|Fear and Faith; Freedom by Justification
|Make the World Great
|This Week in the News
|In What Way are We “Free From” or “Dead To” the Law?
|Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
Fear and Faith; Freedom by Justification
On February 6, 2016, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “Fear and Faith,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Freedom by Justification.”
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.
Make the World Great
by Rene Messier (Canada)
The Republican presidential candidate in the United States, front-runner Donald Trump, is using quite successfully the slogan: “Make America Great Again.” He states correctly that the United States is losing in trade deals to China, to Japan and to others, and he blasts the terrible Iran deal and Obamacare, but he announces that when he is President, he is going to turn all of this around.
He promises to build a great wall in order to halt the flow of illegal immigrants coming through the porous American-Mexican border into the USA, and that Mexico will pay for the wall. He also proposes to deport all illegal aliens and to temporarily halt the flow of all Muslims into the United States till “we can find out what… is going on.” He declares that he will build up the armed forces so that no one will “mess” with the USA; that he will properly take care of the veterans; and that he will take out ISIS so that the world and the United States can feel safer.
These are just a few of the promises he has made.
In regard to the border fence, one cynical television commentator said if he builds a hundred foot fence, the Mexicans will build a one hundred ten foot ladder. Mr. Trump countered that it will be a real wall which Mexicans cannot climb over. Other objections are that it would be impossible to deport all illegal aliens, but Mr. Trump’s response is that something similar was done in the past by another American president.
The question is, could any President turn things around for the US?
Let us remember that the national debt as of this writing is $20.9 trillion, and it is growing constantly. By the time you read this editorial it will be $21 trillion, a number that’s hard to get your mind around. This is a growing debt with no turn around in sight. That’s some $62,000 per citizen. So if you have a child born in the near future, he is faced with that debt.
Crime is rampant in some American cities, and the United States is the world’s biggest consumer of both illegal and prescription drugs. Politicians are corrupt, and some are only in politics to line their pockets.
Many American citizens know this, and they long for change. The interesting thing is, no matter what outlandish statements Mr. Trump might be making, his support is growing steadily, defying all “conventional” rules of “politics.” If somebody like Donald Trump would become President, he might very well be able to turn things around for the USA, to a degree, but a high price would have to be paid. Mass deportations would shock the world and might trigger civil unrest in the USA, and more violent acts by governmental forces might be the consequence. Favorable trade deals for the USA under Donald Trump would not create a friendlier world view towards the USA… they would just bring about the opposite result and might even lead to violent resistance from the rest of the world.
We must understand that what is happening right now in the USA is in no way “coincidental.” It is obvious that God is involved to bring about His plan and purpose. Because of our national and individual sins, God has removed the blessing to Abraham from the modern nations of the ancient house of Israel, namely the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Rather than prosperity, these nations are facing war and enslavement.
The only real and lasting solution is the return of Christ to end the madness. We are not to get involved in the politics of this present evil age, but we have an opportunity today to be involved in the future in making “The World Great,” not just the United States. Once the government of God, the Kingdom of God, is established on the earth with just rulers, things will be turned around in due time. There will be only one world-ruling government on earth, with Christ as the Head and the resurrected saints as kings and priests ruling under Him (Revelation 5:10).
There will be no more beheadings, no more rampant crime, no more poverty, religious confusion and hatred against other races and ethnic groups. The world will come to worship the true God and keep the commandments, speaking one pure language (Zephaniah 3:9).
As the called-out ones, we have the opportunity now to prepare for participation in that future government to make the world a better place; so it behooves us to remain faithful to our calling and our present responsibilities to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness and endure to the end, so that we can truly make “The World Great.”
Are you up to the challenge?
We begin with troublesome events in the USA, pertaining to attempts to compel men AND women to register for the draft. We also speak about the stunning election results in Iowa.
We are focusing on developments pertaining to Donald Trump and speak on Hillary Clinton’s growing email scandal which should normally result in an indictment and her resignation from the democratic race for the presidency (although most commentators do not expect this to happen); and we report on President Obama’s “complicated” relationship with Muslims (also in light of the fact that almost 30 percent of Americans believe that he is a Muslim).
We continue with revealing articles about the growth of European armies and the “comeback” of an interesting German politician. We continue with Angela Merkel’s attempts to placate Germans, while Germany’s third-strongest party causes uproar and a storm of criticism.
We report on America’s and Britain’s apparent 18-year-long spying activities on their “friend” Israel and on the fragile relationship between the EU and Britain, as well as on more violence in Israel.
We conclude with an article on America’s, Russia’s and China’s moon landings and on striking color photos of the moon landing by the Chinese, which should convince every honest and unprejudiced observer that the moon landings were real and not hoaxes.
This Week in the News
WARNING! Is the DRAFT Coming for BOTH Men AND Women?
NBC News reported on February 2:
“Now that all combat jobs are open to women, the top Army and Marine Corps officers say they should have to register for the draft — just like men. Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant said they supported the requirement during testimony at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
“‘Senator, it’s my personal view that, based on this lifting of restrictions … every American who’s physically qualified should register for the draft,’ Neller said in response to a question from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, who favors the change. Milley also agreed. ‘Senator, I think that all eligible and qualified men and women should register for the draft,’ he said.
“Right now only men legally residing the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26 are required to register with the Selective Service. The two thumbs up from the generals came a month after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the Pentagon’s historic shift in policy. Under the new rules, women will now be able to help fill some of the 220,000 jobs that were only open to their male counterparts, including key posts in some special operations units and the infantry…
“Conscripts have not been drafted since 1973 when the U.S. moved to an all-volunteer military. But in 1980 then President Jimmy Carter reinstated the requirement that men register in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.”
War hawks are pushing for the draft. Men and women who are conscientiously opposed to serving in the military must be prepared for the distinct possibility that the war hawks will have it their way in the future.
Clinton and Cruz Win Iowa Caucus
In absolutely stunning and historic developments, Hillary Clinton emerged as the “winner” in the Iowa caucus on the Democratic side, beating Bernie Sanders through the tossing of a coin, while Ted Cruz surprisingly won against Donald Trump on the Republican side.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders virtually tied, which all by itself means an embarrassing defeat for Clinton.
Deutsche Welle reported on February 2 that “The Iowa Democratic Party said in a statement the caucus was the closest in history, with some precincts reportedly having to resort to a rarely used rule to flip a coin to decide the winner. Clinton reportedly won all three of the coin tosses… The next round is in New Hampshire on February 9, where Clinton is trailing Sanders in the polls…
“On the Republican side, conservative Texas senator Ted Cruz came in ahead of both billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Senator Marco Rubio who is the favorite of mainstream Republican voters. The result was a blow to the controversial Trump who had headed the polls leading into the Iowa caucus.
“But the next round is in New Hampshire where more than 40 percent of the state’s electorate are not registered in any political party. Washington outsider Trump has a commanding lead in New Hampshire and in national polls.”
It is critically important for Trump to win in New Hampshire. Statistics reveal that since 1980, no Republican candidate received the nomination who did not win either in Iowa or in New Hampshire. For the Democrats, the same is true with one exception—in 1992, Bill Clinton won the Democratic nomination and the Presidency, even though he did not win in Iowa or in New Hampshire.
Following the next round in New Hampshire on February 9, “Super Tuesday” occurs on March 1 (when preliminary elections take place in more than 10 states), followed by “Super Tuesday, Part 2” on March 15 (when preliminary elections take place in five states, including Florida, Illinois and Ohio).
The Republicans will then meet and decide on their nominee for the Presidency on July 18-21, and the Democrats on July 25-28.
The first televised debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees will take place on September 26, followed by two more debates on October 9 and October 19 (A televised debate between the two nominees for the office of Vice-President will take place on October 4).
The main election for the Presidency will take place on November 8, and on January 20, 2017, the new US President will be sworn in.
Dirty Tricks in Politics
Newsmax wrote on February 3:
“Donald Trump says Ted Cruz ‘stole’ the Iowa caucuses and is guilty of ‘fraud’ for falsely telling voters going to the polls that Ben Carson had dropped out [of] the presidential race and to support him instead. And the Texas senator’s ‘fraud’ is so serious that Iowa state officials should void the caucus results and hold a new vote, the billionaire developer believes…
“Cruz on Tuesday admitted his campaign wrongly stated the retired pediatric neurosurgeon had exited the race as the caucuses got underway and apologized for the gaff. Carson accepted the apology, but added that someone on Cruz’s staff should pay for the action. Trump, who has been the Republican presidential front-runner for seven months, believes the bogus claim by the campaigners for Cruz, who had trailed Trump in the polls, unfairly helped him win.
“He is also crying foul at the Cruz campaign’s scary-looking ‘voting violation’ notice sent to Iowans… Iowa’s secretary of state says the mailer misrepresents election law. But Cruz called it a ‘routine’ campaign move.”
On February 3, the Drudge Report added the following Facebook post by former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, who is endorsing Donald Trump (but she had endorsed Ted Cruz for Senator in the past):
“… Cruz’s campaign chairman, U.S. Representative Steve King, is lying, and good for Dr. Ben Carson for calling this out. King, who’s previously asked for and received my endorsement, time and resources to support his own election, is still lying about my altruistic support of Mr. Trump, and he’s refused to provide any evidence to the contrary. And, this U.S. Congressman actually lied to his own constituents on behalf of Cruz, regarding a good man, Dr. Carson. He told voters Carson was dropping out of the Presidential race immediately before the Iowa caucus, causing a relative uproar inside the process, so the word would spread and he could rack up more votes for his candidate, Cruz. That’s a dirty trick. Dr. Carson deserved better. The voters deserved better!
“Where is the accountability for these political actions? Very sad; typical Washington tactics. THIS is why ‘the status quo has got to go.’ Our friend Dr. Carson put it so well: ‘As Christians, of course we accept people’s apologies, we also have to ask ourselves is this acceptable to us, the American people, or should there be some accountability? There should be some consequences for things. You don’t just say “oh, okay, sorry… okay let’s move on.” The damage was done to me, it wasn’t done to them.’
“We’ve had eight years of a reckless President, accountable to no one, pushing this country to the brink. Why would we ever take a risk repeating that? We are never going to turn this country around if we keep electing ‘more of the same.’… The Cruz Campaign’s actions to destroy a good man’s efforts to serve are no different than Obama’s practice of not holding anyone accountable. Typical politics. Typical politicians.”
Trump like Hitler or Worthy of Nobel Prize?
JTA wrote on January 28:
“The stepsister of Holocaust teen diarist Anne Frank compared Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to Hitler. Eva Schloss, 86, made the comparison in an essay in Newsweek magazine published Wednesday in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. ‘If Donald Trump become(s) the next president of the U.S., it would be a complete disaster,’ she wrote. ‘I think he is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism.’…
“Schloss, who survived Auschwitz, was 11 years old when her family left Nazi-annexed Austria in 1938 for Belgium. ‘We were treated as if we had come from the moon. I felt as if I wasn’t wanted and that I was different to everybody,’ she wrote… ‘Fewer people would have died in the Holocaust if the world had accepted more Jewish refugees.’’
Yahoo News reported on February 2:
“Donald Trump, Greek islanders helping desperate migrants, Angela Merkel and the pope — some may seem more likely than others but all are understood to be in the running for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize…
“According to a copy of the nomination letter Harpviken said he had received, brash tycoon Trump — who has attracted international condemnation by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States — deserves the prize for ‘his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China.’”
Hillary Clinton’s Growing Email Scandal … “The State Department Is Lying”
The New York Post wrote on January 31:
“The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says. ‘This was all planned in advance’ to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.
“The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries. ‘That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private e-mail server until later,’ Krongard said in an exclusive interview… He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/₂-year vacancy was unprecedented. ‘This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,’ he said. ‘It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG.’
“Inspectors general serve an essential and unique role in the federal government by independently investigating agency waste, fraud and abuse. Their oversight also covers violations of communications security procedures. ‘It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations,’ Krongard said. An e-mail audit would have easily uncovered the secret information flowing from classified government networks to the private unprotected system she set up in her New York home.”
Newsmax added on January 31:
“‘The starting point of the investigation is the material going through SIPRNet, [State’s classified system.] She couldn’t function without the information coming over SIPRNet,’ [Krongard] said. ‘How did she get it on her home server? It can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?’”
The Associated Press wrote on January 30:
“The Obama administration has confirmed for the first time that Hillary Clinton’s home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification… The Associated Press learned ahead of the release that seven email chains would be withheld in full for containing ‘top secret’ information. The 37 pages include messages a key intelligence official recently said concerned ‘special access programs’ —highly restricted, classified material that could point to confidential sources or clandestine programs like drone strikes…”
President Obama Visits Controversial US Mosque
The Washington Post wrote on January 30:
“President Obama will make the first visit during his presidency to a U.S. mosque, the White House announced Saturday, part of the administration’s push to promote religious tolerance at a time when rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism is growing. On Wednesday, the president will visit the Islamic Society of Baltimore… It is one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest Muslim centers…
“The president is making the visit ‘to celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life,’ a White House official wrote in an email Saturday…
“The visit will be part of the tightrope-walking Obama has done during his presidency around Islam.
“For years, Muslim Americans have lobbied him to visit a mosque, citing Islamophobia. At the same time, a segment of Obama’s critics have said since he took office that he is a Muslim pretending to be Christian, and that he plays down the religious aspect of Muslim extremism. Recent polls show that 29 percent of Americans and nearly 45 percent of Republicans think he is a Muslim. The visit comes in the last year of his presidency…
“Presidents rarely visit houses of worship, aside from when they have attended church for their own religious practices. Obama… attends religious services on key holidays. In May, he visited a synagogue for the first time as president…
“The official added that the event [is] coming just days after Obama spoke out against anti-Semitism and right before his appearance at the National Prayer breakfast…
“One close watcher of the role of religion in presidential politics said the timing of events next week was not a coincidence and that the mosque visit would be a stark contrast with the anti-Muslim rhetoric coming from multiple leading GOP candidates.
“It was not immediately clear why the White House selected the Islamic Society in Baltimore, although it has been the subject of threats in recent months… It also is the mosque of the family of Adnan Syed, whose conviction for murder drew huge global interest… Obama has visited several mosques overseas but never one in this country while serving as president…
“Obama’s relationship with American Muslims has been complicated. They are among his most enthusiastic backers, but some feel he has not done enough to address their concerns at a time of social unrest. He has shown support for Muslims overseas, including the 2009 ‘New Beginning’ speech in Cairo before the Arab Spring, and he has drawn praise — and intense criticism from conservatives — for declining to connect Islam and terrorism…”
President Obama still refuses to this day to state members of ISIS are radical Islamists.
European Armies Growing… Security Spending a Priority
The New York Times wrote on January 31:
“A phalanx of soldiers wearing bulletproof vests and wielding machine guns fanned out beneath the Eiffel Tower on a recent afternoon, scanning the crowd for potential terrorist threats. Across the country, nearly 10,000 more armed troops patrolled streets around landmarks, stores and government buildings. France is spending nearly 1 million euros a day on the heightened security, part of a renewed surge in European military spending as governments declare terrorism a permanent risk…
“European leaders are acknowledging that security spending is a priority… France, Germany, Britain and neighboring countries sharply curbed military outlays while austerity was enforced. Since 2007, Western European military spending has slumped more than 13 percent, accelerating a decline that began earlier in the decade… As security concerns intensify, the trend is reversing.
“Germany is hiring more police and intelligence officers, and in January the defense minister proposed increasing military spending by €130 billion over 15 years… France is expanding its military equipment arsenal, troops and police, as well as increasing surveillance and spending hundreds of millions of euros on new programs to counter radicalization among Muslim youth.
“In Belgium, where militants planned the Paris attacks after training in Syria, nearly half a billion euros will be spent jailing returning jihadists, reinforcing borders and keeping hundreds of troops on the streets. And Britain recently authorized 12 billion pounds in new spending to purchase Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft, increase fighter squadron numbers and create new strike brigades…
“Total Western European military spending, led by France, Britain and Germany, is expected to jump by an extra €50 billion through 2019, to €215 billion… Europe’s security spending, though, will still pale in comparison to that of the United States…
“European armies are growing. In a reverse from planned cuts, France is preparing to add 23,000 positions to the army by 2019. An anti-Islamic State coalition that includes France and Britain will soon intensify the campaign against militants in Iraq and Syria, prompting additional spending on missiles, drones, jets and surveillance.
“Airbus is well positioned. The company supplies European militaries with a broad range of flying hardware such as the NH90 helicopter, the A400M cargo and troop transporter and the A330 multi-role refueling tanker. Airbus also has high-tech satellite surveillance equipment as well as integrated border and coastal security systems, a particular focus in Europe as the migrant crisis swells.”
The Return of Edmund Stoiber?
In a recent Update (#721), we ran an article about Edmund Stoiber (74), Germany’s former Premier of Bavaria. We reported that Stoiber, presently working for the EU, had stated that the only solution for Germany was to completely close its border to refugees for an unspecified period. He had also stated in the past that the Muslim culture was not compatible with European values.
Bild Online published a stunning article on January 31 about “Stoiber’s comeback,” stating that he is traveling with current Premier of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, to meet Vladimir Putin and that he has again become very influential pertaining to the direction of his party, Bavaria’s CSU. Stoiber is strongly opposed to Angela Merkel’s migrant policy, reiterating again to Bild that Islam has no place in Germany. The article also points out that Stoiber received “innumerable” invitations from Merkel’s CDU.
According to Bild, Stoiber has a close relationship with Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder (49), who is viewed as the potential successor to Seehofer, even though he is not Seehofer’s first choice. However, Bild states that with Stoiber’s support, Söder would definitely be elected. Söder is also a strong opponent to Merkel’s migrant policy, stating that it is “undemocratic.”
In a follow-up article, Bild predicted that Merkel will not resign, even though it seems that Stoiber would like to see her fall, but, according to Bild, Stoiber would not be a leader, and there is no one there who could fill the leadership role (“Es fehlt der Anfuehrer”; in English: “The Leader Is Missing.”). This may be true… for now.
On February 3, Bild Online reported on Seehofer’s und Steuber’s meeting with Putin and Russian ministers in Moscow. Bild stated that Steuber (honorary president of the CSU) and Putin have known each other for a long time, and that they have a good relationship. In fact, Seehofer’s meeting with Putin was allegedly arranged by Steuber. Observers see in Seehofer’s meeting with Putin a sign of a further deterioration of Seehofer’s relationship with Angela Merkel.
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 3:
“Horst Seehofer is flying to Moscow. It is a politically juicy and controversial visit by the Bavarian in a period of upheaval in German-Russian relations. Seldom have relations between Berlin and Moscow been in such a poor state as they are now… Seehofer is Merkel’s most dangerous critic… He may be flying to meet Putin as the state premier of Bavaria, but he will be received in Moscow as a representative of one of Germany’s three governing parties…
“The CSU’s brand of foreign policy has always had something unique about it. CSU grandees Franz-Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoiber were always good for political bomb shells on the domestic front… No wonder then, that Horst Seehofer sees himself in this tradition…”
Merkel Tries to Placate Critics of her Migrant Policy… Far Too Little, and Far Too Late
Reuters wrote on January 30:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried on Saturday to placate the increasingly vocal critics of her open-door policy for refugees by insisting that most refugees from Syria and Iraq would go home once the conflicts there had ended…
“Support for her conservative bloc has slipped as concerns mount about how Germany will integrate the 1.1 million migrants who arrived last year, while crime and security are also in the spotlight after a wave of assaults on women in Cologne at New Year by men of north African and Arab appearance…
“Merkel said it was important to stress that most refugees had only been allowed to stay for a limited period. ‘We need … to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that, once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country with the knowledge that you have gained,’ she told a regional meeting of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania…”
The Local added on January 31:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel… saw her worst poll results in more than five years. Merkel’s open-door policy, while initially winning praise last year, has come under mounting criticism, especially after the German city of Cologne was rocked by a wave of sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve blamed on migrants… Support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance has slumped to its lowest since July 2012 as opposition over her liberal refugee policy grows, a survey showed Sunday…
“According to the poll published by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, public support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and sister party Christian Social Union now stands at just 34 percent… The Social Democratic Party — the junior partner in Merkel’s left-right grand coalition, has also lost ground, shedding one percentage point to 24 percent…
“While Merkel does not face national elections until 2017, regional elections in three states in March will be a key test of support… A poll published Friday by news weekly Focus found that 40 percent of respondents want Merkel to resign.
“Nevertheless, a subsequent poll commissioned by Focus found that, with 41 percent, Merkel came in top as the politician whom the public believe can best manage the migrant crisis.”
This belief will be rapidly shattered.
Germany’s Anti-Immigrant Party Causes Storm of Criticism
The Local wrote on January 31:
“Germany’s eurosceptic right-wing populist AfD party created a storm Saturday by suggesting police ‘if need be’ should threaten to shoot migrants seeking to enter the country. ‘We need efficient controls to prevent so many unregistered asylum-seekers keeping on entering via Austria,’ said party chairwoman Frauke Petry (40), in comments carried by the Mannheimer Morgen regional daily. Border police ‘should be able if need be to have recourse to their firearms — as laid down by law,’ the paper quoted Petry as saying. ‘No policeman wants to fire on a refugee and I don’t want that either. But as a last resort there should be recourse to firearms,’ said Petry in comments which drew a storm of criticism.
“‘No policeman would be ready to fire on’ migrants, police union GdP said in a statement. ‘Whoever wants to deploy such methods clearly wants to suspend the rule of law,’ said GdP head Joerg Radek. ‘We have already seen that over the course of German history and we don’t ever want to go down that road again.’
“The head of the main opposition Social Democrat parliamentary group, Thomas Oppermann, blasted ‘an unacceptable mobilisation of public opinion against refugees while opposition Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz blasted Petry as ‘irresponsible’…
“Notz said Petry was engaging in ‘extreme right-wing terrorism’ with her comments ramping up anti-refugee rhetoric in a country that has received more than one million migrants in the last year.
“AfD, meaning Alternative for Germany, was created as a eurosceptic platform in 2013 but has since veered sharply even further to the right, with some of its leaders voicing support for the anti-Islamic PEGIDA protest movement. Recent polls give 13 percent support for the group, making it Germany’s third-strongest political force behind the ruling Christian Democrats and the coalition partner the Social Democrats.”
On February 1, Deutsche Welle added:
“Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Frauke Petry triggered outrage last week by suggesting police should have the right to shoot illegal migrants at the border ‘if necessary.’ The idea was echoed by her deputy Beatrix von Storch. When she was asked on her Facebook page on Saturday whether German border guards should use weapons against illegal female refugees with children, she answered with a clear ‘yes.’ But in the face of outrage across the political spectrum she decided to water down her comments: ‘The use of firearms against children is not permitted,’ von Storch said, before adding that ‘women are a different matter.’”
What makes these comments so explosive are recent reports in Bild, according to which police officers have been instructed NOT to arrest migrants who are observed stealing, as this would require too much work. In light of sexual assaults by migrants on German women, many Germans begin to wonder WHAT their government is willing to do to protect German citizens.
Germany’s “Most Dangerous” Woman?
The Independent wrote on February 1:
“The AfD is attracting growing support for its vitriolic anti-migrant stance. It has already won seats in five of Germany’s state parliaments and, in elections next month, is also on course to win seats in the state parliaments of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony Anhalt, where polls suggest the party could win 15 per cent of the vote…
“Ms Petry, who has a degree from the University of Reading, was elected party leader in an internal putsch last July which ousted its middle-class and academic former leaders, who were mostly concerned with opposing the euro. Since then she and other populist right-wingers have rebranded it as an anti-migrant party…
“The party warns that German culture and identity will be destroyed by migrants… Ms Petry helped the AfD win seats in the east German state of Saxony in 2014 by advocating mildly anti-immigrant policies. She is seen as the acceptable face of the party’s right wing. But she is now being pulled further to the right by more radical and xenophobic figures within the party, whose stance appears to have increased AfD’s popularity among voters…
“The AfD leader risks being eclipsed by colleagues such as Björn Höcke, the party’s outspoken leader in the eastern state of Thuringia, whose speeches have been compared to those of Hitler’s propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Mr Höcke, who regularly draws crowds of up to 8,000 supporters, recently appeared on a popular chat show brandishing a German flag. ‘For decades its seemed as if the rise of a politician like Björn Höcke was impossible,’ wrote Die Welt newspaper. ‘In the meantime, the impossible has become possible.’
“At an AfD rally in the eastern city of Magdeburg last week Mr Höcke regaled the party faithful with an apocalyptic vision of what was in store for the German ‘volk’ and ‘kultur’ unless the refugee influx was stopped. The migrants were a threat to ‘1,000 years of Germany’. He talked darkly of terrified German women aid workers who were too afraid ‘to wear makeup’ because they felt intimidated by Muslim migrants. ‘I am afraid for my country. This is what it feels like to be a foreigner in your own land! This catastrophic development has to be stopped’…”
Violence in Germany
The Local wrote on January 31:
“Far-right protesters clashed Saturday with rival, anti-fascist activists in a southwest German village [the Black Forest town of Villingen-Schwenningen] where assailants had hurled a hand grenade Friday as anti-refugee violence in the country escalates, police said… The grenade thrown over a fence Friday morning was filled with explosives but it was not immediately clear whether it was equipped with a detonator… It did not explode and no damage or injuries were reported.
“In an interview with German daily Die Welt published Saturday, the general secretary of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party Peter Tauber said the act was ‘despicable and frightening’, and classified it as ‘attempted murder’… In a country that has welcomed more than one million migrants in the last year, violence against asylum seekers has been on the rise.
“The Federal Crime Office on Thursday reported 173 attacks against refugee shelters in 2015, more than six times the number recorded during the previous year. Another 10 cases were reported in January. Sigmar Gabriel, German vice chancellor and economy minister, was quoted in the press on Saturday as saying that there is ‘an alarming increase in acts of violence’ against refugees…”
Sadly, these kinds of violent demonstrations and counter-demonstrations remind us of events in the 1930’s, leading to the rise of Adolf Hitler. At that time, the demonstrations were staged by Communists and Nazis.
Young Girl’s Story of Rape a Lie?
The Guardian wrote on January 31:
“A 13-year-old Russian-German girl has admitted making up a story about being kidnapped and raped by migrants in a case that triggered a furore in Germany and briefly embroiled Berlin police in a spat with the Kremlin, state prosecutors said. The parents of the teenager, named only as Lisa, reported her missing on 11 January after she failed to appear at school in the Marzahn district of the capital. She reappeared 30 hours later with injuries on her face, and told her parents she had been attacked by men of Middle Eastern or north African appearance. News of the incident spread on social media, sparking outrage among Berlin’s Russian-German community.
“But when she was questioned by trained specialists three days later ‘she immediately admitted that the story of the rape was not true’, said the spokesman for the state prosecutor, Martin Steltner. He said the teenager had been scared of going home after the school had contacted her parents over an incident at school.
“Yet the allegations caused uproar in Berlin, particularly after reports of mass sexual assaults allegedly carried out by migrants in Cologne. A Russian-German community group staged a protest, supported by the Pegida-related Bärgida movement. The far-right National Democratic party also demonstrated in Marzahn. The mood was exacerbated by a report on Russian state TV, in which the girl’s relatives claimed her allegations were not being investigated…
“Analysis of the teenager’s mobile phone records showed she had spent the night with a friend, who is not being treated as a suspect. Her mother told Der Spiegel magazine on Sunday that Lisa was ‘doing very badly’ and was having treatment in a psychiatric ward.”
It is interesting, however, that Bild Online reported that Lisa’s mother apparently still believes in her daughter’s original story of having been raped.
Does German Government Order German Public TV On What to Report?
Breitbart wrote on February 2:
“National public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), which was recently forced into a humiliating apology for their silence on migrant violence and sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the government on what it reports. He said journalists received instructions to write news that would be ‘to Ms. Merkel’s liking’.
“Former head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during a radio event… in Berlin where journalists discussed the media landscape. Moving on to the freedom of the press, the panel chair asked Dr. Herles whether things in Germany had got ‘seriously out of whack’. With an honesty perhaps unusual in Germany, Dr. Herles replied that ordinary Germans were totally losing faith in the media, something he called a ‘scandal’. He said: ‘We have the problem that – now I’m mainly talking about the public [state] media – we have a closeness to the government. Not only because commentary is mainly in line with the grand coalition (CSU, CDU, and SPD), with the spectrum of opinion, but also because we are completely taken in by the agenda laid down by the political class’.
“Worse than the mainstream, government controlled and poll-tax funded media in Germany just agreeing with the ruling coalition, the stations actually took orders on what was and was not to be reported on. He said: ‘…the topics about which are reported are laid down by the government. There are many topics that would be more important than what the government wants. But they, of course, want to deflect attention away from what doesn’t happen. Yet what doesn’t happen is often more important than what does happen – more important than gesture politics… Today, one is not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees’…”
Germany’s Latest Crazy Idea—Limits on Cash Transactions?
The Associated Press reported on February 3:
“The German government is considering introducing a limit of 5,000 euros ($5,450) on cash transactions in an effort to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. Deputy finance minister Michael Meister said Wednesday that Germany would like to see a European solution, but could introduce a national limit if none is achieved, news agency dpa reported. He said ‘we can imagine a level of 5,000 euros.’…
“Germans tend to use cash more than many other Europeans. Opposition Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz tweeted that trying to limit cash payments ‘is a new fundamental attack on data protection and privacy.’”
It is also a ridiculous idea. Germany’s government is under attack for not doing enough to fight terrorism and the current migrant crisis, but when it comes up with concepts, then they seem to be crazy, by unduly limiting the freedom of German citizens.
Britain’s Relationship with the EU
Deutsche Welle reported on February 3:
“Britain’s relationship with the EU has never been straightforward. History and simple geography dictate this – salt water separates us…
“Not only does the island nation perceive itself as removed from mainland Europe, it also maintains extremely close cultural and historical ties to a plethora of other major players: the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, India, Pakistan, much of Africa – the list keeps on rolling. In a sense, one might argue that some of these partners are closer to London than Paris, Berlin or Brussels…
“A latecomer to the European Economic Community, as it was known then, Britain joined in 1973… Then, as now, domestic politics drove the EU debate… Britain’s politicians view EU membership more favorably than its voters…”
Cameron’s Negotiations with Brussels a “Dismal Failure”
The Sun wrote on February 3:
“Cameron[‘s]… ‘renegotiation’ with Brussels has produced a steaming pile of manure. It is a dismal failure worse than we ever imagined. It will not improve one aspect of British life. It will achieve nothing whatsoever on the two central problems it was meant to tackle: our out-of-control immigration and the erosion of British powers by the EU.
“Brussels, not for the first time, has treated us with contempt and given us the square root of diddly-squat…
“The most abject defeat is on immigration. Only full, permanent border controls, with Britain choosing how many people come in, and who they are, can slow our population’s current expansion of 336,000 a year. But Mr Cameron had no will to demand them. He still cherishes the EU’s sacred ‘freedom of movement’ principle even as it causes chaos across the Continent…
“As for our sovereignty, the EU suggests a ‘red card’ system under which Britain could overturn a bad law if we could persuade 14 other national parliaments in six weeks to vote with us. William Hague, that born-again europhile, admits that’s near-impossible. Even our simple demand to stop British taxpayers funding child benefit for migrants’ kids living abroad was rejected. That insanity goes on . . . just at a lower rate.
“The rest of the EU’s ‘concessions’ were merely a confirmation of our existing terms. Remember: this is Brussels at its weakest and Britain at its strongest. The EU is in disarray, under siege from refugees and with extremism surging. Brussels knows Britain leaving this summer would be a disaster at best and fatal at worst. There was never going to be a better moment for Mr Cameron.”
USA and Britain Have Reportedly Been Spying on Israel for 18 Years
JTA wrote on January 29:
“U.S. and British intelligence services have reportedly spied on Israel for 18 years after cracking its army’s encryption for communication among fighter jets, drones and army bases. The information was reported Friday by The Intercept and the German newspaper Der Spiegel based on documents that came into the possession of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who worked for U.S. intelligence before publishing classified material and fleeing to Russia.
“Britain and the United States reportedly have used this access to monitor Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip, watch for a potential strike on Iran and keep tabs on the drone technology that Israel exports. Israel said later Friday it was disappointed but not surprised by the revelations. ‘This is an earthquake,’ an anonymous senior security source told Ynet. ‘It means that they have forcibly stripped us and, no less important, that probably none of our encrypted systems are safe from them. This is the worst leak in the history of Israeli intelligence.’ According to the reports, the breaking of the drone encryption allowed Britain and the United States to view images and videos broadcast to IDF commands during drone operations in Gaza, the West Bank and near the Jewish state’s northern border.”
When it became clear that the USA had been spying on Angela Merkel and had listened in to her phone conversations, Merkel uttered the (by now) famous words: “Friends don’t spy on friends.” Everybody knows, of course, that this concept is a sham and a farce. Still, since the USA and Great Britain have apparently been spying on Israel for 18 years, one must ask the question whether the USA and Great Britain have EVER been Israel’s friends.
The Temple Mount in the News
Voice of America reported on January 31:
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday if Hamas dares to attack Israel through cross-border tunnels from Gaza, Israel will retaliate with force greater than the 2014 war… A top Hamas official boasted Friday that the group has built ‘twice the number of resistance tunnels’ that were built during the war in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s. He said hundreds of Hamas members are working to build tunnels to free what he described as holy places, including the al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem – a site Jews revere as the Temple Mount…
“Also in an historic decision Sunday, the Israeli Cabinet approved a so-called egalitarian Jewish prayer space near the Western Wall, where Jews from all over the world of both sexes and religious beliefs can pray together… The Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site. It is the last scrap of the wall that surrounded the ancient temple. Under Orthodox tradition, men and women are segregated when they pray… Many Orthodox Jews, including Cabinet members who voted against the move, condemn it as an affront to tradition.”
More Violence in Israel
JTA wrote on February 3:
“One of the two Israeli Border Police officers seriously injured in an attack by three Palestinian assailants in Jerusalem has died… The assailants, who entered Israel illegally from the Jenin area in the West Bank, were shot and killed by other officers… They were armed with a rifle, knives and an explosive device; police believe the men were planning a larger attack…
“Border Police stopped the attackers asking to see their identification documents. While one of the assailants took out his documents, another produced a gun and shot up the area, according to police. Hamas praised the attack, saying it dealt a ‘severe blow’ to Israel’s security apparatus…”
The Times of Israel added on February 3:
“The three West Bank Palestinians who stabbed and shot at the Israeli forces had been sitting and waiting for a large group of Israeli civilians to enter or leave the Old City, and had planned to target them, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on Wednesday evening, citing police sources…
“One of three terrorists had vowed in a Facebook post to carry out a shooting attack, Channel 2 reported, ostensibly to avenge the killing of another Palestinian who attempted an attack at a border crossing in the northern West Bank last November. The TV report said all three of the attackers were members of families associated with Fatah.”
Zika Virus Spreading
Deutsche Welle reported on February 2:
“Health officials in Texas have reported a case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sexual contact, and not a mosquito bite. The infected person is said to have acquired it from someone who traveled to Venezuela…
“The WHO has said the virus is spreading rapidly in the Americas and could infect 4 million people. A global response unit has been launched to fight the virus… The virus has been linked to microcephaly, in which babies have abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains. Researchers believe that if a pregnant woman is bitten by an infected mosquito [Russian media claims, that the virus is spread through genetically-modified mosquitoes], particularly in the first trimester, she faces a higher risk of having a child with birth defects.
“The virus has now spread to 26 countries and territories including Brazil, which is the country hardest hit, with 3,700 suspected cases of microcephaly that may be linked to Zika… The race is on to find a vaccine to prevent the virus taking hold. There is no treatment or vaccine for Zika, which is in the same family of viruses as dengue fever.”
China Releases Color Pictures from their Recent Moon Landing
Techcrunch reported on January 30, 2016:
“This month, the China National Space Administration released all of the images from their recent moon landing to the public. There are now hundreds and hundreds of never-before-seen true color, high definition photos of the lunar surface available for download… In December of 2013, China joined the ranks of Russia and the United States when they successfully soft-landed on the lunar surface, becoming the third country ever to accomplish this feat. What made China’s mission especially remarkable was that it was the first soft-landing on the moon in 37 years, since the Russians landed their Luna 24 probe back in 1976…
“Chang’e 3, named after the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology, was a follow-up mission to Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 which were both lunar orbiters. The objective of the Chang’e 3 mission was to demonstrate the key technologies required for a soft moon landing and rover exploration. The mission was also equipped with a telescope and instruments to perform geologic analysis of the lunar surface.
“Once the 1,200 kg Chang’e lander reached the surface at a location known as Mare Imbrium, it deployed the 140 kg Yutu rover, whose name translates to ‘Jade Rabbit.’ The Yutu rover was equipped with 6 wheels, a radar instrument, and x-ray, visible and near-infrared spectrometers (instruments that can measure the intensity of different wavelengths of light). Yutu’s geologic analysis suggested that the lunar surface is less homogeneous than originally thought…
“China’s follow-up mission, Chang’e 4 is scheduled to launch as early as 2018 and plans to land on the far side of the moon. If this happens, China will become the first nation to land a probe on the lunar far side. With the Chang’e series, China has shown that, unlike NASA, their focus is on lunar, rather than Martian, exploration. But they’re not the only ones that have their sights set on the moon… a number of private companies are building spacecraft designed to soft-land on the lunar surface in the next few years. One of those companies, Moon Express, plans to be the first ever private company to land a spacecraft on the moon and has already secured a launch for their spacecraft in 2017.”
Incredibly, there are still quite a few conspiracy proponents who believe that there was never a moon landing, and that all the undisputable reports are wrong.
In What Way are We “Free From” or “Dead To” the Law?
We find the following statement in Romans 7:1-4:
“(Verse 1) Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? (Verse 2) For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. (Verse 3) So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. (Verse 4) Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another, even to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”
Many claim that these passages convey the thought that the law of God (including the Ten Commandments, and especially the law against adultery) has no more force and effect for us today, as the law has “no more dominion” over us; as we are “free from the law”; and as we have “become dead to the law.”
But imagine what this would mean. It would mean, for example, that a true Christian could commit adultery today, without being guilty of sin. However, the New Testament teaches the exact opposite. Just focusing on the law against adultery, we read that in order to inherit eternal life, we must obey the commandments, including the commandment against adultery (Matthew 19:17-19). We read that adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:19-21). We also read that God will judge “fornicators and adulterers” (Hebrews 13:4).
Paul explains that if we commit adultery, we do not love our neighbor as ourselves (Romans 13:9). Christ even said that when we LOOK at another woman with evil thoughts, we have already committed adultery in our heart, and He warned us not to marry a woman whose marriage had been bound by God and who subsequently became divorced without a biblical reason (Matthew 5:27-32).
We can clearly see that the idea that we are free today to commit adultery is preposterous and in total contradiction to the teaching of the Bible. It’s also clear that Paul could not have possibly meant in the above-quoted passage in Romans 7:1-4 that we are now free to sin, by committing adultery.
(1) Before we explain what Paul DID mean, let us quote several statements from commentaries to show the HOPELESS CONFUSION in traditional or orthodox Christianity.
For instance, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary writes:
“So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant… he continues [as] the slave of sin in some form… By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband… we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master’s yoke…”
As we pointed out before, this explanation makes no sense.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible does not present a better explanation:
“… believers being dead to the law, and the law dead to them, which is all one, they are loosed from it… they are out of the reach of its power and government… it has no power over them, to threaten and terrify them into obedience to it; nor even rigorously to exact it, or command it in a compulsory way…”
The following explanation by the Broadman Bible Commentary is also unbiblical. They say: “As the Christian became free from the tyranny of sin when he died to sin (6:2), so he is free from the law because he died to the law…”
(2) On the other hand, the same commentaries seem to grasp the total fallacy of their conclusions, since utter lawlessness and anarchy would be the inevitable consequence. Realizing the repeated injunction in Scripture to be OBEDIENT to God, they give lip service to this requirement by saying that we must obey God, without ever explaining how obedience is possible without law or rules or regulations. (For instance, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary speaks of “Christian obedience,” without explaining this concept). How are we supposed to “obey” God without being told in what way we are to obey? This remains an unexplained mystery to the reader.
In spite of these glaring inconsistencies, note the following excerpts from Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible:
“They are represented as… ‘dead to the law’… it has no power over them… nor is there any need of all this, since believers delight in it after the inward man, and serve it with their minds freely and willingly; the love of Christ, and not the terrors of the law, constrains them to yield a cheerful obedience to it…”
Did you catch this? The commentary says that the law has no more power over a Christian who, through the love of Christ, yields to a cheerful obedience to IT—the LAW!
(3) Apparently realizing that this interpretation leads to the slippery slope of incredible inconsistences, an APPARENT DISTINCTION is being created between “the law” and “the law of Christ.” The law then is reduced, mainly, to the law administered by Moses, while the law of Christ is supposed to be something different, even though it is never explained what the difference within the law should be. Hopelessly caught in a maze of confusion, Gill goes on to write:
“[Christ] is raised from the dead; and is a living husband, and will ever continue so, will never die more; and therefore as the saints can never be loosed from the marriage bond of union between Christ and them, so they can never be loosed from the law of this husband; wherefore though they are dead to the law as a covenant of works, and as ministered by Moses, and are free from any obligation to it, as so considered, yet they are ‘under the law to Christ’, 1 Corinthians 9:21; under obligation, by the ties of love, to obedience to it, and shall never be loosed from it.”
Apparently, the idea is supposed to be conveyed that we are under obligation to OBEY the “law to Christ,” while we are no longer under obligation to keep the law “administered by Moses,” but as we said, it is totally nebulous which two sets of law this commentary is talking about. Let us take adultery as an example (because after all, this is the law which Paul uses in his analogy in Romans 7). Whether it was administered by Moses in the Old Testament, or whether it is part of the law of or to Christ in the New Testament, it is still a rule to be obeyed. David had God’s Holy Spirit, but he still committed adultery, and God punished him for that. David was in no way free from the obligation to keep that law (nor was he incapable of violating it), and neither are true Christians today.
The truth is that Paul is speaking in Romans 7 about the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments and the spiritual statutes and judgments, NOT about any temporary ritual law. The prohibition against adultery is part of the spiritual law of the Ten Commandments… not of a ritual law which is no longer valid today.
(4) It is a usual fact of life that wrong conclusions are oftentimes reached when we operate from wrong premises and presumptions. This is not different in the field of “Christian theology.” Traditional Christianity is hopelessly confused regarding so many of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, because it starts its thought process with WRONG ASSUMPTIONS.
Regarding Paul’s statements in Romans 7:1-4, there are numerous wrong assumptions employed by Christian commentators, which inevitably lead to wrong conclusions.
(a) One of these wrong assumptions is that Paul stated that the LAW WAS DEAD. However, Paul nowhere said this. He said that true Christians have become DEAD TO THE LAW; he does not say that the law is dead. This is a fundamental difference which is overlooked by most commentators.
For instance, Gill, in glossing over this all-important distinction, writes that “the law… must be dead, and they dead to that, that so their marriage to Christ might appear lawful and justifiable.”
He also states this:
“The law may be said to live, when it is in full force, and to be dead, when it is abrogated and disannulled; now whilst it lives, or is in force, it has dominion over a man; it can require and command obedience of him, and in case of disobedience can condemn him, and inflict punishment on him: and this power it has also as long as the man lives who is under it, but when he is dead it has no more dominion over him; then ‘the servant is free from his master’, Job 3:19; that is, from the law of his master; and children are free from the law of their parents, the wife from the law of her husband, and subjects from the law of their prince.”
His erroneous conclusions (that the law is no longer binding for us) are based on the false premise that Paul allegedly stated that the law died and was dead… which Paul never said.
The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary makes some cautionary remarks, as the authors seem to understand that Paul did not preach that the law was dead:
“It has been thought that the apostle should here have said that ‘the law died to us,’ not ‘we to the law,’ but that purposely inverted the figure… It was essential to his argument that we, not the law, should be the dying party, since it is we that are ‘crucified with Christ,’ and not the law.”
(b) In addition to the false premise that the law is dead (which Paul did not say), commentaries have created another false premise, which is, that Paul taught that the unconverted person was MARRIED TO THE (Old Testament) LAW, but that the converted Christian is married to Christ, and that therefore, the (Old Testament) law had to die so that we are free to marry another.
Gill is adopting this view, stating that “the law, their former husband, must be dead… that so their marriage to Christ might appear lawful and justifiable.”
(5) But Paul did not try to explain in his analogy that the first HUSBAND was the LAW, and when the law died, we could marry our second Husband, Jesus Christ.
The first question is whether Paul intended to apply the analogy in Romans 7:1-3 to a Christian (in verse 4) beyond just making the statement that with the death of a person, the law (any law) ceases to have dominion over the person— that is, in using the marriage covenant just as an example, a woman is no longer charged by the law as an adulteress if she marries again after her husband’s death. It might very well be that this is ALL that Paul was trying to convey.
But if we take the positon that Paul meant to apply the different “roles” in this analogy (in verses 1-3) to the life of a Christian, then Paul was not identifying the first husband as the law, but he would have had a completely DIFFERENT “FIRST” HUSBAND in mind.
This concept is something which some early Christian commentaries might have understood, to a degree, who struggled with the problem that Paul could not have said that the law—as a husband—had died and was dead. The Pulpit commentary explains:
“… it may be observed that throughout the whole passage there is no phrase to suggest in itself the idea of the Law’s death… the former husband is not the law, but the lust of sin… Augustine… is the author of this view… [I]n the death of the mortal Christ this old man is dead with him; and, as the individual man is grafted by faith into Christ, his old man dies…”
In light of this viewpoint, the meaning of the passage in Romans 7:4 would have to be looked at in a completely different light (while understanding that we can carry an analogy, an allegory or a parable only so far. Analogies, allegories or parables are meant to explain spiritual lessons; not every aspect is to be taken literally): The wife would first be “married” to her evil desires—her carnal human nature—the “old man.” With the death of that old man, she became free from unrighteousness and became subject to (“married to”) the righteousness of the new man (Romans 6:6, 13, 16-19). The human being is represented here as a wife [or a bride] before and after conversion, in order to stay within the analogy of her becoming the bride of Christ who will marry her new Husband.
(6) In addition, Paul tells us in Romans 7:4 that WE DIED TO THE LAW THROUGH THE BODY OF CHRIST. He does not say that the law is dead. The spiritual law of the Ten Commandments and its statutes and judgments is very much alive and binding for us today.
Paul says in Romans 7:5: “For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sins which were aroused [or revealed, made known, compare Romans 7:7] by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death [the wages or penalty of sin is death, Romans 6:23].”
Before we repent and receive forgiveness for our sins, we live with the fleshly desires of the natural mind. But note as well that the words “were aroused” are not in the original. And so, the Lamsa Bible translates Romans 7:5: “For when we were in the flesh, the pains of sin, which were by the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruits to death.” Sin is the violation of the law, and sin brings pain.
The Living Bible says: “When your old nature was still active, sinful desires were at work within you, making you want to do whatever God said no to, and producing sinful deeds, the rotting fruit of death.”
And so, Christ died for us and delivered us from the PENALTY OF SIN, which is death. He delivered us from the PENALTY OF THE LAW.
Paul says in Romans 7:6: “But now we have been delivered from the law [its penalty, because we had transgressed against it and sinned], having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
Today, we are keeping the law by including its intent and purpose. We are not only committing the sin of adultery when we carry out the very act [the letter], but we are already sinning [in spirit] when we look at a woman with the desire of committing adultery with her.
Christ died for us, making forgiveness of sin possible. The law has no more any claim over us; it does not and cannot claim our lives anymore when we repent and believe in and accept the Sacrifice of Christ. “There is therefore now no more condemnation to those who are in Jesus Christ [and He in us], who do not walk according to the flesh [with its evil and sinful lusts and desires], but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
With proper baptism, the old man dies, and the new man is raised in whom Christ lives (compare also Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-10). And it is Christ who fulfills the righteous requirements of the law IN and THROUGH us (Romans 8:4). We were baptized into Christ’s death and “we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). Romans 6:10-11 says: “For the death that [Christ] died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin [which is the transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4, Authorized Version], but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We died to the penalty of the law “through the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4) because we could have no forgiveness without the death of the body of Christ (Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24). Since everyone has sinned, we would still be under the law’s death penalty. But since Christ died for us and since we have accepted His Sacrifice for us (He died to pay the penalty for our sins on our behalf), the law (its penalty) has no more dominion over us (Romans 7:1). We—that is our old man with his lusts—died or have become dead to the law (its penalty), so that we, as the new man, have become betrothed to our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ (Romans 7:4) who enables us to keep the law. Christ will consummate the marriage with us, when we become immortal Spirit Beings, incapable of sinning, after we have qualified to enter the Kingdom of God.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
“Do You Know the Jesus of the Bible?” is the subject of a new booklet promotion begun this week. Through emails, press releases and Facebook ads, we are focusing attention to the Church’s webpage: www.eternalgod.org. Special thanks to September Danforth-Prentice for her work on this project.
“Turmoil in the Middle East,” is the title of a powerful new StandingWatch program. In this presentation, Evangelist Norbert Link reveals the meaning of world events happening now in the light of Bible prophecies! Here is a summary:
We need to focus on the Middle East because it is there where World War III will begin. In this special program, we will be discussing events pertaining to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Egypt , Syria, Libya, Ethiopia and ISIS. We will also address growing anti-Semitism in Europe and the strained relationship between Israel and the EU. We will explain how these events fit into the panorama of biblical prophecy, and what we can expect to occur next.
“Ist das Gesetz für uns tot?” is the title of this coming Sabbath’s German sermon. The title in English: “Is the Law Dead for Us?”
“Scorn and Ridicule for God and His People” is the title of the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The Bible shows us that especially in these end times, many will scoff at God, His Word, His servants and His people. We should not be surprised when we are ridiculed and scorned. Those who may know us and do not approve of our new way of life may look for “reasons” to mock us and speak evil of us–because they themselves may not want to change. But we must also be careful that we do not unnecessarily provoke ridicule through our own conduct.
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:
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