November 6, 2020
Comments on News and Prophecy (November 7, 2020) /Political Alliance and Friendships Are Useless.
On November 7, 2020, Norbert Link will present “Comments on News and Prophecy (November 7, 2020)” and the sermon, titled, “Political Alliance and Friendships Are Useless.”
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.
Lest You Forget
by Kalon Mitchell
We have all heard the saying, “Lest you forget!” It can refer to a few things. It can illustrate the fact that if we forget history then we’re doomed to repeat it. It can also let us know there are consequences for forgetting something.
At the creation of the Constitution of the United States of America, John Adams, the second president and one of the crafters of the Constitution, said: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
I am going to pull some other quotes from other signers and drafters of the same aforementioned Constitution ( https://www.free2pray.info/6-founderquotes.html ).
- Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence said:
- “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”
- Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary, said:
- “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”
- “The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”
- Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution, said:
- “[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”
- Fisher Ames, author of the final wording for the First Amendment, wrote:
- “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”
- John Jay, Original Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, said:
- “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
- James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution and U. S. Supreme Court Justice, wrote:
- “Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
- Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, said:
- “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
- George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation, said:
- “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
- Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, said:
- “[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
Many of the early founders of this nation (although not all agreed with using the Bible as a basis), esteemed the Bible and morality, and for the most part had a firm sense that something concrete was needed in order to grow. And so for many years, there was a strong religious undercurrent in this country. But that is all being swept away with our “modern” times of enlightenment and “wokeness”. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses this election. Neither candidate would help this country to get back on track with obedience to God. People have lost touch—their minds have been given over to depravity (Romans 1:18-32).
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul describes our unique time. The absolute need for God and His Holy Word, the Bible, in order to lay out morality and Truth, are being swept aside wholesale. Even those who claim to be Christians are keeping false and biblically wrong days (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc.). Thereby they show they have no respect for God’s laws.
Deuteronomy 4:7-9 says: “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren…” (Please also read Deuteronomy 8:1-20).
The tendency to forget and to turn away happens quickly. It also happens over generations. Notice in the previous Scripture the reason to TEACH God’s Word to the new generations, was so that they would not lose their way. The prophecies for our modern nations of Israel and Judah (read our free booklet: The Fall and Rise of Britain and America) point out the quickly-coming destruction because of our national turning away from God. How many times have we read in the Bible the lessons of our forefathers, and their constant massive issues all through the Old Testament BECAUSE of their turning away from God?
While we know what is going to happen, and it can be rather frightening or discouraging, we should each take stock that the suffering and the horrible things that are occurring now and will continue to happen with greater ferocity until Christ’s return, will end. There is a time coming soon where it says in Jeremiah 31:33-34: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
by Norbert Link
We report on the American presidential election, increasing violence in the USA related, in part, to the presidential elections; and an insightful article explaining the dilemma of people who take the concept of voting very seriously.
We speak on Europe’s move towards a powerful force; while, ironically and seemingly contradictorily, second lockdowns are announced in the UK and continental Europe. But this only appears to be a discrepancy when we understand that the real goal and motive behind these measures—whether realized or not—is to push people into the acceptance of dictatorships, even though there is at this point growing opposition in the UK and, to some extent, in continental Europe to governmental restrictions and some medical voices are warning against the uselessness or even dangers of lockdowns.
However, if history is a guide, we know that resistance and disagreement will ultimately be silenced and crushed by autocratic governments. A stunning and must-read article by Dr. Ron Paul explains this astonishing movement towards horrible dictatorship and state surveillance and paints a frightening and almost prophetic scenario. Please view our new StandingWatch program in this regard, titled, “Consequences of Mandatory Vaccinations against Corona.”
We also speak on censorship in the USA; a “clarification” by the Vatican on same-sex marriages and civil unions; and a growing movement for mandatory vaccinations against the coronavirus.
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
Massive Mail Fraud and Corruption in Presidential Election?
Newsmax wrote on November 5:
“President Donald Trump called out election ‘corruption’ and attempts to ‘rig an election’ in a White House news conference Thursday, setting up a potentially protracted battle in the courts over the counting and the monitoring of ballots. ‘If you count the legal votes, I easily win,’ Trump told reporters in the briefing… ‘If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us… You have Election Day and the laws are very strong and that you have an Election Day. And they don’t want votes cast after election day, and they want the process to be an honest one – so important. We want an honest election; we want an honest count.’
“Trump said he ‘predicted’ this election chaos with his rebuke of mass mail-in voting… ‘It’s destroyed our system; it’s a corrupt system. And it makes people corrupt, even if they aren’t by nature, but they become corrupt. It’s too easy. They want to find out how many votes they need and then they seem to be able to find them. They wait and wait and then they find them.’
“In a pair of Trump campaign moves Thursday, election ballot counting improprieties have been claimed in Pennsylvania and Nevada, two states that remain pivotal to the president’s path to 270 electoral college votes… ‘They don’t want anybody in there; they don’t want anybody watching them as they count the ballots, and I can’t imagine why,’ Trump said. ‘There’s absolutely no legitimate reason why they would not want to have people watching this process, because [if] it’s straight – they would be here should be proud of it – instead they’re trying obviously to commit fraud. There’s no question about that in Philadelphia observers have been kept far away.’…
“Earlier Thursday, Amb. Ric Grenell claimed the ‘Harry Reid machine’ has led to illegal voting in Nevada, including the casting of ballots by voters who are no longer legal residents. During a press conference in Las Vegas, Grenell and other officials announced their legal action, saying illegal voting practices have occurred in Nevada. Former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt noted that ‘thousands of ballots’ have been found ‘in trash cans in apartment buildings.’”
Also, in Philadelphia thousands of ballots suddenly appeared, which were all in favor of Biden, with not one single vote in favor of Trump. This would be more than just suspicious.
