What No One Would Say About Sandy

What No One Would Say About Sandy

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From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Meteorologists said there were no known precedents for Hurricane Sandy. Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy called it “the most catastrophic event we have faced … in any of our lifetimes.”

America is getting hit by more and more record disasters all the time. Why is that? A lot of people blame global warming. But is it possible that God has something to do with the weather? You need to prove whether or not He has a hand in these disasters.

Why are so many people hostile to that concept? A generation or two ago, people who experienced a monster storm like this would have asked themselves if they needed to get closer to God. Many would have asked, Are we sinning? But today almost nobody is asking those questions. God is not even part of their thinking.

One third of your Bible is prophecy—future news. Ninety percent of prophecy is for today. And those prophecies predict that catastrophes will come on us in this end time. That’s in the Bible for the whole world to read. It’s there for you to prove for yourself.

What does it mean to you that America was struck by an unprecedented storm?

The record-breaking weather disasters hitting America are not coincidences. They are fulfilled prophecies from the Bible. America is facing increasing disasters for a reason. God is unleashing these phenomena to get our attention! He wants to use them to turn sinning people back to Him.

Many people claim to believe in God, but they don’t believe what He says in the Bible. Christ said we need to live by every word of God (Matthew 4:4).

In the aftermath of Sandy, mobs looted businesses, and people walked in and casually robbed stores. People fought over gasoline. Store owners were price-gouging and profiteering off of people with acute needs and nowhere else to go.

What other nation would turn on itself at a time like this? What is wrong with Americans? We are compounding our suffering from great natural disasters by committing crimes against ourselves. But do you know why?

Our politicians speak as though they have the answers to these problems. Leading up to the recent presidential election, we heard endless talk about what a catastrophe for the nation it would be if the other party was elected. After President Obama won the election, Republicans talked a lot about what a great catastrophe that was for the nation—as if a different outcome would have made all the difference.

The truth is, regardless of election outcomes, there already is a great catastrophe in this land, and we must see that or perish!

God promises in His Word that if we respond to Him, individually, He will protect us. But this nation’s problems will never be solved by a political party.

The book of Hosea was written primarily for the end time—the time we live in. In it, God says to His people Israel—which includes the United States, “[Y]e are not my people, and I will not be your God” (Hosea 1:9). Those are strong words from God.

“For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal” (Hosea 2:8). This is another serious charge from our Creator.

Where did all our wealth come from? Did it come from the great capitalist system? Was it our Yankee ingenuity? Positive election outcomes? If you believe that, then you don’t believe your Bible. America’s prosperity came from God. He gave us birthright blessings because of godly men who obeyed Him.

No wonder God gets upset. He gave us all these blessings, and we turn around and worship another god!

God says that, because of that, “will I return, and take away my corn in the time thereof, and my wine in the season thereof, and will recover my wool and my flax given to cover her nakedness. And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and none shall deliver her out of mine hand.”

Hurricane Sandy was actually another proof among many that God is not happy with how America is behaving. God is full of wrath because of our depravity and sins. We should take this very seriously—even more seriously than a monster storm!

But there is a happy ending. Verse 23 says God will call people His people, and people will finally repent and know their God. These troubles are going to get worse, but they are leading to a beautiful ending: the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth, and a time when everyone will finally know and worship the God who gave them their blessings.

Britain’s New Drug Scene

Britain’s New Drug Scene

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Where are young people buying drugs today? The truth will shock you.
From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The drug deal. If you envision a dodgy backstreet with kids handing over cash to a shadowy stranger, you’re behind the times. Instead, picture someone walking into a shop, grabbing some packets, paying at the till, and leaving. No sneaking around the back, no brown paper bags under the counter. Or picture someone sitting in front of his computer, paying by credit card. A few days later, the postman delivers discreetly packaged drugs right to his door.

This is the new, “safe” drug trade booming in Britain.

The websites shocked me. They’re not hidden in some shady corner of the Internet. I’m hardly familiar with the drug scene, but it took me just two Google searches to find hundreds of sites offering dangerous drugs delivered right to my door. I don’t even have to find out what shop stocks the drugs, or what the drugs are called. Online, I can find it, buy it and get it without leaving my home.

It’s just like shopping on Amazon. I’ve bought office stationery from worse-looking websites. You can read descriptions of the products and even check reviews left by other users. These drug dealers certainly aren’t hiding—in fact, they encourage you to follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook. And you can use your credit card safely; many of the sites use PayPal.

With just a couple of clicks, I found a site where I could buy a drug called “Annihilation” in complete safety.

Except it’s only the shopping that’s safe. Nine people have been admitted to Glasgow’s hospital for taking Annihilation in the last three months. Others have died from taking these types of easily available drugs.

‘Legal Highs’

Welcome to the world of “legal highs”—drugs with all the harmful effects of illegal drugs but without the purchasing hassles. “Legal highs” is the name given to a whole range of different chemicals that are often very similar to illegal drugs, but are not technically covered by existing laws. Shops sell them with impunity—until they are banned. Then, they’re quickly replaced with something else that skirts the law.

Because these drugs are legal, they can be bought at much cheaper prices and in a much purer form than illegal drugs.

There’s a lot of talk in both Britain and America about legalizing cannabis; in America’s recent elections, two states took high-profile steps in that direction. But more dangerous and more powerful drugs are already easily and legally available.

Over the past few years, “legal highs” have done for drug use what the Internet had already done for pornography. There are no more shady backroom deals. The risk and shame are gone. But lives are being destroyed.

None of the websites give any indication that you are buying something dangerous. Drugs are described as “herbal incense.” One way companies get away with selling them is by adding the label “not for human consumption.” Some even find ways to avoid doing this. One website displays this disclaimer next to its drugs: “They consume you. You don’t consume them.” That sounds more like a slogan than a warning that you could end up in a hospital.

The rest of the page is full of people posting reviews about how great a high the drug gave them. No one mentions any danger. The few negative reviews complain that the drug isn’t powerful enough.

These drugs are drawing in a huge number of young people.

“We thought it was good news when demand for cocaine and heroin began to fall,” said Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones, founder of the Club Drug Clinic in London. But it wasn’t good news. “What has happened is that they have been replaced by other drugs that we are trying to understand.”

Since the late ’90s, cannabis and Ecstasy use in the UK has halved. In that time, the rate of illegal drug use by people ages 16 to 24 has fallen from 30 percent to 19 percent. That looks like progress. But the Angelus Foundation, which aims to educate young people about the dangers of “legal highs,” estimates that one in three people ages 16 to 24 are likely to try legal highs. “We might be reaching a situation where legal highs are as attractive as tobacco these days for youngsters,” said Bryan Dent, the drugs coordinator for West Yorkshire Police, in the Yorkshire Post.

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Many of those taking these drugs don’t know how dangerous they are. They’re being killed so someone else can make a killing.

Maryon Stewart set up the Angelus Foundation after her daughter Hester died from taking what was then a legal high. Stewart says she knows “parents from all over the country who have lost kids” to these drugs. Yet when children in schools learn what is really in the drugs, “They feel that they’ve been duped and they feel that they’ve been cheated,” she told Sky News.

Perhaps more worryingly, parents are also ignorant of the dangers. “New research has found most (86 percent) parents are lacking the vital knowledge needed to warn their children about the dangers of ‘legal highs,’” wrote the Angelus Foundation on its website.

Many of these drugs are chemically very similar to illegal drugs. The main active ingredient in Annihilation, for example, is a synthetic form of cannabis. Often, these highs are far stronger than the illegal form of the drug.

Detective Inspector Jim Bradley of the Glasgow City Center Police warned that those who have taken Annihilation “have experienced adverse health effects, including increased heart rate, unconsciousness, numbness in legs causing collapse, paranoia, aggression and self harming.”

Because many of these drugs are new, the long-term effects are unknown. Often, there are no studies into their side effects. “These kids are playing Russian roulette,” Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers Dr. Harris Stratyner told The Fix, a website on drugs and recovery. “It’s absolutely ludicrous that anyone would put this into your body. It’s like trying to get high off arsenic or rat poison.”

Ketamine is an early “legal high” that was outlawed in 2006. Heavy use of Ketamine is now known to cause permanent damage to the bladder. Users can be left with pain whenever they urinate. Some had to have their bladders removed. gbl (Gammabutyrolactone) is another former “legal high” that was outlawed in 2009. Several died after falling into a coma from taking it. “Users of gbl suffered high levels of dependence and harrowing withdrawal symptoms,” wrote the London Times.

“When these patients arrive we can only treat the symptoms, because we don’t know what they have taken—and neither do they,” said a specialist at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Dr. Richard Stevenson, last July. “None of the cases admitted this year have died, but no one should be under any misapprehension that legal highs are potential killers,” he warned. “If this steep rise in admissions continue, it is only a matter of time until we see deaths.”

Whack-a-Mole

If these drugs are so dangerous, why are they still legal? Mainly because the British government is stuck playing whack-a-mole with small, virtually anonymous, barely legal drug manufacturers. As soon as officials outlaw one chemical compound, several new ones arrive.

The government passed a law in 2011 so it could outlaw new drugs in a matter of weeks, not months. But 28 new “legal highs” arrived on the market in the first five months of 2012 alone. The government can’t keep up. The drugs are only banned after they’ve come to the government’s attention—which means they’ve already caused serious harm. Once they’re banned, users either continue to use the drug illegally or move on to the next big thing.

Although “legal highs” are hitting the headlines mostly in Britain, they are a problem in America and elsewhere too. America’s poison control centers received 6,138 calls about “bath salts” in 2011, up from just 304 the year before. This “legal high” is now illegal, but there will be more—if they’re not available already.

The arrival of legal highs shows the flaw in the West’s drug policies. Stopping people from getting drugs isn’t working. Man cannot solve the drug problem using law enforcement alone. Stopping people from wanting them is the only solution. But this is much harder. It would require a complete change in society.

A Real Solution

The problems associated with these drugs demonstrate a fundamental spiritual truth. The only genuine hope of eliminating the production and consumption of destructive drugs would be a worldwide revolution in family, education and legislation. It would mean having a society where there is no one willing to sell potentially lethal products for a profit. Where no one would market something labeled “not for human consumption” to people that they know will smoke or swallow it.

It would mean that children must be brought up in a world with real purpose, where their greatest goal is something more than temporary pleasure. It would mean an end to the relentless, oppressive, self-destructive messages promoted by movies and popular music. It would mean widespread strong family life, in which parents protect and nurture their children. It would mean that teens and other young people spend their free time not out clubbing, but engaged in wholesome, family pursuits. It would mean creating a whole society of people full of hope, who were focused and enthusiastic about what they could accomplish.

Does all this sound impossible? It is with man. But this drug-free world is coming! For more information about it, request a free copy of our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like.

Benghazi Killers: When Will They Be Brought to Justice?

Benghazi Killers: When Will They Be Brought to Justice?

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Getting to the bottom of the Benghazi attack is proving to be a long, drawn-out string of cover-ups and investigations that may never be fully resolved.

It’s been over 11 weeks since the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged that those responsible would be brought to justice. So far, that hasn’t happened.

At the end of October, the fbi was granted permission by Tunisia to question one of the few suspects in the attack, Ali Harzi. He was being detained in Tunisia after being arrested in Turkey. Tunisia granted the U.S. permission to question the suspect after Republican senators Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham pressed Tunisian authorities. “It isn’t clear what pressure the Obama administration had been applying” prior to that, Fox News reported November 2. The letter said that not allowing the U.S. access “could damage relations and might result in an aid cutoff to the North African state,” the Jerusalem Post reported. Up until this threat of removing economic aid, Tunisia had refused to allow America access to the suspect.

The involvement of Harzi is not fully known, though he is “strongly suspected” of having been involved in the attack. Harzi was arrested along with another man on October 3 in Turkey when they tried to cross the border with fake passports. On October 11, the Turkish government repatriated the two to their native country of Tunisia, where arrest warrants were issued for both on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization in a time of peace in another country.”

Also in Tunisia, the first conviction was issued in October to a leading member of Ansar al-Sharia, the group considered most responsible for the Benghazi strike. He was sentenced to one year in prison for “inciting an attack.”

Getting to the bottom of the Benghazi attack is proving to be a long, drawn-out string of cover-ups and investigations that may never be fully resolved.

On October 4, Thomas Pickering was appointed by President Obama to head up the “Accountability Review Board” that is responsible for investigating the Benghazi attack. On the surface, Pickering looks like an excellent choice for the position. A retired diplomat and State Department official, he has been America’s ambassador to Russia, Israel, El Salvador, Jordan, India, Nigeria and the United Nations. Undoubtedly he is a skilled diplomat.

But underneath his impressive résumé lies a leftist ideology that falls right in stride with the current administration. Pickering has been involved with pro-Islamist organizations for years now. He has had ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (cair), which was listed in 2008 as “an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist money laundering case in U.S. history,” accused of funneling money to Hamas. To go along with that, he is currently a co-chairman on the International Crisis Group, an organization that is funded by billionaire George Soros and strives for better relations with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

With such a pro-Islamist heading the investigation committee, it is hard to imagine that we will ever find out what really happened in Benghazi. To keep an eye on Pickering’s investigation, the State Department is planning on conducting reviews of its own review board.

It makes sense to keep tabs on a man who has referred to America as “a seething hotbed for ‘Islamophobia,’” and has ties to the two principle individuals who wanted to build a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City. What doesn’t make sense is to place him at the head of an investigation trying to uncover the truth about the day four Americans died at the hands of radical Islamists.

Your Memory: More Powerful Than You Realize!

Your Memory: More Powerful Than You Realize!

Turbinado / iStockphoto

Perhaps one day, these vast storehouses of information will be unlocked!
From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The limitations and caprices of our memories can be frustrating. Our memories are often feeble and unreliable; it seems that even when we carefully study a subject, in time it often slips into the crevasses of our minds, fading into obscurity or disappearing completely.

In normal circumstances, we have to labor hard to keep our storehouses of knowledge from deteriorating into shanties, bringing important truths back to light over and over by repeated study. But, every so often, abnormal circumstances offer us strange glimpses of hope for what our memories can really accomplish.

Guten Morgen, Papa!

One such glimpse came in April 2010, when a Croatian girl named Sandra Ralic emerged from a one-day coma—and baffled her doctors and parents with her sudden fluency in German. The 13-year-old girl’s parents said that she had only just begun to study the German language a few months earlier, and that she had not developed anything even approaching fluency. Her coma had left her no longer able to speak Croatian, so Sandra’s bewildered doctors and parents had to hire a German translator to communicate with her.

It’s easy to understand how the trauma Sandra sustained could damage the area of her brain that stored her Croatian language skills. But how was she suddenly able to communicate in German—vastly superior to what she could speak prior to the coma?

News sources said that, before Sandra’s coma, she occasionally supplemented her middle school German class by watching German tv shows with Croatian subtitles. On a conscious level, this is the linguistic equivalent of a guitarist deciding to learn Albeniz’s fiendishly difficult “Asturias” in his first week playing the instrument. But for Sandra’s subconscious, watching tv in German was far from fruitless. Some part of her brain had absorbed, compartmentalized and stored vast quantities of German-language knowledge, though she was not aware of it until the coma unlocked all of that information.

‘Unfound Treasure’

In a separate baffling incident in 2006, a 40-year-old Colorado man named Derek Armeto struck his head on the bottom of a swimming pool. He was diagnosed with a severe concussion, and to this day he suffers from some memory loss and a 35 percent loss of hearing. After his accident, Derek and a friend were sitting at a piano, where he discovered another unexpected consequence of the accident.

“As I shut my eyes, I found these black and white structures moving from left to right, which in fact would represent in my mind, a fluid and continuous stream of musical notation,” he said. “My fingers began to scale the piano keys as if I had played all of my life. I can’t explain the feeling of awe that overcame my entire being, although I can tell you the expression on my friend’s face was enough to put us both in tears. I could not only play and compose, but I would later discover that I could recall a prior played piece of music as if it had been etched in my mind’s eye.”

Four days after his accident, he asked his mother to accompany him to a music store. “We found the nearest piano as I asked her to sit next to me,” he said. “I began to play as if I was exploring some unfound treasure that had been locked up all this time in my head.” Derek left his corporate job shortly after to pursue a career in music. He now plays eight instruments proficiently, which he had no previous experience with, and he has sharply improved his skills on the guitar, which he had lightly dabbled with before his accident.

So, how is it that Derek was able to play with such sudden fluidity and mastery? He had actively listened to music for all of his life. All the time he spent listening to music and tinkering away on his guitar, his brain was absorbing and filing musical understanding away in his subconscious. He didn’t have ready access to this understanding until the blow to his cranium unlocked the vault in his subconscious where it was stored.

The Real Rain Man

Then there was the case of Kim Peek, a “mega-savant” born in Salt Lake City in 1951. By the time of Peek’s death in 2009, he was considered a genius in 15 different subjects, from music to history, and from literature to dates. He could read two pages at a time—one with his right eye and one with his left eye. He would devour an entire book in about an hour, and comprehend and remember virtually everything recorded in its pages. Forever.

One article in the Times newspaper said Peek could accurately recall the contents of no fewer than 12,000 books, and he had 9,000 entire books completely committed to memory. When quizzed on what he read, Kim could pull a fact from his mental archives as quickly as any search engine can mine the Internet.

But there was a problem. Even though Peek knew a staggering amount, he could not function socially or take care of himself. He never learned to button his shirt, and he could only walk in a sidelong fashion. The fascinating story of Kim’s uneven brain was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film Rain Man.

What explains Kim’s astounding memory capacity? He was born without the bundle of nerves that links the two hemispheres of the brain together, and scientists believe his brain forged unusual neural pathways to compensate for the absence of this nerve-bundle.

So, the question is this: Are all of our brains capable of the astounding abilities Kim’s had? If so, how can we tap into this potential? Could we enjoy the advantages of his condition without suffering the crippling limitations that came along with it? These kinds of questions baffle scientists.

For possible answers, let’s look instead to the Being who created the human mind.

Earnest Heed

The Creator designed our minds and brains so that, in normal circumstances, we can’t easily access the information we encounter unless we have repeatedly and fastidiously studied it. Apparently, God wants to see which kinds of information we are willing to labor for diligently in order to keep it at our fingertips.

The Apostle Paul acknowledged this reality, saying that he and his fellow Hebrews needed to “give the more earnest heed” to the truths God was revealing to them. Why? “Lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1).

Elsewhere, Paul wrote, “[Y]ou are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you …” (1 Corinthians 15:2). That’s an enormous “if.” It says a Christian’s salvation depends on his laboring to “keep in memory” the truth. These admonitions would not be necessary if we could hear or read a truth only once and have it permanently etched into our memory.

God’s desire is for people to work to develop holy, righteous character. One way we can do that is through consistent and disciplined study. Some people—even fairly ordinary ones—are blessed with impressive intellectual abilities. But a willingness to labor at learning God’s Word is far more important to Him and His purpose for us. Character trumps intellect any day of the week.

Rare cases like those of Sandra, Derek and Kim suggest that the human mind is far more impressive than most understand. The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote extensively on the potential of the human mind and memory, explaining that its staggering capacity is made possible by a spirit component the Creator God built into it. A person “sees, hears and thinks through his physical brain and the five senses,” he wrote in The Incredible Human Potential. But it is “the spirit in man” that “imparts the power of physical intellect to the physical brain, thus forming human mind,” he wrote. Based on thorough study of Ecclesiastes 12:7, Job 32:8 and other biblical passages, Mr. Armstrong came to see that this “spirit in man” records every shred of information perceived by the senses throughout a person’s lifetime: “[T]his spirit records every thought—every bit of knowledge received through the five senses. … All memory is stored in this spirit computer. … [M]emory is recorded in the human spirit, whether or not it also is recorded in the gray matter of brain.”

It is because God gave people this “spirit in man” that our brains have such a staggering capacity to absorb, compartmentalize and store the information our senses perceive. The majority of what our minds store, we don’t have ready access to right now—but every word we’ve ever read or heard is warehoused there. Every syllable we’ve ever uttered, and every note we’ve ever heard is on file behind our quiet eyes.

And a time is on the horizon, potentially for each one of us, when real life will begin (see 1 Corinthians 15:35-58). At this time, it is likely that we’ll be handed the keys to unlock our memories, and be able to swim freely through the oceans of knowledge within them. When this resource is tapped, we will have the benefits that cases like Sandra, Derek and Kim give us a glimpse into, with none of the limitations they suffered.

We should educate ourselves carefully, read voraciously, and keep from succumbing to frustration about our presently feeble memories. Because one day, the vault doors may well swing wide open.

European Commission Unveils a Path to a European Superstate

European Commission Unveils a Path to a European Superstate

European Parliament/flickr

Eurozone leaders have already decided they’re heading toward a superstate. Now they’re working on the details of how to get there.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso unveiled “substantial” and “ambitious” plans to move the eurozone further down the road to become a superstate, on November 28. Calls for closer integration have become increasingly common. Barroso’s report shows how those calls can be put into action.

Barroso “breached a taboo over a ‘two-speed Europe,’” wrote Reuters. The report is one of the first times a senior EU leader has called for the eurozone to move forward, leaving the rest of Europe behind. “The euro area must be able to integrate quicker and deeper than the EU at large,” Barroso told reporters. This, he argued, was the only way to create a stable eurozone.

In the medium term (18 months to five years), the eurozone must work more closely together on areas like taxation, spending and employment, Barroso said. This “progressive pooling of sovereignty” should continue into the longer term, he said. Integration toward “a full banking, fiscal and economic union” should be complemented with a “political union.” The eurozone should have its own budget and release jointly-backed bonds.

Much of what Barroso said has become mundane—which is in itself remarkable. He called for nations to share—which means give up—power over their taxation and spending. He even said it was possible that eurozone officials could “require amendments to national budgets or … veto them.” He’s talking about sovereign democracies handing over their most important and fundamental power—how the nation’s money is collected and spent. But that has become routine. Politicians frequently make these calls now. Eurozone leaders have already accepted that their nations are on their way to merging into a superstate.

Eurozone leaders will now quibble over the details. But few with any real power disagree on the overall direction.

As Reuters points out, the new part of this proposal isn’t the calls for superstate-like powers. It’s that the eurozone could move forward with this, leaving the rest behind. World events may not give Barroso the luxury of five-years-plus to forge his superstate. But watch for Europe to continue on the path to creating a superstate out of a smaller group of EU nations.

The Terrifying Darkness Before the Eternal Dawn

America is rapidly headed into its darkest hour ever. But that black hour leads immediately into an everlasting joy!
From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

What will the next four years bring America?

A majority of American voters chose to reelect Barack Obama presumably because they believed the United States would have a brighter future with him leading the country.

Many others were convinced the country would have been far better off if the Republican candidate had won. His loss left a lot of people deeply discouraged, even depressed.

People see the terrifying problems facing the U.S. and this world—and see no solutions. They don’t have hope. But believe it or not, this is the greatest era of hope in mankind’s history.

There Is Reason to Fear

What can we expect to see happen in America during this next presidential term? I believe that many people who voted for Mr. Obama seriously underestimate the severity of the crises and threats facing this country and the world today. We need to look honestly at the dangers.

Here is how Melanie Phillips, an excellent British commentator, reacted to the president’s reelection: “With four more years of Obama in the White House, Iran can now be sure that it will be able to complete its infernal construction of a genocide bomb to use against the Jews and the West. World War iii has now come a lot closer” (Nov. 7, 2012; emphasis mine throughout).

This is the view of many influential people, both inside and outside the U.S. In her article “America Goes Into the Darkness,” Phillips continued, “It is said that, with likely gridlock in Congress over domestic issues, Obama will concentrate on foreign policy. We should all shudder. So far, Obama has empowered Iran to destabilize the region; supported Islamist takeovers in Egypt and Libya; is backing al Qaeda affiliates in Syria; refused to come to the aid of Americans being attacked by al Qaeda in Benghazi as a result of which four American officials were murdered; and hung Israel out to dry against its genocidal Palestinian attackers.”

There is a lot of evidence to support Ms. Phillips’s statements. The president’s first term saw a rise in power for many enemies of the United States, while America’s power and influence declined. This president has talked a lot about how he would improve America’s reputation in the world. But the facts show this has not happened. More and more, other nations openly work against America’s interests with no fear of any repercussions. America’s reputation is being ravaged.

America has been going into the darkness for many years. President Obama and the radical left are just leading us into the nation’s worst darkness ever, and much faster than at any time in our history.

Would Romney Have Been Better?

America has $16 trillion in debt—more debt than any nation has ever had—but that’s just the beginning. America has promised people tens of trillions more in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, says America’s total liabilities are actually $222 trillion!

Meanwhile, unemployment is high, productivity is stagnant, and inflation is rising. Yet all of the government’s efforts to fix the economic crisis have aimed at trying to soften its effects rather than solve its causes. That is only making things worse. Even in these crushing conditions, the government just keeps growing and spending more and more money. This administration has grown the national debt a trillion dollars a year for all four years. No nation has ever borrowed and printed money the way America has. A study in 2010 by John Kichen of the U.S. Treasury and Menzie Chinn of the University of Wisconsin showed that if trends continue, by 2020, funding America’s debt would take 19 percent of the gross domestic product of the entire world!

These facts ought to shock Americans to their senses, but most people are too involved in their sports and pleasures to notice. The debt doesn’t bother them. In fact, the way people voted in this election shows that they want more of it. Already the total price tag for federal and state welfare programs came to almost $1 trillion in 2011—almost a third of America’s yearly budget. A record 47 million Americans—one in seven—are on food stamps, and the government is actually encouraging more people to join.

I guarantee you, America’s financial problems will intensify until they get our full attention!

The dollar is going to collapse. I believe the chances are high this will happen within the next four years.

Would America have solved this problem under a Romney presidency? He offered no plan to pay off the debt—and Paul Ryan’s plan wouldn’t have balanced the budget for another 28 years!

This crisis is far bigger than just one candidate or political party.

An expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations, Josef Braml, said this before the election: “The weight of the usa’s total debt has become unsustainable both economically and politically,” he said. That reality has many crucial consequences; one that Braml mentioned is that the country can no longer maintain its global “strategy of massive military presence to secure energy resources and trade routes.” Couple that weakness with the fact that we won’t drill domestically, and you have a catastrophe for America.

Are we willing to listen to our critics?

This man studies the U.S. and recently published a book called The American Patient. The perception of America has changed a lot since our days as a superpower. Now we are looked upon as a sick patient on our deathbed.

The Real Problem

In the past, many nations looked to the U.S. for protection. But that trust is rapidly fading. Nations like China know that Americans are too fearful to fight. We do all we possibly can to avoid any human casualties. We do this to the point where we have become a nation of cowards.

Adolf Hitler preyed on that kind of weakness before World War ii. In fact, Winston Churchill believed that weakness caused World War ii! So few nations opposed Hitler that he thought he could conquer the world. He almost did! Weakness only encourages strong, dictatorial leaders.

How can we correct this deadly disease of a broken will? America gained its freedom through much bloodshed and courage. And our freedom cannot be sustained by cowards. We can easily deceive ourselves. But our enemies know the truth and will one day soon put us to the test!

The further we get from God, the more cowardly we become. How serious is this problem? The repercussions will be worse than we can imagine.

We learned a lot about America in this last election. For example, for the first time in American history, people voted to legalize same-sex “marriage.” They voted it down 32 previous times, but this time, laws permitting same-sex unions passed in Maryland, Washington and Maine. Minnesota rejected a measure constitutionally defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Also, Wisconsin elected a lesbian to the Senate, the country’s first openly homosexual senator.

America’s moral state has never been more base.

On abortion, a recent Rasmussen poll found that 54 percent of Americans now call themselves pro-choice, while only 38 percent say they are pro-life. Fornication is accepted; adultery is common. Pornography is mainstream—it is even studied academically in our universities!

There will be some serious consequences for America that come from this president receiving a second term. But Americans must not make the mistake of thinking that the problem is just with that man, or a small group of radicals, or the Democrat Party, or the liberal left.

America is experiencing problems because of the sins of the people!

The Root Cause

God revealed through Herbert W. Armstrong that the United States and the British peoples are prophetically known as the nations of Israel in the Bible. Others understood that truth, but only in a shallow way compared to Mr. Armstrong. God also revealed to Mr. Armstrong that the modern-day Israelis are prophetically known as Judah in the Bible.

These are God’s own nations, called to set an example for the world. Our nations have failed miserably to live up to God’s standards. Our crime rates are some of the highest in the world—and our morals are the lowest in the world!

Anciently, Manasseh “seduced” Israel into being more evil than other nations (2 Kings 21:1-3, 9, 16). He destroyed the righteousness that his father Hezekiah had established. In the same way, America today has led the rest of Israel and much of the world into great evil also!

This is what we have done with the enormous blessings God has given us. Now God is sending curses because of our sins.

God always warns people before He punishes them. In Ezekiel 33, God says He sends a watchman to warn the nations of the United States, Great Britain and Israel. (For proof, ask us for a copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. We will send it to you absolutely free of charge.) In verse 11, He says, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;but that the wicked turn from his way andlive:turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

Do you believe that scripture? God wants people to stop disobeying Him! He doesn’t want us to suffer the evils of our addiction to drugs and pornography that destroys families. He doesn’t want us to have to live in poverty because of our corrupt economic and political systems. He doesn’t want us to be abused by corrupt religions. He wants us to turn from those evils—so we can reallylive!

Many people want to blame the country’s problems on the misguided policies of certain politicians. But that is not the root cause of our problems!God is sending curses on us because of our sins! He wants us to change our ways and turn to Him. Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot of suffering for many people first.

If you feel anxiety about the direction of the country, that is actually a good thing. It is the beginning of the right kind of change, because you will realize that you need to look for a real solution. There is hope, but most people refuse to see it.

The Next Four Years

“Obama’s agenda has been crystal clear from the get-go: to increase the power of the state over the citizen at home, and to neutralize American power abroad. Four more years of this and he’ll almost certainly have succeeded,” Melanie Phillips wrote. “The impact upon Western security could be cataclysmic. … With the reelection of Obama,America now threatens to lead the West into a terrifying darkness.

I have to emphatically agree with Phillips on this point. Why? Because it is exactly what Bible prophecy says is going to happen!

Our elected leaders are going to help bring about some of the worst violence the world has ever known. The Bible is full of prophecies of what is about to happen to the United States. Most people would ridicule that statement, but the fact is, we are already seeing these prophecies coming to pass.

God specifically foretold America’s decline in strong leadership, both nationally and within families (e.g. Isaiah 1:4-6; 3:1-12). He prophesied that sexual perversions would abound—comparing American and British society to ancient Sodom (Isaiah 3:9). He foretold the loss of military strength and will (Leviticus 26:17-20). Several prophecies speak of the nation being rocked by economic crises, social breakdown, racial hatreds, widespread crime, judicial corruption and other problems. He warned in advance of the increase in floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other nature-related catastrophes. He forecast our descent into materialism, greed, godlessness, rank idolatry, arrogance and self-promotion.

So many of these passages in Scripture—which specifically speak about the end-time nations of Israel—are perfect descriptions of America today. But the prophecies get far worse and even more specific.

Ezekiel prophesied that a third of the people in America and the British nations will die by a plague of violence or burning (that’s what “pestilence” refers to) and famine (Ezekiel 5). That could result from terrorism, or economic disruptions that spark riots and racial violence. Ezekiel said cities are going to be “laid waste” and “desolate” (Ezekiel 6:6). He discusses the great cities of America and Britain becoming “without inhabitant.” That means nuclear fire is going to reduce our major cities to ashes! It is hard to imagine God giving us a stronger warning! But the prophecies continue in even more detail.

We are heading into a terrifying darkness in this country, as Melanie Phillips put it. I do believe the next four years may well see the fulfillment of the worst of these prophecies.

But that is not the end of the story. In that darkness is the hope! That darkness is the very thing that will ultimately make us get to know God!Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:29).

The recent election showed that millions of Americans are ignorant of the dangers we face—and are complacent or even happy about the downward spiral this nation has entered. It showed that millions more are bitterly opposed to their neighbors. But more than anything, it proved that neither ideology has the solutions to our problems.

Maybe you are one of those who are apprehensive about the next four years. You probably see some of the same dangers that Phillips sees. Those dangers are real—and they’re even worse than you think. Yet there is real hope, and it is much greater than you think! It’s far greater than Mr. Romney or the Republican Party. It’s greater than conservatism. The real hope is repentance toward God! Strange as that may sound, the same Bible that precisely prophesied America’s decline and its coming collapse also prophesies that there is dazzling hope ahead!

There is only one answer. It is only by obeying God, by applying His laws and principles of life that we can bring real hope and joy into our lives. We do need real change to solve our problems. And even though we will go through some dark times, God will bring that to pass. He is about to effect a revolution by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to rule this Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible also prophesies about that—and those prophecies are sure. We are almost there! Take hope in that.