December 31, 2021
Lasting Impressions / To Judge or Not to Judge?
On January 1, 2022, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Lasting Impressions,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “To Judge or Not to Judge?”
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.
by Dave Harris
Over the past year, powerful images of social bedlam and mayhem have often dominated the news. What is now being called an “insurrection” is the description of what took place in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021, as crowds of people turned into a mob of anarchists.
People were injured and people died!
That sad episode hardly begins to represent the breakdown of civil order that is occurring all around us and all over the world. People are now being randomly assaulted, stabbed or even shot in circumstances where safety was taken for granted. Here is how God prophetically describes our time:
“‘By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed’” (Hosea 4:2).
Jesus Christ never allowed Himself to become entangled in the chaos of this world, although He was constantly surrounded by it and even eventually became its victim. His overpowering self-restraint in all that He faced serves as our example—especially, as times grow even more dire.
Our challenge to practice self-restraint in all that we think, say or do, will not be easy. To live as Christians, we need help:
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Our “help” is found in following the lead of Jesus, and it involves thinking as He thinks. The Apostle Paul puts it this way:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Regarding what we should say:
“‘“These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,” Says the LORD’” (Zechariah 8:16-17).
Jesus taught the kind of self-restraint we should practice regarding what we do:
“‘Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves’” (Matthew 10:16).
Indeed, we do live, as Paul writes, “…in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom [we] shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).
As mentioned, the past year has been a time of unrestrained violence, and it will, as we have been warned by God, grow to become the very worst trouble ever experienced or that ever will be again. Against this backdrop, God’s Church will continue to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God—even as we remain separate from the destructive path of those who continue to choose violence and who continue to break all restraint.
by Norbert Link
We begin with alarming warning signs regarding the worldwide threats to democracy and of “conquest by authoritarian forces, either through military invasion or subversion from within”; speaking especially of China and Russia in this context; publish a grim review of events in 2021 showing the decline of democracy in the USA; address the perceived “need” of many Europeans to establish their own army to deal with overseas crises to avoid having to deal with them “on their own soil”; and report on Poland’s fear of Germany’s ambition to establish a “Fourth Reich.” We also quote a British article to the effect that the UK and Europe are destined to “remain the best of enemies.”
Please view in this context our new StandingWatch program, titled, “2022 in Prophecy.”
We speak on a faux pas (?) of Kamala Harris and Dr. Fauci’s methods of intimidation and coercion; and point out Donald Trump’s controversial and, as some view it, hypocritical stance on vaccination which might cost him the votes of many conservatives, unless he changes his position. We also address the historically bad approval ratings of US Presidents after their first year in office, focusing especially on Biden, Clinton, Obama and Trump.
We address another terrible tragedy regarding the killing of an innocent victim through a police officer in Los Angeles; speak on events in or pertaining to Israel, including an airstrike on Syria and the outbreak of the bird flu; terrible privacy intrusions through Canada’s federal government; and close with a demonically-inspired example of mankind’s waste of energy, time and resources in trying to deal with “extraterrestrial aliens.”
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Democracy in Peril Worldwide
Breitbart wrote on December 24:
“Several of the world’s free nations will greet the year 2022 under the immediate threat of conquest by authoritarian forces, either through military invasion or subversion from within.
“The best-known example is Taiwan, an outpost of free-market democracy under the perpetual threat of conquest by the hideous tyrants of China… Last week, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said it fears China could turn large-scale military exercises near Taiwan into a full-scale surprise attack, while simultaneously deploying naval forces to keep allies like the United States and Japan from coming to Taiwan’s assistance. Chinese officials and state media are increasingly belligerent about threatening to attack any military that attempts to defend Taiwan, including the U.S. military…
“Seizing Taiwan may appeal to Chinese leaders as a bold move that would destroy the credibility of the United States and Europe, frightening other Asian powers into China’s orbit because they can no longer rely on Western security guarantees. The death of democracy in Taiwan could threaten its survival in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and elsewhere…
“And then again, democracy could conceivably topple in Taiwan without a military invasion. China invested considerable effort in subverting Taiwanese democracy and nourishing pro-Beijing opposition parties…
“Also living under the threat of invasion from the authoritarians next door is Ukraine. Russia now has over 90,000 troops massed along the Ukrainian border and Ukrainian intelligence believes they could invade by the end of January 2022… Relentless Russian propaganda portrays the Ukrainian government as an illegitimate puppet of foreign interests….
“In South America, there are troubling signs of anti-democratic leftist dictatorships on the rise. The odious regime of Nicolás Maduro appears securely in control of Venezuela, having vanquished a pro-democracy movement even as the national economy comes crashing down in socialist flames. International observers are nervously hoping the new leftist president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, does not follow in Maduro’s footsteps…
“Authoritarian powers like China and Iran are increasing their influence in Latin America, posing both a strategic challenge to the United States and an ideological threat to democracy…
“Democracy in other parts of the developing world is threatened by a string of military coups. The most horrific example is obviously Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency swept away the elected civilian government in a matter of days while the Biden administration fumbled through a disastrous withdrawal of American troops. Thanks to Biden’s reckless abandonment of American military equipment and weapons, the Taliban is now the best-armed junta in the world, with plenty of munitions to spare for sale to other anti-democratic forces.
“In Myanmar and Sudan, military juntas seized power… These juntas have survived intense pressure from human rights activists, democratic governments, and the United Nations.
“Libya, transformed into a gruesome wasteland of warlords and jihadis by Biden’s Democrat predecessor Barack Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is still struggling to hold a nationwide democratic election. Ten years after Obama’s invasion, Libya perpetually teeters on the edge of either disintegrating completely or becoming a military dictatorship…
“2022 will dawn with democracy in peril – not just from the vicious struggle to redefine it being waged across the Western world, but from numerous fragile democracies on the brink of external invasion or authoritarian revolution. 2021 was the year that saw freedom and autonomy die in Hong Kong. Representative government is on the chopping block in far too many other places.”
This analysis is, sadly, very real and true. Dictatorships will increase. There will be more and more wars and rumors of wars, as well as famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places, indicating the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).
Close to Civil War
The Washington Post wrote on December 17:
“Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, serves on a CIA advisory panel called the Political Instability Task Force that monitors countries around the world and predicts which of them are most at risk of deteriorating into violence…
“Her bottom line: ‘We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe… No one wants to believe that their beloved democracy is in decline, or headed toward war,’ she writes. But, ‘if you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — the same way you’d look at events in Ukraine or the Ivory Coast or Venezuela — you would go down a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely. And what you would find is that the United States, a democracy founded more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory.’…
“Walter writes that the United States is now an ‘anocracy,’ somewhere between a democracy and an autocratic state….”
Of course, as can be expected from the Washington Post, this decline of US democracy is blamed on Trump, without mentioning the ongoing autocratic dictatorial measures imposed by the Biden Administration.
2021 in Review
The Rutherford Institute wrote on December 27:
“A simmering pot of political tensions boiled over on January 6, 2021, when protesters stormed the Capitol… It took no time at all for the nation’s capital to be placed under a military lockdown, online speech forums restricted… The subsequent military occupation of the nation’s capital by 25,000 troops as part of the so-called ‘peaceful’ transfer of power from one administration to the next was little more than martial law disguised as national security…
“On any given day, the average American going about his daily business was monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears… In response to the events of Jan. 6, the tech giants meted out their own version of social justice by way of digital tyranny and corporate censorship… ‘Domestic terrorism’ became the new poster child for expanding the government’s powers at the expense of civil liberties… the ramifications… are so far-reaching as to render almost every American an extremist in word, deed, thought or by association.
“Political correctness gave way to a more insidious form of group think and mob rule which, coupled with government and corporate censors and a cancel culture determined not to offend ‘certain’ viewpoints, was all too willing to eradicate views that do not conform. Critical race theory also moved to the forefront of the culture wars…
“Government agents routinely violated the Fourth Amendment at will [by invading homes] under the pretext of public health and safety…
“Caught in the crosshairs of a showdown between the rights of the individual and the so-called ‘emergency’ state, concerns about COVID-19 mandates and bodily integrity remained part of a much larger debate over the ongoing power struggle between the citizenry and the government over our property ‘interest’ in our bodies. This debate over bodily integrity covered broad territory, ranging from abortion and forced vaccinations to biometric surveillance and basic healthcare…
“What started out as an apparent effort to prevent a novel coronavirus from sickening the nation (and the world) became yet another means by which world governments (including our own) expanded their powers, abused their authority, and further oppressed their constituents.
“The national debt exceeded $29 trillion. Meanwhile, the government continued to spend taxpayer money it didn’t have on programs it couldn’t afford; businesses shuttered for lack of customers, resources and employees; and consumers continued to encounter global supply chain shortages (and skyrocketing prices) on everything from computer chips and cars to construction materials…
“Owing in large part to the government’s deep-seated and, in many cases, top-secret alliances with foreign nations and global corporations, the US entered into a new world order—a global world order—made up of international government agencies and corporations. Fascism became a global menace…
“Every crisis—manufactured or otherwise—since the nation’s early beginnings has become a make-work opportunity for the government to expand its reach and its power at taxpayer expense while limiting our freedoms at every turn: The Great Depression. The World Wars. The 9/11 terror attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, the government’s (mis)management of various states of emergency in the past 20 years from 9/11 to COVID-19 has spawned a massive security-industrial complex the likes of which have never been seen before….
“There may have been a new guy [Biden] in charge this year, but for the most part, nothing changed. The nation remained politically polarized, controlled by forces beyond the purview of the average American, and rapidly moving the nation away from its freedom foundation. Over the past year, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans found themselves repeatedly subjected to egregious civil liberties violations, invasive surveillance, martial law, lockdowns, political correctness, erosions of free speech, strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, government spying, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, etc….”
Sadly, this synopsis does point out convincingly our decline in democracy, freedom and liberties.
More on Russia and Ukraine
The Week wrote on December 22:
“Before this week, I’d never heard of Dmitri Alperovitch or Silverado Policy Accelerator, the nonprofit think tank for which he is co-founder and chair. But Alperovitch is on my radar now, thanks to a viral tweet thread about Russia’s intentions in Ukraine that is at once smart, highly informed, and chilling.
“Alperovitch’s core assertion is simple: The Kremlin has already ‘made a decision to invade Ukraine later this winter.’ The evidence he marshals in defense of this claim is overwhelming. Alperovitch points to Russia’s massive troop deployment to the Ukraine border, increased acts of cyber intrusion into Ukraine, the issuing of diplomatic ultimatums and public demands that would be extremely difficult to walk back, and several other recent moves on Russia’s part.
“He then pivots to listing the reasons he thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin has decided on this bellicose course of action. These range from internal conflicts within Ukraine that threaten Russian interests to longstanding concerns about NATO expansion into Russia’s near abroad [sic], which the Kremlin considers a serious danger, to the waning effectiveness of economic sanctions from the West as a deterrent. All of it builds to a prediction: Putin ‘is unlikely to invade western Ukraine but can relatively easily split the country in half along the Dnieper [River] and establish a permanent buffer zone between Europe and Russia, as well as a land bridge to Crimea.’
“Since we’re making predictions, I’ll propose my own: If Alperovitch is right and Putin launches an invasion of Ukraine, the United States and NATO will raise rhetorical hell about it from Washington and Brussels, but they will do nothing to stop it militarily. And that, as Alperovitch points out, ‘would put a permanent end to all talk of Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, or any Central Asian states of ever joining NATO.’
“… a Russian invasion of Ukraine would propel the United States and the world into an era of geopolitical risk unlike any we’ve seen in several decades. And if Alperovitch is correct, that era may be poised to begin in a matter of weeks.”
Deutsche Welle reported on December 26:
“Russia announced on Saturday that 10,000 troops had finished month-long military drills near Ukraine and would be returning to their permanent bases.”
Whether this is even true and whether, if true, this is only another ploy by Putin to calm the West a little while secretly planning an invasion will have to be seen. In any event, the Bible prophesies that Russia and Ukraine will “unite” in some way and ultimately fight against a mighty European power bloc .
Russia’s Ambitions in the Balkans
Foreign Affairs wrote on December 27:
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Yugoslav wars, Europe’s bloodiest conflict since World War II…. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin is seizing his opportunity and using the former Yugoslav states as the next battlefield to weaken NATO and the European Union.
“Russia’s goal in the Balkans is to ramp up tensions so that it can position itself as the sole regional mediator and security guarantor. It simultaneously aims to demonstrate that neither NATO, the EU, nor their members are credible partners for any of the Balkan countries. As Moscow also continues its military buildup near the Ukrainian border, its influence campaign in the Balkans serves as another theater to challenge the West.
“Russia’s efforts have been helped immeasurably by the EU’s weak response. Despite the many years and billions of euros spent preparing the Balkans for EU integration, the effort has stalled. Western Europe was asleep at the wheel the last time war broke out in the Balkans—the stakes are too high for it to ignore the region this time around.”
Europeans “Need” for their Army
Arab News wrote on December 24:
“The EU is once again at a crossroads that requires bold decisions, in the face of severe cracks from within and relentless external challenges…
“One of the recurring ideas that surfaces among European leaders… is the establishment [of] an independent military force [and] that in international affairs it is no longer enough to concentrate on economic and soft power while relying for hard power on NATO, as that organization does not necessarily provide the answers to an increasingly polarized and conflictual international arena…
“The messy withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan in August has sent a clear message to EU strategists that it is necessary to lead from the front whenever European interests and values do not coincide with those of friends and foes alike….
“One of the EU’s more immediately pressing vulnerabilities was exposed by the deliberate mayhem instigated by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of President Putin, in orchestrating border crossings by refugees who had been residing in his country into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. This was retaliation for sanctions imposed on Belarus for its brutal crackdown on opposition activists protesting against Lukashenko’s highly questionable electoral victory last year. The EU’s lack of capacity to adequately respond to this type of cynical, hybrid act of aggression was revealing — and this at a time when Russia has been deploying its troops close to its border with Ukraine in a menacing fashion that leaves little room for doubt about Moscow’s true intentions…
“Ursula von der Leyen, the current European Commission president and a former German defense minister, is one high-profile proponent of the idea of an EU military force. In her State of the Union address in September she emphasized the need to reflect on how the mission in Afghanistan had ended so abruptly, in what was a coded criticism of the US and NATO… For her, it is about recognizing that Europe’s geopolitical vulnerabilities demand that it must itself be prepared to help deal with overseas crises, otherwise it will end up having to deal with such crises on its own soil…”
Ultimately, both will happen, but first, a European army will be established soon at the time when we observe the unification of ten European core nations, including, in all likelihood, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, France, Italy, Spain and others.
Germany’s Fourth Reich?
The Guardian wrote on December 24:
“The head of Poland’s ruling party, Jarosław Kaczyński, has said Germany is trying to turn the EU into a federal ‘German fourth reich’… the head of the Law and Justice party (PiS) said some countries ‘are not enthusiastic at the prospect of a German fourth reich being built on the basis of the EU’… Kaczyński is also a deputy prime minister. He added that the European court of justice was being used as an ‘instrument’ for federalist ideas.
“… The EU this week said it was launching legal action against Poland for ignoring EU law and undermining judicial independence. Poland has accused the bloc of ‘bureaucratic centralism’.
“During a visit to Warsaw by the new German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, this month, the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said the current Berlin government’s support for EU federalism was ‘utopian and therefore dangerous.’”
Whatever expressions are being used, current developments and biblical prophecy show that Germany and a leader of German or Austrian descent will indeed lead a united Europe under ten nations or groups of nations, and this emerging power bloc will by no means be democratic and freedom-loving. The paradox is that in all likelihood, Poland will be part of that authoritarian and dictatorial beast power.
Kurz Becoming a Global Strategist?
Bloomberg wrote on December30:
“Billionaire Peter Thiel’s investment firm is tapping former Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to become a global strategist. Kurz, who resigned under a cloud of controversy in October and remains under investigation for corruption, is set to start his new role at Thiel Capital LLC in the first three months of 2022, he told the Heute newspaper.
“The appointment comes amid multiple criminal probes into Kurz and his inner circle over allegations that he used taxpayer money to plant fabricated public-opinion polls in newspapers to help build his career. He completely withdrew from politics earlier this month, setting off another change in power. Kurz has denied wrongdoing.
“Kurz long cultivated connections to Thiel, a conservative power broker. The German-born venture capitalist — one of the first investors in Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook — has supported Republican candidates in the U.S. and endorsed Donald Trump. Kurz, 35, is looking to move beyond a blitz career in politics that made him the youngest head of government in Europe. He was touted as a pioneer of populist conservative politics on the continent before his downfall.”
“UK and the EU Set to Remain Best of Enemies”
The Guardian wrote on December 25:
“The year 2021 has been marked by a remarkable level of petulance in the UK-EU relationship. The unfortunate reality is that 2022 doesn’t offer much hope of redemption.
“France will hold the rolling presidency of the EU for the first six months, during which Emmanuel Macron will have an election campaign to fight and win against the centre and far-right. Boris Johnson is on his uppers, with a large and vocal wing of the Conservative party frothing over Covid restrictions and a lack of Brexit dividend.
“It is quite hard to imagine a less favourable context for relations to be patched up and mature conversations to be had… New German chancellor Olaf Scholz attended his first EU summit just a week ago, but it is yet to be seen whether a date with the British prime minister is even in the diary…”
The relationship between the UK and continental Europe will not improve.
Kamala Harris: Our Democracy Biggest Threat to National Security
The New York Post wrote on December 25:
“During the interview on CBS News ‘Face the Nation,’ host Margaret Brennan asked her about the one national security threat that keeps her up at night worrying. ‘Frankly, one of them is our democracy. There is, I think, no question in the minds of people who are foreign policy experts that the year 2021 is not the year 2000,’ she said…
“Later in the interview, she clarified her earlier comment, saying there is a need to ‘fight for the integrity of our democracy.’”
In light of the desired move of the Biden Administration to replace our democracy with a dictatorship—something which Trump admittedly would also have liked to do—note that Christ said this: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).
The article continued:
“Harris also refused to take any responsibility for the debacle surrounding the US military pullout from Afghanistan in August, instead blaming the Trump administration for inking an agreement with the Taliban…”
She said this: ““I strongly believe that had we broken that agreement, we would be talking about the war in Afghanistan and American troops in Afghanistan, and we’re not talking about that. I don’t regret that…”
No, but we are talking about the unprotected tens of thousands of people whom Biden had left behind, not to mention valuable and sophisticated American equipment and armory, and the terrible atrocities of the Taliban being committed to the women of Afghanistan. Kamala Harris seems to be living in a dream world… and it‘s a dangerous one.
Fauci’s Method of Coercion
Fox News wrote on December 27:
“Fauci said that taking masks off while on an airplane is ‘not something we should even be considering.’… ‘A vaccine requirement for a person getting on the plane is just another level of getting people to have a mechanism that would spur them to get vaccinated; namely, you can’t get on a plane unless you’re vaccinated, which is just another one of the ways of getting requirements, whatever that might be,’ Fauci said. ‘So I mean, anything that could get people more vaccinated would be welcome…”
He is continuing to show his true colors, but many Americans are sound asleep, without recognizing the real danger of his ideas.
Trump’s Push for Vaccines
The Washington Post wrote on December 23:
“In August, Trump called extra vaccine doses a ‘moneymaking operation,’ and in September he said that he ‘probably’ would not get a booster. He also did not make public that he had received his first two doses during his presidency. But this week he became a vocal advocate for the shots — while maintaining an opposition to vaccine mandates.
“On Sunday, during an event with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, Trump revealed to a crowd of supporters that he had gotten a booster shot. He was immediately booed, but the former president told his supporters to knock it off. ‘Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t,’ Trump scolded, waving his hand dismissively. ‘If you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t be forced to take it — no mandates,’ Trump said. ‘But take credit, because we saved tens of millions of lives.’
“Then, during an interview published Wednesday by the Daily Wire, Trump told conservative commentator Candace Owens that the coronavirus vaccines are ‘one of the greatest achievements of mankind.’ Owens tried to cast doubt on this, saying that ‘more people have died’ since the vaccines became available and calling their efficacy into question. Trump interrupted her. ‘Oh no, the vaccines work,’ Trump told her. ‘The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine. But it’s still their choice. And if you take the vaccine, you’re protected.’
“He told Owens he takes credit for the ‘incredible speed’ with which the vaccines were developed, and he said that ‘people aren’t dying when they take the vaccine.’
“On Monday, O’Reilly said during an interview with NewsNation that the reason Trump had not discussed his booster status before was that he was afraid of alienating his anti-vaccine supporters. O’Reilly said he reassured Trump of his pro-vaccine views ahead of the event, telling him that the fact that vaccines were developed during his presidency should be part of his pitch to voters…
“Trump, however, told Fox News on Tuesday evening that it is tough for him to be ‘overly critical’ of Biden after the president praised his administration for the vaccines’ rollout. Earlier that day, Biden credited Trump with spurring the development of the vaccines, a day after the former president revealed he had gotten a booster… ‘I think he did something very good,’ Trump added. ‘It has to be a process of healing in this country, and that will help a lot.’…
“Still, the former president’s promotion of the shots puts him at odds with a large portion of his base. The widest divide in vaccination rates in the United States is between Democrats and Republicans. Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that, for every unvaccinated Democrat or Democratic-leaning independent, there are about three unvaccinated Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. Even among those who have already been vaccinated, Republicans are less likely to say they will get a booster…”
Many of Trump’s comments about the effectiveness of “his” vaccines, as underlined in the article above, are demonstrably false or misleading. O’Reilly, no stranger to controversy, also reported that Trump was hurt by the disapproval from the crowd regarding his vaccination push, but that he consoled and encouraged Trump to continue his pitch to voters (compare the Daily Beast, dated December 21). O’Reilly also said that Trump will “definitely run in 2024.” O’ Reilly, who was fired in April of 2017 from Fox News for alleged sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior, may turn out to be one of Trump’s extremely bad counselors [as Dr. Fauci had turned out to be]. Many wrote on Breitbart that they had supported Trump in the past, but now, they have had it with him.
In any event, it makes no difference as to who is leading the USA, as the prophesied downfall of the USA is inevitable. This is because of the abominable sins of the nation, from the top down, while there is absolutely no sign of sincere and deep repentance of the people and their leaders.
Far Right against Trump
Mediaite wrote on December 26:
“Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones lit into former President Donald Trump on Saturday for his recent statements supporting the Covid-19 vaccinations.
“‘This is an emergency Christmas Day warning to President Trump,’ Jones said… ‘You are either completely ignorant about the so-called vaccine gene therapy you helped ram through with Operation Warp Speed, or you are the most evil man who has ever lived to push this toxic poison on the public and to attack your constituents when they simply try to save their lives and the lives of others… What you told Candace Owens is nothing but a raft of dirty lies,’ Jones added…
“Trump has angered many on the far-right with his recent comments on the vaccines…”
Trump can’t afford to lose the votes of the “far right.”
Hypocrisy of Trump Hotels
The Week wrote on December 24:
“The Trump Grill, located inside Trump Tower in New York City, refused to allow a group of vaccine mandate protesters to eat at the restaurant on Thursday after they failed to provide proof of vaccination…
“While Trump has come around on promoting the COVID-19 vaccines, he’s maintained that ‘there can’t be mandates and all those things.’ As he further put it to Fox News this week, ‘The mandate will destroy people’s lives — it destroys people’s lives, just as the vaccine saves people.’
“Trump Hotels, however, says on its website that its Manhattan location requires proof of vaccination ‘in accordance with the most recent local government mandate.’”
The Sun added on December 25:
“‘We came to Trump Tower because we thought Donald Trump was supposed to be for America, he said he’s against vaccine mandates,’ one unmasked protester said. ‘I thought as a man, who’s for America, he would stand up, pay a $1,000 fine, and let us eat freely – you know the man’s a billionaire, he can afford a $1,000 fine. It would make him look good. But instead, he’s had his people not serve us and it just exposed him as a fraud,’ the anti-vaxxer said. ‘All talk but no action.’…
“‘Prove to us that we are a threat,’ one protester said to the cop, while another said: ‘The burden of proof is on them because they are assuming that we are a threat because we don’t have a vaccine. Well, prove to me that we are a threat.’ The cop explained that Trump Grill didn’t have to prove anything to the protesters.”
So, it appears that the restaurant even called the police. However one views it, Trump’s position in this matter, which is viewed by some of his supporters as clearly hypocritical, becomes more and more controversial and problematic for him.
Biden’s Approval Rating Really Bad… but not as Bad as Trump’s was
Fox News wrote on December 27:
“Biden’s approval rating hovered in the low to mid 50s during his first six months in the White House. But the president’s numbers started sagging in August… There is a slight uptick in some of the most recent surveys. Biden stood at 47% approval and 51% disapproval in the latest FOX Business poll, 48%-52% in the most recent CNN survey and slightly back above water at 48%-46% in a Reuters/Ipsos poll. But his average heading into the end of his first year in the White House is nothing to brag about.
“The approval rating is a key indicator of a president’s political strength nationwide and… [it] has also long been a much-watched indicator ahead of the midterm elections, and Biden’s flagging numbers could spell major trouble for the Democrats as they try to hold on to their razor-thin majorities in the House and Senate in the 2022 elections…
“Biden’s numbers lag behind recent predecessors at this point in their presidencies. Former President George W. Bush stood at 84%-12% [sic] in late December 2001, with his numbers skyrocketing as the country rallied around the government in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton stood at 50%-45% and 54%-40%, respectively, at the end of their first years in office. The only recent president whose poll numbers were worse than Biden’s at this point during a White House tenure was Donald Trump, who stood at 39%-56% as 2017 was coming to a close.
“The Democrats suffered disastrous midterm elections in 1994 under Clinton and in 2010 under Obama, but both Democratic presidents rebounded and won reelection two years later. House Republicans were shellacked in the 2018 midterms during Trump’s presidency, losing their eight-year-long majority in the chamber…”
Police Officers too Quick to Fire?
The LA Times Newsletter reported on December 27:
“… the Los Angeles Police Department killed a 14-year-old girl at a Burlington clothing store in North Hollywood last week, only a few days before Christmas… The teenager was in a fitting room with her mother trying on dresses for a quinceañera… Officers were responding to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon at the store. When they arrived, authorities encountered a man they said was assaulting someone, and they opened fire, according to the LAPD. It was not immediately clear what prompted the officers to shoot.
“The man was taken into custody and died at the scene, a spokesperson for the department said. When officers fired their weapons, their gunfire penetrated a wall, which killed the girl in the dressing room. Authorities said that they found a metal cable next to the suspect whom officers were confronting, but that no gun was recovered.
“The case has caused an uproar, with many citing the shooting as the latest example of officers being too quick to draw and fire their weapons…”
In the Millennium, such tragedies won’t occur, as there will not be any police officers with weapons shooting at people…
Canada’s Privacy Intrusion
The New York Post wrote on December 25:
“Canada’s federal government admitted to secretly surveilling its population’s movements during the COVID-19 lockdown by tracking 33 million phones… Canada’s entire population totals 38 million…
“‘Evidence is coming in from many sources, from countries around the world, that what was seen as a huge surveillance surge — post 9/11 — is now completely upstaged by pandemic surveillance,’ David Lyon [said], author of ‘Pandemic Surveillance’ and the former director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Ontario…
It can indeed be assumed that the governments of other “democratic” countries engage in the same kind of abominable “Orwellian” conduct.
Israeli Airstrike Sets Port in Syria Ablaze
The Guardian wrote on December 28:
“An Israeli airstrike hit Syria’s Latakia port before dawn on Tuesday, sparking a fire that lit up the Mediterranean seafront in the second such attack on the cargo hub this month, Syrian state media reported. Since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Israel has routinely carried out airstrikes on its neighbour, mostly targeting Syrian government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters. But it is only the second time it has hit Latakia port, in the heartland of President Bashar al-Assad’s minority Alawite community…
“Pictures released by Sana showed firefighters hosing stacks of blazing containers that lit up the night sky… the British-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the cargo was ‘arms and munitions’ that had detonated in ‘powerful explosions that were felt across the city of Latakia and its suburbs’… The Syrian government’s other major ally [in addition to Iran], Russia, operates a naval base in the port of Tartus, 53 miles (85km) to the south.
“So far this year, Israel has targeted Syria nearly 30 times, killing 130 people including five civilians and 125 loyalist fighters… On 7 December it carried out a strike targeting an Iranian arms shipment in Latakia, its first on the port since the start of the civil war… According to a report by the Israeli army, it hit about 50 targets in Syria in 2020.
“In the deadliest operation since the strikes began, Israel killed 57 government troops and allied fighters in eastern Syria in January this year. The Israeli military has defended the strikes as a necessary measure to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep… In a shadow war, Israel has targeted suspected Iranian military facilities in Syria and mounted a sabotage campaign against Iran’s nuclear programme.
“Iran has been a key supporter of the Syrian government in the decade-old conflict. It finances, arms and commands a number of Syrian and foreign militia groups fighting alongside the regular armed forces, chief among them Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah. The conflict in Syria has killed nearly 500,000 people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of peaceful demonstrations.”
The violent controversy between Israel and Iran will continue….
Bird Flu in Israel
The Times of Israel wrote on December 27:
“Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with security officials on Monday to discuss an epidemic of bird flu that has killed vast numbers of wild and domestic fowl in Israel in recent days… The Agriculture Ministry is culling hundreds of thousands of birds [mainly chickens and turkeys], in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease in animals and ‘prevent the infection of the human population,’ the statement said…
“Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg called the outbreak ‘the worst blow to wildlife in the country’s history.’”
Israel 365 added on December 27:
“On Sunday, avian experts from the Nature and Parks Authority counted some 5,000 cranes at the Hula Lake Reserve in the Jezreel Valley in the north of Israel that had died from an outbreak of the H5N1 virus, known as the avian flu. Another 250 dead cranes were seen in the Hula Valley outside of the reserve, and a further 30 were documented elsewhere, mainly in the Jezreel Valley. “
More Nonsense—Contacting Aliens
Newsmax wrote on December 26:
“NASA is reportedly hiring two dozen theologians to take part in a program at Princeton University to assess how humans will react if alien life is found on other planets, and how that would impact ideas about creation and God.
“In 2008, the Vatican’s chief astronomer said there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of ‘extraterrestrial brothers’ perhaps more evolved than humans…
“Jose Gabriel Funes, who heads the Vatican Observatory… told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in an interview last week… ‘How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere,’… explaining the large number of galaxies with their own planets made this possible.”
Of course, if one believes in the ungodly and blasphemous fairy tale of evolution, then everything seems to be possible. But all of this keeps the false notion in place that there are aliens on other planets, not realizing that UFO “sightings” do not prove the existence of extraterrestrial aliens, but they could be fraudulent; simply natural phenomena; or, most likely, part of Satan’s attempts to deceive mankind in preparation for his fight against the returning “alien” Jesus Christ. Note the next article.
The Guardian wrote on December 26:
“From mysterious discs over Slemish Mountain in County Antrim to strange images spotted on CCTV, unexplained sightings increased in Northern Ireland again last year.
“UFO sighting reports… include unidentified flying objects (UFOs); aerial phenomena; unidentified aerial phenomena; lights in the sky; and aliens and extraterrestrials.
“Nick Pope, who used to investigate reports of UFO sightings for the Ministry of Defence (MoD), said… he believed the true number of sightings was much higher.”
We can expect that more and more of these “sightings,” “encounters” and “experiences” will be reported as we are nearing the time of the Great Tribulation and Christ’s Second Coming. Compare Luke 21:11.
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.
What does it mean to “esteem others better than himself”?
These words are quoted from Philippians 2:3, in the Authorized Version, but we must read the entire context to understand what Paul is saying.
The entire passage, beginning with verse 2 and ending with verse 8, reads in the Authorized Version:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
What does the word “esteem” convey? It can be defined as, “to think valuable. If you are esteemed, then people think you’re a valuable person to have around, and have a lot of respect for you.” It has also been defined as “to regard highly or favorably; regard with respect or admiration and with a certain value.”
The word “better” can be defined as “of a more excellent or effective type or quality”. To be better than others means, to be more skilled or adapt as well as being superior.
“Esteeming others better than oneself” would mean, then, that the other person is being perceived as more valuable, more skilled, and more capable.
Inasmuch as the entire passage in Philippians 2:2-8 draws a comparison between ourselves and the mind of Christ, the translation “esteem others better than himself,” as applying to Christ, could be problematic and misunderstood.
Note how other translations are rendering this verse, and many understand the phrase “lowliness of mind” as “in humility”:
The Literal Emphasis Translation states: “Do nothing according to rivalrous self-interest and not according to empty conceit, but rather in humble perspective, supposing one another superior to themselves.”
The New International Version reads: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
The Berean Study Bible says: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves.”
The Interlinear Literal Translation renders the phrase as, “… nothing according to contention or vainglory, but in humility one another esteeming above themselves, not the things of themselves each consider, but also the things of others each.” Another Interlinear rendition states: “surpassing themselves.”
As far as could be ascertained, virtually all German translations, including all Luther Bible renditions, the Elberfelder Bible, the Schlachter Bible and the Menge Bible, render the words in Philippians 2:3 as “higher” [“höher”] and “humility” (“Demut”) (“in Demut achte einer den andern höher als sich selbst”).
Also, the Latin Vulgata renders the phrase in that way (“sed in humilitate superiores sibi invicem arbitrantes”–“superiores” meaning “higher” or “superior.”)
Most Spanish Bibles, including Reina Valera, translate the phrase as “higher” or “superior” (“como superiores a él mismo”) or “more important” (“más importante”).
French Bibles say „above“ or „beyond“ (“étant au-dessus de vous-mêmes”), or „higher“ or „superior“(“supérieurs”) or “more important” (“plus importants que vous memes”).
In the Greek, the word which is translated as “better” in the Authorized Version is “huperecho” and means, according to Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, “to be above, higher.”
It is used in the Authorized Version in Romans 13:1 (“higher”); 1 Peter 2:13 (“supreme”); Philippians 3:8 [“hyperechon”] (“excellency”) and in Philippians 4:7 (“passeth”; “surpassing” in the New King James Bible, in the sense of being “higher”).
And so, we explain in our free booklet, “Paul’s Letter to the Philippians – How to Understand It”, that this phrase, as written in the Greek, actually describes the attitude of humility, considering others and their needs as more important or more significant than our own selfish ambitions.
We state the following in our booklet:
“Paul is pointing out that selfish ambition and conceit are in opposition to love… God’s way of love and life is a way of give, whereas our human carnal way of life is a way of get. Selfish ambition, which is caused by pride, is detrimental to love and unity. Rather, we need to develop an attitude of lowliness of mind, or humility, and this attribute enables us to look at others as being better or more important than ourselves. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary explains: ‘… “esteeming each other superior to yourselves.”’… When we do that, then we are not looking at what is seemingly ‘best’ or most advantageous for us, but we also concentrate on what is helpful for others.
“This is the kind of mindset that Jesus Christ had, and we as followers of Christ must develop the same attitude and outlook…
“Gill’s Exposition to the Entire Bible makes the following comments…:
“‘Let this mind be in you,’…. The Arabic version renders it, ‘let that humility be perceived in you’. The apostle proposes Christ as the great pattern and exemplar [example] of humility… ‘which also was in Christ Jesus.’”
This is in fact the correct understanding. The entire context in Philippians 2:2-8 shows the great humility of Christ who was willing to suffer and die for us so that we could live.
We continue with quoting from our booklet:
“In order to develop an attitude of love and humility for others, we must be willing to sacrifice our own preferences. Jesus Christ proved beyond a shadow of any doubt His love for us, in that He was willing to give up His godly attributes, become a man, and live and die in the flesh. This act of love for us was necessary in order for Him to pay the penalty for our sin, so that we, condemned to death, could obtain forgiveness and live, and inherit eternal life in the Family of God, a life of peace, love and complete harmony with God and each other.
“Christ was in the form of God before He became a human being. He was equal with God the Father, insofar as His nature was concerned. But He did not consider it robbery to be equal with Him; that is, He did not want to selfishly grasp and maintain that status for His own good. He was willing to give it up for the good of others… “
We also point out in our booklet that the phrase that He “made Himself of no reputation” should be translated as “He emptied Himself,” in the sense that He emptied Himself of His divinity and became a human being. We said this:
“We read in Philippians 2:6–7, in the Revised Standard Version: ‘[Jesus Christ]… though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (better: retained), but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…’… The New Jerusalem Bible leaves no doubt in its translation as to what Jesus became: ‘… he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being…’ The Bible is very clear that Christ emptied Himself of existing as a Spirit being, and He emptied Himself of the glory that He had before the world was (compare John 17:5). He BECAME a human being (compare 1 John 4:1–3)….”
This is what it means to have the mind of Christ and to treat others and their needs as more important than ourselves and our own needs. We say this in our booklet: “Christ was God Eternal, who BECAME man, so that man COULD ultimately become God! Christ was tempted, He suffered, and He died as a man (Hebrews 12:1–4), so that human beings could become ‘gods’—members of the God Family, unable to die (Luke 20:35–36; John 3:36; 10:28; compare also John 10:34–35).”
No human being could do what Christ did, but it is His mindset which we must emulate. This mindset can also be seen in Paul (Romans 9:1-5) and in Moses (Exodus 32:32-33).
In general, we read in Matthew 18:4 about the little child which humbles itself. The German Menge Bible states that the phrase „humbles itself“ („ erniedrigt“) can be understood as “to place oneself humbly under others” (“demütig unter andere stellt”).
Luke 14:11 adds that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Also see Luke 18:9-14.
There are many biblical examples where human beings humbled themselves towards others, or gave preference to them, treating them as superior or more important, even when this would not have been necessary from a human standpoint.
We find an interesting example, even in a merely physical matter, in the relationship between Abraham (Abram) and Lot, in Genesis 13:2-13:
“Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold… Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents… Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. So Abram said to Lot, ‘Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.’
“And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.”
Abraham let Lot choose what land he wanted, even though it would have been Abraham’s prerogative because God’s promises were directed at Abraham, not Lot. And as it turned out, Lot’s choice was very poor, but due, in part, to Abraham’s humility, God blessed him greatly with extraordinary promises (verses 14-17). We also recall that God the Father highly exalted and blessed His Son Jesus Christ for His willingness to become a Man and suffer and die for us (compare Philippians 2:9-11).
We also read that the Apostle Paul became everything to everyone to gain a few. He said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-22: “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
Paul made clear that he was not disobedient to the Law of God, but that he did not cause unnecessary offense, because it was his goal to save some. This included giving up certain personal preferences if that would have prevented him from achieving his goal. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges comments: “… by the operation of a wide reaching sympathy, which enabled him, without compromising his own convictions, to approach all men from their most accessible side.”
Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 10:33: “… just as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.” In 2 Timothy 2:10, he explains what the reason for his selfless conduct was: “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
Paul admonished us to follow his example, by having the same motivation of love which he had: “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being” (1 Corinthians 10:24).
Matthew Poole’s Commentary states:
“It is the duty of every one who is a disciple of Christ, not merely to look at his own pleasure or profit, but the profit and advantage of others.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds:
“The injunction… is applicable to all Christians… It does not mean that a man is not in any instance to regard his own welfare, happiness, or salvation; it does not mean that a man owes no duty to himself or family; or that he should neglect all these to advance the welfare of others; but the precept means, that… when a man’s example would have a great influence, he should be guided in his conduct, not by a reference to his own ease, comfort or gratification, but by a reference to the purity and salvation of others. And the observance of this simple rule would make a prodigious change in the church and the world.”
We are not to hate ourselves, but we are to love others as ourselves, with their interests in mind as well.
We can see then that Paul had Christ’s mind. Christ said that he who wants to be great must be a servant (Matthew 23:11). Christ did not come to be served but to serve (Luke 22:27). He considered those whom He served “superior” or “more important” than Himself. He was willing to humble himself in order to exalt or help others. Even at His return, we read that He will serve others by preparing a meal for them (Luke 12:37).
John the Baptist followed Christ’s example, not willing to consider it robbery to be of great reputation—Christ called him one of the great human beings (Matthew 11:11)—but he was willing to make himself of no reputation (compare again Christ’s example in Philippians 2:6-7), as he had the goal and purpose of Christ as the Savior of mankind in mind. He was willing to decrease so that Christ could increase (John 3:30).
Paul’s admonition in Philippians 2:3 applies to husbands and wives as well, who are to submit to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21). We say the following in our free booklet, “Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians—How to Understand It”
“Even though it is the foremost responsibility for the wife to submit to her husband as to the Lord (verse 22; Colossians 3:18)—that is, submitting to him when his requests are in conformity with Christ’s teachings and not contrary to the will of God (compare Albert Barnes’ Note on the Bible)—so the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25).
“And still, Paul introduces this section in verse 21 with the admonition to submit one to another in the fear of the Lord. Even though the husband is the head of the wife (1 Corinthians 11:3), as Christ is the head of the husband, he is not to act selfishly and pursue just his own interests. Rather, he has to have the mind of Christ, and if he does, then he will also look out for and submit to the interests of his wife—as his wife will to the interests of her husband (Philippians 2:5, 4).
“When a husband loves his wife in that way—as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for it—then it will be easier for the wife to submit to her loving husband. Christ is the Savior of the Church (Ephesians 5:23), sanctifying and cleansing it to present it spotless (Ephesians 5:26–27). It is that kind of love that a husband ought to have for his wife. As Christ has the welfare of the Church in mind, so should the Christian husband look after the welfare of his wife.”
This command is not limited to the husband-wife relationship. Rather, we read in 1 Peter 5:5: “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’”
Younger and older people are to submit to one another, which means, parents should look at the interests and needs of their children and, in that sense, treat them in certain circumstances as more important than their own desires and preferences. When we do this, we will be greatly rewarded by God, as, in the ultimate sense, our humility towards others reflects our humility towards God. Verse 6 says: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time…”
Jacob did not have, at first, the mind of Christ when he deceived his father Isaac to receive or “get” his blessing, but he later learned the bitter lesson that when selfish interests, ambitions and conceit rule us, it will backfire (As Jacob deceived Isaac one time to get his blessing, so he was deceived by his uncle Laban when he gave him Leah rather than Rachel as his wife, and when he deceived and changed Jacob’s wages “ten times”, Genesis 31:7 ). But later, Jacob was willing to share much of his flocks with his brother Esau.
The selfish rich farmer is another example of someone who did not care for others. His ground had yielded plentifully, but rather than sharing his rich harvest with others, he built more storage places and bigger barns for himself (Luke 12:16-21). But he died the same night, leaving his riches behind, while not being rich toward God (compare Matthew 6:19-21; see also Hebrews 13:16).
We might also think of the young man who was not willing to follow Christ as he was not ready to get rid of his great riches (which had become a “god” to him) and to give them to the poor (Matthew 19:16-22). Selfish greed prevented him at that time from developing the mind of Christ in his life. Nothing further is reported about that rich man, and we do not know whether he ever repented of his selfishness.
Considering these good and bad biblical examples, and there are many more, let us allow Christ to develop His mind in us by focusing not just on our own interests, but also on the interests of others. Romans 12:10 puts it quite succinctly: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another…”
When we do this, we develop, emulate and acquire the mind of Christ (compare 1 Corinthians 2:16), while continuously applying Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“2022 in Prophecy,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
What are the main developments which we should be watching in 2022 and beyond? What can we know about the USA and the UK? Which other countries, nations, and groups of nations are of great importance, and what does it all mean in the light of biblical prophecy? What are the main developments which we should be watching in 2022 and beyond? What can we know about the USA and the UK? Which other countries, nations, and groups of nations are of great importance, and what does it all mean in the light of biblical prophecy?
“In Demut andere höher achten” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “In humility esteeming others higher.”
“So wahr mir Gott helfe!”,the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Mike Richter, is now posted. Title in English: “So Help Me God!”
“Fear and Control,” a split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Frank Bruno, is now posted. Here is a summary:
This split-sermon will build on recent sermons and will discuss prevailing trends over decades that resulted in fear, a loss of freedom, and the growth of governmental systems and laws designed to control people. As believers in God the Almighty, we have learned that we can insulate ourselves from fear and control by drawing closer to God and His Son. We will review Scriptures that offer these lessons and can prepare us for what is to come.
“Stories of Friendship,” a split-sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
From the start when God created man, He highlighted the importance of friendship. What can we learn from the stories of friendship in the Bible?
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
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