|Comments on News and Prophecy, December 2, 2023 / Choices, Consequences, Cause and Effect
|You Must Stay Strong…
|This Week in the News
|UFOs—Aliens, Angels or Demons?
|Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
Comments on News and Prophecy, December 2, 2023 / Choices, Consequences, Cause and Effect
On December 2, 2023, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy, December 2, 2023,” and Rene Messier will present the sermon, titled, “Choices, Consequences, Cause and Effect”.
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.
You Must Stay Strong…
by Thilo Hanstein
These words, “You have to stay strong”, can easily be uttered by outsiders, when the affected person is clearly suffering under certain circumstances.
One might try to strengthen the other person with these words, but whether that alone will help is debatable. And sometimes, I come across people who simply ask, “How are you?” as they walk by, and without paying any attention to my response, they either do not reply at all or just say, “…then take care”.
The world has become very short-lived in its actions, and nobody seems to have any honest care for their neighbor. Society in my neighborhood has changed a lot for the worse, and I would even say that this applies to the whole world.
Not only have people become very superficial and almost everyone thinks only of themselves, but also antisemitism has returned in the most brutal way all over the world. I would argue that antisemitism never went away, it just, for a brief period, didn’t manifest itself to the outside world, and sadly, this condition only lasted for a generation. The words, “We must never forget,” are of no special value.
For true Christians, it is not difficult to recognize that this world is ruled by none other than Satan, who is also called the Devil, the dragon, and the old serpent.
Personally, I have never heard so many war reports in my entire life as these days, and I have to admit that it makes me, as well as certainly others, sad, angry and worried, when I think about it or see or hear about it in the media – but then again, I am also at the same time hopeful in anticipation of the coming of Christ, that it will happen soon after all. It’s all like a merry-go-round of emotions.
And then I ask myself: “Am I even ready for the coming of Christ? And how will I then stand before Him? Will I even be worthy before Him? Will I fail miserably by then or will I remain strong in this last dramatic time?”
We could very well face terrible wars, persecution, betrayal of our own brothers and sisters, and even persecution from our own family. And we must constantly remind ourselves that Jesus Christ pointed out the following to us in the Bible:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).
These are precisely the times we are currently experiencing; nevertheless, it is not yet the end, but the beginning of sorrows. And then, Christ said:
“‘Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:9-13).
This message from Christ does not seem to point to a rosy future. One factor or another can cause somebody to lose their balance completely, so they may run out of inner strength and fail miserably. Many will have to go through a terrible and merciless tribulation after falling away from the Truth. Some will be able to come out of this tribulation, as Christ tells us; but others may indeed fail and even end up fighting a hateful and murderous battle against God until their ultimate bitter destruction.
We read in Revelation 7:4-9 that of all the tribes of Israel, 144,000 will come out of this tribulation and will be sealed, as well as a great multitude which no one could number. But then we also read in Revelation 16:9-11 about people filled with hate who blaspheme God despite great plagues and pain.
It must be absolutely clear to us: “But he who endures [and stays strong] to the end shall be saved.”
But we cannot do this by our own strength, as we have already learned from the Word of God. We need God’s power, His help and strength. This can only be achieved through prayer, Bible study and thinking about what we have read, occasional fasting and strong faith without any doubts. And we must be there with and for each other, for we all have one faith, one hope, one confidence, one love, one Lord, one God and one Spirit of power in us.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote the following words, which also have great significance for us today:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit [which] dwells in us” (2 Timothy 1:7-14).
All in all, this means for each and every one of us: “You must stay strong!”
Initial translation: Daniel Blasinger
by Norbert Link
We begin with further developments in the Middle East in light of the ill-advised Israel-Hamas deal (please view in this regard our previous StandingWatch program, titled, “The Foolish Hamas-Israel Deal—and What It Means!”), while placing special emphasis on the lies of the Palestinians and Hamas; the perception that America and President Biden are at fault for Israel’s “dilemma”; the fear that America will backstab Israel; and the feeling that Biden is “sound asleep” and lacking a clear view of reality, while the Middle East is burning. Please view our most recent StandingWatch program, titled, “Will There Ever Be a Two-State Solution?”
We continue with an outlandish request by Special Counsel Jack Smith, totally violating the rights of millions of American citizens; speak on truly appalling laws and court decisions in New York State, placing the freedom of its citizens in the unscrupulous hands of the government; and we report on unparalleled violence in Dublin, Ireland, with completely opposed reports as to its cause.
We point out Germany’s ever-increasing debacle due to a completely incompetent and out-of-touch “leadership”; publish an interesting, but controversial perspective on the so-called “shift to the right that actually isn’t one at all”; and conclude with the dubious position of the pope and the Vatican regarding their “Jewish problem” and the Catholic Church’s persecution of its critics.
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
Hamas Is Rejoicing
The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal wrote on November 21:
“The deal again shows the moral gulf between the two sides. Hamas kidnapped Israeli children as young as nine months to use as hostages and spring its jihadists who have been arrested or convicted in a fair trial for their crimes. Israel takes military risks to save its citizens. Hamas risks Palestinian civilians to save itself.
