Update 785


Strangers in the Night; Longsuffering for Righteousness Sake

On June 3, 2017, Norbert Link will present the sermonette, titled, “Strangers in the Night,” and Michael Link will present the sermon, titled, “Longsuffering for Righteousness Sake.”

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.

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).

Morning Service: Robb Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “An Aberration,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “The Promise of Pentecost.”

Afternoon Service: Kalon Mitchell will present the Offertory, titled, “Vessels of God,” and Norbert Link will present the sermon, titled, “How is God’s Holy Spirit ONE Spirit?”

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The Choice is Yours

by Robb Harris

When Cain rose up and killed his brother, it was a premeditated act of rage finally surfacing. The choices he made in life preceding his brother’s murder could have only led to one outcome—sin.  Whatever Cain’s impulse that led him to commit that great sin, he let it fester and eventually gave in to it.  God saw this tendency and warned Cain of it, “So the LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it’ ” (Genesis 4:6-7). Cain chose to allow himself to be ruled by Satan and it led to his downfall.

But Cain wasn’t born a killer.  That desire was begotten by years of rejecting God.  Jude warns God’s chosen to “…contend earnestly for the faith…” (Jude 3) because it can easily be lost if we reject any part of God’s Truth.  Jude continues listing character traits with this sinful mindset, “Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries… But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain…” (Jude 8,10-11).  Cain rejected God and followed after his own base desires, desires influenced by Satan.

The same faith that Jude warns us to hold fast was part of Abel’s character.  “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” (Hebrews 11:4).  God didn’t reject Cain’s sacrifice because He disliked fruit.  God disapproved of Cain’s attitude and the influence that was leading his actions.

John clearly states who Cain showed love for, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous” (1 John 3:10-12).

Is it any wonder why this world is enamored with violence and murder—especially in these end times? The father of murder is raging against all godliness. Our sacrifice and our separation from this world delight God while causing Satan to seethe with anger.  And like a hungry lion, Satan is ready to tear us apart from the promise of eternal life.  Godly faith requires vigilance and an understanding when Satan’s influence is creeping into our life. Satan’s has readied himself to deter us from our Godly path.  Are we prepared to prove our faith to God?

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by Norbert Link

We begin with the unsatisfactory outcome of the G-7 summit in Sicily, due to major disagreements between America and the other participating nations. Europeans place the blame totally on President Trump’s behavior. He is being portrayed as the “ugly American, trampling America’s friends and trashing the trans-Atlantic alliance,” and it is suggested that his conduct in Europe was due to personal vindictiveness. Subsequently, Angela Merkel uttered harsh words, implying that the USA is “no longer a reliable partner” of Europe, and declaring that Europe has to “take its fate into its own hands.” While most agreed with Mrs. Merkel’s comments (excepting Trump supporters, accepting Mr. Trump’s statement that his trip was highly successful), Mr. Trump responded on Twitter, blasting Germany again over trade and defense.

The consensus is that the gap between the USA and especially Europe has become immense. While America is described as “dropping out as an important nation,” Angela Merkel is seen as the “leader of the free world” and the “most influential leader” in Europe; and Germany as becoming “an increasingly dominant power in a partnership with France.” The most recent events are described as ushering in a “new era” and beginning a “new chapter,” and it is also perceived that Russia is the beneficiary of the frosty relationship between the USA and Europe. Not unaware of this threat, Europe is anxious to build a powerful unified army.

We also address President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord on “Climate Change.”

In other news, we report on a terrible attack in Kabul, Afghanistan; Turkey’s attempts to get control over the Temple Mount; President Trump’s decision to sign a waiver regarding the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem; and British Airline’s ongoing debacle, due to the company’s unreliable new IT system. We also report on serious illogical considerations of the Trump administration to ban all laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country; and on an equally absurd and dangerous new law in Germany forcing Kindergartens to report parents for refusing to obtain vaccine advice.

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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Merkel Furious With Trump After “Unprecedented” G-7 Failure

Zerohedge reported on May 27:

“In the end it was not meant to be…  Needless to say, Merkel who had hoped to leave the Saturday summit with the G-7 agenda endorsed by everyone, including Trump, was furious at the US president… She concluded by noting the unprecedented breach of agreement within the ranks, perhaps a first in G-7 history… To be sure, it wasn’t just Merkel who was displeased with Trump… Trump’s lack of rapport with European leaders raises serious questions about his ability to effectively team up with critical U.S. allies…”

The Ugly American at G-7 Summit

The New York Times wrote on May 26:

“‘Trump shoves his allies,’ read the front page of Belgium’s Le Soir. ‘Boor in chief’ declared Germany’s financial newspaper Handelsblatt. An editorial in Le Monde called him ‘brutal and heavy-handed.’

“President Trump is… being portrayed as the ugly American, trampling America’s friends and trashing the trans-Atlantic alliance… Mr. Trump has switched from diplomat to disrupter… his behavior overlooks the fact that America’s most durable alliances are in Europe, not the Middle East, and that Europeans are not likely to buy Mr. Trump’s bluster… His harsh statements in Europe suggested that he could be [the] most divisive American leader to join this… club since it was first organized in 1975…

“To some extent, the difference in Mr. Trump’s tone may reflect the different reception he got in the Middle East… In Europe, Mr. Trump encountered a chillier audience that viewed him less as a conquering hero than as a wayward figure who needed to be put back on the right path. ‘The Europeans didn’t give him that royal welcome; they didn’t treat him like the king of the world,’ said Volker Perthes, the director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs…”

Mr. Trump’s harsh words and his attacks on NATO, Germany and the other participating members at the G-7 summit might very well have been caused by his less than royal reception in Europe.

Gap Immense

Der Spiegel wrote on May 27 about the G-7 Summit:

“The gap between the USA and the other six nations is immense. The Trump Administration is on their way to international isolation…”

The magazine continued that the shattered relationship, as manifested during the G-7 summit, has been described by French President Emmanuel Macron as the last step before a divorce.

Merkel’s Remarks about USA and UK

Reuters/HuffPost wrote on May 29:

“Merkel sent shockwaves through Washington and London by saying on Sunday that Europe must take its fate into its own hands, implying that the United States under President Donald Trump and Britain after its Brexit vote were no longer reliable partners… After the meetings of NATO and the G7 group of wealthy nations, Merkel told a packed beer tent in Munich that the days when Europe could completely rely on others were ‘over to a certain extent.’ ‘I have experienced this in the last few days,’ Merkel said. ‘And that is why I can only say that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands – of course in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain and as good neighbors wherever that is possible also with other countries, even with Russia.’

“Her chief rival in Germany’s upcoming national elections, opposition leader Martin Schulz, denounced Trump on Monday for the way he ‘humiliated’ Merkel. ‘No freely elected head of government in our country  should allow him- or herself to be humiliated in this way, the way [Trump], like an autocratic leader, believed he could inflict humiliation in Brussels,’ Schulz said… ‘I reject with outrage the way this man takes it upon himself to treat the head of our country’s government. That is unacceptable.’ It’s not clear what incident Schulz is referring to, but he echoed Merkel’s controversial call for greater European independence on Twitter, asserting ‘the best answer to Donald Trump is a stronger Europe.’”

Leading German politicians are anxious to agree with Angela Merkel on her criticism of President Trump, also in light of the upcoming national elections in September and the huge unpopularity of Mr. Trump in Germany. Note the next article as well.

Germany Reacts to Trump

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 30:

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel… spoke of the US ‘dropping out as an important nation.’ ‘That’s unfortunately a signal for a change in the world’s balance of power,’ he said. Gabriel also criticized the Trump administration for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, its refugee policy, and its lack of commitment to fight climate change.

“Gabriel, who also serves as Germany’s vice chancellor, said that ‘anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk.’ ‘The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union,’ adding that the West ‘became weaker.’…

“In response to the crisis, Europe should be ‘sticking together and growing stronger’ and defend the ideas of democracy, liberalism, and openness, he said…”

A Fury of International Reactions—Russia the Beneficiary

Deutsche Welle wrote on May 29:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday prompted a fury of reactions…  In the US, the reaction was mixed, with Trump’s supporters dismissing Merkel’s comments while his opponents appeared to mourn the loss of the US’ special relationship with Germany…

“In analysis published by Israeli daily Haaretz, Daniella Peled of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting said the fallout of Trump’s visit to Europe has effectively undermined trust across the Atlantic. ‘It’s hard to think of a clearer sign of the massive and rapid damage Trump has done to decades-old partnerships than Merkel’s devastating speech,’ Peled said. ‘Angela Merkel has once again cemented her status as the new leader of the free world…’

“However, some highlighted that Trump’s ability to undermine the historic relationship between Berlin and Washington has served the interests of other actors. David Frum, senior editor of the US news magazine The Atlantic, said that Trump’s behavior has caused a rift between Germany and the US [and] has effectively served Russian interests. ‘Since 1945, the supreme strategic goal in Europe of the USSR and then Russia was the severing of the US-German alliance. Trump delivered,’ Frum said.

“Agreeing with Frum’s comments on its benefits for Moscow, Ian Bremmer, founder and director of the consultancy Eurasia Group, said that the ‘most important postwar relationship,’ the transatlantic alliance, is ‘now unraveling.’ ‘There’s not been a statement like this from Germany in generations,’ Bremmer said.”

Macron Meets with Putin

The EUObserver wrote on May 29:

“Macron hosted Putin in Versailles to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Russian tsar Peter the Great’s visit to France… ‘Peter the Great is a symbol of Russia that wants to [be] open to… Europe,’ Macron noted… The celebration and the prestigious setting of the Versailles palace were considered to be a good opportunity to mend relations between France and Russia, as well as between Macron and Putin… During his presidential campaign, Hollande’s successor Macron was the target of Russian-sponsored media attacks and hacks. Putin also received Macron’s main opponent, far right leader Marine Le Pen, at the Kremlin…

“Asked by a journalist from RT [Russia Today], a Russian state media, why RT journalists were barred to access events at the end of his campaign, Macron explained that the media, as well as Sputnik, another Russian state outlet, had ‘spread slanderous falsehoods’ about him. ‘Russia Today and Sputnik did not behave as media outlets and journalists, they behaved as organs of influence and of lying propaganda,’ he said next to a stony-faced Putin.”

Emmanuel Macron’s meeting with Vladimir Putin received mixed coverage. While the will was emphasized to “work together”, it was also clear that mistrust and skepticism remained.

Europe’s Destiny

The Times of Israel/AFP wrote on May 30:

“Germany’s harsh words for Washington, traditionally a close ally, were highly unusual and came as relations have grown increasingly frosty… France’s Defense Minister Sylvie Goulard said that Trump’s broadside at NATO allies could boost efforts toward a common European defense policy… the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Twitter he ‘agreed’ with Merkel that ‘Europe’s destiny is in our own hands.’”

One of the consequences of the frosty relationship between Europe and the USA is indeed Europe’s desire to create a common defense policy; i.e., a unified European army. Due to perceived threats from Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, military cooperation already exists in some parts of Europe. Note the next article.

Nordic Military Cooperation

Bloomberg wrote on May 29:

“With Vladimir Putin in the east and Donald Trump to the west, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is now telling Europe it has to stand up for itself. It’s a call that’s already being answered by the continent’s richest region. Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway have over the past two years been deepening their military cooperation to counter a deteriorating security situation in the Baltic and the Arctic… ‘There’s no doubt that Europe needs to take bigger responsibility, we have to spend more on defense and security,’ Erna Solberg, Norway’s prime minister, said…

“The broadest shifts in policy in the region have been seen in Finland and Sweden, which unlike Denmark and Norway aren’t members of NATO. The two neighbors have intensified military cooperation and also forged closer ties with the military alliance without outright joining NATO…”

The End of an Era

The New York Times wrote on May 28:

“Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany [is] Europe’s most influential leader… Ms. Merkel’s strong comments were a potentially seismic shift in trans-Atlantic relations. With the United States less willing to intervene overseas, Germany is becoming an increasingly dominant power in a partnership with France

“‘This seems to be the end of an era, one in which the United States led and Europe followed,’ said Ivo H. Daalder, a former United States envoy to NATO who is now the director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. ‘Today, the United States is heading into a direction on key issues that seems diametrically opposite of where Europe is heading. Merkel’s comments are an acknowledgment of that new reality.’”

Europe and the USA are drifting more and more apart.

A New Chapter

The Washington Post wrote on May 28:

“Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week… This is an enormous change in political rhetoric. While the public is more familiar with the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the United States, the German-U.S. relationship has arguably been more important… Merkel is suggesting that… Germany and Europe are likely to take on a much more substantial and independent role than they have in the past 70 years

“Merkel’s rhetoric is clearly intended to imply that as the transatlantic relationship grows weaker, the European Union will grow stronger…  Merkel’s temperament is the polar opposite of Trump’s. She is highly cautious. This speech is not an impulsive move. Instead, Merkel is starting to make the case for a different E.U., one that is stronger, more self-reliant and disinclined to look to the United States for leadership. If she wins the upcoming German election decisively and is able to secure enough agreement from other European states to isolate the naysayers, she may set in motion a substantial long-term shift in the E.U.-U.S. relationship…”

“End of an era” and “a new chapter” are strong words. Mr. Trump must realize this too, and his reaction is predictable, but not helpful. Note the next article.

Trump Blasts Germany Again as Merkel-Modi Cite Mutual Values

Newsmax wrote on May 30:

“U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up a dispute with Germany over trade and defense as Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a demonstration of her ability to pivot from the U.S. to strengthen alternative global alliances. ‘We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,’ the U.S. president posted on Twitter Tuesday. ‘This will change.’

The message came minutes after Merkel and Modi held a joint press conference in Berlin, at which the German leader called India a ‘reliable partner with respect to big projects.’ That contrasted with her comments in Munich on Sunday that reliable trans-Atlantic ties that formed the basis of German foreign policy since World War II ‘are to some extent over.’”

Mr. Trump was obviously not happy to hear that Angela Merkel viewed India as a reliable partner, while she did not think so regarding the USA.

Germany Reaches Out to China

Deutsche Welle reported on May 31:

“In a week during which a Europe-US rift seems to be deepening, the Chinese premier became the second major Asian leader to arrive in Berlin. Talks will focus on closer cooperation on trade and climate issues… This has been a week of Germany reaching out to Asia… ‘The EU and China consider the Paris Agreement as an historic achievement…,’ [a] nine-page draft joint statement said. ‘The EU and China underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects.’…

“The EU has also been increasingly looking to China for support of free trade, after a shift towards protectionism from the US…  As Li arrived in Germany, the country’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced US$3 billion (2.7 billion euros) worth of investments in cooperation with the China Development Bank.”

As the relationship between Europe and the USA is getting worse, Europe is looking for “allies” in others parts of the world.

German Trade

The New York Times wrote on May 30:

“Germany runs a chronic, yawning trade surplus with the United States, which Trump administration officials say Germany has widened by exploiting a weak euro to put American exports at a disadvantage. That, more than differences over NATO, Russia or climate change, is driving a wedge between the two countries

“Mr. Trump was continuing a drumbeat he began during his visit to Europe, when he told European Union officials that Germany was ‘very bad’ on trade. But the president’s campaign against Germany, while accurate on the statistics, overlooks the benefits in the German-American trade relationship, and overstates Berlin’s ability to do much about it.

German companies employ roughly 700,000 people in the United States. Carmakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have huge American assembly plants, which export vehicles to China and Latin America. BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, S.C., is the largest single exporter, by dollar value, in the American automotive industry…”

It is interesting that one never hears President Trump speaking about these figures.

Donald Trump Isolated and Unreachable?

CNN wrote on May 31:

“At 12:06 a.m. ET, the President of the United States tweeted this: ‘Despite the constant negative press covfefe.’ By 6 a.m., that tweet had been deleted. Shortly after, Trump tweeted this: ‘Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!’… Trump seemed to be trying to type ‘coverage’ and misspelled it. As he often does. Then he fell asleep and didn’t correct the mistake until he got up in the morning. We’ve all been there!…

“What we have today — and, really, what we have had since the day Trump came into the White House — is a deeply isolated President who spends lots of time, particularly at night and in the early morning, watching TV and tweeting. That lack of discipline reveals that there is simply no one who can tell Trump ‘no.‘ Or at least no one whom he will listen to.  That’s important. Especially now as speculation runs rampant that Trump is on the brink of a major staff overhaul and in the wake of communications director Mike Dubke resigning on Tuesday… Trump doesn’t think he needs advice… Trump’s ongoing Twitter presence is a perfect example of all of this.

“Time and time again, Republican elected officials have politely suggested that Trump use Twitter less and differently… Of late, as part of a much-promised reboot, there had been talk of a ‘team of lawyers’ vetting Trump’s tweets before he sent them out… Trump is neither willing nor able to change his stripes. He is a 70-year-old man (he will be 71 on June 14) who has had much success in his life. And he believes that the way in which he was elected president — against all odds and doing everything traditional politics says not to — is an affirmation that he is the only person who really understands his supporters and the mood of the country. That assumption is what leads him to ignore advice from advisers… Trump believes in Trump — first, last and always. Staff will come and go. But to expect anyone to change Trump in any way is to ignore, literally, his entire adult life.”

If all of this is true, that would make President Trump an extremely unpredictable person.

“No Feud Between Trump and Merkel”? Get Real!

The New York Times wrote on May 30:

“Sean Spicer, the press secretary… said Ms. Merkel’s call for Europe to go it alone actually vindicated Mr. Trump’s demand that Germany shoulder more responsibility for its defense…”

Mr. Spicer also added that President Trump was happy about Chancellor Merkel’s comments.

Newsmax wrote on May 31:

“President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘have a good and productive relationship,’ and there is no feud going on between the two leaders over NATO, trade, or other issues, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Wittig, said Wednesday… ‘there are few leaders as committed to the transatlantic relationship as Merkel is to the friendship of the United States,’ Wettig continued. ‘That has not changed with President Trump.’…”

The comments by Sean Spicer and Peter Wittig are ridiculous and constitute an insult to the intelligence of Americans and Germans alike. The total opposite of their “assurances” has been clearly established, as can be seen by the articles quoted in this edition.

Trump Exits Paris Accord

The Daily Mail wrote on June 1:

Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris accord on climate change on [Thursday] afternoon – deriding it as bad for American jobs and bad for the environment…

“He complained in the White House’s Rose Garden that major polluters like China are allowed to increase their emissions under the agreement in a way that the US cannot. India is hinging its participation on billions of dollars of foreign aid. The deal is a ‘massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries,’ he argued. ‘The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level’ to the US. ‘This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,’ Trump said.

“Trump said he would also end the United States’ participation in the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund, which he said lacks affirmative obligations… Trump said the Paris exit is ‘a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.’ ‘Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and across the world should not have more to say with respect to the United States economy [than] our own citizens and their elected representatives,’ Trump proclaimed.

“Trump said he would be willing to get back in but only if he is allowed to renegotiate the terms of the United States’ participation…

“When White House sources said he was pulling out…, the reports set off worldwide condemnation led by the United Nations secretary general. Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, had advised her father against an exit, as well as a series of world leaders…

“Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Gap, Mars and Tiffany & Co. joined a group of large businesses in publishing an open letter to Trump asking him not to end the United States participation in the global warming agreement… Their ask ran as a full page ad in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal on Thursday… Emmanuel Macron, the newly elected French president, said at a weekend summit in Italy he was sure Trump would back the deal after listening to his G7 counterparts

“Economic Council chair Gary Cohn joined Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster in a campaign to remain in the accord… EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Vice President Mike Pence were strongly against staying in the pact… and three senior advisors to the president – Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller -– came in behind the Environmental Protection Agency head and the vice president.”

Diplomatic Repercussions

The Washington Post added on June 1:

“President Trump… is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement… a move that honors a campaign promise but risks rupturing global alliances… More than 190 nations agreed to the accord in December 2015 in Paris, and 147 have since formally ratified or otherwise joined it, including the United States… It’s also heavily backed by U.S. and global corporations, including oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil and BP

“Withdrawing the United States from the agreement could take years due to the accord’s legal structure and language, but such a move would weaken its goals almost immediately…  But the diplomatic repercussions of a U.S. withdrawal could be vast…”

 Deutsche Welle added on June 1:

“The US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change despite international condemnation, US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday… Political leaders from the European Union, China, fellow G7 member states, as well as the heads of investment firms with trillions of dollars in assets, more than 1,000 US companies including coal and oil producers, and even the pope had all lobbied Trump to stick to the agreement…

Syria and Nicaragua were the world’s only non-participants in the landmark accord, although Nicaragua did not participate as it thought it did not go far enough to address climate change…

“Trump’s protectionist policies and his reticence on climate change action have pushed Europe closer to China. ‘China has become a more important and strategic partner [than the USA],’ Merkel said at a joint news conference with Chinese Premier Li…”

The verdict on “man-made global warming” (now called “climate change”) is still out. Many arguments pro and con are advanced, and on June 1, Senator Rand Paul made an impassionate plea on CNN, questioning the accuracy of scientific data to prove man-made climate change. In addition, it is equally being debated back and forth whether the Paris accord would lead to less or more jobs and economic prosperity in the USA. What is important for us to note is the fact that President Trump kept his promise in regard to the Paris accord, and that his decision has led to international condemnation and the realignment of European allies with other countries than the USA.

Deadly Attack in Kabul, Afghanistan

Deutsche Welle reported on May 31:

“A massive truck bomb has hit Kabul’s highly secure diplomatic area, killing at least [90] people and wounding hundreds [at least 460, with the death-toll expected to rise considerably]. The German embassy was heavily damaged, although it’s unclear whether it was the target of the attack… Most of the Wednesday attack’s victims are well-to-do Afghans with jobs at foreign embassies and government offices. The attack site is in the downtown which is considered a safe place and people also go there for dining and shopping.

“The fact that such a place could be targeted has made the residents of Kabul very pessimistic about their security… the security situation in Afghanistan had deteriorated further… Afghan security forces control only about 57 percent of the country’s territory. Around 2.5 million people live in areas controlled by the Taliban and nine million more live in contested areas… The number of civilian victims, including many children, remains high…

“Kabul has in recent months sustained a series of terror attacks carried out by a resurgent Taliban, as well as the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) jihadi group. However, Wednesday’s blast is reported to have been particularly devastating, striking buildings and cars within a 1-kilometer radius. The US and British embassies [as well as the embassies of Iran, Turkey and France] are also located close to Kabul’s Zanbaq Square, where the explosion took place, as are the headquarters of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan…

“US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has warned that troops stationed in Afghanistan will face ‘another tough year’ in the fight against radical insurgent forces. The US currently deploys some 8,000 soldiers in the country, while there are a further 5,000 from NATO allies.  US President Donald Trump is soon expected to decide whether to bolster US troop numbers by a further 3-5,000, expanding the total US deployment to over 10,000 – a major operation but still a far cry from the 100,000 American troops posted in Afghanistan six years ago.”

The Washington Post added on May 31:

“The Afghan Taliban denied any role in the bombing… Security agencies had warned that both Taliban insurgents and regional affiliates of the Islamic State were planning to attack high-profile targets in the city in the early part of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that began last week…”

It does not appear that the tragic Afghan war—the longest war in America’s history—will end any time soon.

Turkey Craves Control over Eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount

The Jewish Press reported on May 30:

“The Jerusalem municipality’s eastern Jerusalem experts have revealed in recent days that Turkey has been competing with Jordan over influence among Arab residents as well as over control of the Temple Mount… The city’s experts… also revealed that Turkey has begun pouring millions of dollars into NGO in eastern Jerusalem, in order to strengthen Ankara’s status among the Arab residents…

“‘The growing involvement of the Erdogan regime… shows that the Turkish actions in Jerusalem are part of a wider process of creating regional Turkish hegemony at the expense of other players,’ wrote the Jerusalem mayor’s advisers on the eastern part of the city…

“Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Israel for ‘massacring the Palestinians,’ calling on the Turks to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque and dubbing Israel’s control of Jerusalem ‘an insult.’ He also… declared that ‘all Muslims must defend Jerusalem.’

“The experts added… ‘In recent years, the Turks have poured considerable sums of money into the Temple Mount for a number of activities: Koran reading groups, transporting worshipers to and from the mosque, Ramadan meals, renovations, and cleaning. As a rule, whether deliberately or not, Muslim groups on the Temple Mount are acting in favor of Turkey... Erdogan’s Turkey now enjoys unprecedented popularity among the residents of eastern Jerusalem… Turkish flags are often seen hanging from rooftops in the eastern part of the city and even on the Temple Mount, and Turkish culture is being revived, which is reflected in Turkish language courses, Turkish music and Turkish cuisine.’

“One hundred years after the last Turkish soldier was chased out of Jerusalem by the invading British Empire, ‘Turkey’s public support for the Palestinian cause and the Al-Aqsa conflict, and their channeling of millions of dollars into eastern Jerusalem, bear many fruits in the form of sympathy and support,’ the experts concluded, adding that the Turks’ ‘involvement is made possible by their cooperation with Muslim Brotherhood elements in the city, who are often being used as their allies and collaborators.'”

The Bible reveals that Turkey and Israel will end up in a fierce war.

Trump Signs Waiver

The Times of Israel wrote on June 1:

“US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a waiver that delays for six months any plan to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, disappointing the Israeli government and backtracking on a key promise he made on the campaign trail throughout 2016. Announcing the move, the White House… said the president still stood by his promise to move the embassy…

“Trump was facing a Thursday deadline to renew the waiver… A 1995 law mandates the relocation of the embassy, but provides the president with the prerogative to postpone the move on national security grounds. Each of Trump’s three immediate predecessors — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — repeatedly exercised that right. The most recent waiver, signed by Obama, expired on June 1. Without its renewal, the US government would have been legally obligated to proceed with moving the embassy.

“Israel captured East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, a move never recognized by the international community. Israel declared the city its undivided capital, but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would be seen as endorsing Israel’s claim to the city and rejecting the Palestinians’…”

Major Disagreement between Israel and USA

In a follow-up article, The Times of Israel wrote on June 1:

“Trump once again publicly disagreed with the Israeli government. The first time was the administration’s request to rein in settlement construction; Netanyahu insists that the settlements are no obstacle to peace… [The waiver] emphasized the sharp difference in how the White House and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem view the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process…

“Netanyahu doubled down on his argument, going as far as saying that keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv ‘drives peace further away by helping keep alive the Palestinian fantasy that the Jewish people and the Jewish state have no connection to Jerusalem.’… the statement about peace being more difficult to achieve highlighted a fundamental policy disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington…”

It is prophesied in the Bible that the relationship between the USA and Israel will gradually deteriorate.

Empty Promises

The Washington Post wrote on June 1:

The move postpones, if not outright reverses, a campaign pledge that Trump had used as a central example of how his approach to foreign policy would be different than either past presidents of both political parties…

“As a candidate, Trump promised to make the move, which he called a sign of unwavering U.S. support for Israel, on his first day in office

“Trump’s advisers have been divided about the move, with strategist Stephen K. Bannon reportedly a main advocate for making the move. Trump’s newly installed ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was also on record as supporting a relocated embassy ‘in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem,’ before he was confirmed by the Senate…”

Whatever position one may want to take on the issue, it is clear that the Bible holds us responsible for what we promise. God demands of us that we keep our word, “even if it hurts” (compare Psalm 15:4).

Becoming a “True Politician”

The New York Times wrote on June 1:

“The decision is Mr. Trump’s latest shift away from campaign positions… He has reversed himself on declaring China a currency manipulator, backed off plans to lift sanctions against Russia, declared that NATO is not ‘obsolete’ after all, opted for now not to rip up President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran and ordered a punitive strike against Syria that he previously opposed in similar circumstances…”

There are many more “reversals,” which could be listed, constituting a “deviation” from pledges and promises.

British Airline’s Debacle

The Telegraph wrote on May 28:

“The British Airways IT crash has caused unprecedented disruption for the airline… Thousands of holidaymakers were stranded…  A BA statement… said travellers affected would be rebooked or have their ticket price refunded, but a spokesman said compensation would be looked at on a ‘case by case’ basis.

“British Airways have started sending passengers’ luggage back to them by courier, opening up the possibility that holidaymakers still hoping to get away this weekend will be in London even as their bags are driven to their home addresses elsewhere. It comes as hotels surrounding the airports charged extortionate prices to stranded holiday makers with some charging between £1,000 to £2,500 a room for the night… Passengers who had flights cancelled had little choice but to stay at the airport or check in to local hotels charging high prices…

“The chaos happened just after 11am on Saturday when the company’s unreliable new IT system crashed worldwide for the sixth time in a year. After thousands of furious complaints from customers left in the dark about their flights, bags and compensation, the company released a video online of CEO Alex Cruz apologising to passengers…”

Apart from the chaos and the apparently less than competent handling of the situation at Britain’s airports, especially appalling is the greed of hotels to charge exorbitant prices for stranded travelers. Man’s lust for money knows no bounds, and harsh godly punishment awaits those who are responsible for such inhumane conduct.

CNBC wrote on May 30:

“BA’s decision to spend £124 million on severance packages for hundreds of staff last year seems not – at least in the short term – to have been money well spent. An ever increasing number of the firm’s IT systems have been subcontracted out to third party companies, many of them overseas. And that move has prompted the airline employees’ unions, the GMB, to blame this weekend’s computer outage and subsequent PR debacle on BA’s decision to ax and outsource British IT jobs over the past 12 months.

“… the self-proclaimed world’s favorite airline has lost a lot of fans and goodwill – in the UK and beyond – over the past few days. Airline passengers understandably want a commitment from their carrier that they will arrive at their destination on time, with all their belongings, and without major inconvenience. That’s why a premium brand like British Airways fears the fallout from major screw ups like Saturday’s computer outage not only for the short-term financial ramifications, but also for the long-term damage it can have on perceived reliability…”

Sadly, outsourcing jobs to foreign companies for lesser compensation has become quite customary, but the results are quite often far from satisfactory.

Trump May “Very Likely” Ban Laptops from Aircraft Cabins for all Flights into and out of USA

CNBC wrote on May 28:

“The United States might ban laptops from aircraft cabins on all flights into and out of the country as part of a ramped-up effort to protect against potential security threats, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday… Airlines are concerned that a broad ban on laptops may erode customer demand…Asked whether the government would expand such measures nationwide, Kelly said: ‘We might, and likely will.’”

The Telegraph added on May 30:

“US plans to extend a ban on carrying laptops on to transatlantic aircraft have been mired in confusion last night with Washington denying reports from Brussels that the plans had been scrapped… The EU and aviation industry have long opposed proposals to extend the ban on laptops and other large items, including iPads and e-readers… With no ban being announced, EU officials said that the proposals were off the table, suggesting that Washington had backed down… But within hours this was flatly contradicted in a statement issued on Mr Kelly’s behalf, insisting that the proposed ban was ‘still on the table’.

“… Opposition to the proposed ban has been led by the main airline trade body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general, said extending the ban could cost passengers $1.1 billion. Major airlines fear that denying executives the opportunity to work while in the air would lead to a catastrophic fall in the lucrative business class traffic on which they depend. According to one estimate, extending the ban to Europe, which would represent the biggest shake-up in aviation security since September 11, would hit 3,000 flights a week.

“Some experts have also questioned the effectiveness of the proposals, warning that putting thousands of lithium ion batteries into the hold of an aircraft could pose an even greater threat…”

One has to marvel about the lack of logic. If laptops are banned from aircraft cabins, but still placed in the aircraft with the other luggage, where is the elimination of any supposed threat? Laptops are already being screened separately by security when checking in. It appears that this new contemplated ban is counterproductive and might very well lead to great economic losses as customers might decide not to fly at all. Who in his right mind would place his laptop in the main luggage, as it could get lost (far too many pieces of luggage don’t arrive on time or at all at the correct destination), or it could be damaged, considering how the luggage is being (mis-)treated?

German Kindergartens Must Report Parents for Refusing Vaccine Advice

Reuters reported on May 26, 2017:

“Germany will pass a law… obliging kindergartens to inform the authorities if parents fail to provide evidence that they have received advice from their doctor on vaccinating their children… Parents refusing the advice risk fines of up to 2,500 euros ($2,800) under the law expected to come into force on June 1.

“Lack of public trust in vaccines has become an important global health issue. Experts say negative attitudes may be due to fears over suspected side-effects and hesitancy among some doctors. That is leading to greater activism among parents and public health officials. Last week, a German court ruled that a father could insist that his child be vaccinated over the objections of the child’s mother because it was in the child’s interest.”

These are of course only first steps, leading to the complete compulsion of vaccinations for all children; and that in spite of REAL DANGERS, even though they are being consistently and willfully ignored by politicians and insurance-dependent doctors.

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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What Does it Mean to “Deny Christ”?

Although many people identify themselves as Christian, and that amounts to almost one-third of the world’s population, the Bible indicates that in “the last times” false Christianity would arise. In response to His disciples’ questions about the end of the age and when He would return, we have this prophetic warning:

“And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many’” (Matthew 24:4-5).

Deception began to work very quickly following the establishment of the Church of God. After only a few decades, JUDE wrote about the “faith”—that is, true Christianity—being under assault. His letter to the Church addresses the encroachment of men and doctrines opposing the truth:

“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:3-4)

How were these “ungodly men” denying God and Jesus Christ? It was through heretical teachings. PETER wrote of those who deny Jesus through false doctrines:

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3).

JOHN noted those who reject Jesus as being the Christ—the Messiah, meaning “anointed one”:

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that … [a]ntichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). (NOTE: The New King James Version rendering in this verse is: “that the Antichrist,” but “the” is not in the original and antichrist should not be capitalized—compare the King James Authorized Version. For a full discussion of this topic and the comments which follow, please refer to our Q&A: Who is the Antichrist Prophesied to Come?)


“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:22-23).

Belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is an absolute requirement for salvation! (Compare 1 John 5:6, 10; John 3:16, 36; 6:40, 47; 11:25). This was the central fact which dominated the preaching of the gospel, and PETER, specifically identifying “Jesus Christ of Nazareth” (Acts 4:10), boldly proclaimed:

“‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’” (Acts 4:12).

Even among those who seemingly acknowledge Jesus Christ, there is great confusion about Him—specifically, regarding His life as a human being. JOHN warned of those who were already denying that Jesus had come as a physical, mortal man:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist [better: “the spirit of antichrist,” compare Authorized Version], which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world” (1 John 4:1-3).

This denial has tragic implications! JOHN further addresses deception which was arising in his day—and which still misleads concerning the doctrines of Christ:

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7).

Quoting from our Q&A: Who is the Antichrist Prophesied to Come?:

“The spirit of antichrist DENIES the entire saving work of Jesus Christ–who He was before He became a man; who He was when in the flesh; who He is today; what He DOES today; and that He lives His life in the flesh of His disciples who OBEY Him.”

PAUL—and the ministry of his day—were confronted by those “who had a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). What these people claimed was not backed up in how they lived their lives:

“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision…  They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:10, 16).

JESUS CHRIST had much to say about those who would deny Him:

“‘Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven’” (Matthew 10:32-33).

Note Revelation 3:8, quoting Christ as saying to the church in Philadelphia: “‘… I know your works… you… have kept My word and have not denied My name.”

Why would someone deny Christ? A major reason is because of persecution as a Christian, but JESUS warned that this would come:

“‘Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me’” (John 15:20-21).

When a person is called into the Truth, standing firm and not denying Christ will oftentimes be a great test. Again, this is something JESUS said would come—it is part of “counting the cost” (Luke 14:28):

“‘Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to “set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law”; and “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.” He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it’” (Matthew 10:34-39).

JESUS explicitly taught that, “‘whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple’” (Luke 14:33). Otherwise, we are denying Christ.

In a similar manner, once a person is called, is baptized and has received God’s Holy Spirit, he or she must continue. To deny Christ’s Sacrifice and to turn back to sin as a way of life and to deny the faith (1 Timothy 5:8) is to reject eternal life (compare Hebrews 10:26-39; 6:4-6; Luke 9:62).

To deny Christ means to practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:23); to turn to and believe false doctrines (2 Timothy 4:3-4); to not grow in the grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:18); and, to not live as He lived (1 Peter 2:21). When we realize that we have become guilty in any of these areas, we must repent immediately.

Finally, consider this ominous warning from JESUS:

“‘For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels’” (Mark 8:38).

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

A NEW Video Trailer presenting our booklet, “Heavens and Earth…Before and After the First Man!” has been produced by Michael Link.

A new Russian booklet (a translation of, “The Keys to Happy Marriages and Families”) has been posted on the German website. In addition, several new German articles have been posted on the German website.

“Trump’s New Attacks on NATO and Germany… What’s Next?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

President Trump’s behavior and statements in Brussels towards EU leaders and NATO members have continued a pattern which will lead to terrible consequences for America and the rest of the world. We should not gloss over these events as meaningless, because NATO members, Europeans and especially Germans are getting tired of Trump’s continuing accusations and demands and are determined to respond forcefully.

“Absalom–Missverständnisse über König David (Teil 5),” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon. Title in English: “Absalom–Misunderstandings about King David, Part 5.”

Wieso ist der Heilige Geist EIN Geist?” is the title of the German sermon for Pentecost. Title in English: “How is God’s Holy Spirit ONE Spirit?”

Under Satan’s Rule,” the introductory message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Terrorist attacks by crazy suicide bombers; the utter deterioration of the relationship between USA and Europe; Europe’s preparation to create a powerful army; violence in the Middle East; ongoing threats from North Korea; apparitions of the “Virgin Mary”; ridiculous laws; complete misrepresentations of the biblical truth; and many other developments show us Satan’s handiwork. The White House is viewed as one the most haunted homes in America, with leading politicians having been involved in séances or communications with ghosts. This is Satan’s world, and he is anxious to bring about the Great Tribulation.

“Tiny Changes,” the sermon presented last week by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Life is a series of course corrections and changes. It is the tiniest changes that make the most impact. But the problem is that often times these small changes are the hard ones to see.  How can we make sure that the small choices we make daily are making up the large picture that we are striving for?

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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.

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