June 5, 2020
Comments on News and Prophecy (June 6, 2020) / The Tools of God
On June 6, 2020, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy (June 6, 2020),” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “The Tools of God.”
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.
What Is the Real Truth?
by Michael Link
Anger has surged and justice is desperately demanded by many people in this nation as a result of the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer. Sadly, occurrences like these have been an ongoing story for many years, and the answers that the majority are seeking haven’t been found. As of Monday, June 1st, protests over this death have hit all 50 states in America, many of which are considered peaceful but far too many also have led to violence, destruction and more death. The unity of this nation is failing more and more with a leadership in disarray and a society on the brink of collapse.
The finger-pointing, the racial tension, the anger, and the call for justice are at the forefront of the minds of many people, something that has repeated itself numerous times in history. And due to this present problem, especially in this nation, it seems like the news about COVID 19 has taken a back seat and isn’t as prevalent as it was just a week ago. Some even claim that the pandemic and the resulting governmental restrictions were a setup and a political scheme, postulating all kinds of reasons to explain the timeline of events. Even questions have arisen whether the Corona Virus will suddenly “disappear” after November 11. And so, conspiracy theories are invented and continue to be spread. Certain groups that purposely inflict chaos, deception, devastation and fear, add fuel to the fire.
The real question is, what is THE truth?
It is easy to get caught up in all the mayhem and confusion that is present all over social media and news outlets across the nation and all around the world. We can see how one thing leads to the next, especially now with the current situation which escalated into worldwide protesting, looting, and violence. It is normal to feel angry about this but we should also realize why this is happening. And we should ask ourselves, what this will lead to next and how quickly?
Society wonders why God is letting this happen, or how we can live in peace, but we know that this is not God’s world. It is Satan who rules man and influences people to act and react with violence and hatred. There is another important question that not too many people ask themselves in these troublesome times. And that is, “Am I ready for Christ’s return?” This very question is something we must ask ourselves, for we in God’s Church know why all of this is happening. We are observing Satan’s wrath who knows that his time is short. And because we know this, then we need to be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves whether God would look at us as being worthy of His protection and of being able to stand before the Son of Man when He returns. Our booklet, “How Can We Know That Christ’s Return Is Near?” gives us the answers on how we are to prepare and how we are to live NOW so we are not blindsided when He does return. We need to stay vigilant and diligent in obeying God and to keep doing what God requires of us.
Christ tells us in Luke 21:34-36:
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
We say in our above-mentioned booklet, “God will provide the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). While many will have to endure persecution and martyrdom, some members of the true Church of God who have been counted worthy to escape such terrible fate will be protected during that time at a physical location or ‘place of safety’ here on earth (Revelation 12:13–16; 3:10). As we see devastating end-time events developing with enormous speed, we should make sure that God will count us worthy of His protection (1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5, 11; compare also Luke 20:35).
“We have not yet seen the beginning of the Great Tribulation, but we know that it is the next major event to occur in our time.”
This IS the real truth that we need to be focused on, making sure that we are spiritually ready.
by Norbert Link
We begin with an article about the distinct possibility of a no-deal Brexit, which would have devastating consequences for the United Kingdom. In this regard, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Satan’s Wrath Against Britain.”
We report on America’s ongoing demonstrations and violent riots; heavy criticism from all corners towards President Trump’s “handling” of the volatile situation; and the world’s scornful and threatening reaction to America’s dilemma.
We report on an incomprehensible decision of the US Supreme Court and especially the highly controversial role of Chief Justice John Roberts; and we continue with a further example of alienation between Donald Trump and Angela Merkel. We also publish an article claiming that it is Germany’s declared goal to make “Europe strong again.”
We discuss Britain’s nightmarish self-isolation and quarantine rules and quote scientists alleging that the lockdown was a colossal failure.
We speak on America’s fight with China and the situation in Hong Kong; ambitions of the Eurozone; and Europe’s reactions to Israel’s annexation plans.
We conclude with an eye-opening article on Facebook’s oversight board.
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
No-Deal Brexit Inevitable?
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 4:
“If no progress is made this month, a no-deal Brexit looks inevitable. Is it possible that’s because of, rather than in spite of, the coronavirus crisis?…
“… a ‘no-deal Brexit’ perpetually loomed as a distinct and disastrous possibility. A one-year transition period up until December 31 meant that 2020 was to be the year in which the truly hard yards were finally walked…
“Then, as if by the design of some demonic deity… the worst global pandemic in a century struck. It has hit the EU and Britain especially hard… the no-deal scenario is back, except this time in a more permanent form…
“Even before it hit, optimism was extremely low on the EU side that anything substantial could be agreed with the UK in such a short timeframe… If the British don’t request an extension to the transition period by the end of this month — and, if as appears to be inevitable at this point, no free trade agreement is in place by the end of the year — then on December 31, 2020, the UK will no longer have any formal trading relationship with the EU. Under WTO rules, it will become a so-called ‘third country.’…
“COVID-19 has restricted the negotiations in terms of physical movement but also mental movement. The crisis has commanded vast amounts of attention and resources that otherwise might have been directed towards the EU-UK talks.”
The above-quoted wording is interesting: “… by the design of some demonic deity.” But it would be worded better as, “by Satan’s design.” Why? Because we are experiencing Satan’s wrath against Britain and the USA, as well as Israel. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Satan’s Wrath Against Britain.”
Violent Riots in America
AFP wrote on June 1:
“US President Donald Trump on Monday said he was deploying thousands of ‘heavily armed’ soldiers and police to prevent further protests in Washington, where buildings and monuments have been vandalized near the White House… He denounced ‘acts of domestic terror’ after nationwide protests against the death of an unarmed African American George Floyd in police custody devolved into days of violent race riots across the country… He also called on state governors to ‘deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets’…
“One week after Floyd died in Minneapolis, an autopsy blamed his videotaped death squarely on a white police officer who pinned him down by the neck with his knee for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded, ‘I can’t breathe!’ ‘The evidence is consistent with mechanical asphyxia as the cause of death, and homicide as the manner of death,’ Aleccia Wilson, a University of Michigan expert who examined his body at the family’s request, told a news conference.
“The unrest has been the most widespread in the United States since 1968, when cities went up in flames over the slaying of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., and rekindled memories of 1992 riots in Los Angeles after police were acquitted in the brutal beating of black motorist Rodney King.”
However, riots in 1992 were mainly limited to Los Angeles, and lasted for a few days. These riots have lasted for way over a week and are being carried out throughout the USA.
NBC News added on June 1:
“To activate the military [as he threatened to do, “if necessary”] to operate in the U.S., Trump would have to invoke the… Insurrection Act [which was] adopted in 1807… Trump’s remarks came hours after he urged the nation’s governors to get ‘tough’ with unruly demonstrators. ‘Most of you are weak,’ he told them… ‘You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time, they’re gonna run over you, you’re gonna look like a bunch of jerks,’ the president said.”
Newsmax wrote on June 1:
“The Insurrection Act… was last invoked by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 during the Los Angeles Rodney King riots at the request of California Gov. Pete Wilson. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has said the National Guard was… not an ‘occupying force.’ But Trump said, ‘I must tell you, it got so bad a few nights ago, the people wouldn’t have minded an occupying force, I wish we had an occupying force in there.’”
The Insurrection Act has been invoked by numerous presidents. John F. Kennedy invoked it twice. But as could be expected, the negative reaction from the left-wing media (CNN, MSNBC) and Democratic governors and senators was fierce.
The Huffington Post wrote on June 1: “Tyranny! Trump Declares War on Americans.” Deutsche Welle added on June 1 that “several US state governors have come out against Trump’s threat to deploy the armed forces to quell nationwide protests… [Also,] people within the administration are concerned that Trump’s inability to strike the right tone to unite the nation may hurt his reelection chances…”
Trump can activate the military without the consent of the governors. At least three states being led by Democrats — New York, Virginia and Delaware — have so far rejected Trump’s request. Reports have surfaced, however, that Trump was never really serious about invoking the Insurrection Act, and that his threats were just a political stunt. We will see.
In any event, as we have been predicting all along, Trump will be reelected (as he has a preordained role to fulfill in helping to build the Third Temple, in furthering the alienation with Europe, and in bringing about the total downfall of the USA), and we have also been declaring that this country will face violent divisions and civil unrest. This has certainly come to pass.
Trump Under Attack
CNN wrote on June 1:
“Trump himself was angered by coverage depicting him holed up in an underground bunker. He told aides on Monday he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates… which is part of what drove the decision to stage the photo-op at St. John’s Church.
“Trump and his family were rushed to an underground bunker on the White House complex as protests raged outside the building on Friday evening. Trump wasn’t seen on Sunday and spent most of Monday behind closed doors — leading to concern even from his allies that he was absent at a moment of national crisis.
“Many of the President’s traditional defenders — from campaign donors to Republicans on Capitol Hill to some in the conservative media — privately grumbled that Trump allowed several days to pass without addressing the nation or making any formal appeals for unity…
“A growing number of congressional Republicans, even Trump’s allies, also privately said the ‘caps lock’ tweets about tamping down protests using harsh tactics were not helping the situation. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina said on ‘Fox News Sunday’ that he had spoken to Trump over the weekend about his inflammatory tweets, which he described as ‘not constructive.’”
Fox News moderator Tucker Carlson also criticized Trump heavily on his show. But as the past has shown, when Trump is under attack, he will strike back. His hard-core supporters might like this, but many others don’t. And so, as it was prophesied, this country continues to be hopelessly divided, without any chance of experiencing healing.
Ex-Defense Chief Mattis Rips Trump for Dividing Americans
AP wrote on June 4:
“In an extraordinary rebuke, former defense secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday denounced President Donald Trump’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House and said his former boss was setting up a ‘false conflict’ between the military and civilian society… The criticism was all the more remarkable because Mattis has generally kept a low profile since retiring as defense secretary in December 2018 to protest Trump’s Syria policy. He had declined to speak out against Trump, saying he owed the nation public silence while his former boss remained in office… Trump responded on Twitter Wednesday evening by calling Mattis ‘the world’s most overrated General.’…
“‘Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people —does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us,’ Mattis wrote in a statement published by The Atlantic… ‘We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.’…
“One day after Trump announced he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, where they were partnering with local Syrians to fight the Islamic State, Mattis tried but failed to change Trump’s mind. So, he resigned. Trump soon turned on Mattis, calling him a failure. He said falsely that he had fired Mattis…”
Religious Leaders Criticize Trump
Newsmax reported on June 2:
“President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on religious freedom, even as he’s come under fire over visits made to religious sites amid protests over the death of George Floyd… Earlier Tuesday, Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the National Shrine in Washington, a place of significance and prayer for Catholics…
“Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory slammed Trump’s Tuesday shrine visit in a statement. ‘I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,’ Gregory wrote…
“‘Pope John Paul II… certainly would not condone the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, scatter or intimidate them for a photo opportunity in front of a place of worship and peace.’ Gregory’s statement was made following Trump’s appearance in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Monday. There, he posed for a photo with a Bible.
“Trump was criticized by many religious leaders for that photo op because military police cleared out protesters with tear gas prior to his arrival. Episcopal Rev. Gini Gerbasi posted on Facebook that she was ‘driven off’ the church’s patio by police for Trump’s ‘cheap political stunt.’”
Even Staunch Allies Scold U.S.
The Washington Times wrote on June 1:
“The Trump administration’s struggles to get control of violent nationwide protests has sparked comment and criticism from even some of America’s staunchest allies, potentially driving a wedge between the U.S. and its partners as demonstrations spread around the globe and the U.S. seems paralyzed by an onset of crises… the racially charged firestorm has taken hold in all corners of the world.
“America’s main adversaries seem to be taking delight in the unrest. China and Iran are openly mocking the U.S. and claiming that the nation’s deep-rooted racism and ineffective political system have led to an inevitable reckoning. Even more striking has been the criticism from friends and traditional allies. Officials in Britain and Germany took subtle swipes at American leaders Monday, and leading newspapers in Australia declared that the U.S. is ‘tearing itself apart’ and that the American political system has failed spectacularly.
“Top British officials publicly called on the U.S. to cease all harassment of journalists trying to cover the growing protests… In Germany, top officials seemed to mock President Trump’s plan to declare the group Antifa as a terrorist organization. The far-left group, which considers itself ‘anti-fascist,’ has been responsible for some of the violence across major U.S. cities in recent days, the president has said.”
Deutsche Welle reported on June 2:
“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the anti-police brutality protests in the US were ‘more than legitimate’ and that he hopes they will spark change. ‘I can only express the hope that the peaceful protests don’t turn violent, and even more the hope that they will have an impact,’ he added. He also called for press freedom for reporters covering the protests…”
Many of the “protests” have turned violent. But even these events further the alienation between Europe and the USA.
The Overlooked Connection?
The Week wrote on May 30:
“Another indelible image. Or rather a series of them: night fires, masked faces running in and out of burned storefronts… protests, rioting, looting… Our long hot summer was always coming…
“As far as I am aware, no one has written at meaningful length about Floyd’s killing in the context of the lockdown and the pandemic it was ostensibly meant to contain… The relationship between all of these problems and the prolonged atomizing of the lockdown is the same as that between gunpowder and a match… social distancing was going to get darker, and it has: studies project as many as 100,000 additional ‘deaths of despair’ in the months and years to come…
“What conclusions can be drawn from Minneapolis? One is that millions of us no longer believe (if indeed we ever really did) that there is a meaningful risk of outdoor transmission of the virus, even in very large crowds, especially among the young…”
The Ron Paul Institute agrees, stating this on June 1:
“Are the riots engulfing the nation simply fallout from the shocking killing of a black suspected forgerer at the hands of a white police officer? Or is there something else to the story? The ramifications of three months of nationwide lockdown may be more profound than people understand…
“Six hundred physicians recently signed a letter to President Trump calling for an end to the coronavirus lockdowns. The physicians wrote that, far from protecting public health, the lockdowns are causing ‘exponentially growing negative health consequences’ for millions of Americans.”
The obvious connection between the governmental restrictions due to the coronavirus and the ensuing frustration of the people should not be overlooked. Resorting to violence is of course totally wrong, but so are autocratic and brutal measures by the governments. All of this is instigated by Satan.
George Floyd Had Coronavirus!
Breitbart wrote on June 3:
“A report published Wednesday evening indicated George Floyd had coronavirus approximately two months before his death, though multiple autopsies did not attribute his death to the illness. Ed O’Keefe of CBS News said on Twitter that the official autopsy found George Floyd had coronavirus, which could be a significant development in the case if medical officials follow their pattern of categorizing deaths related to the disease…
“In April, Minnesota, along with many other states, began attributing deaths to coronavirus if no test was done and the deceased was suspected of having the illness… If a diagnosis of COVID-19 is suspected or likely …it is acceptable to report COVID-19 as ‘probable’ or ‘presumed’. That could have an impact on Floyd’s suspected cause of death. There have been several instances around the country where an individual had COVID-19, but died under unrelated circumstances, and the death was blamed on the virus.
“In May, a Colorado man had a blood alcohol level of .550 and died of alcohol poisoning, but his cause of death was later changed to coronavirus… In Alabama, ‘a bedbound patient with aspiration pneumonia in one lung and a person with a buildup of fluid and partial collapse of one lung’ had their deaths attributed to coronavirus… ‘The intent is, right now, that … if someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a CODID-19 death,’ [Dr. Deborah Birx] said.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison elevated the charges against the main culprit to second-degree murder. The three other officers who were at the scene are being charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 3:
“‘Stay home, save lives,’ the politicians and media demanded. And Americans stayed home for months and lost their jobs and their mental and physical health. If you go out, they said, you will kill people by passing on the virus. But all of a sudden these same politicians have turned on a dime in the aftermath of the killing of a Minnesota man in police custody – all of a sudden they are not only encouraging but joining mass public protests.”
Is America Headed for a Post-Apocalyptic Currency Collapse?
The Drudge Report linked to an article by FX Street of June 3:
“Just when it seemed as though America may be turning the corner after months of lockdown… just when it seemed as though we were on a path to reopening and gradually returning to normalcy… just when the prospects of panic-induced social unrest seemed to be behind us… America’s cities erupted into flames…
“The response to pandemic fears, including and especially the economic consequences, certainly contributed to driving some people over the edge. Pent up stress, frustration, boredom, alienation, fear, and other symptoms of cabin fever created the potential for a social conflagration.
“Some economists are predicting a death blow to small businesses that were already under unprecedented financial strain. If they weren’t ransacked, looted, and destroyed by hooligans, they will feel the macro effects of urban decline and flight, plummeting consumer confidence, falling property values, and worsening budgetary crises for state and local governments…
“The currency crisis will also come… No government can borrow into oblivion and no currency can be printed into oblivion without that currency losing credibility and purchasing power…
“The… leaders in positions of power who are failing us now can be expected to continue failing. The elites who control the media and both political parties seem to be operating as if wrecking the country is their goal – a point Tucker Carlson powerfully drove home on his Fox News show Monday. It’s time to get prepared both personally and financially if you’re not already.”
Bayer Prohibited to Sell Controversial Herbicide in the USA
Bloomberg wrote on June 4:
“Bayer AG is blocked from selling its controversial dicamba-based herbicide in the U.S. after an appeals court rejected a federal regulator’s permit for the product… The three-judge panel concluded the Environmental Protection Agency had ‘failed entirely’ to acknowledge some risks dicamba poses and that the agency violated federal regulations when it extended its approval of registration for the herbicide for another two years in October 2018.
“The ruling means farmers who bought seeds to be used with dicamba for this year’s growing season may not be able to plant them, since pesticides can’t be sold or distributed in the U.S. without EPA registration. The decision is the latest blow to Bayer in the wake of its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto — a deal that made the German company a leader in agriculture products but also saddled it with a mountain of legal liabilities related to weed killers…
“Dicamba is a central ingredient in Bayer’s XtendiMax, and can vaporize after being applied to crops and drift onto neighboring fields that aren’t resistant to the herbicide. It’s widely blamed for damaging 3.6 million acres of untreated soybeans in 2017, and more than 1 million acres in 2018.”
Not to speak of the effects on human health.
US Supreme Court Upholds California’s Ban on Churches
Breitbart wrote on May 29:
“The Supreme Court on Friday night ruled in favor of coronavirus restrictions on religious services in California in a 5-4 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal justices to side with California’s legal argument that they had the right to shut down or limit religious services… Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, and Brett M. Kavanaugh voted against.
“In his dissent, Kavanaugh argued that ‘comparable secular businesses’ such as supermarkets, stores, hair salons, and marijuana dispensaries were not subject to the same restrictions as churches. The church and its congregants simply want to be treated equally to comparable secular businesses,’ Kavanaugh wrote…
“The case was brought to the Supreme Court by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, Ca. California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered that in-church gatherings can only reach 25 percent of capacity and under 100 people. President Trump last week demanded that all religious services be considered ‘essential services’ during the coronavirus pandemic, just as liquor stores and grocery stores are.
“Roberts’ decision to side with the liberals marks a stark contrast with judicial precedence to side with religious liberty enshrined in the Constitution.”
These kinds of decisions by the US Supreme Court’s liberal judges, with the support of flip flopping John Roberts, are hard to comprehend or to support. They are strictly political, constituting a shame for the alleged independence of our legal system.
Chief Justice Roberts’ Fight against Religious Liberty
The Hill wrote on June 1:
“Roberts… champions the power of government officials to dictate to the people who elect them without ‘second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary’ — exactly the power that the Bill of Rights, and the incorporation jurisprudence by which the court has applied much of it to the states, are meant to deny…
“By the chief justice’s lights… it ‘seems quite improbable’ that the Supreme Court would find unconstitutional the actions of state and local officials wrestling with ‘a novel severe acute respiratory illness’ which has ‘killed … more [than] 100,000 people nationwide,’ and as to which ‘there is no known cure, no effective treatment, and no vaccine.’
“There is no recognition, in Roberts’ rendering, that there is another side to this equation — a side where 400 times the number of people who’ve died have lost their jobs, millions of them facing ruin. The stubborn message: Don’t expect the court to help you, you’re the ones who elected these people; if you don’t like what they do, un-elect them…
“The justices are happy to order that abortion must be available, to decide which couples (or perhaps throuples) must be permitted to marry, and to dictate what’s ever next in the ceaseless march of progressive, organic ‘liberty.’ But as for the liberties that are actually in the Constitution, we are on our own.”
One just HAS to wonder as to what is going on here!
Merkel Won’t Attend G7 Meeting in June
Politico wrote on May 30:
“Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G7 summit… ‘The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington,’ German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO Friday…
“Merkel’s refusal to accept Trump’s invitation is the latest in a long line of examples of the difficult relationship between the two leaders… In a call between Trump and Merkel this week, the two leaders had heated disagreements on topics including NATO, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, and relations with China… Officials aware of the transatlantic discussions said Trump was furious over Merkel’s reluctance to attend the summit…”
It is obvious that Merkel’s decision is political and not based on health concerns. Trump’s reaction is telling. Note the next article.
Trump Postpones G-7 Summit
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 31:
“US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced that he will be postponing a Group of 7 (G 7) summit until fall this year… Trump called the G7 a ‘very outdated group of countries’ that could not properly represent ‘what’s going on in the world.’ He said he wanted to expand the list of invited states to Russia, Australia, South Korea and India…
“Along with the US, the G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom. Five years ago, Russia was excluded from the then-G8 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.”
Trump never liked Russia’s exclusion. This might be his way of reversing this course of action and, at the same time, trying to humiliate Germany and other European powers who insisted on Russia’s exclusion. It might or might not work out for Trump.
Trudeau: Russia? — No Way!
Politico wrote on June 1:
“Justin Trudeau says inviting Russia back to the G-7 table would be unacceptable, even as Donald Trump plans to open the 2020 summit’s doors to Vladimir Putin… The Canadian prime minister told reporters Monday that Russia should not be welcomed back. The U.K. also said Monday that it would veto any such plan… Decisions on membership must be backed unanimously by the G-7 members.”
But arguably, Putin could be invited as a “participating” guest, without becoming a member. Trudeau and Johnson were more sympathetic towards that idea.
Germany Wants to Make Europe Strong Again
Politico wrote on May 30:
“Forget Make America Great Again. Here comes Make Europe Strong Again. The German government has settled on ‘Gemeinsam. Europa wieder stark machen’ — which translates into English as ‘Together. Making Europe strong again’ — as its slogan for the country’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU, which kicks off on July 1…
“Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Friday that the motto… aims to illustrate the German presidency will have to ‘find compromises and solutions to tackle the challenges posed by the corona pandemic’ across Europe. The logo is meant to symbolize ‘joint action emerging from the EU’s diversity again and again,’ he said.
“Merkel said earlier this week that China would be one of the priorities of the German presidency. On Friday, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Berlin wants to develop ‘a robust EU strategy on China’ during the coming six months, with a flagship summit of all EU leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled for September 14. ‘I believe that the best way to influence China is to make it clear that the European Union is very united … and that it will not be possible to break individual countries out of this unity,’ Maas said.”
And Germany will become strong and great again… for a while… unlike America.
Britain’s New Nightmarish Quarantine Rules
The Sun wrote on May 30:
“From June 8, anyone arriving in the UK faces a £1,000 fine if they do not self-isolate for two weeks—including holidaymaking Brits coming back to the country… But fears over the cost of the quarantine – claimed to be £650million-a-week – and over how difficult it could be to police have been raised.
“Border Force staff told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s a completely new way of doing things and no-one knows how it’s going to work.’ He said there had been no clear instruction as of yet what to do if passengers simply refuse to sign the form that will tell officials where they plan to isolate…
“These online forms won’t be paired with a passport or linked to a database, meaning officers may need to check manually if they have been filled out. It has been suggested this would cause hours of queues for people making their way through British airports… Once out of the airport and quarantining, it is understood travellers will get regular follow-up phone calls from agency staff to assess how honestly they were isolating themselves, and some could get a visit from the police….”
These rules are really ridiculous…
Lockdown a Colossal Failure
The Daily Mail wrote on May 24:
“The coronavirus lockdown could have caused more deaths than it saved, a Nobel laureate scientist has claimed. Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor… suggested the decision to keep people indoors was motivated by ‘panic‘ rather than the best science. Professor Levitt also said the modelling that caused the government to bring in the lockdown – carried out by Professor Neil Ferguson – over-estimated the death toll by ’10 or 12 times’.
“His claims echo those in a JP Morgan report that said lockdowns failed to alter the course of the pandemic but have instead ‘destroyed millions of livelihoods‘. Author Marko Kolanovic, a trained physicist… said governments had been spooked by ‘flawed scientific papers’ into imposing lockdowns which were ‘inefficient or late’ and had little effect… Prof Levitt [said:] ‘I think lockdown saved no lives. I think it may have cost lives… social damage – domestic abuse, divorces, alcoholism – has been extreme…
“His comments come as other scientists working in the same field also reported that they couldn’t verify Prof Ferguson’s work. Competing scientists’ research – whose models produced vastly different results – were largely ignored by government advisers…”
These are mind-provoking thoughts, calling totally into question as to how governments went about “fighting” the coronavirus.
Trump’s Fight with China
Newsweek wrote on May 29:
“President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Friday [effective on June 1] prohibiting entry to the U.S. for… [Chinese] graduate students and [some] researchers…
“The proclamation… does not apply to permanent residents of the U.S. or their spouses…
“The measure was one of several that Trump made on Friday in apparent retaliation for China’s recent moves to tighten control over Hong Kong… Trump also announced that he was ‘terminating’ the U.S. relationship with the [WHO], insisting that China has ‘total control’ over the global health authority…”
It seemed for a while that the relationship between the USA and China was improving. This is now a thing of the past… again.
Trump’s Plans towards Hong Kong
Regarding Trump’s plan of rescinding Hong Kong’s special status, Reuters wrote on May 28:
“Trump gave no time frame for the moves, suggesting he may be trying to buy time before deciding whether to implement the most drastic measures, which have drawn strong resistance from U.S. companies operating in Hong Kong…
“Trump also has to take into account the effect on the more than 1,300 U.S. firms that have offices in Hong Kong and provide about 100,000 jobs… from 2009 to 2018, the cumulative U.S. trade surplus of $297 billion with Hong Kong was the biggest among all U.S. trading partners.”
Hong Kong—once one of the “gates” in the house of Israel’s possession—will be totally lost to China, and in allowing or even provoking this development, the USA will be doing themselves a great disservice.
The Eurozone of Core Nations WILL Stay
Money Marketing wrote on May 28:
“… it now appears highly unlikely that the eurozone will collapse ‘by accident’… we have a eurozone with a central bank that has virtual impunity to print money to underpin its banking system. And we have the biggest players (Germany, France, Spain and Italy) basically agreeing to the principle of burden sharing on the fiscal side.”
As we have ALWAYS said in defiance of those “prophets” who claimed to know it better, the euro is here to stay.
Transitioning NATO into a European-led force
The Washington Times wrote on May 31:
“EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told an audience in Berlin on Monday that some European analysts had been talking more and more about the ‘end of an American-led system…’ The 27-nation bloc, he concluded, should… ‘follow our own interests.’… Washington should realize that Mr. Borrell has a point… A re-evaluation of the trans-Atlantic relationship is long overdue…
“The first NATO Secretary-General, Lord Hastings Ismay, famously said that NATO existed to ‘keep the Soviets out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.’ But with the collapse of the U.S.S.R. — along with the rise of France, the U.K., and a reunified Germany as rich nations — the fundamental reasons for NATO’s existence vanished. The once-compelling justification for the United States to underwrite the security of Western Europe has likewise disappeared…”
This shows again how faulty human reasoning and the outward appearance can lead to decisions which will heavily backfire.
Israel’s Annexation Plan
Times of Israel wrote on May 29:
“Jordan’s foreign minister on Thursday night warned the top diplomats of the US and UK against the ‘unprecedented threat’ Israel’s planned annexation of parts of the West Bank posed to the region, his office said. Ayman Safadi spoke with British FM Dominic Raab, urging him to make efforts to ‘safeguard’ peace and prevent Israel from moving forward with the annexation project… In a conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he said, he expressed Jordan’s strong opposition to the move…
“Washington on Thursday warned its citizens to take extra caution when traveling to the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, anticipating potential violence. A security alert by the US Embassy in Jerusalem advised citizens to ‘maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.’ It warned that ‘violence can occur with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, government checkpoints, markets and shopping facilities or government facilities.’…
“Netanyahu’s vow to go through with annexation has led to condemnations from a growing list of countries, including Arab states such as Jordan and European nations like France and Germany…”
In that context, Breaking Israel News reported on May 26:
“Several European leaders reportedly sent personal letters to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recent days asking him not to push ahead with plans to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank [including Emmanuel Macron, Boris Johnson, Pedro Sánchez and Giuseppe Conte].
“Several European nations are currently considering ways… to punish [Israel] if it ignores their warnings and carries out the annexation…”
It will be interesting to see what Europe and the international community will do when Israel goes ahead with its annexation.
EU Hostility Against Israel
Breaking Israel News wrote on June 2:
“Has the European Union reached a tipping point over Israel?… A number of member states, headed by France along with Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and Luxembourg, are calling for a hard line…
“Their hostility is the product of three factors: historic and ineradicable anti-Jewish prejudice; the pathological inability to deal with collective guilt over the Holocaust; and the perception that their interests have for decades lain with the Arab world…
“Taking punitive action against Israel would also expose it to the wrath of U.S. President Donald Trump…”
This could lead to a confrontation between the USA and Europe over Israel.
Israel Unprepared for War with Iran
Breaking Israel News and YNET News wrote on May 28:
“… it seems the question is not will there be a conflict [with Israel] where the Iranians use the massive rocket arsenal they supplied Hezbollah with, but rather when… Israel is not ready for the next war, neither against Iran nor against Hezbollah. Their missiles won’t destroy Israel, but the home front is not prepared, the army is not prepared, and the damage will be far-reaching…
“Our enemies could easily bankrupt us through mass production of primitive rockets that cost only a few dozen dollars apiece…”
The warning of Hosea 5:13 (“… when Judah saw his wound”) comes to mind.
Facebook Oversight Board Stacked with Leftists
Judicial Watch wrote on May 29:
“The recently appointed Facebook oversight board that will decide which posts get blocked from the world’s most popular social networking website is stacked with leftists… Judicial Watch conducted a deep dive into the new panel that will make content rulings for the technology company that was slammed last year with a $5 billion fine for privacy violations. The information uncovered by Judicial Watch shows that the group of 20 is overwhelmingly leftist and likely to restrict conservative views.
“More than half of the members have ties to Soros, the philanthropist who dedicates huge sums to spreading a radical left agenda that includes targeting conservative politicians. Other Facebook oversight board members have publicly expressed their disdain for President Donald Trump or made political contributions to top Democrats such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. As one New York newspaper editorial determined this month, the new Facebook board is a ‘recipe for left-wing censorship.’…
“The new board has only a few token conservatives… The overwhelming majority of those making Facebook’s ‘final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed,’ are leftists… ‘The cases we choose to hear may be contentious, and we will not please everyone with our decisions,’ Facebook warns.”
This does not sound too good for those expressing conservative views and who want to uphold principles as stated in the Bible.
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.
Why was the religious establishment usually at odds with Jesus? (Part 1)
To answer this question, we are going to discuss in this new series the different religious groups who were all part of the Jewish establishment at the time of Jesus.
In this first part, we will focus on the Pharisees.
Young’s Analytical Concordance has this to say about the Pharisees: “From the Hebrew – separate. The largest of the… Jewish sects; noted for their self-conceit and long prayers; [they] fasted often, made broad their phylacteries, held to [their own] traditions…”
Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee, said of them in Antiquities of the Jews: “A cunning sect they were, and so elevated to a pitch of open fighting and doing mischief. At the time of Christ, the Pharisaical ‘fraternity’ was comparatively small.”
In fact, the group numbered about 6,000 members, but it was nevertheless very influential.
Emil Schurer, A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, states: “Contact with non-Pharisees was avoided wherever possible. All others were unclean.”
Bible History Online explains:
“Even with the changes of government under the Romans and Herodians, the Pharisees maintained their spiritual authority. Although the Sadducean high priests were at the head of the Sanhedrin, the decisive influence upon public affairs was in the hands of the Pharisees.”
Josephus also wrote that “The Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; It was the voice of the Pharisees that was heard on behalf of the people, whether it was before the high priest of the king.”
Schurer writes in this regard:
“They had the bulk of the nation as their ally, and women especially were in their hands. They had the greatest influence upon the congregations, so that all acts of public worship, prayers, and sacrifices were performed according to their injunctions. Their sway over the masses was so absolute that they could obtain a hearing even when they said anything against the king or the high priest, consequently they were the most capable of counteracting the design of the kings. Hence, too, the Sadducees, in their official acts, adhered to the demands of the Pharisees, because otherwise the multitude would not have tolerated them.”
On the “difference between” website, differences are shown between the Pharisees and Sadducees. As this particular article is about the Pharisees, we quote the following information:
“The Pharisees and Sadducees were influential Jewish sects with conflicting philosophies in regards to the implementation of the Torah. Pharisees and Sadducees also had conflicting views about the role of government in the lives of Jewish citizens. The Pharisees believed that God had punished the Jews by allowing oppressive Pagans like the Romans to rule over them because the Jews refused to uphold the statutes of the Torah… This is why they supported the creation of distinctive laws which would keep the Jews from further offending God by adopting the lifestyles of non-Jews.
“… the Pharisees were members of middle class Jewish families… Leaders among the Pharisees were referred to as Rabbi… The Pharisees believed that God did not just provide the Jews with the Written Law, but also the Oral Law…
“The Written Law was the Torah, while the Oral Law comprised of oral traditions and revelations that were given to Jewish prophets who came after Moses… The Pharisees also differed from the Sadducees in the matter of the afterlife…
“The Pharisees believed that God would send the Jews a messiah who would bring peace to the world and rule from Jerusalem. They also believed that all circumstances that affected the lives of Jews were divinely ordained…
“The Pharisees… regularly took part in traditional forms of worship in the temple. They rejected foreign ideologies and philosophies such as Hellenism, and created numerous laws to keep the Jews from interacting with gentiles on a daily basis.”
In regard to the “Oral Law,” please note our comments in our Q&A on the oracles of God:
“Christianity is not the same as Judaism. The Jews do today many things that are not in conformity with Scripture. In fact, even at the time of Christ, the Jews were DIVIDED amongst themselves as to how to apply Scripture. While the Pharisees accepted both the written and the ‘oral’ law — a collection of Jewish traditions — the Sadducees only accepted the written law, but they did not understand that correctly, either, as Christ had to point out to them on several occasions (compare James Hastings, ‘Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics,’ under ‘Sadducees’). Many have taught for doctrine (which should be God’s doctrine) the doctrine of men. Matthew 15:9 records the statement of Jesus in this regard:
“‘And in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’” Jesus also instructed His own disciples about the problems inherent within Judaism at that time. Note this quote in Matthew 16:12: ‘Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’
“Paul also warned of the possible wrong influences from Judaism in Titus 1:14: ‘…not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.’”
In regard to the many Pharisaical traditions, rules and regulations, which were contrary to the Bible, please read our free booklet, “God’s Commanded Holy Days.”
In light of all the foregoing comments, we can already see why the Pharisees rejected Jesus, and why Jesus rebuked them. To emphasize this, the following biblical passages about the Pharisees are interesting.
There are around 84 verses about the Pharisees in the first five books in the New Testament. They are mentioned several times in the gospel records as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes. Please note the following words by Jesus:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).
“… Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness” (Luke 11:39).
“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, “We see.” Therefore your sin remains’” (John 9:39-41).
They said that Jesus cast out demons by the ruler of the demons (Matthew 9:34 and 12:24); they wanted a sign that He was the Messiah (Matthew 12:38-40); they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath (according to their own traditions) but they were rebuked for this (Matthew 12:1-8); Jesus told His disciples to beware of their doctrine (Matthew 16:6-12); they tested Him over divorce (Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-9); they tested Him about paying tribute to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-21, Mark 12:13-17 and Luke 20:22-25); they tested Him about a woman caught in adultery (John 8:3-4); and they tested Him on His healing on the Sabbath (Luke 6:6-11).
God’s Word First International writes:
“Appearing overall as a rather peaceful and pious group when viewed from the outside, in contrast their confrontational actions, public austere and arrogant ‘better than thou’ attitudes and their ‘behind closed doors’ hatred of their perceived enemies spoke volumes concerning the spiritual darkness within their hearts… This explains a lot about how they were frequently confrontational with Christ and his disciples then ultimately sought to bear false witness in framing him and have him put to death. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD Pharisaic beliefs became the basis for Rabbinic Judaism, which ultimately produced the basis for all contemporary forms of Judaism with what is known today as modern Hasidic Judaism being the oldest core foundational belief.”
Matthew 23 is a chapter where Jesus is particularly hard on both the scribes and the Pharisees. He tells His audience to “observe whatever they tell you but do not do as they do” (verse 3) because of their hypocrisy. They liked to be seen by men and loved the best places at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues (verses 5-6). They loved greetings in the market-place and to be called Rabbi (verse 7). Then follow eight woes aimed at the scribes and Pharisees (verses 14-29).
In fact, verse 27 is a particularly strong condemnation of their actions: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
The Pulpit Commentary has this to say about this verse:
“Once a year, about the fifteenth of the month Adar, the Jews used to whitewash the tombs and the places where corpses were buried, partly out of respect for the dead, but chiefly in order to make them conspicuous, and thus to obviate the risk of persons incautiously contracting ceremonial defilement by touching or walking over them (Numbers 19:16). To such sepulchres our Lord compares these Pharisees, because their outwardly fair show concealed rottenness within (compare Acts 23:3). Indeed, it might be said that their seeming exceptional purity was a warning of internal corruption, a sign post to point to hidden defilement. Obtrusive religiousness, emphatic scrupulosity, are marks of pride and self-righteousness, utterly alien from real devotion and holiness.”
In verse 33, Jesus called them “Serpents, brood of vipers!”
John the Baptist had also had some strong words for the Pharisees: “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7).
We also know that the apostle Paul was a Pharisee, and he persecuted the early Christians before he was struck down by Christ, and he then became one of the giants of the New Testament.
There is little wonder that the Saviour of mankind was at odds with the religious people of His time, including and especially the Pharisees, and that they called for His death which was achieved by illegal means.
However, His death and the manner of His death did fulfil many prophecies in the Old Testament. This means that we have a Saviour who died in our place. The Saviour of mankind would be a sacrifice for our sin (Isaiah 53:5-12). In verse 12, we read: “Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide, the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.”
In Romans 5:6-11 where the sub-heading in the New King James Bible is “Christ in our place,” we read:
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Once the Pharisees are resurrected in the Second Resurrection and are given the opportunity to repent, obtain forgiveness and accept Christ’s Sacrifice and Christ as their personal Saviour, they too may be able to enter the Kingdom of God.
However, when Jesus walked this earth as a human being, the Pharisees rejected Him and did not accept Him as their Saviour, because He did not behave and teach in accordance with their expectations and ideas. The other groups of the religious establishment were no different. In the next part of this series, we will be discussing the group of the Sadducees.
(To be continued)
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Satan’s Wrath Against Britain” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
The relationship between the UK and the EU is getting worse. And while the UK is descending more and more into an economic and political abyss, core European nations will soon be emerging strongly. How can we say this so dogmatically? And what role does the coronavirus crisis play in all of this?
Our new booklet, “Obeying God Rather than Men,” has been sent out this week to our subscribers.
“Unser christlicher Lebensweg in einer Welt der Finsternis,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Our Christian Way of Life in a World of Darkness.”
“National Rules and Christian Responsibility—Comments on News and Prophecy (May 30, 2020),” the first message which was presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What does it mean to obey God rather than men? Are we to just believe blindly what the mainstream media, doctors and politicians are telling us? How can we watch events in the light of biblical prophecy unless we are willing to look behind the official façade? What about Europe’s opposition to Israel; German and US guidelines for school children; the financial downfall of the USA; unreliable statistics pertaining to the coronavirus; the questionable effectiveness of the lockdown; Alan Dershowitz’s wrong understanding of the Bible; violent riots in the USA; public prayers by women; and holding grudges?
“Facing Death,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The Bible has many examples of those who went above and beyond in faith and courage, when all seemed hopeless, but that didn’t stop Daniel and his 3 companions, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, to stand up for what was right and put their complete trust in God, who saved them from death.
“Jesus Christus, der König der Juden,” the Offertory presented in Germany for Pentecost by Mario Danisch, is now posted. Title in English: “Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews.”
“Wird Christus Glauben finden auf Erden?”, the sermon presented in Germany for Pentecost by Norbert Link, is now posted. Title in English: “Will Christ Find Faith on Earth?”
“Singleness of Heart,” the sermonette presented during the morning services for Pentecost by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
There was a time in recent years in which the Church of God had tremendous unity, but that was lost by far too many. Are you among those who are zealously keeping the Truth of God—without compromise?
“The Journey and The Destination,” the sermon presented during the morning services for Pentecost by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
With the passing of time we gain experience that shapes our character. Are we taking advantage of our opportunities, or refusing to use the Holy Spirit to learn the lessons presented to us? Are we focused only on reaching the destination, but neglecting to pay attention along the way? The Christian journey involves continual growth as we aim towards the destination of perfection.
“The Greatest Gift,” the Offertory presented during the afternoon services for Pentecost by Kalon Mitchell, is now posted. Here is a summary:
God gives us amazing gifts constantly. How do we respond in turn? Our offerings are important to God as He has commanded them. But what is our attitude? Is God pleased with our offerings based on our actions in how we live our lives?
“Will Christ Find Faith on the Earth?”,the sermon presented during afternoon services for Pentecost by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Do we have faith in God and His power to work miracles? But is this kind of faith sufficient in order to be able to enter the Kingdom of God, or is an additional kind of faith required? What exactly is that faith which God’s Holy Spirit must give us? How is faith described in the Bible; why does it not have anything to do with what we can see; and why does doubt destroy our faith?
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
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