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What Are You Thinking About? / Bible Gems, Part 1

On January 21, 2023, Michael Link will present the sermonette, titled, “What Are You Thinking About?,” and Brian Gale will present the sermon, titled, “Bible Gems, Part 1.”

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.

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Happiness Is a Choice!

by Thilo Hanstein

At first glance, this headline might appear as a harsh statement and representation of impossibility, but with a more profound approach, the fact that each person makes his own decision to be happy or not, leaves no room for doubt.

When I reflect on my childhood and adolescence, I remember that this world was seemingly spinning much more calmly and at a much slower pace, and there was much greater joy in little things than in the big things that the world offers us today.

Today, we live in a time of breathtaking speed. Through the Internet we have a tremendous and relentless flood of information, which is getting bigger and bigger. The time pressure to solve tasks is becoming more and more urgent, and the time span of the deadlines are getting closer and closer. People are expected to be available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Industry runs 24/7, and employees do not have a balanced work-week any longer. Meanwhile, even small businesses are converting their structure to the 24/7 strategy. Quantity has overtaken quality, and this hamster wheel is inevitably becoming more and more unbearable for humanity. Many people who must work and live in this hamster wheel are losing their quality of life as a result.

Whether it is divided families, the sadness of lonely people, negative stress, burnouts, dissatisfaction, or depression due to worldly developments – all this will increase more and more, and mankind is merely functioning instead of being able to enjoy life.

As a result, kindness and love of neighbor drift further and further apart, and people will become more and more sensitive and far more susceptible to negative influences. All this and much more are circumstances designed by Satan, the ruler of this world. Through his vile and ugly attacks, he has placed the entire, clueless world under his most abysmal, sinister and filthy spell, but it is our duty to escape all of it and be obedient to God, so we can BE HAPPY.

Quality of life begins with being happy and content with what you have, with what God gives you, and not with being dissatisfied concerning what you do not have. Solomon, the wisest man after Jesus Christ, leaves us the following verses on the blessing of the “Fear of God and Wisdom”, as the revised Luther Bible 2017 says in the heading:

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her” (Proverbs 3:13-18).

This is what God wants to give us by His grace – simple happiness and peace in Jesus Christ and God the Father.

On February 16, 2010, I found an article on the Internet about a millionaire. His “new philosophy of life”, which led him to liquidate all his possessions, seems quite a bit too extreme, but the basic idea is very interesting:

“A Millionaire Is Giving Up His Possessions.

‘I used to be rich, but only now am I becoming wealthy,’ [he] told the…magazine ‘Chrismon.’ ‘Wealthy is a person who can do something positive with his possessions. I realize that the less money I have, the more possibilities I have. Because something finally starts to work in my head again: Why am I on this planet? What do I really want? I just felt more and more fear, the more I had: Fear of losing something and then not being able to afford some things – that I didn’t need anyway.’”

Even though this man is by no means called by God at this time, he has literally done, what Christ once said to the rich young ruler who asked Him what to do in order to inherit eternal life. Christ spoke of the Ten Commandments, which the rich man had supposedly kept from his youth: “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.’ But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:21-22).

Of course, Christ did not really want the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions, but it was a test, since Christ saw that he loved the goods of this world too much. And Christ tells us plainly that no servant can serve two masters: “… for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [which comes from Satan]” (Luke 16:13).

The point is to find our quality of life, to have inner peace, to be happy and content, to cast all our cares on God and love Him with all our heart, our mind, our devotion, and our strength, and to surrender our lives to Him unconditionally. There is no room for compromise that violates God’s commandments!

It is also never too late to change something in one’s life. It really doesn’t matter what age we are. It is not too late for anything, no matter how old we are. Whether you are between the ages of 30 and 60, or between the ages of 60 and 90, is irrelevant; the lapse of time is the same, only that different circumstances may be present.

I found an interesting article on the Internet on this topic. The German „Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend“ (Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth) posted an article on its platform on July 16, 2020, according to which an elderly lady in her 73rd year had caught up on her high school graduation.

Of course, we must not forget that we need to continue earning our living, especially in order to be able to pay God’s tithes as well as other monetary offerings to finance the Work of God, but it is NEVER too late to learn new things and find happiness therein.

Whether you want to graduate from high school or college, choose a new career – whatever change you want to make to improve your quality of life and happiness, or whatever your heart may desire – do it, but do it with God and trust Him to give you the strength and the mind to do it.

Nowadays, God does not offer many people the opportunity to be freed from their sins and to repent, to be baptized, and to walk the new Way of Life with God. But today, if we are called to come out of this terrible world, we should listen to the call of God and submit to Him.

If we want to handle everything only with our own mind, we will surely be shipwrecked now and then, and in the worst case, we might fall into depression and leave the Way of God. It is important that we open our hearts to God, that we trust Him and that we are conquerors in difficult situations.

Changing one’s way of life for a better quality of life, no matter how old one may be, is not shameful, and it is never too late.  It is only too late when we have died and cannot do anything anymore.

Even Paul, who often endured persecution and suffered from a disease that was not cured, was happy in Jesus Christ and God the Father:

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

This blessedness can only come from God if one remains faithful to Him and lives in His commandments and statutes. This includes truly loving one’s brethren. We will not find a more loyal, honest and better friend in this world than in the Church of God. We must manifest the “new” commandment given to us by Christ in a sincere way and live it with faithful sacrifice and devotion: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

Why do you think we sing in our Church services this classic hymn to God with a joyful heart: “Blest and happy is the man Who does never walk astray….”?

We must be constantly aware that one day many will come to an end with the love of God in them and with the love for God and the brethren. Many will betray one another, at an evil time that no one desires, but even in this scenario, we have to escape and wait in bliss until the end comes, until Christ comes back to earth and ends all injustice.

Each one of us is his own unique individual, with the gift granted by God to make his own decisions. In doing so, one can follow Satan, who inspires one to do the works of the flesh, namely, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like (cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

Or we can allow God to lead us with His power, the Spirit of love, and show in our lives the fruit of the Spirit, namely, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (cf. Galatians 5:22-23). Then we will live a joyful and content life in happiness; thankful for each called friend we have made and will continue to make; and we will love God the Father and Jesus Christ with full devotion, remaining faithful to them for eternity.

“Therefore keep the words (the commandments) of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (Deuteronomy 29:9).

Initial Translation: Daniel Blasinger

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We report on the discovery of sensitive and classified documents in President Biden’s private possession and the alarming revelation that his son Hunter and presumably numerous other unidentified “visitors” had unrestricted access to them.

Not only is President Biden accused, at a minimum, of blatant hypocrisy, and the White House of stonewalling and hiding the information, known to them at least since September, but the position of Attorney General Garland is also extremely awkward, to say the least, given the fact that he also knew about the situation prior to the midterm election.

We also report on the collusion between Big Tech and the White House and the suppression of pertinent facts which the government did not want to be circulated, and focus specifically on Facebook and Twitter. An especially disturbing article shows the appalling role which Adam Schiff and Richard Blumenthal, among others, allegedly played in all of this.

We address demands to defund or even abolish the IRS and a decision in Wisconsin to allow again conversion therapies.

We speak of the release of most of the CIA’s “Kennedy files,” while the most crucial ones are still being kept secret; report on the terrible situation in Haiti; and address the appointment of Germany’s new minister of defense, Boris Pistorius, nicknamed the “red general,” following the resignation of highly unpopular Christine Lambrecht.

In regard to the situation in Ukraine, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, Germany’s ‘Recalcitrant’ Policy With America’s ‘Acceptance.’”

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Biden and Garland in Awkward Positions

DNYUZ wrote on January 13:

“A new special counsel investigation into the discovery of classified documents in President Biden’s home and office puts both him and his attorney general in awkward positions as another special counsel investigates his predecessor for his own mishandling of secret papers… as a political matter, the new inquiry will muddy the case against Mr. Trump…

“Mr. Biden, who excoriated Mr. Trump for being ‘irresponsible’ with national secrets, now has to answer for his own team’s mishandling of sensitive papers… the White House did not disclose the discovery to the public for two months, waiting until after the November midterm elections, before which it might have damaged Democrats… even then the White House did not fully reveal the extent of the situation in its original statement. That statement, released on Monday, confirmed a news media report about a first batch of classified documents discovered at his think tank in November but made no mention of a second set found at his Delaware home in December.

“Only on Thursday, three days after that initial statement, did the White House confirm news media reports about the second batch, which was found in the garage of Mr. Biden’s home in Wilmington, and a… document found nearby on Wednesday night…”

Why did Garland wait until now to appoint a special counsel to investigate Biden while he knew about the sensitive documents in Biden’s possession prior to the midterm election?

Biden’s Credibility Problem

CNN wrote on January 13:

“Joe Biden is facing the worst political crisis of his presidency after a failed attempt at damage control over his classified documents controversy…

“Biden was doomed to face a political furor the moment his lawyers found the first secret vice presidential file in his former Washington office last fall… But then the botched messaging strategy became more clear – when Americans learned that a second batch of classified material, also dating to Biden’s time as vice president, had been found in a search of his home in Delaware. This detail was communicated to the Justice Department on December 20. And yet the White House didn’t disclose that this week when it spoke about the initial documents found last year in an office Biden previously used at the Penn-Biden center in Washington…

“Not only did this make it look like Biden had something to hide, it set up the kind of drip, drip of disclosures guaranteed to supercharge a Washington scandal. And Biden’s bid Thursday to minimize the discovery of secret material in his garage – by saying it was locked to protect his beloved Corvette – didn’t exactly back up his earlier claim that Americans know he takes classified documents seriously.

“The result is that [it] made the prospect of any future prosecution of Trump over his Mar-a-Lago document stash, which may pose his greatest risk of criminal charges, even more politically explosive

“And there is the haunting fear that grips 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue whenever a special counsel sweeps into view – along with the dreaded possibility that they could uncover some unrelated, but damning area of wrongdoing. Former Biden vice presidential aides – many of whom are now serving in his close-knit White House inner circle– will face the always distracting prospect of testifying under oath.

“And there could be more unflattering details to come out, since CNN’s Kevin Liptak, Phil Mattingly, Jeff Zeleny and Arlette Saenz revealed on Thursday a chaotic administrative process at the end of the Obama administration, which may have allowed vice presidential documents to go astray…

“The White House’s public relations performance so far offers little confidence that Democrats will be able to hammer home their message as the storm rages… the White House’s selective transparency this week does raise some questions of credibility…”

This article is even more remarkable as it was published by left-wing pro-Democratic CNN. Their introduction, however, is an understatement. Biden has had other political scandals before… including Afghanistan and the Hunter Biden laptop debacle, not to speak of the totally out-of-control situation at the Mexican border.  