The Sun added:
“Speaking from the White House briefing room on Thursday evening, the president lashed out at what he called a ‘fraudulent’ election steered by the Democrats in cahoots with ‘big media, big money and big tech.’”
He apparently alluded to the polls which were all terribly wrong. It has been suggested on FoxNews that they might have been wrong intentionally.
Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote on November 5 in Newsmax:
“President Trump’s legal team is filing lawsuits in a number of states. Some have better chances than others… no one can be absolutely certain about how the courts will decide cases and controversies brought before them regarding the current election, especially since so many current federal judges were appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Republican senate. Stay tuned.
“The counting of millions of votes may soon be over, but then we may be looking at the votes of just five people: the justices who could… determine the outcome of this election as they did the election 20 years ago [regarding Bush vs. Gore].”
For more information on this subject, see additional articles below, under the headline, “Trump Speaks of Fraud… Europe ‘Concerned.’”
Neighbor vs. Neighbor in the USA
The Washington Post wrote on October 31:
“A Democrat in North Carolina changed her voter affiliation, scared to be outed in a red state. A Republican in Washington stopped speaking to his Democratic neighbors and lied to pollsters about his support for President Trump, calling himself a member of the ‘silent majority.’
“Across the United States, political signs have been set ablaze, cars have been vandalized and neighborhood scuffles and shouting matches have proliferated in the waning days of the most toxic election season in more than half a century.
“Amid the erosion of political discourse, a fear of retaliation has spread, pitting neighbor against neighbor and squashing the political exchange… Some Americans say they have taken down election yard signs and quit social media over fears they could be physically targeted. The victims are often political minorities: blue voters in red states and red voters in blue states….
“The threats have affected voters from coast to coast. A Pennsylvania family found six gunshots fired through the Biden sign in their front lawn in early October… An Alabama woman with a Biden sign in front of her home told local news she woke up to the word ‘Trump’ spray-painted in bright orange on the hood of her white Honda Civic. A convoy of trucks flying Trump flags aggressively chased a Biden campaign bus recently on an interstate near Austin…
“Trump supporters have been targeted, too. A video circulating online shows a man ripping a Trump flag off a car during a parade supporting the president in Orange County, Calif., in early October. Even the head of the Georgetown County elections board in South Carolina was swept into political tensions when local Republicans said they captured him and his wife defacing a Trump sign. Dean Smith, a 15-year veteran of the board, resigned a few days later…
“For quiet Trump supporters, fears of doxing and other online harassment from digital mobs have muted their political talk. Cities suffering vandalism by far-left actors further their concerns about retaliation for their political views, they said.”
It appears that civil unrest—if not worse—is inevitable in the USA.
The Dilemma for Voters
The Week published the following opinion piece by Bonnie Kristian on October 30. Even though written before the election, it shows the dilemma which many thinking voters felt. AND, it gives Church members another reason why they should have abstained from voting in the first place:
“On Tuesday or, more likely, sometime in the two months after it, we’ll know who won. And so, as I write my last pre-election column: I don’t want the winner to be Biden. But I do want Trump to lose. I realize, of course, the obvious objection to that pair of sentences: In the race we have, Trump losing means Biden wins. I understand that. I understand, too, the perfect symmetry of partisan conviction that failing to vote for one of these two candidates (whether via an alternative vote or abstention) amounts to a vote for his opponent. I reject that reasoning…
“But this is not a column about how I’ll vote, nor is it some strange attempt to deny the reality that, come January 20, 2021, one of these men will be our president. It is simply my registration of utter discontent with the choice we’ve been offered for the next four years… Part of this is about policy, as both candidates have promised to take actions I do not want done in my name… both candidates have foreign policies I find unconscionable…
“Though each gets some things right, neither shows any sign of rejecting the past 20 years of global military interventionism and implementing a humane and prudent foreign policy where the goal is not American supremacy but peace. To vote for either candidate is to vote for innocents dead, markets turned to rubble, weddings turned to funerals. That we may expect other advantages of one candidate’s victory does not alter that fact…
“In other policy arenas, too, I find some things to like, usually with caveats, and more to vehemently oppose. In immigration and refugee policy as well as criminal justice reform, I’d prefer Biden. On religious liberty and abortion, I lean toward Trump… On health care and fiscal issues, I’ve reached a point of assuming nothing I’d support will ever happen — I’ll be surprised if I live to see a balanced federal budget…”
Some claim, not being oblivious to the obvious shortcomings of both candidates and the policies which they represent, that we ought to vote for the lesser evil. But we would still cast our vote for an evil, wouldn’t we?
Trump Speaks of Fraud… Europe “Concerned”
Deutsche Welle wrote on November 4:
“German government officials signaled the country’s anxiety on Wednesday about the instability of the US election. Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer warned that the US faced a ‘very explosive situation’ and a possible crisis, following comments in which President Donald Trump implied that [he] had won the election… The minister said it appeared ‘the battle over the legitimacy of the result, however it turns out, has begun.’ German vice chancellor and finance minister, Olaf Scholz, echoed Kramp-Karrenbauer’s concern…
“On the tough relationship between Germany and the US in the Trump era, Kramp-Karrenbauer… stressed that regardless of the ultimate outcome of the US vote, Europe would need to become more self-sufficient. Scholz backed the notion, saying that given the developments in the US, Europe needed to strengthen its own ‘sovereignty’ so that ‘a rules-based global order can exist.’…
“In France, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the outcome of the presidential vote will have little impact on US-Europe trade relations, predicting that no matter who wins, Washington is unlikely to drop its confrontational stance. ‘Let’s not kid ourselves: The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now, Bruno Le Maire told Radio Classique…. ‘The American continent has detached itself from the European continent.’”
