July 3, 2020
Do Your Best / TEST Your Conversion
On July 4, 2020, Eric Rank will present the sermonette, titled, “Do Your Best,” and Dave Harris will present the sermon, titled, “TEST Your Conversion.”
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.
by Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
In this Editorial, I want to look at what has been an ongoing media obsession – that of Covid19 – the coronavirus. It is a terrible disease that has caused much heartache around the world, and in no way am I minimising the tragic effect that this will have had on so many families in so many nations around the world, even though some, if not many, feel that the numbers have been grossly over reported, but I will be addressing the media obsession with this matter.
On the website realclearpolitics.com we read that “Despite the coronavirus spreading rapidly across China early this year, media and search interest remained nearly non-existent until around January 21st when the first case on U.S. soil was reported.”
It must be evident to everyone who looks at news programmes that there has been a relentless barrage of coronavirus news every day and this may, we are told, raise anxiety levels.
Psychology Today had an article in March 2020, entitled “Media, Fear, and the Coronavirus Outbreak.”
They state: “Fear influences how we react to media coverage of health hazards. Fear of disease and contamination is particularly relevant when it comes to epidemics like the coronavirus. A certain amount of healthy respect for disease and contamination is adaptive. But at a certain point, somewhere in the moderate to high range of fear, concern about disease and contamination generates excessive personal distress and interference in daily functioning. It’s for these people that the barrage of threatening media coverage about the coronavirus outbreak may have the most negative impact.”
In fact, it seems to me that the coverage from mid to late January 2020 up until more recently has been obsessive. Collins Dictionary defines obsessing as follows: “If something obsesses you or if you obsess about something, you keep thinking about it and find it difficult to think about anything else.” To me that sums up the general media coverage that we have been subjected to and they have been so caught up in their own world of reporting and analysing that they appeared to have lost all sense of proportionality. The news had become out of kilter.
Until recently, it seemed to be a long time since I last saw any other news of any great importance. We are now starting to see other news being reported on in the UK in spite of the obsession that has gripped the television media in particular. Back on their agenda are news items about other matters but you would have been hard pressed to find such details until more recently.
For the last several months, we have had a daily diet of non-stop information and statistics; we have seen hundreds of people being interviewed, almost always staring at us on our television screens through skype, facetime (and similar), these being scientists, medical specialists, politicians, NHS workers, care home staff and any and every other person that could give even the faintest amount of input on this crisis, admirably aiding the news outlets to fill the 24 hours a day news reports.
It is not unfair to say that once the media in general get their teeth into a story, they can be like a dog with a bone and find it very difficult to let go of. There can be sensationalism and fear can sell. It can cause fear, and bad news can always draw viewers to the television news and internet news outlets.
Television schedules were revamped in the UK to allow the daily governmental update from Downing Street to be screened with a minister, scientists and health officials taking part as were deemed appropriate, and although this was discontinued just last week, we had several months of this. The media are there to report the news but, at times, you could be forgiven for thinking that they are more intent on making the news!
As time passes on, other crises will occur as we rapidly approach the Great Tribulation, and the news-baton will pass from the coronavirus to other serious matters, no doubt, with the usual obsessive approach.
Yes, we do need to know what is going on in the world as we are told to “watch” (compare Matthew 24:36, 42-44) as we approach the end of this age, but let us never be obsessed with what the general media wants to tell us, but rather let us access news in the light of biblical prophecy.
Our weekly Update will continue to keep us all informed with the news that we need to hear about, and in a fair and objective way.
by Norbert Link
We begin with articles showing the ongoing alienation between Europe and the USA on many different levels, as well as Europe’s, Iran’s and Turkey’s opposition to Israel. We also report on recommendations to Europe to use military power in Libya and the desire of eastern Ukrainians to belong to Russia.
We point out fears of global damage for the economy; a federal court’s decision holding New York’s Church Lockdown Orders to be illegal; and the US Supreme Court’s decision supporting abortionists.
We publish numerous articles containing different viewpoints on the fight against racism, violent riots, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the demolition of historical statues and monuments. In this context, please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Is America Destroying Itself?”
We focus on “Gay Pride Month” celebrations and address the ongoing controversy regarding the accuracy of statistics about the coronavirus and the prospects of safe vaccinations.
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’s Views on Europe, Britain, the USA and Russia
The Guardian wrote on June 26:
“As the rotating presidency of the EU council passes to Germany on 1 July, the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, sat down for an interview…
“‘It is very much in all the member states’ own interests to maintain a strong European internal market and to stand united on the world stage. In such an extraordinary situation, I rely on the member states having a great interest in the things that unite us… It is in Germany’s interest to have a strong internal market and to have the European Union grow closer together, not fall apart. As ever, what’s good for Europe is good for us…
“‘Without a doubt, European law has precedence over national law – but that does not tell us where the realm of European law begins and ends. The essence of the European Union lies in the member states transferring powers…
“‘It would, of course, be in Britain’s and all EU member states’ interests to achieve an orderly departure. But that can only happen if it is what both sides want. What matters is not our wishes but only the reality before us, in other words first of all what Britain wants. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British government wants to define for itself what relationship it will have with us after the country leaves. It will then have to live with the consequences, of course, that is to say with a less closely interconnected economy. If Britain does not want to have rules on the environment and the labour market or social standards that compare with those of the EU, our relations will be less close… We need to let go of the idea that it is for us to define what Britain should want. That is for Britain to define – and we, the EU27, will respond appropriately….
“‘We in Germany know that we have to spend more on defence; we have achieved considerable increases in recent years, and we will continue on that path to enhance our military capabilities. American troops in Germany help to protect not only Germany and the European part of Nato but also the interests of the United States of America… There are compelling reasons to remain committed to a transatlantic defence community and our shared nuclear umbrella. But of course Europe needs to carry more of the burden than during the cold war. We grew up in the certain knowledge that the United States wanted to be a world power. Should the US now wish to withdraw from that role of its own free will, we would have to reflect on that very deeply….
“‘… we recognise hybrid warfare, methods of destabilisation, as a Russian behaviour pattern. On the other hand, there are good reasons to keep engaging in constructive dialogue with Russia…’”
In her usual “diplomatic” way, Angela Merkel expresses very timidly Europe’s concern about America’s lack of reliability. The following articles express this concern in much more drastic ways. But what we should also glean from this interview is the strong desire for European strength and power. This will also be expressed more clearly in the articles to follow.
“The World Is Putting America in Quarantine”
The Week wrote on June 25:
“Europe… is looking at America with slackjawed horror… Around the world, it is beginning to sink in how profoundly rotten the United States is. Unless America manages to turn things around, it will slide from the center of the international order to a peripheral, mistrusted basketcase…
“When faced with a problem, most top politicians in both parties think first about how they can shift blame to others or appear the victim of circumstance…”
Trust in the USA Is Gone
The Local wrote on June 29:
“Some 63 percent of Italians, 61 percent of French people, and 52 percent of Spaniards said that the EU has not lived up to its responsibilities… But that did not mean there is an increased desire to see the European project fail. In fact a majority in all countries surveyed believed there was a need for greater European cooperation after the pandemic ‘The share of respondents who held this belief was as high as 91 percent in Portugal and 80 percent in Spain… In France, Sweden, and Denmark, more than half of respondents approved of greater cooperation at the European level. In Italy, 77 percent did,’ read the survey…
“Strikingly the survey also revealed a steep deterioration in the European perception of Donald Trump’s America. More than 60 percent of respondents in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal said they had lost trust in the United States as a global leader… ‘Now, Europeans’ trust in Trump’s America is gone…’ the study wrote. ‘Europeans have accepted the fact that Trump’s America is not necessarily a friend of Europe in a time of need. Europeans’ view of China has also worsened since the pandemic….”
