Sandcastles and God’s Church / Become Who You Are
On June 17, 2023, Frank Bruno will present the sermonette, titled, “Sandcastles and God’s Church,” and Eric Rank will present the sermon, titled, “Become Who You Are.”
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.
Regret Consumes; Repentance Heals
by Frank Bruno
Most of us at some point in our lives have regretted something we’ve done, choices we’ve made, or perhaps things we did not do. The Greek word for regret is metamelomai, and interestingly, this also means to repent. We may also be familiar with the Hebrew meaning which is to sigh. It is truly a part of being a carnal being that we do not always consider the ramifications of our choices and actions in the moment. It is later as we reflect on the outcome that the path seems so clear and our decision so flawed. However, if we experience regret, we may be on the path of creating a positive outcome, that is to repent and alter our course.
This is what God wants from us: to follow His commandments, to love Him, and to rely solely on Him. In Psalm 51, verses 10-14, David speaks to God and implores Him as follows: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.”
David was ashamed and disgusted with himself for what he had chosen to do with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband Uriah. He knew he had done wrong and broken his bond with God. He regretted his actions and repented before God.
God also can feel and understand regret. In Genesis 6, and in verses 5 and 6, we read this account of God’s righteous anger, and His sadness: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
The Creator felt the sadness and regret that we too experience when something we chose to do turned out badly, or not as we intended. This is significant in our relationship with God knowing that He understands us completely and stands by us despite our actions. This is not unconditional; however, we must recognize our sin and seek His forgiveness and His mercy. As with David, we must humble ourselves before God to receive that restoration. We can ask God to help us turn our failure and our sin into something positive through our pain and repentance. Consider Paul’s letter to the Romans in Chapter 8, and verse 28:“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Through our repentance and the renewal of our relationship with God we can learn from our mistakes and strive for good.
Charles Dickens wrote these words in the 1800’s: “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunities misused”. The writer reminds us that regret is a common human emotion, and it can alter the course of one’s life, in a positive or a negative manner. For those called by God, it is important that we not dwell in the past but change our course, right our ship and stay close to our Creator.
There are two obvious examples of deep regret in our Bible that are instructive and can help God’s people avoid falling away from the Truth: in Luke 22, and in verses 60 to 62, we are transported to that moment after Jesus has been arrested and a man confronts Peter, stating that Peter must have been a follower of Jesus. Beginning in verse 60 we read: “But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are saying!’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the words of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
Peter’s regret was overwhelming; he had rejected Jesus Christ, and he began to realize that he would never again walk with his Master or dine with Him as a human being. His regret for denying his Master was profound, and he wept. Peter would live with this regret, but he, with God’s help through the Holy Spirit, turned his human weakness into his zeal for the Church.
Similarly, Judas knew profound regret as well, but his story does not end well. We read this account in Matthew 27, and in verses 3-5: “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
Judas understood what he had done and regretted his actions and his betrayal of Jesus Christ. This was necessary in God’s plan for our salvation through Jesus Christ, but the action consumed and destroyed Judas. Judas had “worldly sorrow,” not “godly sorrow” or true repentance (compare 2 Corinthians 7:9-10). This is what regret can do to us; it can consume us and prevent us from moving forward as Peter was able to do. The only answer for true Christians is to acknowledge our mistakes and change.
Repentance is a gift and God will accept our sincere remorse if it is coupled with a change of heart and obedience in our thoughts and actions. Those we’ve wronged may not accept our remorse but there too we must turn to God.
by Norbert Link
A large portion of this week’s Current Events section addresses the historical and unprecedented indictment and arraignment of a former US President and present contender for Presidency by the administration of his rival. Many have decried the blatant double standard of a “weaponized” Justice Department under President Biden, pointing out the obvious political motives behind the indictment and even alleging that the wrong President was impeached in the past, while the current President should have been, and probably will be in the future. It was also claimed that while the USA is trying to lecture totalitarian governments about democracy, it itself is perceived as a dictatorial Banana Republic under a corrupt leadership.
We also report about the disappearance of “moral norms” which were at one time upheld in America; giving further examples showing how corrupt the FBI is; addressing the question as to who sabotaged the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline and the Kakhovka hydro-electric dam and whether this intelligence information is being withheld from Congress and the public; discuss the possibility of a return of compulsory military service in Germany and France; address the resignation of Boris Johnson and the death of Silvio Berlusconi; and point out plans by Israel to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, which are met with an outcry by Israel’s enemies.
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
Trump Indictment… Similar to Corrupt Third World Countries?
LifeSiteNews wrote on June 9:
‘The Biden administration’s Department of Justice has taken the unprecedented step of indicting former U.S. President Donald Trump with violating federal law, making him the first occupant of the Oval Office to face such charges… The shocking move comes as Congressional Republicans were starting to present mounting evidence that Joe Biden was bribed with $5 million from an executive at Ukrainian energy company Burisma while serving as Barack Obama’s vice president, prompting some to question if the announcement was retribution…
“Numerous political pundits have compared the move to something corrupt third world countries engage in. ‘These bandits in the White House … want one party rule and they have used the Department of Justice and the FBI to get what they want,’ Mark Levin has said. This is ‘the most severe election interference on the part of the federal government that we have EVER seen!’ Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz exclaimed. ‘They can’t beat Trump at the ballot box,’ former Trump adviser Steve Bannon remarked.
“At a press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Thursday, Biden claimed he had no foreknowledge of the indictment… In recent months, Joe Biden’s FBI has taken a keen interest in targeting pro-lifers and Catholics…
“Many conservatives… maintain that the charges are part of a strategy hatched by the U.S. ‘Deep State’ to prevent Trump from being re-elected.”
Biden without foreknowledge? Who wants to believe that?
Trump Attacks Special Counsel Jack Smith
Fox News wrote on June 9:
“Former President Donald Trump attacked Special Counsel Jack Smith after his unsealed indictment shows the ex-commander-in-chief was charged with 37 counts of criminal wrongdoing over his handling of classified documents… Trump accused the prosecutor of being behind a 2013 controversy in which the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was revealed to be targeting political groups, mainly those on the right, for increased auditing… ‘He went after Evangelicals and Great Americans of Faith. The United States had to apologize, and pay major damages for what this deranged lunatic did,’ Trump wrote…
“In his attack on Smith, Trump also cited the corruption case of ex-Virginia GOP governor Robert McDonnell. Smith successfully secured his conviction, though it was later overturned by the Supreme Court… ‘His wife is a Trump Hater, just as he is a Trump Hater—a deranged “psycho” that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with ‘Justice,’ other than to look at Biden as a criminal, which he is!’ Trump wrote…”
Biden Broke the Seal
Newsmax wrote on June 12:
“Going after a presidential political opponent has consequences, says former President Donald Trump. And now, he says, the gloves will come off. The ‘seal’ for going after your political opposition as the U.S. president is broken, Trump vowed Monday…
“Trump wrote: ‘… I will appoint a real special “prosecutor” to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the USA, Joe Biden, the entire Biden crime family, & all others involved with the destruction of our elections, borders, & country itself!’”
Trump also said that as newly-elected President, he will “obliterate” the “deep state.” Of course, he said earlier that he would go after Hillary Clinton (“lock her up”), which he never did…
The Espionage Act vs. the Presidential Records Act
Fox News wrote on June 13:
“Former President Trump cast his ‘sham’ federal indictment as ‘election interference’ by the Biden administration, slamming it as a ‘the most heinous abuse of power in the history of our country.’
“Trump, the current 2024 frontrunner, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Miami, Florida Tuesday to 37 federal felony counts… Trump… slammed Smith as a ‘deranged lunatic,’ and slammed President Biden for having ‘his top political opponent arrested and charged.’ He said he had undergone ‘political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation.’
“Trump said President Biden will ‘forever be remembered as not only the most corrupt president in the history of our country, but perhaps more importantly, the president, together with the band of his closest thugs, misfits and Marxists trying to destroy American democracy, channeling real anger and charging the President of the United States under the Espionage Act of 1917 [which]… has nothing to do with a former president legally keeping his own documents.’
“Trump defended himself, saying it is, instead, the Presidential Records Act [of 1978] that applies to his case… ‘The Presidential Records Act does not confer any mandate, duty or even discretional authority on the archivist to classify records under the statute,’ Trump said. ‘This responsibility is left solely to the President of the United States…’ [The Presidential Records Act governs the official records of Presidents and Vice Presidents that were created or received after January 20, 1981 (i.e., beginning with the Reagan Administration).]
“Trump slammed Biden—who is under special counsel investigation for his alleged improper retention of classified records—and Hillary Clinton, pointing to her destruction of classified emails. ‘Hillary Clinton broke the law and she didn’t get indicted,’ Trump said. ‘Joe Biden broke the law, and in many other ways, we’re finding out, and so far has not gotten indicted.’…
“Trump went on to point to former President Bill Clinton, saying he ‘lost the nuclear codes and absolutely nothing was done… Trump pointed to former President George W Bush, saying his White House ‘lost 22 million emails’…”
Many legal experts agree with Trump that the Presidential Records Act, and NOT the Espionage Act, is applicable here [Note the next article.]. If so, the indictment, which never mentioned the Presidential Records Act, should fail for that reason alone, but there are many other legal issues involved (for instance, the highly dubious piercing of the attorney-client privilege and Jack Smith compelling Trump’s attorneys to testify). Scholars feel that if there is ever a trial, it might not occur before the end of 2024, after the election.
A Destructive Trump Indictment
The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal published the following opinion piece on June 9:
“Americans will inevitably see this as a Garland-Biden indictment, and they are right to think so.
“… the indictment never mentions the Presidential Records Act (PRA) that allows a President access to documents, both classified and unclassified, once he leaves office. It allows for good-faith negotiation with the National Archives. Yet the indictment assumes that Mr. Trump had no right to take any classified documents… If the Espionage Act means Presidents can’t retain any classified documents, then the PRA is all but meaningless.
“In the court of public opinion, the first question will be about two standards of justice… The charges are a destructive intervention into the 2024 election… Republicans who are tired of Mr. Trump might rally to his side because they see the prosecution as another unfair Democratic plot to derail him.
“If Republicans win next year’s election, and especially if Mr. Trump does, his supporters will demand that the Biden family be next…
“It was once unthinkable in America that the government’s awesome power of prosecution would be turned on a political opponent… However cavalier he was with classified files, Mr. Trump did not accept a bribe or betray secrets to Russia…”
Nor did he destroy sensitive documents, unlike Hillary Clinton. America has changed drastically… for the worse.
The Clinton Socks Defense
Breitbart wrote on June 14:
“Former President Donald Trump deployed a novel strategy Tuesday against charges of mishandling classified documents: the ‘Clinton Socks’ defense… The ‘Clinton Socks’ case…[ was related to an] infamous episode in which Bill Clinton stuffed 79 audio tape recordings in his sock drawer after his presidency. Clinton later claimed the tapes were personal records not subject to the President Records Act of 1978 (PRA), despite allegations they contained classified information and conversations with foreign leaders.
