Update 784


Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled; Tiny Changes

On May 27, 2017, Norbert Link will use the sermonette and announcement time for his message, titled, “Prophecy Is Being Fulfilled,” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Tiny Changes”.

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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The Land of Opportunities

by Rene Messier (Canada)

Many come to America because they look upon it as the land of opportunities. You may have perhaps heard the saying, “Only in America,” when someone makes a fortune in a business venture or earns money selling a patent.

Americans have liberties which many in other countries do not enjoy. Women can vote, drive cars, start their own business and go about freely—something they cannot do in some countries. There is no violent religious persecution at this time, although that could change rather rapidly. Right now, a person can pursue life, liberty and happiness as long as it is within the confines of the law.

There is relative safety and peace of mind in smaller rural areas. This is not true, of course, in larger cities where there is crime and violence. Americans enjoy freedom of speech which is protected by the First Amendment, without fear of imprisonment or death, which is a possibility in some countries.

But American freedoms cannot remotely compare with what God is promising true Christians. They have been offered a land of opportunity where there is true prosperity and peace. That land is the world tomorrow, the Millennium, when Christ returns to establish world rule under Himself with the resurrected saints as co-rulers. It will be a time of joy and true peace, with wars having been abolished.

Zechariah describes it this way in Zechariah 8:4-5:

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age. The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets.’”

This scenario is hard to imagine, when we think of the violence and ghettos of our major cities today.

Notice, the citizens of Jerusalem will be of great age and the children will be safe to play in the streets of the city where there will be no more bombings or stabbings like we see today. We will rule as kings and priests, as Revelation 5:10 says: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”  Kings will rule in accordance with God’s laws, and priests will teach God’s laws which describes part of our future responsibilities to spread the law of God over all the earth.

Isaiah 2:3-4 casts additional light on what lies ahead in the future: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”

What is pictured here is the true land of opportunity where there will be peace and harmony with one world religion, which is something we ought to be looking forward to. We are admonished in Revelation 3:11 to hold fast to the end: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

It is imperative to hold fast to the truth without compromise if we want to enjoy the benefits of becoming co-rulers with Christ. God is anxious to bestow on us the gift of eternal life and to grant us our reward of rulership, as well as the potential to be involved in this future land of opportunity.

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by Norbert Link

In this issue, we focus on the new terror attack in Manchester, Great Britain, as well as President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, and his highly controversial performance in Brussels.

We also address growing concerns regarding North Korea and Syria and report on the European push for an historically unprecedented army.

We conclude with new developments and research regarding the dangers of vaccinations which are ignored by most scientists; and with an article on evolutionary nonsense.

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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Terror Attack in Manchester… ISIS Claims Responsibility… Fear of Further Imminent Attacks

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 24:

“British police confirmed on Wednesday that the suicide bomber who killed 22 people [and wounded more than 60] at a Manchester concert was not acting alone… Police have identified 22-year-old Salman Abedi as the attacker who blew himself up at the Manchester Arena on Monday night at the end of a concert by pop singer Ariana Grande…

“Later on Wednesday, Libyan police confirmed they had arrested Abedi’s younger brother [20] in Tripoli on suspicion of links to the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) armed group… A third brother, Ismail, was arrested in Britain on Tuesday… On Wednesday morning, Manchester police arrested three men in the south of the city in connection with the bombing, taking the total number of suspects in custody in the UK to four. A fifth man was arrested in Manchester on Wednesday afternoon…

“With Abedi suspected of having had accomplices, the government late on Tuesday raised the official terror threat level to ‘critical,’ meaning that an attack was expected imminently. It marked the highest threat level in the UK in more than a decade. French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told local broadcaster BFM that the 22-year-old is thought to have also travelled to Syria, adding that he had proven links to the so-called ‘Islamic State’ jihadist group. UK Interior Minister Amber Rudd said that Abedi had recently returned to the UK from Libya…

“Rudd also expressed her displeasure at US officials for leaking information on the perpetrator to the media as the investigation was still unfolding… The minister said that as many as 3,800 troops could be deployed to patrol streets across the UK and guard vital locations, such as Buckingham Palace and the prime minister’s residence at Downing Street. Just under 1,000 soldiers have already been deployed, initially in London, then elsewhere… The Houses of Parliament have been closed for visits…”

As more and more facts come to light, we have no question that such horrendous acts are demonically inspired, and that the perpetrators ARE demonically influenced, if not possessed. As it was stated in the press: Looking at the face of the 22-year-old murderer means looking at pure evil.

What Could Be Done?

Deutsche Welle wrote in a related article on May 23:

“Once again, terrorism targets the center of a European city. Another attack on people – people just trying to have fun, people out for a good time. It was another suicide attack. And once again, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (IS) has claimed responsibility, even before the police made anything public.

“The choice of venue to attack – the Manchester Arena – seems particularly horrible this time: a pop concert. This means that among the victims are many children and young people… [They] fall into the hands of such [a] brutal murderer… How sick must the person be who consciously targets such victims?

“Dealing with terrorist attacks has become like a deja vu experience. All the news outlets carry the same headlines… Then there [are] the meaningless and merely voyeuristic eye-witness reports… There are numerous reactions from the music world and politicians: They want to show their anguish… Everyone’s thoughts are with the victims. And all civilized nations are showing their solidarity with Britain. Whatever that actually means…

“Europe, which has become a regular target for Islamic terrorists, has by now a well-established routine for dealing with such shock. These are rituals that serve to hide the fact that there is no easy or quick, effective answer in dealing with the struggle against terrorism. And that no such answer will be found either.

“… People will still attend concerts, go to shopping centers, soccer games or, in Germany, go to the Protestant Church Assembly… they have accepted the possibility of terrorism as normal. Right-wing extremists… continue to rant about banning all Muslims from Europe…

“But still, there is more action that could be taken by politicians, there are other options: For example, by exercising tight controls over, and if necessary banning, all places of worship in which terrorists have been radicalized. These are actually all over Europe. Or, as pragmatically demonstrated on Sunday in Saudi Arabia by Donald Trump: He had a contract signed by over 50 heads of state – above all the King of Saudi Arabia – to prevent the direct, as well as indirect, financing of IS in their countries.

“It may be that this does little to prevent terrorist attacks in European cities – that remains to be seen. But it is definitely smarter than doing nothing, or stupidly bombing cities in [the] Middle East in which, of course, civilians also live.”

Sadly, in this world ruled by Satan the Devil and his evil and deranged demons, terrible murderous acts by insane individuals like the ones in Manchester will continue. The ONLY hope for this world and for true and lasting peace is the return of Jesus Christ.

Britain Stops Sharing Intelligence Information with the USA

The Huffington Post wrote on May 25:

“Angered that U.S. intelligence officials appeared to be leaking information about the Manchester terror attack, British authorities have stopped sharing details about the case, the BBC reports. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham later confirmed the report, telling CNN that, ‘we quite frankly can’t risk it anymore.’…

“President Donald Trump called the leaks ‘deeply troubling.’ ‘The leaks of sensitive information pose a grave threat to our national security,’ he said. ‘I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.’”

Subsequently, The Week reported on May 25:

“British police are once again sharing intelligence information with the United States, following a suspension announced Thursday morning in the wake of several leaks about the Manchester bombing by U.S. officials to the media… Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday she would ‘make clear to President Trump that intelligence shared between our security agencies must remain secure,’ and on Thursday night, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police Service Mark Rowley said that after receiving ‘fresh assurances’ from the U.S., the two countries were once against sharing material.”

 America’s intentional, inadvertent or leaked sharing of sensitive and classified intelligence information has caused worldwide consternation, concern and outright anger.

Trump’s Deals with Saudi Arabia

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 20:

“The US has announced military deals worth $110 billion with Saudi Arabia… The $110 billion… deal for Saudi purchases of US defense equipment and services was one of several deals announced during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The military sales deal is effective immediately, with another $350 billion set of deals to kick in over the next 10 years… US conglomerate General Electric also announced it had signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth $15 billion with the oil-rich kingdom…

Russia and Iran – allies with Syria against the US-Saudi Arabia axis in the region – this year signed a large arms deal. The US-Saudi deal comes amid talk of a possible reconfiguration of Middle East alliances, and possibly global, ties. For Riyadh, the visit is an opportunity to rebuild ties with a key ally, strained under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama who Sunni Arab Gulf states suspected of a tilt towards their Shiite regional rival Iran…

“After a welcoming coffee ceremony, Trump and his entourage were brought to the royal court where the president was awarded the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honor. The streets of Riyadh were lined with US and Saudi flags and billboards featuring Trump and King Salman.

“US first lady Melania Trump did not cover her head when she arrived on Saturday along with her husband. Two years ago, then-citizen Trump criticized former first lady Michelle Obama’s decision to go bare-headed on a January 2015 visit with her husband. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a senior White House adviser who is accompanying her father, also left her head uncovered…”

The different arms deals between competing parties only show that peace in the Middle East is a fanciful illusion. The incredible large arms deal with Saudi Arabia totally ignores the fact that Saudi Arabia is being sued in American courts by relatives and survivors of the September 11 terrorist attack, for having allegedly permitted or even actively pursued the attack.

President Trump’s wife and daughter did the right thing in not covering their heads. After all, they cannot be held responsible for Donald Trump’s prior condemnation of Michelle Obama.

Jared and Ivanka Kushner Received Rabbinic Dispensation to fly on the Sabbath…

JTA wrote on May 19:

“President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, have received rabbinic approval to fly with him on Shabbat to the Middle East and Europe… A White House official said the couple, who are Orthodox Jews, have received a rabbinical dispensation to join the president aboard Air Force One… Orthodox Jews observe a Sabbath prohibition on work, motorized travel and the switching on or off of any appliance that uses heat, electricity or fire.

“As a matter of consensus, the prohibitions do not apply to life-or-death situations or when violating the Shabbat has the potential of saving human lives (and according to some decisors, the lives of certain animals under specific circumstances).

“Trump has tasked Kushner with brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The New York Times reported Thursday that as part of his effort to secure an arms deal worth about $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, Kushner called the CEO of defense contractor Lockheed Martin directly and asked her to reduce the cost of a missile defense system so that Saudi Arabia could buy it…”

… Or Did They?

 JTA wrote on May 21:

“Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, the prominent modern Orthodox rabbi who oversaw Ivanka Trump’s conversion to Judaism, said he did not give the first daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, a dispensation to fly on Air Force One on Shabbat.

“Lookstein told Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union party, that it was ‘fake news’… Lookstein also told Herzog… that he had not been in contact with Ivanka Trump for several weeks…

“The couple also was seen traveling to meetings by car in Saudi Arabia Saturday…”

JTA added on May 24:

“Which Orthodox rabbi gave Jared and Ivanka permission to fly on Shabbat? We don’t know who it was, but we know who it wasn’t.

“It wasn’t Haskel Lookstein, who oversaw the First Daughter’s conversion to Judaism. It wasn’t Marvin Hier, who gave the invocation at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It wasn’t Levi Shemtov, the spiritual leader at the synagogue in Washington, D.C., that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have attended. And it wasn’t Shmuley Boteach, the celebrity rabbi who has lavished praise on the president and taken a series of selfies with his advisers.

Those rabbis, on the record, denied giving their stamp of approval to the Friday night flight to Saudi Arabia — though none of them criticized the decision, and all refrained from commenting on it.”

Part of the orthodox teaching of modern Judaism is in complete opposition to the Bible. These burdensome pharisaical restrictions were strongly condemned by Jesus Christ. However, it is interesting that the White House’s announcement of a rabbinic dispensation (without giving the name of the rabbi or the timing) becomes a mystery in light of the prominent Orthodox rabbi’s denial that he gave any permission to travel on the Sabbath.

The Sabbath Controversy

JTA wrote on May 25:

“Based on conversations with a few Orthodox rabbis… flying on Shabbat is prohibited because flying the plane involves igniting a combustion engine, thereby lighting a fire. Lighting a fire is one of the few actions expressly prohibited on Shabbat by the Torah. But while that might be true for the pilot, it isn’t, really, for the passenger. After all, if I’m sitting in coach, I’m not literally flying the plane, much less turning it on or off. (Although some make the case that the additional weight of each passenger causes the engine to consume more fuel.) The reason observant Jews abstain from flying on Friday night and Saturday is because Jewish law prohibits traveling too far outside a city… on Shabbat. Unlike lighting a fire, that prohibition is mandated by rabbinic sources, not the text of the Torah itself — and therefore is less severe

“Jared and Ivanka’s national security duties might fall under the umbrella of pikuach nefesh — dealing with matters of life and death. But a few essays suggest that they might be exempt on different grounds: simply because they’re senior advisers of the president. That concept is called ‘karov l’malchut’ — roughly, ‘confidant of the king.’ It allows observant Jewish advisers of a ruler (or president) to violate rabbinic prohibitions in order to do their jobs. Because the advisers’ actions can safeguard (or endanger) Jewish welfare, they’re given more flexibility…

“Jared and Ivanka are two of the most powerful people in the country. As public officials, their actions affect hundreds of millions of people across the country and world. Nor is their Judaism private…”

The biblical command against lighting a fire on the Sabbath was given in the context of lighting a huge fire for the purpose of working for the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness. It had and has absolutely nothing to do with igniting a combustion engine, switching on a light or an oven for cooking a meal. These are just pharisaical rules, making the Sabbath a burden, rather than a delight.

At the same time, exempting governmental officials from keeping the Sabbath is equally wrong. In this world ruled by Satan, it shows that Sabbath-keeping Christians could not be working in positions which would require them to disregard God’s Sabbath command.

Trump Speaks to the Muslim World

JTA wrote on May 21:

“US President Donald Trump called on Middle Eastern leaders to combat a ‘crisis of Islamic extremism’ emanating from the region, casting the fight against terrorism as a ‘battle between good and evil,’ not a clash between the West and Islam.  Trump’s address Sunday was the centerpiece of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, his first stop overseas as president. During a meeting of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders, he sought to chart a new course for America’s role in the region, one aimed squarely on rooting out terrorism, with less focus on promoting human rights and democratic reforms….

“Trump made almost no mention of Israel, his next stop on the tour Monday, leaving it off a list of countries fighting terror…

“The president has been enthusiastically embraced in Riyadh, where the ruling royal family has welcomed his tougher stance on Iran, its regional foe… Trump also devoted much of his speech to railing against Iran, accusing it of trying to destabilize the region…

“He notably refrained from using the phrase ‘radical Islamic terror,‘ which had been a staple of campaign speeches and which he had chided predecessor Barack Obama for refusing to utter… He once mused that he thought ‘Islam hates us’… But on Sunday, Trump was full of praise for Muslim world’s history and culture. He declared Islam ‘one of the world’s great faiths.’…”

News commentators have wondered whether we are observing a modern version of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Trump”…

What Happened to Saudi Arabia’s Abysmal Violation of Human Rights?

On May 22, The Times of Israel re-published the following article by the Associated Press:

“As President Donald Trump opened his keynote address in Saudi Arabia, he lavished praise on the ‘magnificent’ kingdom and ‘the grandeur of this remarkable place.’ Then he made clear there would be no public lecture from America on Saudi Arabia’s abysmal human rights record… Trump’s willingness to set aside human rights as a principal foreign policy has been one constant in his chaotic administration. Yet the absence of any public reference to the kingdom’s treatment of women and political opponents during his two-day visit was still jarring, particularly when contrasted with his affectionate embrace of the royal family…

“To be sure, Trump’s predecessors have also forged close ties with Saudi Arabia, an important US partner in the Middle East, and other nations with questionable human rights records. But in their own ways, former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush each vouched for American values in their dealings with those nations, including the kingdom…

“Saudi Arabia adheres to an ultraconservative interpretation of Islamic Shariah law where unrelated men and women are segregated in most public places. Women are banned from driving… Guardianship laws also require a male relative’s consent before a woman can obtain a passport, travel or marry. Often that relative is a father or husband, but in the absence of both can be the woman’s own son…

“Human rights didn’t go completely unnoticed on Trump’s trip. During a press briefing Saturday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hammered Iran’s newly re-elected president [Hassan Rouhani] for his government’s oppressive policies. However, when reporters shouted out questions regarding Saudi Arabia’s human rights record — namely, one question about when the kingdom intends to allow women to drive — Tillerson ignored it.”

The Bible strongly condemns the ancient and modern House of Israel for entering into alliances with nations opposed to God’s Way of Life. In many cases, those allies subsequently turned against each other. The restrictions on women in Saudi Arabia are indeed appalling and totally contrary to biblical injunctions.

“Iran President Hassan Rouhani Blasts Trump’s Saudi Summit”

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 22:

“Iran’s newly re-elected president has dismissed US President Donald Trump’s calls for the region to isolate Tehran. Peace in the Middle East could only be possible with Iran at the table, Rouhani said. At a press conference on Monday, Iran’s newly re-elected president, Hassan Rouhani, dismissed US President Donald Trump’s weekend summit with Arab leaders, describing it as ‘just a show with no practical or political value of any kind.’

“In his speech on Islamic extremism on Sunday, Trump also singled out Tehran as an agent of terrorism… Despite Trump’s confrontational rhetoric, Iran had nothing to do with the terror attacks on the US in September 2001, or subsequent attacks in Europe – including Germany, France and England… Rouhani also dismissed the US and Saudi government’s $110 billion dollar arms deal…

“However, while Rouhani’s greatest political achievement to date has perhaps been the 2015 agreement with six major powers, including the US, to curbing Iran’s nuclear program, the Iranian president insisted that ballistic missile tests would continue ‘if technically necessary’… adding that he would not need permission from the US to conduct such tests.

“Rouhani won this week’s Iranian presidential election with a resounding majority, a sign that most Iranians wish to keep on the president’s course of reform and modernization…”

It is not to be expected that the relationship between the USA and Iran will improve, which means that in the long run, the relationship between Russia (Iran’s ally) and the USA will not remain peaceful, either.

In the past, some uninformed religious “experts” claimed that Iran was to fulfill the role of the “king of the South,” mentioned in Daniel 11. Of course, at other times, they proclaimed that Saddam Hussein of Iraq or Osama bin Laden were to fulfill that role. These false predictions only show the limited biblical understanding of those “experts.”

60 US Evangelical Leaders Remind Trump of His Promise to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

The Jewish Press wrote on May 18:

“A group of about 60 US Evangelical leaders last week sent President Trump a letter calling on him to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move his embassy there from Tel Aviv, The Daily Caller reported. The letter, issued by American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI), cites the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordering the US President to move the Embassy there by May 31, 1999.

“Every American president before Trump has opted to sign a waiver twice a year explaining why it has been politically unfeasible to obey this law. Should President Trump choose to avoid the move, he, too, will have to sign such a waiver soon. The Christian leaders wrote Trump:

“‘Sadly, every US President since then has taken advantage of a provision in the law allowing its requirements to be waived for six months if “necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.” Such suspensions have been repeated semi-annually for two decades, and it is time to end America’s doublespeak.’ The Republican National Convention’s official 2016 Platform rightly stated, “We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of US law.” Moreover, we were honored and grateful that you pledged to specifically uphold this policy in response to a request from the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) coalition during your campaign. Many of our constituents cast their vote for you due to this commitment,’ the leaders reminded Trump…

“The letter was signed by, among others, Dr. Jerry Johnson, Dr. John Hagee, Gordon Robertson, and Dr. James Dobson.”

President Trump’s and the White House’s double-talk and flip-flops on the promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem is causing great concern among many evangelicals and Republicans, as well as conservative Israelis.

Trump Visits Western Wall as First Sitting American President

JTA reported on May 22:

“President Donald Trump visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to go to the holy site. Trump arrived there under heavy security Monday afternoon with his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. No Israeli politicians or officials accompanied the family. U.S. officials reportedly had rejected a request by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the site with Trump

“Trump went to the men’s side, with his daughter and wife heading to the women’s section… The Trump family walked to the wall from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the holiest sites in Christianity, which they visited first…”

President Trump’s refusal to allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accompany him on his visit to the Western Wall has caused some misgivings in Israel.

Peace, Peace… and There Is No Peace

The Times of Israel reported on May 22:

“The first day of US President Donald Trump’s first-ever visit to Israel was full of grand gestures, but it yielded very few clues as to how the leader of the free world intends to go ahead and turn his vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace into reality…

“Trump repeatedly denounced Iran and the nuclear deal that the previous administration negotiated with the regime, but did not say whether he will try to unravel the agreement…

“‘No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the absence of a Palestinian state,’ Jordan’s King Abdullah told Trump on Sunday at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh. … The only way forward is a ‘just and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian cause, based on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative,’ he stressed…

“Trump and Netanyahu both avoided endorsing Palestinian statehood or the idea of ‘two states for two peoples’…”

The Times of Israel added on May 24:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [said] Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state and its capital in any borders is the root of the conflict, and pledging that the city, including the Temple Mount and Western Wall, will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty… the prime minister vowed the city would not be divided again…”

The Bible prophecies an unparalleled time of turmoil for the state of Israel and the Jewish people. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.” 

Trump Meets the Pope

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 24:

“The US president and the head of the Catholic Church have clashed on a number of key issues. But both men emerged smiling from their private audience, with the president saying he ‘wouldn’t forget’ Pope Francis’ words… Pope Francis was a vocal critic of Trump’s plan to bar refugees from coming to the US and to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The pontiff called these policies ‘not Christian,’ and said the job of leaders was to build bridges, not walls. The then-presidential candidate fired back that it was ‘disgraceful’ for Francis to question his faith…

Melania Trump, who is reportedly herself a Catholic, appeared delighted to meet the pope and presented him with a small item to bless for her

“The president later met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni… During his meeting…, Trump affirmed how happy he was to have met Pope Francis, reiterating what an ‘honor’ it was and saying ‘he is something.’”

The Associated Press wrote on May 24:

“Though both Trump and Francis are known for their unpredictability, papal visits with heads of state are carefully arranged bits of political and religious theater that follow a specific program, with little room for deviation or unwanted surprises. Trump, the 13th president to visit the Vatican, was also given a tour of the Sistine Chapel…

“The president’s prior anti-Muslim rhetoric… is the antithesis of what the pope has been preaching about a need for dialogue with Muslims. Francis also differs sharply with Trump on the need to combat climate change and economic inequality. And he could react to events this week, including the release of Trump’s budget, which would dramatically cut funding to programs that help the poor, and the president’s agreement to sell military equipment to Saudi Arabia…”

Melania Trump’s Faith

The Daily Mail reported on May 25:

“Melania Trump reveals she will be the first Catholic to live in the White House since the Kennedys. Melania Trump’s spokeswoman confirms that she’s a Catholic. The first lady met with Pope Francis on Wednesday at the Vatican, where he blessed a rosary for her. Then she went to a Vatican-affiliated pediatric hospital where she met with children, prayed in a chapel and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of Mary

“It’s unclear when Melania became a Catholic or when she was baptized. She and her sister weren’t baptized as infants and didn’t make their First Holy Communion along with other kids their age. Her father was a member of the Communist Party in Slovenia in order to work, and the party was official atheist. Melania opened a February presidential rally in Florida by surprising the president with a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer… The president is a life-long Presbyterian, and they were married in a Florida Episcopal church.”

Strange Catholic Customs

The Telegraph wrote on May 24:

“Both the First Lady, Melania Trump, and the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump… chose to honour the traditional Vatican dress codes by wearing black, long sleeved dresses and veils – the former even choosing to honour her host nation by wearing Italian label Dolce and Gabbana…

“Traditionally, under Pope Benedict XVI and all those before him, the rule was that women should wear black to meet [the Pope], covering up with full sleeves and a mantilla, the lace veil traditionally worn in the Roman Catholic Church.  Only a handful of Queens and Princesses from Catholic regions are permitted to wear white… Michelle Obama wore a black dress with a mantilla when she met Pope Benedict XVI in 2009…”

It is not clear how the Catholic tradition originated that women AND MEN are to wear black when meeting the Pope in private. Could it be that the Pope who is wearing white and who is to be addressed in those meetings as “Holy Father,” is to be distinguished in that way from his guests, wearing black, to show the difference between the alleged “representative of God” and his guests living in and being part of the “darkness” of this world?

Obama vs. Trump

The Huffington Post wrote on May 25:

“Former President Barack Obama subtly knocked his successor, President Donald Trump on Thursday, while explaining the importance of taking in refugees and immigrants in need. ‘In the eyes of God, a child on the other side of the border is no less worthy of love and compassion than my own child,’ he said in Berlin during a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel… Trump has taken on a decidedly more isolationist stance on immigration, banning Syrian refugees and visitors from other predominately Muslim countries and vowing to build a wall on the Mexican border…

“Other topics that… came up at Thursday’s event were defense spending, religion, and education―all issues that Trump and Obama tend to disagree on. Contending that poor education policies breed inequality, Obama said that, ‘no county will be successful if it leaves half of its children… uneducated and on the sidelines. We have to think of them as all of our children… The good news is that we know what to do, the bad news is that we haven’t convinced everybody of the necessity of doing it’…

Obama is extremely popular in Germany, and his appearance was greeted with a massive crowd and repeated applause. Trump, on the [other] hand, has clashed with Merkel on many key issues and has a negative approval rating among Germans…”

Merkel’s meeting with Obama in Germany was much more friendly and much less controversial than her subsequent meeting with Trump in Brussels.

Trump at EU Headquarters in Brussels

The EUObserver wrote on May 25:

“The EU and the US should defend common Western values rather than their own interests, European Council president Donald Tusk said on Thursday (25 May) after meeting US president Donald Trump in Brussels… The meeting [with Tusk and Juncker]… did not appear to bridge the gap between the EU and a US president who has expressed support for anti-EU political forces as well as sympathy for Russia…”

According to Deutsche Welle, dated May 25, Tusk also said that differences remained “over several key issues.”

Der Spiegel wrote on May 25 that Trump’s meeting with Tusk and Juncker was not that “amazing.”

Trump at NATO Headquarters

The Washington Post wrote on May 25:

“President Trump, speaking at a ceremony here Thursday to dedicate a memorial to NATO’s resolve in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, publicly chastised his fellow alliance leaders for not being ‘fair to taxpayers of the United States.’

“Trump used the occasion of his maiden summit with NATO leaders, where he was invited to dedicate the September 2001 memorial, to remind its members that ‘23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying,’ and that they owe ‘massive amounts’ from past years. European leaders who gathered from across the alliance gazed at Trump without expression and offered modest applause at the end of a speech…”

Der Spiegel commented on May 25 that Trump’s demand for payment of “owed” money would have caused consternation of NATO members, as there is “no provision to pay missing funds into a NATO money pot.”   

Express wrote on May 25:

“Only the UK, Poland, Greece and Estonia and the US are currently meeting the NATO spending requirement [of 2 percent of GDP]… with Canada, Spain, Belgium, Italy and Hungary among the nations barely reaching the one per cent mark. Last year America spent 3.6 per of its GDP on defence, the highest ratio of any NATO member. The US currently funds around three-quarters of the alliance’s operations.”

“Trump Lukewarm on Nato Joint Defence”

The EUObserver wrote on May 25:

“US leader Donald Trump voiced half-hearted support for Nato… His words fell short of an explicit commitment to Article 5 of the Nato treaty, which says that allies, including the US, would defend each other if one of them was attacked… His speech had been meant to allay concern after he described Nato as ‘obsolete’ and said the US might not defend allies who did not pay their share. It was also meant to reassure Europe that he would protect it from Russia…

“Trump later belittled Montenegro’s prime minister, Dusko Markovic, by physically pushing him aside as the leaders took their places for photos…”

Trump Attacks Germany

The Huffington Post wrote on May 25:

“During a meeting with top leaders of the European Union (Juncker and Tusk), President Donald Trump said ‘the Germans are bad, very bad,’ according to participants in the room who spoke to German newspaper Der Spiegel. Trump’s specific criticism was that Germany’s auto industry exported cars. ‘See the millions of cars they are selling in the U.S. Terrible,’ Der Spiegel reports he said. ‘We will stop this.’

“Another German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, reported that E.U. representatives felt their U.S. counterparts did not understand that the E.U. negotiates trade agreements as a single entity, rather than on a country-to-country basis. That is, the U.S. can negotiate trade deals with the E.U. as a whole, but not individually with the separate members of the E.U. Der Spiegel reported that Gary Cohn, the director of Trump’s National Economic Council, appeared to believe that the U.S. could negotiate different trade deals with Germany and Belgium.

“This is not the first time this basic misunderstanding has cropped up. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the White House in March, she had to explain how E.U. trade deals were negotiated almost a dozen times, a senior German official told the Times of London. ‘Ten times Trump asked [Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, “You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,”’ the official said. ‘On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, “Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.”’ …

“Top political figures and Europe analysts have already labeled his trip a major failure…”

German newspapers, including Der Spiegel, Der Stern, Bild, Die Welt, and many others, sharply attacked and condemned Donald Trump for his “Rambo-style” appearance, his ignorance on trade matters, his refusal to commit to Article 5 of the NATO treaty, his demand for back pay, his attacks on Germany, his praise for the King of Saudi Arabia as a very wise man, and his comments that NATO needs to focus on “terrorism and immigration.”  Questions were asked what Trump actually wants—does he want NATO to fight against immigrants? Subsequently, according to The Week, dated May 25, “Press Secretary Sean Spicer later confirmed America’s commitment to Article 5 and said Trump wasn’t ‘trying to be cute.’”

Germany’s Position

The Associated Press wrote on May 25:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is confident that Germany is on the right path with its defense spending… Merkel said Thursday that NATO leaders, meeting in Brussels, will confirm a decision from 2011 to increasing spending toward 2 percent of GDP by 2024

“Merkel also told reporters that she is pleased that NATO spending plans will also take into account what kinds of military equipment countries have and how much they are contributing to alliance operations. To meet the 2 percent guideline Germany would have to virtually double its military budget, spending more money on defense than Russia.”

Donald Trump will not accept Germany’s spending “toward” 2 percent of GDP “by 2024.” His demands of NATO members to pay immediately at least 2 percent of their GDP and “owed” money is bound to cause continued serious contention and controversy.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley on North Korea and Syria

Newsmax wrote on May 22:

“‘All options’ are on the table when it comes to North Korea and its growing aggression, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview airing Monday. ‘We have made it clear, we don’t want to start a fight, so don’t give us a reason to have one,’ Haley told NBC…

“On Sunday, North Korea test launched a solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile, which flew about 310 miles and went 350 miles high before it fell into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea says it is ready to start mass-producing a new medium-range missile that can reach Japan and hit the United States major military bases there

“The ambassador, who has been traveling this week in the Middle East on a trip separate from the president’s, told [NBC] she has visited a refugee camp that is home to 80,000 Syrians, and while talking to families, she’s learned that they ‘just want to go home.’ ‘That’s what their prayer is every day, that one day Syria will be peaceful enough to go back,’ said Haley. But that won’t happen, she continued, unless Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is removed from office. ‘There’s no way there’s going to be a political solution and peace with Assad in charge,’ she said…

“When asked if the United States will lead the effort for regime change in Syria, Haley responded that ‘you’re going to hear me talk about how awful Assad is every chance I get.’”

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley minces no words. Her warnings regarding North Korea and Syria are very noteworthy. Note the following articles.

IS US Preparing for an Attack Against North Korea?

On May 24, Euraktiv published the following article by New York Times bestseller George Friedman:

“If it were to attack North Korea, the United States would try to destroy its nuclear facilities and eliminate the southern artillery batteries aimed at Seoul. And it would do so primarily through the air

“It’s unclear whether the United States would deploy ground forces; doing so would almost certainly incur US causalities. If the air campaign against North Korea failed to destroy its intended targets, Washington would have to consider sending in special operations forces… Any attack would begin by striking North Korean command centres, including political command centres…

“In Washington, many will claim that if President Donald Trump orders an attack, he will have done so only for political reasons. But such accusations ignore US policy on North Korea, which has stood stalwart for more than a decade. (Barack Obama even warned Trump that North Korea would be his biggest challenge in foreign policy.) It was inevitable that Pyongyang’s strategy would bring it close to, or push it over, the red line…

“The United States is advertising its preparations for war – itself an act of deterrence – and the advertisement isn’t lost on North Korea. But it’s not a bluff; bluffing in such a way is expensive and pretty ineffective. From what we can tell, North Korea appears to assume that an attack is all but inevitable but a risk it is willing to take…”

The Huffington Post added on May 24:

“U.S. President Donald Trump told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information. The transcript of the call was first reported by the Intercept.

“Trump has said ‘a major, major conflict’ with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically. North Korea has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression.

“… In a show of force, the United States has sent the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it joined the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Korea in late April.”

Asian Trade Deal without the USA

Reuters wrote on May 20:

“Japan and other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed on Sunday to pursue their trade deal without the United States…

China, putting itself forward as a global free trade champion in light of the U.S. shift, is pushing an agreement to encompass the vast majority of Asian economies. The Asia trade deal it favors is called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.”

The influence of the USA even in economic matters is slowly waning.

Court of Appeals Rules Against Trump’s Revised Travel Ban

The Associated Press wrote on May 25:

“President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban ‘speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,’ a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s administration vowed to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 10-3 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban likely violates the Constitution. And it upheld a lower court ruling that blocks the Republican administration from cutting off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit is the first appeals court to rule on the revised travel ban unveiled in March. Trump’s administration had hoped it would avoid the legal problems that the first version from January encountered. A second appeals court, the 9th U.S. Circuit based in San Francisco, is also weighing the revised travel ban after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked it.

“The Supreme Court almost certainly would step into the case if asked. The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action.”

“EU Member States Will Pay for Joint Military ‘Projects’”

The Daily Mail wrote on May 18:

“EU member states will pay for joint military ‘projects’ in a move previously opposed by Britain… The cash would form part of Franco-German efforts to develop a more integrated European defence to respond to threats on Europe’s borders.

Nineteen countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain will start talks next month on the so-called Cooperative Financial Mechanism, or CFM, which could be running sometime next year…

“The steps, if agreed, would mark the biggest EU defence funding and research plan in more than a decade to reverse billions in cuts and send a message to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that Europe wants to pay for its own security…

“Separately, the European Commission will propose in early June up to 400 million euros (£340 million) from the bloc’s joint budget until 2020 to develop new European military equipment and weapons… ‘This is the first time in the 60 years of EU history we are allocating common funds to defence,’ [an] official said.”

The push for the creation of a European Army under German-French leadership is growing stronger. Please note the next article as well.

France to Push for European Army

Express wrote on May 20:

“The new [French] Armed Forces Minister Sylvie Goulard announced her intention to get closer to Germany over new President Emmanuel Macron’s fears countries will start to look after their own interests, and not those of the bloc… Ms Goulard said in her first message to military and civilian personnel: ‘… work with Germany will be decisive.’…

“An advocate of closer EU integration, Macron backs a ‘multi-speed’ Europe, an idea that has earned growing support in Germany and other EU countries since Britain voted to leave the bloc…”

Such a multi-speed Europe or a Europe of core member states, in addition to the rest of Europe, is prophesied to occur soon.

Europe—a Political and Military Union

The Guardian wrote on May 23:

“By pursuing true political integration based on a common army and security partnership for the EU, Macron can guarantee his place in the history books. To achieve this goal, however, he will have to break from his predecessors, who always categorically ruled out a political union.

Combining Europe’s military forces under a joint command is the only way forward. Creating a fiscal union without a political union would for ever block the road to European unification… No one who wants to build a union for peace can afford to permit, much less encourage, such an outcome.”

These are strong words. “Combining Europe’s military forces under a joint command”—another way of speaking about an European Army—is the “ONLY way forward.”

NATO Will Formally Join Anti-‘Islamic State’ Coalition

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 24:

“Members of the military alliance [NATO] have agreed to formally join the coalition against the ‘Islamic State’ extremist group. France and Germany were said to have greenlighted the ‘purely symbolic’ plan…  Diplomats said the decision is mainly political because all 28 NATO members already contribute to the coalition fighting to retake areas of Iraq and Syria from the extremist group. Some, like Germany, only taking part in support roles such as reconaissance and logistics…

“The decision follows pressure from Trump, who has previously accused NATO of being ‘obsolete’ and called for European countries to step up their funding of the military group. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that it would be an important step for the alliance to join the 68-nation anti-IS coalition. ‘I think they’re going to support NATO joining and becoming a formal member,’ he said, referring to Germany and France.

“… Although IS is on the verge of defeat in its Iraqi stronghold of Mosul and bracing for an assault against its de facto capital in Raqqa, Syria, there’s is rising concern that fleeing militants may move to other Middle East countries. US officials are also wary of leaving power vacuums in Iraq and Syria that could prompt Arab tribal fighters to turn on each other to gain control.”

This arrangement would obviously not only be “purely symbolic,” and the US would not be willing to treat it as such.

Italy Makes Vaccination Mandatory for Children

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 19:

“The Italian government has approved a law ordering parents to vaccinate children or face fines. The authorities have noted a rise in measles cases, which the cabinet blames on ‘the spread of anti-scientific theories.’

“The new legislation makes vaccines mandatory for 12 preventable diseases, including measles, chicken pox, polio, hepatitis B, and tetanus. Only children with immunizations would be eligible for nursery school, according to the Friday law. Parents would face large fines for sending non-vaccinated children to state childcare facilities or schools…

“Italy has noted a sudden spread of measles in recent years, with the number of infections rising from 250 in 2015 to 840 last year. Medical authorities have already detected over 2,395 cases since the beginning of 2017, and the US warned visitors to Italy to guard against the disease. Experts believe that the epidemic is due to people refusing to vaccinate their children. The world-wide anti-vaccination movement has been gaining traction in recent years, despite its theories being discredited by the scientific community. The public in Italy has been highly receptive to the debunked link about vaccines causing autism.”

This is, sadly, the policy adopted by many countries, which are following unproven “medical scientific” postulations that these vaccines are necessary to prevent the spread of epidemics. Thereby, they completely ignore the real danger of long-term complications which are dismissed as “fake news,” while it is claimed that those dangers have been “discredited” and “debunked” by scientists. THIS IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE! See the next article.

Unvaccinated Youth Have Much Lower Rates of Chronic Illnesses

The European Union Times wrote on May 19:

“The first peer-reviewed study comparing health outcomes of vaccinated children versus unvaccinated was recently published in the Journal of Translational Science by epidemiologists from the School of Public Health at Jackson State University. The study’s conclusions are likely to inflame the fierce debate over whether vaccines and a mercury-containing vaccine preservative may be culprits in the dramatic rise in certain neurodevelopmental disorders in our children, including autism.

“The ‘Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12-year-old U.S. children’ implicates vaccines in a host of chronic illnesses now epidemic in our nation’s children. The team of scientists, led by the renowned epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Mawson, the author of more than fifty published studies, concluded that ‘In a final adjusted model designed to test for this possibility, controlling for the interaction of preterm birth and vaccination, the following factors remained significantly associated with NDD [neurodevelopmental disorders]: vaccination (OR 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.6), nonwhite race (OR 2.4, 95% CI: 1.1, 5.4), and male gender (OR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.2, 4.4). Preterm birth itself, however, was not significantly associated with NDD, whereas the combination (interaction) of preterm birth and vaccination was associated with 6.6-fold increased odds of NDD (95% CI: 2.8, 15.5) (Table 8).’ Jackson State is a leading university research center.

“The study suggests that fully vaccinated children may be trading the prevention of certain acute illnesses (chicken pox, pertussis) for more chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) like ADHD and Autism. In order to find a large population of children who hadn’t received any vaccines, the Jackson State scientists utilized Homeschool organizations in four states and compared the incidence of a broad range of health outcomes in 666 children, 39% of whom were unvaccinated.

“Among the more concerning findings, vaccinated children had increased risks of autism (4.2 times), ADHD (4.2 times), learning disabilities (5.2 times) eczema (2.9 times), and an astounding 30 times the risk of allergic rhinitis compared to unvaccinated children.

“As would be expected, vaccinated children did have lower likelihood of two vaccine-preventable illnesses compared to unvaccinated children: chicken pox (7.9% vs. 25.3%), and pertussis (2.5% vs. 8.4%), but the scientists found no significant differences in rates of other vaccine-preventable illnesses like hepatitis A or B, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, meningitis or rotavirus…”

The problem with the “scientific world” denying the real dangers of vaccinations is that they are paid by or dependent on the pharmaceutical industry. The negative reaction by the mass media was to be expected, including horrific allegations that a middle-aged woman died of measles because she had not been vaccinated. And of course, any connection between vaccinations and autism was again completely denied by scientific “experts.”

Evolutionary Silliness

Express wrote on May 25:

“[A] seven yearlong study, which examined all known trace fossils across a 200 million year period, found that sea creatures made their way from the ocean, the shallow waters and eventually to spread across the world. The research revealed that once the critters reached land, there was a rapid evolutionary process followed by long periods of calm.

“Lead author Dr Nicholas Minter, from the University of Portsmouth’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: ‘When the first animals emerged from the oceans they had a blank canvas, there were no other animals there and so they diversified rapidly both in how they behaved and in the ecological roles, or the part they played, in the theatre of life.’ The population of the critters which went land-bound is small, but spiders emerged from crabs while slugs and snails came from the same families as squid and cuttlefish

“Dr Minter explained: ‘Not many from any one group, or Phylum, made the transition from sea to land or fresh water… Each [evolutionary] burst was an evolutionary experiment…’”

Have you ever read such incredible nonsense? What a waste of time and resources to come up with complete utter silliness! If you want to know the TRUTH, please read our free booklets, The Theory of Evolutionand Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man.”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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Will Physical Circumcision Be Practiced in the Millennium?

Before we answer this question, we need to set forth some basic understanding regarding the concept of physical circumcision.

As we will see, in the Old Testament, physical circumcision was a type or forerunner of spiritual circumcision (as the animal sacrifices were instituted temporarily, pointing to the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ). Compare Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 9:25-26; Jeremiah 4:4.

In the New Testament, it is emphasized time and again that true Christians must be circumcised spiritually… not physically; compare Colossians 2:11. This is the reason why Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 7:18-19: “Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.”

Notice, too, Romans 2:28-29: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly [i.e., by being circumcised, verse 27], nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

Finally, notice Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” He adds in Galatians 6:15: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”

It also became clear in the New Testament that physical circumcision is no longer required and it would be even wrong, if it is done with the mistaken belief of circumcision being a health-law, or, even worse, that it is necessary for spiritual salvation.

Based on this understanding, we can proclaim dogmatically that physical circumcision is NOT a health law. We address this question in a Q&A, where we stated the following:

“God gave man timeless physical and spiritual laws, including health laws, as well as temporary ritual laws, which had a passing and time-related purpose. For instance, God told man that certain animal food is good to eat, while other animals are not fit for consumption (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14). These are health laws, given for the good of man, which are still in effect today. In fact, they will still be in effect at the time of Christ’s return (compare Isaiah 66:16-17).

“The law of circumcision was clearly not a timeless health law, but a temporary ritual law. We should, first of all, consider why God commanded circumcision. God commanded the practice of circumcision as a sign of the covenant (Romans 4:11; Genesis 17:11), which God made with Abraham and his descendants, along with any who would want to come under the same covenant of promise. At the same time, circumcision constituted itself a covenant (Acts 7:8). But circumcision was not to be understood as a timeless health law. The reason is that the law of physical circumcision only came into effect long after the creation of man, and that it is no longer required today. If it were a health law, then it should have been in effect from the time of man’s creation, and God would still require it today, as He would not deprive man of something that is good for him…

“It is clear to us that God would not have asked Abraham and ancient Israel to become circumcised, if this procedure had been harmful to them, and if it had produced medical side-effects. At the same time, we must emphasize that God did NOT give this law as a health law. It was strictly a temporary ritual law, such as the laws of sacrifices and washings…

“We also read that Paul taught the Gentiles, who wanted to become Christians, that they did not have to become circumcised. IF circumcision were a health law, Paul would have taught them to violate and break one of God’s timeless physical health laws. This very concept, that Paul would have taught this, is preposterous.”

In addition, physical circumcision is clearly NOT required for spiritual salvation.

In our free booklet, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians,” we said the following, quoting from the Authorized Version:

“[Paul] states in Galatians 5:2–4:

“(Verse 2) Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. (Verse 3) For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. (Verse 4) Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

“In these verses, Paul addresses those who were teaching the Galatians, that they must be circumcised to obtain justification and salvation. But Paul says in verse 2 that if the Galatians feel that they must be circumcised for their salvation, then Christ will profit them nothing and they have rejected grace (verse 4)…”

We might ask why God even introduced the temporary concept of physical circumcision and animal sacrifices, since they were not in force prior to Abraham or Moses, and since they are not in force today. The reason could be seen in the tremendous gravity of sin and the consequences of sin, causing the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to become a man, live as a man and die as a man, in order to save man from death.

The sacrificial law with its animal sacrifices was added because of transgression or sin against God’s spiritual law (Galatians 3:19; Romans 5:20). The introduction of circumcision might have been for a similar reason. Abraham and his household had come out of a godless environment of paganism and idolatry, so physical circumcision became a physical sign of separation from ungodliness. Animal sacrifices as well as physical circumcision were introduced to point to Jesus Christ’s supreme Sacrifice. He HAD to be physically circumcised and He had to die for us, so that we could have forgiveness of sin. He became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and a curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

We know that in the Millennium, animal sacrifices will be given temporarily… mainly by and for physical Israelites, but notice too Isaiah 19:21, showing that Egyptians and other nations, if they want to become part of Israel, will also give sacrifices on a very temporary basis. The answer why animal sacrifices will be given for a short time is addressed in chapter 8 of our free booklet, Biblical Prophecy… From Now until Forever:

“It is important to understand that the millennial sacrifices will NOT be brought for the purpose of forgiveness of sin! Only Christ’s shed blood accomplished this—once and for all! But God introduced the sacrificial system to ancient Israel because Israel had sinned and the sacrifices served as a reminder of their sins. Apparently, for the same reason in the Millennium, sacrifices will be brought so that carnal, unconverted people can begin to appreciate the awesome purpose and meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice and how God looks at sin…

“Physical Israelites will bring animal sacrifices to a new temple in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium. These sacrifices will not be given for the purpose of obtaining spiritual forgiveness, but just to remind the people that they had sinned, and help them to focus on the ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As it was the case in Old Testament times, these sacrifices will be temporary and will be administered by physical Levites to physical unconverted people, so as to allow the transgressor to remain within the community of Israel.”

Since there will be, apparently on a very temporary basis, animal sacrifices after Christ’s return, will the practice of physical circumcision also be re-introduced? After all, Paul circumcised Timothy (Acts 16:3), even though he had made it clear that circumcision was no longer required. We state the following in a Q&A regarding this event:

“Timothy was circumcised because Paul wanted him to be used effectively for the preaching of the gospel. While it is not necessary for salvation, it is not wrong to perform… By circumcising Timothy, he became accepted as a Jew, and avoided unnecessary disputes… Paul did not want Timothy to become a stumbling block to the Jews… The circumcision of Timothy was an action performed to prevent unnecessary conflict…”

However, this particular incident cannot be used as a general injunction for circumcision; nor can it be used to state that, therefore, circumcision will be universally practiced in the Millennium. While we find passages in the Bible clearly saying that animal sacrifices will be given at the beginning of the Millennium, we would need to find passages which would express something similar for physical circumcision.

There seem to be only two biblical passages which address circumcision in the Millennium.

The first passage is in Isaiah 52:1, stating that “the uncircumcised and the unclean Shall no longer come to… Jerusalem, the holy city.”

However, it is overwhelmingly agreed that this passage does not address physical circumcision and the need to be physically circumcised in order to be allowed to enter the city of Jerusalem in the Millennium.

Barnes Notes on the Bible states:

“The uncircumcised and the unclean – The idea is, that those only should enter Jerusalem and dwell there who would be worshippers of the true God. The uncircumcised are emblems of the impure, the unconverted, and the idolatrous… the view of the prophet extended to the purer and happier times under the Messiah…”

The commentary of Jamison, Fausset and Brown agrees, stating:

“uncircumcised—spiritually… Christ’s kingdom shall be exalted…”

The Pulpit Commentary says:

“Henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised… When the influx of the Gentiles comes (Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6, 22, etc.), it will be one of Gentiles who are ‘circumcised in heart and lips,’ and no longer ‘unclean’ (Acts 10:15).”

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges adds:

“… the uncircumcised and the unclean, i.e. not foreigners generally… but the ‘destroyers’ and ‘wasters’…”

The second passage can be found in Ezekiel 44:7-9, which states that “no one uncircumcised in heart and uncircumcised in flesh” shall enter God’s sanctuary.

The explanation for this passage is similar to the one given for Isaiah 52:1.

Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states:

(7) In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers,… Unregenerate men, who are in a state of alienation and estrangement to divine and spiritual things: strangers to God; to the true knowledge of him… strangers to the nature of sin, and the exceeding sinfulness of it; to the deceitfulness of sin, and the consequences of it; to true repentance for it, and to the right way of atonement of it, by the blood of Christ: strangers to the Gospel of Christ, and the truths of it; and to the saints and people of God:

“and uncircumcised in heart; who never were pricked in the heart for sin, or felt any pain there on account of it; never had the hardness of their heart removed, or the impurity of it discovered to them; never were filled with shame and loathing because of it; or ever put off the body of sins in a course of conversation…

“and uncircumcised in flesh; carnal, as they were born; men in the flesh… and do the works of it; having never been taught by the grace of God to deny ungodliness, and worldly lusts, and to abstain from fleshly ones: or, who put their trust in the flesh, in outward things, in carnal privileges, and external righteousness: these the Lord complains were brought “to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house: either to be members here, and partake of all the ordinances and privileges of the Lord’s house; or to officiate here as priests and ministers of the Lord…”

Elliott’s Commentary for English Readers states:

“(9) Shall enter into my sanctuary—To guard against the evils of the past, the command is now given that none of the strangers described shall even enter the sanctuary; but our version gives a wrong impression of this prohibition by rendering, “nor uncircumcised in flesh.” It should be, as in Ezekiel 44:7, “and.” The command is not that no uncircumcised person should be allowed to enter the sanctuary, for the residence of strangers among the Israelites is expressly provided for in Ezekiel 47:22-23; but the emphasis here, as before, is upon the ‘uncircumcised in heart.’ No godless heathen should be allowed to enter in to profane the Divine worship.”

From this it follows that there is no clear biblical passage suggesting that the practice of physical circumcision will be re-introduced in the Millennium as a requirement. Physical circumcision was never a health law or a law which was necessary for salvation. But as it is the case today, to circumcise one’s baby boy on the eighth day is a personal decision by the parents. It is not required, nor is it forbidden, as long as it is not done because of improper and unbiblical reasons or beliefs. We might therefore conclude that under certain circumstances, physical circumcision might be permitted in the Millennium, but that it would not be required.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

Pentecost will be observed on Sunday, June 4, 2017. We will conduct live services in both the morning (10:00 AM Pacific Time) and afternoon (3:00 PM Pacific Time).

Ehebruch–Missverständnisse über König David (Teil 4),” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon. Title in English: “Adultery–Misunderstandings about King David, Part 4.”

“Success in Overcoming,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Robb Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Overcoming the sin so prevalent in this world isn’t achieved by simply desiring it. We must continually attune our efforts so they bring the most fruit. If we wish to be successful we must allow scripture to focus our direction–guided by God’s Holy Spirit.

Zeal,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Zeal is about building and nurturing enthusiasm for living by God’s Truth. To become zealous and sustain this essential Christian quality is an important goal to work towards. But how can it be done? What are the benefits of being zealous, and what are the consequences if we are not?

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank

Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.

While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.

Donations should be sent to the following addresses:

United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198

Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0

United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom

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