Hunter Biden Had Access to Sensitive Files

Breitbart wrote on January 13:

“Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, confirmed that the address on Hunter’s driver’s license is the same as Joe Biden’s Delaware residence. Comer’s report verifies that Hunter had access to Joe Biden’s home where a trove of classified documents was stashed… ‘The Committee is concerned President Biden stored classified documents at the same location his son resided while engaging in international business deals with adversaries of the United States.

“In 2016, Joe Biden admitted that Hunter had access to his father’s garage… Hunter owned Joe Biden’s residence in 2018… Some of the classified documents discovered are related to Ukraine. The Biden family business has an extensive history in Ukraine.

“In 2017, Hunter Biden was paid $83,000 per month to be on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter was appointed to the board of Burisma in 2014 with no previous experience in the energy sector or in Ukraine… Hunter made massive sums of money from Ukraine for which he ‘offered no real work.’ In 2015, Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma.”

In addition to Hunter Biden’s access to secret and classified documents at Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, which was occupied by Hunter, the White House revealed that no visitor logs exist, “as it is a private residence.” This means, we have no idea as to who had access to these highly sensitive documents.

While Trump was impeached for allegedly threatening Zelensky to withhold money if Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine were not investigated (a claim which was denied by both Zelensky and Trump), Joe Biden openly and publicly admitted and bragged about the fact that he threatened to withhold money from Ukraine unless the prosecutor was fired who investigated the corrupt firm of Burisma for which Hunter Biden worked, and even though Joe Biden was successful with his threat, he was never impeached for this egregious violation of his duties as vice president.  

Justice Department “Independent”?—No Way!

 On January 18, 2023, the New York Post published the following article by Professor Jonathan Turley:

“Given the opportunity to search President Joe Biden’s office and residences, the Department of Justice declined to do so, The Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, it allowed potentially uncleared and unnamed private counsel to search for classified material after the discovery of the highly classified documents in the Penn Biden Center office… the decision raises additional questions over the independence of top law enforcement personnel

“There is no plausible reason why, given the chance, the Justice Department would not want to conduct a national security search itself. After Nov. 2, the Justice Department was aware that material at the top secret or higher levels was discovered in a closet in the Penn Biden center. It was also aware that the material may have been moved over the course of six years and that other material could be in other unsecured locations. Nevertheless, it reportedly opted to allow uncleared attorneys to search for additional classified material.

“… the decision is breathtaking. It effectively replaced well-established national security protocols with an honor system to be followed by persons unknown. The decision undermines the credibility of the Justice Department in both the Biden and Trump investigations. The department is threatening criminal charges over the mishandling of classified material but opted for a grossly negligent approach itself in the search for additional classified documents. It just rolled the dice and lost…”

Biden’s World Turned Upside Down

The New York Post wrote on January 14:

“A favorite saying among insiders is that two weeks is a lifetime in politics, meaning anything can happen. In Joe Biden’s case, a mere five days was enough to turn his world upside down.

“The news Saturday that more classified documents were found in his Delaware home ends a bizarre week that suddenly put Biden’s presidency in peril and further damaged the sagging credibility of the Department of Justice.

“When reports emerged last Monday that multiple classified documents were found in an office Biden used after leaving the White House as vice president, the propaganda media circled the wagons around him by insisting he’s no Donald Trump. They had a point — up to a point.

“But when reports two days later said a second batch of supposedly secret papers was found in Biden’s Delaware garage, the wall of media protection showed some cracks as the differences between the presidents’ cases narrowed. And when an additional classified page was found in Biden’s Delaware library, and a special prosecutor was appointed Thursday to investigate him, the defenders made a hasty retreat.

Then came Saturday’s finding, which proves the president was serially sloppy with America’s secrets. The result is that Trump now looks like a lucky man while Biden looks like a man whose luck has run out. It’s been a feature of Trump’s political career that he’s been fortunate in his enemies. Say ‘Hillary Clinton’ and it’s enough said…

“Biden has come to Trump’s rescue, with his multiple document stashes making it nearly impossible for Trump to be prosecuted if Biden isn’t. All the more so because of the way Garland, solidifying his reputation as a bitter partisan hack, kept secret the first Biden document finding of Nov. 2 until after the midterm elections and seemed to be hiding each new finding until it was forced into the open

“All the president’s men and media helpers won’t be able to limit his predicament to the classified documents. For one thing, the timing of the discoveries couldn’t be worse, coming just as Republicans take control of the House with a pledge to end the see-no-evil approach Dems took to Biden family corruption. Long before the document bombshells, GOP leaders vowed to follow the millions upon millions of dollars that Hunter Biden and Jim Biden, Joe’s brother, got abroad from selling access to Joe. Based on the contents of Hunter’s laptop, it’s certain that Joe benefited from foreign payments.

“As Re. James Comer of Kentucky put it, ‘We’re not investigating Hunter Biden. We’re investigating Joe Biden.’ The quest will be to find how much money Joe Biden reaped and what favors he did in return, primarily as vice president and even possibly as president.

“Regardless of Garland’s intent for the special prosecutor handling Biden’s document case, Comer, Jim Jordan and other GOP inquisitors are not going to stand down. Their probes will serve as fact-checkers and hold Garland accountable while giving the public hope the Biden family grifters will finally face the music.”