“Even as Israelis rejoice for the women and children who will return home, they know Hamas is rejoicing too. Its war crimes have been rewarded. It will steal fuel from its own people to power its terror tunnels. Its shattered northern Gaza brigades will use the cease-fire to regroup, escape from weak positions and set more ambushes for Israeli troops. Israel’s leaders made this deal knowing that their soldiers will pay for it…
“Expect Hamas to drag out the cease-fire in hopes of making it permanent. Dribbling out 10 hostages a day, Hamas could stall for a few weeks. Or what if it claims after day two that Israel has broken the deal and hostage releases will continue only after Israel holds off for another few days? What if it pulls that trick over and over?
“The domestic and international picture will become more complicated for Israel. At home a nation united will be divided over how long to wait. Abroad, the pressure to continue the cease-fire indefinitely will grow, and Israel can expect harsher criticism when it resumes fighting. Israelis know all this, but they are willing to accept the costs to retrieve the captives.
“They are also unwavering in their determination to overthrow Hamas. The Israeli cabinet says fighting will resume immediately once the cease-fire is up…
“Much depends on the Biden Administration. Complaints from the Democratic left are no reason to let the Hamas jihadists who carried out the Oct. 7 massacre stay in power in Gaza. President Biden has said Hamas needs to be destroyed. If he means it, he will back Israel’s right to resume fighting and finish the job after hostages are released.”
The Biden Administration has made its position crystal clear. Note the next article.
No More American Support for Israel?
Israel Today wrote on November 22:
“The White House says it won’t support Israel’s plan to expand its operations into the south of the Gaza Strip unless it shows it will protect the Palestinian civilians there.
“In a Tuesday press call, US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said the United States won’t support Israel ‘moving forward with operations in the south absent a clearly articulated plan for how they’re going to protect the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people’ there.”
The Bible says that finally, America—and Britain—will be against Israel. Frictions are already materializing at this point. See the next article.
Israel’s Dilemma Is America’s Fault
Israel Today wrote on November 24:
“As if Israelis weren’t traumatized enough by the depraved Hamas pogrom on Oct. 7, the hostage deal concluded this week cruelly deepened their agony… Israel is no longer in control of events. At a stroke, it has yielded control of the war to Gaza’s Hamas leader… As the former US National Security Advisor John Bolton declared: ‘… Hamas will take advantage of that to reposition or extricate some of its leaders, move the hostages around and otherwise prepare for the next stage of combat’…
“Hamas is an enemy of mankind that the world has never seen before… the deal makes an eventual victory for Hamas more likely. Having agreed to this ceasefire, Israel will find itself under increasing pressure from America and the West for additional and longer ceasefires ‘to get more of the hostages out.’
“Israel is in this terrible situation principally because of America. The fingerprints of the Iranian regime were all over the Oct. 7 pogrom. Iran is also behind the attacks on Israel currently being mounted from Syria and Lebanon. Yet it was the Obama and Biden administrations whose appeasement of Iran empowered it to fund, arm, train and direct proxy armies, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Syrian militias bent upon Israel’s destruction.
“It is the Biden administration that, five weeks after the Hamas pogrom, funneled a further $10 billion in sanctions relief into Tehran’s coffers. It is the Biden administration that forced Israel to make the deal with the hostages. It is the Biden administration that is now pressuring Israel not to continue its war in the south of Gaza where it intends to finish off Hamas… America has been leveraging its military support for Israel to force it to run the war in accordance with the Biden administration’s aims: to continue to appease Iran and to create a state of Palestine. Both those aims pose a mortal threat to Israel’s security and existence…
“Israel’s terrible dilemma over the hostages is reminiscent of the unspeakable choices forced upon the Jewish councils who administered the ghettos of Europe during the Holocaust, and whom the Nazis forced to provide lists of people to deport to the death camps or risk the murder of everyone in the ghetto…”
These are strong words.
They Lie About Everything
Newsmax wrote on November 24:
“Caroline Glick, who was a member of Israel’s negotiations team in the 1990s peace talks with then-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, told Newsmax on Friday that the current talks with Hamas aren’t the same, as the situation now involves ‘sadistic terrorists’ who are holding almost 240 hostages, including babies and their parents. ‘The negotiations here are the sort of negotiations that a woman who’s being raped would have with a terrorist who’s holding a gun to the head of her child while she’s being raped,’ Glick said…
“Glick… added that when she was involved in the ‘so-called peace talks’ with Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization, ‘they lied to us about everything.’ ‘Every single one of the commitments they accepted on themselves in the framework of all of the peace treatments or agreements that we signed with them over a period of six or seven years, they didn’t abide by any of their obligations to Israel, so they were operating in bad faith but smiling at that time,’ she said. ‘Now things have deteriorated significantly… The minute that you start negotiating with terrorists you basically become their hostages.’
“And even with the cease-fire, Israel will need to return to the war as quickly as possible, said Glick. ‘These monsters simply cannot be allowed to continue to exist,’ she said. ‘The greatest fear here is that [with] the cease-fire that we have, we’re going to face massive and intense pressure from the Biden administration not to go back and finish the job that we started.’’
The New York Post Editorial Board wrote on November 24:
“Hamas’ first hostage release has confirmed some very telling facts about the terrorists: 1) They’re ruthless liars; 2) they’ll victimize anyone they can, and 3) they think they can get America to break with Israel.