Trump said that based on in-person votes, he had won, which is true for almost all states. He questioned the legitimacy of many mail-in votes which gave the victory to Biden in most states.
CBS added on November 4 that “Mr. Trump continued his efforts to undermine confidence in the legitimate vote-counting process on Wednesday… ‘Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!’ Mr. Trump tweeted, a clear attempt to cast doubt on the electoral process.”
The Trump campaign began its legal recourse by filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania and Michigan, charging massive fraud and corruption by the Democrats, requesting a recount in Wisconsin, and they announced future lawsuits in other states. The campaign also suggested a “national” challenge, meaning that lawsuits might be filed in every state where the results are being contested. During the upheaval between Gore and Bush in 2000 and multiple recounts in Florida, it took the intervention of the Supreme Court and further political maneuverings until a winner was declared in the middle of December, with a victory in Florida of about 600 ballots.
In the words of Future of Freedom Foundation, dated November 3:
“The mainstream pro-Biden media is poking fun at Donald Trump’s suggestion that there could be fraud involved in the post-election receipt of mail-in ballots. Apparently they’re not familiar with the election-theft case of Lyndon Johnson, who would go on to become president of the United States… Johnson election theft took place in 1948, when he was running for the Democratic nomination for US Senate against Texas Governor Coke Stevenson… In the primary election, Stevenson led Johnson by 70,000 votes, but because he didn’t have a majority of the votes, he was forced into a run-off. The run-off was held on a Saturday. On the Sunday morning after the run-off, Stevenson was leading by 854 votes… the day after the run-off election it was ‘discovered’ that the returns of a particular county had not yet been counted. The newly discovered votes were overwhelmingly in favor of Johnson. Then, on Monday more returns came in from the Rio Grande Valley.
“Nonetheless, on Tuesday, the State Election Bureau announced that Stevenson had won by 349 votes… On Friday, precincts in the Rio Grande Valley made [fraudulent] ‘corrections’ to their tallies, which narrowed Stevenson’s lead to 157. But also on Friday, Jim Wells County… filed [fraudulent] ‘amended’ returns for what has become famous as ‘Box 13’ that gave Johnson another 200 votes. [The fraud in regard to the “additional” 200 votes was later confessed to by the perpetrator.] When all was said and done, Johnson had ‘won’ the election by 87 votes…
“Johnson got a friendly state judge to issue an injunction preserving the status quo, after which the Democratic executive committee, by one vote, declared Johnson to be the winner. … So, Lyndon Johnson stole the election and ended up going to Washington as Texas’ US Senator. Ironically, if Stevenson had become the state’s senator instead, Johnson would never have been selected to be John Kennedy’s vice-presidential running mate and, consequently, would never have been president.”
Incredible. But it seems that everything goes in America.
In addition, as the Week reported on November 4, “Democrats’ hopes of winning control of the Senate dimmed as several vulnerable Republicans appeared to have won re-election… Democrats appeared to have held onto their House majority in Tuesday’s election, but Republicans did better than predicted.”
Europe to Become a Powerful Independent Force
Express wrote on October 31:
“French MEP… Thierry Mariani suggested President Trump’s isolationist policies would serve as a ‘wake-up call’ for Brussels to seek alternatives to the NATO defence system. Speaking to France 24, Mr Mariani said: ‘…there will be a day when we have a common defence or common foreign affairs. For that, we need to have stronger force together and if NATO, little by little, is less present in Europe maybe some country will push the defence effort… I think it’s in the interests of Europe to have less American troops inside the continent.’
“Earlier this year, Mr Trump announced the US would withdraw 12,000 troops from Germany and redeploy them back home or across other bases in Europe. Mr Mariani insisted a second Trump term could help the continent seek more independence from the US and establish itself as a leading power on the international stage… ‘What is my dream? I entered politics dreaming like General de Gaulle of an independent Europe. Europe as a power and not just as an all-the-time ally to America.’”
Exactly what is prophesied to happen.
New Lockdown for UK
Boris Johnson announced a second lockdown—the longest so far compared with other European countries. But his announcement is not well received by many in the UK. Note the following articles.
A Halloween Horror
The Sun on Sunday wrote on November 1:
“BORIS Johnson presented a Halloween horror show on primetime TV last night.
“… the human cost of Lockdown Two in cold, dark winter could also make the three-month clamp in the spring look like a walk in the park. Struggling small businesses already hit hard by the first wave will have no pre-Christmas trading to see them through. More firms will go to the wall and more jobs will be lost… many small firms such as hairdressers and nail bars plus local pubs suffered. They will now be pushed to the brink of disaster.
“The cost to the economy will be £1.8billion A DAY and the cost in lives lost to other untreated illness will be huge. Furthermore, how good is the exit plan from this new clamp?… [the consequences of] this lockdown [are] disastrous for Britain.”
Following the Doom-Mongering
Express published on November 1 the following opinion piece of Neil Hamilton, UKIP interim leader and a member of the Welsh Parliament:
“IT is a catastrophe that the Prime Minister has surrendered to the doom-mongering of the SAGE committee. These statisticians and mathematical modellers are more akin to professors of guesswork. There are many real scientists and epidemiologists who disagree with this approach. The signatories of The Great Barrington Declaration have presented a humane, sensible alternative to national lockdowns; however our Government seems intent on pursuing this sledgehammer approach.
“This lockdown will make no difference whatsoever… These measures will serve as an incinerator to the already wrecked British economy. The hospitality sector has barely picked itself up from the blow of the last lockdown; these measures will act as the final nail for many. The human price for this Government’s obsession is already evident… up to 50,000 cancers are going undiagnosed due to COVID and projecting numbers to double in a year.
“If we ever do get a public inquiry about the way the UK have monumentally mishandled this crisis, we will find that more people were killed by Government policy than by the COVID virus. This is a colossal act of self-harm from a floundering Government.”
Lockdowns Don’t Work
The Daily Mail published on November 1 the following article by Dr. Tom Jefferson and Professor Carl Heneghan:
“You could be forgiven for thinking that the situation we now face is as clear as it possibly could be – and that it is becoming more dangerous by the day. The virus, we are told, is out of control, that Britain is heading for 3,000 to 4,000 deaths a day by Christmas, and that our hospitals are on the edge of catastrophe.
“Yet we believe the situation is not at all clear. There are only two things about which we can be certain: first, that lockdowns do not work in the long term. They kick the can down the road. The idea that a month of economic hardship will permit some sort of ‘reset’, allowing us a brighter future, is a myth. What, when it ends, do we think will happen? Meanwhile, ever-increasing restrictions will destroy lives and livelihoods.
“The second certainty is this: that we need to find a way out of the mess that does no more damage than the virus itself. We presented just such a plan to the Prime Minister himself more than a month ago…Our strategy would be to tackle the four key failings. We must address the problems in the Government’s mass testing programme; we must tackle the blight of confused and contradictory statistics; we must make real efforts to protect and isolate those who are vulnerable; and we must inform the public about the true and quantifiable costs of lockdown (as if they needed telling)….”
However, the wrong and irresponsible lockdown approach is taken all over the world and especially in Europe, including Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Belgium.
How the British Government Misrepresents to the People
On November 2, the Daily Mail published the following article by Ross Clark:
“It was the Halloween horror no one had been expecting: a series of mind-boggling graphs and charts presented at Saturday’s Downing Press… conference that purported to show the Covid-19 pandemic was out of control and a second national lockdown was needed. But do the graphs and charts really support this?
“[One] chart was designed to show that some hospitals already had more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave in the spring… Certainly the chart gave the impression that hospitals were already close to overflowing. But the truth isn’t nearly as terrifying.
“For while 29 hospitals are shown on the slide, the full dataset, published by NHS England, actually includes 482 NHS and private hospitals in England – at least 232 of which (and probably more as some entries were left blank) had not a single Covid-19 patient on October 27. This is hardly surprising since official figures showed there were 9,213 patients in hospital with the disease on October 31, compared with 17,172 at the spring peak. Even back then hospitals were far from full and the Nightingale units were virtually empty…
“Chris Whitty unveiled two charts showing where in England Covid-19 infections were increasing, with brown and yellow zones highlighting where cases were up and blue showing they were down. ‘Virtually across the entire country now there is a significant rate of increase,’ announced the chief medical officer. The map, however, begs to differ. In fact, it shows there are 34 districts in England where cases are static or falling… Most remarkably… it reveals that cases have fallen sharply across Merseyside over the past week, and that in parts of Liverpool they have fallen by more than 60 per cent. This is significant because Liverpool was the first part of the country to be placed into Tier Three restrictions…
“One slide… showed ‘the prevalence of the disease has been going up extremely rapidly over the past few weeks’. However, the chart actually suggested that the rate was no longer increasing exponentially, contrary to what Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, predicted in his briefing of September 14.
“… Moreover, the curve is clearly flattening in London, the West Midlands and the South East…”
With manipulated figures, governments successfully deceive a panic-stricken public.
Opposition to Restrictions Rises
The Wall Street Journal wrote on October 29:
“As governments once again shut businesses across Europe to stop a surge in coronavirus infections, acceptance of restrictions is fading and some small businesses are refusing to cooperate. The sense of a common goal and solidarity with front-line medical workers evident in the spring has given way to frustration among restaurateurs, hoteliers, retailers and other business owners who are rapidly running through their financial reserves.
“This month’s lockdowns are more targeted than in the spring and in some cases come with substantial aid for those affected. Yet they are raising more opposition everywhere, from lawsuits in Germany to riots and demonstrative flouting of the rules in Italy. Restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment and sport venues will largely close under the new measures. In France, curfews will confine people to their homes. Germany is barring hotels from hosting tourists for a month and banning normally legal prostitution.”
APK Metro added on October 30:
“Mr. Bragato [owner of a restaurant in Berlin] took out a mortgage of €250,000, equal to $292,000, through the first lockdown. He has since invested into outside heating and an indoor air flow system. The restaurant hasn’t had a single coronavirus case amongst workers or friends, he mentioned. The German restaurateur affiliation Dehoga mentioned it was contemplating suing the federal government, saying revenues between March and August had dropped 40% [within] 12 months. A third of 245,000 companies are actually going through closure, it mentioned.
“Berlin bar house owners [successfully] sued… local authorities earlier this month after [they ordered] all bars within the metropolis to shut at 11 p.m.”
It goes beyond just mere discontent or vocal opposition. Note the next article.
Revolt is in the Air in Europe
The Guardian wrote on November 1:
“Fears of civil unrest grow as people across the continent no longer trust leaders to protect them during the crisis… In tone and spirit, the messages [aired by politicians and governmental spokespersons throughout Europe] echoed those delivered in March, when shock and fear led populations to rally round leaders and consent to restrictions unknown outside wartime. Eight months on, that kind of trust and goodwill is in short supply… there is public exasperation and, in some cases, open rebellion… Across the continent, there is… evidence of people facing dire economic hardship and psychological exhaustion. Earlier this month, a study from the [WHO] reported widespread apathy and reduced motivation to follow public health guidance. The emotional toll of Covid-19 has been compounded by a growing scepticism in the capacity of governments to truly get on top of a crisis that is destroying people’s livelihoods as well as threatening their health…
“After the spring lockdown was eased, the subsequent patchwork of regulations and restrictions hit some workers, and regions far harder than others. The Spanish government’s decision to declare a six-month state of emergency has led to angry protests across the country and a bitter row with the conservative regional government of Madrid, which has accused it of overstepping its powers… A poll following last week’s mini-riots found that over three-quarters of Italians believe there will be more violence in the streets this winter… the summer, local leaders in Marseille complained bitterly that a nighttime curfew and mask regulations had been imposed from Paris without due consultation. Macron’s move to a new lockdown… is already creating new divisions, as those with sufficient means insulate themselves from the worst of what is to come. On Thursday evening, huge traffic jams built up as Parisians attempted to flee the capital and head for second homes before a 9pm curfew…”
In several German states, German tourists were ordered to leave. Such a thing has never happened since Nazi Germany. No more card games (like “Skat”) with three people. Health Minister Jens Spahn: “When there are three, there is one too many.” Austria has prohibited hotels from housing tourists. Austrians are prohibited to leave their houses from 8pm to 6 am. INSANE!
Spahn in High Gear
The Associated Press wrote on October 30:
“European countries are calling for the World Health Organization to be given greater powers to independently investigate outbreaks and compel countries to provide more data, after the devastating coronavirus pandemic highlighted the agency’s numerous shortcomings.
“After a meeting between European Union ministers to discuss how the U.N. health agency should be strengthened, German health minister Jens Spahn said Friday the WHO should receive more political support and financial backing for its international efforts to manage acute health crises.”
Giving the thoroughly political left-wing WHO even more political support (whatever that means) is beyond words.
Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 2:
“In the war for the leadership position in the CDU [replacing Merkel], more and more Germans propose a candidate who is not even (yet) on the list: Health Minister Jens Spahn who is just a little bit behind favorite Friedrich Merz.”
At this point the discussion related to in the article evolves just around the appointment of Merkel’s successor as leader of her party [the CDU] in early 2021 and not around her succession as Chancellor which would have to be determined through nationwide elections anyhow in October of 2021.
Mandatory Vaccinations against Covid-19?
The Associated Press wrote on November 1:
“Small groups of protesters gathered in Brazil’s two biggest cities Sunday to demonstrate against any mandate for the taking of a coronavirus vaccine, supporting a rejection campaign encouraged by President Jair Bolsonaro. People assembled in downtown Sao Paulo calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Gov. Joao Doria, who has said state residents will be required to take a vaccine, likely the one being developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac and the local Butantan Institute.
“The CoronaVac, as it is being called, has been a prime target for skepticism from Bolsonaro and others, with the president saying Brazilians will not be guinea pigs to the Chinese. The issue has become a talking point in mayoral and city council campaigns for elections later this month, and as most health professions support vaccination, social media campaigns have raised questions about possible perils of vaccines…
“The president quickly responded that he would not allow the import of vaccines from China. Though the health regulator later gave permission for Butantan to import 6 million doses, on Thursday the president said on his weekly live program that he would not buy the vaccine and that the governor should ‘find someone else to buy your vaccine.’ On Friday, Vice President Hamilton Mourao told the magazine Veja that ‘of course’ the country will buy the Butantan-Sinovac vaccine. Bolsonaro immediately responded that he is the one with the power and he won’t spend on any vaccine that is not approved by the Brazilian health regulator…”
The push towards mandatory vaccination will undoubtedly increase in all the world. Note the next article.
Scary—”No Vaccine for Tyranny”
Dr. Ron Paul wrote on November 2 in the Ron Paul Institute:
“The World Health Organization (WHO) recently admitted that lockdowns cause more harm than good. Following this announcement, one would have expected American politicians to immediately end the lockdowns. After all, the WHO ‘s pronouncements are considered infallible, so much so that social media sites silence anyone who dares challenge the great and powerful WHO. Yet, governors, mayors, and other government officials across the country are ignoring the WHO’s anti-lockdown position.
“Instead of admitting that the lockdowns were a mistake, many in the political class, which includes a disturbing number of medical professionals whose positions and prestige depend on government, claim that we cannot return to normalcy until a coronavirus vaccine is in wide use. This suggests that people among the majority of Americans who do not wish to be vaccinated will remain under lockdown or be forced to be vaccinated against their will.
“The assault on our liberty will not end with deployment and use of a vaccine. Moncef Slaoui, the chief adviser of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a ‘public-private partnership’ in charge of producing and delivering a coronavirus vaccine, has said that those who receive a vaccine will be monitored by ‘incredibly precise … tracking systems.’ Slaoui has also indicated that tech giants Google and Oracle will help the government keep tabs on the vaccinated individuals. So, the vaccine program will lead to an increase in government surveillance!
“Slaoui is just the latest ‘expert’ to endorse forcing the American people to relinquish their few remaining scraps of privacy to stop coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates have urged development of a digital certificate for those vaccinated for coronavirus. People without the certificate would find their liberty severely restricted.
“Those who think that the new surveillance system will be limited to coronavirus should remember that Social Security numbers were only supposed to be used to administer the Social Security program. They should also consider that the PATRIOT Act’s expansion of warrantless wiretapping was supposed to be limited to stopping terrorists. However, these powers have been used for a wide variety of purposes. Whenever government is given power to abuse our rights for one reason it will inevitably use that power to abuse our rights for other reasons as well.
“Fauci and Gates’ digital certificate could, and likely will, be expanded to include proof individuals have received a variety of other vaccines and medical treatments. The digital certificate could even extend to monitoring a person’s lifestyle choices on the grounds that unhealthy habits make one more susceptible to diseases.
“The digital certificate could also be tied to the REAL ID program to deny individuals who have not been vaccinated the right to travel. It could also be combined with a future mandatory E-Verify system to deny unvaccinated individuals the right to hold a job. Those who consider this ‘paranoia’ should consider Britain is already developing a covid passport.
“Liberty lost in the ‘war on covid’ will not be voluntarily returned when the coronavirus threat ends — assuming the government ever stop moving the goal posts and declares the coronavirus threat is over…”
Dr. Paul’s article paints a terrible scenario, going far beyond George Orwell’s 1984 nightmarish novel, and it is not outside the realm of possibility. The USA is developing more and more into a dictatorship as well, such as Europe is.
Judge Rebukes Gov. Newsom… Limits His Powers
The New York Post wrote on November 2:
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been barred by a judge from overstepping his powers and making controversial coronavirus directives that could change state laws. Since declaring a state of emergency in mid-March, Newsom has issued more than 50 executive orders over the pandemic — including ones on how people vote in the election…
“Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman on Monday tentatively ruled that one of his orders — requiring vote-by-mail ballots to be sent to the state’s 22 million registered voters — was ‘an unconstitutional exercise of legislative power.’
“The judge also issued an injunction barring the governor from using his emergency powers for action that ‘amends, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy.’”
Fox 11 added: “Newsom used his emergency powers to virtually shut down the state and its economy in the early weeks of the pandemic.”
In fact, he has been trying to do the same again in light of an unsubstantiated alleged “second wave.”
Censorship in the USA
The New York Post wrote on October 28:
“For all their talk of ‘neutral platforms,’ the Big Shots at Big Tech — Twitter, Facebook and Google–… figure they can dictate what Americans get to see and read, and what other media companies must do to reach the public via those platforms. It’s a clear threat to a healthy democracy — and Congress has noticed. On Wednesday, the Senate launched a hearing to investigate ‘Big Tech’s bad behavior.’
“Center-stage: Twitter’s strong-arm tactics to censor the Post ever since we began reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails. First, it froze our account and banned our stories; then, amid a public backlash, it agreed to unfreeze us — but only if we deleted our original tweets.
“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sounded like every mob enforcer and shakedown artist in history… Sen. Ted Cruz wasn’t fooled: ‘Mr. Dorsey, who… elected you and put you in charge of what the media are allowed to report, and what the American people are allowed to hear?’ he thundered… Dorsey tried to claim it was all a mistake that had been fixed, but The Post account remained locked, even as he spoke…
“Besides, if it was an honest error, then why do they only happen to one side? As Sen. Marsha Blackburn noted, Twitter has ‘censored’ President Trump 65 times and Joe Biden zero. ‘There is a pattern of subjective manipulation of information.’
“Nor can Twitter and Facebook, which also moved to suppress The Post’s reporting, claim there’s anything wrong with the stories. Asked if they had any ‘evidence’ of that, Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg both admitted they didn’t…”
On Saturday, it was announced that Twitter finally unblocked the New York Post account. At the same time, Biden satisfied the left-wing mass media (“Biden put the story to rest”) by simply stating that the story about his son was a hoax, instigated by Russia and Trump, and that his son Hunter was an honorable man. The hundreds of published comments in Breitbart to that last statement are more than telling.
Court Strikes Down Trump’s New Public Charge Rules
The Associated Press reported on November 2:
“A federal judge in Chicago struck down a key immigration rule Monday that would deny green cards to immigrants who use food stamps or other public benefits, a blow to the Trump administration on the eve of the election. In a decision that applies nationwide, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman rejected the rule that had taken effect recently after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a hold on the policy following lawsuits. Among other things, Feinerman said the rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes federal agencies accountable to the public by outlining a detailed process for enacting regulations.
“The decision marked the latest turn in a complex legal battle over the rule that has been among President Donald Trump’s most aggressive steps in overhauling the nation’s immigration system. The Chicago lawsuit, filed by the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Cook County, was among numerous legal challenges. Under the Trump administration policy, immigration officials could deny permanent residency to legal immigrants over their use of food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers or other public benefits. Green card applicants had to show they wouldn’t be burdens to the country or ‘public charges.’
“Federal law already required those seeking permanent residency or legal status to prove they wouldn’t be a ‘public charge.’ But the Trump administration rule included a wider range of programs that could disqualify them…
“The U.S. Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 vote in January that the rule could take effect, but enforcement was halted by a federal judge in New York because of the coronavirus pandemic. But by September, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had reversed that hold and the rule took effect nationwide…
“The Trump administration has touted the rule as a way to ensure only those who are self-sufficient come to the U.S., one of many steps to try to move the country toward a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families. U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services ceased applying the rule to pending applications and petitions after the ruling in Chicago…”
CNN wrote on November 2:
“The Vatican has sought to clarify Pope Francis’ comments in support of same-sex civil unions, saying they were taken out of context and do not signal a change in doctrine… the Vatican’s letter claims, the Pope ‘had spoken about the rights of these people to have certain legal protection,’ but not about same-sex marriage. In the film the Pope also says: ‘Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family,’ which was interpreted by some to mean that the Pope was in favor of same-sex couples forming families…
“Francis’ comments differ from his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who made the news when he labeled homosexuality ‘an intrinsic moral evil.’”
Fox News added on November 2:
“Neither the Vatican nor Afineevsky [the producer of the film] have responded to repeated questions about the cut quote or its origin. Francis is known to hunker down in silence when controversy mounts.”
The Vatican’s “clarification” comes rather late and sounds pretty shallow.
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 3)
In the first two parts of this series, we began to discuss the concept taught by the Roman Catholic Church that the “immortal souls” of departed ones may be in hell or purgatory, and that “indulgences” or prayers for the dead can allegedly remove, partially (“plenary”) or completely (“in full”), punishment for sin, so that their souls can be freed from purgatory or even hell to go to heaven. In order to answer the question regarding indulgences, we reviewed, among other questions, related issues such as the fact that we do not have an immortal soul; and that we neither go to heaven (where we, as immortal saints in heaven, could allegedly receive prayers from the living and intervene on their behalf), nor do we go to hell or purgatory when we die.
Some, however, confuse the concept of the “immortal soul”—which does NOT exist—with Scriptures talking about the spirit in man—which does exist–claiming that, regardless as to whether one refers to the soul or the spirit in man, it would be helpful to pray to God in respect to that “spirit” in man which allegedly does not “cease to exist” when the person dies.
In this instalment, we will therefore explain what the spirit in man is, and that it can in no way be used as an “excuse” or a “justification” for the concept of “indulgences.”
As we have seen, at death, man who IS the soul, dies. But what about his spirit?
We discuss the biblical concept of the “spirit in man” extensively in our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution–a Fairy Tale for Adults”. Let us quote the following excerpts from pages 19-23:
“Mr. Armstrong (the former Pastor General of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God and author of many articles, booklets and books, including “The Incredible Human Potential”) explains that, according to the Bible, each human being has a non-physical component in his brain, called ‘the spirit in man.’ On page 81 of his [above-mentioned] book, he points out, ‘[T]his spirit is not the man—only something in the man… This spirit cannot see, hear, or think. The man sees, hears and thinks through his physical brain and the five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. The spirit in man imparts the power of physical intellect to the physical brain, thus forming human mind.
“‘This spirit acts, among other things, as a computer, adding to the brain the psychic and intellectual power. Knowledge received in the brain through the eye, ear and the senses is immediately “programmed” into the spirit computer. This “computer” gives the brain instant recall of whatever portion of millions of bits of knowledge may be needed in the reasoning process. That is to say that memory is recorded in the human spirit, whether or not it is also recorded in the “gray matter” of the brain. This human spirit also adds to man a spiritual and moral faculty not possessed by animals.’
“Most people know nothing about the existence of the spirit in man—even many religious people—lay persons and theologians alike. When they read passages in the Bible describing the spirit in man, they assume the Bible is talking about the soul. But the soul is not a non-physical component of the human being. The soul, according to the Bible, is totally physical. The Bible does not teach the concept of an immortal soul. Rather, we read in Ezekiel 18:4, ‘The soul who sins shall die.’ The word ‘soul’ in the Bible refers to the living body of both man and animals. In Revelation 16:3, we read that every living soul—both men and beasts—died in the sea. The soul does NOT distinguish man from animals. Rather, the spirit in man is THE distinguishing factor between man and animals. It explains man’s superiority over the animals and totally disproves the concept of evolution. In Romans 8:16, and in 1 Corinthians 2:11, more fully discussed below, it is expressly stated that there is a spirit in each man, which spirit is different from God’s Holy Spirit.
“In the book of Isaiah we are told that each human being has a spirit within him. ‘Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it’ (Isaiah 42:5).
“We also learn that God sometimes influences man’s spirit for His purpose. We could say that God inspires or motivates a person by ‘stirring up’ the spirit in that person. Note 1 Chronicles 5:25-26, ‘And they [Israel] were unfaithful to the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria…He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity.’
“Another example is found in 2 Chronicles 21:16-17, ‘Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabians…And they came into Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions that were found in the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives.’
“Later, when God saw to it that His word and promise would be fulfilled to rebuild the destroyed city of Jerusalem and the temple, He inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue a decree, permitting the Jews who were captured in Babylon, to return to Jerusalem. Both 2 Chronicles 36:22 and Ezra 1:1 record what exactly happened. ‘Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.”’ Even King Cyrus realized that God had influenced his spirit to make this proclamation.
“But the work of rebuilding the destroyed temple progressed very slowly. There was a lack of leadership to motivate the people to accomplish the task at hand. Let’s read how God intervened, in Haggai 1:4, “So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel…, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua…and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God.”
“The Bible strongly indicates that God gives the human spirit at the time of conception, and then takes it back at the time of death. We read in Zechariah 12:1, ‘Thus says the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.’ Ecclesiastes 12:7 says, ‘Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.’ When the spirit in man leaves a person, that person is dead. James 2:26 says, ‘For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.’
“Jesus Christ Himself, at the time of His death, cried out to the Father to receive His spirit. What exactly did He say? Let’s read in Luke 23:46, ‘And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.’ When He died, His human spirit returned to God, as we read in Ecclesiastes. Hebrews 12:22-23 also confirms that the spirit of man returns to God in heaven when the person dies. ‘But you have come to… the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [when we pray, we appear before God in heaven], to an innumerable company of angels,… to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect…’
“In the book of Job, Elihu, under God’s inspiration, tells us, ‘If He [God] should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath [since God gives both breath and spirit, they both belong to Him and are His. But the spirit being talked about here is the spirit in man, not the Holy Spirit, which is altogether different], all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust’ (Job 34:14 and 15).
“When God decided to destroy man in the flood, He made this statement in Genesis 6:3, ‘And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive [or abide] with [or in] Man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”’ What God is saying here is that He would destroy man through a flood within 120 years from then. This spirit abiding in man cannot be a reference to God’s Holy Spirit, as man was to be wiped out because of his own evil doings. We know, on the other hand, that God gives His Holy Spirit only to those who obey Him, as we read in Acts 5:32. So, the spirit referred to in Genesis 6:3 is a reference to the spirit of man, which is temporary. Isaiah 57:16 tells us, ‘For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; for the spirit [of man] would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.’
“Understand though, that when a man dies and his spirit returns to God, that spirit does not continue to live consciously, apart from the body. Rather, God ‘stores’ it, so to speak, in heaven, until He unites it at the time of the resurrection of man with a new spiritual or physical body. The concept that man’s soul is immortal is as wrong as the concept that man’s spirit continues to live consciously after death. Rather, the body—or soul—dies, and the spirit of man returns to God to await a resurrection.
“Note Ecclesiastes 9:4-6, ‘But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope… For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing… Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished… And verse 10, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.’ In other words, there is no conscious activity after a person dies. The spirit does not continue in the realm of consciousness.
“Jesus Christ also made it clear that dead people do not continue to live on. Rather, the dead will have to be brought back to life through a resurrection from the dead. In Matthew 22:31-32, He asked the Sadducees, since they did not believe in the resurrection, ‘But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.’ If the dead persons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had somehow continued to live consciously after their death, including a conscious existence of their spirit that had returned to God, then Christ’s words to the Sadducees would have been without sense…
“WHY does God give each human being a spirit? The spirit in man records all the human characteristics of the person, as well as his or her outward appearance. At the time of the resurrection, the spirit of the dead person is combined with a new body of the dead person. This means, all the experiences and memories and ideas of the former life are back in the resurrected individual, and the resurrected person will also look the same way he or she did in their former life…
“When a person dies, his body returns to dust. But the spirit of man in him has recorded the appearance of the person, the personality, the personal attributes, and God gives the spirit of that person back into the newly created physical body.”
There is much more explained about the spirit in man in our quoted booklet on Evolution. But insofar as this Q&A is concerned, it will suffice and we can summarize that the spirit in man has no consciousness apart from the “soul” or the person; and that it will go back to God in heaven when man dies—not to hell or purgatory. Therefore, the concept of the spirit in man cannot be used to justify indulgences and prayers to God for the departed ones suffering in hell or being “purified” in purgatory.
It might also be helpful to briefly address the question as to when the spirit in man begins to exist, and whether it can be destroyed or extinguished.
In our Q&A, titled, “What will happen to the spirit in man of those who die the second death?”, we discussed first the question whether the Bible tells us WHEN God creates the human spirit. We stated:
“Isaiah 42:5 says that God, after having created the heavens and the earth, gives breath to the people on it, and ‘spirit to those who walk on it.’ But there is no breath in a particular person prior to his existence, and by extension, there would not be any spirit either. That is, neither the breath nor the spirit of man exist prior to the ‘creation’ of that particular person. We also read in Zechariah 12:1 that God FORMS the spirit of man within him. Again, this seems to imply that God actually creates in man the human spirit when man comes into existence [at the time of conception].”
We then proceeded to discuss, in the above-mentioned Q&A, the fate of those who did commit the unpardonable or unforgivable sin and who therefore will die the second and final death in the Third Resurrection:
“A strong hint at the final fate of the spirit in man of those who are going to be destroyed in the Third Resurrection can be found in Isaiah 57:16. The New King James Bible translates: ‘For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.’…
“Isaiah 57:16 implies, then, that the spirit in man could fail. But what is meant with the word, ‘fail’? Could it mean, ‘cease to exist’?…
“The Hebrew word is ‘ataph’ and has a variety of meanings. According to Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, it conveys the thought of ‘to be feeble’ or ‘to be covered.’ The Authorized Version translates this word at times also as, ‘to be overwhelmed,’ or ‘to hide self.’
“Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible states that the word actually means, ‘to shroud, i.e. to clothe… hence (from the idea of darkness) to languish–cover (over), fail, faint, feebler, hide self, be overwhelmed, swoon…’
“It is obvious that very few of these meanings would make any sense in the context of the statement in Isaiah 57:16. After all, it is both the soul AND the spirit that could ‘fail’ or ‘faint.’ We know that the (incorrigible, corruptible) soul, when God contends forever, will die the eternal death and will be extinguished. But what about the spirit?
“German translations point out that the word ‘ataph’ can also mean ‘cease to exist, get destroyed, become annihilated.’ For example, the German Luther Bible; the Elberfelder Bible; the Menge Bible; the Schlachter Bible and the Pattloch Bible all use the expression, ‘verschmachten,’ which is a word describing the death of a person in the desert, who is dying of thirst.
“Some English-speaking translations agree. The Amplified Bible renders Isaiah 57:16 as follows (brackets in the original): ‘… for [where it not so] the spirit [of man] would faint and be consumed before Me, and [My purpose in] creating the souls of men would be frustrated.’
“Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible comments regarding Isaiah 57:16: ‘The simple meaning seems to be, that if God should continue in anger against people they would be consumed. The human soul could not endure a long-continued controversy with God. Its powers would fail; its strength decay; it must sink to destruction.’
“If the concept of ‘dying’ is conveyed in this passage in Isaiah 57:16, then it would indicate that not only the soul, but also the spirit in man CAN be extinguished and cease to exist; and if so, that would have to be the obvious ‘fate’ of the human spirit of those in the Third Resurrection.”
In the next instalment, we will continue to discuss the concept of purgatory.
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link
Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock
compiled by Dave Harris
“Consequences of Mandatory Vaccinations against Corona” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:
While the world and the American people focus on the outcome of the presidential election—and rightly so—this program addresses a somewhat related issue which will affect everyone personally in the very near future—that of vaccinations against the coronavirus. Will these vaccinations become mandatory and be enforced? If so, what will be the consequences for all involved… whether they comply or refuse? In a nightmarish non-religious article, frightening parallels to biblical prophecies are being discussed.
“Politische Allianzen und Freundschaften sind nichts wert,” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Political Alliances and Friendships are Useless.”
“Man erntet, was man sät,” last Sabbath’s German sermonette presented by Mike Richter, is now posted. Title in English: “We Reap What We Sow.”
“Hell, Halloween and Hoaxes—Comments on News and Prophecy (October 31, 2020),” the first message presented last Sabbath by Norbert Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
What do the concepts of Hell and Halloween have in common? What is the difference between friends and allies? Why so much censorship in the USA? Do we move towards a worldwide economic crisis worse than the Great Depression in 1929? Are those who keep God’s Law heretics? Who is really controlling the upcoming US election?
“Shining in a Dark World,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Michael Link, is now posted. Here is a summary:
God tells us that we are to abstain from pagan customs and we are not to associate with darkness, but rather be lights in this world. How can we in fact be a light when there is so much darkness all around us?
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.
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