It would be something, but highly unlikely, given our corrupt and hypocritical political and legal system…

Democrats Unhappy With New Committee Members

Axios wrote on January 18:

“The White House on Wednesday condemned the addition of far-right Republicans to the House Oversight Committee, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.)… The blistering statement foreshadows the tension that will fester in Washington over the next two years, with the Oversight Committee set to be ground zero for investigations and high-profile standoffs between House Republicans and the Biden administration…

“The House Oversight Committee is preparing to ramp up its investigations into Hunter Biden, the Afghanistan withdrawal, and COVID origins, among other issues. ‘Joe Biden, be prepared. We are going to uncover every corrupt business dealing, every foreign entanglement, every abuse of power, and every check cut for The Big Guy,’ Greene said in a statement Tuesday. Meanwhile, Republicans plan to remove Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) from the House Intelligence Committee, as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Maybe the Democrats are concerned that the Committee will uncover some more unpleasant facts about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s involvement, the Afghanistan withdrawal and the true origin of COVID and Fauci’s role in it. At least, they should be.

And Now Facebook!

Breitbart wrote on January 13:

“In yet another revelation about the level of collusion between Big Tech and the White House, documents show Facebook not only attempted to suppress ‘incorrect’ content related to coronavirus vaccines, but also took steps to curb the spread of ‘often-true content’ on the subject.

“The information came to light through a series of documents obtained by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, as part of a lawsuit that accuses the Biden administration of violating Americans’ First Amendment rights by colluding with Big Tech to suppress speech. One email, sent by a Facebook staff member to the White House on March 21, 2021, discussed ‘levers for tackling vaccine hesitancy content’ with a senior advisor on Biden’s COVID-19 response team and the White House’s director of digital strategy.

“In the email, the Facebook staffer… acknowledged that in addition to removing misinformation, the company has been focused on reducing the spread of content that discourages vaccines, but does not contain actionable information… users, groups, and pages were being kicked off the largest social network in the world, not for posting ‘misinformation’ — but because people at Facebook determined that their tone was too ‘sensational.’

“This is just the latest revelation to come out of the multi-state lawsuit against the Biden Administration, filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana. Previously, the lawsuit revealed that the administration pressured tech companies to suppress some of the most popular critics of their policies, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson

“The case is State of Missouri and State of Louisiana v. Joseph R. Biden, No. 3:22-cv-01213 in District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.”

The level of collusion between the White House and Big Tech is nothing short of appalling…

How Mainstream Platforms Censor You!

Brownstone published on January 12 the following article by Jeffrey A. Tucker:

“Since Elon Musk has taken over Twitter, it’s been quite a wild ride. Thousands of doctors and scientists have been unbanned and are now speaking. Same with journalists. Accounts that posted against Covid restrictions and mandates are now unthrottled…

“Of course, this is also infuriating. When we needed these voices the most was during the biggest attacks on liberty in our lifetime. Now that the powers that be have been forced by public opinion to dial back their oppressions, these voices can speak again. It’s good that the truth is getting out there but imagine the kind of difference it would have made for these 33 months if there had been no blocks on information from the start?…

“There were FBI agents embedded all over the platform. The White House and various deep-state actors were pushing Twitter to censor. After a while, it became the main job of the platform to block reach…

“Twitter is quasi-free now but what about the rest?…

“For years, my Facebook account has been irrelevant to me. I don’t even know why I bother using it at all. We know for sure that Facebook has been subject to the same controls that once affected Twitter. Same goes for LinkedIn and Google, of course. No doubt about that. My typical post sits there with almost no reach at all.

“What I’ve not known is whether I’m targeted directly or my account has long been restricted by virtue of keywords and content. As everyone knows, I shifted my life 3 years ago to post entirely about the invasions of life, liberty, and property that commenced in 2020. I did this not because I wanted to abandon other research projects but rather because Covid became a window into the nefarious works of the ruling class I had long opposed. Plus few others seemed willing to speak out. Most of my own ideological set was predisposed to ‘leave this subject to the experts’ and thus went silent. I went the other direction.

“That decision killed my reach on Facebook. There was nothing I could do about it so I decided just to forget it. But this morning, a friend had a great idea. He suggested that I post a cute animal picture with no other comment other than to say it is a test. I did this very thing [just publishing a cute picture of a puppy dog]… The results: an explosion of reach! Out of nowhere it was like the old Facebook, with comments and conversations and shares, plus many hundreds of likes. Absolutely amazing! At least for me, this test suggests something important.

“Zuckerberg is surely flagging accounts but the main means of control is content. Say something that means something and your post disappears from feeds. Post something stupid and irrelevant and you can have all the views you want

“What applies here is also true for YouTube, Instagram, and all the rest of the mainstream platforms, which constitute the vast swath of social media content in existence. I like the alternative platforms but they are small players by comparison. The freedom and reach we get today on Twitter is beautiful but how long can it last? Is this a brief window that is opened before it shuts again?

“Nothing has changed on the rest of them, which means that nothing has changed with regard to the state-directed censorship that took over our lives three years ago. That’s a terrifying reality, and especially so for intellectuals and writers who imagined some years ago that these tools would be a gift for making a difference in the world.

“I’m inclined to think that the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter is a fluke – a lucky one to be sure but the strange exception. He should watch his back. The main drive to control the conversation and shape the public mind is still with us: bad actors working to limit criticism of themselves and their policies. It is just as intense now as it was at the height of the lockdowns and drive for universal vaccination…”

There should be no doubt that what the article describes is absolutely true.

Deep Corruption in Washington

On January 16, Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column:

“With each new release of the ‘Twitter Files’ we learn more and more about the deep corruption in Washington. We sensed during Covid that something was really wrong – for example the bizarre denial of natural immunity. But thanks to Elon Musk’s decision to open the books, our worst fears have been proven true. Each new release seems to show something even more criminal inside America’s rotten ruling class.

“In the latest release, thanks to the excellent reporting of independent journalist Matt Taibbi, we see outgoing Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), continuously pressuring Twitter to validate his fantasies of ‘Russian bots’ manipulating US politics.

“The short version of what Taibbi reported comes from around the time then-Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was about to release his Committee’s findings about the FBI misuse of the FISA Court to spy on the Trump presidential campaign. The FBI, it turns out, relied exclusively on the widely-discredited ‘Steele Dossier’ – paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign – as justification to spy on the Trump campaign.

“When pressure grew to release the Nunes findings, Twitter exploded with users demanding that Congress ‘release the memo.’ That’s where then-ranking Member Schiff and his staff began relentlessly pressuring Twitter to show that the accounts demanding the release of the memo were actually Russian agents, out to help their supposed favorite, Donald Trump. Schiff was not alone. Fellow ‘Russiagate’ hoaxers like Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also pressured Twitter to find Russians behind the demand to release Nunes’ findings.

“Over and over, Twitter – which was hardly sympathetic to Trump – told Schiff and his colleagues there was simply no evidence of Russian involvement… Even after Twitter had informed Schiff and his fellow hoaxers that there was no Russian involvement, Sen. Blumenthal released a statement he knew was not true: ‘We find it reprehensible that Russian agents have so eagerly manipulated innocent Americans.’ Again, this was right after he had been informed by Twitter employees – who were by-and-large strongly opposed to Trump – that there was just no evidence to back up such a statement…

“For political gain the Democrats – and plenty of Republicans – have been pushing the ‘Russiagate’ hoax…”

Defunding and Abolishing the IRS?

On January 14, The Week published the following editorial by Harold Maass:

“The narrow new Republican majority took control of the House this week and, as its first order of business, fulfilling a campaign promise by voting to rescind much of the funding boost for the Internal Revenue Service included in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the legislation, if it became law, would eliminate $71 billion of the $80 billion in new IRS funding…

“Next, Republicans plan to present legislation calling for abolishing the IRS outright. The bills have no chance of passing in the Senate, still controlled by Democrats… [And even if it did, Biden already stated that he would veto such a bill.]

“Republicans will keep the pressure on when Biden’s nominee to run the agency, Danny Werfel, has his confirmation hearing in the Senate soon… Republicans will have other opportunities to try to cut the IRS’ funding… Democrats intended the $80 billion to come on top of regular IRS budget increases of about $12 billion a year. But Congress has to approve those annually…”

Wisconsin to Allow Conversion Therapy

The Associated Press wrote on January 12:

“Wisconsin Republicans voted Thursday to again allow therapists, social workers and counselors to try to change LGBTQ clients’ gender identities and sexual orientations

“A ban on conversion therapy was passed in 2020 by a state board within the Democratic governor’s administration overseeing licensing for mental health professionals. But a committee in the Republican-controlled Legislature temporarily blocked the ban then and did so again Thursday, with all six Republican members voting to block it and the four Democrats voting to keep it in place…

“At least 20 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy for minors… Wisconsin is not one of them…

“Republican lawmakers in at least 11 states have already introduced legislation to restrict access to transgender health care. Conservatives also have pushed to restrict conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools…

“Julianne Appling, president of the conservative group Wisconsin Family Action, told the committee that banning conversion therapy infringes on counselors, social workers and therapists’ free speech rights. The state, she said, should not be allowed to threaten their careers for exercising freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

The Release of the Kennedy Files… Sort Of…

The Guardian wrote on December 16:

“Historians and conspiracy theorists have been given an early Christmas present: the release from US National Archives of 13,173 documents relating to the official investigation into the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy. From barely legible memos filled with the crabby handwriting of CIA agents, through reports on secret meetings with Russian diplomats, to painstaking detective work on the movements of Lee Harvey Oswald, the trove of documents will keep JFK assassination obsessives busy for months. Few expect bombshells among the pile, however…

“Thursday’s release of thousands of documents means that 95% of the CIA’s records on the assassination are now available to the public. As a final step there will be an ‘intensive one-year review’ of any remaining closed files before a complete opening of the books by 30 June 2023. The unveiling of the CIA documents has been delayed for years. In 1992, Congress ordered their full release by October 2017, but the deadline was pushed back by presidential decrees from both Donald Trump and Joe Biden…

“Hours after Biden released the new files, [Fox News moderator] Tucker Carlson… began his primetime show by telling his 3 million viewers that the CIA did it. Carlson had talked to an ‘unnamed source’ with direct knowledge of the JFK files the CIA was still hiding. The informed view of the ‘source’ was that ‘the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination. It’s a whole different country from what we thought it was. It’s all fake… This is not a ‘conspiracy theorist’ we spoke to. Not even close,’ he said.”

The Intercept added on December 22:

“LAST WEEK, the Biden administration declassified a trove of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While this action brings the government closer to the full disclosure of relevant files mandated by a 1992 law, it still keeps the most sensitive records secret.”

They also quoted Tucker Carlson saying this:

“And people have known this for a long time. The people who knew would include every director of the CIA since November of 1963. And that list would include Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan, one of the most sinister and dishonest figures in American life.

“That list would also include — we are sad to say — our friend Mike Pompeo, who ran the CIA in the last administration. Mike Pompeo knew this. We asked Pompeo to join us tonight, and though he rarely turns down a televised interview, he refused to come.”

It should be rather obvious that if the explanation would simply be, “Oswald acted alone”, there would have not been continued delay in making the documents public, with Trump’s admission that he could not release the documents after he read them. And it is rather naive to assume that the CIA’s documents would include clear-cut admissions by the CIA that they were involved.

Haiti’s Total Collapse

 npr wrote on January 18:

“Haiti, a country long beset by catastrophe and political turmoil, is facing perhaps its steepest challenge in recent decades as its piecemeal government, now lacking any democratically elected officials, struggles to chart a path forward amid gang violence and a cholera outbreak. The constitutional mandate of Haiti’s de facto ruler, Prime Minister Ariel Henry — which some viewed as questionable from the start, as he was never technically sworn in — ended more than a year ago. The country has had no president since its last one, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in 2021. Its Senate is supposed to have 30 members, and its lower legislative chamber should have 119; all of those seats are unfilled. Haiti’s elected mayors were all reappointed or replaced in 2020.

“And last week, its 10 remaining senators departed office after their terms ended, leaving behind a nation’s worth of elected offices that now sit empty after years of canceled elections. ‘The situation is catastrophic,’ said Robert Fatton, a Haitian-born political scientist at the University of Virginia. ‘It would not be an exaggeration to say that the current crisis is one of the most severe crises that Haiti has ever confronted.’…

“The country of 12 million people last held national elections in 2016. In the years since, the turmoil — political and otherwise — has been relentless.

Gang violence has displaced more than 150,000 people from their homes and forced aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders to close facilities and relocate staff. A new outbreak of cholera is suspected to have infected nearly 25,000 Haitians since October. In 2021,  an earthquake killed 2,000 people and wrought new devastation to a part of the country that had been hit just five years before by a Category 5 hurricane.

Rampant inflation has sent the cost of food and gas spiraling; food insecurity is so widespread that about 40% of the population do not have enough to eat. And the disasters have combined to keep thousands of the country’s schools closed, meaning millions of Haitian children have lacked steady education and meals since the beginning of the pandemic. ‘I grew up under dictatorship, so I’m not idealizing the Haiti I grew up under. But this is the first time I think we have seen this level of lawlessness, this level of gang violence where people’s lives do not matter,’ said Cécile Accilien, a professor of Haitian studies at Kennesaw State University…

“Now, Henry stands alone at the head of a fractured, weakened government that appears powerless to address the country’s many challenges: gang violence, cholera, inflation. ‘It’s a collapse,’ said Patrice Dumont, one of the 10 senators who departed office this month… Given the country’s terrible security situation and the lack of popular support for Henry’s government, the idea of elections in the immediate future is ‘frankly preposterous,’ Fatton said…”

Rishi Sunak’s Gut Reaction Almost Always Wrong

The Guardian wrote on January 18:

“To be fair, Sunak has the odds stacked against him. It’s not entirely his fault the Tories voted for Liz Truss rather than him… It’s not his fault that Putin invaded Ukraine. [But he has] a unique talent to make every bad situation worse. His gut reaction is almost always the wrong one.

“Take the strikes. Everyone knows the end game. The unions and the government get around a table and agree a compromise. Everyone except [Sunak]. He has chosen to pick a fight with the nurses and paramedics. A battle he’s never going to win, because almost the entire country has already picked a side. And it’s not with the government. When nurses pay has been eroded over such a long period – some are using food banks to get by – and their union calls for strike action for the first time in its history, then a stand has to be taken.

“Sunak is dying a slow death. Nowhere more so than at prime minister’s questions…”

The Guardian is of course a left-liberal paper in support of the Labor party. Still, we have to wait and see whether and how Sunak will survive.

Boris Pistorius Germany’s New Defense Minister

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 17:

“Boris Pistorius, interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony [for nine years], is to serve as Germany’s next defense minister, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday. The 62-year-old Social Democrat will succeed Christine Lambrecht, who resigned Monday after criticism of her leadership… Scholz has chosen a man who is little known abroad: Boris Pistorius… has gained a reputation for getting policies implemented…

“He is widowed and has two children. In October 2016, it emerged that he was in a relationship with Doris Schröder-Köpf, previously wife of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The couple has since separated.

“Pistorius main challenge in office will be administering the special €100-billion fund that Scholz promised the German armed forces in February. According to military analysts, at least €20 billion is needed to fill up stocks of ammunition alone. New frigates, tanks or F-35 combat aircraft also cost billions, plus investments in infrastructure and digitization. And there is a need to streamline procurement procedures in a military that has been racked with inefficiency.

“… the appointment of Pistorius also means that the Cabinet no longer has gender parity. At the beginning of his term in office, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had said that men and women each make up half of society — and therefore women should also have half of the power. If Scholz wants to maintain parity, another Cabinet reshuffle would be necessary.”

France 24 wrote on January 17:

“The man referred to by Der Spiegel magazine as the ‘red general’ has a reputation as a straight talker who can appear undiplomatic at times… In May last year, Pistorius was forthright about Ukraine’s right to recapture territories taken by Russia, putting him at odds with many other Social Democrats who had been reluctant to endorse a counteroffensive…

“However, he was also critical of calls to destabilise Russia, adding: ‘There will have to come a time after the war… when we in Europe will be able get along with Russia, in whatever form.’”

Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Pistorius voiced his opposition to European sanctions against Russia.

Politico added on January 17:

“Having served in Germany’s Bundeswehr prior to his law studies, Pistorius also has some military background. Pistorius faces daunting tasks in his new office. The German armed forces are in a sad state and an announced sea change in German foreign and security policy, Scholz’s so-called Zeitenwende, is in the spotlight as Berlin lags behind on its defense spending targets.

“More immediately, the new defense minister will have to deal with pressure from allies to step up military support for Ukraine by supplying Kyiv with German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks. Poland and Finland have already announced their intention to send Leopards to Ukraine, but the move would require German approval [as the tanks were manufactured in Germany], which Berlin has signaled it might give. The expectation, however, is that Germany should also join a broader alliance of European countries that would collectively send a contingent of such Western tanks.”

The Local had written on January 14 about Lambrecht:

“Critics… questioned [Lambrecht’s] ability to lead Europe’s biggest economy in reviving its long-neglected armed forces in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Lambrecht, along with Scholz, had been blasted over Germany’s stuttering response to the conflict. The minister was mocked in January 2022 for her announcement that Germany would send 5,000 helmets to Kyiv, where the Ukrainian government was seeking heavy weapons to ward off Moscow.”

We will have to wait and see whether Pistorius is (allowed to be) more decisive than Lambrecht.

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.

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Discrimination is a big issue today. How do you view this? (Part 2)

In the first part of this three-part series, we reviewed the matter of racial discrimination and political correctness in relation to the way that a true Christian must live his life, and we continue to look at other movements that reflect different values to that of the Bible.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement

On the BBC website in June 2021 under the heading “What is Black Lives Matter and what are the aims?,” we read: “Among its main goals are stopping police brutality and fighting for courts to treat black people equally. Its demands for equality also include mental health, the LGBT community and voting rights.  However, former US secretary of housing and developments Ben Carson [who is black] said people with noble aims had been taken advantage of by a ‘Marxist-driven organisation’ that supports ‘taking down the model of Western family structures’.  Carol Swain, a political commentator and former professor, said: ‘They are using black people to advance a Marxist agenda.’”

In 2019, the Guardian newspaper reported the following: ‘A majority of people believe Black Lives Matter, the anti-racism movement that spread across the UK this summer, has increased racial tension, according to a poll.  Just over half (55%) of UK adults believe the BLM protests that took place in big cities but also in the Shetland Islands and the Isle of Wight, increased racial tensions, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people by pollsters Opinium. Only 17% of the people polled in October disagreed. The polling also showed 44% of ethnic minorities felt BLM increased racial tensions.”

The following was written by a black journalist, Elizabeth Matory, in September 2020, and reported on the website townhall.com. The heading was, “Yes, There’s a Problem With BLM, and No, You’re Not a Racist For Thinking That”:

“Society eventually came to believe that slavery was wrong, even though modern slavery still exists under the radar in various forms. Yet most people can understand that forcing another human being into submission and bondage against their will and treating that person as non-human is wrong.  Anti-abortionists and abolitionists have been able to voice opposition to these wrongs for generations.

“Here is the key difference: the BLM movement remains above reproach in that anyone questioning them is shut down, socially ridiculed, personally attacked, deemed a racist, and becomes a victim to our modern day ‘cancel culture.’ This fact makes the BLM movement the most powerful propaganda campaign in modern history.”

A number of the goals of this movement are not in alignment with the way that God requires of His people, including their apparent hatred for white people and their willingness to burn or otherwise destroy or vandalize buildings, burn cars, resort to violence and throw stones at police officers, and illegally occupy government buildings, sometimes with the use of weapons.

Therefore, it is not an organisation with which we should have any involvement or support in any way.

In the section on “Woke,” you will find a quotation from the Merriam Webster Dictionary showing the interconnection between the “Woke” movement and the Black Lives Matter and Antifa movements.

LGBT+

Another vociferous group which is connected to the other movements we are discussing is the LGBT+ organisation.   Wikipedia gives this definition:

“LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the initialism, as well as some of its common variants, functions as an umbrella term for sexuality and gender identity.

“The LGBT term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which began to replace the term gay (or gay and lesbian) in reference to the broader LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s.  When not inclusive of transgender people, the shorter term LGB is still used instead of LGBT.

“It may refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant, LGBTQ, adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual or gender identity.”

In our booklet “God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships,” https://www.eternalgod.org/gods-teachings-on-sexual-relationships/ the matter of homosexuality is discussed on pages 95-114.

On page 95, we state the following:

“Before covering the controversial issue of homosexuality, we feel it is necessary to state our position, as anyone who opposes this behavior is commonly thought to be a homophobe or homophobic. This term is casually used against anyone who has the audacity to question the morality of such behavior, especially when asserting it to be sin, which homosexual lobbyists often refer to as hate speech.

“This argument is invalid, as people on both sides of the argument must be allowed to agree or disagree about homosexuality in a free and fair society. To assert that homosexual behavior is a sin is simply stating a biblical fact, and Christians who live by the Word of God are simply stating what God’s Word clearly reveals. There should be no hate for the individual concerned, just sadness at their way of life.”

