|To Do Justly / Answering Criticism of God
|What Happened to Truth
|This Week in the News
|Can you explain the sin of Achan in Joshua 7 and God’s subsequent punishment?
|Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
To Do Justly / Answering Criticism of God
On November 18, 2023, Paul Niehoff will present the sermonette, titled, “To Do Justly,” and Brian Gale will present the sermon, titled, “Answering Criticism of God.”
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.
What Happened to Truth
by Paul Niehoff (Australia)
This is an interesting question that has been answered in Isaiah 59:14-15. “…For truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.” From this it seems that truth can be difficult to find.
We note that at this current time, three words that were used very rarely or even unknown previously have come into prominence. They are all concerned in some way with truth or lies, more often with lies and deception.
These words are “misinformation, disinformation and malinformation.” Misinformation has the meaning of false information, but the person using it believes it is true. In this case there is not necessarily any malice. Disinformation has the meaning of false information that the person using it knows it to be false. It is a deliberate lie, usually with malice. The third word, malinformation, is based on truth but can be used to inflict harm on a person, organisation or country. Malinformation can also apply to a truth that an organization or government does not want revealed.
Of these three words, the one that was used in the past was disinformation, especially in the Soviet Union, in order to discredit political opponents with the intended result of their ineffectiveness or destruction.
Of these three words, none are directly used in the Bible, but the actions they engender are used. The most prominent one being disinformation. We first encounter this when Satan deceived Eve by telling her that if she ate the forbidden fruit, she would not surely die (Refer to Genesis 3:4). As we read about Satan in John 8:44, last part, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, God gives us warnings of false prophets. In the Old Testament, God’s warnings were so strong that a false prophet who turns people away from God was to be put to death. (Refer Deuteronomy to 13:5). In the New Testament, Christ warns us against false prophets in Matthew 7:15. These false prophets were and are using disinformation as an attempt to deceive God’s people. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 informs us that Satan’s ministers were and are transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness, and that they would receive the appropriate outcome. Their intention again was and is to deceive.
A very pertinent example of disinformation was when a lying spirit was put in the mouths of all of Ahab’s prophets, who encouraged him to go to battle so as to obtain victory. This lie resulted in the death of Ahab, the king of Israel. Refer to 2 Chronicles 18:19-34.
An example of malinformation happened when Satan tempted Christ. In Luke 4:9-11 we read, “Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: “He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You,” and, ‘In their hands they shall bear You up, lest You dash your foot against a stone.”’” While the quote was accurate, its purpose was to cause Christ to sin. Hence it was malinformation.
As for misinformation, there are examples of probable misinformation in the epistles. In 1 Corinthians 15:12 we read, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection from the dead?” This example shows that some members in the Church at Corinth were teaching that there was no resurrection. If they believed that then they were teaching misinformation.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2, we are warned, “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.” This would appear to be misinformation. However, if members were claiming that this information was from the true ministers of God, then this would be deliberate disinformation.
So, we have many warnings in the Bible about being deceived, either mistakenly or deliberately. We are also aware that Satan deceives the whole world (Refer to Revelation 12:9). So, we must be well aware of the contents, examples and warnings in the Bible and trust those who have proven to have been faithful in transmitting God’s truth to us over the years. In this way, we will not be deceived by misinformation, disinformation or malinformation. We will understand what truth is, and for us, it will be a part of our lives, remembering that Christ said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
So, while truth has fallen in the street for the vast majority of people, it will not be so for us. We will know the truth and the truth shall make us free (John 8:32).
by Norbert Link
We begin with what appears to be a major scandal, affecting big news agencies and the alleged prior knowledge and presence of their journalists or “freelance” reporters supplying them with “news stories” and photographs of the Hamas terrorist attack on Gaza on October 7.
We continue with Professor Dershowitz’s reaction to former President Barack Obama’s statements on Israel; a colossal Biden joke; a massive demonstration for Israel; and we speak on New York Judge Engoron’s bias and bizarre behavior in the “case” involving Donald Trump, his children and his organization. We also address the controversial conduct of the FBI in targeting New York’s Mayor Eric Adams.
We point out the somewhat overlooked role of Robert F Kennedy Jr. in the political arena; and report on Donald Trump’s controversial statements and his alleged immigration plans which would be deeply disturbing and highly objectionable, if true. We speak on Germany’s failed asylum policy and other problems; a political shakeup in Britain; and current and anticipated military conscription in Europe, which paints a dark picture for the future.
We are addressing Ukraine’s dilemma and alleged plans by the USA and other countries to replace Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. Please view in this context our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Is Ukraine Losing the War?”
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
What Did Major Media Know About Hamas’s Attack, and Did Photojournalists Collude With Hamas?
Israel 365 News wrote on November 10:
“Ethical questions are now being raised about Gaza-based freelance photojournalists from major media who were embedded with the Hamas terrorists on October 7, documenting their horrific deeds. One media watchdog asked whether the photojournalists and their employers had foreknowledge of the attacks… Honest Reporting reviewed the images of the attack published by AP, CNN, The New York Times and Reuters…
“CNN said in response that it ‘decided to suspend all ties with Hassan Eslaiah’… a freelance photojournalist who has worked with a number of international and Israeli outlets…
“After Honest Reporting’s shocking article, a spokeswoman for the Associated Press quoted by the Daily Wire denied any advance knowledge of the attack… The New York Times made a similar denial…
“The Israeli government took the Honest Reporting revelations seriously. A statement by the Prime Minister’s office read: ‘Gaza-based photojournalists employed by the world’s leading news agencies who captured images of the Hamas massacre on October 7 in Gaza-border communities, and who appear to have had foreknowledge of the planned attack were accomplices in crimes against humanity; their actions were contrary to professional ethics.’
“Government minister Benny Gantz, a member of the cabinet and chairman of the National Unity party, came out strongly against the journalists. ‘Journalists found to have known about the massacre, and still chose to stand as idle bystanders while children were slaughtered – are no different than terrorists and should be treated as such,’ Gantz tweeted.
“Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi sent a letter to the four news outlets calling for an investigation into the photographers’ possible ‘collusion with the terrorist organization Hamas-ISIS.’…”
Simple denials from those news agencies won’t do. If it should be confirmed that those journalists knew about and participated, in one way or another, in Hamas’ murderous attack on October 7, that would be a scandal of unbelievable proportions.
On November 10, Newsmax published an article of The Associated Press, saying the following in their “defense”:
“Several of the world’s biggest news organizations — CNN, The New York Times, The Associated Press and Reuters — issued statements Thursday denying they knew about the attack ahead of time… The Times said the accusation that anyone at the newspaper had advance knowledge of the attacks or accompanied Hamas was ‘untrue and outrageous,’ and put journalists in Israel and Gaza at risk. Rushing into danger in conflict zones already puts freelance photojournalists at risk, the newspaper said…
“Both AP and CNN said Thursday that they would no longer work with Eslaiah, one of the freelance photographers. HonestReporting posted a photo of Eslaiah being kissed by Hamas leader Yehia Sinwar.”