“One of those released Friday was… a woman whom Palestinian Islamic Jihad (the No. 2 terror group based in Gaza) repeatedly announced days ago was killed by an Israeli airstrike. That is, PIJ reported her as dead for pure propaganda purposes — to make the world think the Israeli government was killing hostages…
“It’s no surprise that terrorists lie — but US and world media keep giving Hamas’ claims equal footing with anything Israel’s government says, even when it comes to such long-established and widely reported facts as the way Hamas had major terror bases around and even in the al-Shifa hospital…
“Hamas and PIJ see Biden administration support for Israel as soft: They want it to make Israel agree to a ‘permanent’ cease-fire, or at least to greatly extend this one so they can resupply as much as possible from all the humanitarian aid flowing into Gaza… If the cease-fire ends with Americans still held hostage, we guarantee the terrorists will soon claim the Israelis have killed one of them — and if that doesn’t work, they’ll kill an innocent themselves to produce the ‘proof.’”
Hamas is a terrorist group of murderers and liars. Their lying has been seen throughout this recent struggle to support their evil cause. Satan is called a murderer and the father of lies (John 8:44). One does not negotiate with the Devil! And the Palestinians are by no means innocent. Note the next article.
Biden Sound Asleep
Israel Today wrote on November 23:
“One of the reasons why Palestinian leaders refuse to condemn Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre is because they know that many Palestinians support the atrocities committed by the Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group… A public opinion poll published on Nov. 14 showed that 75% of Palestinians support Hamas’s murder spree, including rape and beheadings, as opposed to only 13% who disapprove…
“The poll also showed that 68% of the Palestinians in the West Bank said they ‘extremely support’ the butchering of Israelis, while another 14.8% said they ‘somewhat’ support it. In total, 87.7% of the Palestinians in the West Bank have a positive sentiment toward Hamas. Only 10.2% of the Palestinians living in the West Bank have a negative sentiment toward Hamas.
“Another, but less surprising, result of the poll is that 80% of Palestinians reject both the ‘one-state’ and ‘two-state’ solutions, and instead demand all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea—in short, the entire State of Israel.
“The findings of the poll shatter the claim made by US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that Hamas is not representative of most Palestinians. Sadly, the results show, without doubt, that the Biden administration is completely clueless about the anti-Israel sentiment among a large majority of the Palestinians. That a majority of Palestinians want to replace Israel with an Iran-backed terror state also shows that the Biden administration and most European governments are engaging in extreme self-deception when they talk about the need to promote a ‘two-state solution.’…
“Hamas named its massacre ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,’ presumably in response to peaceful and routine visits by Jews to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which are permitted, by mutual agreement, to open-air areas that are outside of the mosque. Hamas claimed that the name of the massacre came in response to supposed ‘Israeli violations in the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.’ There were, of course, no ‘violations’ by Jews…
“‘The [Israeli] enemy desecrated the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dared to visit prophet Mohammed’s place of worship,’ said Hamas arch-terrorist Mohammed Deif, one of the masterminds of the Oct. 7 massacre. Addressing Palestinians, he added: ‘Start marching now toward Palestine, and do not let borders or restrictions deprive you of the honor of jihad [holy war] and participating in the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.’
“… the only solution most Palestinians are willing to accept is one that leads to the murder of all Jews and the destruction of Israel. It remains to be seen whether the latest Palestinian slaughter of Jews serves to awaken the Biden administration and the Europeans to this inconvenient, uncomfortable fact.”
Sadly, it won’t. And so, the Western propaganda that Palestinians want a two-state solution is nothing more than fake news and a hoax. They want the total destruction of Israel.
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 30:
“Henry Kissinger… was born on May 27, 1923, the son of Louis, a Jewish high school teacher, and Paula Kissinger, in the Bavarian city of Fürth. In 1938, when Kissinger was 15, he emigrated to the United States with his parents to escape the persecution of Jews by the Nazis…
“After the construction of the Berlin Wall, Kissinger advised then-President John F. Kennedy against military retaliation. In 1968, President Richard Nixon named him national security adviser. Four years later, in 1973, Kissinger became secretary of state. Kissinger remained in that office after Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal…
“In 1973, Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor that was, in light of the US role in the Vietnam War, highly controversial…
“… he not only recognized China’s rise to becoming a great power early on and consequently helped engineer a new US relationship with the People’s Republic, he also identified the potential for peace that arose after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, he played a supporting role as an adviser on German reunification.
“… Following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, and US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Kissinger warned of a rupture in the trans-Atlantic partnership… Kissinger has repeatedly made the case for a strong Europe. In 2012, during the eurozone crisis, he warned of the threat of Europe falling back into the old nation-state system…
“In one of his final public interviews, shortly after the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, he told Welt TV that Germany had let in too many immigrants, warning that the conflict could spark a regional conflagration….”
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Incredible Demands and Witch Hunt of the American People
Breitbart wrote on November 29:
“Special Counsel Jack Smith, in a search warrant sent to X, formerly Twitter, requested a vast swathe of information about the account of former President Donald J. Trump, as well as information on the millions of accounts that interacted with it — even those that liked a tweet by Trump in the timeframe of October 2020 to January 2021.
“The heavily redacted search warrant requests a list of all users who liked or retweeted posts from Trump between October 2020 and January 2021, including ‘all associated logs and metadata,’ which could cover location data. This extraordinarily expansive request would result in data on millions of American users being turned over to the DOJ.
“X/Twitter initially delayed complying with the request,… resulting in a $350,000 fine levied against the company.
“The warrant also requests all IP addresses associated with Trump’s account, and a list of all devices used to log in to it. This means that any staffer or aide who logged into the account would have the information divulged to the special prosecutor.