In an editorial in our weekly Update, dated December 9, 2022 https://www.eternalgod.org/update-1048/, entitled “Just Because….”, we wrote: “… more controversy has arisen because of the refusal of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) to allow teams to wear the ‘OneLove’ rainbow armband in a show of solidarity for the LGBT+ community and as protest against many human rights violations in that country.”

There was uproar about this situation with the press and media regarding this denial.  As our booklet on the matter clearly shows, the abhorrent practice of homosexuality which God roundly condemns, is supported by the mainstream media.  We know that it works this way – you either go along with it or you are in trouble!

In our Update No. 1053, dated January 13, 2023, https://www.eternalgod.org/update-1053/ we quoted the following from Life Site News, published on January 5: “Trump has also killed a lot of his support with his hosting of that massive Log Cabin Republicans event at Mar-a-Lago and his and Melania’s and Kari Lake’s enthusiastic partying with them. In doing so, they gave massive, likely naïve support to the ongoing LGBT agenda… and policies to protect and promote their immoral, anti-life, anti-natural-family lifestyle, and to punish all who even think or speak anything critical of what they do…”

On the website lgbted.uk, there is the following information:

“LGBTed is a network of LGBT+ teachers and leaders, empowering them to be authentic in schools, colleges and universities, to support students and to be an advocate for increasing LGBT+ visibility in our education system.

“LGBTed use our network to influence education policy around LGBT+ inclusion in education; we support and empower colleagues to come out at all levels in education; we increase school leaders’ knowledge of LGBT+ issues in education and provide training & mentoring.  We help improve teacher retention by allowing colleagues to be more authentic in the workplace.”

There can be no doubt that the teaching profession in schools, colleges and universities can influence students in ways that are not Godly.   The above is evidence of this.

On the Law Society website in the UK, there was an article in February 2021 entitled: “LGBT History Month, Imogen Hamblin, employment lawyer at Thrive Law and member of our LGBT+ Lawyers Division Committee, explores two facets of her identity – her faith and her sexuality.”   She writes:

“Let’s note, rejection of the LGBT+ community can take many subtle forms, for example exclusion from the membership or leadership teams, refusing to conduct marriage ceremonies and making comments like ‘we love the sinner not the sin’ or that ‘you are welcome, but your way of life is not’.

“The implication is there is something unholy or sinful about our lifestyle.

“The church is in an uncomfortable place for LGBT+ persons; however, there is good news.

“Facets of the church have reacted positively to the changes in legislation and have adopted a more thoughtful approach to the teachings of Scripture, recognising the culture in which it was written.

“The church is starting to become more inclusive and some Christian denominations do not consider homosexuality or transgender identity to be sins. Leading the way in this advancement is Rev Steve Chalk MBE of Oasis Church, Waterloo. He celebrates having LGBT+ people in the leadership team, music team and youth work teams. They also regularly conduct same-sex marriages.”

This is written by a professing Christian who is a lesbian which any honest student of the Bible will see as incompatible.   Referring to the culture in which the Bible was written is not an answer.

It may be that many are under the delusion that LGBTQ+ issues are the most important things in the world to them today when to most people on earth, they are very definitely not.  No one has to recognise or support this group if they don’t want to, and their constant pushing of this perverted “lifestyle” can become wearying.  We must be steadfast in our opposition to these ungodly lifestyles and practices that God condemns.

The Bible states quite clearly and unambiguously that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we read: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Compare also 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

Romans 1:26-27 tells us: “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.  Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

No amount of theological twisting and turning can make acceptable that which is an abomination to God (See Leviticus 18:22, 26, 29; 20:13).

(To be continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Germany’s ‘Recalcitrant’ Policy With America’s ‘Acceptance,’” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link.  Here is a summary:

What is the real reason for Germany’s recalcitrance to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine and allow allies to hand theirs over to Ukraine? And why is America’s strategy in Ukraine failing? Articles in Politico and the Asia Times paint a less than flattering picture, but they are almost prophetic. 

“Deutschlands ‘widerspenstige’ Politik mit Amerikas ‘Einwilligung’,” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. This covers the same topic as described above in the SW program. 

A new Member Letter (January 2023) has been posted and sent to our subscribers. Dave Harris writes about the challenges Christians face while living in the world of the ungodly.

“Wahrheit und Freiheit in der Gosse!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Truth and Freedom in the Gutter!”

“Das ‘Quatschen’ der Gottlosen,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Manuel Giermann, is now posted. Title in English: “The ‘Gossip’ of the Ungodly.”

“Der Mensch prüfe aber sich selbst,” the sermon presented last Sabbath in Germany by Christoph Sperzel, is now posted. Title in English: “But Let a Man Examine Himself.”

“The Biblical View on World Developments—Comments on News and Prophecy, January 14, 2023,” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

We discuss the burden of sin; the election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House and Donald Trump’s involvement; whether there are any biblical exceptions for abortion; the biblical teaching on paying taxes; TSA’s extension of Corona vax mandates for tourists; serious suspected cases of corona vaccination complications in Germany; constitutional restrictions in Ukraine; discrimination; and biblical prophecies showing that the third temple will be built on the Temple Mount.

“Good Intentions for 2023,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Let us look at our lives sincerely and honestly; let us examine ourselves and see where we need improvement. Ignoring certain areas of weakness and shortcoming does not bring results; instead, we must take up the fight. Good intentions are important, but they must be put into action.

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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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