November 2, 2018
Our Compulsion for Outrage; Finding the Place of Safety
On November 3, 2018, Robb Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “Our Compulsion for Outrage,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Finding the Place of Safety.”
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.
A Dog’s Nose
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
One evening, on television some time ago, I saw a brief discussion about the scent detecting cells in dogs and cats. As a dog lover it has always amused me to see the amount of sniffing a dog does when it is taken for a walk.
Dogs can possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses (depending on their size and breed), compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours.
On the website dummies, it states under the heading “Your dog’s unique nose” the following: “Your dog’s nose has a pattern of ridges and dimples that, in combination with the outline of its nostril openings, make up a nose print believed to be as individual and unique as a human being’s fingerprints. Companies even register nose prints as a way of identifying and helping to locate lost or stolen dogs, a system that is now being used by kennel clubs around the world.”
To think that the small nose of even a small dog can have well over 100 million scent-detecting receptors is a fact that is hard to take in. Whenever I see such amazing facts, I reflect on how stupid and ridiculous the theory of evolution is.
On the website livescience, we read: “Life on Earth first bloomed around 3.7 billion years ago, when chemical compounds in a ‘primordial soup’ somehow sparked into life, scientists suspect. But what turned sterile molecules into living, changing organisms? That’s the ultimate mystery. By studying the evolution of not just life, but life’s building blocks as well, researchers hope to come closer to the answer.”
Did you catch the words “somehow” and “scientists suspect” and “researchers hope to come closer to the answer”? Hardly a definitive response! In respect to the dog’s nose, how do they expect intelligent and rational human beings to believe that a primordial soup (without any direction or intelligence) managed to educate or transform itself from organisms over some 3.7 million years into having the ability to produce a dog with hundreds of thousands of scent detecting receptors in its nose? If you believe that, you are capable of believing that the moon is made of green cheese with a pig flying over it!
You really do have to be kidding! And yet, there are multiple millions of adherents to this nonsense and, by comparison, very few who understand and believe the biblical truth. If anyone had any doubt about the wiles, cunning and ability of Satan the devil, then this should help them to re-evaluate their position.
Over the years, the Church of God has produced many booklets and articles about the nonsensical theory of evilution (that’s how it should really be spelled if it is to reflect precisely what it is) to countless millions of people. Please remember that, not that long ago, we had a magazine that, at its zenith, had a monthly print run of over 8 million copies. How many millions, or even hundreds of millions will have read articles about this nonsensical concept? We have a booklet “The Theory of Evolution – A Fairy Tale for Adults?,” which is an excellent exposition on this subject.
A dog’s nose is yet another example (and there are so many others) of the existence of a superior Being who created all things – and not through any primordial soup or any evolutionary theoretical stupidity.
Remember the dog’s nose!
by Norbert Link
We begin with Sunday’s election results in the German state of Hesse, constituting bad news for Germany’s coalition parties (CDU and SPD), and we address Angela Merkel’s announcement that she will not run again as her party’s (CDU) leader in December, and even though she does not want to resign as Chancellor, this might be the inevitable consequence long before the scheduled federal elections in 2021. We also focus on potential successors to Angela Merkel.
We continue with an article about warning signs for Europe’s future; contemplated highly contentious actions to end America’s long-standing birthright citizenship (in this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “The TRUE FACTS about America’s Birthright Citizenship”); and Donald Trump’s war with the “fake news media.” We also warn of a potential worldwide economic collapse with devastating consequences especially for the USA; and introduce Brazil’s new leader who has been described admirably as “a figure like Trump.”
Finally, we address “freedom” in Saudi Arabia and the new-found partnership between India and Japan.
Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.
This Week in the News
Merkel Goes… Who Will Come?
Handelsblatt Global wrote on October 29:
“Eleven months ago, I called ‘the beginning of the end of Angela Merkel as chancellor.’ Today, following another poor showing in a regional election [in Hesse], Merkel has apparently moved one step further, by offering not to run again as boss of her party, the Christian Democratic Union. That does not necessarily mean she will already step down as chancellor; she could even serve out her full term. But it does mean that she has now officially launched the transition. Henceforth, she will govern as a lame duck, as all Germany and Europe will look for her eventual successor as leader of the CDU and, probably, chancellor.
“Merkel’s decision is remarkable because she has repeatedly opined that she considered it a mistake to separate the offices of party leader and chancellor (as her own predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, did in his final year as chancellor.) That in turn suggests that she feels she has lost control over her overarching objective, which is to manage an orderly succession.
“If the Social Democrats, who also suffered another drubbing in yesterday’s Hessian election, walk out of the governing coalition with the CDU and CSU, perhaps next year, then Merkel will be out as chancellor at that moment… the field [for Merkel’s successor] is suddenly wide open… This is a historic week in Germany.”
We already stated after the devastating results for Merkel in Bavaria that her days are numbered, and we announced ahead of time that the results for her in Hesse would also be grim. Please view our StandingWatch program from October 16, 2018, titled, “New German Leadership Coming—Merkel’s Days Are Numbered!” which shows you what will happen next.
The Guardian wrote on October 29:
“Christian Lindner, the leader of the liberal FDP party, was the first to demand Merkel’s resignation as chancellor on the back of the news, calling for her ruling conservative bloc to ‘be prepared for a real new beginning in Germany’… Preliminary final results from Sunday’s election [in Hesse, home to Germany’s financial center, Frankfurt], seen as decisive for the future of Germany’s increasingly wobbly coalition, showed the CDU slumping to 27%, the party’s worst showing in the state since 1966 and a drop of 11 percentage points since Hesse last went to the polls in 2013.
“Merkel’s coalition partner in Berlin, the Social Democrats (SPD), tanked to 19.8% [the SPD’s worst result since 1946] in a dead heat with the resurgent Green party for second place… The Hesse result will be seen as further evidence of the shrinking of the mainstream political landscape across Germany and Europe…”
The anti-immigrant, far-right party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), garnered 13.1 percent. That is three times its tally from 2013, the year it was created. It has now secured seats in all 16 German state parliaments.
The Washington Post wrote on October 29:
“Merkel is willing to remain in charge of her government until the next general elections in 2021, but the CDU may push her to resign earlier. Whoever replaces Merkel as party chairman or chairwoman has a good shot at becoming the next German chancellor. So, who are the likely contenders?…
“Jens Spahn [is a] 38-year-old politician [who] represents the party’s right-wing faction and has sought to position himself as a possible Merkel successor for some time. Spahn announced Monday that he was ready to succeed Merkel as party leader… A Spahn appointment would likely result in a right-wing turn of the CDU. But it would also be seen as an affront against Merkel and a possible end of her term as chancellor…”
Spahn, an openly gay member of the Roman Catholic Church, would be an interesting choice. Deutsche Welle wrote about him on October 29:
“The 38-year-old is the youngest and most overtly determined Merkel usurper. He entered the Bundestag in 2002 and became Germany’s health minister in 2018. Spahn, who is openly gay, is popular in the CDU’s conservative wing. He opposes limited dual citizenship for young foreigners, criticized attempts to loosen laws on advertising abortions and called for banning the Burqa in public.”
It was also reported in Euractiv on October 30 that “the towering Spahn (191 cm, size 49 feet)… wants a tougher course on refugee policy and has also networked internationally on this matter, for instance with Austria’s young Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.” It was added that if Spahn “ends up in the post, it seems almost certain that [he] will use [his] new power to undermine Merkel’s authority” (Politico, October 30).
Another interesting candidate is Friedrich Merz.
Handelsblatt Global wrote on October 30:
“The devastating loss of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in Sunday’s state election in Hesse not only marked the endgame for the chancellor but also opened the door for a surprising political comeback by one of her biggest political opponents. Friedrich Merz… experienced his defining moment in politics in fall 2002 when Angela Merkel sidelined him as parliamentary floor leader of the CDU’s center-right alliance… it was the beginning of the end of his political career… [He] left the Bundestag for good in 2009.
“Merkel’s announcement to resign as CDU party leader, however, may bring the now 62-year old back to the center of power… On Tuesday, he officially announced his candidacy for the top job, saying the party needed ‘a new beginning.’ The news exploded in Berlin like a bomb…
“Merz has remained popular in the party and seems now to offer the CDU a chance to get back to its conservative roots after Merkel has steadily pushed it to the left… Merz, who has a law degree and worked as a judge in the 1980s, could be the man to bring back the voters lost on the right…
“Merz’s re-entry into politics does not bode well for Merkel’s continuing as chancellor. It is virtually impossible… to see how she could work well with Merz if party members should elect him chairman at the party convention in December. Those who know him believe Merz will be seeking the chancellorship…
“There is still a chance that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s choice for her successor, gets the nod as chair… But her star is very much tied to Ms. Merkel and it is fading along with hers. Other potential candidates for party chair are Health Minister Jens Spahn, a vocal critic of Ms. Merkel, and Armin Laschet, the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state.”
Gruesome Rape of German Woman by Several Syrian Refugees
Deutsche Welle wrote on October 26:
“Eight men were arrested in the idyllic German city of Freiburg [in the Black Forest] on Friday in connection with the rape of an 18-year-old woman. Police said that seven of the suspects were Syrian men aged 19 to 29, and one native German aged 25.
“The victim reportedly met at least one of the men at a nightclub in Freiburg’s industrial area on the night of October 14. The man is suspected of having drugged the woman’s drink. All eight men are accused of having taken turns assaulting her near the club…
“The incident is the latest in a series of violent acts since 2016 to have rocked the southwestern city known for its beautiful scenery, university and eco-friendly living. The city has had to reckon with a beating by a group of teenagers that left a middle-aged man dead, the rape and murder of a medical student [by an Afghan asylum seeker], the killing of a 27-year-old female jogger by a truck driver in the suburb of Endingen, as well as the discovery of a pedophilia ring in the nearby town of Staufen [by at least three German men, one Swiss national and one Spanish citizen].”
These incidents may explain to an extent as to why Germany’s ruling parties suffered such great losses in Hesse, and why the AfD scored strongly.
Make or Break for Europe?
Former German Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Joschka Fischer wrote the following in Project Syndicate on October 30:
“It is no exaggeration to say that 2019 will be the year that makes or breaks the European Union… New presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Central Bank will be appointed, and a new High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will be chosen. If nationalist Euroskeptic parties become the largest group in the European Parliament, these appointments could represent an abrupt break from the past…
“Needless to say, the parliamentary elections [in 2019] will have far-reaching implications for Europe’s future in a rapidly changing world. The current president of the United States has such disdain for the EU that many now talk of ‘the end of the West.’ An increasingly revanchist Russia is waging wars along the European periphery and in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is taking his country down the path of authoritarianism. And China is demanding recognition as a global power. Worse still, US President Donald Trump’s recent decision to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia raises the threat of a renewed arms race…
“Against this dismal backdrop, the question is what will become of Europe… I foresee next year’s elections auguring dramatic change in Europe. For better or worse, the question of Europe itself… must be decided. There will either be a rebirth of nationalism or a victory for EU-level democracy and unity. Sadly, pro-Europeans cannot hope for any help from abroad. In fact, the opposite is true: Europe must be vigilant in policing foreign interference in its affairs – including its elections…”
Ending America’s Birthright Citizenship?
The Associated Press wrote on October 30:
“President Donald Trump is making another hardline immigration play in the final days before the midterm elections, declaring that he wants to order an end to the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the United States to non-citizens…
“Trump has long called for an end to birthright citizenship, as have many conservatives. An executive order would spark an uphill legal battle for Trump about whether the president has the unilateral ability to declare that children born in the U.S. to those living here illegally aren’t citizens…
“[Trump said] that ‘we’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.’ A 2010 study from the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that supports immigration restrictions, showed that 30 countries [including Canada, Mexico and Brazil] offered birthright citizenship…
“Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, said Tuesday that the Constitution is very clear. ‘If you are born in the United States, you’re a citizen,’ he said… Suzanna Sherry, a professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School specializing in constitutional questions, said those advising Trump that he can change the Constitution via executive order are simply mistaken…
“The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment states: ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.’ The amendment was passed by Congress in 1866 during the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War. It was ratified in 1868 by three-fourths of the states. By extending citizenship to those born in the U.S., the amendment nullified an 1857 Supreme Court decision (Dred Scott v. Sandford), which ruled that those descended from slaves could not be citizens.
“In addition to the debate over Trump’s authority to declare that children born in the U.S. aren’t citizens, a separate question is whether Congress could pass a law to that effect, or whether only a constitutional amendment could accomplish Trump’s apparent aim of denying citizenship to U.S.-born children of those here illegally… Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, now a close ally of the president… tweeted his support for the change. ‘This policy is a magnet for illegal immigration, out of the mainstream of the developed world, and needs to come to an end,’ he said.”
Politico added on October 30:
“House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday broke with President Donald Trump on whether an executive order could deny a constitutional guarantee of citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to noncitizen parents… Ryan said that the president ‘obviously cannot do that… You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order… As a conservative, I’m a believer in following the plain text of the Constitution, and I think in this case the 14th Amendment is pretty clear, and that would involve a very, very lengthy constitutional process…’
“[Vice President Mike] Pence… said that the Supreme Court has never ruled on whether the 14th Amendment ‘applies specifically to people who are in the country illegally.’… Amending the constitution or passing laws to limit birthright citizenship is popular among congressional Republicans, particularly those that are close to the president even though it would be incredibly difficult to do…”
NBC wrote on October 30:
“An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released in September 2017 found that 65 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should continue granting citizenship to all children born in the country. Only 30 percent said this should be changed so children of undocumented immigrants aren’t automatically granted citizenship…
“Many legal scholars believe the issue was settled by an 1898 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court [United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898)], involving a man born in the United States to Chinese parents who lived here legally. After a trip abroad, Wong Kim Ark was blocked from re-entering the country on the grounds that he was not a citizen. He fought back and won. By a 6-2 vote, the court said the 14th Amendment applied to virtually everyone born in the U.S., except for children of enemies of the U.S. or of foreign diplomats, or children born on Native American reservations, which were considered sovereign entities.
“Nearly 100 years later, in 1982, the Supreme Court used language that seemed to indicate the protection applied to children of illegal immigrants as well. In ruling in Plyler v. Doe [Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982)], Texas must provide a free public education to undocumented children, the court said in a footnote that ‘no plausible distinction with respect to 14th Amendment “jurisdiction” can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful.’”
The Week added on October 31:
“President Trump is insisting that it would be constitutional for him to end birthright citizenship by executive order. In a tweet Wednesday, the president claimed that ‘so-called birthright citizenship,’ which grants citizenship to people born in the U.S., is ‘not covered by the 14th Amendment.’ He pointed to the words ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof,’ a phrase in the amendment that some have pointed to as justification for restricting birthright citizenship (other legal experts fiercely disagree )… White House counsel reportedly warned Trump that he likely doesn’t have the authority to bypass Congress. Regardless of the legality of an executive order, Trump pledged that birthright citizenship will be ended ‘one way or the other.’”
Even though the purported rationale for ending birthright citizenship is directed at illegal aliens, one must not overlook the fact that if birthright citizenship was abolished, it would go far beyond them. For instance, Fox News wrote on October 31: “Critics of birthright citizenship say that the amendment was never intended to apply to children of two non-citizens — and particularly those who have come to the country illegally.”
Trump’s War with the “Fake News Media” in Light of Violence in America
The New York Post wrote on October 29:
“President Trump on Monday continued his assault on the ‘Fake News Media’ by continuing to accuse them of stoking rage. ‘There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly,’ he wrote on his Twitter account.
“‘That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!,’ the president posted, just two days after 11 people were gunned down by a man yelling ‘all Jews must die’ at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The tweets also come three days after Cesar Sayoc was arrested for sending 14 pipe bombs through the postal system to a number of prominent Democrats – including former President Barack Obama, his Vice President Joe Biden, and Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton – all outspoken critics of Trump’s.
“GOP Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma said Trump can’t be blamed for the actions of a ‘hate-filled individual’ at the synagogue, but urged the president to tamp down his rhetoric because it ‘doesn’t help the basic dialogue.’… Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director, said Trump doesn’t need to go to ‘war with the media.’… Trump condemned the synagogue shooting as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘pure evil.’ ‘There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice,’ Trump said during a rally Saturday in Illinois.”
Unfortunately, too much violence is happening in the USA, which is no surprise, because Satan, the pure evil god and ruler of this world, is a murderer and a destroyer, and his wrath is great because he knows that his time is short.
Casting a Spell on the Media?
The Daily Mail wrote on October 29:
“President Donald Trump borrowed a serpent staff from a child at the White House Halloween event on Sunday to wave in the direction of the media as he and first lady Melania Trump distributed chocolate bars and twizzlers to the children of military families before once again attacking the press on Twitter. ‘Do you know what I’m doing,’ he asked the two little girls, who were dressed in Egyptian style costumes as the first lady chuckled at his antics.
“He waved the staff up and down and all around, as if he were casting a spell… Harry Potter theme music played, a fog machine pumped spooky smoke, pumpkins abound on hay bales, and the columns of the White House were decorated as corn stalks for the event.”
Halloween is an evil celebration of the forces of darkness, and pretending to cast a spell, especially in front of children, is not a harmless joke.
Economic Chaos Ahead?
Newsmax wrote on October 26:
“Investment guru Peter Schiff warns that the U.S. economy is on the brink of a collapse that will trigger total financial chaos. ‘All the signs are already there. Look at what’s happening out there. The stock market is falling, look at homebuilders, the housing stocks, the financials, the retailers – all these are the same things that were happening in 2007 leading to that crisis,’ the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital [said]…
“The economist urged people be prepared for not only an economic crisis, but a political crisis as well… ‘The dollar is going to be the biggest casualty along with the American standard of living,’ he said…
“A recent study by JPMorgan Chase & Co. indicated the U.S. economy has a greater than 50-50 chance of tipping into a recession in the next two years…”
We know from Scripture that sometime in the future, the USA will be hit by a devastating economic crash leading to terrible consequences for the American people.
Brazil’s new Leader—a Figure like Donald Trump
The Algemeiner wrote on October 29, 2018:
“He has vowed to drain the swamp, slash regulations and get tough with China. Evangelicals and gun-rights advocates love him. He has denounced the media as ‘fake news.’ Political foes? Lock ’em up. Brazil’s new president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is an ardent admirer — and shrewd imitator — of his US counterpart Donald Trump. And that could usher in one of the warmest bilateral relationships in the Western Hemisphere.
“Trump called to congratulate Bolsonaro on Sunday night, shortly after the far-right congressman scored a resounding victory at the polls, winning 55 percent of the vote following a mud-slinging campaign with a leftist rival. Bolsonaro and Trump spoke of ‘a strong commitment to work side-by-side’ on issues affecting Brazil, the United States and beyond, the White House said… in Bolsonaro, Trump will find a doppelganger whose world view and pugnacious style are strikingly similar to his own. ‘Just like he wants to make America great, I want to make Brazil great,’ Bolsonaro, a former army captain, said in a televised interview in July…
“Bolsonaro… has said he will move Brazil’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following the lead of the United States. And similar to Trump, Bolsonaro is rethinking his country’s membership in multinational organizations and treaties that he thinks might not be in Brazil’s best interest, including the Mercosur trade bloc, the BRICS group of large emerging economies and the Paris climate accord… Bolsonaro is also questioning Brazil’s relationship with China, which he views as a predatory economic partner. The Asian giant is Brazil’s biggest foreign buyer of soybeans, iron ore and other commodities. But Bolsonaro is alarmed at a spate of Chinese purchases of Brazilian energy and infrastructure companies. ‘The Chinese are not buying in Brazil. They are buying Brazil,’ Bolsonaro has warned repeatedly…
“Still, trade is likely to remain a sore point between the United States and Brazil, whose steep tariffs on imported goods make it one of the most closed economies in the world… Even if trade issues remain thorny, Bolsonaro’s gaze is directed north. He is an avid supporter of the National Rifle Association and vows that once he takes office on January 1, he will roll back Brazil’s strict gun laws and let citizens take up arms to defend themselves from criminals… Brazil is beset by appalling levels of street crime.
“In the past few years, a sprawling corruption investigation has revealed epic levels of corruption at the highest levels of government. One former president is in jail and another was impeached and tossed from office. The economy was hit by the worst downturn in decades and has yet to regain its luster; more than 13 million Brazilians are unemployed. Hungry for change, voters responded to Bolsonaro’s bold promises to crack heads and clean up the mess.
“Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon said he sees echoes of his old boss, who rode a similar wave of discontent. ‘It takes those types of crises, and Brazil is going through that type of crisis now,’ Bannon told Reuters recently. ‘I think that Bolsonaro, he’s a figure like Trump.’”
Deutsche Welle wrote on October 28:
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed a ‘special strategic and global partnership’ with Japan, the second-largest economy in Asia. Japan is aiming to expand free trade relations amid US’ protectionist policies…
“Shinzo Abe became the first Japanese leader to visit China since 2011 when he arrived in Beijing on October 26, 2018. Ties between the two countries have been fragile since diplomatic relations resumed in 1972. There are still plenty of issues to be resolved, but the relationship is at a ‘historic turning point’… India and Japan are set to hold their first joint military exercises next month.”
The Bible shows that in the end-time an economic and military power bloc will be forming in the Far East, which appears to include countries such as China, Russia, India and Japan.
“Freedom” in Saudi Arabia?
The Mirror wrote on October 31:
“Seventeen women, all Filipina expats, were arrested after hosting a Halloween party in Saudi Arabia. It is not known what charges they face however the foreign ministry reiterated that Saudi laws prohibit unattached men and women from being seen together in public.
“Adnan Alonto, the Philippine ambassador in Riyadh… has since issued an advisory reminding the Filipino population in Saudi Arabia to ‘refrain from organising or attending events or gatherings that are unsanctioned or without permission.’ He said: ‘In addition, everyone is reminded to avoid mixed crowds, consuming liquor, and holding public practice of traditions that are associated with religions other than Islam, such as Halloween, Valentines and Christmas.’
“… The public worship of any religion other than Islam is banned in Saudi Arabia – despite the fact at least two million of the country’s expatriates are non-Muslims… The country also has strict laws restricting women from making a great deal of important decisions themselves. Women were only recently allowed to drive.
“Women in Saudi Arabia are unable to marry without permission of their guardian, and must seek permission from the ministry of interior to marry a foreigner. They are also prohibited from opening bank accounts, travelling alone, and in some cases even leaving the house alone.”
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.
Does God warn unrepentant people today before they experience calamity and even death?
In the 33rd chapter in the book of Job, beginning with verse 14, Elihu makes some stunning comments about God’s dealings with humans:
“For God may speak in one way, or in another, Yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, While slumbering on their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction. In order to turn man from his deed, And conceal pride from man, He keeps back his soul from the Pit, And his life from perishing by the sword.
“Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with strong pain in many of his bones, So that his life abhors bread, And his soul succulent food. His flesh wastes away from sight, And his bones stick out which once were not seen. Yes, his soul draws near the Pit, And his life to the executioners.
“If there is a messenger for him, A mediator, one among a thousand, To show man His uprightness, Then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom’; His flesh shall be young like a child’s, He shall return to the days of his youth. He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him, He shall see His face with joy, For He restores to man His righteousness.
“Then he looks at men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, And it did not profit me.’ He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit, And his life shall see the light. Behold, God works all these things, Twice, in fact, three times with a man, To bring back his soul from the Pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.”
What is contained in these Scriptures is the fact that God may deal directly with a person two or three times to warn him or her of serious trials and even impending death due to his or her sinful way. What is also included is the fact that there is no promise that God will prevent grievous problems, illness or death from occurring after these two or three warnings have been given, if the person does not perceive or take to heart those warnings and does not repent and change his or her ways; but rather, if he or she continues to sin.
When God deals individually with a person, He gives him or her warnings when He sees that the person is in need of correction. These “wake-up” calls can come in many different ways, but if they are so serious that they deal with serious trials and even impending death, then it is high time to wake up, because God might not give those signs for more than three times, if at all.
Christ warned that those who refuse to repent and who don’t heed God’s warning may die a violent death. We read in Luke 13:1-5:
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.’”
Christ continued in verses 6-9 to give a time element, showing that God’s patience has limits. He will not wait forever for a person to repent and change; especially, if He has given him or her ample opportunities and wake-up calls:
“He also spoke this parable: ‘A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, “Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?” But he answered and said to him, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’’”
God warns in numerous ways before He is going to act. He warned mankind through Noah, a “preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), before He sent the flood to destroy all those who did not listen and who refused to repent. The USA, the UK, Canada and other English-speaking nations have been placed on notice that unless there is genuine repentance, they will be invaded by a foreign power and defeated in a nuclear war, with most people dying and most cities being completely obliterated. As He warned the world through Noah; Nineveh through Jonah; and Sodom and Gomorrah through Lot (Genesis 19:9; 2 Peter 2:6-8), so He is warning our nations today. His warning has been contained in the Bible for a long time, but it is in our time that it is being powerfully proclaimed by His Church. We read, for example, in Ezekiel 33:2-5:
“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.”
The people of Nineveh heeded the warning and were spared; the people of Sodom, as well as mankind at the time of Noah, refused to listen and perished.
God does not leave individual people without warning either; especially those with whom He has been directly dealing on an individual basis and who have been given knowledge of the Truth and understanding about His Church and His true servants. We read in Psalm 52:3-5:
“You love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah. You love all devouring words, You deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah.”
Or Psalm 55:19, 23:
“God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah. Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God… But You, O God shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days…”
Psalm 73:18-19 adds the following about those who refuse to listen and change:
“Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!”
At the same time, God has no pleasure in the death of unrighteous sinners, but He wants them to repent and change. That is WHY He gives them wake-up calls. Moses wrote in Psalm 90:12:
“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” A better translation is (compare Luther Bible 2017): “Teach us to consider that we must die…”
Psalm 107:4-14 speaks of those who were in trouble and turned to God for help, finally taking God’s warnings seriously:
“They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way; They found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses… Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death [they were near death], Bound in affliction and irons–Because they rebelled against the words of God, And despised the counsel of the Most High, Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces.”
He continues in verses 17-20:
“Fools, because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, And they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.”
The Psalmist concludes with these words, in verse 43: “Whoever is wise will observe these things, And they will understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
God gives this warning in Proverbs 5:12-14, quoting someone who refused, for a while, to listen to Him and His true ministers: “How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction! I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me! I was on the verge of total ruin, In the midst of the assembly and congregation.”
Proverbs 29:1 adds: “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” A better translation is (compare Luther Bible 2017): “He who is stiff-necked against all warning…”
Returning to Elihu’s above-quoted speech in the book of Job, the statement that God will warn and send wake-up calls two or three times should be taken quite seriously and also quite literally.
The numbers three and two have significance in the Bible and may also indicate finality. Christ was three days and three nights in the grave, as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster. Peter received the vision with the sheet of unclean animals three times, and three men came to him to lead him to Cornelius, an “unclean” Gentile in the minds of the Jews, whom he then baptized. Paul reasoned with the Jews for three Sabbaths in Thessalonica, before turning away from them, due to their hostility (Acts 17:1-5, 10).
God pronounces severe punishments against several modern nations because of three transgressions committed by each of them, respectively (compare the book of Amos, chapters 1 and 2). As we saw earlier, the owner of the fig tree was searching for fruit for three years. God presented David with three kinds of punishment for his sin of numbering Israel. Finally, Paul asked God three times to heal him but God decided not to do so then (2 Corinthians 12:8).
In Solomon’s case, God punished Solomon after He had appeared to him two times to warn him not to forsake His Way and follow other gods (1 Kings 11:9-10). A sin or crime, especially a capital crime leading to the death penalty, needed to be dealt with when the testimony of two or three witnesses established the facts (Hebrew 10:28). The acceptance of an accusation against an elder requires two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19); and by “the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established” (2 Corinthians 13:1).
In light of this, if someone who knows (of) God’s Truth has received two or three warnings from God through serious life-threatening situations or other grievous and frightening occurrences, and has still not repented or has even turned his or her back on God, then the life of such a person is in serious danger, and it is high time to return to God with prayer and fasting and ask for forgiveness.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
A new Member Letter (October 2018) has been written and mailed. Robb Harris presents a review of reports from the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day in both the US and Germany and notes that this year’s observance was indeed a time of rejoicing by the brethren.
“The TRUE FACTS about America’s Birthright Citizenship,” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Much has been written and said about the idea of ending America’s birthright citizenship, and both the law and reality have been misrepresented and misconstrued by the media. What DOES the Constitution say, and HOW did the US Supreme Court understand the 14th Amendment, dealing with birthright citizenship? Could it be revoked via executive order or Congress? Is it even perceivable that it could end through federal legislation or a constitutional amendment? And even if that were possible, what might the consequences be? Issues like these continue to divide the nation, and the ensuing emotional upheaval results in more and more verbal and violent confrontations and actions. The Bible shows us what the terrible and frightening outcome will be.
“Warnt Gott den Sünder vor Unglück und Tod?” is the title of this Sabbath’s German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Does God Warn the Sinner of Calamity and Death?”
“Ready at ALL Times,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
How are we supposed to prepare at all times? How are we to live our days and how important is prayer? What should we pray for? Are we ready if Christ were to come back tomorrow? Are we worthy enough? Is God our first priority and can we trust Him to take care of ANY situation that we are faced with? Do we truly understand how important God is in our lives and if we shut Him out, what would the consequences be?
“Resist the Devil!” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Satan rules mankind, but most don’t know about it. And very few understand that Satan’s great wrath and his desire to destroy are directed foremost against God’s people–the true followers of Jesus Christ. We must be aware of the temptations, deceptions and wiles of the devil and of his human instruments, so that we can withstand, conquer and defeat them with God’s help.
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, Robb Harris, Michael Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson
Technical Team: Eric Rank, Shana Rank
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