with ApiJect Systems America for ‘Project Jumpstart’ and ‘RAPID USA,’ which together will dramatically expand U.S. production capability for domestically manufactured, medical-grade injection devices starting by October 2020… the contract will support ‘Jumpstart’ to create a U.S.-based, high-speed supply chain for prefilled syringes beginning later this year… ‘Jumpstart’ will enable the manufacture of more than 100 million prefilled syringes for distribution across the United States by year-end 2020…”

Warning Rejected

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 10:

“Catholic bishops in Germany have dissociated themselves from a letter in which several prominent Catholic clergy question the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken by governments across the world to stem it…

“The vicar general of the city of Essen, Klaus Pfeffer, said on Facebook that he was ‘simply speechless at what was being published there in the name of the Church and Christianity: crude conspiracy theories without facts or evidence, combined with aggressive right-wing populist rhetoric that sounds alarming.’

“The letter, signed by such Catholic notables as the German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller [and] Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano from Italy… claims that the pandemic is being exploited to restrict basic rights ‘disproportionately and unjustifiably.’ It also maintains that the contagiousness of the novel coronavirus has been overstated by authorities…

“It strongly criticizes governments around the world for the lockdowns imposed in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, saying that ‘the imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.’

“In one strongly worded sentence, it claims that ‘centuries of Christian civilization’ could be ‘erased under the pretext of a virus’ and an ‘odious technological tyranny’ established in its place…

“The German Bishops’ Conference had earlier stated that the restrictions in Germany, which also led to the temporary cancelation of church services, were ‘sensible and responsible,’ while urging a ‘responsible and proportionate’ relaxation of the measures when appropriate.”

Actually, the above-quoted article by Deutsche Welle ignores the fact that the appeal was signed by over 80 signatories, including prelates, physicians, lawyers, journalists and academics. One of the signatories is environmental lawyer Robert Francis Kennedy Jr., son of the late Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of John F. Kennedy. The appeal also warned that a vaccine might be developed and manufactured from aborted fetuses.

Schism in the Catholic Church?

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 12:

“A schism is taking place that is tearing the Vatican apart…

“Pope Francis differs from his predecessor in many ways. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century…

“‘The Church is at a crossroads, trying to figure out what is the future for them,’ [a] source said…”

The Coronavirus Dilemma

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 10:

“… many health systems are requesting that higher-risk patients voluntarily sign an agreement that allows doctors to withhold attempts at resuscitation. In some cases, parents are being asked to sign a form telling the doctors to allow… their children to die.

“… official guidelines for doctors in Italy stated that only patients ‘deemed worthy of intensive care’ should receive such care and decisions based on a ‘distributive justice’ approach balanced the demand for care versus available resources. At the height of the crisis, some regions of Italy were using a cut off of 65-years-old in case of pre-existing comorbidities…

“In the UK, patients with illnesses that are considered ‘life-limiting’ are being asked to sign ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders (DNR). Incurable cancer, motorneurone diseases, untreatable heart and lung conditions, are considered to be at especially high risk if they contract COVID-19 and are being asked to sign DNRs while still uninfected. The DNR notes that people with these conditions will be ‘unlikely to be offered hospital admission if they become unwell and certainly will not be offered a ventilator bed.’…

“But it is not just the elderly and sick who are the focus of selective health care. In the UK, parents of vulnerable and sick children are being asked by physicians to sign a DNR if their children catch Covid-19. The order instructs medics not to perform CPR if a patient stops breathing or their heart stops…

“… all of the countries that have legalized euthanasia (Netherlands, Belgium, Columbia, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany) have universal health care. There are currently six states in the U.S. with legalized euthanasia.”

Doctors have pledged an oath to save life, not to destroy it. How can they practice under the circumstances as described above?

Will Europe Sanction Israel?

The Times of Israel wrote on May 12:

“Reportedly led by France, European nations seek to warn Israel of sanctions from its largest trading partner if it declares sovereignty over parts of territory (Judea and Samaria).

“According to the Haaretz daily, the proposed steps include announcing that Israel would be prevented from entering into trade agreements with the bloc, receiving EU grants or participating in other forms of cooperation with the union….

“A slight majority of Jews — 51.7% — support annexation… while only 8.8% of Arab Israelis were in favor…”

Israel will go ahead with annexation, and it will be interesting to see how Europe will react.

Being Micro-Chipped by Israeli Government?

Breaking Israel News wrote on May 12:

“Several of the victims, who reportedly represent hundreds of others, came forward… claiming that they have been micro-chipped by Israel’s intelligence community and even have the X-rays to prove it.

“… the chips, which are engineered using state-of-the-art technology, can be injected and cause people pain at the push of a button. [Victims claim] that these chips can ‘enact mind control including emotions like fear’

“[It is claimed that] this chip can cause its victims to suddenly urinate in the middle of the street and cause epileptic seizures.”

This would be absolutely disgusting and appalling, if true.

Churches Still Closed on Pentecost?

The Huffington Post wrote on May 12:

“Several California pastors have pledged to reopen their churches on May 31 ‘or sooner,’ regardless of whether their plan lines up with a schedule put forth by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“The pastors released a letter… arguing… that people of faith have a right to worship in person

“In their open letter to Newsom and California’s public health officer, the pastors ― who are mostly evangelical Christians and claim to represent 1,500 churches in the state ― say the mandated shutdown of houses of worship has been detrimental and argue churches should be considered ‘essential.’…

May 31 is the Day of Pentecost, which commemorates a Bible story about Jesus’ followers gathering together after his death and being given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Some consider this to be the moment when the church was formed…

“The pastors are being represented by… the Advocates for Faith & Freedom and The National Center for Law and Policy… Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based conservative Christian law firm, is backing a call for churches across the country to resume in-person worship. Other conservative religious legal groups have signed up to represent churches that want to reopen….”

The opposition by churches and their lawsuits against the governmental restrictions and prohibitions against religious assembly in person won’t go away any time soon, until they are being lifted.

Restrictions During Fall Holy Days?

The Times of Israel reported on May 8:

“[Anthony Fauci] said the risk was likely to carry over into the High Holidays this fall, and that pandemic risk mitigation should continue to apply to worship at that time.”

In other words, continue with prohibitions against assemblies in churches and synagogues even during the fall festivals of Trumpets, Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles? We should clearly understand that none other than Satan is behind these efforts.

 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.

Current Events

by Norbert Link

We begin with an article about alleged experiences with ghosts during self-isolation (please view our new StandingWatch program, titled “Haunted Houses and Ghosts during Self-Isolation?”); and continue with the status of worldwide travel bans and the dire situation of the tourist industry, while focusing especially on the United Kingdom and Germany. We speak on huge demonstrations in Germany against governmental restrictions and a new German law, instigated by openly gay German Health Minister Jens Spahn, prohibiting conversion therapies of minors who are gay. We also report on a highly controversial law in France on “hate speech” and “religious bigotry.”

Turning to the USA, we report, among other events, on the terrible conditions and ever-growing statistics of America’s unemployed. We also point out critical voices in the media questioning the accuracy of Dr. Fauci’s predictions, and the long-term dangers of draconian restrictions and other measures by the US federal and state governments.

We also address a dire warning of bishops, doctors, lawyers and journalists pertaining to reactions to the coronavirus and the possibility of a schism in the Catholic Church; and we report on the worldwide breakdown of our healthcare systems.

We focus on the EU’s warning against Israel in case of annexation, and a frightening development in light of microchips which have been implanted in unsuspecting victims.

We conclude with nationwide opposition of American churches to the governmental prohibitions of personal religious assembly.

In what way do your booklets, sermons, sermonettes and updates (especially articles and comments in your Current Events sections) relate to the Church’s end-time commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God as a witness and to feed the flock?

We state in our Statement of Beliefs, under “The Church’s Commission”:

“We believe that it is the Church’s commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all nations as a witness, to warn all nations, and especially the lost tribes of the house of Israel (mainly in the United States, Great Britain, certain Commonwealth nations and nations in Northwestern Europe) of impending danger, and to feed the flock of Christ—the Church—spiritually and physically.”

Regarding the gospel of the Kingdom of God, we state this in our free booklet, “How to Find the True Church of God”:

“… the gospel includes, among other aspects, a message ABOUT Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44–46); about the grace of God (Acts 20:24); repentance and forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47); the belief in and obedience to the gospel (Mark 1:15; Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8); our salvation (Ephesians 1:13); peace (Ephesians 6:15); the promise of eternal life (2 Timothy 1:10); rulership of Christ and the saints here on earth (Revelation 20:4, 6; Daniel 2:44; 7:21–22, 27); and a message about the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:11)…

“We read that it is the gospel OF Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 9:12), or Christ’s gospel (2 Corinthians 2:12). It is a message that God the Father gave to Jesus Christ, the ‘Messenger’ (Malachi 3:1) in order to proclaim it (compare also Revelation 1:1). But the gospel message was also Christ’s message, because it is called the gospel OF the Kingdom of God, and Christ is a member of the Kingdom of God.”

So, the gospel is a message which is given to us from God the Father and Jesus Christ to proclaim to this world as a witness or testimony, prior to Christ’s return (Matthew 24:14). Even though it is good news, it includes, by necessity, a warning message to show what is going to happen when God is being disobeyed (Isaiah 24:4-6).

When reviewing our published material in light of the foregoing, we should see how it all relates to God’s commission to His Church (to preach the gospel, as explained above, and to feed the flock) which is called upon to proclaim the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:25-27).

For instance, our booklets deal with God’s Word, the Bible, and His Law and the penalties when it is broken. We have just published a new comprehensive booklet of over 170 pages, titled “The Ten Commandments,” which discusses God’s spiritual Law in a unique way. You will not find anything quite like it anywhere else, and we encourage you to request your free copy.

Our booklets also talk about prophetic events leading to Christ’s near return; who and what God is; His weekly and annual Holy Days; pagan holidays; Christian living; the future of the Jewish people; and the identity of the modern house of Israel as well as modern Gentile nations which are specifically addressed in the Bible, including the rise of a prophesied European power bloc and the downfall of the United States and the United Kingdom.

The foregoing applies likewise to our sermons and sermonettes which deal to a large extent with feeding the flock, but also with the task of preaching the gospel, as explained above.

The motto of our weekly StandingWatch programs is: “Proclaiming the warnings of prophecy for our times and announcing the good news of the coming Kingdom of God.” They also address the right and wrong kind of living, as this is part of the gospel message as well. As ambassadors for Christ, we are to show the world how to live, for this will be the Way of Life when Christ will set up the Kingdom or Government of God on this earth within a few years from now.

Focusing on our weekly Updates, they include an editorial and a Q&A by one of our ministers, addressing diverse matters in light of biblical injunctions. They also include a “Current Events” section which publish many news articles from around the world, and oftentimes, we add our own comments to these articles. At the end of each Current Events section, we state the following:

“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.”

It is therefore incumbent upon the reader to view our material, including the Current Events section, in the light of the Church’s commission, as explained herein. Much thought goes into what to publish, and it never occurs “just to fill the pages.” In most cases, the relevance is obvious at first glance, but sometimes, more individual analysis might be required as to why a particular article was published and why a specific comment was made.

In all of this, we must understand that the Church is not engaged in politics. We do not endorse any political candidate or party, and we do not vote in governmental elections.  We do not, of course, participate in war, either. But this does not mean that we would not comment on wrong behavior and propaganda of politicians and social and religious leaders. In that light, we will publish articles with viewpoints different from the “official” versions of the mass media, as long as those viewpoints appear relevant and seem to have merit, and it behooves the reader to evaluate those opposing views in the light of biblical values.

We also comment on social injustice, which is contrary to God’s Word. In fact, we must do so, to show the contrast between God’s Way of Life and the ways of this evil world ruled by Satan the Devil.

To emphasize this point even more, we should look at the warning messages contained in the books of the major and minor prophets, and realize how strongly they uttered their warnings by crying aloud, sparing not and showing God’s people their sins (Isaiah 58:1). In many cases, evil rulers and their bad conduct were the targets of their warnings, and they did not shy away from doing so. At the same time, the prophets of old castigated the people as well for following the ungodly conduct of their rulers. John the Baptist was not afraid to point out publicly the sexual sin of King Herod, because it had become a public affair.

The concept of submitting to human governments and their political propaganda must be seen in context. We have just completed a new booklet, which we have posted on our website, titled, “Obeying God rather than Men.” Printed copies should be available very soon. In this booklet, we point out that we must never obey man, when we would thereby violate God’s Law, in letter or in spirit. This also means that we cannot adopt and endorse man’s concepts and ideas when they are in opposition to God’s directives.

For instance, as we point out in our booklet, we are obligated to pay our taxes, but this does not mean that we should not address the improper use of those taxes for ungodly purposes. When confronted with illegal actions from the government, we have every right as Christians to point these out and to object to those through legal means.

While God’s people will never engage in violent rebellion or violent demonstrations against the government, we will not shrink back from pointing out ungodly conduct which causes the ruin of the nation. God has made it very clear that any nation will be cursed if it engages in actions that violate God’s laws, and many kinds of curses are enumerated in many places in the Bible.  They include defeat in war, incurable sicknesses, famine, and much more.

The prophets of old also strongly condemned social injustice in the land, in just about every aspect of life. They addressed the mistreatment of foreigners, orphans and widows as much as sexual perversion and alcohol abuse. And of course, they condemned the leaders and the people for being engaged in horrible pagan worship practices. Can we see how all of this relates to our present time, and how this kind of ancient warning message for the same kind of violations, as we observe them today, must be proclaimed with boldness and conviction in this day and age?

This is even more pertinent, as the Bible warns of political, social and religious deception and a falling away from the Truth.  This falling away can be easily caused or at least influenced by the wrong acceptance of political and religious propaganda, no matter in what country one might be living, including war mongering or the right to use guns against others. It can be caused by upholding positions that are contrary to the Bible, but which are being upheld due to one’s background, upbringing or personal preferences.

It is therefore the Church’s responsibility to continue to point out God’s viewpoint, as revealed in the Bible, on all of these matters. It is part of the Church’s commission to educate the members in order to prevent false concepts from being absorbed and retained, leading them to turn away from the Truth.

God commands us to come out of today’s Babylonian system of confusion—to leave every erroneous concept behind and to embrace instead the Truth in every aspect of life. God’s Word tells us what the Truth is, and our Current Events show, week after week, the false concepts of this world and of its representatives, which are contrasted by the right concepts of God the Father and Jesus Christ, as being upheld by God’s true Church.

God offers us protection at a place of safety during the terrible days of the soon-coming Great Tribulation, and He will give us eternal life if we are counted worthy to be in the first resurrection. It is the Church’s duty to prepare the membership for these dark times ahead, so that we can all enjoy together our glorious future in the Kingdom of God.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

Those Things and These Things / Preparing for Eternity

On May 16, 2020, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Those Things and These Things,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Preparing for Eternity.”

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

Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Our newest booklet, “Obeying God Rather Than Man,” is now posted.  Copies of this booklet will be sent to our subscribers following printing.

“Haunted Houses and Ghosts during Self-Isolation?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary: 

Being confined for an extended period of time to self-isolation and quarantine can have a devastating psychological effect on some people. But can it even cause imagined or real paranormal encounters with ghosts, as some claim?

“Verlieren wir unsere Freiheiten für immer?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This program covers the topic described in last week’s StandingWatch program with some additional material (“Will We Lose Our Freedoms Forever?”).

“Die Schlacht am großen Tag Gottes,” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “The Battle of the Great Day of God.”

“Mäßige Dein Temperament,” is the title of last Sabbath’s sermonette in Germany, presented by Christoph Sperzel. Title in English: “Moderate Your Temperament.”

The Light of the Bible,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

We are surrounded by a culture that cannot find truth.  The deception of Satan is so complete that his lies are the only truth many understand.  We must stay clear of any worldly persuasions that lead us, not to truth, but into deceit that blinds the world of God’s truth.

“Committed,” is the title of last Sabbath’s sermon, presented by Eric Rank. Here is a summary:

When we started our Christian journey, there was no way to know all of the challenges we would face and how our lives would change. Knowing that we will continue to face challenges and change, are we committed to persevere? What are the sources of inspiration that we can draw from to help us strengthen our commitment?

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