“Judicial Watch’s Michael Bekesha opined in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that a President can choose what records to keep or return to the National Archives. Bekesha said he understood this well because, as he put it, ‘I know because I’m the lawyer who lost the “Clinton sock drawer” case.’ He noted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and a federal judge in 2012 defined presidential records as anything left at the White House after a sitting president leaves office. The ‘Clinton Socks’ precedent could therefore provide a path for Trump to argue that the records seized from Mar-A-Lago were personal in nature, even if they contained sensitive information.
“… there are parallels between the two cases in that both former Presidents Clinton and Trump allegedly disclosed classified information in private meetings… The court’s opinion in the ‘Clinton Socks’ case states that the sole authority to classify records pursuant to the (PRA) rests solely with the president, and that the National Archives does not have any authority regarding classification, nor can it seize presidential records.
“… conservative radio host Mark Levin has pointed out, that the Espionage Act of 1917, which Trump is accused of violating, was not intended to apply to presidents. If it had been, then every president who took documents with him before the passage of the PRA in 1978 could have been prosecuted for ‘espionage.’…”
Republicans Rally Behind Trump
ABC News wrote on June 9:
“Republicans are rallying behind Donald Trump in the face of his historic indictment on federal charges. ‘The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,’ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s biggest adversary in the Republican primary, tweeted on Thursday. Sen. Tim Scott, another 2024 Trump challenger, decried ‘weaponization’ as he told Fox News: ‘What we see is a justice system where the scales are weighted.’
“House Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged to ‘hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.’ ‘Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America. It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him,’ McCarthy said… ‘The indictment creates, at the minimum, a serious appearance of a double standard and a miscarriage of justice…’ [Jim] Jordan wrote, calling the indictment ‘politically motivated prosecution.’…
“President Joe Biden… said Americans should trust the Department of Justice in light of attacks on it from Trump and others…”
Trusting the Department of Justice?
“Today It Is Trump; Tomorrow It Is You and Me”
International Family News (IFN) wrote on June 9:
“It looks like the Nazis have found a new home in the U.S. Department of Justice and the offices of state and city district attorneys who have been bought by George Soros. After the Soros-backed district attorney in New York City recently got an indictment against former President Trump on bogus charges, it has been announced that now the U.S. Department of Justice has gotten an indictment against Trump regarding a statute relating to document retention that has never been used against any sitting or former President.
“If anyone needed any more proof of a deep state trying to silence anyone who does not march in lock-step with the left-wing agenda, this is it. This is clear and simple election interference more reminiscent of a third-world dictatorship than the America I grew up in. And the scary thing is, if the deep state and Soros-backed district attorneys have no problem going after a former President on his way to likely winning the next U.S. Presidential election, they will have no problem going after you and me.
“… let us never forget the words of German Pastor Martin Niemöller in regard to Nazi Germany: ‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’”
In Nazi Germany, many kept quiet, but many were also in favor of Hitler’s policies. Today in the USA, it is not much different, but even those who are opposed to the corrupt actions of the current government are asking themselves: What can really be done in such a totalitarian system? The answer is obvious to us: America’s ONLY hope is the return of Jesus Christ who will make a swift end to man’s misrule in the USA—and worldwide.
America’s Two Standards of “Justice”
The New York Post wrote on June 10:
“Based on a grand jury search warrant, federal agents raised Mar-a-Lago and the evidence they gathered was bolstered with FBI interviews of Trump aides, employees and even his lawyers.
“… if federal prosecutors had empaneled a grand jury and obtained a search warrant for Joe Biden’s properties and if FBI agents had put his aides, employees and lawyers under oath, scoured their phones and emails and confronted them with evidence to get them to talk, agents would have found that Biden knowingly kept classified documents for many years in his homes and offices, including in the four years between his being vice president and president.
“Honest agents unencumbered by any political bias of their own or their bosses’ might also have discovered that Hunter Biden and other family members and associates had access to the supposedly secret documents and possibly used them in drawing up their lucrative business schemes with foreign officials and businesses.
“…had the Department of Justice empaneled a grand jury and executed a search warrant on Hillary Clinton’s home and offices in 2013 or 2014 and seized her private computer server, phones and electronic devices, along with the devices of her aides and interviewed her lawyers under oath, FBI agents would have found many thousands of unsecured critical documents that were still in her possession long after she left the Department of State. As it was, more than 2,000 documents deemed to be classified, top secret or confidential were recovered from her devices in 2015 and 2016, despite the fact that Clinton deleted some 33,000 emails she claimed were not work-related.
“… it is indisputable that Trump is being treated far more harshly than either Biden or Clinton were under very similar circumstances. All three kept classified documents where and when they shouldn’t have. Only one is being prosecuted. All three ran for president, but only one had his campaign spied on by the FBI, an action later found to be unwarranted. And only one was the victim of nonstop FBI leaks to the media alleging collusion with a foreign power that helped undermine his presidency, even though many of the leaks were found to be misinformation.
“Does it matter that the one person subjected to these extreme measures by the government and media is a Republican, while the other two are Democrats? Only a fool or a liar would deny the obvious…
“The Justice Department, with the knowledge of the Democratic White House, meddled in a presidential election with the aim of electing the Democrat and defeating — and perhaps prosecuting — the Republican…
“Biden appointed Attorney General Merrick Garland, who appointed [special prosecutor Jack] Smith. Whether he likes it or not, the buck stops on Biden’s desk, especially because Biden let it be known more than a year ago he wanted Trump prosecuted…
“Biden has a lot of dirty laundry himself, but Garland is protecting him… The Hunter Biden probe, now in its fifth year, reeks of favoritism, a charge leveled against it by IRS and FBI whistleblowers. The evidence of various crimes has been public for years, and Joe’s connection is provable. Nearly three years ago, he was identified as the ‘big guy’ scheduled to get a secret 10% cut in a multimillion-dollar family deal with Chinese communists. Those charges… were censored by Big Tech at the direction of the FBI…
“Then there’s the newest dimension to Joe’s likely misconduct — the discovery that the FBI has been sitting on a charge since 2017, and renewed at least twice since by an informant, that he accepted a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian businessman. Reports say Hunter also got $5 million in the same deal, and there are suggestions the money came from the head of Burisma, the corrupt energy company that hired Hunter for its board of directors and paid him millions while Joe was Obama’s point man for Ukraine.
“Where’s the grand jury on that case? Where are the subpoenas for Biden’s bank records and a house raid searching for evidence? Where is the media firestorm?… The possibility of Joe Biden’s guilt has many implications, including the specter that Congress impeached the wrong man in 2019… Had that been discovered then, Trump would have been re-elected and Biden would be the one facing criminal charges.”
The hypocrisy of the FBI, the Justice Department, the mass media and the Biden administration is appalling. But the last chapter on Trump AND Biden has not yet been written.
“A Bad Horror Movie?”
Ron Paul wrote in his weekly column on June 17:
“The Democrats and Donald Trump reminds me of a bad horror movie, where the hapless protagonists only make the monster stronger with each attempt to eliminate it. So goes the Democrats’ endless attempts to finally rid America of the ‘scourge’ of Donald Trump.
“Thanks to the Durham Report we now know they started even before Trump was elected president. Hillary Clinton’s campaign – with the full knowledge of the candidate and the sitting president, Barack Obama – cooked up a ‘dirty trick’ to portray Trump as an agent of Russia in their effort to deny Trump the White House.
“When that didn’t work they weaponized the FBI, CIA and the rest of the ‘deep state’ to undermine and hobble his presidency. They spied on Trump and his campaign staff using false information manufactured by the FBI.
“When that didn’t work they impeached him under the false charge that he sought foreign assistance for his 2020 re-election bid. This time a spy, in the person of NSC staffer Alexander Vindman, was sent to listen in on Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky and then make all manner of false charges against Trump based on it.
“Democrats were furious that Trump was less than enthusiastic about their plans to use Ukraine as a proxy to go to war with Russia. Vindman, though an active-duty US military officer, was of Ukrainian background and was loyal to the country of his origin rather than the country of his citizenship… Trump’s lack of enthusiasm for their ‘Project Ukraine’ infuriated Vindman and he sought his revenge against the US President.
“When that didn’t work they impeached Trump again over the false charge that he led an ‘insurrection’ against the US government on January 6, 2021. The more surveillance video we see of this ‘insurrection,’ the more it looks like a false-flag operation cooked up perhaps by Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Washington swamp to finally be rid of Trump. Hundreds of political prisoners have been held in solitary confinement on false accusations that they tried to overthrow the US government.
“When that didn’t work and Trump’s re-election numbers looked more and more favorable while Biden’s approval rating continued to linger in the political basement, the Democrats have now indicted him over some classified documents apparently discovered in his residence in Florida. The boxes and boxes of classified documents discovered at multiple Biden locations have disappeared into the memory hole with the help of the media. Nothing to see here.
“Suddenly Donald Trump, who polling suggests would obliterate Joe Biden in a fair US election, faces 100 years in prison! [Actually, about 400 years in prison!] Where else would you see the head of one political party arrest his main political opponent on cooked up charges? A banana republic!
“For those of us who love this country, it is truly shocking to see this abuse of power. But there’s one thing these dirty tricksters never seem to understand: the more false evidence and false charges they cook up against Trump, the stronger Trump becomes. With these outrageous and continuous attacks on Trump, the Democratic Party (and plenty of Republicans) has lost all credibility. When this plan fails, and it will, I am afraid to think what they might try next.”
Very insightful and factually accurate comments.
Tucker Carlson: They Are Lying to You!
Newsmax wrote on June 13:
“Tucker Carlson denounced the widespread anti-Trump effort to get former President Donald Trump… [in] his 13-minute monologue, his third episode of ‘Tucker on Twitter’… ‘The prosecution of Donald Trump is transparently political… Anyone that denies its happening is lying to you…
“Nobody with Trump’s views is allowed to have power in this country. Criticize our wars and you’re disqualified. If you keep it up, we’ll send you to prison. That’s the message Washington is sending.’
“Carlson denounced mainstream media bloviating… that U.S. defense is compromised ‘because Donald Trump took some classified documents home and didn’t immediately return them to the National Archives?… What a lie that is,’ Carlson said…”
Tucker Carlson: Moral Norms a Thing of the Past
LifeSiteNews wrote on June 9:
“Religious and ethical moral norms… are being rapidly undermined and replaced by ‘the people who run our country,’ argues Tucker Carlson in the second installment of his new show on Twitter…
“The former Fox News host… pointed out how formerly ‘it was taboo in this country to attack people on the basis of their race,’ but punishing them now ‘based on their skin color is not only permitted in modern America, it is mandatory for business and government and higher education, as long as the victims are white.’
“In addition, he provided the example of adultery having been considered a disqualifying factor for anyone seeking higher office as late as 1992, but Bill Clinton was the last presidential candidate who was required to face that standard, Carlson proposed.
“One by one, with increasing speed, our old taboos have been struck down… Stealing, flaunting your wealth, striking women, smoking marijuana on the street, shameless public hypocrisy, taking other people’s money for not working. All of these things used to be considered unacceptable in America. Not anymore.
‘So it probably shouldn’t surprise us that the greatest taboo of all is teetering on the edge of acceptability: child molestation,’ Carlson warned…
“This became more obvious due to an extensive Wall Street Journal ‘exposé about kiddy porn on Instagram’ earlier this week that Carlson observed. Despite the WSJ reporting how Instagram ‘helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the commission and purchase of underage sex content,’ the most shocking aspect of this story was that nothing of any significance happened in response… ‘The Justice Department did not announce an investigation. Congress did not schedule hearings,’ he said.”
Rather than going after real criminals, the Justice Department is busy figuring out how to “get Trump.”
The CORRUPT FBI
Breitbart wrote on June 13:
“FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate admitted during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that the FBI redacted any mention of audio recordings of Joe and Hunter Biden in a document shown last week to Republican lawmakers in which an FBI informant alleged the Bidens were involved in a bribery scheme around 2015 and 2016...
“Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Monday revealed that the document which was a transcript of an FBI interview with an informant, contained references to 17 alleged audio recordings — 15 with Hunter Biden and two with then-Vice President Joe Biden. However, Grassley said, when the document was made available to the House Oversight Committee last week under pressure from Republicans, the references to the audio recordings had been deleted…
“Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)… [told the FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate:] ‘There are two very clear standards of justice in this country. We see it every single day. The American people see this every single day. They look at you and see a politicized entity that is weaponizing an agency of the federal government against the American people…’”
Newsmax added on June 13:
“Texas Sen. Ted Cruz [stated to Abbate] that ‘people are mad at the FBI. Because you are stonewalling and covering up serious allegations of evidence of corruption from the president… You know who isn’t concerned? Not a single Senate Democrat. We’re going to go through this whole hearing, not one Democrat will ask a question about this. You know who else isn’t concerned? The corporate media who is joining with the Democrats in covering up the evidence.’…
“Blackburn said that ‘there is only one conclusion that any serious person could draw: There is a two-tiered system of justice under this administration. The American people know that, if they aren’t loyal to Washington’s liberal political elite or if their last name doesn’t happen to be Biden or Clinton, they are at risk of being targeted.’”
Who Sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipeline and the Kakhovka Dam?
On June 9, The Ron Paul Institute republished the following article by Professor Jonathan Turley:
“The Washington Post is reporting that material leaked by Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, revealed that the Biden Administration knew three months ago that it was Ukraine that was planning to sabotage the Nord Stream pipelines. Teixeira is now criminally charged under the Espionage Act. [This is one way of how to suppress important information and keep it hidden from the public.] If true, the Administration withheld the information for months as the media widely speculated that Russia blew up its own pipeline. Russia accused the United States of approving the attack by Ukrainian forces.
“President Joe Biden was presumably informed by the intelligence agencies. Yet, as speculation continued and Russia pointed fingers [at Ukrainian] and the US, Biden told the public ‘the Russians are pumping out disinformation and lies. We will work with our allies to get to the bottom (of) precisely what happened. Just don’t listen to what Putin’s saying. What he’s saying we know is not true.’
“As Biden ‘worked with our allies to get to the bottom of what happened,’ the Administration knew that months previously it was told by a Ukrainian whistleblower that the CIA was told that a six-person team of Ukrainian special forces were planning to rent a boat, dive to the seafloor and blow up the Nord Stream project. The operation was reportedly led by Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces.
“It is not clear what president Volodymyr Zelenskiy knew or when he knew it. However, we knew of this report long before the pipeline was destroyed in the very way described by the whistleblower…
“Now a new environmental disaster is building after sabotaging the Kakhovka hydro-electric dam in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine. Russia has accused Ukraine and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused ‘Russian terrorists.’
“This follows new evidence that Ukraine appeared responsible for the drone attack on the Kremlin recently. Zelenskyy also denied any involvement in that attack…
“Western countries have stressed that their military aid to Ukraine was premised on the country not attacking Russia on Russian soil. However, the larger question is whether such intelligence should be kept from Congress and the public when we have already spent over $75 billion on Ukraine.
“It also raises a continued question over the Biden Administration withholding evidence that contradicts its national security claims…
“If Ukraine is engaging in sabotage against our other allies (and the environment), we have a right to know. If committed by Ukraine, the drone attack on the Kremlin was remarkably stupid. It threatened an escalation of the conflict with little obvious military advantage. With tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine and a world teetering on the brink of a large conflict, we (and particularly Congress) need to know if our allies are telling us the truth or whether they are reliable allies. Likewise, if Zelenskyy did not know of these major operations, it is a fair question to ask who is really in charge of the country or whether Zelenskyy is engaging in willful blindness…”
These questions, and many more, deserve answers. Under the present administration and its past Modus Operandi, it is doubtful that America will ever get those answers.
Is Compulsory Military Service Returning in Europe?
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 11:
“After the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War in Europe, many countries abolished compulsory military service. But in the wake of the war in Ukraine, several are considering bringing it back… Germany suspended military service in 2011, but it can be reintroduced if the Bundestag determines there is a need for defense as stipulated by the country’s Basic Law…
“German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has rejected a proposal by his defense minister, Boris Pistorius, to introduce compulsory military service. However, there are calls for a national debate on the issue from across the political spectrum.
“The Bundestag’s commissioner for the army, Eva Högl, who is also from the ruling Social Democrats like Scholz and Pistorius, recently suggested that a mandatory year of service in military or civilian institutions should be discussed. She also said that members of the military should talk about their work in schools.”
The article also pointed out that “France is currently debating a ‘light’ form of compulsory military service. President Emmanuel Macron introduced the Universal National Service in 2019, which enables young people to volunteer for a month and serve their country. The government is now considering making this compulsory for all French nationals aged 15-17.”
These are frightening and alarming developments. Based on biblical prophecy, we can expect that compulsory military service will be introduced in Germany, France and other European countries.
Boris Johnson Steps Down
npr wrote on June 9:
“Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson shocked Britain on Friday by quitting as a lawmaker after being told he will be sanctioned for misleading Parliament… Johnson quit after receiving the results of an investigation by lawmakers over misleading statements he made to Parliament about ‘partygate,’ a series of rule-breaking government parties during the pandemic… that breached pandemic lockdown rules…
“By quitting, he avoids a suspension that could have seen him ousted from his Commons seat by his constituents, leaving him free to run for Parliament again.”
BBC News reported on June 9:
“Boris Johnson is stepping down immediately as a Tory MP after receiving an advance copy of the Partygate report… In the former prime minister’s fiery resignation statement, he said the process was ‘the very definition of a kangaroo court’. Mr Johnson received a copy on Thursday and claimed it was ‘riddled with inaccuracies and reeks of prejudice’… He continued that the committee’s ‘purpose from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts’.
“The statement went on to criticise the direction of the current conservative government. And Mr Johnson did not rule out a return to politics, saying ‘it is very sad to be leaving Parliament – at least for now’…”
Express added on June 9:
“Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP in dramatic fashion over what he and his supporters claim is a witch hunt against him. The former Prime Minister issued a shock statement just hours after his close ally Nadine Dorries announced she too was quitting Parliament in what now appears to be a coordinated move to force two damaging by-elections on Mr Sunak’s floundering government… forcing Mr Sunak to fight for his political life on a number of fronts…
“A close ally of Mr Johnson and former minister told the Daily Express: ‘… When this government falls apart – and it will – they will be begging Boris to come back… Sunak has no election mandate, no mandate from members, he is tearing up all the things we promised in the 2019 manifesto whether it is the Retained EU Law Bill, the Online Safety Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill or the Northern Ireland Legacy Bill. Sunak has no moral authority and no policy platform.’”
Will Sunak fall and perhaps be replaced by Johnson?
Former Italian Leader Silvio Berlusconi Dies At 86
The Associated Press wrote on June 12:
“Adored, scorned, impossible to ignore in life, former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in death drew tributes even from his critics, and ever more lavish praise from admirers, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as prayers from Pope Francis…
“Putin hailed Berlusconi as a ‘patriarch’ of Italian politics and a true patriot who had improved Italy’s standing on the world stage… ‘Undoubtedly, he was a politician of the European and the world scale,’ Putin said. ‘There are few such people in the international arena now. He was a great friend of our people and did a lot to develop business, friendly relations between Russia and European countries.’ Berlusconi had expressed reservations about sanctions against Russian interests over the invasion.
“Former U.S. President George W. Bush…recalled Berlusconi as a ‘vibrant leader with a personality to match… He strengthened the friendship between Italy and the United States...’
BBC News wrote on June 12:
“Four times he was prime minister, and each time it seemed his political career was over, he managed to confound his critics and bounce back. Nine years after he was banned from public office for tax fraud, he was back in parliament, elected to Italy’s Senate before he turned 86 in September 2022… Berlusconi, who has died at the age of 86, was a media mogul, football club owner and billionaire businessman who never gave up on politics – and helped shape Italy’s image for decades…
“He also became notorious for his questionable sense of humour after a number of high-profile gaffes. On one occasion, he suggested a German MEP would have made a good concentration camp guard – and on another, claimed Mussolini was actually a benign leader. He dismissed these statements as jokes. However, he was also a long-time friend of Vladimir Putin and blamed Ukraine for Russia’s invasion when his own government was strongly behind Kyiv…”
Declaration of War: Israel Considers Altering Temple Mount “Status Quo”
Israel Today wrote on June 9:
“Hamas last night issued an official response to Israeli lawmaker Amit Halevi’s (Likud) proposal to change current policy on the Temple Mount. According to Halevi’s plan, the Temple Mount would be divided into Muslim and Jewish sections and control of the holy site by the Jordanian Waqf would end.
“Halevi suggests that Muslims should continue to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the southern end of the complex. ‘If they pray there, it doesn’t make the entire Temple Mount a holy place for Muslims’… Halevi made it clear that the entire plateau is sacred to the Jews and the Dome of the Rock is where the Temple once stood. In addition, regulations for Jews who want to enter the Temple Mount would be changed. Halevi demands that Jews, like Muslims, be allowed to enter the Temple Mount through any available gate, which has not been the case so far.
“Hamas describes the plan as ‘aggression in an attempt to exert sovereignty over al-Aqsa in the context of the fascist occupation government’s religious war.’ Palestinian terror groups also called the plan a ‘declaration of war’ and threatened a ‘thunderous explosion.’ Hamas called on the Palestinian people to tighten their grip on Al-Aqsa. An organization that identifies with the Palestinian cause even published a threat against Halevi’s life in connection with his plan.”
The Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa compound will continue to be in the news, as violence in that area will increase.
Masks and Vaccine Mandates Against COVID Now Deemed USELESS
Fox News wrote on June 10:
“… experts have been calling into question the efficacy of face masks. A recent study published by the prestigious Cochrane Library, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, dug into the findings of 78 randomized controlled trials to determine whether ‘physical interventions’ — including face masks and hand-washing — lessened the spread of respiratory viruses… ‘There is just no evidence that they [masks] make any difference. Full stop,’ Tom Jefferson, the study’s lead author, said in an interview. When asked specifically about fitted N95 masks in health care settings, Jefferson said: ‘It makes no difference – none of it.’…
“A recent study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University concluded that COVID vaccine mandates in nine major cities didn’t appear to make a difference in terms of curbing cases of deaths from the pandemic. The study came after last year, a director of the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer admitted at a hearing before the European Parliament that, at the time of its introduction, the COVID vaccine had never been tested for stopping transmission of the virus…”
Many have known this and stated it from the outset, but the mass media, in support of Big Pharma and certain governmental agencies, pursued and followed a different agenda.
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.
How many different descriptions of Jesus are there in the bible? (Part 1)
The answer is, probably more than most of us would have thought. As we will see, when reviewed thoroughly, there are very many names, descriptions, attributes, functions and references that apply to Jesus Christ.
With this question, the first thing that may come to mind is the debate about what and how to call Jesus. There are those who insist that it must be Yeshua. Many others disagree:
On the website: https://biblescienceforum.com/ we read about the transliteration of Yeshua into the name Jesus.
We might also add the following:
In a Newsweek article from December 2018, we read the following: “Jesus Christ is celebrated as the reason for the season for many Christians–but is that his actual name? Due to the numerous translations the Bible has undergone, ‘Jesus’ is the modern term for the Son of God.
“His original Hebrew name is Yeshua, which is short for yehōshu’a. It can be translated to ‘Joshua,’ according to Dr. Michael L. Brown.”
“Though his name may actually be Joshua, the name ‘Jesus’ wasn’t born out of creativity but also translation. When Yeshua is translated into Greek, which the New Testament is derived from, it becomes Iēsous, which in English spelling is ‘Jesus.’
“While some religious groups, like Messianic Jews, believe in worshipping Yeshua instead of Jesus, there doesn’t seem to be a complete right or wrong way to do it. It is said in the Bible that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord [will be] saved… (Romans 10:13).
“Overall, the difference in names is due to translation. While a religious group may prefer one of the other, the Bible doesn’t explicitly deem one translation more respectful.”
To clarify, much more is involved for salvation than just calling on the name of the Lord, as a “magical formula.” We must understand that only in Jesus we can obtain salvation (Acts 4:12), but calling on and believing in Jesus is just the first step. It must be followed by repentance, believing in Jesus as our Savior for the remission of sins, believing in the gospel, proper baptism, the receipt of the Holy Spirit, and living a life of obedience to God until the day we die.
We further read on the website oneforisrael.org: “It is true that his mother and friends called him Yeshua rather than Jesus, but if you know him as Jesus, does he mind that? Is it incorrect to call him Jesus? There are some who would argue till they’re blue in the face that it is critical to call him Yeshua and not Jesus, but Yeshua’s coming was also God’s time to take salvation to the gentiles. I believe that it was no accident that his name was disseminated in the international lingua-franca of the day: Greek. It was to go far and wide, to every nation on earth.”
On the website gotquestions.org, this matter is covered as follows (and we quote selectively for brevity):
“Yeshua is the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is ‘Joshua.’ Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, and its English spelling is ‘Jesus.’ Thus, the names ‘Joshua’ and ‘Jesus’ are essentially the same; both are English pronunciations of the Hebrew and Greek names for our Lord. (For examples of how the two names are interchangeable, see Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 in the KJV. In both cases, the word Jesus refers to the Old Testament character Joshua.)”
For clarification, the translation of the Authorized Version (KJV) of the word as “Jesus” is clearly wrong, as the Scriptures refer to “Joshua,” not “Jesus.” Still, the argument regarding the name as such is still valid. Continuing:
“Changing the language of a word does not affect the meaning of the word. We call a bound and covered set of pages a ‘book.’ In German, it becomes a buch. In Spanish, it is a libro; in French, a livre. The language changes, but the object itself does not. As Shakespeare said, ‘That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet’ (Romeo and Juliet, II:i). In the same way, we can refer to Jesus as ‘Jesus,’ ‘Yeshua,’ or ‘YehSou’ (Cantonese) without changing His nature. In any language, His name means ‘The Lord Is Salvation.’
“The Bible nowhere commands us to only speak or write His name in Hebrew or Greek. It never even hints at such an idea. Rather, when the message of the gospel was being proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in the languages of the ‘Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene’ (Acts 2:9-10). In the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was made known to every language group in a way they could readily understand. Spelling did not matter.
“We refer to Him as ‘Jesus’ because, as English-speaking people, we know of Him through English translations of the Greek New Testament. Scripture does not value one language over another, and it gives no indication that we must resort to Hebrew when addressing the Lord. The command is to ‘call on the name of the Lord,’ with the promise that we ‘shall be saved’ (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32). Whether we call on Him in English, Korean, Hindi, or Hebrew, the result is the same: the Lord is salvation.”
As mentioned above, we know that when we read the promise that “we shall be saved” when we call “on the name of the Lord,” it is very much more than that as we have covered in many sermons and our literature over many years. It has to become a Way of Life not just by a once-in-a-lifetime acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
What we have covered so far is just one question about Jesus’ Name. But there are so many more descriptions of Jesus.
In his book “Names, Titles, and Metaphors of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Donald W. Parry lists “more than one hundred names, titles, and metaphors of the Lord, together with references from the Old Testament. And remember that the Lord is none other than the premortal Jesus Christ. Each name or title serves to describe God’s perfections, attributes, divine qualities, sacred character, or His mission to humankind. For example, ‘Beloved, Glorious Lord,’ ‘Righteousness,’ and ‘Wonderful’ describe divine qualities. ‘Fountain,’ ‘Stone,’ ‘Star,’ and ‘Water’ are metaphors that describe one or more aspects of His nature or character. ‘Advocate,’ ‘Judge,’ ‘King,’… set forth [some] of His roles in the plan of salvation. ‘God of Heaven,’… and ‘King over all the earth’ portray His exalted position, majesty, and omnipotence. ‘Redeemer’ and ‘Savior’ describe aspects of the atoning sacrifice.
“A number of these names and titles appear only once in the Old Testament, but others are attested multiple times. The names Holy One of Israel, God, Lord, Lord God, Lord of hosts, and Redeemer, for instance, each appear a dozen or more times in the book of Isaiah. No doubt there are other names and titles that can be added to the list.”
Another author attests that there are some 200 names and titles of Christ found in the Bible.
We will review just some of these descriptions and will refer, where applicable, to previous Q&As or booklets that we have available. While we may make quite a few comments under some headings, generally we will be brief and limit comments because of the number we will cover in this series. It might be worthwhile for readers to review each one in more depth at their own leisure.
We will underline the description or name that is attributed to Jesus.
The Scriptures show us the might and majesty of the One whom the Father used to create all things as we see in Colossians 1:16-17 where Paul was writing about the pre-eminence of Christ: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” Also, see 1 Corinthians 8:6. At the instruction of the Father, He was Creator.
In our booklet: “Do You Know the Jesus of the Bible?” we quote two commentaries, as follows on pages 4 and 5:
“Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible points out, regarding Colossians 1:16:
“‘Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe; of all things visible and invisible; of all things that had a beginning, whether they exist in time or in eternity… he was prior to all creation, to all beings, whether in the visible or invisible world… Now, allowing… Paul to have understood the terms which he used, he must have considered Jesus Christ as being truly and properly God… Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, therefore Jesus Christ must be, according to the plain construction of the apostle’s words, truly and properly God.’
“Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible comments on John 1:3:
“‘In this place it is affirmed that “creation” was effected by “the Word,” or the Son of God. In [Genesis 1:1], it is said that the Being who created the heavens and the earth was God. In [Psalm 102:25–28], this work is ascribed to Yahweh. The “Word,” or the Son of God, is therefore appropriately called “God”… he was the agent, or the efficient cause, by which the universe was made. There is no higher proof of omnipotence than the work of creation; and, hence, God often appeals to that work to prove that he is the true God, in opposition to idols… The Being, therefore, that “created” all things must be divine; and, since this work is ascribed to Jesus Christ, and as it is uniformly in the Scriptures declared to be the work of God, Jesus Christ is therefore equal with the Father.’”
In our recent booklet “God the Father is the Highest,” we read in our Introduction the following:
“There is a tendency in many churches to either under- or overemphasize the role and position of God the Father and of Jesus Christ. It is of tremendous importance that we understand the Truth in this regard, as it is revealed in the pages of the Bible. This booklet will show that God is a Family and a hierarchy, and this means, God the Father is the highest in the Godhead; He and Jesus Christ are NOT equal in authority. This understanding has tremendous importance for our daily Christian life.”
- The Word
We read in John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” And in verse 14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
In Genesis 1:1 we read about the creation: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Later in the chapter, after much creation, we see that the Father and the Word created man: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (verses 26-27).
God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ, the “Word” or the “Spokesman.” God the Father gave the command to Jesus; Jesus as the Spokesman or Executor uttered the word (Psalm 33:6; first phrase), and through the power of the Holy Spirit, creation occurred (Psalm 33:6, second phrase; the word “breath,” ruach in Hebrew, should be translated here as “spirit”; note also Psalm 104:30).
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A new Member Letter (June 2023) has been written and mailed to our subscribers. Brian Gale reflects on the pageantry of the recent crowning of King Charles the Third to remind us of the tremendous time ahead for Christians when Jesus Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God when we, along with Him, will serve all of humanity.
“Spreng die Ketten dieser Welt,” last Sabbath’s sermonette given in Germany by Johann Schell, is now posted. Title in English: “Break the Chains of this World.”
“Death Grip on Life,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The term death grip refers to having a really tight hold on something and not letting go. Spiritually speaking, what is it that we need to hold on to firmly making sure that we don’t lose it?
“God’s Creation of the Animal World,” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Why are certain animals at times very cruel? Why do ferocious predators exist? Did God create them that way? Why are we plagued today with mosquitoes, poisonous snakes or even killer bees? What do we learn from the Bible about God’s dealing with animals in this present day and age? How does God communicate with animals today? What role will animals play in the end time and beyond?
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
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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