How to Weather the Storm

From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

In sheer size and scope, a hurricane is the most devastating storm man can face. The combination of rain, wind and flooding over an extended period of time leaves a wake of large-scale destruction. Hurricane Sandy is a catastrophic example. Several million lost power, water and heat. With fuel shortages, transportation delays, destroyed homes, interruptions in work and battered cities, an estimated 50 million people over 24 states felt the effect of just this one storm.

Where was God in all of this? Couldn’t He have stopped the storm?

Violent storms aren’t a coincidence or an effect of man-made causes. God allows these storms. These so-called natural disasters are biblical. God prophesied these catastrophes in the Bible; He even warns us that they will increase. And He tells us why He is allowing them.

America has rejected God. You can read Hosea 1:9 and 4:6 to see what happens as a result. Because we have turned away from Him, God is removing the blessings and the protection that He once gave us (Hosea 2:8-9). He has revealed that the nation is so anti-God that it has passed the point of no return. You can read about this sobering judgment in our free booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return.

But God does show us how we—individually—can weather the coming storms.

As He concluded His famous “sermon on the mount,” Jesus Christ talked about a violent, hurricane-like storm. He said anyone who heard His sayings and did them was like a wise man who built his house on a rock and could thus withstand a violent storm. But anyone who heard but didn’t do what Christ said was like a fool who built on sand, and whose house would be destroyed in the violent weather (Matthew 7:24-27).

No one escapes the storm, but those who hear Christ’s sayings and do them endure the devastation. The doers of God’s Word have their homes—their lives—built on a rock! (James 1:22-25).

How can we build our lives on that rock? Jesus showed us in that same sermon. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

How do we weather the coming storms? By obeying God’s law!

God’s law is a law of love (Romans 13:10). It consists of love toward God and love toward our fellow man (Matthew 22:35-40).

During His sermon, Jesus went into detail about the relationship we need with God. This is the relationship we were meant to have with our Creator. Christ taught that God is our Father and we are His children. He taught us to love and worship God, to exercise living faith, and to trust God for our needs no matter the physical conditions. He taught us that there can’t be anyone or anything more important than God in our lives. Doing so breaks God’s law of love, and we suffer when we allow that. When we sin, God can’t be near us, so when the rain and wind and flooding comes, we can’t hold up.

In that same message, Christ also taught us to love our neighbor. He taught that God’s law of love governs the human relationships we share. He explained how God’s law should govern not just our deeds and our words, but even our thoughts. What is the attitude and intent in our relationships? Do we want to help others or hurt them? Do we want to give or take? Are we treating others the way we would want to be treated? Do we see their needs and seek to fulfill those needs? (Matthew 25:32-45). Are we willing to sacrifice to help others?

These are God’s laws of love, and these are the words God expects us to live by (Matthew 4:4). When we choose to do these words—to love God and to love our neighbor—then the structure of our lives is strengthened, and our footing is secure.

God’s laws are unchangeable and eternal, and they lead to a happy, prosperous life even in a world of turmoil and devastation. Hurricane Sandy and the continued suffering shows us how much we need God, and how much we need His law of love to guide us (Psalm 119:105).

“As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation” (Proverbs 10:25). Those who reject God’s laws can’t endure the storm. But the righteous, those who build their lives on God’s law, don’t just have an everlasting foundation: They are an everlasting foundation! By being doers of the word, the righteous become a foundation that God will build on forever!

Greater storms are coming. Not all will be literal storms. But the rains, the winds and the floods will come. How important it is that we build our lives on God’s law and be an everlasting foundation.

Israeli Intelligence: Sudan a Core Part of Iran’s Terror Network

Israeli Intelligence: Sudan a Core Part of Iran’s Terror Network

ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images

Iran quickly moves to resupply Hamas, via Sudan and with help from Eritrea.

Iran is preparing a shipment of missiles to send to Gaza via Sudan, the Sunday Times reported on November 25, citing anonymous Israeli defense and intelligence sources. Satellite photos showed the shipment being prepared while Israel and Hamas agreed a ceasefire last week.

Not only is Iran sending more Fajr-5 rockets, the missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but the paper also reported it is sending Shahab-3 missiles, which could reach Israel directly from Sudan.

“With a lot of effort, Iran has skilfully built a strategic arm pointing at Israel from the south,” the Times quoted an Israeli source as saying. It also reported that Israel believes Iran is building a new weapons factory in Sudan to replace the one Israel destroyed last month.

The Farj-5 rockets are to be dismantled and smuggled through Egypt and across the Gaza border through tunnels.

Eritrea is also part of Iran’s network. An Israeli source said, “We believe that Iranian warships based in Eritrea will escort the cargo ship once it has entered the Red Sea.”

Israel said it planned to destroy the shipment.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has pointed to Iran’s ambition to control the Red Sea as a key part of its grand strategy. Already it has a “strategic arm” in Sudan and warships based in Eritrea. It has close links to terrorist groups in Yemen. Its hold over the Red Sea is already strong.

At the moment, Iran is using this control to ship weapons to attack Israel. As its hold on the region strengthens, the pressure on Israel will grow. It can also use its hold over this vital trade route as a weapon against America and Europe. It has already threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to intimidate the West.

Continue to watch Iran develop its control of this region. For more information on it aims, see our article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy.”

Herbert W. Armstrong Awarded Cross of Constantine in Jerusalem

Herbert W. Armstrong Awarded Cross of Constantine in Jerusalem

Son of Groucho/flickr

Eastern Orthodox Church Patriarch Diodoros presented award dating back 325 years after Christ.

On Nov. 27, 1982, Herbert Armstrong spoke in the famed Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California, declaring to the audience a “United States of Europe is coming.”

“Now the Eastern Orthodox Church has refused to go together with the Roman Church because the primary thing is they have rejected the papal supremacy. They have rejected the idea that the pope has got to sit on top of the heap,” he said.

In September 2011, Trumpet founder and editor in chief Gerald Flurry headlined, “World’s Greatest Danger: Germany Domineers Over Europe Again!

Revelation 13 and 17 reveal this prophesied fact of the present. Today, Europe is undisputedly dominated by one nation—Germany. Through economic power and influence it has succeeded in leading the subjugation of such countries as Greece, Spain and Italy, as noted by the ancient Prophet Daniel in chapter 8 and verse 9.

However, Germany’s guidance of Europe’s present united states has been controlled, managed and carefully permitted by the overseer of the 27 nations’ treasury, the European Central Bank (ecb), in consort with the leader of the European Council and the European Parliament, along with the top leaders of Italy and Spain.

Is there a connection? If so, then what? This website has drawn repeated attention to a cadre of power players in Europe who have been Jesuit trained and dubbed “God’s Marines.” Who are they?

Mario Draghi presides over the ecb, a position more powerful than head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Herman Van Rompuy is president of the European Council. José Manuel Barroso is not Jesuit trained, but as a knight of Malta has shown himself a sympathizer and supporter of the Holy Roman-trained “Marines.” Mario Monti, prime minister of Italy, was called upon in an unelected capacity to save his country’s economy. Finally, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was elected to preserve Europe’s most Catholic country from fiscal inquisition.

Revelation 17:1-5 declare a woman riding the great beast. She is named as a Babylonian mystery religion, universal in scope, power and influence, in control of her daughters.

“The last time I was in Jerusalem the patriarch of the Eastern Church at Jerusalem came to see me in my hotel suite,” the unofficial ambassador recounted in his 1982 address. “And he gave me what he considered the highest prize he could give, which was the cross of Constantine—Constantine the Great—which dates back to a.d. 325, 325 years after Christ.”

Constantine ruled his empire from and was named after the city of Constantinople, and history credits him with calling the Nicene Council at which he veritably dictated doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“Well this cross, it is quite a good sized cross, it was hanging on my … I think it is supposed to hang around your neck and hang down in front, and it would really show. It was of gold and quite decorative solid gold. And I was the 129th person to receive that award since a.d 325. So they consider it a very high honor because very few have ever received it.”

The Orthodox Church patriarch who gave Mr. Armstrong this honor was born Damianos G. Karivalis in Greece on Aug. 14, 1923. In 1944 he was renamed Diodoros after becoming a monk. By 1947 he was a priest, then in 1962 was appointed an archbishop. He served as Patriarchal Exarch in Jordan’s capital, Amman. Then in 1981, a year before awarding Mr. Armstrong the Cross of Constantine, the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem named Diodoros patriarch. He remained in the post 19 years until his death on Dec. 20, 2000.

In the course of their meeting, which took place at Mr. Armstrong’s hotel suite, Mr. Armstrong asked Diodoros, “Do you think that there will be an ecumenical movement so that the Eastern and the Roman Church will go together and be rejoined?” The patriarch responded, “We are praying for it.”

This historic meeting in Jerusalem made clear to Mr. Armstrong the resolution between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches on three key doctrinal sticking points.

The first, their inconsistencies regarding the delivery of the Holy Spirit. Catholics believed the Holy Spirit is imparted by God and Jesus, while the Eastern Orthodox Church maintained that it is imparted solely by God the Father. On this point the Vatican yielded.

Secondly, on the doctrine of supremacy over believers, agreement was made that the papal office would be chief while the patriarch’s position would be secondary.

At the time, this came as news to Mr. Armstrong—that the pope would be, as he noted, “top of the heap, just as the Bible says exactly,” as leader of this powerful combine of churches (Revelation 13:1-2), over many waters (Revelation 17:15), composed of many nationalities speaking diverse languages, which he stated on Nov. 17, 1982, was “Europe.”

Thirdly, he cited that the only remaining sticking point to be resolved was that of the bishop of Rome’s infallibility. As a result of his private meeting with Diodoros, Mr. Armstrong said, “I think that Rome will now make the concession that they will also listen to the top Greek officials before he makes any such pronouncements. But that won’t be much of a give and take for him; and I am quite sure that’ll be done, and I think it will be done very quickly” (ibid).

Today, the Eastern Orthodox Church believes in the “impeccability” of the pope. This translates as belief that the pope cannot sin.

Bible prophecy bespeaks of a powerful “woman” riding and guiding a “beast” in this end time, a final resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire. “Here is pictured a woman,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in his compelling booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? “In 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:22-27 and elsewhere, we learn that ‘woman’ is a symbol for church. This woman is a fallen woman—an apostate church—pictured as ruling over many nations (Revelation 17:1, 15). In verse 3, this false church is pictured sitting on a beast ‘having seven heads and ten horns.’”

Request your free copy of Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? to understand more about this critical prophecy unfolding now in Europe, soon to directly impact your own personal life!

Parents: What Can You Do?

From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and even friends have a role to play in protecting youths from drug misuse—whether it’s alcohol, tobacco, legal or illegal highs. In today’s world, you can’t perpetually prevent your child from having access to dangerous drugs. You must help him develop into someone who will choose not to do wrong things, even though he can. Some thoughts to consider:

Educate 

Don’t let your child be ignorant. Teach him how dangerous these different types of drugs are and what can happen if he takes them. According to the Angelus Foundation, only a third of 16-to-24-year-olds say they’re at least “fairly well informed” about illegal highs. Don’t run the risk of your son being one of those who thinks that “legal” drugs are safe. Your son needs to be very well informed.

Live right 

Make sure that your example is “squeaky clean.” Your children are learning from everything they see you do. If you need alcohol to have a good time, that’s sending a message to your daughter. She needs you to be an awesome example of balance and control.

Expect obedience 

Parents who really love their children want to save them from abusing their own minds. Whether it’s fashionable or not, they expect obedience—not out of convenience, but out of love. Yes, this means discipline and even confrontation at times when your son breaks a “small” rule. But if you teach him to be obedient then, it may be that very lesson that gives him the strength to walk away when a friend offers him Annihilation.

Spend time 

Enjoy wholesome, uplifting pursuits with your child. Develop a close relationship with each of your children as early as possible. Go beyond stressing the negative (don’t do this or that; stay away from drugs), and emphasize the positive, exciting, enjoyable things you can do together: sports, music, academics, crafts and trades.

Plant ambition 

Young people who abuse drugs and alcohol are living for the moment. They have little hope for their future. But if your son is focused on what he can accomplish, he won’t want to risk losing such a bright future to dangerous drugs. Help your child set goals and be ambitious about what he can accomplish as he grows up—he may amaze even you!

Stay involved 

Your daughter needs guidance. Help her choose her friends thoughtfully—and what she does with those friends. Ask her how her day at school went. Know how her test scores are coming. Talk about her social life with her, even if it’s hard to get her to open up at first. Negative peer pressure, drug parties and clubbing are going to be available—you must fight for your child by staying involved in her life and steering her toward a better future.

Teach spiritually 

If you follow all these guidelines, you’ll already be showing your children the spirit of give—by your example. Teach them to also focus on serving other people. If they learn God’s way of give, and if they have a relationship with Him, their futures will be drug-proof!

You don’t have to remember all seven points all the time. Just remember the one word that sums it all up: love. A young person taking drugs is often a cry for attention. If your children see that you love them and that you will even make sacrifices to help them, they will turn to you—and away from dangerous drugs.

‘im gon loot me sum stuff’

From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The breakdown of law and order post-Sandy was shocking. It seemed like people were just waiting for the storm to strike so they could take advantage.

Coney Island was especially bad. People went in and out of stores grabbing flat-screen televisions, clothing, booze and other loot. According to witnesses, looters were in no hurry. Some thieves made multiple trips. Looting even took place in broad daylight, with bystanders present. The thieves didn’t care. It wasn’t about stealing to feed themselves; this was about entrepreneurship. This was about seizing an opportunity.

Thieves hit Joann’s Discount Wine and Liquors at 11:30 a.m. Police officers were posted to prevent further looting. While they were out front, innovating thieves emptied the store through the roof.

At a nearby Rite-Aid, people were walking in empty-handed and walking out with full shopping carts. “They didn’t even look worried,” said one store employee. “They looked like they were casually shopping.”

A mob of up to 100 people completely ransacked the Fresh Market Store. Employee Fernando Mendoza said they were “destroying everything. They stole anything they could get their hands on. Someone even ran off with the cash register.”

One looter justified stealing merchandise this way: “Look, they’ve been looting our wallets for too long.”

Other people took the opportunity to cash in big. People were selling chocolate bars for $8 and fuel for $20 per gallon. Hotels jacked up rates to $700 per night. On Craigslist, gasoline was offered in exchange for sex.

But people weren’t just nonchalant about their looting: They were proud of it, declaring their sins for the world to see.

The Twittersphere showed looters going wild. One bragged: “Last night even momma got outa her house to loot me a new shirt..luv u momma.” The attached picture showed an older woman taking a mannequin wearing a white shirt out of a broken store window.

Another wrote: “i don’t need a degree the lootin business serve me well.” Other looters bragged about stealing laptops, TVs, stereo equipment, video game systems, hospital equipment, and even somebody’s pet cat right out of their house. One person bragged: “im rakin in da dough ive pocketed $8500 just in past hour.”

Another tweeted: “we not stealin we taking back from da white man.

What a nation. This problem isn’t easily fixed. It exposes a mentality more deeply ingrained in our culture than most people care to admit.

Can I Improve My Memory Now?

From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Why is it that, in an ordinary human brain, some memories last just a few minutes and then vanish, while others persist for days or months, even a lifetime? A big part of the answer lies in the way the memory is encoded, or converted into the kind of data the brain understands. The more elaborately we encode information at the time of learning, the sturdier and more robust the resulting memory will be, especially if we personalize it.

Many of us struggle to remember names. If, at a social event, you need help remembering the name Theresa, it helps to repeat the name internally, with additional information added. “Theresa is wearing a green dress. My second favorite color is green.” At first glance, this notion seems counterintuitive. Making information more elaborate means it becomes more complicated, which sounds like it would be more taxing for the memory system. But study after study shows that the complexity equates to greater learning. If the impact of the initial stimulus is deep and elaborate, the quality of the memories will be high, and their lifespan long.

This notion of elaborate and rich encoding is critical for making new information stick in the short-term memory. But how do you go beyond that, and intentionally congeal memories into long-term storage? In his book Brain Rules, scientist John Medina says the key to this is repetition at precisely timed intervals: “Memory may not be fixed at the moment of learning, but repetition, doled out in specifically timed intervals, is the fixative.”

The lion’s share of memories disappear within minutes, but reexposing oneself to information a few minutes, or even an hour or two after the initial encounter with it, will help to keep the information in the working memory. The more repetition cycles we give to a certain memory experience, the more likely it is to persist in our accessible mind.

A large body of research also shows that thinking about or discussing an event immediately after it occurs greatly enhances retrieval ability. This practice can also convert short-term memories into a long-term, more permanent form.

If we really dig into studying a new activity or subject—and strive to synthesize the new information into a big-picture context that we have previously learned—then the physical brain actually changes, and the memories can become vivid and durable. But memories are so capricious and volatile that, from there, we have to repeat to remember. If we repeat and revisit them often, discuss them with others, and meditate on their significance, then we can make them a part of us that we can carry on for many years.