“All information on Trump’s ‘connect’ and ‘notification’ tabs was requested, as well as all search history, blocks, mutes, and even drafted tweets.
“The warrant instructed X/Twitter not to notify Trump of the search order. The company attempted to overcome this in court, but failed…’
This is alarming and deeply upsetting. Such conduct by Smith and the court is worthy of a dictatorship such as Russia or China, but terribly unworthy of the USA. When will the American people wake up? Note the next article.
Daily Mail wrote on November 26:
“Donald Trump’s legal team filed a document Monday arguing the ex-president had a legitimate ‘good faith’ basis to question the results of the 2020 election results. The… filing also demanded government prosecutors to turn over communications between President Joe Biden and his family members with the Justice Department.
“Trump’s lawyers… claim in the filing that the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 [did not result from] any directions from President Trump.’ The defense made 59 requests including the identification of ‘informants and other undercover operatives‘ involved in the January 6 Capitol attack as well as information regarding security measures carried out that day….”
They could have also asked for all communication between Special Prosecutor Jack Smith and the Justice Department, the Biden Administration, the courts and other prosecutors, based on the appearance of conspiracy and lack of objectivity, but such request would surely be denied based on confidentiality, privilege and privacy. So, what happened to the privacy of those Americans whom Jack Smith is trying to persecute with his outlandish search warrant directed at Twitter/X?
At the same time, Breitbart reported on November 30:
“In an order Thursday, the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division for the Supreme Court of New York vacated an interim relief that blocked Justice Arthur Engoron’s initial gag on Trump, prohibiting him from making public statements about his law clerk, Allison Greenfield.“
The reputation of the judicial system is suffering more and more. Note the next article.
Soviet-Type Decision by NY State Supreme Court Appellate Division
LifeSiteNews wrote on November 24:
“The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division’s Fourth Judicial Department has reversed a lower court’s ruling against a regulation called Rule 2.13 allowing the government to involuntarily and indefinitely detain individuals for the purported sake of public health. ‘The language in the [regulation] makes it crystal clear that the DOH [Department of Health] can pull you from your home (and your life) and, with the force of police, hold you anywhere they deem appropriate, including “other residential or temporary housing,’” explained attorney Bobbie Anne Cox, who is representing Uniting NYS and state legislators. The regulation says ‘they don’t have to prove you are sick, they can hold you for however long they want, and there is no way for you to get out of lock up or lock down,’ unless a detained person obtains legal representation and sues.
“The lower court had ruled in July 2022 that the regulation was unconstitutional and lacking due process, but the state appealed that ruling. The Appellate Division then ruled unanimously on November 17 that the plaintiffs lacked standing because they hadn’t been forcibly quarantined. ‘The court seems to insinuate that the only person with the right to sue is someone who has been forcibly locked in their home against their will, or ripped from their home, taken from their loved ones, and thrown into a quarantine detention center, facility, institution, camp, etc…The court insinuates that apparently only that person would be injured,’ explained Cox.
“‘The idea that the State Health Department will lawfully quarantine a New Yorker against their will sounds Soviet,’ reacted state Sen. Mark Walczyk. “The Judiciary has a role to play in checking the Executive and I’m deeply disappointed the Appellate Division missed the opportunity to draw the line at tyranny…”
America is becoming more and more a dangerous autocratic dictatorship. What is happening in left-wing democratic New York State might soon be seen in other US States.
Extraordinary Violence in Dublin
Le Monde wrote on November 22:
“Thursday night’s violence in the Irish capital – which erupted after three children were wounded in the stabbings – was of a level not seen in decades, according to police. A night of torched vehicles and shop looting sparked in Dublin after a knife attack outside a school was of an ‘extraordinary’ level of violence unseen in decades, police said Friday, November 24. The violence started when a group broke through a police cordon Thursday in the area where three young children and a women who was caring for them were injured in a knife attack.
“Groups went on to torch busses and trams and loot shops in one of Dublin’s most famous thoroughfares, O’Connell Street. Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told a press conference in the Irish capital on Friday that multiple Irish police officers were injured in a running battle with the group that stormed the crime scene on Thursday night. Rumours on social media about the nationality of the assailant who police only described as a man in his fifties, helped fuel unrest following the attack…
“Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that protesters who battled police and looted shops were motivated by ‘hate’ and brought ‘shame on Ireland’… ‘As a country, we need to reclaim Ireland. We need to take it away from the cowards who hide behind masks and tried to terrify us with their violence,’ said Varadkar…
“For his part, Harris blamed a ‘complete lunatic faction driven by far-right ideology’ for the disorder… Ireland has been facing a chronic housing crisis, with the government estimating that there is a deficit of hundreds of thousands of homes for the general population. Widespread dissatisfaction has fed into a backlash against asylum seekers and refugees, and far-right figures have promoted anti-immigration sentiment at rallies and on social media with claims that ‘Ireland is full.’”
Breitbart had quite a different take on the situation. It wrote on November 25:
“Poor Irish people staged a riot in central Dublin following the stabbing of three children by a man described as a homeless migrant, yet the Irish establishment is portraying the Thursday-night anti-migration riots as merely ‘hate,’ ‘lunatic’ and ‘far-right.’
“The unprecedented riots come after years of growing community protests against the migration that is impoverishing Irish people with rising rents and flatlining wages. So far, none of the established Irish political parties have sought to curb or reduce the impact of migration on Ireland’s people… ‘that [riot was] an expression of the disconnect that has been festering amongst disadvantaged young men for a long time,’ reported an anti-establishment Irish news outlet, Grip.ie, which added: ‘But the media, like the government and the Opposition, were eager to change the conversation, and Dublin city centre being set on fire gave them perfect cover to do so. So the usual nonsense about the “far-right” started immediately, and the front pages are full of those photographs this morning.’
“The government offered a very different view… Ireland’s… prime minister Leo Varadkar… portrayed the government as the victim of the drama…In 2020, Vardakar defended the deadly and destructive Black Lives Matter looting and riots in the United States…
“The government is a coalition of establishment parties, all of which support mass migration that has pushed a huge number of Irish people into poverty. So the government’s dismissal of the rioters is expanding the political opportunity for anti-establishment parties…
“Conor McGregor, the very popular Irish martial arts fighter, slammed the establishment media and government for ignoring the migration-caused crime and poverty…”
As so often, Ireland’s failing government blames others for the country’s misery, rather than looking at themselves.
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 25:
“The rules are clear: The German state must make ends meet with the money it takes in. That’s what is written in the constitution. It’s called the Schuldenbremse, or debt brake. Only in exceptional circumstances can the debt brake be lifted, and the government take on new debt. From 2014 to 2019, the federal government was able to comply with these conditions as the budget was always balanced. But then came the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Bundestag suspended the debt brake several times, and the government was able to borrow billions.
“Finance Minister Christian Lindner’s goal was to put an end to this trend of suspending the debt brake and consolidate the budget. Now he feels compelled to suspend the debt brake retroactively for 2023 as well.
“Since the Federal Constitutional Court declared the financing of the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF) to be unconstitutional, the government’s current budget planning has become inapplicable. The €60 billion ($66 billion) that the coalition of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) paid into this special fund after taking office in 2021 had been left over from the coronavirus pandemic and hadn’t been used. The judges ruled that setting aside emergency loans for the future and spending them in ways not approved by the Bundestag isn’t permissible. The decision caught the coalition off guard, and now there has been widespread confusion about how to react to it. Especially since the KTF isn’t the only special fund.
“The German armed forces have a special fund of €100 billion for example, though since this (is) backed by the constitution, it is presumably unaffected. [However, this is not undisputed. It was reported that this fund is affected, but the government later declared that it is not. The question is, in light of all the lies spread by the government, whom are we to believe?]
“The situation is different with the Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF), a crisis fund of up to €200 billion primarily designed to finance energy price controls. It was set up in 2022, and a large part of the money was earmarked for 2023 and 2024. [This fund is clearly affected and can basically not be used.]… Finance Minister and FDP leader Lindner has now imposed a budget freeze…
“But what happens then? The SPD, Greens, and FDP appear stumped. One reason for this is that the three parties have fundamentally different positions. The coalition is made up of two more left-leaning parties and one neoliberal party… the SPD and Greens refuse to budge on their climate and social policy goals, which come at a high cost…
“The debt brake is a thorn in the side of many in the SPD and Greens… in view of Germany’s miserable economic data…
“Is Germany once again the ‘sick man of Europe’? While the economy is growing in many other countries around the world, Germany hasn’t been able to get back on its feet and has even slipped into recession in 2023. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the German economy has recorded the lowest economic growth in the eurozone, with no rapid turnaround in sight.
“The country is struggling with high energy costs and a shortage of skilled workers. The railroads, roads and bridges are as dilapidated as are many the public buildings, especially schools and universities. Digital infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired…
“What happens in Germany is of international interest. If Europe’s largest economy reduces its investments and spending, it will be felt first by its European neighbors and then by the rest of the world… a reform of the [debt break] rule is only possible with two-thirds majority support in parliament, which currently doesn’t exist.
“The conservative opposition parties CDU and CSU have ruled out any changes… The FDP shares these policy positions. However, the CDU/CSU and FDP don’t have a majority in parliament….”
Of course, changing the debt brake rule would mean, Germany will go out borrowing money to no end, to be able to pursue its controversial climate change goal and other even more controversial green policies. How is that going to help the country?
The miserable state of affairs will change, and Germany will rise again, but NOT under the present divided government.
The Shift to the Right That Actually Isn’t One At All
Report 24 wrote on November 25:
“The recent landslide victory of Wilders’ PVV in the Netherlands is just another step in the changing face of European politics. Mass immigration, migrant riots, foreign crime and terrorism are just one of many reasons for the subjective ‘shift to the right’. Viewed objectively, given the center’s shift to the left, one would rather have to speak of a ‘readjustment‘…
“All it takes is actually a comparison of the current political positions of ‘centre parties’ such as the SPD, CDU/CSU and FDP in Germany or the SPÖ or ÖVP in Austria with those of 30, 40 or 50 years ago. Much of what is considered ‘right’ today was not so long ago a centrist position…
“… to put it simply, the normal worker or employee just wants to earn enough money to support his family, go on vacation and not have to worry in old age. Gender asterisks and political correctness? The majority don’t care about that because it doesn’t affect everyday life. But if contributions into the social systems due to mass immigration have to be increased, if there is no longer any increase in purchasing power and if there is a threat of poverty in old age, then people do care. And this whole shift to the left in politics has led in exactly this direction.
“Who would have thought, for example, at the end of the 1990s that the Union [CDU] would one day jump on the left-green bandwagon of climate fanatics, initiate a catastrophic ‘energy transition’ and make German industry dependent on the whims of nature when it comes to wind and sun? The current Ampel coalition is basically just continuing what was started under Angela Merkel. Just with a lot more vehemence and pressure. If, instead of traditional sex education and biology education, schools are shown drag queen porn shows, things won’t get any better.
“And then there are the effects of mass immigration from countries with completely different (sometimes archaic) cultures…
“However, the parties and politicians defamed as ‘right-wing populists’ by the left-liberal pseudo-mainstream are interested in such problems and grievances. What’s more, they are becoming a new ‘mainstream’ by increasingly receiving vote shares of a third or more in elections and surveys in more and more countries. For the establishment, this is a ‘shift to the right’, but in reality, this development is simply a natural correction to find a political balance. A one-sided political landscape with a left-liberal unity party consisting of several factions is no longer a democracy, but in fact a kind of dictatorship in which dissenting opinions are defamed.”
This “readjustment” and “natural correction” is attracting more and more voters.
The Pope’s Jewish Problem
Crux wrote on November 26:
“When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, the forecast among those invested in Jewish-Catholic dialogue generally was rosy. The new pope brought considerable background to the relationship, given that Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America and the sixth largest outside Israel – indeed, the first kosher McDonalds outside Israel was located in a Buenos Aires shopping center…
“And yet, the fact of the matter is that Pope Francis long has had a Jewish problem, and it’s come to the fore anew amid the current war in Gaza. To some extent, the issue is political, having to do with the instinctive sympathy history’s first pope from the developing world feels for the Palestinian cause… There’s also a theological dimension to the angst Francis has generated in Jewish circles, including his frequently disparaging references to the ‘Pharisees… Moreover, there’s a perception that Francis’s campaign to build bridges with Islam sometimes comes at the expense of solidarity with Jews…
“These three sources of tension – the politics of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the theological approach to Judaism, and the inter-faith balancing act vis-à-vis Islam — are all coming to a head amid the current conflagration. The criticism of the pope’s response to the Gaza war started almost immediately…
“The rabbis wondered aloud what the point has been of decades of Jewish-Catholic dialogue when, in a time of need, what Jews get from the pope isn’t solidarity but ‘diplomatic acrobatics, balancing acts…’
“… it’s impossible to ignore the signs of growing tension. Recently an Italian Jew named Vittorio
Mascarini, who leads a Zionist organization in Italy, wrote in the Jewish News Syndicate: ‘If it continues to maintain its ambiguous position, the Holy See risks its entire relationship with Israel and world Jewry.’
“The war in Gaza has already taken an enormous toll. For Francis, who clearly aspires to be a peace-maker, it undoubtedly would be especially agonizing should his relationship with Jews and Judaism end up being among the casualties.”
In light of the foregoing, the following article by Israel 365 News, dated November 26, is truly remarkable:
“On Wednesday, the Pope met with families of hostages taken by Hamas. He also met with Palestinians whose relatives were security prisoners in Israeli jails or were in Gaza. No media representatives were present at the meetings but members of the Palestinian delegation told the media that the pope had described Israel’s actions as ‘genocide’. The Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said he didn’t believe that Francis used that term… The Palestinian delegation insisted nonetheless that Pope Francis described Israel’s military incursion as ‘genocide.’
“After the meeting, the Pope made a speech in St. Peter’s Square in which he said that he heard ‘how both sides suffer’ and how the war between Israel and Hamas has ‘transformed from war to terror.’…
“The American Jewish Committee tweeted gratitude for the pope’s meeting with families of the hostages and calling for their release, while also criticizing his other remarks and asking for clarification. ‘Hamas’ butchering and kidnapping of civilians is terrorism. Israel’s self-defense is not,’ the AJC wrote. ‘Vatican, please clarify.’”
The Pope’s “balancing act” shows, in effect, where he and the Vatican REALLY stand.
Francis Punishes Critical American Cardinal and Bishop
The Daily Mail wrote on November 29:
“Pope Francis has kicked conservative US Cardinal Raymond Burke out of his Vatican apartment and stripped him of his salary after he criticized the pontiff’s pro-LGBT stance… Burke… is the second American prelate to face punishment in what appears to be a new phase of Francis’ pontificate. This reform-minded period seems to have accelerated with the arrival in September of Francis’ hand-picked new doctrine czar, Argentine Cardinal Victor Fernández.
“Earlier this month, Francis forcibly removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, another conservative who had also become one of Francis’ critics.
“… the two seemingly were at odds over COVID-19 vaccines. Francis had been a big proponent of the vaccines and had lashed out at vaccine skeptics, who included some conservative Catholics.”
Did Francis ever repent of and apologize for his inappropriate support of experimental Covid-19 vaccines?
Jesuit Priest: TrumpIs Antichrist, Vote For Biden
Breitbart wrote on November 29:
“In his piece [for the leftwing Religious News Service,] titled ‘In a World Where Christ Is King, Authoritarian Leaders Can Only Be Antichrists,’ [Jesuit Thomas] Reese asserted that ‘anti-democratic leaders’ like Trump are promising to ‘deliver justice by any means necessary.’… Reese made reference to the holiday [“the liturgical feast of Christ the King”] to contrast Christ’s kingdom with that of ‘antichrists’ like Donald Trump…
“In 2020, Father Reese stumped for Joe Biden, urging his fellow Catholics to join the ‘grassroots’ group ‘Catholics for Biden.’… Reese also attempted to convince Catholics that it is okay to vote for Catholic candidates who openly flout Church teaching on issues such as abortion… Reese acknowledged that most Catholic Democrats disregard the Church’s moral teaching and ‘agree with Biden that abortion should be legal,’ which removes any moral obstacle for supporting him.”
Did and does the pope know about this “Jesuit logic,” and did and does he endorse his fellow Jesuit’s viewpoint? The liberals in the Vatican and the Catholic Church are clearly winning… for now.
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.
UFOs—Aliens, Angels or Demons?
Man’s fascination with UFOs and aliens seems to know no bounds. Apart from science fiction movies, more and more reports are being published of people claiming to have seen UFOs or of having had “close encounters of the third kind,” including having allegedly been the victims of alien abductions.
In a recent article by Politico, dated November 17, it was stated:
“Early in Ronald Reagan’s second term, he asked his Soviet counterpart a seemingly off-the-wall question… Reagan turned to his Cold War enemy and said: ‘What would you do if the United States were suddenly attacked by someone from outer space? Would you help us?,’ Gorbachev later recounted. ‘I said, “No doubt about it.” He said, “We too.”’…
“Reagan… had an encounter with a UFO while riding in a plane in the 1970s. Reagan, it turns out, wasn’t the only president who has had a more than passing interest in the possibility of extraterrestrial life. For the past half-century, almost every president has come to office pledging — publicly or privately — to get to the bottom of UFOs…
“Jimmy Carter spotted his UFO while waiting for a Lion’s Club event to start on Jan. 6, 1969… [According to Politico, this UFO was later explained as a man-made natural phenomenon, “a high-altitude rocket-released barium cloud.”]
“Most recently, in 2021, former President Barack Obama spoke about the mystery [saying] ‘that there’s footage and records of objects in the skies that we don’t know exactly what they are. We can’t explain how they moved, their trajectory. They did not have an easily explainable pattern.’”
And so, conspiracies abound to the effect that the government is hiding the truth about aliens and that the remains of an alien body or bodies are kept secret in Roswell.
It must be pointed out that many reported UFO “sightings” and “encounters” can be explained naturally. After all, UFO means “unidentified flying object”—and many, if not most of those “sightings” have a natural origin. When it comes to “strange” occurrences such as alleged encounters or even abductions etc., they can often be explained with hallucinations, wishful thinking and wild human imagination. But some of the reports might be very real, and if so, how can they be explained?
Most associate UFOs with the existence of aliens, even though the Bible nowhere suggests that aliens exist—or have existed—on other planets. While the argument is that the mere biblical silence does not deny their existence, it would be strange if God, the Creator of EVERYTHING, visible and invisible, never even gives a hint of the possibility of such extraterrestrial human-like existence on other planets. From beginning to end, the Bible deals with the human existence on earth… including when man in the future will have been made immortal on a new earth and a new universe.
And so, some associate UFOs, if they believe in them, not with aliens, but with demons or angels.
We state the following in our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World”:
“Satan and his demons can show great signs and wonders… Haunted houses, poltergeists, séances, communication with the dead, and contacts with ‘aliens’ are all clearly of demonic origin…
“Satan and demons have the power to transport a human being from one place to another (Matthew 4:5, 8; Luke 4:5, 9). This explains strange encounters with UFOs, where ‘abducted’ people are sometimes found hundreds of miles away from their residence, without knowing how they got there…
“It appears from Scripture that demons cannot materialize themselves the way that angels can. Demons cannot appear as men. They can, however, create an illusion, or an apparition that might look very real to people…”
When we research the topic on the Internet, we find that more often than not, it is claimed that UFOs are holy angels manifesting themselves in some way. It is sometimes claimed that UFOs give us a glimpse of the fights between angels and demons (which do exist, as passages in the book of Daniel clearly prove; compare Daniel 10:13, 20)… even though UFO sightings do not even remotely picture such fights; or that angels have manifested themselves in many different ways, and that they can appear in whatever form and shape they want. This, too, is manifestly wrong. Angels are created spirit beings, but when they manifest themselves, they do so by showing their true appearance in the physical realm, but of course not as glorified spirit beings, except in visions. On the other hand, remember that demons cannot manifest themselves as physical beings (but they can create illusions and apparitions and “lying wonders”).
Furthermore, some say that the Bible proves the existence of UFOs by claiming that fallen angels had sexual intercourse with women. This false teaching is based on a wrong understanding of the passage in Genesis 6. As we explain in our free booklet, “Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man,” in chapter 5, that passage describes forbidden sexual relationships between human beings— the unrighteous descendants of Cain and the righteous descendants of Seth.
Is it conceivable, then, that some UFOs could be the manifestations and the activities of holy angels?
Those who propose this concept give certain biblical examples of human encounters with God’s angels (while others use those same examples to “prove” the existence of aliens).
Ezekiel repeatedly saw in a vision four cherubim (Ezekiel, chapters 1 and 10). Some have used this description to say that they depict aliens with spaceships—an idea which had been made popular by Swiss author Erich von Däniken in the late 1960s and more recently by the 2009 movie “Knowing” with Nicolas Cage.
What Ezekiel saw was a clear manifestation, in a vision, of angelic beings carrying the throne of Christ, who in turn delivered a powerful message to Ezekiel to pass on to the people. By contrast, no godly messages are contained in or communicated by UFOs or “alien abductions.”
David saw an angel with a drawn sword to punish Israel. David immediately understood the message and asked God for forgiveness and for the angel to stop slaughtering the Israelites (2 Samuel 24:16-17). In Luke 1, Gabriel appears to Zacharias and to Mary with a clear message. Daniel saw an angel in a vision in Daniel 9 and 10, who passed on a detailed message from God. On the other hand, no clear or even hidden UFO or alien message is communicated to anyone (except in science fiction movies), but all it does is confuse people—and God is not the author of confusion (compare 1 Corinthians 14:33).
We also read that angels appear unrecognized (compare Hebrews 13:2; the example given has to do with testing Christians to see how hospitable they are). Practical examples could perhaps be the appearance of two angels to Lot and to the people of Sodom. Their appearance and their message had clear purpose—to see how many righteous were in Sodom, and to lead Lot out of Sodom before its destruction.
We point out the following in our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World”:
“Hebrews 1:14 says about angels: ‘Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?’ Psalm 34:7 adds: ‘The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him [that is, ‘who will inherit salvation’], And delivers them’…
“God sends forth His angels to ‘minister,’ that is, to serve and help man achieve his potential to inherit salvation—eternal life in the Family of God. With this understanding, let’s take note of the particular services that angels are called upon to perform.”
We then explain in our booklet seven purposes, namely:
- God’s angels protect us from harm;
- God’s angels are sent to direct, guide and lead us on our path to spiritual salvation;
- God’s angels guide us in physical ways;
- God’s angels give us encouragement and strength;
- God’s angels serve us by punishing the unrighteous;
- God’s angels serve us when they punish us for our sin;
- God’s angels serve us by fighting Satan and his demons.
On the other hand, we should realize that what God’s angels don’t and won’t do is:
- To confuse us;
- To give us uncertain “messages”;
- To appear just for show, without any purpose or message;
- To manifest themselves in ways which clearly do not depict their real appearance, even in the physical realm. Our booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World,” describes the appearance of angels, and they in no way resemble descriptions of those who claim that they had encounters with UFOs and were the victims of alien abductions. Those abductions might have appeared very real to the persons, and it is interesting that many times, they do not “remember” exactly or at all what has happened to them… as somebody under hypnosis has normally no recollection of what happened during the hypnosis when he is “awakened.” (That is why we should NEVER allow someone to hypnotize us.) It is also interesting that many times, those who claimed that they had encounters with aliens had a certain proclivity for the acceptance of such encounters. Finally, the description of those aliens are very similar, so as to create the illusion of their real existence; whereas it seems to be a complete hoax, inspired by demons, to confuse mankind. Again, demons cannot materialize themselves, but they can create illusions which may look very real. Appearances of the “Virgin Mary” might be classic examples.
As pointed out above, when angels do manifest themselves to us, they do it for a clear purpose… to help us, to test us, or to encourage us. Nothing like that can be said about the sightings of UFOs which seem to have no godly purpose at all. What possible godly purpose could there be in UFO sightings? But they give room for speculations regarding the existence of aliens and extraterrestrial spaceships—many times combined with the idea that they are out there to destroy us. If we consider the appearance of UFOs as a godly warning, then we should remember that God condemns those who practice astrology and who observe the clouds or planets for guidance. Deuteronomy 18:14 says, literally, that we are not to observe the clouds—as the study and motion of the clouds was a common way of foretelling good or bad fortune. 2 Chronicles 33:6 draws a clear connection between observing times (or clouds), using enchantments and witchcraft, and dealing with a familiar spirit (a demon) and with wizards.
Could it be that Satan is “preparing” mankind for Christ’s return in the sense that Satan is convincing mankind that the coming Christ will be in fact a hostile alien who will have to be destroyed? We read that armies will fight Christ and His holy angels when they appear (Revelation 17:14; 19:11-14, 19). They may perhaps think He is the Antichrist… or the leader of hostile aliens, riding on “white horses,” which they may interpret as strangely construed “spaceships.”
To summarize, there is little room to assume that UFOs and “close encounters of the third kind” are alien or angelic manifestations. Rather, the evidence points to the divisive activities of demonic forces with the declared goal to confuse and deceive a gullible and God-defying mankind.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Will There Ever Be a Two-State Solution?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
While the war between Israel and Hamas is ongoing, with a temporary cease fire to carry out a ridiculous deal, many are already advocating a permanent cease fire and a two-state solution. They are totally ignorant about the true feelings of most Palestinians. The Bible tells you that some Arab nations, Turkey and Europe under German leadership will try, not to create a two-state solution, but something which would be altogether different, but they won’t succeed.
“Wird es jemals zu einer Zweistaatenlösung kommen?” is the title of a new AufPostenStehen program, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Will There Ever Be a Two-State Solution?”
“Über Scham und Sünde,” last Sabbath’s German sermonette presented by Andreas Ratz, is now posted. Title in English: “About Shame and Sin.”
“Nowhere to Hide,” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We cannot hide from God. He knows about everything we do. He even knows our most secret thoughts. Do we consider this to be an intrusion on our privacy or do we treat it with honor, knowing that He has an intimate relationship with us?
“Will There Ever Be Peace?” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
We hear of “wars and rumors of war,” but we are not hearing of true peace!
Is peace actually possible, now?
How This Work is Financed
This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.
Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
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