This European perception regarding the USA will have terrible consequences.
Most US Travelers Barred from EU
MSN wrote on June 26:
“The European Union will bar most travelers from the United States, Russia and dozens of other countries considered too risky because they have not controlled the coronavirus outbreak…
“The exclusion of the United States, an important source of tourism to the European Union, represented a stinging rebuke to the Trump administration’s management of the coronavirus scourge… The list will be updated every two weeks, raising the possibility that excluded countries will be added… officials said the United States and other nations had been lobbying intensely to get on the safe list.
“The United States, which banned most EU travelers in March when the virus was raging in Europe, has not eased its own restrictions since then… Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asked Thursday about the prospect of a prolonged ban on American travel to Europe, struck a conciliatory tone but said that many European countries were eager to admit American visitors… ‘We’ve heard from a dozen or more countries that have very different views about their willingness to open up their borders to anyone, not only folks from the United States of America,’ he said…
“While the new list is not legally binding, member states that open up to excluded countries face the risk that their EU partners will close their borders to them… Seven million Americans visited Europe between June and August last year…
“The full list finalized Friday includes Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican. China will be included if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, as reciprocal reopening is one of the criteria used to make the final selection for the safe list. Britain, despite having left the EU, is still being considered part of the bloc until year’s end, and so was not part of the discussion over outside visitors.”
In spite of the fact that some European countries depend heavily on American tourists, the EU wants to exclude the USA in obvious retaliation for Trump’s many political actions and pronouncements which the EU rejects. The pandemic concerns are a welcome “justification” for European politics.
Breitbart wrote on June 30:
“European politicians claimed that the decision was not political… While the EU has maintained the ban was made based on which countries had worse containment of the virus, the movement may be seen as a move towards a tit-for-tat spat with the United States. In March, President Donald Trump banned travel from the European Union over the bloc’s failure to contain the spreading Chinese virus… Eurocrats reacted with anger, claiming that President Trump had treated the continent as a ‘scapegoat’, blaming ‘nationalism’ for provoking the U.S. travel ban…”
European Lawmakers Strongly Oppose Israel and USA
JTA wrote on June 25:
“More than 1,000 lawmakers from throughout Europe signed a letter opposing Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank and calling for ‘commensurate consequences.’ More than 240 of the signers are British legislators… Other lawmakers come from 25 countries including Belgium, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.
“The letter, which was sent to the countries’ foreign ministers, says the lawmakers ‘share serious concerns about President Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory.’ The letter adds: ‘Failure to adequately respond would encourage other states with territorial claims to disregard basic principles of international law. The rules-based global order is central to Europe’s own long-term stability and security.’…
“On Wednesday, seven European countries said in a statement in the United Nations that annexation of any part of the West Bank ‘would have consequences for our close relationship with Israel and will not be recognized by us,’ The Jerusalem Post reported. The statement was signed by the five European nations that are currently members of the Security Council — France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Estonia — and the incoming Security Council members, Ireland and Norway.
“The Trump peace plan allows for Israel to annex up to 30% of the West Bank and calls for negotiations toward a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will put annexation into motion after July 1.”
Europe is outing itself more and more against Israel and the USA. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz emphasized that the annexation has been planned for some time “after July 1,” not “on” July 1.
Vatican Gets Involved
Breaking Israel News wrote on July 2:
“The Vatican announced that it had summoned the envoys of both Israel and the United States on Wednesday for meetings to oppose Israel’s plans to assert sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria within the framework of Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’. In two separate meetings on Tuesday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin warned US Ambassador Callista Gingrich and Israeli Ambassador Oren David of the possibility of war… ‘regarding possible unilateral actions that may further jeopardize the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the delicate situation in the Middle East.’”
Iran and Turkey to Attack Israel?
Breaking Israel News wrote on June 28:
“The notion of a joint Iran-Turkey invasion of Israel is a realistic scenario according to several Middle East experts… Both Ankara and Tehran have been cooperating in various Middle East conflicts including their opposition to American involvement in Syria as well as battling Kurdish dissident groups. And the once rivals also now share a hatred of Israel combined with the support of Hamas which could translate into a united front in a potential war against Israel…
“One example is how Turkey’s Religious Affairs Ministry has threatened to mobilize the Muslim community against Israel to protect Jerusalem against annexation. Similar sentiments have been heard from Tehran as Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, called for ‘armed resistance’ (against Israel) on May 21… Hamas is currently funded by Turkish-backed Qatar and the two maintain very close diplomatic ties….
“Turkey and Iran were diametrically opposed due to their religious differences with Iran being strongly Shia and Turkey being strongly Sunni… ‘Sometimes, Sunni and Shia cooperate against a common enemy,’ Dr. Kedar said, noting that Iran, fanatically Shia, funds Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, fanatically Sunni, against Israel, the small devil, and the US, the great devil.’… ‘For economic and trade, Iran and Turkey can get along quite well,’ Dr. Aviv said. ‘In Turkish culture, there are no “friends”. There are only common interests. This is especially true of foreign powers. They have an expression that there is no friend for a Turk other than another Turk. There are agreements, agendas, and goals but no real alliances. This allowed Turkey to stay out of World War II until the very end. This allows them to be a member of NATO but still buy Russian military hardware when it suits them… What this means for the US, Israel, and other countries is that… if their interests suddenly demand, they can become an enemy overnight.’”
Turkey will turn out to become a violent and mean enemy of the state of Israel and the USA.
EU and Germany Should Threaten Military Intervention in Libya
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 29:
“The European Union should threaten to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war if necessary, Wolfgang Ischinger, the head of the Munich Security Conference, said in an interview on Monday. ‘Europe could throw its military weight into the equation in order to achieve a cease-fire,’ Ischinger told newspapers of the Funke media group. ‘Diplomacy often remains mere rhetoric if you are unable to use the threat of military action as leverage in international conflicts.’
“As Germany prepares to take on the rotating EU presidency on July 1, the bloc must speak ‘the language of power’ to better represent its interests. ‘This requires Germany, too, to learn the language of power,’ he said… Germany’s diplomatic appeals were largely ignored, because for the acting powers in the conflict, such as Russia, Turkey and Egypt, ‘whoever is in charge of the military is the one in charge,’ said Ischinger.”
Europe, under German leadership, WILL speak the language of power very soon… resulting in the Great Tribulation.
Ukrainians for Putin
The Associated Press reported on June 29:
“Residents of separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine who have Russian citizenship are travelling to Russia to vote on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in power until 2036… Some of the voters told The Associated Press that the constitutional changes would boost the powers of the Russian authorities and bring peace to the separatist region in eastern Ukraine. Others expressed hope that the changes would allow separatist republics to become part of Russia…
“Over 220,000 Ukrainians living in areas held by Russia-backed rebels received Russian passports last year, after Putin signed a decree expediting citizenship applications from residents of the self-proclaimed republics… More than 150,000 residents of eastern Ukraine have expressed a desire to cast a ballot in the vote on the constitutional reform…”
Ukraine WILL become part of Russia, or at least collaborate with Russia AGAINST Europe.
Larger and More Aggressive Military Force in Australia
ABC News reported on June 30:
“Australia will build a larger and more aggressive military focused on its immediate backyard, including new long-range missiles [as well as cyber capabilities and a high-tech underwater surveillance system], signalling a major shift in the nation’s defence strategy… Prime Minister Scott Morrison [emphasized] a greater focus on the Indo-Pacific region, warning Australia needs to prepare for a post-COVID-19 world that is ‘poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly’…
“‘The strategic competition between China and the United States means that there’s a lot of tension in the cord and a lot of risk of miscalculation,’ Mr Morrison [said]… ‘And so we have to be prepared… to respond and play our role to protect Australia, defend Australia… When they talk about the bad behaviour that’s happening in the region, the annexation of territory, coercion, the influencing of domestic politics, the use of cyber attacks – it’s really only one country which is doing that at industrial levels, and that’s the People’s Republic of China.’”
Breitbart added on July 1:
“China has warned its students and tourists against going to Australia, slapped trade sanctions on Australian goods and sentenced an Australian citizen to death for drug trafficking. Beijing has laughed at Australia’s long alliance to the U.S. through war and peace, deriding it as something to be ridiculed.”
Bleak Picture of Global Economy
The Hour wrote on June 24:
“The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday painted a bleak portrait of the global economy, saying the coronavirus pandemic has caused more widespread damage than expected and will be followed by a sluggish recovery. The global economy will shrink this year by 4.9%, worse than the 3% decline predicted in April, the IMF said. No major economy is escaping the pandemic. The U.S. economy, the world’s largest, is expected to shrink this year by 8%. Countries that use the single European currency are headed for a decline of more than 10%… By the end of next year, the pandemic will have cost the global economy $12.5 trillion in lost output, she added…
“Fund officials blamed the darker forecast on the effects of social distancing; scarring to global production capacity from the lockdown of activity; and the productivity cost of new safety and hygiene rules… The forecast assumes countries will not reimpose comprehensive lockdowns even if the pandemic flares up again…”
As we can see from this report, measures employed in fighting the coronavirus have been causing a terrible global economic downfall.
Cuomo and de Blasio Church Lockdown Orders Knocked Down by Federal Judge
Newsmax wrote on June 26:
“An order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to limit the size of church services has been struck down by a federal judge. The preliminary injunction pointed out that Cuomo and de Blasio undercut their claim that lockdown orders were ‘generally applicable’ by encouraging large protests against police brutality while discouraging large church gatherings… [The judge] said that… de Blasio couldn’t make a ‘legitimate’ claim that he isn’t biased against people of faith.
“‘Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio could have just as easily discouraged protests, short of condemning their message, in the name of public health and exercised discretion to suspend enforcement for public safety reasons instead of encouraging what they knew was a flagrant disregard of the outdoor limits and social distancing rules’ [the judge] wrote. ‘They could have also been silent. But by acting as they did, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sent a clear message that mass protests are deserving of preferential treatment.’”
Indeed they have done so, and the court decision is just and fair.
Abortion Activists Win Before US Supreme Court
The Associated Press wrote on June 29:
“The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals violates the abortion right the court first announced in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973…
“In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, ‘Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.’ President Donald Trump’s two appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were in dissent, along with Justice Samuel Alito…
“Roberts’ vote was a bit of a surprise because he voted in [another] case to uphold [such] clinic restrictions… Roberts didn’t write anything explaining his position at the time, but he had never before cast a vote on the side of abortion rights.”
John Roberts is clearly becoming THE political voice for the liberal US Supreme Court justices.
Catholic Archbishop Condemns Abortion Decision
Breitbart wrote on June 30:
“The chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ committee for pro-life activities denounced Monday’s Supreme Court decision that perpetuates the ‘cruel precedent’ of prioritizing the abortion industry over women’s health and well-being… ‘Abortion violently ends the life of a child, and often severely harms women,’ writes Kansas City Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in a statement… ‘As Catholics, we condemn abortion as a grave injustice that denies the fundamental human right to life…’
“In his powerful dissent to the ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas not only criticized the court’s decision, he also said that the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade that trampled states’ rights and imposed abortion-on-demand on the entire country needs to be revisited and overturned, a position echoed by the U.S. bishops… ‘Roe is grievously wrong for many reasons, but the most fundamental is that its core holding—that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to abort her unborn child—finds no support in the text of the Fourteenth Amendment,’ he noted.
“The Court’s grotesque judicial travesty in Roe v. Wade is further exacerbated by Monday’s ruling, the bishops contend. ‘The Court’s failure to recognize the legitimacy of laws prioritizing women’s health and safety over abortion business interests continues a cruel precedent,” Archbishop Naumann declares… ‘We will not rest until the day when the Supreme Court corrects the grave injustice of Roe and Casey and recognizes the Constitutional right to life for unborn human beings,’ the archbishop concludes.”
Racial Discrimination in California
The Wall Street Journal published the following article on June 25:
“… while deploring racism, the Democratic Legislature in California has voted to codify racial discrimination in state law. On Wednesday the state Senate voted for a constitutional amendment, ACA 5, that would reintroduce racial preferences for who gets a state job or contract, or who is admitted to a state university.
“The state Assembly previously passed the measure, which means the amendment will be on the November ballot. It would repeal Proposition 209, which voters approved in 1996 and outlawed racial bias in state policy. The repeal effort received a boost from the killing of George Floyd, no matter the irony of voting for discrimination by race in the name of eliminating discrimination by race.”
The Fight against Racism
Newsmax reported on June 28:
“Princeton will remove President Woodrow Wilson’s name from its prestigious public policy school and a residential college [because of his “racist” and “segregationist views”]… ‘The Simpsons’ will no longer have white actors voicing the roles of non-white characters… part of a push by animated shows to be more sensitive to matters of race and avoid stereotypes… leaders of Orange County’s Democratic Party are pushing to drop film legend John Wayne’s name, statue and other likenesses from the county’s airport because of his racist and bigoted comments…”
The Daily Mail wrote on June 29:
“Donald Trump bashed Princeton University’s trustees on Monday for their decision to nix the 28th president’s name from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs… He also claimed Democrats are being ‘stupid’ in pushing for actor John Wayne’s name and statue to be removed from an airport in Orange County, California. ‘Can anyone believe that Princeton just dropped the name of Woodrow Wilson from their highly respected policy center,’ the president tweeted Monday morning. ‘Now the Do Nothing Democrats want to take off the name John Wayne from an airport. Incredible stupidity!’”
JTA wrote on June 26:
“Amid the nationwide movement to take down memorials to Confederacy figures, two Charlotte synagogues are calling for the removal of a downtown monument to Judah Benjamin, a Jewish politician who served as a Cabinet member for the Confederate government.”
Sharpton’s Views on Confederate Monuments
Newsmax wrote on June 25:
“Al Sharpton said… that public statues featuring Confederate soldiers are insulting to African Americans, who along with all taxpayers, are footing the bill for the upkeep of the public monuments… Sharpton said the Confederate monuments should be replaced with statues of people who ‘fought and defeated them, not the ones who were defeated.’
“He then posed a question to World War II veterans in order to explain how many Blacks are feeling. ‘How would a World War II veteran feel about paying taxes to have a statue of Mussolini or Hitler in their public square?’ Sharpton asked.”
Napolitano’s Views on Historical Monuments
On June 25, Newsmax published the following article by Judge Andrew Napolitano:
“I am amazed at the efforts around the country to remove and destroy painful mementos of our history…
“When a statue is erected to an historical figure, the erection is a statement about the balance of the person’s life worth. It is not a claim of perfection. The Father of our Country owned more than 100 slaves. When the Capital of the U.S. was in Philadelphia, at a time when all slaves were deemed by Pennsylvania law to be freed after six months of their entry into the state, George and Martha Washington — he, the president of the United States at the time — rotated their slaves into and out of the state, so that none would qualify for freedom. The same man who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that ‘all men are created equal’ also fathered numerous children with one of his 600 slaves.
“Do you think Sally Hemings was free to reject a years-long sexual union with Thomas Jefferson, the man who owned her? And the author of the Constitution, who owned at least 100 slaves, defended his exploitation of them into his presidency. The same James Madison who artfully and articulately defended natural rights for white people, hardly considered Blacks to be in the same category. Should we really forget the three of them?…
“The police brutality of Blacks in America today is the natural progression and extension of the government hypocrisy that brought about and protected slavery. We need to reverse that progression. But we cannot reverse the memory of it. We need to be reminded from time to time of our horrible past so that we can labor mightily to avoid repeating it. Does this mean changing the names of federal institutions? Does it mean tearing down statues of the long-dead because we finally realized that there was more evil than good in some of them?… Once we start pulling down statues — whether of Robert E. Lee or Christopher Columbus or Theodore Roosevelt — there will be no end.
“… pretending that these figures never existed, or eradicating the memory of the good they performed, will continue the march toward… self-delusion that escapes reality. We must live in the real world where bad men did good things and good men did bad things — and intelligent people recognize this. You… cannot escape the consequences of escaping reality. Those consequences will be the inevitable repetition of a past we should never forget.”
Indeed, not learning from the mistakes of the past means that they will have to be repeated.
The Term “Lightening” Racially Offensive?
Fox News reported on June 27:
“Industry-leading French cosmetics company L’Oreal announced they will be removing words like ‘whitening’ and ‘lightening’ from their products after a number of beauty brands received backlash for their skin-lightening products amidst ongoing protests for racial equality. ‘The L’Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products,’ the company said in a statement..
“L’Oreal’s promise for change comes a day after consumer products leader Unilever announced they’d be changing the name of their ‘Fair & Lovely’ cream that is popular in Asia for skin lightening. The product reportedly generated $500 million in revenue in India last year… but the brand says they are working to acknowledge how their terminology and branding perpetuates racist stereotypes… Still, the company holds that the Fair & Lovely range ‘has never been, and is not, a skin bleaching product.’”
Pretty soon, with that rationale and extreme way of thinking, few words will be left which will not in some way and in the minds of some “perpetuate racial stereotypes” in one form or another. Note the following:
The Daily Mail wrote on June 30:
“A historic 400-year-old British pub named ‘The Black Boy’ is set to be renamed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests. The pub in Sevenoaks, Kent, will soon be called ‘The Restoration’ in a nod to King Charles II – who was restored as the monarch in 1660 following the period of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth. The pub name ‘The Black Boy’ is believed to be a reference to the 17th century monarch who is said to have been nicknamed ‘Black Boy’ by his mother, Henrietta Maria of France, due to his dark hair and complexion.”
In addition, thepeoplescube.com reported that “Australia’s taxpayer funded public broadcaster ABC is facing ridicule after announcing it would host a debate asking if chess is racist because the white team traditionally gets to go first under the rules of the game.”
Violent Riots in Oregon
The Associated Press wrote on June 26:
“The mayor and newly appointed police chief of Portland, Oregon, on Friday sharply criticized protesters who set fire to a police precinct and vandalized businesses the night before, saying continued violence at protests is preventing the city from moving forward with meaningful reform. Early Friday, a group of several hundred demonstrators set fire to the North Precinct building while people were inside and barricaded the doors after they were unable to break in through a garage… Police in riot gear used CS gas, a type of tear gas, around 2:15 a.m. to disperse the crowd….
“Newly appointed Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who is black, also criticized protesters’ tactics in a tweet Friday. He said earlier this week that demonstrations have cost the city $6.2 million so far and that cost does not include straight-time pay for officers pulled from other jobs to work at protests…
“Thousands of people have turned out every night for nearly a month in this liberal Pacific Northwest city since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most protesters are peaceful, but smaller numbers of people break away most nights and set small fires, tear down fences and statues and clash with police, Lovell said…
“The nonprofit Don’t Shoot Portland and two protesters sued the city, seeking to ban the use of tear gas to disperse large crowds. A federal judge on June 9 issued a 14-day court order barring the launching of the riot-control agent except when a life is at risk. The judge extended the temporary order through July 24.”
These kinds of riots are taking place all over the country and in other parts around the world (note the next article). They are placing police officers in an untenable and unmanageable position.
The Daily Mail wrote on June 29:
“A guillotine has been set up by protesters outside the Washington DC home of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demanding the company he founded be abolished. A number of videos have been posted to social media that show an old fashioned piece of apparatus commonly used for beheading during the French Revolution. A sign placed underneath read: ‘Support our poor communities. Not our wealthy men.’”
Britain’s BLM Problems
Douglas Murray wrote in Mail on Sunday on June 27:
“Depressingly, what is happening to our police is symbolic of wider social unrest. It is as if Britain is suffering a mental breakdown – with all the values and links that bind us together being torn apart… The violent lawlessness last week followed disturbances across the country as protesters acting under the banner of Black Lives Matter brought the worst and most divisive aspects of American identity politics to the UK. They ushered in the disturbing sight of it seeming to be completely acceptable for people to get away scot-free with defacing or destroying any public monument that isn’t to their liking.
“Despite strong words of condemnation, ministers shamefully stood by and allowed this to happen. Unprotected by the Government, police chiefs felt obliged to hold back – or even in some cases watch as their under-attack officers ran away. … At the core of this pressure-cooker atmosphere is… a shocking failure of nerve by almost everybody in a position of authority –from politicians, the police, our religious leaders and broadcast media.”
Now note in the next article the shocking failure of nerve—or worse—by the head of the Church of England.
England’s Head of Church of England Recommends to Reconsider Jesus
The Daily Mail wrote on June 26:
“In a wide-ranging interview, [the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Church of England] revealed he would be reviewing statues at Canterbury Cathedral [and] urged the West to reconsider its prevailing mindset that Jesus was white, and pointed to different portrayals of Christ as Black, Middle Eastern and Chinese in different countries.”
The Daily Mail wrote on June 30:
“A painting of the Last Supper featuring a black Jesus will replace a Nativity scene at St Albans Cathedral to show solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The Dean has agreed to install the 9ft piece of artwork on the altar after conceding that the church is in a weak position to preach about racial justice. Titled A Last Supper, the painting reworks Da Vinci’s renowned 15th century mural by casting a Jamaican-born model as Christ.”
What incredible insanity and blasphemy! Christ was a JEW!
Obama and Biden Celebrate Gay Pride Month
Breitbart wrote on June 26:
“Barack Obama and Joe Biden took part Friday in a virtual Gay Pride Month celebration… They were joined by prominent A-list celebrities including Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres, George Takei, and Katy Perry… ‘You know, Pride is particularly poignant this year,’ the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said.
“‘Even as the LGBTQ+ rights continue to be attacked, the Supreme Court has affirmed protections for the LGBTQ+ people against unemployment discrimination. Even as the lives of trans individuals, especially black trans women, are under threat, we’re reminded that Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera helped bring life to the movement… Against the backdrop of the pandemic and historic protests against systematic injustice and racism, we are reminded of those courageous individuals who first marched decades ago and renewed our hope.’…
“Barack Obama appeared in a separate segment in which the former president encouraged people to protest as a way of illuminating ‘injustice.’ He also noted that the Stonewall riots paved the way for gay marriage, which the Supreme Court made legal five years ago. As a presidential candidate, Obama was opposed to gay marriage, saying in 2008 ‘I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.’ As president, Obama later changed his view on the controversial topic, saying that he was in favor of it. ‘The struggle and triumph for LGBTQ rights shows how protest and politics go hand in hand, how we’ve got to both shine a light on injustice and translate those aspirations into specific laws and institutional practices,’ he said Friday.”
Shining an approving light on what is wrong in God’s eyes is not what the Bible means when it tells us to be lights in the world. But there seem to be no limits for spiritual lawlessness. Note the next article.
“Burger Queer” in Honor of “Pride Month”
Unilad wrote on June 27:
“Burger King Mexico has changed its name to Burger Queer and adopted new, rainbow-patterned branding in support of Pride Month. The social media pages for the Mexican branch of the fast food chain changed their look yesterday, June 26, in an effort to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and recognise the month-long event, which takes place in June. The company incorporated the celebration into its own branding as it posted a new Facebook cover photo, patterned with multi-coloured moustaches in the same shape of that on the face of the Burger King logo, and with the words ‘your way’ written in Spanish over the top…
“Alongside their new branding, the company encouraged people to come in and order one of its products in order to ‘receive the crown of the #BurgerQueer Pride in a very special packaging.’”
Man’s ways are not God’s ways.
The Guardian reported on June 29: “Thousands of protesters marched in central London to celebrate the black trans community…”
When does it end?
The American Decline
Bloomberg published the following opinion piece by Noah Smith on June 29, 2020:
“The U.S.’s decline started with little things that people got used to. Americans drove past empty construction sites and didn’t even think about why the workers weren’t working, then wondered why roads and buildings took so long to finish. They got used to avoiding hospitals because of the unpredictable and enormous bills they’d receive. They paid 6% real-estate commissions, never realizing that Australians were paying 2%…
“When writers speak of American decline, they’re usually talking about international power… To most Americans, those are distant and abstract things that have little or no impact on their daily lives…
“In addition to worrying about their jobs and livelihoods, Americans must now be subjected to months of images of Italians casually walking around on the streets while they cower in their houses. It’s a painful and stark demonstration of national decline. Even more galling, [U.S.] citizens can no longer travel freely around the world…
“But the consequences of U.S. decline will far outlast coronavirus. With its high housing costs, poor infrastructure and transit, endemic gun violence, police brutality and bitter political and racial divisions, the U.S. will be a less appealing place for high-skilled workers to live. That means companies will find other countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere a more attractive destination for investment, robbing the U.S. of jobs, depressing wages and draining away the local spending that powers the service economy. That in turn will exacerbate some of the worst trends of U.S. decline — less tax money means even more urban decay as infrastructure, education and social-welfare programs are forced to make big cuts. Anti-immigration policies will throw away the country’s most important source of skilled labor and weaken a university system already under tremendous pressure from state budget cuts.
“Almost every systematic economic advantage possessed by the U.S. is under threat… The U.S. has long enjoyed a so-called exorbitant privilege as the financial center of the world, with the dollar as the lynchpin of the global financial system. That means the U.S. has been able to borrow money cheaply, and Americans have been able to sustain their lifestyles through cheap imports. But if enough investors — foreign and domestic — lose confidence in the U.S.’s general effectiveness as a country, that advantage will vanish.
“If capital begins to abandon the U.S. and the dollar in large amounts, the currency will crash and Americans will find themselves paying much more for everything from cars to televisions to gasoline to imported food. Interest rates will be raised in an attempt to lure back investment capital, and the country might undergo a period of stagflation worse than the 1970s. Large-scale unrest would undoubtedly result and — in the worst-case scenario — the U.S. could collapse like Venezuela.
“This is an outcome… that is no longer out of the realm of possibility… If the U.S. goes from rich, world-straddling colossus to floundering dysfunctional developing nation…, it will be one of the most spectacular instances of civilizational decline in world history…”
But it IS prophesied to happen. The USA is destroying itself from the inside. It will also be destroyed from the outside.
Coronavirus Causes Delirium?
The New York Times wrote on June 29:
“To a startling degree, many coronavirus patients are reporting [strange] experiences. Called hospital delirium, the phenomenon has previously been seen mostly in a subset of older patients, some of whom already had dementia, and in recent years, hospitals adopted measures to reduce it… Now, the condition is bedeviling coronavirus patients of all ages with no previous cognitive impairment. Reports from hospitals and researchers suggest that about two-thirds to three-fourths of coronavirus patients in ICUs have experienced it in various ways. Some have ‘hyperactive delirium,’ paranoid hallucinations and agitation; some have ‘hypoactive delirium,’ internalized visions and confusion that cause patients to become withdrawn and incommunicative; and some have both…
“When [a patient] was first placed on the ventilator, doctors used a lighter sedative, propofol, and dialed it down for hours so he could be awake and know where he was… But then [his] respiratory failure worsened. His blood pressure plummeted, a condition propofol intensifies. To allow the ventilator to completely breathe for him, doctors had him chemically paralyzed, which required heavier sedatives to prevent the trauma of being conscious while unable to move. So [the patient’s] sedation was switched to midazolam, a benzodiazepine, and fentanyl, an opioid — drugs that exacerbate delirium.”
From this article, it seems that it is not the coronavirus which causes delirium and worse, but the treatments and medications given to the patient.
500,000 Confirmed Deaths, 10 Million Confirmed Cases
The Associated Press wrote on June 29:
“The world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones Sunday — 500,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases — and hit another high mark for daily new infections as governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come…
“The true death toll from the virus, which first emerged in China late last year, is widely believed to be significantly higher. Experts say that especially early on, many victims died of COVID-19 without being tested for it… Overall the US still has far and away the most total cases. At more than 2,450,000 – roughly twice that of Brazil…”
But are these figures accurate and true? Note the next articles.
Coronavirus–A Created “Pandemic”?
On June 26, the Ron Paul Institute published the following article:
“… the CARES act does direct a 20% bonus Medicaid payment to hospitals for every diagnosis of Covid19, and a greater payment again for the use of a ventilator… The CARES act channeled $175bn dollars into the ‘fight’ against coronavirus, including $15 billion purely for treating COVID patients without insurance…. You couldn’t blame a doctor for gaming the system to get a little for his struggling, under-funded clinic… for labelling some unknown respiratory illness ‘Covid 19’ or re-ordering a test known to create false-positives until he gets the result which may pay a nurse’s salary, or re-stock a pharmacy.
“If a few thousand doctors do that a few hundred times each, you’ve created a ‘pandemic’ out of nowhere, with a comparatively small outlay and 99% of those involved believing they’re doing the right thing. The American medical system is broken, of course. Has been for decades…”
Bild Online wrote on June 25:
“New Study: 85 percent of all those infected with coronavirus did not even notice it. Did we overemphasize the virus-danger?… Is the coronavirus not as dangerous as we always assumed?”
Is the Mass Media Lying to Us?
Dr. Ron Paul wrote the following on June 29 in his weekly column in the Ron Paul Institute:
“… from the peak in April, deaths had decreased by 90 percent and were continuing to crash… With massive increases in testing, the ‘case’ numbers climbed. This is not rocket science: the more people you test the more ‘cases’ you discover. Unfortunately our mainstream media is only interested in pushing the ‘party line.’ So the good news that millions more have been exposed while the fatality rate continues to decline – meaning the virus is getting weaker – is buried under hysterical false reporting of ‘new cases.’ Unfortunately many governors… are incapable of resisting the endless lies of the mainstream media. They are putting Americans again through the nightmare of forced business closures, mandated face masks, and restrictions of Constitutional liberties based on false propaganda.
“In Texas the ‘second wave’ propaganda has gotten so bad that the leaders of the four major hospitals in Houston took the extraordinary step late last week of holding a joint press conference to clarify that the scare stories of Houston hospitals being overwhelmed with Covid cases are simply untrue. Dr. Marc Boom of Houston Methodist said the reporting on hospital capacity is misleading. He said, ‘quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now.’
“In fact, there has been much reporting that the ‘spike’ in Texas cases is not due to a resurgence of the virus but to hospital practices of Covid-testing every patient coming in for any procedure at all. If it’s a positive, well that counts as a ‘Covid hospitalization.’ Why would hospitals be so dishonest in their diagnoses? Billions of appropriated Federal dollars are being funneled to facilities based on the number of ‘Covid cases’ they can produce… And that’s why we are getting more Covid cases… Even though we know hospitals have falsely attributed countless deaths to ‘Covid-19’ that were deaths WITH instead of FROM the virus, we are seeing actual deaths steadily declining over the past month and a half…”
Who is right and who is wrong? You decide. But decide you should!
Totalitarianism the New Normal?
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on June 30:
“We cannot go back to the pre-coronavirus world, they tell us. Everything has changed and we must accept a ‘new normal.’ What does this ‘new normal’ look like? It looks a lot like a dystopian horror film, where privacy is destroyed, property is subject to political whim, surveillance is to be accepted, medical treatments can be forced on people. Should we accept totalitarianism as our ‘new normal’?”
Case in point. Note the following statement by California Governor Gavin Newsom, as quoted by CBS SF on June 30:
“The framework for us is this: if you’re not going to stay home and you’re not going to wear masks in public, we have to enforce and we will… We’ve got Fourth of July weekend coming up. One of the areas of biggest concern… remains family gatherings… Where family members or rather households — immediate and extended family members — begin to mix and take down their guard. They may walk into that barbecue with masks on; then they put the cooler down and the mask comes off, they have a glass of water, and all of a sudden nieces and nephews start congregating.’”
And so, the state-ordered destruction and separation of families is supposed to continue?
Fauci: Need to Fight Strong Resistance to Vaccination
Newsmax wrote on June 29:
“Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s ‘unlikely’ the United States would reach herd immunity from the coronavirus even if a successful vaccine is developed because of strong resistance to getting inoculated… [He] noted there is a good chance a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be available by the end of this year or early next year.
“He added later, however, that pushback to getting a vaccine —some polls say as many as one-third of Americans would refuse to be vaccinated — could result in a lack of herd immunity. ‘I doubt seriously that any vaccine will ever be 100% protective. The best we’ve ever done is measles, which is 97 to 98% effective. That would be wonderful if we get there, I don’t think we will,’ Fauci said.
“‘I would settle for a 70, 75% effective vaccine because that would bring you to that … herd immunity level… ‘We have a lot of work to do because as you well know … there is a general anti-science, anti-authority, anti-vaccine feeling among some people in this country — an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking.’”
Vaccines won’t come cheaply. The Wall Street Journal reported on June 29: “Covid-19 Drug Remdesivir to cost $3,120 for [a] typical patient on private insurance. Gilead Sciences, remdesivir’s maker, said its price will depend on who is paying and how long a patient takes the drug.”
Senator Rand Paul (Son of Ron Paul) Rips into Anthony Fauci
The New York Post wrote on June 30:
“Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday ripped into Dr. Anthony Fauci… during a hearing on COVID-19 response…
“‘It is a fatal conceit to believe any one person or small group of people has the knowledge necessary to direct an economy or dictate public health behavior. I think government experts need to show caution in their prognostications,’ Paul, a Republican and libertarian, [said.]
“‘It’s important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm may occur when we allow one man’s policy or one group of small men and women to be foisted on an entire nation,’ Paul continued… ‘We shouldn’t presume that a group of experts somehow knows what’s best for everyone. Only decentralized power and decision-making based on millions of individualized situations can arrive at what risk and behaviors each individual will choose. That’s what America was founded on, not a herd with Washington telling us what to do and like sheep we blindly follow…
“‘Dr. Fauci, every day we seem to hear from you things we can’t do…’”
The Daily Beast added on June 30:
“During a tense exchange on Capitol Hill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday blasted the nation’s top public health experts… He went on to call America’s public health community ‘fatally’ arrogant…
“Paul specifically berated Dr. Anthony Fauci… for his recent statements on spectator sports, herd immunity, and other subjects. Though Fauci had couched his words in caveats, he said that ‘it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall’ and that, even with a working vaccine, herd immunity might be difficult to accomplish if Americans aren’t willing to take it.
“But Paul said such statements have caused ‘undue fear’ in pockets of the country and cautioned the public not to trust the words of top infectious disease professionals in the country, saying: ‘… We just need more optimism.’”
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 5)
We discussed in previous instalments the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes and the elders. In this instalment, we will address the Sanhedrin. Depending on the Bible translation, the Sanhedrin is also referred to as the “Council.”
According to Young’s Analytical Concordance under “council,” we read that “Sanhedrin” means “a sitting together.”
The Wikipedia Encyclopaedia elaborates:
“The Sanhedrin (… Greek… synedrion, ‘sitting together,’ hence ‘assembly’ or ‘council’) were assemblies of either twenty-three or seventy-one elders… appointed to sit as a tribunal in every city in the ancient Land of Israel.
“There were two classes of Jewish courts called Sanhedrin, the Great Sanhedrin and the Lesser Sanhedrin. A lesser Sanhedrin of 23 judges was appointed to each city, but there was to be only one Great Sanhedrin of 71 judges, which among other roles acted as the Supreme Court, taking appeals from cases decided by lesser courts. In general usage, ‘The Sanhedrin’ without qualifier normally refers to the Great Sanhedrin, which was composed of the Nasi, who functioned as head or representing president, and was a member of the court; the Av Beit Din or chief of the court, who was second to the nasi; and sixty-nine general members (Mufla)…
“In the Second Temple period, the Great Sanhedrin met in the Temple in Jerusalem, in a building called the Hall of Hewn Stones. The Great Sanhedrin convened every day except [during] festivals and the sabbath day (Shabbat).”
The website of learnreligions.com explains:
“During the time of Roman governors such as Pontius Pilate, the Sanhedrin had jurisdiction only over the province of Judea. The Sanhedrin had its own police force that could arrest people, as they did Jesus Christ. While the Sanhedrin heard both civil and criminal cases and could impose the death penalty, in New Testament times it did not have the authority to execute convicted criminals. That power was reserved for the Romans, which explains why Jesus was crucified—a Roman punishment—rather than stoned, according to Mosaic law…”
In other words, at the time of Christ, the Sanhedrin could find a person guilty and give the death sentence, but they could not carry it out. Only the Romans could put a person to death.
Continuing with learnreligions.com:
“Caiaphas was the high priest or president of the Sanhedrin at the time of Jesus’ trial and execution. As a Sadducee, Caiaphas did not believe in the resurrection. He would have been shocked when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Not interested in the truth, Caiaphas preferred to destroy this challenge to his beliefs instead of supporting it…
“The Great Sanhedrin was comprised not only of Sadducees but also of Pharisees, but it was abolished with the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 66-70 A.D.”
Since that time, there has been no Jewish high priest, for national sacrifices ceased with the destruction of the Second Temple. However, the Bible reveals that sacrifices will be given again shortly before Christ’s return, and a Third Temple will be built.
The Wikipedia Encyclopaedia states:
“The Sanhedrin is traditionally viewed as the last institution which commanded universal authority among the Jewish people in the long chain of tradition from Moses until the present day. Since its dissolution in 358 CE, there has been no universally recognized authority within Jewish law (Halakha).”
The website of reasonabletherology.com adds:
“Despite their small numbers, the Sadducees were able to maneuver themselves politically to positions of power within the Sanhedrin… and allied themselves with the Romans…”
jewelsofjudaism.com has some interesting comments about the Pharisees and Sadducees uniting with their disagreements with Jesus, stating as follows:
“The majority of the  seats of the Sanhedrin were filled by Sadducees with a minority filled by the Pharisees… because the Pharisees had the majority of the Jewish population under their influence, the Pharisees often swayed the decisions in the Sanhedrin….
“Even though the Sadducees and Pharisees were diametrically opposed to each other regarding their belief system within Judaism, they were forced to work together… One person that united these two factious groups was the person of (Jesus).
“… the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, ‘What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.’ Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that (Jesus) was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. – John 11:47-53….
“In the above scenario, we read about the chief priests and the Pharisees. The chief priests would be from the group of the Sadducees. Therefore when we read about the chief priests and the Pharisees working together we are actually reading about the Sadducees and Pharisees working together. We also see the connection between the priests and the Sadducees explained in context in the book of Acts: ‘But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy’ (Acts 5:17). The priests and those associated with the priests were generally from the sect of the Sadducees…”
It so often happens that when a situation arises, former adversaries can put aside their personal differences in order to achieve a common aim. This was certainly the case with the religious opponents of Jesus.
The Website of neverthirsty writes:
“The Sanhedrin Council was also called the ‘Senate,’ gerousia, which means ‘the Council of the Elders.’ The Council was the supreme political and religious body of Israel. In John 3:1 we are introduced to a man called Nicodemus, a Pharisee. In that verse he is called a ‘ruler of the Jews.’ Then in verse 10 of the passage he is called ‘the teacher of Israel.’… Both passages reveal that Nicodemus was a political ruler of Israel and a religious teacher. This reveals the Council was a political and religious body…
“The Sanhedrin Council is referred to twenty-one times in the New Testament… Luke 22:66 reveals that the Sanhedrin Council at the time of the New Testament… included [the elders,] the chief priests and scribes. Acts 23:1-7 reveals that the Council was composed of Pharisees, Sadducees and chief priests…
“Acts 5:34-35 indicates that the famous rabbi Gamaliel was a member of the Council and made an eloquent plea for justice for Peter and the apostles. The only other members of the Council named in the New Testament… are Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea…
“The gospel records… report that the Council tried to force Christ to lie. We assume that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea did not or were not in attendance. One wonders if the great rabbi Gamaliel attended this mockery of a trial…”
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, is mentioned in three places in the Gospel of John. He first visits Jesus one night to discuss Jesus’ teachings (John 3:1–21). In Luke 23:50, we learn that Joseph of Arimathea was a part of the Council or Sanhedrin as well. However, we read that Joseph was opposed to the Council’s decision and was in fact a secret follower of Jesus.
We may wonder whether Paul, named Saul before his conversion, was a member of the Sanhedrin.
Bible Questions Answered [bibleq.net] states:
“… it [is] likely that Paul was at one time, a member of the Sanhedrin Council: Paul ‘cast his vote against’ the saints [Acts 26:10-11]… Paul consented to the execution of Stephen, a decision made by the Sanhedrin [Acts 20:22]… Paul advanced in Judaism beyond many of his own age [Galatians 1:13-14].”
As the Sanhedrin consisted of Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and elders, it is no surprise that they conspired together to kill Christ.
Below are a few examples of the word “Sanhedrin” being used in the New International Version (NIV), but, generally, the word is translated as “Council”. There is no doubt that they were one and the same.
Matthew 26:59 states: “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death” [NIV].
Mark 14:55 adds: “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any” [NIV].
Acts 6:12 reads: “So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin” [NIV].
Acts 6:15 states: “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel” [NIV].
As Jesus faced the Sanhedrin (the subtitle in the New King James Bible), we read in Mark 14:55: “Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.”
And in Mark 15:1, we read: “Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.”
In both of the above Scriptures, the word “council” is translated “Sanhedrin” in the NIV.
We read that Jesus appeared before the council or Sanhedrin in Matthew 26:59-68; Mark 14:55-65; Luke 22:66-71 and John 18:19-24.
The “trial” of Jesus Christ was without legal precedent. He was convicted and executed even though Pilate found Him innocent! Let us notice many of the outstanding reasons why the arrest, “trial,” and conviction of Jesus were illegal.
- There was no legal basis for Jesus’ arrest, because no one had presented a formal charge of any crime; He was simply taken. Moreover, those who went with Judas to have Jesus arrested included the priests and elders—His judges (Luke 22:52)—among whom were the ones who bribed Judas!
- Jesus was subject to a secret preliminary examination at night (John 18:12-14, 19-23). Jewish law permitted only daylight proceedings.
- The indictment against Jesus was illegal, because the judges themselves brought up the charge without any prior testimony by witnesses. The Sanhedrin was not allowed by law to originate charges.
- The Sanhedrin illegally proceeded to hold its trial of Jesus before sunrise so that no one would be available to testify on his behalf.
- The trial began on a day before an annual Sabbath (John 18:28) even though Jewish law did not permit the trial of a capital offence to begin on a Friday or on the day before an annual Sabbath. Jesus was arrested and tried on the 14th of Nisan, the day before the first annual Sabbath, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- Jesus’ trial was concluded in one day. Jewish law says: “If a sentence of death is to be pronounced, it [a criminal charge] cannot be concluded before the following day” (Mishna, “Sanhedrin” IV, 1). This was done to allow sufficient opportunity for any witnesses in support of the accused to present themselves. Jesus’ trial was conducted in private and completed in less than nine hours!
- Two false witnesses charged Jesus with saying He would destroy the temple made with hands (Mark 14:58); yet He was condemned by the court on another false charge – that of blasphemy. He was condemned on His own testimony (Luke 22:67-71). But according to Jewish law, a person could not be condemned on his own testimony.
- The merits of Jesus’ defence were not considered. Despite Deuteronomy 13:14, the high priest did not “inquire, and make search, and ask diligently” to see whether Jesus’ statement was blasphemous. The law in the Mishna says, “The judges shall weigh the matter in sincerity of their conscience” (Sanhedrin IV, 5). Instead, the court pronounced a sentence instantly and unanimously!
- Those who would have voted against condemnation were apparently not at Jesus’ trial. Joseph of Arimathaea was a member of the court, yet he had not consented to the verdict (Luke 23:50-51). Jesus’ opponents had made sure that only those who hated Him would be there.
- The sentence was pronounced in a place forbidden by law. The trial took place at the high priest’s house (Luke 22:54). According to the law, a death sentence could be pronounced only in the court’s appointed place.
- Most of the judges were not legally qualified to try Jesus. Some had bought their way into office, according to Josephus. Since they were known enemies of Jesus, Jewish law required that they disqualify themselves so He could be tried by impartial judges.
- The court illegally switched the charges from blasphemy to treason before Pilate. Jesus’ opponents wanted Him killed. So they charged Him with treason (Luke 23:2) – a Roman crime – so the Romans would be responsible for His death. No evidence was presented (John 18:29-30). Pilate, after a brief interview, saw that Jesus was not guilty (John 18:38; 19:4; Matthew 27:18). Fearing the crowd, however, he allowed the crucifixion of an innocent man. Pilate did not even pronounce Him guilty; He merely turned Him over to the soldiers. In fact, as Pilate pronounced Him to be innocent, He had to be released, according to the law, at that moment.
What a mockery of justice this trial was! All this illegality, in addition to His crucifixion, Jesus willingly suffered to pay the penalty of sins in our stead!
In the foreword in the book “The Trial of Jesus” by J C McRuer, Chief Justice of the High Court for Ontario, Canada, the following comments are made about the author: “Never have I seen the evidence of injustice in the trial of Jesus so well collated and united, and the cumulative effect of violation after violation of injustice and illegality is most profound.”
In our free booklet, “Jesus Christ—a Great Mystery!”, under Part 4, we discuss numerous additional reasons which show that His arrest, “trial” and crucifixion were illegal and that He was murdered by the Romans and the Sanhedrin. For instance, even after the sentence had been issued, the Sanhedrin had the legal duty to reconvene if a new witness in favour of the accused showed up. Judas was that new witness. He said, “I have betrayed innocent blood.” The Sanhedrin, however, violated that legal duty as well.
Quoting from our above-mentioned booklet, we say this:
“The Bible confirms that Christ was murdered. It was not an execution of a legally charged and legally convicted person. It was a state-approved and state-commanded murder. His disciples were not afraid to say so.” We then quote among other passages Acts 5:27-30 and Acts 7:51-52, where Peter and the apostles and Stephen accused the Sanhedrin of having murdered Jesus.
But we also explain in great detail WHY Christ was willing to be wrongfully captured and accused by the Sanhedrin, tortured and subsequently murdered, and what this means for you and for me.
In conclusion, we read in The Wikipedia Encyclopaedia:
“Over the centuries, there have been attempts to revive the institution, such as the Grand Sanhedrin convened by Napoleon Bonaparte, and modern attempts in Israel. In October 2004… a group of rabbis representing varied Orthodox communities in Israel undertook a ceremony in Tiberias, where the original Sanhedrin was disbanded, in which it claimed to re-establish the body according to the proposal of Maimonides and the Jewish legal rulings of Rabbi Yosef Karo… As of March 2010, that effort is ongoing and is supported by The Temple Institute.”
It would be interesting if such a Grand Sanhedrin would be re-established prior to Christ’s return, as most Jews will reject Christ when He returns. So will professional Christianity as well.
(To Be Continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
The YouTube channel for the Church of the Eternal God presents past videos for StandingWatch programs along with sermonettes, sermons and promotional videos. These are also available on our website: www.eternalgod.org.
“Is America Destroying Itself?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
This program contains many examples proving that America is deeply divided, and division leads to destruction. One author wrote that the US collapse would be one of the most spectacular instances of decline in world history. The sad truth is that we are doing it to ourselves, and it has been prophesied to occur.
The German translation of our most recent booklet, “Obeying God rather than men,” has been sent to our Graphic Designer, Shelly Bruno, for finalization. The German title is: “Man muss Gott mehr gehorchen als den Menschen”.
“Der kommende Untergang Deutschlands,” is the title of a new German sermon for this Sabbath, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Title in English: “Germany’s Coming Destruction.”
“Both Feet In,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
Since our calling to the truth, we have had a foot in the door. To bring our other foot in was our choice to get baptized and to live God’s way of life. Even though we still go through struggles, what do we need to do to keep both feet in, and what does God promise to all who remain faithful until the end?
“The Destruction of Germany,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
In the Old Testament book of Nahum, the destruction of the ancient city of Nineveh—capital of the Assyrian Empire—is described in vivid detail. But the prophet Nahum is foremost speaking about the coming destruction of modern Germany. The specific description of Germany’s fate is sobering. At the same time, it reveals much about God’s character.
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
Our activities and literature, including booklets, weekly updates, sermons on CD, and video and audio broadcasts, are provided free of charge. They are made possible by the tithes, offerings and contributions of Church members and others who have elected to support this Work.
While we do not solicit the general public for funds, contributions are gratefully welcomed and are tax-deductible in the U.S. and Canada.
Donations should be sent to the following addresses:
United States: Church of the Eternal God, P.O. Box 270519, San Diego, CA 92198
Canada: Church of God, ACF, Box 1480, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0
United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom