Next in Line, Please

Next in Line, Please

33ft/iStock

America is pulling out of North Africa and the Middle East. Another power is gearing up to fill the void.
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

America wants out. After 11 years of war, it wants to bring its soldiers home from Afghanistan; it wants to leave the Middle East and North Africa for others to deal with.

The question arises, who will it be? Radical Islam is rising. Disorder is seizing country after country throughout the region. Will anyone actually step up to bring the situation to heel, to help steer events in the right direction?

Right now, at least superficially, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious contender for the job.

When you look closer, however, and start putting events and trends together, an answer begins to surface. There is a foreign power positioning itself to exert control. It certainly isn’t going for shock and awe—at least not yet. But it is working, slowly, quietly and consistently.

Building an Anti-Iran Alliance

The new United Nations peace envoy to Syria is planning to send 3,000 peacekeeping troops to Syria to help quell its civil war. Where will the 3,000 come from? The UN envoy, Algerian Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, feels that his options are limited. He considers African troops too ill equipped, soldiers from neighboring Arab countries too close to the rebels to be considered neutral, and British and American forces tainted in the eyes of the locals because of their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China’s support for the Assad regime rules them out, too.

So, who is left? Only one power: the European Union.

It’s a striking conclusion, because the EU is hardly a disinterested bystander to Middle Eastern affairs. In fact, it is proving itself quite engrossed in them—even yearning to influence their outcome.

In recent years, one of the EU’s main goals for the Middle East has been the creation of a coalition of Muslim nations to act as an anti-Iran alliance. This is evidenced by the EU’s leading power, Germany, steadily improving trade relations with and military investment in nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf states.

Germany is supplying scads of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It has also deployed its federal police to Riyadh to help the Saudis with border security and to train them to squelch uprisings. After the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006, Europe sent thousands of its troops to Lebanon, as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The German Navy still patrols Lebanon’s coast as part of the mission.

Now, the UN is planning to send 3,000 European troops into Syria, which could work to release Syria from Iran’s orbit and absorb it into this congealing alliance. Such a shift would represent a debilitating blow to Iran and a great victory for the EU. In terms of region-wide geopolitics, the stakes in Syria could scarcely be higher, and here’s the bombshell: Years before the Syrian uprisings began, the Trumpet said with certainty that Syria would sever ties with Iran and ally with this anti-Iran bloc that is now solidifying.

Pope Visits Lebanon

The UN isn’t the only tool the EU is using to exert its influence under German leadership. History shows that when Germany wages campaigns of conquest, it tends to do so under the auspices and guidance of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is both a key decision maker in Europe and a tool for extending EU power.

For that reason, the Trumpet was keenly interested in Pope Benedict xvi’s three-day visit to Beirut, Lebanon, in mid-September. “A Middle East without Christians would no longer be the Middle East,” he said during a meeting with Lebanese leaders. “Looking at your country, I also come symbolically to all countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs,” he said. Although the trip into the heartland of Hezbollah was potentially life-threatening to Benedict, it appears to have brought the Vatican nearer to its aim. One Muslim student in Beirut told nbc News that “the pope’s visit is going to make a big difference, especially in the view of what’s happening these days, like the protests. He is coming for peace and bringing Muslims and Christians closer, that’s the important thing. Peace … we need peace.” The visit added to a growing body of evidence that the Vatican actively supports the EU’s goal to create that anti-Iran coalition.

Again, the Trumpet has said for years that Lebanon, too, will ultimately fall in line with this Europe-led coalition.

Alliance Foretold Millennia Ago

How can the Trumpet make such far-reaching forecasts based on these meetings and plans that mainstream media call little attention to? Because of the prophecies of the Bible.

Three thousand years ago, God inspired the biblical Prophet Asaph to prophesy about modern-day Europe—led by Germany and steered by the Vatican—allying with Syria, Lebanon and other “moderate” Arab nations: “For they have consulted together with one consent: … The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them …” (Psalm 83:5-8).

Both Gebal and Tyre in this passage refer to the people of the modern-day nation of Lebanon, while Assur refers to Assyria, which is modern-day Germany. The Hagarenes anciently dwelt in the land known today as Syria. Edom and Amalek both refer to modern Turkey. Moab and Ammon are Jordan. The Ishmaelites are modern-day Saudi Arabia, and the peoples that populate the southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula are also descended from the patriarch of Araby, Ishmael; so from a biblical perspective—regardless of their modern borders—they may be counted among the tribes and clans of Ishmael.

This alliance has never happened in history—yet it is described in your Bible. And, most remarkably, the groundwork is being laid for this group of nations to come together today.

Syria and Lebanon are, in a way, the front line of a cold war against Iran. If the EU can negate Iran’s influence in those nations—and the Bible says it will—then it will deny Iran crucial allies and key locations on the Mediterranean, thus gaining a significant victory.

Europe Invades Africa

There is another front in this cold war: North Africa. There, radical Islam is rapidly making political and territorial gains.

Among the most recent is in the deserts of northern Mali. After rebel troops staged a coup d’état in Mali in March, the country descended into chaos. Islamic groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which have long festered in the region, seized the north of the country.

Why does Mali matter? It is as remote as Timbuktu (literally—Timbuktu is in Mali). But look at it on a map. Northern Mali gives the terrorists a base in the Sahara Desert, from which they can launch attacks throughout Northern Africa. Just over the border, Algeria is a natural gas and oil hub for Europe. Nigeria, the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., is not far to the south. Nigeria, Libya and Algeria are Africa’s top three crude oil producers, providing nearly one tenth of the world’s oil. If Islamic extremism is allowed to take root and spread there, it threatens key energy suppliers of both Europe and the U.S.

Naturally, the threat has attracted the attention of more than just Europe. America’s concern has it also considering military intervention. But Europe is positioning itself so that it will take the lead in any international venture.

On October 9, one of Europe’s most experienced leaders was appointed the special envoy for the Sahel, the region just south of the Sahara that includes northern Mali. As a former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi was a surprisingly high-profile choice. The appointment is also curious considering that Prodi has zero experience in conflict mediation. His appointment seems to have more to do with the EU getting its man into the top job than with Prodi’s actual qualifications.

Prodi’s influence also stretches far beyond Mali. The Sahel extends across North Africa, all the way into Sudan. With Prodi in place, the EU is already preparing to send soldiers to the region. The main focus of this mission will be training Mali’s army to deal with the terrorists in the north, but Reuters reported that the EU troops could also accompany Mali’s soldiers in battle.

Although the mission has the solid support of Germany, France is the one taking the lead. After all, most of the countries involved are former French colonies, and France has the deepest economic ties in the area. This arrangement probably suits Germany. Berlin is happy to let France lead, providing it is in the direction Germany wants to go.

While this area of the world isn’t in the Psalm 83 alliance, it would still represent quite a conquest. It already illustrates how, once again, Europe is taking the lead—ahead of America—in confronting the dangerous spread of radical Islam.

Israel Looks to Europe

Europe’s maneuvers into the void left by the U.S.’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan are not going unnoticed by Israel. On October 2, Israeli officials announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Europe by the end of the year. His goal? To push for more European support of sanctions on Iran. The visit is part of a strategic shift by Israel away from America and toward Europe, the New York Times reported, citing a senior anonymous source.

On October 15, the EU levied a new array of sanctions on Iran, saying it was troubled by what it called Tehran’s refusal to come clean on its nuclear program. Europe also increased diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime. The next day, Netanyahu praised the EU for toughening its stance against what he called “the greatest threat to peace in our time.”

The Times of Israel said the events indicate a shift in Israel’s foreign policy away from the U.S. and toward Europe: “After unsuccessfully lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for support for [a military] strike—or for an American declaration that Iranian activity beyond a certain ‘red line’ would invite U.S. military intervention—Netanyahu’s plans for a European trip to push for tighter sanctions on Tehran seem to signal a shift in policy.”

This too is a shift specifically prophesied in Scripture and about which the Trumpet has been forewarning for years.

The Real Target

Although its efforts are low-key at present, Europe is proactively countering the spread of radical Islam. But is this good news for America, Britain and Israel? If Europe is joining the fight against radical Islam, have they gained an ally?

It may look that way. But the appearance is deceiving.

The Bible actually warns Britain, Israel and America to beware a huge double cross coming from Europe.

Daniel 11 vividly prophesies that a German-led European alliance (the “king of the north”) will defeat an Iranian-led Middle Eastern alliance (the “king of the south”)—decisively dealing with the Islamist threat. But it also reveals that Europe won’t stop there. Daniel 11:41 tells us what happens next: The king of the north “shall enter also into the glorious land.” Europe will conquer Israel. Within a month, this empire will also claim Britain and America as victims (Hosea 5:7).

The rise of Iran may be the catalyst for the formation of the Psalm 83 alliance. But it isn’t the alliance’s ultimate goal. These allied nations say among themselves, “let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). Once Iran is defeated, this German-led coalition will go after Israel—and “Israel” in this context does not just refer to the Jewish nation in the Middle East, but also America and Britain. (You can prove this crucial truth by requesting a free copy of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

For the last 70 years, Germany has had to live beneath the weight of the world’s memory of its World War ii atrocities. But, sadly, the Holocaust did not end with that war. That was only round one. Bible prophecy indicates that there is coming an even worse effort to erase even the memory of the Jewish nation forever!

The same quiet and canny set-up that Germany is employing against Iran under its EU cloak will be used against Israel. A German-led European power will obliterate Iran, and the world may even appear safe for a time. But then will come the double cross. Europe—in the form of a German-led resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—will conquer Jerusalem—and thus ignite World War iii.

This is why it is essential that you see who is now stepping into the Middle East as America’s influence there fades. The Bible is clear: Jerusalem being surrounded with European armies is the sign that World War iii is here (Luke 21:20). But that same event also starts the 3½-year countdown to the return of Christ.

Watch Europe closely. The EU’s mounting assertiveness signals that Christ’s return is drawing near!


Eat Whole

Eat Whole

Elenathewise/iStock

Does your diet include this simple ingredient? The health benefits are too great to ignore!
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Why is healthy eating so complicated? One month, a product is heralded as the latest miracle food, the must-have for every diet. The next, it’s a leading cause of cancer. Never has so much been written about diet. And never has bad diet been so widespread.

Straight out of science fiction have come edible substances grown in labs and dispensed from machines, formulated to be convenient, taste great and make a profit. Yet these concoctions—margarine, high-fructose corn syrup, refined flour, etc.—are huge failures. They may taste good, but they are destroying our health. Diet-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease are more common than ever. A third of Americans are overweight, and another 36 percent are obese. The link between our diet and these diseases has been shown to be quite strong.

Still, the question remains: Amid all the confusion and misinformation on the subject, how can you really improve your diet?

Here is a wonderful truth you can count on. It is simple, and it is powerful. All it takes is a dash of humility about the limits of food science. You have to acknowledge that the healthiest food is natural food designed by a great, Almighty Creator—engineered to be just what our bodies need.

The key to a healthier diet is this: Eat natural foods.

A Brief History of White Flour

Society’s understanding of just how good natural food is has grown slowly over the past couple of centuries. Consider the example of white flour.

When we first began milling white flour, it was said to be an improvement over brown—better for you, and without the nasty dirty, gritty stuff. Science, however, quickly proved that wrong.

In 1826, the Lancet medical journal detailed a study where one dog was fed “coarse” bread exclusively and another ate white. The first dog was reported to be healthy. The one that ate white bread died within 50 days.

More rigorous analysis followed. Scientists realized that refining white flour stripped out not only the germ and the bran, but also the fiber, vitamins and minerals, leaving only calories.

Instead of nourishing people, white bread made them ill. By the 1930s, it was clear that white bread was not giving people the nutrients they needed. However, rather than getting to the root of the problem—that refined flour simply isn’t good enough to eat—governments and millers came up with a quick fix. Now, the law in many countries requires that food processors add certain nutrients back into the white flour.

Enriching the flour prevented some of the new illnesses caused by refining flour. But nutritionists still didn’t see all the other benefits of whole wheat.

Over the last couple of decades, many studies have shown that eating whole grain improves overall health. It can lower blood pressure, aid weight loss and digestion, and help prevent heart disease, diabetes and several types of cancer. One 14-year health study suggested that anyone who avoids smoking, exercises 30 minutes a day, avoids being overweight and eats a diet containing, among other things, a high amount of whole grains and a low amount of heavily processed fats will experience dramatic benefits: 80 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease, 90 percent of type 2 diabetes and 70 percent of colon cancer. Even after adjusting for factors like weight, sex and lifestyle, those who habitually eat whole grains have a mortality rate 15 percent lower—in other words, they tend to live longer.

Why, though, are whole grains so much better for us? Scientists continued to press for answers.

Food Synergy

Scientists have tried to isolate exactly what it is about whole grains that makes them so great. Is it the fiber? The vitamins? But they were surprised to find that if you just add the fiber, by itself, back into your diet, those whole-grain health benefits don’t return. Nor do those benefits return if you add just the vitamins.

A survey of studies by David R. Jacobs and Lyn M. Steffen published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2003 concluded that components of whole grains are good on their own, but when combined in exactly the quantity found in whole grains, they have an added benefit. The whole is literally greater than the sum of its parts.

Science is starting to uncover how complex and perfect the natural process of wheat growth is. Its hundreds of natural chemicals all work together to power human health. When just one of these chemicals is eaten by itself, it doesn’t have the same benefit. You could take some vitamins in pills, eat the fiber on its own, and get your calories from white bread. You could find some way to still get all the components that make up whole grains. But that still wouldn’t be as good for you. When eaten inside the natural, untouched grain, these chemicals are mixed together in the perfect ratio to give us the maximum health benefit.

Jacobs and Steffen called this food synergy. This phenomenon gives us a glimpse of the awesome mind that designed this food. The hundreds of interactions within the food as originally designed are simply too complex for scientists to figure out right now. But God planned it out, and He has given us a glorious abundance and variety of natural foods, each one perfectly packaged.

A simple example of food synergy comes from how your body digests the carbohydrates in grains. When you eat white bread or rice, you process the carbohydrate quickly, spiking your blood sugar levels, which can lead to health problems including diabetes. When you eat whole grains, the fiber that gets digested with the carbohydrates slows down the digestion. Energy is released over a longer period of time, exactly the way the body processes it best. This is an oversimplification though. Food synergy studies show that there is more going on in whole-grain digestion than just the presence of fiber. There’s a miraculous world of reactions inside those tiny grains—far more advanced than we ever realized.

Food synergy is found throughout nature. Another article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) written by Jacobs, along with Myron Gross and Linda Tapsell, highlighted this principle. Nuts, for example, have a high level of unsaturated fats. But they also contain chemicals that protect the body against the harmful effect of these fats. Fruits are often viewed as merely a source of vitamins. But several studies on apples found that the whole apple is much better at combatting cancer than vitamin C on its own. And a portion of apple that includes the skin is significantly better than a portion of only apple flesh. It is much better to eat a piece of broccoli than to eat the main nutrients in broccoli manufactured artificially. Pomegranate juice is much better for you than just eating the key nutrients, extracted and taken alone. The same is true for tomatoes.

How to Change Your Diet

Scientists have found that food synergy also exists within diets. A single food has its benefits. But when it is part of a healthy diet, its effect is once again greater than the sum of its parts.

This reveals one of the key flaws in how we often approach diet. We look at a healthy diet that works, try to isolate the key components, and stick them in a pill. It’s only human: We want the quick fix! But our bodies are much more complex than that. Instead, real nutrition comes from real changes.

Here’s how you can begin using the key of natural foods to drastically improve your health.

Start with a small change. Substitute whole wheat for white flour. Try brown bread and brown pasta. Order brown rice instead of white. The adjustment can be challenging. Wholemeal may seem unusual at first. But as you get used to it, you will find that not only is it healthier for you, it even tastes better than white.

Next, eat more fruit and vegetables. They are perfectly designed to nourish your body and combat sickness.

Finally, cut out refined, processed, man-made junk foods. Cut down on dessert. Try baking your own instead, using natural foods like honey, maple syrup or unrefined sugars like demerara. You can find ways to make your favorite treats using natural foods, so you may still enjoy them occasionally.

When trying to decide which food is healthier, use this key to guide you: Choose whatever is closest to natural food, whatever has had the least “stuff” done to it. It’s a simple guide in an age of confusion.

Herbert W. Armstrong used to frequently quote the advice of one dietician: “My basic rule in diet is: Eat only those natural foods that will spoil—and eat them before they do.” Many of the “rules” of diet have been argued and overturned. But this one has stood the test of time. After all these years, it is still vindicated by modern science.

There is more you can do to improve your diet once you’ve taken these three simple steps. But these will take you a long way toward better eating. So don’t be put off by all the conflicting advice out there. Eat natural food, the way God made it.

Sidebar: Top Whole Foods

Almonds

A generous source of monounsaturated fatty acids, almonds boost good cholesterol while lowering the dangerous kind; they’re also an abundant source of membrane-fortifying vitamin E.

Avocado

These “alligator pears” are a rich source of both potassium and heart-healthy fats that keeps us from feeling hungry.

Blueberries

Rich in cholesterol reducing antioxidants, these berries function as an efficient anti-diabetic agent, enhancing memory and bolstering cardiovascular health.

Flax Seed

Just one spoonful of this oil provides 8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, which are packed with several vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and folate.

Kale 

An excellent source of vitamin A—which promotes immune and eye health—and of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Lemons

A single lemon contains more than 100 percent of a person’s daily vitamin C intake. Flavonoids in this fruit also act as anti-inflammatories and inhibit the multiplicity of cancer cells.

Pomegranate 

The seeds in one pomegranate contain 1.5 grams of protein. Pomegranates also fight free radicals that can contribute to cancer and other chronic diseases.

Quinoa 

This gluten-free seed contains more iron, fiber, protein and calcium than rice, oats or wheat.

Spinach 

One cup of “Popeye’s steroid” contains a person’s daily requirement of vitamins A and K, and nearly 100 percent of manganese and folate.

Wild Salmon 

A premium source of omega-3 fatty acids to boost brain function; an abundant source of vitamin B-12, crucial for red blood cell production and proper nerve function.

Will You Fight to Preserve Herbert W. Armstrong’s Legacy?

Will You Fight to Preserve Herbert W. Armstrong’s Legacy?

PT

As the grounds of the former Ambassador College are commercialized and demolished, Herbert W. Armstrong College perpetuates the recapturing of true values.

Currently 3.5 million high school students across America, including my oldest son here in California, are undertaking the Preliminary Standardized Assessment Test (psat).

This test is to prepare U.S. students for the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which is directed by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Test scores help in identifying student accessibility for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Toward the end of the test, my son noticed a section asking for identification of religious affiliation. He scanned the list of about 80 churches for Philadelphia Church of God (pcg). To his disappointment, he found Worldwide Church of God (wcg) listed as an option.

“Dad, that test must not have been updated in some years,” he told me. He knew well that the wcg doesn’t exist any longer, and that it was renamed Grace Communion International with its headquarters in Glendora, California.

He also knew that wcg founder Herbert W. Armstrong died in 1986, and thereafter—in direct opposition to the clarion call of world leaders to continue his legacy—the cadre of church leaders assigned with the responsibility to continue his work without mandate drove the wcg from its founding doctrines into the welcoming arms of mainstream Christianity and Protestantism.

Furthermore, my son knew of a six-year court battle between the wcg and pcg over the preservation of the written works of Mr. Armstrong in which the wcg controlling cadre had openly declared it was their “Christian duty” to keep the works of this unofficial ambassador, friend of world leaders and humanitarian, out of print.

My son also knew of the writing of Malachi’s Message and the defense of Mystery of the Ages as it was pulled from circulation, both resulting in the firing of pcg Pastor General Gerald Flurry and his assistant, John Amos, my son’s grandfather, on Dec. 7, 1989, on the campus of Ambassador College. These events initiated the establishment of the pcg. Request your free copy of Raising the Ruins for the truth behind this mammoth betrayal and battle for religious freedom.

In the same week my son took the psat,a commercial was released promoting a new tablet computer. The commercial was produced on the grounds of what once was Ambassador College, featuring its administration building and the spiraling egret sculpture by Sir David Wynn fronting the famed Carnegie Hall of the West, Ambassador Auditorium.

The grounds’ commercialization strikes pain into the heart of anyone who supported the work of Mr. Armstrong. Add to this the recent reporting of the destruction of the former library of Ambassador College, one of the first buildings Mr. Armstrong acquired in the early days of the college back in 1947. This building was where the World Tomorrow program was once recorded and sent worldwide to its millions of viewers on hundreds of stations worldwide.

In addition, Ambassador Auditorium’s owners are currently pleading to supporters for help on their website, fearful of the facility’s future as its acoustical quality comes into question amid other slated demolitions on the former campus to make way for a senior citizen housing development complex.

During the psat, my son selected the box marked “other” in designation of his religious affiliation as these thoughts streamed through his mind. The following day, he and I sat down with his guidance counselor for our regular monthly student progress meeting.

We discussed the psat, and he was asked if he was considering a college for the future. He answered yes. She asked where. Edmond, Oklahoma, came the answer. “What is its name?”, she countered. “Herbert W. Armstrong College,” he replied as she typed the information into his student profile.

The test came two days after we returned from a wonderful trip to visit Edmond and the beautiful grounds of Herbert W. Armstrong College. The night before the test we had reviewed the 2012 Envoy, a pictorial review of the college and its activities.

“This college is patterned after a college that Herbert W. Armstrong founded,” wrote Mr. Flurry as its founder and chancellor. “As Mr. Armstrong worked to establish Ambassador College as a revolutionary, character-building institution, he said he had to fight and bleed to keep it from failing. Even many people in the college itself thought it would fold. It’s not easy in this world to establish a college that believes that the Word of God is the foundation of all knowledge. Such an epic undertaking is certain to encounter a lot of resistance.”

Our readers of the Trumpet, viewers of the Key of David program, members of the Church, Herbert W. Armstrong college students, co-workers, donors, patrons of Armstrong Auditorium performing arts events, and recipients of the benefits of and partners of Armstrong International Cultural Foundation are assured that Mr. Flurry, as founder of these institutions practicing God’s way of give, will never betray, commercialize or bulldoze God’s spiritual nor physical assets in the pursuit of profits.

As Gerald Flurry wrote in the final paragraph of the afterword of his book Malachi’s Message, “The Worldwide Church may have disfellowshiped Herbert Armstrong from their own church, postmortem, but they will never do away with his teachings. As this ongoing story unfolds and the Worldwide Church continues to self-destruct, be assured the work of Mr. Armstrong will never die. God’s end-time message from Malachi will go out. The work will continue.”

Watch Jerusalem

The Aftermath of a History-Making Storm

The Aftermath of a History-Making Storm

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Has America learned the biggest lesson from superstorm Sandy?

As Hurricane Sandy stormed ashore on Monday night, there were a lot of people crying out to God for protection. A lot of promises were probably made. But now that the storm has peaked and the clean-up has begun, how long will it take before everyone just gets back to everyday life?

I am guessing people will reach that point long before the damage gets close to being cleaned up. Some people might think that’s a harsh assessment. But it is a realistic reflection of society today.

Estimates for the damage caused by superstorm Sandy have hit $55 billion. Although not the most damaging storm in U.S. history, it is still one of the biggest. Damage from Hurricane Katrina came in at $96 billion. Over the next week, more accurate assessments will become available. But it’s clear that the damage in some areas is extremely extensive.

Forecasters expected a 11-foot storm surge, but in parts of New York and New Jersey, the storm surge hit more than 13 feet—dwarfing previous records. In some areas, whole coastal communities were wiped out. And damage due to flooding is widespread.

As of Wednesday evening, approximately 6 million New York and New Jersey residents were still without power. Utility companies are vague about when power will be restored.

In New York, the subway system is completely shut down. Experts report the system suffered the worst damage in its 100-plus-year history. Floodwaters still fill tunnels and power stations, damaging the electrical wiring. The cost of the repairs could be astronomical. Officials hope partial service will be restored on Thursday. New York’s LaGuardia Airport still had water on its runways as of Wednesday and is closed. The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which connects Brooklyn to Manhattan, and the Holland Tunnel, which runs between New York and New Jersey, remain closed.

Wastewater continues to escape from a sewage treatment plant on Long Island. Sewage also continues to back up in people’s homes. Seawater in flooded communities is becoming a toxic mess.

New York City schools remain closed until the end of the week. The Bellevue Hospital remains evacuated.

In New Jersey, much of the coast is devastated. Reports indicate the storm literally reshaped New Jersey’s barrier islands.

In Hoboken, approximately 20,000 people remain stranded. About 25 percent of the city remains underwater. Some residents are angry at the slow response of state officials to get food and other aid to stranded people. There are reports of price gouging at local stores that still have food to sell. Officials say they are doing the best they can, and that people had strong and ample warning to evacuate. The mayor of the city appealed to people to bring boats to City Hall to help with the evacuation.

In Brick Township, fires still burn.

In Atlantic City, the floodwaters that covered most of the city are now receding. The city’s dying casino industry now faces another setback as it waits to learn how extensive the damage to city infrastructure is.

On Wednesday, the Navy ordered three helicopter carrier ships to the New Jersey and New York coasts to help with recovery operations.

Parts of West Virginia got three feet of snow during the storm and are now digging out.

Near Chicago, commerce on the Great Lakes is reviving. Transport came to a standstill as even massive ships—some as large as three football fields—sought shelter from the storm. Waves more than two stories high were just too much of a risk.

Residents on America’s Eastern Seaboard will not soon forget superstorm Sandy. But more importantly, what will people learn from the storm? Gerald Flurry explains what this almost universally ignored lesson is. Watch “Sandy’s Destruction: What Nobody Is Talking About.”

Sandy’s Destruction: What Nobody Is Talking About