October 23, 2020
Comments on News and Prophecy (October 24, 2020) / Are You A Soldier?
On October 24, 2020, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy (October 24, 2020),” and Kalon Mitchell will present the sermon, titled, “Are You A Soldier?”
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.
Loving our Country
by Norbert Link
Members of the Church of God just returned from celebrating God’s commanded Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day at the place which God had chosen, reminding them, among many other things, that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth; that their true citizenship is in heaven; and that they are waiting for a better homeland or country to be established here on earth—the peaceful and glorious Kingdom and Government of God, which will rule all men with peace, justice and LOVE.
And still, all of us live right now in a particular country ruled by man. In the USA, the fight for the presidency is in full gear, and the candidates assure us that they love their country, and that its citizens should and must do so as well. However, “loving our country” means different things to different people. Depending on their political affiliation and human philosophy, it may mean following the leader without question or reservation, as long as their leader belongs to their party; and it may mean opposing him in every conceivable way if he belongs to the opposite party. It may mean to some engaging in peaceful or violent demonstrations in an attempt to correct the perceived wrong, while others may support police brutality or injustice in order to correct the perceived wrong… arguing likewise that the desired end result justifies the means.
What does it mean to true Christians to love their human country… the country in which they live? How can true Christians be true patriots… or can they?
What it most assuredly does not mean is to be a nationalist—a person who “loves” his country “uber alles”; who looks exclusively to his country’s benefit while wanting to harm or destroy other countries. But there is a huge difference between being a nationalist and being a patriot. In fact, nationalism is an ungodly perversion of patriotism. A true patriot—someone who loves his country with God-pleasing love—is someone who wants the best for his country–as well as for other countries. He is to love his neighbor as himself… or in our context, he loves his country as much as he loves other countries. He will not engage in warfare for his country to fight other countries. Loving his country excludes fighting in war, and God curses those who delight in war.
Loving our country means that we do not overlook or justify sin. God tells us what sin is… it is the transgression of His holy and righteous law. His law can be summarized with the word “love”—love for our God and love for our neighbor… for all men in whatever country they may live. The Ten Commandments tell us further how to love God and man, and God’s statutes and judgments explain in more detail how to apply the Ten Commandments in certain circumstances.
We must love God more than any man or any country. And loving man does not mean, loving his sinful ways which are opposed to the love of God. As ambassadors of Christ, we have an obligation to stand up for the Truth. God’s Church today has the responsibility to show the people their sins… in the hope that they repent and change their ways; knowing that otherwise, they and their country will be destroyed. To shrink away from such duty only shows that we do not love God, our neighbor and our country—that we are indeed not true patriots.
Let us take our commission seriously. Let us show the right kind of love towards others, because the time of worldwide war and destruction is near. Political speeches and promises, even if they are meant seriously, will not help us if we continue to live in sin. God compares the USA today with ancient Sodom, but the USA is by no means worse than any other country. The whole world is in the hands of Satan, the power of wickedness and darkness, and every country is alienated from God. God undoubtedly blessed the USA once, as well as the UK, Canada, Australia and other English-speaking nations— fulfilling thereby His unconditional promise to Abraham to do so—but He also said that He would remove His blessings, if those nations would descend into sin, which they have done. To point this out with force and power does not mean that we do not love our country… just the opposite is true. We want to see peace, prosperity, righteousness and love in every country, but we do not see that, because the entire world is spiritually “sick,” having turned their back on God with willful ignorance and having been kidnapped and held captive by Satan to do his will.
And so, we cry over the abominations happening around us, separating ourselves from this world’s Babylon of confusion, and praying to God to hasten Christ’s return to establish the Kingdom of God here on earth. That is HOW we love our country, knowing that only God’s government can and will bring peace, happiness, prosperity and LOVE to this world.
by Norbert Link
We begin with articles about Biden and Trump in light of the upcoming presidential election in November [please note our new StandingWatch program, “How to Love our Country”], while pointing out that, focusing on the (prophesied) bad relationship between America and Europe, it does not really matter who will win. We also speak on controversial coronavirus treatments and the attempts (and set-backs) to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
We then focus on the last stage of Brexit negotiations which seem to point at a no-deal outcome which would be devastating for the UK.
We address systematic and ongoing attempts to silence those who dare to voice disagreement with the official mass media’s approach and unsubstantiated reports on coronavirus, and we speak on the rise of anti-Semitism in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. We also quote articles questioning the usefulness of wearing masks and a reversal of the WHO’s recommendation regarding lockdowns.
We speak on California’s demise and the volatile situation in the Middle East, involving Israel and strong voices advocating the building of the third Temple on the Temple Mount.
We address the shaky political situation in Germany and Angela Merkel’s irrelevant and at the same time dubious role; the rise in popularity of Germany’s ambitious health minister Jens Spahn and his grab for power; and European imperialism with the threat of war; and we conclude with Germany’s military ambitions and the concern of nuclear war with Russia.
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
Joe Biden… a Warmonger?
The Ron Paul Institute republished on October 16 an article by the Strategic Culture Foundation:
“The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.
“Among the possibilities: Protracted uncertainty about the presidential contest… A disputed outcome, perhaps with Donald Trump and Joe Biden both claiming victory… Violent civil conflict… A color revolution style regime change operation… perhaps culminating in a military coup to remove Trump… and install Biden in the Oval Office…
“For those who have followed events outside the United States during the past few decades, much of this sounds familiar… Once a country gets broken it tends to stay broken… once regime change occurs and corruption is rampant, another shoe drops: foreign vultures descend on the carcass, profiteers who in many cases are the very same people that helped to create the chaos on which they are cashing in…
“As a Senator in the 1990s, Joe Biden was one of the most militant advocates of US military action against Serbs during the breakup of the Yugoslav federation, first in Croatia (1991-95), then in Bosnia (1992-95), and then in Serbia’s province of Kosovo (1998- 1999)… Biden continually called for the US to bomb, bomb, bomb bomb the Serbs while… [he] pushed successfully for sending weapons to the Islamist regime in Bosnia…
“… if Joe Biden takes the helm, we can anticipate a bevy of globalist warmonger appointees that make Trump’s team look like disciples of Mahatma Gandhi… It’s a recipe for wars, regime changes, and color revolutions galore…”
Most predict that Biden will win. We disagree. Trump will stay in power.
Pat Robertson’s False “Predictions”
The Hill wrote on October 20:
“Televangelist Pat Robertson said on Tuesday that God told him President Trump will win, and more than five years later an asteroid will hit Earth and ‘maybe’ bring ‘the end.’… The 90-year-old forecasted disaster for the country and the world after the election, including civil unrest, at least two attempts on Trump’s life and a war against Israel that will be ‘put down by God.’
“Then, the world will see ‘at least five years or more of extraordinary peace’ before the asteroid. ‘What I think very frankly is the only thing that will fulfill the word of Jesus … is some kind of asteroid strike on the globe,’ he said. ‘It’s sudden destruction. It’s not going to be some nuclear war. We’re not going to be allowed to blow this earth up.’
“Following a description of the asteroid’s damage, Robertson said ‘then, maybe the end’ would come next.
“The televangelist had made similar predictions in the past, saying in 1976 the world would end in 1982. His 1990 book ‘The New Millennium’ anticipated the end of time on April 29, 2007…”
We wonder how God “told” him. His “predictions” have not been that accurate, to say the least, and even though we believe too that Trump will stay in power–and we have said this LONG BEFORE Robertson ever announced his “revelation”–there WILL BE a nuclear war between the USA and Europe, starting the Great Tribulation. Israel will also be defeated by European armies. Asteroids –“stars falling down from heaven” – will strike this planet, but they are not the main cause for its destruction. AND, there will be absolutely NO five years or more of “extraordinary PEACE” prior to Christ’s return. In fact, Christ said that if those days would not be shortened, “no flesh” would be saved alive.
“Trump or Biden, the U.S. and Europe Will Split”
The Washington Post wrote on October 9:
“Slowly but surely, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge keeps pushing the North American and European plates apart, at the rate of about an inch a year. Something similar is happening in geopolitical tectonics. One generation ago the U.S. was western Europe’s indispensable ally. Today… it often looks more like Europe’s ‘foe’ (Trump’s word) than friend. That’s why Europeans, too, are waiting with bated breath for the U.S. presidential election next month. If Trump wins, the transatlantic rift will make another audible crack. If Joe Biden wins, the loudest sound will be the popping of champagne corks. But before long, Europeans will have to admit that the gradual estrangement continues no matter who’s in the White House.
“Transatlantic relations started fraying long before Trump. They almost snapped during the administration of George W. Bush, before Barack Obama restored them a bit. Even that was largely cosmetic. It was Obama, with Biden as vice president, who announced America’s strategic ‘pivot’ to Asia, giving a name to a secular shift in orientation from the Atlantic to the Pacific. And previous U.S. presidents were already complaining — albeit politely — that the Europeans, and above all the Germans, were spending too little on their own armies to be dependable NATO allies, and free-riding on a global commercial system chaperoned by the U.S.
“Trump simply blew the diplomatic sheen and subtlety off these disputes. Like no U.S. president since World War II, he shows disdain for European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel… According to John Bolton, a former national security adviser, the president might quit the alliance in a second term, just as he has walked out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the World Health Organization and other multilateral forums…
“Biden… won’t invest in transatlantic defense, either. That’s because every military dollar spent in Europe is one that’s unavailable in Asia. Meanwhile, existing tensions wouldn’t disappear. Like his predecessor, Biden would try to stop a gas pipeline being built from Russia to Germany. He would keep leaning on the Germans and others to boost military spending. He would also insist that they actually use their armies in missions where the U.S. no longer sees its own interests at stake — in the eastern Mediterranean, perhaps, or Africa.
“Above all, any president will expect America’s allies to stand with the U.S. against China. So the more the EU pursues its vague notion of ‘European sovereignty,’ the less valuable for America it becomes. A Europe equidistant between East and West is of little interest to the U.S…”
The deterioration between the USA and Europe is unstoppable.
Trump Attacks Biden
Bloomberg wrote on October 17:
“President Donald Trump called on Friday night for Joe Biden and his family to be jailed… ‘We’ve learned over the last couple of months: Joe Biden is a corrupt politician,’ Trump said to his supporters, ‘and the Biden family is a criminal enterprise.’
“Trump frequently demanded that his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, be incarcerated over her use of a private email server as secretary of state. It was believed to be the first time he has ever used that sort of attack against the Bidens. The FBI declined in 2016 to recommend charges against Clinton…
“Trailing behind Biden in most opinion polls with the election less than three weeks away, Trump has zeroed in on a New York Post report from earlier this week that highlights documents purporting to show the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine and China. The Post article… alleged that Hunter Biden introduced a Ukrainian businessman to his father, who has said he’s never talked with his son about his international business dealings…
“The laptop’s hard drive was given to Trump ally Steve Bannon, who gave it to Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello. Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump’s lawyer, gave it to the Post…”
The Daily Mail added on October 17:
“Biden has finally been asked about reports about his son Hunter’s foreign dealings, and responded by saying he had ‘no response’ and furiously slamming the [CBS News] reporter [Bo Erickson] who quizzed him… ‘I know you’d ask it,’ Biden replied heatedly, wearing two masks. ‘I have no response, it’s another smear campaign, right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask.’ … On Thursday night, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic advisor, sparked controversy when he declined to ask about Hunter’s emails during a 90-minute town hall.”
Quite often, where there is smoke, there is fire…
Piers Morgan Attacks Facebook, Twitter, and the Mass Media over the newest Biden Scandal
On October 19, Daily Mail published the following article by Piers Morgan:
“Four days ago, the New York Post published a bombshell report raising serious new questions about presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s relationship with Ukranian energy company Burisma. The story, which made startling and apparently damning reading was based on a cache of emails and photos allegedly retrieved from Hunter Biden’s laptop that he had left at a Delaware computer store… the response from Joe Biden so far has done nothing to make me think [the story is] false. Crucially, there has been no denial of the fact that these emails are genuine.
“And if they are, then they raise important questions. The potentially most explosive part of the story is a 2015 email supposedly sent by a top Burisma adviser, Vadym Pozharskyi, thanking Hunter for giving him the chance to meet his dad Joe while he was Vice-President… This is significant because Joe Biden has always vehemently denied ever even speaking to his son about ‘his overseas business dealings.’
“Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates responded to the Post allegation by saying: ‘We have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.’… this sounds to me like a very narrow form of wording designed to allow some wriggle room should proof of such a meeting emerge.
“In another email to Hunter Biden sent by a business consultant in 2017, reference is made to ‘the big guy’ who would receive 10% of equity from a deal with a Chinese equity firm. Others on the email chain have told Fox News that ‘the big guy’ is Joe Biden… the Biden’s camp statement was also very revealing for what it didn’t say: i.e. that the emails are fake, or that ‘the big guy’ isn’t Joe Biden. Without any such denials, we’re inevitably led to the conclusion that they may be real, and if they’re real, then how does Joe Biden explain them without confirming he has misled the American people about his involvement with Hunter’s inarguably dodgy dealings with foreign national firms in Ukraine and China?…
“… the response to [the story] from liberal-dominated mainstream and social media firms has been staggering, terrifying and disgraceful. Just hours after the Post story appeared, Facebook announced it would be limiting its spread on the social media platform while it used independent fact-checkers to verify the paper’s allegations. Even more extraordinarily, Twitter than summarily banned anyone from posting a link to the story, including the New York Post itself. By taking these unprecedented actions, the tech firms were effectively abandoning any pretence at protecting free speech or the First Amendment…
“They were soon joined by the mainstream media who seem way more interested in knocking down the story and unmasking a conspiracy to smear Biden than investigating whether it’s true… US mainstream and social media companies have reacted to this story in an outrageously partisan and deeply sinister manner that is diametrically opposed to how they would have reacted if the name ‘Biden’ was swapped for ‘Trump.’ Shame on all of them….”
Fox News added on October 18:
“The flagging or removal of tweets or other social media posts has taken on a heightened level of scrutiny from conservatives since both Twitter and Facebook last week took actions to halt a New York Post article centered around Hunter Biden – with GOP lawmakers in both the House and Senate decrying the move as censorship and calling on both companies to explain themselves before Congress.”
Breitbart added on October 19:
“Five days after the New York Post published a bombshell story about Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and the family’s alleged ties to Burisma, the Post remains blacklisted from Twitter for sharing the story. The newspaper has refused to delete its tweets linking to the stories, and Twitter has refused to relent on the Post‘s suspension, despite CEO Jack Dorsey admitting that blocking links on the platform is wrong.”
Free Speech in the USA… gone! Political dictatorship rules the media.
Trump’s Coronavirus Treatment
Deutsche Welle wrote on October 9:
“US President Donald Trump has been treated with an anti-COVID-19 drug developed with cells derived from fetal tissue. He called it a God-given miracle cure, but what will his anti-abortion supporters think?… Given the fierce resistance of the Trump administration to research involving fetal tissue, it seems extremely hypocritical that the US leader, who has widespread support from anti-abortion campaigners, has lauded REGN-COV2 as a heavenly gift…
“Just last year, Trump cut federal funding for national research efforts into HIV and cancer treatments based on fetal tissue… In January, Trump spoke at the 47th March for Life, a Washington anti-abortion rally. There, he told activists ‘unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House’ and that ‘every child is a precious and sacred gift from God.’
“REGN-COV2 is not manufactured in human cells, but in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. The effectiveness of the antibodies it contains, however, was tested on cells derived from kidney tissue taken from an abortion carried out in the Netherlands in the 1970s. This cell line, known as 293T, has been used in various research labs around the world. REGN-COV2 made use of these cells to produce so-called virus pseudoparticles: virus-like structures that contain the ‘spike’ protein of the deadly coronavirus. Only in this way was it possible to ascertain how effective the antibodies were against the virus…
“The heated debate surrounding REGN-COV2 has once again put the spotlight on an important area of medical research that often uses cells originally derived from aborted fetuses, including during the development of vaccines. Regeneron has not denied using 293T, yet argues that the cells should not be considered ‘human’ tissue as they were grown in a lab… ‘”
Trump later said that he did not know what the doctors gave him…
Sharks to the Rescue for Coronavirus Vaccine?
Sky News wrote on September 28:
“Half a million sharks could be killed for their natural oil to produce coronavirus vaccines… One ingredient used in some COVID-19 vaccine candidates is squalene, a natural oil made in the liver of sharks… British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline currently uses shark squalene in flu vaccines. The company said it would manufacture a billion doses of this adjuvant for potential use in coronavirus vaccines in May.
“Around 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one tonne of squalene… If two doses are needed to immunise the global population, which is likely according to researchers, this would increase to half a million… Stefanie Brendl, founder and executive director of Shark Allies, said: ‘Harvesting something from a wild animal is never going to be sustainable, especially if it’s a top predator that doesn’t reproduce in huge numbers…
“According to estimates made by conservationists, around three million sharks are killed every year for squalene, which is also used in cosmetics and machine oil….”
Johnson & Johnson Pauses Covid-19 Vaccine Trial after ‘Unexplained Illness’”
CNN Health wrote on October 13:
“Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson said Monday it has paused the advanced clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine because of an unexplained illness in one of the volunteers… ‘Adverse events — illnesses, accidents, etc. — even those that are serious, are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies.’…
“This is the second Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial to be paused in the US. AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was paused last month because of a neurological complication in a volunteer in Britain. While the trial resumed there and in other countries, it remains paused in the United States while the US Food and Drug Administration investigates…
“Johnson’s Phase 3 trial started in September. It’s one of six coronavirus vaccines being tested in the US, and one of four in the most advanced, Phase 3 stage…”
Safety is a big concern when a vaccine is finally available.
Britain’s Economic Pain
CNN Business wrote on October 16:
“The British economy has been pummeled by the pandemic. Now, with talks on a new trade deal with the European Union at risk of collapse, Johnson has to decide: Does he try to find common ground with Europe, or walk away? Britain already faces a tough 2021 as the country battles the twin shocks of coronavirus and Brexit. But failing to secure an agreement with the United Kingdom’s biggest export market would amplify the pain.
“Walking away empty-handed — which Johnson threatened to do on Friday — would create disruptions to trade when the transition period ends later this year, shaving more than $25 billion off the UK economy in 2021… That would put the country even further behind on its efforts to recover from the historic shock triggered by the pandemic…”
Britain’s economic downfall has been preordained.
“A Looming Disaster: Brexit Threatens to Become the Messiest of Messy Divorces”
Der Spiegel wrote on October 13:
“Essentially, the only choice now remaining is between an ugly divorce and an extremely ugly divorce… Significant damage has already been done. Since the British voted by a razor-thin margin to leave the European Union four years ago, trade between the UK and the EU has plunged. Prior to the Brexit vote, Britain was Germany’s third-largest export market, but it has since dropped to fifth place. At the same time, British exports to the Continent have sunk by 17 percent in just the first seven months of this year relative to the same time period one year ago…
“Should there be no deal… the government could be faced with having to send soldiers into the streets to maintain order, while the Navy would be sent out to prevent French fishing boats from encroaching on British waters. Because medications could get stuck at the border… there would be a danger of animal diseases spreading through the countryside. Across the country, one in 20 town halls could go broke, leaving millions of people without necessary financial support….
“Thus far, 5,000 officials have handled 50 million customs documents a year… After Brexit, there will be an increase of around 220 million declarations, meaning that the customs office would require tens of thousands of additional agents… Many EU haulers… could completely eliminate Britain from their schedules…”
This does not sound good for Britain. God is in the process of punishing Britain for their many sins.
Express wrote on October 18:
“Emmanuel Macron reacted furiously to Boris Johnson’s claims that trade talks are ‘over’ between the UK and EU. Mr Macron has played hardball in the talks on fisheries, insisting on Thursday that French fishermen would ‘not be sacrificed’ for the sake of a deal. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then French fishermen could face being banned from British waters.
“In response, the French President has signalled the EU would launch a devastating energy embargo against the UK unless Boris Johnson gives in on fisheries. Following the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Mr Macron told French radio that if the UK does not allow French fishermen in its waters, the EU would have to block the UK’s energy supplies to the European market. He suggested the right to fish in British waters was worth 650 million euros to EU fishermen, but that access to European energy markets was worth up to £2.3billion (€2.5bn) to the UK.”
YouTube Issues Warning to Ron Paul Institute
The Ron Paul Institute wrote on September 26:
“YouTube… inexplicably removed our Ron Paul Liberty Report from 23 September, titled ‘Covid Whistleblowers Expose Narrative As ‘Total Fraud,'” and officially delivered a ‘warning’ to the Ron Paul Liberty Report You Tube channel. They claimed in the notice that the program… violated their ‘community guidelines’ regarding ‘spam, deceptive practices, and scams.’
“We are in danger of having our entire channel removed if we continue in these prohibited activities, they warned…
“Dr. Paul sent an appeal asking for specific clarification as to what in the program violated their ‘community standards.’… YouTube [answered that they] simply do not allow ‘content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of the World Health Organization’– a United Nations bureaucratic body that has absolutely no idea what to do about the Covid health problem. One week you must wear masks, the next week you don’t need them, etc. But don’t dare criticize them… the World Health Organization is not even led by a doctor, but by a violent Ethiopian communist politician…
“It seems bizarre in what so many love to claim is the ‘freest country on earth’… that anyone challenging the prevailing mainstream media/US government narrative on Covid… must be silenced…”
And this in the land of the free?
Silencing a Minnesota Priest
Star Tribune wrote on September 25:
“Twin Cities priest… Robert Altier had delivered a 20-minute sermon Sept. 6, claiming COVID-19 was concocted in laboratories in the United States and China and that it was a ‘lie’ that tens of thousands of people are dying from it… Archbishop Bernard Hebda announced that he had spoken with Altier and told him such issues were not appropriate for a sermon…
“Altier had argued that the virus was made in a lab, that a 2020 global pandemic preparation exercise revealed previous knowledge of the virus, that masks caused bacterial infections and that death figures were grossly inflated… The sermon, entitled ‘The Coronavirus: the Truth Revealed,’ has been pulled from the website of Altier’s church, the Church of St. Raphael in Crystal… Altier is a priest well-known among conservative Catholics…”
Some of his comments might be controversial or even far-fetched… others would not be… But still, he is not allowed to say these things in the Catholic Church? Sadly, this ungodly approach is even taken by some Sabbath-keeping Church of God organizations.
Pope for Same-Sex Civil Unions
The Guardian wrote on October 21:
“Pope Francis has given his most explicit support to same-sex civil unions in a move that is likely to further enrage his conservative opponents in the Catholic church… He said: ‘Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They are children of God and have a right to a family… What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.’…
“James Martin, a prominent Jesuit who has argued that the church should be more welcoming to LGBT people, wrote on Twitter: ‘Pope Francis’s support for same-sex civil unions is a major step forward in the church’s support of LGBTQ people. It is in keeping with his pastoral approach to LGBT people, including LGBT Catholics, and sends a strong signal to countries where the church has opposed such laws.’
“A spokesperson for António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations and a devout Catholic, said the pope’s comments were ‘a very positive move’…
“According to traditional church teaching, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and the church has opposed legal recognition of same-sex unions. In 2003, a Vatican document set out why it was ‘necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions’ because they ‘obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage’. Pope Francis’s conservative opponents have been infuriated by statements that they regard as part of an effort to shift the church towards progressive values. Some have publicly attacked him, even accusing him of heresy.”
The Bible is clear that homosexual conduct is sinful.
Cuomo’s Anti-Semitic Attack on Religious Freedom
The Jerusalem Post wrote on October 16:
“Catholics and Jews asked U.S. courts on Thursday to overturn New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order limiting worship to no more than 10 congregants in communities hard hit by the coronavirus, calling the measure a threat to religious freedom… In a 33-page complaint, laced with historical references to persecution, three Orthodox Jewish congregations told a U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Cuomo had outlawed ‘all but the most minimal communal religious worship.’…
“In the Catholic case, Bishop Raymond Chappetto… said weekly Mass was obligatory for Catholics and it was ‘absolutely essential’ that they be there in person.”
Israel 365 News added on October 14:
“Cuomo threatened to close synagogues. He did not threaten to close mosques. Nor did he display any pictures of mass Muslim religious gatherings. Instead, he found a photo of a Jewish funeral from 2006 to suggest that Jews were spreading the coronavirus… The differing treatment meted out to Orthodox Jewish and Shi’ite Muslim religious gatherings is a troubling demonstration of how anti-Semitism is baked into the intersectionality of the left.”
In an almost conspiratorial fashion, the German government is contemplating limiting worship services to 10 people in attendance. It is also considering passing a law which would grant ambitious Health Minister Jens Spahn [who has now been allegedly tested positive for the coronavirus and went into strict isolation] unlimited sole autocratic powers to fight the coronavirus. Merkel also appealed to Germans to stay at home, if possible.
Jews Blamed for Coronavirus
Israel 365 News wrote on October 13:
“ABC News published an article on a forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report was dire but even more shocking was the illustrative image which prominently featured Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, implying that Jews, more than any other group, are responsible for the continuing pandemic… No studies have linked the spread of the coronavirus to Jewish communities nor have there been any studies showing that Jews, secular or religious, are especially hard-hit by the pandemic…
“There are many historical precedents for blaming Jews for pandemics but the worst case took place during the global Black Death pandemic in the 14th Century. During the Black Death in Europe from 1348 to 1351, Jews were blamed for the pandemic that killed over 100 million people, nearly half the population of Europe. This led to countless pogroms and at least 510 Jewish communities were destroyed in this period. In many cities, the civil authorities either did little to protect the Jewish communities or actually abetted the rioters. The pogroms motivated by the plague continued until 20 years after the plague disappeared. These accusations were revived at the outbreak of the current pandemic by private citizens as well as governments.”
The truth is that the pandemic started in China and was exported from there into all the world. President Trump stated recently that the USA will not forget what China did to it.
“Masks Don’t Stop Coronavirus—’End the Lies’”
Israel 365 News wrote on October 17:
“In a growing sentiment against the use of masks, Dr Vladamir (Zev) Zelenko, the Ultra-orthodox Jewish physician who was famous for publicizing the use of Hydroxchloroquine against covid, now says that face masks are useless against the spread of coronavirus.
“In a tweet on Monday, the New York based doctor took to twitter exposing the truth about masks saying: ‘The government is trying to shut our mouths and cover our faces with masks. No basis in science. Covid-19 is around 0.1 microns. Masks block particles of more than 0.4 microns. In other words, masks don’t stop covid. End the tyranny and lies.’
“He then cited a study demonstrating the uselessness of masks blasting those who refuse to review the science and data recorded in the publication. [He] is in the midst of planning a class action lawsuit against Twitter for censoring his account…”
More and more studies have proven the utter uselessness and even danger of wearing masks.
Twitter Removes “Politically Incorrect” Statement on Masks
Fox News wrote on October 18:
“Twitter removed a tweet from top White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas for questioning the effectiveness of masks in combatting COVID-19. Atlas’ tweet read ‘Masks work? NO’ and preceded several others that questioned the use of face coverings in preventing the spread of the coronavirus… In a statement to the Hill, Twitter said the doctor’s tweet ‘was in violation of our COVID-19 Misleading Information Policy’ that ‘prohibits sharing false or misleading content related to COVID-19 which could lead to harm.’
“… The removal of Atlas’ tweet is the latest in a series of actions the company has taken to either remove or flag posts by members of the Trump administration, including the president himself, that it says are misleading or false when it comes to issues ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to the upcoming presidential election.
“Twitter’s removal of Atlas’ tweet is also not the first time the medical professional has run afoul of big tech. In September, a video of Atlas questioning the need for universal social distancing measures was removed from YouTube for violating community standards.
“Atlas, who supports a full reopening of the economy, filmed an in-depth interview with the Hoover Institution where he discussed the possibility of allowing natural immunities to control the virus. Atlas lashed out at the massive video platform during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson – saying that YouTube was ‘censoring science.’ ‘It’s a disaster,’ Atlas said. ‘We’ve already seen the near obstruction of journalism. When you start censoring science you are removing fact, removing the basic way that we decide what is truth [and] what is not. This has been done I think historically in various countries and you know, we are sort of teetering on the edge of what is done in third world countries — the countries we used to be proudly distinguished from,’ Atlas said….”
Incredible, and this kind of censorship is very dangerous and mind-controlling… bordering on brainwashing gullible people.
And now… WHO AGAINST Lockdowns
BGR wrote on October 11:
“As recently as July, the World Health Organization was still scaring people around the world… by saying that ‘total lockdown’ might be needed to nip the COVID-19 pandemic in the bud in some places…
“The WHO was warning countries at that point that they should only very ‘slowly’ come out of any coronavirus lockdown they’d imposed, and that every nation around the world needed to answer the ‘fundamental question’ for itself as to when and how (and whether) there might be a need for another future lockdown period…
“[The WHO’s] new position on lockdowns as a means of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is quite different — and will come as cold comfort to anyone who was lucky enough to have avoided the virus but whose life has been wrecked by the ensuing lockdowns and their follow-on effects. Not only is the WHO now sounding a warning about the negative effects associated with too-harsh lockdowns, which have wrecked businesses and livelihoods in countless cities, states, and countries — but a WHO official in a new interview is actively recommending against them.
“Dr. David Nabarro, a ‘special envoy’ of the WHO’s director-general, said in an interview with the British magazine The Spectator that restrictions like lockdowns should really only be a last resort — if even that… ‘Too many restrictions damage people’s livelihoods and provoke resentment…’
“One of the only things these coronavirus lockdowns are really good at, Nabarro told The Spectator, is ‘making poor people an awful lot poorer.’ It may even be that we see a doubling of world poverty next year, he lamented.”
But through unconscionable recommendations by the WHO and the ridiculous restrictions of ignorant governmental officials, millions upon millions of lives have been destroyed. And the panic-stricken nonsense is still ongoing.
Fear vs. Faith… No Lockdown in South Dakota
Just the News wrote on September 27:
“South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has declined to lock down her state amid the coronavirus pandemic even as other government leaders around the nation issued restrictions that significantly throttled the U.S. economy. She said that she listened both to health officials and to individuals who informed her about the bounds of her gubernatorial authorities. ‘I know that when you have a leader overstep their authority in a time of crisis, that’s really when you lose this country. And I didn’t want to be guilty of doing that… So I never issued a shelter-in-place, I never closed a business. I didn’t even define an essential business … because I don’t have the authority to do that.’’
“Noem remarked that she spoke ‘with governors on conference calls all over this country about that and they had some of the same information that I had yet made completely different decisions.’ She said that she believes fear played a key role during the beginning of the pandemic, though more recently politics have been involved. During conference calls earlier during the coronavirus crisis… she found that fear was driving people’s actions… ‘I was shocked and amazed by how fear controlled people and how emotional that they were. And to me it indicated that in this country we’ve lost faith and the steadfast promise of God’s faithfulness in our life every day has real consequences. If you don’t have that in your life then your emotions and fear can control you and make you not have the discernment and the wisdom that you need in a time of crisis.’
“The South Dakota governor also said that no evidence supports the notion that severe restrictions help to protect the public health. ‘So, I know they all have the ability to say that they’re making these decisions to protect public health, but there is no science that proves that what they’re doing works,’ Noem said. ‘There is no expert that says these extreme measures that these states are taking and that the data behind it, that it is appropriate. So they are taking extremely restrictive actions to impact their people. And I’m concerned about what that does long term…’ She said that Americans must defend their religious liberty, which has been attacked amid the pandemic… ‘we have directly seen in many of these states where they have allowed other gatherings yet restricted those who want to go to church and worship together.’”
Even though there has been no lockdown in South Dakota and many restrictions are “recommended,” it was observed that fear also reigns among the people and businesses there, with some shops and restaurants mandating the wearing of masks and social distancing. Satan, the author of fear, is having a field day everywhere, and ministers and members in some Sabbath-keeping Church of God organizations are no exception.
California’s Exodus and Demise
ZeroHedge wrote on October 11:
“California may be the most populous state in the Union, but it could transform into the exodus capital of America… Growth has slowed close to zero or even declined in most coastal counties… [Studies] have found that poorer households are more likely to flee than their affluent counterparts. But considering the policing being proposed or enacted, it is safe to say that the wealthy have no reason to be some of the left-behinds…
“Newsom recently signed an executive order that phases out the sale of all gasoline-powered automobiles by 2035… the measure will certainly push consumers to switch to the heavily subsidized electric vehicle market… Newsom also endorsed a ban on petroleum fracking… he urged the California Legislature to adopt prohibitions or restrictions on fracking. This could potentially impact the more than 360,000 people who are employed in the oil and gas sector.
“Despite being one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the world, California is mirroring Venezuela by enduring rolling blackouts. Although local left-leaning politicians and the mainstream press will allude to the widespread wildfires as evidence of climate change, it has been years of gross negligence contributing to the disaster…
“Not only is California going through power shortages but [it is] also suffering a government-induced water shortage… residents can face fines of up to $500 per day if they take a long shower… And, worse, this is all in addition to the plethora of Coronavirus restrictions Newsom and his pals at the local level have introduced over the last six months….”
California is indeed at the brink of total destruction.
Dangerous Anti-Semitism in Germany
The Jerusalem Post wrote on October 16:
“The Jerusalem Post can report the first US government criticism of three German MPs who are involved in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activities targeting Israel and are on the advisory board of a group urging the destruction of Israel…
“The three allegedly pro-BDS supporters are Omid Nouripour (The Green Party), Aydan Özoguz (Social Democratic Party) and Christine Buchholz (The Left Party).”
In spite of lip services to the contrary, many Germans, including politicians, are deeply anti-Semitic.
Jihad a “Personal Obligation”
Israel 365 News wrote on October 14:
“Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein said that Islamic law obligates Muslims to ‘fight against the thieving Jews.’
“According to a report published on Monday by Palestinian Media Watch, in a Sept. 18 interview with Palestinian Authority TV, Hussein stressed that ‘if an inch of the Muslims’ lands is stolen, jihad becomes a personal religious commandment for everyone.’
“The P.A. defines the State of Israel as stolen Islamic land (waqf), an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, according to PMW. Therefore, said Hussein, Shariah law prohibits Palestinians from recognizing Israel, within any borders, and commands that every Muslim has a personal duty to wage war against the Jewish state until the ‘Muslim’ land is freed.”
There will never be a lasting peace agreement between Israel and many Arab states, prior to Christ’s return.
Erdogan: Jerusalem Is Our City!
Israel 365 News wrote on October 4:
“‘In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us,’ Erdogan said. ‘Our first qibla [direction of prayer in Islam] [towards] al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem are the symbolic mosques of our faith…’
“The American Jewish Committee responded to Erdogan’s claim to Jerusalem noting that the Muslim occupation of Judaism’s holiest site ended with the Ottoman empire. ‘So were Cairo, Athens, Budapest, Bucharest — and many more — at the height of the Ottoman Empire,’ the AJC tweeted. ‘But this is 2020… Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.’”
According to the Bible, Turkey will participate in a cruel war against Israel and Jerusalem.
The Temple Will Be Built on the Ruins of Al-Aqsa
Israel 365 News wrote on October 11:
“Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem appointed by Yasser Arafat and the current head of the Temple Mount Islamic council, warned that Israel has been successful in marketing the ‘Zionist narrative’ that the Al Aqsa Mosque is situated on land that was once part of the Jewish Temple… In this statement, Sabri is incorrectly using the term ‘Al Aqsa’ to refer to the entire Temple Mount rather than just the silver-domed mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount complex… According to Sabri, this illusion was built around a false narrative that ‘Palestine’ was the land that Jews had a right to, and that the Temple will be built on the ruins of the Al-Aqsa Mosque…
“Dr. Kedar… a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, explained. ‘Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are at the epicenter of the Palestinian story. Without Jerusalem and Al Aqsa, the Palestinian issue has almost no meaning… This is why they keep repeating the allegation that the Jews have no connection to the Temple Mount or Jerusalem even though this flies in the face of all recorded history.’”
A Third Temple will be built on the Temple Mount, prior to Christ’s return.
In this context, the following was reported by Israel 365 News on September 29:
“Rabbi Yehuda Glick… a former Member of Knesset for the Likud Party, is considering running for the position of President of Israel. The position of president is largely ceremonial, becoming significant after national elections. Presidents are elected by an absolute majority in the Knesset by secret ballot and serve a seven-year term. Any Israeli resident citizen is eligible to run for President…The current president, Reuven Rivlin, assumed office in July 2014 so it is assumed he will complete his term in the summer of 2021…
“Frequently mislabeled a religious extremist, Rabbi Glick advocates opening the Temple Mount on an equal footing to prayer by Muslims, Jews, Christians, and others. For his efforts, Rabbi Glick was awarded the 2015 Moskowitz Prize for Zionism for being ‘Active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount’… In October 2014, an Arab on a motorcycle approached Rabbi Glick after he gave a speech at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, shooting him four times at point-blank range. Rabbi Glick survived the assassination attempt, the assassin, a member of Islamic Jihad, was later killed trying to escape from police.”
Rabbi Glick is also a strong supporter of the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.
Why all of Merkel’s Partners End up Being Destroyed
The conservative paper, Die Welt, wrote on September 25:
“First, the Chancellor crushed the FDP, now the SPD… Merkel is going to have to face questions about why all her partners end up being destroyed.
“There is only one people’s party left in Germany, and that is the Union (CDU). But even the CDU, led by Merkel, and its sister party in Bavaria are pretty broken after four years of grand coalition… For the SPD it has proved disastrous… So there won’t be another grand coalition. The SPD isn’t up for it. And rightly so…
“Let us turn now to the winners: the politicians of the AfD, who will now have up to 100 members of parliament… The AfD is the classic protest party, but it is also the product of a Union that is only too happy to absorb and integrate red-green positions… That Merkel’s refugee policy was never attacked by the left-wing opposition in the Bundestag proved… disastrous…”
Merkel was also largely responsible for the downfall of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU), stabbing him in the back, as many claim. Merkel is right now nothing more than a lame duck. Some are preparing for taking her helm. At this point, according to ntv, dated October 9, Jens Spahn is the most popular candidate in Merkel’s party. He is also openly gay. In an interview with Domradio, dated October 9, he said that God made him so for a reason, and that there is no contradiction between being Catholic, conservative and gay, adding that the Catholic rituals of the “holy Roman church” give him support in his daily life. It will be interesting to see who is going to succeed Merkel, and whether he could be a candidate for the “beast” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The time is ripe for sure.
European Imperialism Preparing for War
Newsclick wrote on October 12:
“For the ruling circles in Germany, it was Franz Josef Strauss (a right-wing politician) who formulated the position as early as the 1970s that Germany has its own military-political interests and, if necessary, should be able to conduct operations even if they do not correspond to the interests of the United States… For this scenario, Germany needs its own armed forces… Thus, Germany is seeking this alliance within Europe through building an EU army.
“A European Army has been a demand for 15 or 20 years now… PESCO, the Permanent Structured Cooperation, of which 25 of 28 countries are members, as a strategy, is …to build this army of Europeans step by step from the bottom-up with small projects. For example, common ambulance trains or joint projects in the logistics sector are being set up or certain armament projects are being pushed forward. All this is taking place within the framework of PESCO, and it is unspectacular. No one reports on a German-Hungarian ambulance train. This does not cross the threshold to get into a major daily newspaper or the television news. But it is taking place!… Countries taking part in PESCO, and that is de facto all of them, must be prepared to support the wars that will come – that’s the objective of this project. Germany is indeed the leader at PESCO… [While] PESCO – being a German project – receives some attention within the German press at least, the second European Intervention Initiative, works differently and is not reported on at all as an actual deliberate project.
“A dozen European countries are now participating, and they are not doing training like ambulance trains and joint armament projects. Instead, they orient their existing armed forces towards joint operations. What is already taking place today – such as joint situation analyses and at least thinking through joint deployment scenarios – is thus geared towards rapid joint deployment. The model for this is the war in Libya in 2011, which, with the support of the USA and the participation of other armed forces, was ultimately led primarily by France and Great Britain. And they did not set up a bilateral alliance for years to come, but quickly threw their lot together and learned how to wage war together in practice.
“European imperialism is on the march and preparing for war…”
And so it is, but the world is too blind to recognize it… ntv reported on October 13 in an article, titled “Bundeswehr Probt Atomkrieg” (“Bundeswehr rehearses Nuclear War”) that the German army is participating in at least two NATO maneuvers in Germany (called “Steadfast Noon” and “Resilient Guard”) to prepare for nuclear war. Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy are also participating.
Germany’s Military Presence in Lithuania
Modern Diplomacy wrote on October 18:
“The German Air Force is setting up a Deployable Control and Reporting Centre (DCRC) at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania, supplemented by additional sub-elements at Skede, Latvia and Ämari, Estonia… Germany is Lithuania’s principal ally and a cornerstone guarantee of security and stability in Europe… Germany is also an active participant of the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltic States…
“Germany is the framework nation of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group deployed for deterrence and defence purposes in Rukla since early 2017, and has the largest portion of troops there…
“Generally, the Baltic States are now on the front line of the increasing tension between NATO and the Russian Federation… Russia might escalate the situation and even could use nuclear weapons. In addition, Ambiguous Nuclear Doctrines in NATO’s and Russia’s nuclear policies create the potential for deliberate escalation. Thus, a potential conflict between NATO and Russia could provoke not only the use of conventional weapons, but also nuclear weapons.”
Germany’s military involvement should not be underestimated, even though it is generally ignored or even ridiculed.
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.
The Pope has recently spoken about indulgences. How do you understand this? (Part 1)
You must be referring to the Vatican News report on August 2nd 2020 which we quoted in our weekly Update No. 936, dated August 7, 2020. It read, under the headline, “The Pardon of Assisi”:
“Pope Francis invited everyone to receive the ‘Pardon of Assisi’, which can be obtained from the evening of 1 August until midnight on 2 August… ‘It is a plenary indulgence that may be received by partaking of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist and visiting a parish or Franciscan church, reciting the Creed, the Lord’s prayer and praying for the Pope and his intentions,’ the Pope pointed out. He recalled that the indulgence can even be obtained for a deceased person…
“The ‘Pardon of Assisi’ dates back to 1216, when Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and angels appeared before St. Francis. The apparition took place in the tiny Portiuncula, the chapel Francis had built in the Italian town of Assisi. When Jesus asked him [what] he desired for the salvation of souls, St. Francis asked for God to grant a plenary indulgence for all those who enter the chapel. The indulgence was later extended to anyone who visits a parish or Franciscan church on 1 August or 2 August.”
We should bear in mind that according to Catholic teaching, an indulgence is partial if it removes part of the temporal punishment due to sin, or plenary if it removes all punishment. This wrong concept will be discussed in much detail later.
To respond correctly to the question in this Q&A, we do need quite a lot of background as indulgences include those who have died and are in purgatory, according to the Roman Catholic Church, and this is an extension to the belief that man has an immortal soul and the dead go to heaven or hell after death.
While this series contains much information, it is just a small sample compared to so much that is available. It also shows the people of God how blessed they are to have had their minds open to the Truth and not just an acceptance of what we are told, without biblical proof, by those in leadership positions in mainstream Christianity.
This series on indulgencies and underlying concepts is focusing on just one example to show how incredibly unbiblical certain Roman Catholic teachings are. It is so sad that millions upon millions of people believe these ideas without even realizing the absolute absurdity contained in them. Very soon, the Roman Catholic Church, which is described in the Book of Revelation as a fallen church which has rejected God’s Truth, will impose the “mark of the beast” on people readily willing to accept it. This will be the culmination of satanic blasphemy. Protestants have for a long time identified the Catholic Church as the “Babylon” of the book of Revelation, without fully realizing that they are thereby including themselves in that description, as the fallen church is depicted as the “mother church” which has “daughter churches” or “harlot daughters.”
When reading the following, those with open ears and eyes could easily become very angry at the blasphemous concepts depicted and believed in by traditional Christianity. But we must understand that ultimately, it is Satan, the god of this world and the prince of the power of the air, who has deceived the whole world and who has found an easy target in Roman Catholic and Protestant concepts which are really nothing else but pagan ideas which have been given a “Christian” mantle. We are not fighting against flesh and blood—people—but against wicked spirits in high places—the Devil and his demons.
For all text copied from Catholic websites, we will show this in italics so that it can be more easily recognisable as compared to the comments and information that we make.
On the website https://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm, we can find the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.” In this Q&A, we will be quoting selectively the appropriate sections from this Catechism as relative to indulgences and concepts related thereto. The numbers at the beginning of each section are their own reference as are other numbers within the text. The definition of “catechism” is “a text summarizing the basic principles of a Christian denomination, usually in question-and-answer form.”
We will use the Roman Catholic “In Brief” writings from their Catechism rather than the fuller version which will still convey their understanding.
“1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.”
This presupposes that man has an immortal soul. In our booklet “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?,” we state the following on pages 4 and 5 under the heading “Orthodox Christianity Embraces the Idea of an Immortal Soul”:
“According to Catholic belief, the immortal soul enters a person at the time of conception, having been directly and individually created by God with free will and consciousness. The individual soul is present in its totality in each and every organ of the person. Proofs for the accuracy of the teaching of the immortality of the soul are mainly given in light of, 1) alleged appearances of dead people; 2) the universal belief in such a concept; and 3) the biblical statement [discussed herein] that ‘man cannot destroy the soul’ (Matthew 10:28). Originally, Catholics believed that the soul of a dead person enters heaven or hell immediately at the time of death—the idea of a purgatory only became dogma in A.D. 590. Most Protestant denominations, following to a large extent the lead of the Catholic Church in this regard, believe in the immortality of the soul as well.
“Orthodox Christianity adopted the concept of an immortal soul from pagan beliefs. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology points out in its 1992 edition, on p. 1037, ‘Speculation about the soul in the subapostolic church was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy.’
“Again, quoting from Funk & Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, Vol. 24, article on ‘Soul’: ‘The Christian doctrine of the soul has been strongly influenced by the [Greek] philosophies of Plato and Aristotle… 13th century theologian Thomas Aquinas… accepted Aristotle’s analysis of the soul and body as two conceptually distinguishable elements of a single substance.’
“One of the early proponents of the concept of the immortality of the soul was a Catholic church father by the name of Origen (c. 185–254 A.D.). Around 200 A.D. he claimed that ‘souls are immortal,’ stating at the same time that he was a ‘Platonist who believed in the immortality of the soul’ (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV, pp. 314, 402).
“Further, as we point out in our free booklet, ‘Don’t Keep Christmas,’ followers of the Greek god Mythra believed in an immortal soul as well. Many of those pagan beliefs associated with Mythra were later adopted by, and absorbed into, Orthodox Christianity.”
As we explain in great detail in our booklets, and as it will be discussed later as well in this series, the concept of the immortality of the soul has no biblical foundation and became part of the body of beliefs of the Roman Catholic faith around 200 AD.
In the above-stated quote by the Roman Catholic Catechism, it is also remarked that a person will be judged by Christ in or from the moment of his death. This is erroneous as well. As true Christians, we are already being judged today (1 Peter 4:17), but we will also appear before the judgement seat of Christ at His return (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; Matthew 25:14-46)… not prior to that. (For more information on this, see our free booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”) Others who have died will be judged when they are being resurrected; not at the time of their death. Death is a sleep without consciousness out of which one must be awakened. This is more fully explained below and also in our free booklets on the “Book of Revelation” and “Punishment for Sins.”
To continue with quotes from the Catholic Catechism:
“1052 We believe that the souls of all who die in Christ’s grace… are the People of God beyond death. On the day of resurrection, death will be definitively conquered, when these souls will be reunited with their bodies” (Paul VI, CPG § 28).
Quoting again from our booklet “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?,” we read that man became a living soul, showing that the human soul is not immortal. The Hebrew word for “soul,” “nephesh,” can refer to dead souls or dead people, and even to animals. We read on page 8:
“When God created man, He created him as a lifeless or a dead person. God then breathed into man’s nostrils and man became alive. Notice how this is described in Genesis 2:7, ‘And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul [‘nephesh’].’
“When man was created, he was not yet alive, unlike the animals when they were created. Only when God breathed air into his nostrils did man become alive—he became a living soul. Before that, he was a lifeless soul.”
On page 9 we read: “The concept that persons ARE souls is expressed in many passages, when they are translated correctly. Genesis 12:5 reads, ‘And Abraham took… the souls [‘nephesh’] that they had gotten in Haran.’ Here the word ‘souls’ describes people.
“The same is expressed in Genesis 14:21, ‘And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons [lit. ‘souls’ or ‘nephesh’ in the Hebrew], and take the goods to thyself.’
“Note how Genesis 46:15–27 equates ‘souls’ with ‘persons’: ‘(15) These be the sons of Leah… with his daughter Dinah: all the souls [‘nephesh’ throughout] of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three… (18) These are the sons of Zilpah… even sixteen souls… (22) These are the sons of Rachel… all the souls were fourteen… (25) These are the sons of Bilhah… all the souls were seven. (26) All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.’”
Continuing with quotes from the Catholic Catechism:
“1053 We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven, where in eternal blessedness they see God as he is and where they are also, to various degrees, associated with the holy angels in the divine governance exercised by Christ in glory, by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern” (Paul VI, CPG § 29).
This statement includes many errors and wrong concepts. First of all, it clearly shows that the Roman Catholic Church believes that people go to heaven after death. It also argues that the dead saints who are allegedly in heaven are interceding for the living. This last concept is clearly blasphemous. Mary is not in paradise (heaven), but she is dead and in her grave, awaiting the resurrection from the dead to eternal life at the time of Christ’s return. The idea that Mary bodily ascended to heaven is a fable derived from paganism. This is true for all the other “saints” (true Christians) who have died. They are not in heaven either, and NO ONE is interceding for the living except our only Mediator and High Priest—Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY “Man” who was resurrected by God the Father from the dead to eternal life, and it is He—and He alone—who intercedes for us. There is only ONE Mediator between God and Man—the “Man Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2:5).
The above-cited comment by the Catholic Catechism is a complete misunderstanding as to what happens after death.
In our Q&A, “What are the biblical proofs that we do not go to heaven when we die?”, we read the following:
“The idea that we will go to heaven after death is an entirely unbiblical concept. It is derived from paganism.
“As Lewis Brown explains in ‘This Believing World’:
“‘In very early times that idea flourished not alone among the Babylonians and Egyptians, but also among the barbaric tribes in and around Greece… these mysteries [came] down from Thrace or across the sea from Egypt and Asia Minor… they declared that for every man, no matter how poor or vicious, there was a place in heaven. All one had to do was to be “initiated” into the secrets of the cult.
“The Hebrews did not believe that we go to heaven when we die. Neither did the early Christians. But in time, the concept developed within the Roman Catholic Church that one will be saved and go to heaven when one has been baptized into the church as a little baby.
“The Bible does not teach this. Much confusion exists because many do not understand that the Bible speaks of more than one heaven.
“When the Bible speaks of ‘heaven,’ it may refer to any one of three different locations. [See https://www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/q-a-3756/]. The first heaven is the atmosphere, surrounding the earth, where birds can fly and clouds move (Genesis 1:20; 27:28). The second heaven is the universe, with all its galaxies, suns, stars and planets (Psalm 8:3).
“It is possible for man to reach these two heavens—at least, to a limited extent. But man cannot reach the third heaven, where God dwells—where His angels live and where His throne is located. It is spiritual, not physical. Physical beings cannot enter it—except in a vision—and we won’t go there after our death, either.
“According to the biblical testimony, the only Being who entered the third heaven after death was Jesus Christ. Others saw the third heaven in a vision—such as Daniel (Daniel 7:9), Paul (2 Corinthians 12:2), Stephen (Acts 7:56) or John (Revelation 4:2), but they did not enter heaven in bodily form, or as spirit beings.
“Christ said in John 3:13 that no human being–except He Himself –has entered the third heaven. The original German Luther Bible wrote: ‘And no one goes to heaven except for the Son of Man…’
“… Most translations render the passage as, ‘No one has ascended up to heaven…’, but even then, it is at least clear that no one before Christ ever went to the third heaven. This means that contrary to popular belief, Elijah and Enoch did NOT enter God’s third heaven. [For further information, see: https://www.eternalgod.org/question-and-answer-75/; https://www.eternalgod.org/question-and-answer-85/; https://www.globalchurchofgod.co.uk/please-explain-2-corinthians-58/]
“The same must be true, then, for Abraham, the father of the faithful and a friend of God; Noah; Moses; Samuel; Job; the major and minor prophets, including Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel; as well as King David, a man after God’s own heart who will rule in the Millennium under Christ over the nations of Israel and Judah. The Bible stresses expressly that David did NOT go to heaven when he died (Acts 2:34, 29).
“The Bible compares death with a dreamless sleep without consciousness, out of which one must awake. Compare John 11:11-14; Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10; Psalm 6:5.
“Man is not nor does he have an immortal soul. Man IS the soul that can and will die (Ezekiel 18:4, 19-20), and that must be resurrected from the dead. In order to enter into eternal life and the Kingdom of God, man must be changed to immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Job 14:14-15; Philippians 3:20-21).
“The very fact that man is mortal and that he must be brought back to life through a resurrection from the dead PROVES that he does not go to heaven when he dies. Martin Luther asked the pertinent question, why there should be a resurrection from the dead if the dead are already living in heaven. He concluded: ‘The fact that there is a resurrection from the dead proves that man does not go to heaven when he dies.’ Sadly, today’s Lutheran Churches have totally rejected the words of their ‘founder.’
“God promised man the gift of eternal life (Titus 1:2)–here on earth (Matthew 5:5). Abraham was promised eternal life on the earth as an inheritance (Romans 4:13; Galatians 3:29). Until now, no one has inherited the promises of eternal life and rulership on the earth (Hebrews 11:13, 39-40).
“When the righteous enters into eternal life, he will reign under Christ during the Millennium. However, he will not reign from or in heaven, but he will reign ON the earth and over the earth (Revelation 5:8-10; 11:15; Daniel 2:44; 7:13-14, 21-22, 26-27).
“Christ will return to the earth—His feet will stand on that day of His appearing on the Mount of Olives—and He will sit on the throne of David… here on earth (Zechariah 14:1-2, 4, 8-9, 11, 16-19; Isaiah 9:6-7; 2:1-4; Jeremiah 23:5). We read that all nations will appear before the judgment seat of Christ… here on earth (Matthew 25:31-34; 41).
“… The biblical understanding is not complicated, but pure and simple, and very easy to comprehend: When a man dies, he is dead, but he will live again through the resurrection from the dead. Until then, he will sleep a dreamless sleep, without any consciousness. He will not go to heaven when he dies, nor will he suffer in a purgatory or ‘hell.’ Rather, he is asleep, until Christ awakens him out of his sleep. And He will, because as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22).”
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“How to Love Our Country” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
Are we to love our country in which we live… to be true patriots? If so, what does this mean exactly, and what does it not mean? Many have a wrong concept of true godly love, and this program will give you answers to many misunderstood ideas.
A German AufPostenStehen version of this program has been produced as well, titled, “Wie wir unser Land lieben!”
“Daran erkennen wir die Wahrheit!” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “By This We Know the Truth.”
“What Do You Have to Lose?” last Sabbath’s sermonette presented by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:
The fear of loss has an undeniable effect on our behavior. When we consider how we make decisions, how much do we allow the fear of loss to direct us? When we think about God’s role in our lives, the power over the fear of loss in worldly terms fails to have an effect, freeing us up to act with boldness and courage.
“Do We See Our Calling?” last Sabbath’s sermon presented by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What does it really mean to be called by God? Do we truly understand the implications of God’s calling and our responsibility to respond? How can each of us succeed in our calling to salvation in the Kingdom of God?
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.
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United Kingdom: Global Church of God, PO Box 44, MABLETHORPE, LN12 9AN, United Kingdom