However, such denials may not do the trick.
Senator Cotton Wants Answers
Newsmax reported on November 10:
“‘Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wants answers from news organizations that used firsthand images and information from Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel shortly after the massacre began.
“Cotton on Thursday sent letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland and to executives of CNN, the AP, Reuters, and the Times. Cotton demanded that Garland open an investigation into the outlets, and the news organizations were asked to provide answers as to their involvement with Hamas. ‘If your employees, as part of their work, participated in terrorist activities or if your organization or employees provided material support (including any funding) to Hamas, the leadership of your organization may also face criminal penalties under federal law,’ Cotton wrote to the news organizations.
“The Times on Friday responded to Cotton, saying that his letter ‘exacerbates’ the ‘spread of disinformation and incendiary rhetoric’ around journalists covering the war. ‘You are merely parroting disinformation harvested from the internet based on a website that has conceded it had no evidence for its claims,’ Times Vice President and Deputy General Counsel David McGraw wrote in a letter to Cotton. McGraw added that ‘[n]o employee of The Times was embedded with Hamas, or had advance knowledge of the attack, or played any role in the savage massacre of that day.’
“Cotton then responded to McGraw’s letter: ‘Falsehoods circulated on the internet are not “reports,'” Cotton, repeating McGraw’s line, posted on X. ‘ The NYTimes just described its own “newsroom.” What you don’t say is that your freelance photographers—pictured riding with the Hamas terrorists on 10/7—had no advance knowledge. Is that also your claim?’ Cotton added.”
“This Is How the Terrorist Photographer Used Propaganda”
Bild Online wrote on November 11:
“He is a friend of a terrorist leader. He has posted videos explaining how to kill Israelis – with a battering ram or a shot in the head. And he has photographed for the world’s major agencies: the Palestinian photographer Hassan Eslaiah from the Gaza Strip.
“His images were the first the world saw after learning that Hamas had launched a large-scale attack on Israel and started a war. The photos were distributed by major news agencies and TV channels. They were also shown by BILD. Trusting that the major Western news agencies adhere to their standards and that they know whose photos they are distributing. That they can vouch for them – as far as this is possible in war zones.
“Now the world knows: They were Hamas propaganda images. Photographers like Hassan Eslaiah were at the forefront and apparently knew in advance about the barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas, in which 1,200 people were ultimately massacred and violated and around 240 were kidnapped.
“One thing is clear: the photos are NOT fake. But they misrepresent the situation. They are not reporter photos or news photos. Hassan Eslaiah and all the photographers who spread the October 7 Hamas propaganda like him have deceived the world. Eslaiah created mass murder without bodies. His pictures only show what they are supposed to show: heroic perpetrators. They leave out what doesn’t fit into the picture: the victims. The brutality, the carnage. The pain. He photographed past all of this. Something like that can only be done consciously. Only on purpose.
“Every news agency that distributed the photos of him UNCHECKED was complicit…
“Hassan Eslaiah managed to photograph the carnage – without even one of the 1,400 corpses appearing in his photos from the kibbutz. Only one photo shows a dead person lying in front of the entrance gate… Hassan Eslaiah provided clean images – his streets were also strangely empty. He must have done one thing above all else: looked away intensely…
“In Israel, Hassan Eslaiah only photographed the perpetrators – as heroes. He didn’t photograph suffering. No victims. He was the man who was trusted by so many industry giants – the New York Times even defended him after the scandal!… He acts differently in Gaza. From there too, Eslaiah only delivered Hamas propaganda – WITH the suffering of the Palestinians.
“In view of the photos from Israel, the question must be asked: What can one actually believe about what one sees in the Gaza photos by photographers like Hassan Eslaiah? In addition, the man also worked as a stringer for CNN and the New York Times – i.e. as an informant, as a journalistic source on site. After the scandal, the question arises: Which images from Gaza can we still believe?”
A more alarming question is: What can we believe at all from “reports” published by CNN, The New York Times, and other left-wing mass media outlets?
Dershowitz Takes On Obama
Fox Business News wrote on November 10:
“Expressing outrage over former President Barack Obama’s call for an end to Israeli ‘occupation,’ Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz expanded on why he’s never talking to the Democratic president again. ‘I think he always had a deep hatred of Israel in his heart. He hid it very well… He’s never been supportive of Israel. And finally, his true feelings have come out now that he’s no longer president and doesn’t have to be elected… He has contributed enormously to the problem because he is respected among young people. And if he says the occupation is unbearable and that anything can be done to stop it, he is encouraging people to engage in their antisemitic, anti-Israel and anti-American attitudes. He should be ashamed of himself. He should apologize, but he won’t.’
“Dershowitz’s commentary comes after he claimed Thursday that any relationship with Obama is ‘over’ following the 44th president’s onstage statements about the Israel-Hamas war… The Harvard professor on Friday accused Obama of lying ‘through his teeth’ about what the former president called an ‘unbearable’ occupation of Gaza. ‘To compare those disputed claims with the rapes, beheadings, burnings, kidnappings, it’s just obscene and despicable,’ Dershowitz said. ‘And what it does is it lends support to those students basically, who are saying, ‘Well, what Hamas really did was not so bad… It was in response to the occupation… If Hamas is not stopped in its tracks from doing the terrorist acts, they will bring them to the United States.’”
Respect for Dershowitz who exposes Obama for what he really is and believes.
A Colossal Joke…
Breitbart wrote on November 12:
“… the Biden administration’s official position went from pro-Israel to functionally pro-Hamas in a matter of days… This is all appalling, if not entirely unexpected… as usual, there is method to his madness… Biden knows shifting to focus to Islamophobia at this particular moment has little potential to succeed, at least in the traditional sense. So, he resorted to yet another tried and true tactic: offload his toughest battles to… Kamala Harris. Biden has also tasked Harris with the broken border and Artificial Intelligence…
“This is clearly sabotage. Harris cannot win on these issues… Effectually, he is keeping Harris in her place so that she’ll never surpass him politically… While Biden assigned her another impossible mission (solving Islamophobia), her husband, longtime entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff, was absurdly tasked with the leading efforts to confront antisemitism…
“It’s all a colossal joke…”
Massive Support for Israel?
JTA wrote on November 14:
“Organizers of a pro-Israel rally at the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday claimed that 290,000 people showed up for the event, making it one of the largest gatherings of Jews in U.S. history at a time when an ongoing war in Gaza has sharply divided public opinion around the world. An additional 250,000 people watched the event through a live stream, organizers added…
“In more than three hours of speeches on Tuesday, a range of politicians, actors, musicians, activists and U.S. college students presented a strong front in support of Israel and spoke about the rise of antisemitism around the world since Hamas’ attacks on Oct. 7 and Israel’s subsequent war in Gaza. Many speakers also demanded the safe release of the more than 200 hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza.
“… subtle differences in messaging… emerged from the prominent Democrats and Republicans who spoke, and also between the Biden administration and Israel.
“Mike Johnson, the newly installed Republican speaker of the House, said the United States would reject widespread calls for a ceasefire. ‘The calls for a ceasefire are outrageous,’ he said to loud cheers. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, both New York Democrats, did not mention a ceasefire. The Biden administration… differs with Israel on the degree to which there should be pauses in fighting to bring humanitarian assistance into Gaza.
“Biden is under intense pressure from a number of congressional progressives as well as some staffers in the State Department and elsewhere to force Israel to declare a ceasefire.
“… It was not clear why Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, was unable to attend…
“An array of Jewish organizations across the political spectrum attended the event. The inclusion of some of the more right-wing speakers, including Johnson and Pastor John Hagee — the head of the influential Christians United for Israel group who is an opponent of LGBTQ rights — caused controversy before the rally…
“But several speakers, including liberal CNN analyst Van Jones, called for the protection of Palestinian lives while emphasizing Israel’s right to defend itself… Dr. Rochelle Ford, the president of Dillard University in New Orleans, a historically Black university, said it was time to ‘stand with Israel, and to stand with the Palestinians who suffer under Hamas’ cruel rule in Gaza.’”
It has been emphasized that at this point, a two-state solution would be an impossibility. And so, anti-Semitism and anger towards Israel will continue.
Judge Engoron’s Bias and Bizarre Behavior
Fox News wrote on November 10::
“The No. 3 House Republican leader is wading into the dramatic New York civil trial of former President Donald Trump, accusing the judge involved of exhibiting ‘bias’ and ‘bizarre behavior’ in the courtroom. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron on Friday morning in a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
“‘I write today to express my serious concerns about the inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance shown by Judge Arthur F. Engoron in New York’s lawsuit against President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Organization,’ Stefanik said in her letter. ‘This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial,’ the letter continued. ‘These serious concerns are exacerbated by the fact that the defendant is the leading candidate for President of the United States, and it appears the judicial system is being politicized to affect the outcome of the campaign,’ Stefanik wrote…
“‘Judge Engoron has gone on to gag and fine President Trump for merely criticizing Judge Engoron’s law clerk, which is core political speech protected by the First Amendment,’ Stefanik said. ‘If anyone in America must have the constitutional right to speak out against the judge, his staff, the witnesses, or the process, it’s a defendant going through a process he believes is politicized and weaponized against him… Judge Engoron’s bizarre and biased behavior is making New York’s judicial system a laughingstock.’”
Engoron’s unethical conduct and bias should be obvious to any objective observer. Whether the complaint will be successful in liberal New York ruled by Democrats is a different matter.
“Are the Feds Targeting (New York’s Mayor) Eric Adams Because He Criticized Joe Biden?”
The New York Post wrote on November 10:
“Seizing Mayor Adam’s phones and tablet on the street in public is the latest sign the feds aren’t simply investigating him: They’re out to inflict maximum embarrassment in a political vendetta, presumably in retribution for the noise he’s made about President Biden’s disastrous border policies.
“The mayor is easy to find, 24/7/365: What reason to ambush him publicly… except to humiliate him? And why else make sure his No. 1 press enemy, The New York Times, gets the story first?
“Mind you, this follows the opening raid in this investigation — which stormed the home of his top fund-raiser while Adams was in the air en route to Washington to press Biden on his failure to help the city bear the multibillion-dollar cost of caring for the illegal migrants the (president) is waving into the country.
“That one leaked to the Times first, too. And sources told The Post that timing was also intentional; the feds denied it — but of course they would…
“The mayor won’t appreciate us making this point, but this resembles the multiple prosecutions of ex-President Donald Trump: Even where Trump has crossed lines (e.g., in holding on to classified documents), the feds’ zealousness is all out of proportion in his case vs. other notorious violators of the same statutes, such as Hillary Clinton and Biden himself.
“Weaponizing the FBI and Justice Department for political purposes is a major threat to democracy, no matter the victim. Congress needs to start asking tough questions about the Adams case.”
What we are seeing in this country is not only a threat to democracy… it has reached the point, in many instances, of the conduct of an autocratic dictatorial banana republic.
Don’t Dismiss Kennedy
CNN wrote on November 12:
“There are few things you can be more certain of in life than a Democrat or a Republican winning a US presidential election. We don’t usually do third parties or independents in this country. Chances are Democrat Joe Biden or Republican Donald Trump will be elected a year from now.
“But it would be foolish to dismiss what the current polls are telling us: Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is polling higher than any independent or third-party candidate in a generation. He, along with other non-major-party candidates, has a real chance to affect the outcome of the 2024 election…
“Take a look at a recent [poll]: Kennedy hit 22% among registered voters… We don’t know where Kennedy will end up, obviously; however, his numbers in the swing states should be turning heads… Kennedy was in the high teens to upward of 25%…”
It does not appear that Kennedy would become President, but his influence on election results could be dramatic. It is also far from certain that Biden will ultimately be the Democratic nominee.
Trump: “Genie Is Out of the Box”
The Huffington Post wrote on November 10:
“Former President Donald Trump said that he would be justified in telling federal prosecutors to go after his political rivals if he wins the White House next year, suggesting it would simply be payback for Democrats doing the same to him. ‘What they’ve done is they’ve released the genie out of the box,’ Trump said in an interview…
“In response to a Univision question about his claims that the Justice Department and FBI had been ‘weaponized’ and whether he would do the same if put back in the Oval Office, Trump said: ‘It’s not unique but it’s unique for the United States. Yeah, if they do this — and they’ve already done it — but if they want to follow through on this, yeah, it could certainly happen in reverse.’…
“The Univision interview is not the first time Trump has said or hinted that he would try to use his official powers for revenge if he once again wins the White House… ‘I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed: I am your retribution,’ he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March…
“Trump has already started thinking about individuals he would like to see investigated or prosecuted if he wins another term, and… his associates are looking at potentially invoking the Insurrection Act on his first day in office, which would give him broad emergency powers. Among the targets on Trump’s list, according to the [Washington] Post, are former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former Attorney General William Barr, as well as retired Army Gen. Mark Milley, the former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
There would be many more targets, if it came to that.
Trump’s Alleged Immigration Plans
DNYUZ wrote on November 11:
“Former President Donald J. Trump is planning an extreme expansion of his first-term crackdown on immigration if he returns to power in 2025…
“Mr. Trump wants to revive his first-term border policies, including banning entry by people from certain Muslim-majority nations and reimposing a Covid 19-era policy of refusing asylum claims — though this time he would base that refusal on assertions that migrants carry other infectious diseases like tuberculosis.
“He plans to scour the country for unauthorized immigrants and deport people by the millions per year… Mr. Trump wants to build huge camps to detain people while their cases are processed and they await deportation flights…
“In a public reference to his plans, Mr. Trump told a crowd in Iowa in September: ‘Following the Eisenhower model, we will carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.’ The reference was to a 1954 campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants…
“In a second Trump presidency, the visas of foreign students who participated in anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian protests would be canceled. U.S. consular officials abroad will be directed to expand ideological screening of visa applicants to block people the Trump administration considers to have undesirable attitudes…
“Similarly, numerous people who have been allowed to live in the country temporarily for humanitarian reasons would also lose that status and be kicked out, including tens of thousands of the Afghans who were evacuated amid the 2021 Taliban takeover and allowed to enter the United States. Afghans holding special visas granted to people who helped U.S. forces would be revetted to see if they really did…
“Mr. Trump would try to end birthright citizenship for babies born in the United States to undocumented parents — by proclaiming that policy to be the new position of the government and by ordering agencies to cease issuing citizenship-affirming documents like Social Security cards and passports to them…
“In interviews with The New York Times, several Trump advisers gave the most expansive and detailed description yet of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda in a potential second term. In particular, Mr. Trump’s campaign referred questions for this article to Stephen Miller, an architect of Mr. Trump’s first-term immigration policies who remains close to him and is expected to serve in a senior role in a second administration… ‘Trump will unleash the vast arsenal of federal powers to implement the most spectacular migration crackdown,’ Mr. Miller said…
“Mr. Miller said Mr. Trump would try again to end DACA. [DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an Obama-era program that shields from deportation and grants work permits to people who were brought unlawfully to the United States as children.] And the 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court that blocked the last attempt no longer exists: A few months after the DACA ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and Mr. Trump replaced her with a sixth conservative, Justice Amy Coney Barrett…
“Mr. Miller said Mr. Trump would invoke Title 42, citing ‘severe strains of the flu, tuberculosis, scabies, other respiratory illnesses like R.S.V. and so on, or just a general issue of mass migration being a public health threat and conveying a variety of communicable diseases.’…
“… the Trump team plans to build ‘vast holding facilities that would function as staging centers’ for migrants waiting to be flown to other countries, Mr. Miller said. Such an undertaking would be fast-tracked… the new camps would likely be built ‘on open land in Texas near the border’… ‘Bottom line,’ he said, ‘President Trump will do whatever it takes.’”
The Daily Mail added on November 12:
“It has been revealed that Trump would expand his first-term immigration crackdown… if he is re-elected in 2024…
“To aid US Immigration and Customs Enforcement in sweeping roundups of undocumented people, Trump would reassign federal agents and deputize local police and National Guard troops volunteered by Republican-run states…
“To underwrite the massive operation if Congress refused, Trump would redirect Pentagon funds as he did with his border wall in his first term… ‘We’ll stop the invasion on our southern border and begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history,‘ Trump said on Saturday…”
If all of this is true, then Trump’s immigration plans are cause for great concern. That right-wing radical Stephen Miller is one of his major immigration advisors, as he had been before, does not help the situation at all. Miller also pleaded in the past for the end of chain immigration (children applying for US residency for their parents). He has been described as an “immigration hypocrite” by his uncle, stating that Stephen Miller supports policies that would have condemned his own Jewish family to death if they had been enacted a century ago. Miller’s maternal uncle, David Glosser, described how Miller’s great-great-grandfather Wolf-Leib Glosser fled the Belarusian shtetl of Antopol, arriving in the United States in 1903, “with $8 to his name.” “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, who is an educated man and well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country,” Glosser said in 2018. (Compare for example “The Times of Israel,” dated August 13, 2018.)
Germany’s Failed Asylum Policy
Focus wrote on November 12:
“The heated situation in the Middle East conflict is reflected in the Berlin facilities of the Arche children’s and youth welfare organization… Arche spokesman Wolfgang Büscher has experienced the hatred of Muslim young people first-hand over the past few days…
“‘First we cut the throats of the Jews, then the gays and finally the Christians! ‘ This is what young people said on site, writes the Bild newspaper. Büscher confirms threats of this kind…
“The radicalization has been evident for years. But the integration problems with Muslim children and young people in the aid facility have apparently not yet become as clear as they have been since the Hamas attack… Across Germany, the Arche looks every day after up to 7,000 children and young people from socially disadvantaged families in more than 30 facilities. The adolescents receive free lunch, help with homework and more. Between 60 and 70 percent of older people are of Arab origin. In Hellersdorf, where more than 12,000 young people are looked after, around half are Muslim.
“Most of the Muslims living in East Berlin have come to Berlin since the major refugee movement from Syria in 2015, says Büscher. The integration there has apparently borne little fruit… Instead of distributing the refugees throughout the city, they would be concentrated in hot spots. Criminal clans and religious extremists tried to reach these children and young people…
“The schools’ concerns about the charged atmosphere among parts of the student body are immense…”
Germany is slowly becoming aware of its disastrous immigration and integration policy, basically instituted by Angela Merkel.
More Trouble for Germany’s Government
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 15:
“Germany’s highest court has ruled that the government’s 2021 reallocation of unused coronavirus pandemic credit is unconstitutional. The government’s climate action budget is now €60 billion short [money which will have to be found elsewhere.]
“In December 2021, the German coalition government agreed on an unusual budgetary maneuver that saw €60 billion ($64 billion) of untapped credit secured to help combat the effects of the pandemic reallocated to its so-called climate and transformation fund…
“A total of 197 conservative opposition lawmakers argued that the move effectively gave the government fiscal room to maneuver to which it wasn’t constitutionally entitled. They said this could set a precedent for Germany’s financing of future crises… Germany’s Federal Audit Office also described the budget maneuver as ‘constitutionally dubious,’ saying that the government did not provide adequate justification for the ‘misappropriation’ of money intended to combat the pandemic…
“The constitutional court agreed with those arguments…”
Shakeup in Britain… Cameron Back, Braverman Sacked
The Associated Press wrote on November 13:
“Former British Prime Minister David Cameron made a shock return to high office on Monday, becoming foreign secretary in a major shakeup of the Conservative government… Cameron, who led the U.K. government between 2010 and 2016, was appointed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in a Cabinet shuffle in which he sacked [Home Secretary Suella] Braverman… who drew anger for accusing police of being too lenient with pro-Palestinian protesters. She was replaced by James Cleverly, who had been foreign secretary.
“Cameron’s appointment came as a surprise to seasoned politics-watchers. It’s rare for a non-lawmaker to take a senior government post, and it has been decades since a former prime minister held a Cabinet job… Cameron’s appointment brings back to government a leader brought down by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Cameron called the 2016 EU membership referendum, confident the country would vote to stay in the bloc. He resigned the day after voters opted to leave.
“Sunak was a strong backer of the winning ‘leave’ side in the referendum. Cameron’s return, and Braverman’s sacking, are likely to infuriate the Conservative Party’s right wing and inflame tensions in the party… Prominent right-wing lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg said sacking Braverman was ‘a mistake, because Suella understood what the British voter thought and was trying to do something about it.’… In a highly unusual attack on the police last week, Braverman said London’s police force was ignoring lawbreaking by ‘pro-Palestinian mobs.’ She described demonstrators calling for a cease-fire in Gaza as ‘hate marchers.’… Last week Braverman wrote an article for the Times of London in which she said police ‘play favorites when it comes to protesters’ and acted more leniently toward pro-Palestinian demonstrators and Black Lives Matter supporters than toward right-wing protesters or soccer hooligans. The article was not approved in advance by the prime minister’s office, as would usually be the case.
“…Braverman, a 43-year-old lawyer, has become a leader of the party’s populist wing by advocating ever-tougher curbs on migration… Last month she called migration a ‘hurricane’ that would bring ‘millions more immigrants to these shores, uncontrolled and unmanageable.’…
“Critics say Braverman has been building her profile to position herself for a party leadership contest that could come if the Conservatives lose power in an election expected next year. The bold changes are an attempt by Sunak to reset his faltering government. The Conservatives have been in power for 13 years, but opinion polls for months have put them 15 to 20 points behind the opposition Labour Party amid a stagnating economy, persistently high inflation, an overstretched health care system and a wave of public sector strikes…”
The Daily Mail added on November 13:
“Rishi Sunak is facing a revolt by the Tory right… after David Cameron made a shock comeback to the Cabinet…. [It is] a decision that sent an earthquake through Westminster,.. Just weeks ago Lord Cameron condemned Mr Sunak’s decision to downgrade the HS2 rail project. Incredulous Tory MPs, who deeply deeply distrust the peer after he headed the Remain campaign before quitting in the wake of the 2016 referendum, also slammed him for fostering closer relations with China as premier…
“Worryingly for the PM, a snap YouGov poll has found that just 24 per cent of Brits think the return of Lord Cameron is a good idea, compared to 38 per cent who fear it is a bad one… The stunning move triggered turmoil on Conservative WhatsApp groups…”
Military Conscription in Europe
Euro Weekly News wrote on November 10:
“With a war in Ukraine, the potential for more Middle Eastern countries to become embroiled in the latest Israel-Palestine fighting, a potential reigniting of conflict in Kosovo and an ever-growing threat from Russia and China, it looks like a European rethink on military conscription may be on the cards.
“Since the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and a shift to the liberal centre ground in European politics, many countries abandoned military conscription as an unnecessary and expensive measure. Out of the 29 European countries that are members of NATO, including Turkey, only six have kept up compulsory military service since 1993.
“Europe’s focus shifted away from defence in general, with the EU’s combined spending on defence between 1999 and 2021 increasing by only 20 per cent, in comparison to a 66 per cent increase by the US, a jaw-dropping 292 per cent increase by Russia and a truly staggering 592 per cent increase by China. Given those comparisons, it looks like the EU has taken its eye off the ball and become somewhat complacent that the long-term situation of peace and stability was rather more permanent than it’s proved to be.
“Looking at the countries with military conscription, one notable thing that stands out is their proximity to Russia. Finland, which of course suffered an invasion by Russia during the 1939 Winter War, has one of the highest rates of conscription in the world. Every year, around 27,000 conscripts are trained with 80 per cent of Finnish male citizens completing the service which can range between nine months and a year for unarmed service and six, nine months or a year for armed service. Penalties for evading military service in Finland are harsh with a penalty of 173 days in prison with no parole, minus any served days.
“Other Russian neighbours, Ukraine and Lithuania, reinstated compulsory military service after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. In the Ukraine, military service is compulsory for men aged 18 to 26 and in Lithuania for men aged 18 to 25. Latvia is reinstating compulsory military service from 2024 with all men aged 18 to 27 being required to undergo 11 months of service and in Estonia there’s compulsory military or governmental service for men aged between 18-27 for eight to 11 months.
“In the Nordic area, Norway brought back conscription in 2016 with all 18-year-olds in Norway of both genders having to present themselves for military service… Sweden started partial conscription in 2018 for both genders…
“Other European countries with conscription include Switzerland, where every male has to serve at least 245 days in the armed forces, Greece (12 months for men between 19 and 45), Austria (six months for men over the age of 18) and Denmark where every male over the age of 18 is subject to being called upon on the basis of a draw…
“Germany suspended military service in 2011, but it can be reintroduced if the Bundestag determines there is a need for defence. Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius, has led increasing calls to introduce compulsory military service again, saying ‘Abolishing it was a mistake and could demonstrate the importance of these institutions for the functioning of our society.’…
“Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister, Matteo Salvini, has opined on compulsory military service several times, believing that ‘a year of teaching the rules, good manners and duties would make good citizens.’…
“The UK ended conscription in 1960 and there has been no official discussion on reintroduction…
“Portugal has voluntary service for 18-30-year-olds who wish to participate and technically conscription is possible if there aren’t sufficient volunteers, however, there has been no discussion in the country on changing that position.
“Spain abolished conscription in 2001, retaining the right to mobilise citizens aged between 19-25 years in the event of a national emergency. However, like the UK and Portugal, does not appear to be considering any reinstating of conscription…”
Military conscription in all of Europe is coming, and this is really bad news for freedom-loving and peace-loving people.
Spiegel International wrote on November 10:
“Weeks after the terrorist attack in Israel pulled the world’s attention away from Kyiv’s plight, the situation in Ukraine is bleak… There has been little progress on the front, and only a massive increase in Western military aid could help. But it doesn’t appear that such aid will be forthcoming, particularly with a new war in the Middle East taking much of the West’s attention away from Ukraine. Indeed, it is even possible the United States will start reducing its support, and the European Union wouldn’t likely be able to make up for that shortfall…
“For Ukraine, the end to U.S. aid would be no less than a disaster. After around 600 days of war, the Ukrainian army is suffering from huge shortages. At the very top of Kyiv’s list of priorities are weapons for air defense… The German government is… the largest provider of military aid to Kyiv after the U.S. But that aid won’t be enough to deliver a win for Ukraine in the war. As German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has emphasized repeatedly, it may not even be enough to ensure that Ukraine doesn’t lose..
“Although the EU has pledged by far the largest sums of money to Ukraine, amounting to around 77 billion euros by the end of July, when it comes to purely military assistance, the U.S. is indispensable. Washington has already supplied Ukraine with around 42 billion euros worth of armaments, more than all EU member states combined. The EU, so far, has committed around 25 billion euros in military aid, with most of it coming from Germany.
“All experts agree that it would be impossible for the Europeans to compensate for the loss of U.S. military aid to Ukraine… Politicians and military officials don’t believe that Germany is in a position to expand its military aid to Ukraine. They say there’s nothing left to give from the German armed forces’ sparse stocks. Germany’s defense industry needs to produce faster…
“But what happens if the budget situation in Germany deteriorates – or Donald Trump becomes president again in the U.S.? Nobody in Berlin is particularly eager to speculate on such questions these days.
“At the EU level, no significant increase in spending for Ukraine is in sight…
“War weariness is also spreading within the EU, a development that Zelenskyy himself recently lamented in an interview. ‘The scariest thing is that part of the world got used to the war in Ukraine,’ the Ukrainian president told Time magazine. ‘Exhaustion with the war rolls along like a wave. You see it in the United States, in Europe.’
“… skepticism is particularly widespread in Germany. Nowhere were the responses to Ukraine more negative than in the country… But Ukraine skeptics in Germany don’t need to worry too much about Ukraine joining the EU anytime soon. That’s a long way off – as was shown in Brussels this week – if it ever takes place at all… To become an EU member state, a country must have stable institutions that safeguard democracy and rule of law. It must have a functioning economy, also in order to be able to withstand the competitive pressure within the EU internal market…
“The dispute over money could also act as a brake… if Ukraine became a member of the EU today, it would receive a net 18 to 19 billion euros from the EU budget each year. By comparison: Poland, which is by far the largest net recipient of EU funds in absolute terms, received just under 12 billion euros net in 2022… Ukraine would be entitled to around 85 billion euros in agricultural funds alone from the EU’s seven-year financial framework.
“… the biggest obstacle to Ukraine’s accession must first be removed: the war with Russia. It is unclear how an end to that war will be defined. When the Russians are completely expelled from Ukraine’s territory? If there’s a peace treaty? Or will it suffice if the weapons have been silent long enough?
“These issues are also explosive for the EU because it has a mutual assistance clause similar to NATO’s: In the event of an armed attack on a member state, ‘the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power,’ Article 42 of the Treaty on the European Union states says. Unlike the NATO defense alliance, though, the EU’s promise of support is toothless, given that it is not backed by military power.
“‘Ukraine’s accession to NATO should happen in parallel to its accession to the EU,’ demands German Green Party politician Hofreiter. But to a degree even greater than for EU membership, it is only conceivable that Ukraine could join NATO once the war with Russia has ended. And who knows what will be left of Ukraine by then?”
Ukraine will become part of Russia again, no matter what the USA, Europe or Ukraine may want…
Asia Times wrote on November 11:
“There is a growing consensus that the West (meaning the United States with the help of the UK) wants to replace Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky… Either Zelensky will be forced to call a Presidential election, scheduled for next March, and then be replaced, or, if he resists, he will be replaced anyway in a Maidan-style upheaval.
“The US has pushed changes in Ukraine’s leadership before, and the current State Department undersecretary [Nuland]… was behind the earlier operation. A 2014 phone call between Nuland and the then-US ambassador to Kiev [Pyatt]… was intercepted and the content of the call was leaked to the press. The call is interesting because Nuland and Pyatt were selecting an ‘acceptable’ presidential candidate for Ukraine, and they enlisted then-Vice President Joe Biden to help. Note that along with Biden, Jake Sullivan, then and now Biden’s national security advisor, was also enlisted in selecting Ukraine’s next President…
“Washington has let it be known through controlled leaks that its carefully orchestrated plan for Ukraine’s counter-offensive was not followed by Zelensky…
“Zelensky has a second problem, which… has damaged his relationship with [America and Britain]. That problem is the growing perception that Ukraine is losing the war… In Washington’s view the best thing to do is to negotiate a deal with the Russians… If there are no negotiations, inevitably Ukraine will fail militarily… However, Zelensky is against any negotiation with Russia and is demanding that all Russian forces leave Ukraine and that Russian ‘war criminals’ be brought to trial…
“Zelensky… is not going to volunteer to quit, so the problem of how to get him to step aside is unresolved. Even more daunting, holding presidential elections in March may be too late to save Ukraine.”
Whether these reported concerns and alleged attempts to replace Zelensky are true will have to be seen.
Transgender People To Be Included in Catholic Church’s Practices
Glad.org wrote on November 9:
“The Vatican has announced sweeping new policies welcoming transgender people in the church’s sacramental life, further reflecting Pope Francis’ pastoral focus on LGBTQ people.
“In October, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández signed a statement, with the approval of Pope Francis, affirming that transgender people can be baptized, become official godparents, and act as a witness for weddings in the Catholic faith. “
AFP added on November 11:
“LGBTQ rights campaigners welcomed a Vatican statement that transgender people can be baptised as a step towards a more inclusive Catholic Church, but denounced caveats that provide cover to those who object.
“In a document published on Wednesday, the powerful Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the main departments that manages the affairs of the Holy See, said transgender believers can be baptised if it would not cause scandal or confusion. The document, written in response to questions from a Brazilian bishop and approved by Pope Francis, also raised no objections to baptism for the children of same-sex couples, either adopted or born through surrogacy. In reality, such baptisms already occur in different dioceses around the world…
“The Vatican statement said that transgender believers ‘can receive baptism, under the same conditions of other faithful, if there is no situation in which there is a risk of generating public scandal or uncertainty among the faithful’…
“‘It is definitely a step towards a more inclusive church and a reminder that transgender Catholics are not only people but Catholics too,’ US Jesuit priest James Martin, a well-known advocate for LGBTQ believers, told AFP… Martin… said that ‘there is, of course, a risk that some dioceses and parishes will continue to exclude them.’ But he said it was ‘difficult to see’ what the ‘scandal’ might be that precludes a baptism, adding: ‘Frankly, the bigger scandal would be to continue to exclude them from the life of the church.’”
The Catholic Church, under Pope Francis, is drifting more and more into absolutely ungodly behavior.
China’s Unconscionable Experiments
Science Alert wrote on November 10:
“Scientists in China have announced the birth of a primate like no other, with eyes that shined green and fingertips that glowed yellow – and those were just the observable features. Beneath the skin and deep within its genes, this creature was apparently even more remarkable.
“The lab-born male monkey was the product of an unprecedented experiment, which used the pluripotent stem cells of two genetically distinct fertilized eggs from the same monkey species to create one living and breathing long-tailed macaque… It survived for just ten days, which means the ongoing health of chimeric monkeys is still a problem to be solved.
“In a media conference, the lead author of the paper, geneticist Jing Cao from CAS, said that this was a basic scientific advance because it proves for the first time that rich non-human primate chimeras are possible.
“The field of chimeric animal research isn’t without a spectrum of ethical concerns…”
Man wants to play God. The outcome will be disastrous for all involved.
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.
Can you explain the sin of Achan in Joshua 7 and God’s subsequent punishment?
In Joshua 7, we are told that Israel lost their battle against the people of Ai, because God did not help them. The reason was that Achan had taken “from the accursed things” of Jericho. These “accursed” things were devoted to God and not to be used for personal pleasure, and as Joshua 6:18 states, the person taking those things would become accursed and make the camp of Israel a curse and trouble it. Taken from the accursed things constituted sin and the transgression of God’s covenant (Joshua 7:11). It constituted idolatry and theft from God (to whom those things had been devoted to be destroyed or placed in God’s treasury, compare Joshua 6:19).
As the story unfolds, Achan’s sin is revealed, and punishment is inflicted.
The nature and extent of the punishment has been the subject of much controversy.
Some claim it meant the execution of Achan and his family and all of his animals, as well as the destruction of his goods. If so, what would have been the reason?
Commentaries are divided when addressing the reason, and we will give examples below of the most common explanations.
The first line of thinking is that the children were innocent, but had to be killed anyhow, to serve a bigger purpose.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary stated:
“Achan took some of the spoil of Jericho. The love of the world is that root of bitterness… We should take heed of sin ourselves, lest by it many be defiled or disquieted, Hebrews 12:15; and take heed of having fellowship with sinners, lest we share their guilt. It concerns us to watch over one another to prevent sin, because others’ sins may be to our damage…”
The Pulpit Commentary pointed out:
“Commentators have largely discussed the question how the sin of Achan could be held to extend to the whole people. But it seems sufficient to reply by pointing out the organic unity of the Israelitish nation. They were then, as Christians are now, the Church of the living God. And if one single member of the community violated the laws which God imposed on them, the whole body was liable for his sin, until it had purged itself by a public act of restitution (see Deuteronomy 21:1-8). So… Paul regards the Corinthian Church as polluted by the presence of one single offender, until he was publicly expelled from its communion (see 1 Corinthians 5:2, 6, 7).”
It should be pointed out, however, that in regard to the sin committed by the “single offender” in Corinth, the whole congregation knew about it and refused to act; in fact, they had become proud of their “tolerance” (see especially 1 Corinthians 5:2, 6).
Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers wrote, in commenting on Joshua 7:24-25:
“And his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had.—All were evidently destroyed together… For any other sin but this, Achan must have suffered alone. ‘The children shall not be put to death for the fathers.’ But in this case, warning had been given that the man who took of the accursed thing, or chêrern, would be an accursed thing like it, if he brought it into his house (Deuteronomy 7:26), and would make the camp of Israel chêrem also… and thus Achan’s whole establishment was destroyed as though it had become part of Jericho. It is not necessary to assert that the family of Achan were accomplices. His cattle were not so, and yet they were destroyed. See also 1 Chronicles 2:7, where his line is not continued. Observe also the incidental reference to the fact in Joshua 22:20. ‘That man perished not alone in his iniquity.’
“The severity of the punishment must be estimated by the relation of Achan’s crime to the whole plan of the conquest of Canaan. If the destruction of the Canaanites was indeed the execution of the Divine vengeance, it must be kept entirely clear of all baser motives, lest men should say that Jehovah gave His people license to deal with the Canaanites as it seemed best for themselves. The punishment of Saul for taking the spoil of Amalek (1 Samuel 15), and the repeated statement of the Book of Esther that the Jews who stood for their lives and slew their enemies, the supporters of Haman’s project, laid not their hands on the prey, are further illustrations of the same principle. The gratification of human passions may not be mingled with the execution of the vengeance of God…”
This last comment presupposes that the children were innocent, but had to be killed anyhow so that others could not question God’s righteousness.
The Benson Commentary wrote:
“Why did God punish the whole society for this one man’s sin? All of them were punished for their own sins, whereof each had a sufficient proportion; but God took this occasion to inflict the punishment upon the society. 1st, Because divers of them might be guilty of this sin, either by coveting to do what he actually did, or by concealing his fault, which, it is probable, could not be unknown to others, or by not sorrowing for it, and endeavouring to purge themselves from it: 2d, To make sin the more hateful, as being the cause of such dreadful judgments: and, 3d, To oblige all the members of every society to be more circumspect in ordering their own actions, and more diligent to prevent the miscarriage of their brethren.”
This commentary allows at least for the possibility that the children were not innocent. It also repeats the idea that they should have paid closer attention to what their father was doing.
And so, some commentaries follow a second line of thinking, concluding that the children were not innocent, but participants in their father’s sin.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary wrote::
“His sons and daughters were put to death with him. It is probable that they helped to hide the things; they must have known of them.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible agreed, stating:
“It would appear too that Achan’s family must have been accomplices in his sin; for the stolen spoil could hardly have been concealed in his tent without their being privy thereto.”
Even apart from active participation, the Bible also commanded witnesses to report the crimes they were aware of. We read in Leviticus 5:1:
“If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter–if he does not tell it, he bears guilt.”
Also note Proverbs 29:24:
“Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”
As we have seen, all commentaries quoted above concluded that Achan’s children were executed.
However, other commentaries pursue a third line of thinking and feel that it is possible that only Achan was executed, and not his family.
The Benson Commentary wrote:
“It is very probable, Achan being an old man, that his children were grown up, and the things which he had stolen being buried in the midst of his tent, it is likely they were conscious of the fact, as the Jewish doctors affirm they were; and if they were not accomplices in his crime, yet, at least, they concealed it. This is said, on the supposition that they were stoned and burned. But, according to the LXX., who say nothing of his children, only he was put to death. And it is not necessary to understand even the Hebrew text as affirming any thing further. It says, all Israel stoned him with stones, without mentioning his family.
“And what it afterward adds, And burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones, may be understood of the oxen, and asses, and sheep which belonged to Achan, and which God willed to be destroyed, together with his tent, and other effects, to excite a greater horror of his crime. For the brute creatures, though not capable of sin, nor of punishment, properly so called, yet, as they were made for man’s use, so they may be justly destroyed for man’s good. And as they are daily killed for our bodily food, it surely cannot seem strange that they should sometimes be killed for the instruction of our minds, that we may hereby learn the contagious nature of sin, which involves innocent creatures in its destructive effects.”
It should also be pointed out that the killing of the animals was not a willful and deliberate act by the people, but it was in pursuance of God’s explicit commandment.
The Jamieson, Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary stated:
“As the divine law expressly forbade the children to be put to death for their father’s sins (Deuteronomy 24:16), the conveyance of Achan’s ‘sons and daughters’ to the place of execution might be only as spectators, that they might take warning by the parental fate; or, if they shared his punishment (Joshua 22:20), they had probably been accomplices in his crime, and, indeed, he could scarcely have dug a hole within his tent without his family being aware of it.”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible wrote:
“… and his sons and his daughters; who… were not brought forth to be put to death, only to be spectators of the sentence of judgment, and the execution of it, that they might keep themselves from such evil things; though, as Achan may be supposed to be a man in years, being but the fourth generation from Judah; his sons and daughters were grown up in all probability, and might be accessories in this affair; and so, as some Jewish writers remark, were worthy of death, because they saw and knew what was done, and were silent and did not declare it; and it seems by what is said [in] Joshua 22:20, that they died as well as Achan, since it is there said, ‘that man perished not alone in his iniquity’; though it may be interpreted of his substance, his cattle, perishing with him; and indeed from Joshua 7:25, it seems as if none were stoned but himself, that is, of his family; no mention is made of his wife, who, if he had any,… knew nothing of the matter, it being hid from her…
“… ‘and all Israel stoned him with stones’; hence some gather, that only Achan himself suffered death, and not his sons and daughters; ‘and burnt them with fire’ after they had stoned them with stones; which the Jewish commentators understand of his oxen, asses, and sheep… likewise his tent, and household goods, the Babylonish garment, gold and silver, were burnt, and he himself also.”
It was also pointed out by the Keil and Delitzsch Bible Commentary on the Old Testament that this clause in verse 25 “does not refer to the stoning as a capital punishment, but to the casting of stones upon the bodies after they were dead and had been burned, for the purpose of erecting a heap of stones upon them as a memorial of the disgrace.” Compare Joshua 8:29; 2 Samuel 18:17.
It should be noted, however, that God killed David’s son because of David’s sin of adultery and murder, even though the child was innocent. God gave the reason in 2 Samuel 12:14: “…because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” But this was an extraordinary circumstance and did not reflect the rule that a child would not die for the sin of his father.
In fact, the “discussion” between God and Abraham regarding the destruction of Sodom is quite illuminating on this point. When God announced to Abraham that He would destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham responded:
“‘Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’” (Genesis 18:23-25). God told him that He would not destroy Sodom if ten righteous people would be found there, but as it turned out, not even ten righteous persons dwelled in Sodom. Still, God delivered righteous Lot (and even his less righteous wife and daughters), showing that He would not destroy the righteous with the wicked.
We also read that many in Israel died because of David’s sin of numbering the army, but they were guilty too. It says that God’s anger was aroused against Israel (2 Samuel 24:1).
As was pointed out above, Achan did not perish alone in his iniquity (Joshua 22:20), but this does not have to refer to his family, but it might refer to all of Israel because they lost their battle at Ai, when about 36 men died (Joshua 7:5). In fact, this conclusion is warranted based on the context of Joshua 22 which contains a warning for the congregation of Israel.
Also, in the rebellion of Korah (compare Numbers 16), not all his family members died, as subsequently, some of the sons of Korah wrote many psalms (compare Psalm 42; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 84; 85; 87; and 88). This means that they were not punished for the sin of their father. This is remarkable, as the wording is quite similar to the one used in the episode about Achan. Regarding Korah, we read:
“So they got away from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, with their wives, their sons, and their little children. And Moses said: ‘By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD.’ Now it came to pass, as he finished speaking all these words, that the ground split apart under them, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the men with Korah, with all their goods” (Numbers 16:27-32).
It says specifically in Numbers 26:11: “Nevertheless the children of Korah did not die.”
In Joshua 7:15, the warning that the one taken from the accursed things would be burnt, “he and all that he has,” does not have to refer to Achan’s family; it could very well refer to his possessions, such as his animals and other physical belongings.
Regarding animals, God would have destroyed the animals in Nineveh as well, if the people of Nineveh had not repented. Sometimes, He does this to show the gravity of man’s sins. Because of it, the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea will be destroyed (Hosea 4:3). We read that when God pours out the seven last plagues over this sinful earth, “every living creature in the sea” will die (Revelation 16:3). In Noah’s Flood, all the animals on land and in the air were killed, mostly because of man’s sins as “his wickedness was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5). Only those in the Ark survived.
This being said, it should be pointed out that the nature of animals may change and become wicked and hostile due to the influence of evil people, who in turn are being influenced by Satan the Devil. We read, for instance, that apparently due to the wickedness of man at the time of Noah (see again Genesis 6:5), animals had become corrupted too:
“The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth’” (Genesis 6:11-13).
Based on all the arguments presented herein, it appears doubtful that Achan’s children were executed with Achan. If they were, they would have had knowledge of Achan’s sin and would have done nothing about it, perhaps even agreeing with their father’s conduct and having become proud of their tolerance, as had been the case regarding the church in Corinth. It appears, however, that God required that Achan’s animals were to be killed and subsequently stoned and burned, to show the magnitude of Achan’s sin and the consequence not just for himself, but also for animals.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Is Ukraine Losing the War?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Many feel that Ukraine might be losing the war with Russia—especially if military aid from the USA would be decreased–and that urgent peace negotiations with Russia are inevitable. As Zelenskyy would be unwilling to negotiate with Russia, many push for change in Ukraine’s government. Will Ukraine ever become a member of the EU and NATO? What does the Bible say about the identity of the Ukrainian people and the future for both Russia and Ukraine?
“Verliert die Ukraine den Krieg?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program presented by Norbert Link. This program covers the same topic as presented above.
“Ehre geben und empfangen”, this Sabbath new German split sermon presented by Michael Link, is now posted. Title in English: “Giving and Receiving Honor.”
“Zeugnis geben ,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath in Germany by Jens Herrmann, is now posted. Title in English: “Give Testimony.”
“The Righteous and the Wicked,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The world we are in is filled with wickedness, and “As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.’” Are there any exceptions—and where does that leave each one of us?
“Be Strong,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Throughout the Bible we find the encouraging admonition to be strong. From whom can we find strength? And once found, what are we accountable to do with the strength we put to work in our lives?
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
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom