Syria Contributed to Herbert W. Armstrong’s Final Book, Mystery of the Ages

Syria Contributed to Herbert W. Armstrong’s Final Book, Mystery of the Ages

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Prime Minister Abdul-Ra’ouf al-Kassem, Minister of Culture Najah al-Attar, U.S. Ambassador William Eagleton, National Library, University of Damascus, mayor, professor and doctor honor unofficial ambassador for world peace.

Seven months before his death, and one month before being honored by the United Nations, globally respected and honored friend of world leaders Herbert W. Armstrong flew from England aboard the Gulfstream iii jet, touching down in Damascus May 6, 1985.

He was greeted at the airport by ucla Professor Giorgio Buccellati and Dr. Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati of California State University–Los Angeles. At the time, the couple were “archeologists excavating in the ancient city of Terqa in the Mesopotamia Valley on the Euphrates River on the site of Tell Mozan, possibly ancient Urkish, near the Syrian border with Turkey” (Worldwide News, May 27, 1985).

This excavation was financially supported by the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (aicf), of which Mr. Armstrong was founder and president, and ucla, along with having cooperation from additional foundations and donors.

Also greeting the aicf president was Professor Zuhd, curator in chief of Syria’s National Museum, and U.S. Embassy cultural attache, Mr. Burgess. While in Damascus Mr. Armstrong stayed at the Meridian Hotel.

On May 7, the office of Syrian Prime Minister Abdul-Ra’ouf al-Kassem made available a courtesy vehicle for Mr. Armstrong and the entourage for their travels to the National Museum. During his private tour, the unofficial ambassador for world peace viewed ancient artifacts from the cusp of the second millennium before Christ, the very times of Israelite patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Some of the more notable archeological items he spied were idols of pagan gods, clay seals from various kings, Ugaritic alphabet displayed on a tablet, jewelry, gold and ivory from the Hittites.

As a result of this experience, the Worldwide News noted, “Mr. Armstrong made some additions to his book Mystery of the Ages to show how ancient cultures view deities” (ibid). He added to his final book comments such as, “The ancient pagan nations made many different idols out of clay, wood, stone and other materials. Many examples of pagan idol gods have been dug up by archaeologists and may be seen in museums today.”

From the National Museum, the group, with the addition of U.S. Ambassador William Eagleton, drove to the office of their official Syrian host for their visit, Najah al-Attar, the minister of culture. In 2006 she was appointed to the office of vice president.

During the visit, she thanked Mr. Armstrong for the aicf’s archeological support of the excavation in the ancient city of Terqa. He presented her with a special publication highlighting discoveries from the project. Thereafter, the minister presented him with a special gift of a silver set of cup holders, which he accepted and noted would be displayed in the Hall of Administration building on the grounds of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California.

Mr. Armstrong and his Syrian archeological team then drove to the middle of the old city to Azem Palace, which is located near a biblically recorded street. Anciently, the Apostle Paul was struck blind by Christ on his trip to Damascus (Acts 9:1-10).

Acts 9:11 records God’s instruction to the disciple Ananias, “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.”

Paul met Ananias on Straight Street, and God restored his sight as promised. Mr. Armstrong and the archeological team traveled the length of the famed road prior to turning into the palace grounds. Mr. Armstrong even recalled a visit to this same location 29 years earlier with his wife, Loma, and oldest son, Richard.

After their tour of the palace, Mr. Armstrong drove to the home of Ambassador Eagleton and his wife, Kay, for a luncheon meeting which had 15 attendants, including key embassy personnel along with the mayor of Mayadin, a town located near the team’s excavation site.

Ambassador Eagleton, conversant in Arabic, French and Spanish, had served over three decades abroad in the Foreign Service, predominantly in the Middle East and North Africa. He returned to Syria filling the top diplomatic post 33 years after working as an embassy employee in the country. He served in this role until 1988.

The embassy employed a Moroccan chef, who prepared a unique lunch featuring dishes from his home country. During the meal, “Mr. Armstrong explained the activities of the Ambassador Foundation and talked about his new book, Mystery of the Ages” (ibid). After the meal, the U.S. ambassador asked the unofficial ambassador back for dinner.

Back at the Meridian Hotel, Mr. Armstrong’s afternoon was consumed by writing his personal for the September edition of mass-circulation magazine the Plain Truth. At age 92, having recovered from heart failure in 1977, now with failing hearing and eyesight, much of this type of work took the form of dictation to his personal aide.

That evening he returned to the Eagleton’s home as requested for dinner with various archeological personalities involved in their excavation. After a light meal, “The ambassador thanked Mr. Armstrong for allowing him to be part of the Ambassador Foundation’s activities in Syria. He explained that the U.S. government gets partial credit for any successful project whether the government has any official part in it” (ibid).

The following day, May 8, Mr. Armstrong and his team toured the fourth-holiest place of Islam, the Great Mosque of Damascus, or Omayyad Mosque. In 634, the Arabs conquered the city, building the mosque on the very location of the Christian Basilica of John the Baptist. The site provided a glimpse of architecture from the period a.d. 700. The mosque is believed by its congregants to be the location to which Isa, or Jesus Christ, will return. Writing in the same Worldwide News edition, his personal aide noted, “The visit gave Mr. Armstrong additional material to add to Mystery of the Ages.”

Afterward, in a rare display of honor from the Syrian government, a luncheon was hosted in Mr. Armstrong’s honor by Dr. Attar on the 15th floor of the Cham Palace Hotel. The minister of culture had invited Dr. Bahassi, the director of the National Library, the dean of faculty of the University of Damascus, U.S. Ambassador Eagleton and other dignitaries.

Adding to the trip’s authenticity, the meal consisted of traditional Arabic dishes. During lunch, Dr. Attar reflected on archeological excavations in the country. Then Mr. Eagleton spoke of the humanitarian endeavors of Americans like Mr. Armstrong through the aicf in an effort to “help humanity in spite of its seemingly unsolvable problems.”

As guest of honor, Mr. Armstrong spoke last and stunned his audience by telling them he worked for the U.S. government! “Half of my salary goes to the government and another part to the state of California.” He concluded by commenting on world events of the day, telling the guests that peace was coming to their country and region but not as they might think it would.

Today, Syria is in crisis. Yet, amid the tumult, its people can be comforted in their contribution to Mystery of the Ages and its message of the way to peace, abundance, joy and well-being for mankind. They, like you, can request a free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s final and finest work and find open to light of day the spiritual archeology and excavation of the laws, principles and way to individual and ultimate world peace.

Far-Right Views Rising Fast in East Germany

Far-Right Views Rising Fast in East Germany

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New statistics give a powerful warning about Germany’s response to a dangerous world.

The number of east Germans with far right or xenophobic views has increased dramatically over the past two years, according to a report published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on November 12. The percentage of east Germans with a “cohesive far-right world view” has more than doubled—from 6.6 percent to 15.8 percent since 2006—with most of the increase coming in the past two years. Meanwhile, in west Germany that percentage has fallen from 9.1 to 7.3.

“This trend is alarming,” the report states.

What the report termed “Islamophobia” is prevalent in both east and west. Over 56 percent completely or mostly agreed with the statement “Islam is an archaic religion, unable to adapt to the present.” The study also examined both “traditional” anti-Semitism and what it called “secondary” anti-Semitism. To measure secondary anti-Semitism, the foundation asked questions like, “Jewish people use the memory of the Holocaust to their own advantage”—which nearly 32 percent of respondents agreed with.

The report found that those in the east were more “Islamaphobic”—41.3 percent compared to 35 percent, but there was little difference in “traditional” anti-Semitism—12.6 percent in the east, compared to 11.3 percent in the west. In fact “secondary” anti-Semitism was higher in the west—24.9 percent, compared to 18.8 percent.

But why is right-wing extremism growing in the east? One of the report’s authors blames the economic situation, saying the far-right thinking is “strongly connected to a widespread feeling of hopelessness and lack of opportunity.”

While this is probably true, the study indicates there is something more to the figures than that. The percentage of east Germans who said their financial situation was very good or good rose from 36.7 percent in 2010 to 47.9 percent today. The percentage who said their situation was poor or very poor fell from 19.1 percent to 16.2. Unemployment in east Germany, as of February this year, was going down.

East Germany is unquestionably poorer than the west. Unemployment in the west is 6.2 percent, while in the east it’s 11.9. History has shown us that when times are bad, people can rapidly pivot to the right. This is happening right now in Greece. Those figures could explain why east Germany is further to the right than the west. But it doesn’t explain why east Germany has become more right wing, while its economy is improving.

Another possible factor is the surge in immigration. The net inflow of migrants to Germany in 2011 was the largest since 1996. In west Germany, where unemployment is around 6 percent, this may not have impacted people much. But with unemployment around 12 percent, east Germans may have responded more strongly as they saw foreigners taking jobs while Germans remained unemployed.

Perhaps most importantly, world conditions have deteriorated in the last two years. The euro crisis has gotten worse. The Arab Spring has allowed radical Islam to spread into North Africa and take over Egypt.

West Germany has had nearly 70 years of stability. The east only emerged from communism 23 years ago. With a shorter history of stability, combined with higher unemployment, the easterners may be more sensitive to the new dangers.

If this reading of the statistics is true, it paints an alarming picture. It shows that as world conditions become worse, and as radical Islam spreads, the German response is to turn quickly to far-right ideas.

As the world becomes more dangerous, watch for west Germany to move in the same direction.

Herbert W. Armstrong: Co-Founder of Kenyan University of Agriculture and Technology

Herbert W. Armstrong: Co-Founder of Kenyan University of Agriculture and Technology

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Remembering the humanitarian work of Jomo Kenyatta, and the world’s unofficial ambassador for peace and his 15 sons from the Japanese Diet

On the morning of Aug. 22, 1978, while sleeping at the State House in Mombasa, father of the nation President Kenyatta died. That very day, Herbert Armstrong recollected, “I had visited with him … at his office in the State House in Nairobi and the better part of the whole day at his residence 35 miles outside Nairobi. … We had luncheon at his home with members of his family. He conducted us on a tour through a suburban self-help hospital, which he had built. He was, as am I, a staunch believer in helping others to help themselves—to help them get on their own feet so they can make their own way, rather than supporting others outright in pure charity while they do nothing to help themselves.

“Through the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, we had undertaken to join with President Kenyatta in founding in Kenya a self-help school to help reduce the illiteracy of the country. He was apparently just my age—86, though he did not know his exact birth date. He was a very close friend—like two close brothers with Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.”

As far back as 1974, preliminary work was well under way for public appearance campaigns featuring Mr. Armstrong in the country’s capital. A year later, on May 26, 1975, he wrote to co-workers: “I am seven miles high over the Sahara Desert flying to Nairobi, Kenya, for the next big campaign. We expect a large and very successful campaign there.”

After his arrival, he was greeted by President Jomo Kenyatta at the official State House. The president asked him questions about his work and mission in relation to seeking world peace. “President Kenyatta and I generated a warm friendship immediately,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “We found that we had much in common in general philosophies and grasp of human conditions, right principles and concepts.

“Our first visit, almost an hour, was at his office in the State House. He does not live there, however, and the second visit was at his home, some 35 or 40 miles outside Nairobi. I met his wife and family. We were met at the airport on our arrival by his niece (whom he calls his daughter), and to a considerable extent we were guided and escorted by her during our two weeks in Nairobi. She and the president’s wife are going to visit us a little later in Pasadena, and they want me to try personally to induce President Kenyatta to visit Ambassador College at Pasadena. He never flies, but they feel that perhaps I may be able to induce him to make the flight.

“I still marvel at the favor God gives me in the eyes of the world leaders—a favor really needed to accomplish Christ’s great commission. … [I]t (Nairobi) may become a very important city to us, in terms of getting God’s work done in Africa” (co-worker letter, June 24, 1975).

Discussion then centered upon the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (aicf). As Mr. Armstrong explained the aicf’s accomplishments, “the president was duly impressed by these concrete evidences of humanitarian concern for others and a definite manifestation of a willingness to help others to help themselves. We expressed our interest in establishing a permanent relationship with the people of Kenya in a project that would be meaningful both for the people and for us” (Bulletin, June 3, 1975).

The significance and far-reaching implications of this genesis of cooperative thought between Kenya’s founder and the unofficial ambassador for world peace must not be forgotten.

“And in Nairobi I had started a college with President Kenyata, back a little over six years ago; and we had made a certain small contribution through the Ambassador Foundation,” he reminded his audience in Ambassador Auditorium Nov. 27, 1982.

Mr. Armstrong had just returned from a trip to Africa that included a stop in Nairobi to speak before subscribers of his mass-circulation magazine, the Plain Truth, and a meeting with Kenyatta’s successor, President Daniel Arap Moi.

“And then those congressmen in the Diet of Japan who consider themselves my Japanese sons, as they call themselves. There were eight originally, and now there are about 15 who call themselves my Japanese sons; we have a lot of fun about that. But they got busy in the Japanese Diet and appropriated about 29 million United States dollars, or the equivalent in Japanese yen, for that college.”

“And now it is the Jomo Kenyatta College of Agriculture and Technology. And they built quite a college there. With 29 million dollars, they’ve been able to build quite a college. And they gave me quite a plaque, all carved in copper, as co-founder with President Kenyatta of that college. And it is quite a plant; they have many buildings, all new. They are not quite of the caliber of the buildings that we have here on the Ambassador College campus, but they are new. They are ultra-modern. They are very good. They are less costly in construction. But they have an auditorium; they have an administration building; they have a big science hall; they have a big home ec hall for women. They have greenhouses with all kinds of plants and things growing, because it is an agricultural college as well as mechanical. And they even have an athletic track, and they have many things. I was given quite a welcome there and presented with, as I said, quite a plaque” (ibid).

Today, just over 30 kilometers northeast of the Kenyan capital, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology is a bustling center of learning. In May 1981 it enrolled its first students and by March 1982 it was officially declared open by the president. Commencement exercises were conducted in March 1984 for its first Horticulture, Agri-Engineering and Food Technology graduates.

Those who travel the Nairobi-Thika Highway and pass by this institution are deprived of the memory of Herbert W. Armstrong, whose name is glaringly absent from the history section of the university website. Perhaps those in government or the university’s graduating students remember a white-haired patriarch who was so beloved by the founding father of Kenya that he would present him a plaque to formalize his participation, funding and co-founding of an institution patterned after the former Ambassador College, today perpetuated by Herbert W. Armstrong College.

Here at theTrumpet.com we continue to highlight the enduring global humanitarian legacy of Mr. Armstrong as our editor in chief follows in those footsteps of give as evidenced by the work of Armstrong International Cultural Foundation.

Germany’s Arms Trade With Algeria Explodes

Germany’s Arms Trade With Algeria Explodes

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Proof that Germany is deeply concerned about the spread of radical Islam in North Africa.

Germany has rapidly stepped up its arms trade with Algeria since the Arab Spring swept across the region in late 2010/2011, a report by Der Spiegel on November 12 revealed. In 2010, Germany sold under €20 million worth of military equipment to Algeria. In 2011 and 2012, Germany has sold €400 million worth, and it’s underwritten a €2.13 billion sale of two warships.

Now, according to Spiegel, a subsidiary of Rheinmetall plans to build 1,200 Fuch armored personnel carriers in Algeria over the next 10 years. All of these vehicles are for the Algerian military.

That’s a huge increase in sales. Why?

Germany is using arms sales to try to build an anti-Iranian alliance. Germany has major arms deals with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Turkey is the world’s second-largest importer of German arms. Germany is deeply concerned about the rise of Iran and is arming Iran’s opponents across the Middle East—despite the objections of German media like Spiegel.

Since the Arab Spring, Iran has been spreading its influence across North Africa, into Libya and Egypt. What is causing Germany to become agitated “perhaps more than even the finances in Europe is what’s happening in Iran, Egypt and Libya,” said Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in a recent address. A strong, radical Islamic presence on the Mediterranean is a major threat to Europe, he explained. “And you know, if you know anything about the history of Germany, that they’re doing something!” he said. “I can tell you that without even reading any reports.”

Germany’s arms trade with Algeria is just part of its response. This trade has exploded since the Arab Spring. This is more than Germany taking advantage of the situation to sell some more weapons to make a quick buck. South Africa’s defenceWeb reported that the warship contract took a year to negotiate. It was concluded in March this year, meaning Germany started negotiating in spring 2011, when much of Europe and the United States began to get involved in Libya. Germany chose to sit the campaign out and instead negotiate arms deals with Libya’s neighbor. It probably anticipated that siding with the rebels in Libya would push the nation toward Iran.

Germany’s long-term thinking and strategy is in stark contrast to America’s policy in the region that appears to merely react to events and have no overall plan.

Germany sees Iran’s spread throughout the region and is trying to build an alliance with Algeria to contain it. It’s also supporting France’s calls to intervene in Mali to stop the spread of radical Islam just to the south of Algeria.

Germany’s campaign to build such alliances was foretold in Psalm 83. That psalm is a key to understanding what is happening in the Middle East right now. It foretells that Germany would forge an alliance with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and several other nations.

Algeria is not mentioned. This indicates that Germany will fail to bring Algeria on board. But it’s not for lack of trying. Germany’s arms sales to Algeria clearly show that it’s worried about Iran’s spread and is trying to curtail its influence in the Middle East and North Africa.

For more information on the Psalm 83 prophecy and Germany’s policy in North Africa, read our article “Next in Line, Please” from the latest print edition of the Trumpet.

Marijuana Vote Reveals Broken Judgment

Europe and the Arab League Recognize Anti-Assad Coalition

On Monday, foreign ministers from Arab League nations and from European states formally recognized the legitimacy of a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition.

The new coalition was made official just on Sunday, and is viewed as the legitimate voice of the Syrian people. It includes representatives from Syria’s disparate groups who are all battling to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad. The formation and recognition of the coalition will boost efforts to secure international support and weapons, which will be pivotal in the struggle to overthrow Assad.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the decision to create the coalition was an important and well-timed one. He also pledged that Berlin would back the coalition’s efforts to establish an alternative to Assad’s regime.

The decision of European and Arab nations to recognize the anti-Assad coalition is significant because Bible prophecy says that Europe will soon ally with a bloc of “moderate” Arab states, and that the bloc will include Syria. Recognition of this anti-Assad coalition may prove to be an important milestone in dislodging Syria from Iran’s orbit and thrusting it into this emerging bloc of nations.

To understand the details of these pivotal trends, read “Next in Line, Please” from the December 2012 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet.