Sri Lanka Defends China’s Naval Presence in the Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka Defends China’s Naval Presence in the Indian Ocean

ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s transformation from British colony to Chinese pearl highlights the declining influence of America and Britain in the Indian Ocean.

As the United States grows increasingly concerned about the role of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is supporting China’s role in the region.

Addressing a gathering of naval delegations from 28 countries at the annual maritime conference in the southern city of Galle on December 13, Rajapaksa insisted that multimillion-dollar funding from China to Sri Lankan ports was purely a commercial interest.

“China has an industry-intensive economy that requires oil imports amounting to more than 200 million tons every year,” he stated. “Most of these oil imports are sourced from the Middle East, and then transported through the Indian Ocean to China. It is obvious that the safety and stability of the Indian Ocean is critical for China’s energy security, and its increasing interest and increasing naval presence in this region is quite understandable.”

China has already invested $360 million into expanding Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port and loaned millions more for other infrastructure projects.

It only takes a quick glance at a world map to see that the Indian Ocean is a vitally strategic pathway for maritime trade. This massive body of water connects four of the great raw-material-producing regions of the world—East Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East—with the power blocs that are the hungriest for those resources—China, Japan and the European Union.

More than 80 percent of the world’s seaborne hydrocarbon trade transits through Indian Ocean choke points.

Right in the midst of the Indian Ocean’s crisscrossing shipping lanes is the strategic island of Sri Lanka, which has one of the fines,t ports in the world, Trincomalee. Great Britain seized control of Trincomalee from the Netherlands in 1795, fearing that the Dutch alliance with the French would give the French Empire control of Indian Ocean trade routes. For the next 152 years, Britain’s control over Sri Lanka ensured Anglo-Saxon trade access to Australia, India and the Orient.

During World War ii, the port of Trincomalee protected the British Seventh Fleet, and proved to be an invaluable asset after London lost the Singapore Naval Base to the Japanese in 1942.

This strategic gateway was completely lost by Britain after London relinquished control of Trincomalee air and naval bases to a newly independent Sri Lanka in 1957. The Sri Lankan government is now being courted by Chinese leaders, who would like to see the port of Trincomalee as a strategic asset in their “String of Pearls” strategy to control the Indian Ocean. This strategy is an attempt by China to control every major Indian Ocean port between Hong Kong and the Port of Sudan as a means of securing access to Middle Eastern oil.

Sri Lanka’s transformation from British colony to Chinese pearl highlights the declining influence of Britain in the Indian Ocean, putting both British and American trade interests in an extremely precarious position. Reference Ron Fraser’s column “The Great Sea Gate Contest” for more-in-depth analysis.

Do You Know the Truth About the Trinity?

Do You Know the Truth About the Trinity?

mike johnson/flickr

The Philadelphia Trumpet, in conjunction with the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, presents this brief excursion into the fascinating study of the Bible.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Who is God? Who is it that hundreds of millions of Christians worship? For the great majority, at the heart of their answer lies a mystery: the idea that God is one deity divided into distinct-yet-merged hypostases: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Notice the candid admission of one world-famous evangelist who teaches this doctrine: “When I first began to study the Bible years ago, the doctrine of the trinity was one of the most complex problems I had to encounter. I have never fully resolved it, for it contains an aspect of mystery …. To explain and illustrate the trinity is one of the most difficult assignments ….”

When even religionists admit they don’t comprehend who they worship, is there any hope you can understand God’s identity? Yes! It starts not with researching trinitarian orthodoxy, but with examining some illuminating verses right in your own Bible.

Let’s start with Revelation 12:9, which is not about the nature of God, but rather the nature of our world. This shocking verse reveals that the whole world has been deceived! And 2 Corinthians 4:4 corroborates this. Satan is not only very real, he is also incredibly successful: He has deceived not only atheists and non-Christians, but almost all Christians as well!

Satan did not accomplish this feat by denying Christ outright. He did it by creating a great false church—one that still bears Christ’s name today.

Counterfeit Christianity

The origin of that counterfeit Christianity is recorded in Acts 8. Two years after Jesus founded the Church of God, the deacon Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ’s gospel. Samaria was dominated by the influence of Simon, a sorcerer who had bewitched the inhabitants (Acts 8:9-11). Along with the crowd, Simon himself came to hear what Philip had to say.

1. When Simon’s followers believed Philip, who was preaching Christ and the Kingdom of God, what did they do? Acts 8:12. Did Simon join them? Verse 13.

2. When the apostles Peter and John came to Samaria to lay hands on the newly baptized so they could receive the Holy Spirit, what did Simon try to do? Verses 18-19. How did Peter respond? Verses 20-23.

Though he had been baptized, Simon was not converted to true Christianity—he attempted to buy what he thought was the power to impart God’s Spirit. Peter knew this man’s attitude was totally wrong; he only wanted more power to further exalt himself!

3. How did Simon react? Verse 24.

This request was insincere—far from repentance from such an evil mindset. The account ends there. But Simon’s work did not.

The sorcerer went on to proclaim himself an apostle. He proclaimed the name of Jesus Christ. He accepted the doctrine of “grace” for forgiveness of sin, something the pagan religions never had. He even called his religion “Christianity.” But he mixed these “Christian” ideas with his own pagan Babylonian mystery religion! Using the power of Christ’s name, he taught un-Christian doctrines. He turned the doctrine of grace into a license to sin (Jude 4) and aspired to turn his counterfeit religion into a universal faith that would gain political rule over the world!

Simon—the “Pater,” or father, of this counterfeit religion—did not accomplish his goal in his lifetime. But succeeding leaders, with the church’s headquarters moved to Rome, did later gain political control over the Roman Empire and its medieval successor, the “Holy Roman Empire.” (This empire is again being resurrected in Europe now!)

Even in that first century, Simon’s religion grew rapidly. The Apostle Paul indicated that by the 60s a.d., much of the Middle East had turned from the true gospel to a clever counterfeit! (Galatians 1:6-7).

This “Christian” counterfeit is actually the source of the trinity doctrine!

The Trinity

In a.d. 325, the Roman emperor Constantine called the Nicene Council to settle several religious controversies, which included arguments about belief in a trinity. Constantine was not a “Christian” then, but as political ruler, he assumed control of the church. The religious council approved the trinity doctrine, and Constantine made it law throughout the empire. But he was not able to make it the truth!

The word “trinity” is not used in the Bible. That is because God is not a trinity! A key to understanding God’s true nature is understanding the Holy Spirit.

1. Does 1 John 5:7-8 prove that God is composed of three divine persons?

Notice this! Verses 7 and 8 should actually read: “For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” The 1611 King James Version includes additional words, but these are omitted from most modern Bible translations—for good reason: They are spurious—fraudulent! They did not appear in any respectable Greek manuscript. They appear in a fourth-century Latin text, probably as a marginal note by a copyist who believed in the trinity doctrine. These extra words entered the text of the Latin Vulgate by the eighth century after Christ. Editors of Bible commentaries both liberal and conservative, both old and new, agree that the origin of the King James text in 1 John 5:7-8 is fraudulent.

2. What is the Spirit of God? Jeremiah 32:17; Genesis 1:1-3; Psalm 104:30.

The Bible says the Spirit of God is the power by which God creates. John 1:1 reveals that in the beginning, there was God and the Word (who became Christ). The Word created the universe using the Spirit of God. Spirit energy was literally transformed into the material creation (Hebrews 11:3). It was by this same power that God renewed the surface of the Earth.

3. How did the Word use His Spirit of power to create? Psalm 148:1-5. Notice the word commanded in verse 5. Also read Psalm 33:8-9 and Genesis 1:2-3.

The Word “spake, and it was done.” He willed that spirit energy emanating from Himself to transform into physical energy and matter. That is how the creation of the universe was accomplished.

4. Is God’s Spirit omnipresent? Psalm 139:7-8; Jeremiah 23:24. What does God use to sustain His vast creation? Hebrews 1:2-3; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 66:7.

God’s Spirit is everywhere, like the atmosphere on Earth. It is the power God uses to rule everything. It is what the Word used to do the work of creating. God uses this power much as man uses electrical energy. That is how Christ is “upholding all things by the word of his power.” Under the Father, He uses His authority as God and the power of the God Family to keep everything in the universe in its place.

Though the Father is supreme in the God Family (John 14:28), Jesus is the administrator of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26). The Spirit is not a personality, but rather the very power of God—the power by which God does His will. It is not another person!

5. How does the Bible reference the Holy Spirit? John 1:32; Romans 8:16, 26; 1 Peter 1:11; John 14:16-17, 26; 16:7-8, 13.

Normally, the Holy Spirit is referred to as “it” in the King James. In the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of John, it is personified as one who brings help; therefore, the word comforter is used, along with the English pronouns he and him. Grammatically, all Greek pronouns must agree in gender with the nouns to which they refer. The Greek parakletos (comforter) is masculine in gender, so translators used the personal pronouns he and him for the Greek masculine pronouns. In many languages, a word’s gender has nothing to do with whether the thing itself is literally male or female. For example, the Spanish word mesa (table) is feminine. Gender in language is a mere grammatical tool.

In Greek, as in English, the word spirit is neuter—neither masculine nor feminine in gender. Pneuma is the Greek word meaning “spirit.” It is always grammatically neuter, properly represented by the English pronoun “it” (John 1:32; Romans 8:16).

The Family of God

Few realize why the truth about the trinity doctrine is so important. By making the Holy Spirit into a person, it implies that God is forever limited to three individuals. It denies the very purpose for which God created mankind!

There is a definite reason why Satan, the arch-deceiver, wanted this false doctrine introduced into false Christianity. The trinity doctrine is his attempt to do away with the heart of the gospel Jesus Christ preached. It limits God to only three—with no possibility of expansion! But the truth—the gospel that Jesus Christ brought from God the Father—is that God is not a trinity, but a Family! That is truth Satan wants to hide from mankind!

1. Does Genesis 1:1 speak of one God?

The English word “God” is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim. This is a collective noun (like family, church, group—one noun consisting of two or more members).

God is not a trinity. God is a Family composed of, so far, the two Personages mentioned in John 1:1. However, the God Family will not always be composed of only two divine beings. God is in the process of expanding His divine Family! Many thousands have already been begotten by God’s Spirit and will soon be born into His Family at the return of Jesus Christ—either by a resurrection from the dead or an instantaneous change. In the future, billions will eventually be born into the Family of God!

Jesus Christ, by His resurrection, was born a divine Son of God (Romans 1:4). But He is only the firstborn of many brethren who will also be born into the God Family (Romans 8:29). God the Father is the divine Father of the God Family, and when we who are now the Spirit-begotten sons of God are born into His divine Family at Christ’s return, we shall be like God (1 John 3:2), for we shall then be the Spirit-born sons of God! God is not a trinity. God is so much more—a Family!

Hawks Ascend to Power in Asia

Hawks Ascend to Power in Asia

TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

China’s belligerency is spawning a resurgence of nationalism in Northeast Asia.

Japan and South Korea underwent leadership changes this week, which means all four of North Asia’s major powers now have different leaders in office since this time last year. As these nations undergo leadership transitions, they’re also jockeying for position in a shifting world order, which places China in a dominant role.

Japan’s new premier is the grandson of a World War ii minister who helped run Japanese-occupied Manchuria, and who later tried to abolish the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. China is now ruled by the son of a Communist Chinese revolutionary hero—who was a close comrade of Chairman Mao. And both Koreas are now in the hands of descendants of Cold War dictators.

Although a few different factors are accelerating the resurgence of nationalism and militarism throughout Northeast Asia, it is primarily spawned by China’s intensifying assertiveness as it tries to expand its regional dominance.

On December 16, three years after being ousted from power, Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (ldp) scored a landmark electoral comeback. The militarism and nationalism that saturated the election campaign indicate growing concern among Japan’s ruling class regarding China’s belligerency. It also demonstrates Tokyo’s resolve to reassert Japan’s interests by every method, including military action.

ldp leader Shinzo Abe—who became Japan’s premier on Wednesday—embodies the party’s hawkish agenda. Abe has repeatedly pledged to challenge Japan’s pacifist constitution and to increase its defense spending. Abe’s grandfather, Nobushuke Kishi, was imprisoned for war crimes under the U.S. postwar occupation, but never charged. In 1957, Kishi became Japan’s prime minister and tried to remove the pacifist clause from the nation’s constitution. Like his grandfather, Abe envisions constitutional revisions to “normalize” and strengthen Japan’s military. He wishes to bring an end to what he has called “Japan’s self-torturing history”—or recognition of Tokyo’s egregious war crimes. Abe now holds a super majority power that allows him to override any upper house vetoes of his legislation.

Japan has long been moving toward a quiet “normalization” of its military, but is now likely to make the change official and deeper. “In many ways, the Japanese have been making that change anyway,” Stratfor’s North Asia analyst Rodger Baker said. “The Japanese military has advanced weapons systems, it’s got advanced training, it’s got better interoperability. In many ways, [changing the constitution is] really just removing that last little fiction, rather than a fundamental alteration of Japanese military capabilities” (December 21).

The United States welcomes Japan’s moves toward military expansion because Washington wants to contain China’s mushrooming influence without expending too much of its own resources. For this reason, the Obama administration has encouraged Japan to expand its military strength and to take a sturdier stance against Beijing. This tougher stance against China will be accelerated under Abe.

Abe’s nationalistic notions are welcomed by Washington, but they are generating worry among Japan’s neighbors who vividly remember Tokyo’s savage rampage across Asia 70 years ago. For example, when Abe announced that he wants to expand Japan’s military power, the China Daily called him a “warmonger with dangerous designs.”

Today’s Japan looks eerily like it did back in the 1930s when the country was walloped by a steep decrease in world trade and stumbled into political and economic malaise. The militaristic regime in power tried to remedy the crisis by waging wars for raw materials and markets. Japan’s 1931 invasion of Manchuria, and later of China as a whole, was a part of this attempt, and Japan employed shockingly brutal methods to conduct its occupation of other nations.

The world has changed considerably since the Pacific War came to an end in 1945 when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Among the most significant changes has been China’s ascendance on the global stage. “China’s … projection of newfound power is putting pressure on all the other countries in the region,” said Barbara Demick, the Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times.

In November, the Chinese Communist Party installed Xi Jinping as general secretary in the midst of a vigorous campaign to assert China’s rule over the South China and East China seas. It is potentially significant that Xi, like the other three new Asian leaders, has nationalist bloodlines. There is a “very nationalistic drive in each of these countries,” Baker said. “[W]hether it’s through election, through the rejection of the existing parties, or just through the way in which the parties are shaping and organizing themselves.”

Baker also said Asia’s surging nationalism indicates the failure of globalization in the region:

There is a long history with all of these candidates with family lineages that goes back into regional politics. And at a time where people have been focusing for the past few decades on this concept of globalization and the breaking down of barriers, I think one of the things that we’re seeing in Northeast Asia is the reflection that geopolitics matters—that history matters—and that the national interests are very strong in each of these countries. And they’re seeing a shift in the way in which they can balance with each other.

For decades, militarism and nationalism were viewed as outmoded and backward ideologies in places like Japan. But with each passing month, China is more hellbent on dominating Asia and forcibly expanding its territory. U.S. leaders remain largely oblivious to the potential dangers, but Asian policymakers view it as a major shift that demands major adjustments in their foreign policies.

Nationalism is a self-perpetuating ideology, and perhaps more so in Asia than anywhere else. When one country lurches toward nationalism, its neighbors rapidly follow suit. Despite an increase in political and economic cooperation, Asian nations tend to view each other strictly as rivals. More and more of the citizens of these countries believe war should be undertaken if that is what is required to stop China. Rising levels of concern prompt these citizens to elect governments that are willing to draw a line in the sand that they will not allow China to cross.

Nationalism and militarism are on the rise throughout Asia. And although the countries’ swings to the right are at present designed to protect themselves from other Asian nations, all of the intra-Asian tensions will soon be trumped by a collective Asian concern about a common enemy.

Daniel 11:40-41 speak of a showdown in this end time between “the king of the north”—a German-led European empire—and “the king of the south,” a radical Middle Eastern empire led by Iran. This prophecy explains that this European entity will enter into “the glorious land”—called Israel today—and overthrow many countries. But the amazing military success of this European power will not go unchecked! The pivotal prophecy continues in verse 44, saying that “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him ….” After destroying the Middle Eastern power, the European empire will be troubled by what is happening to its east and north—that is, in Asia!

The moves toward nationalism underway throughout northeast Asia are largely the result of disputes among Asian states, and, above all, because of fear of China’s rise. But these intra-Asian hostilities will soon be set aside so these players can form an allied bloc to meet this colossal European force. Asia’s swing toward nationalism points to dark times on the horizon, but the Bible makes plain that the clash between Europe and Asia will be interrupted by the most spectacular event in the history of the universe: the return of Jesus Christ, and the beginning of an age of peace for the nations of Asia, for Europe, and for the whole of mankind.

To understand more, read Russia and China in Prophecy.

Under His Vine and Under His Fig Tree

Under His Vine and Under His Fig Tree

John Morgan/Flickr

Few comprehend the vast changes that society and the environment will shortly undergo.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

There’s a deeply thought-provoking prophecy in your Bible about a great social and environmental revolution. It’s a complete change from our bloated, city-centered society and rat-race social mentality—to a calm, peaceful, largely rural habitat where man can concentrate on creation and Creator.

We read of the global outcome of this coming revolution in the prophecy of Micah 4:4: “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”

Perhaps the closest we have ever come to this society was old rural England. In their enlightening book Rural England—Our Countryside at the Crossroads, Derrik Mercer and David Putnam paint a picture of Southeast England that is sadly fast diminishing in scope: “It is a cozy countryside where village greens echo each summer to the sound of cricket and polite applause. Overlooking the green will usually be the village church, still a place of architectural and spiritual homage in this more secular age. Church and inn, manor house and cottages, together they reflect a story of man’s impact on the land which frequently goes back a thousand years or more.”

During our five years living in Britain in the 1990s, my wife and I occasionally stayed at an inn in just such an idyllic, traditional English village. It made for interesting reflection on a way of life in the old country that, as these authors stated, “goes back a thousand years or more.”

The Industrial Revolution changed that way of life. While bringing massive progress in man’s technical capacities, it began to denigrate his long-held attachment to the land and its seasonal rhythms. That disruption dramatically escalated stress-related diseases, mental illness and the evolution of a rampant drug culture. These are all signs of a distressed society in the throes of a self-inflicted demise.

What the Industrial Revolution started in the early 19th century has run full course. Greed priced our labor out of the market years ago. Our industrial capacity moved overseas. Former and potential enemy nations now manufacture our goods—even key components of our military hardware, something the United States vowed after the Revolutionary War would never happen again. Last decade, the U.S. became a net importer of food, further eroding its once-independent economy. America now faces the fiscal cliff. Ideas for saving the national economy have been exhausted. Our society—in America, Britain and other English-speaking nations—faces unfixable economic and social woes.

In the process, Americans are fast losing peace of mind. They are daily subjected to personal terror—that tomorrow morning will bring not just Islamist terror, but loss of income, of home, of marriage, of family. Thousands of years ago, God prophesied that all these things would befall our society when we rebelled against Him and His laws (Leviticus 26:16).

The American way of life is barely two centuries old, and is already rapidly falling into decay.

Yet for over a thousand years, a traditional way of life existed in rural England, the last vestiges of which can be still experienced.

What’s the explanation of the two phenomena? To a major extent, it has to do with every man sitting “under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” Note that there are two elements to this vision of the future: a rural-based economy promoting the economic independence of man, and its conformity with the will of God!

The English discovered the value of the organized rural economy and built a society around it during the first millennia a.d. To a certain extent, their seasonal rural principles conformed to biblical tenets, until they were broken by the Industrial Revolution and chemical farming methods.

Developing much later—post-Industrial Revolution—the U.S. has broken both of these stabilizing elements of society that guarantee equitable distribution of national wealth. Other Anglo-Saxon nations are hell-bent on the same course.

So just how will the Anglo-Saxons—and ultimately all nations—extricate themselves from their present catastrophes to obtain that future forecast in Micah 4:4?

They won’t. They can’t. The task is simply beyond them.

To change today’s profit- and mass-production-oriented system—where too much wealth is concentrated in too few hands—into a world where every man has the potential to capitalize and maintain his own independent farm, we need the mighty hand of God.

Germany: EU Blue Card Attracting Entrepreneurs

Germany: EU Blue Card Attracting Entrepreneurs

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Visa changes attract investors and skilled workers.

International venture capitalists and their foreign employees can now gain German residency more rapidly.

On August 1 this year, the EU Blue Card was introduced in Germany to speed visa applications of the wealthy and their highly skilled employees. Money and employment creation laws have been softened for investors looking to place a firm on the Continent.

Hailed as Europe’s version of the U.S. Green Card, “The EU Blue Card scheme is designed to make Europe a more attractive destination for highly educated persons from outside the European Union. All 27 EU member states, except the United Kingdom, Denmark and Ireland, participate in the EU Blue Card scheme,” the card’s website claims.

“Labor migration into Europe boosts our competitiveness and therefore our economic growth. It also helps tackle demographic problems resulting from our aging population,” stated EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Germany is working aggressively to snap up a larger supply of skilled workers and investors who have traditionally moved into visa-friendly countries like the United States, Canada and Australia.

Udo Sellhast, legal expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin, affirms “Germany is a hotspot for businesses from all over the world. These are welcome changes to reduce bureaucracy and further improve Germany’s standing among entrepreneurs and skilled workers.” Germany Trade & Invest wrote:

For those starting a business, a previous guideline stated that you could generally be granted a residence permit when investing over €250,000 and creating at least five new jobs. [However], this guideline has been removed along with others, as they were interpreted too strictly. …This type of residence permit allows highly qualified non-EU citizens of professions in demand to be fast-tracked to employment. Engineers and doctors, scientists and mathematicians, and IT experts can all qualify for a residence permit if they receive a work contract with an annual salary of €34,944. … For other professions, a Blue Card can also apply provided the applicant has a base salary of €44,800 and proper university training. Once this type of permit is obtained, holders can receive permanent residence within 21 or 33 months, depending on German language skills. Under the previous rules this term was up to five years.

These changes are critical to ensuring Germany maintains dominance on the Continent and gains increased leverage internationally by wooing venture capitalists and much-needed workers it lacks in abundance due to declining workforce population numbers.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, unification of East and West Germany, and growth among the 27-nation EU combine, with its current 17 economies trading in the euro currency, Eastern European nations have steadily become integrated into the outsourced workforce of the Continent’s most dominant and aggressive country.

As the Trumpet has informed you from its genesis, Europe’s number one exporter, made stronger by a weak euro which it has worked to ensure, continues to expand its influence and power amid bailing out the richer Western European nations, ensuring their fiscal subjugation. Germany is marching boldly toward fulfillment and leadership of the biblically prophesied “beastly” 10-nation holy Roman combine now on the cusp of accomplishment (Daniel 2 and 8; Revelation 13, 17 and 18). For more understanding of this vital end-time prophecy, request your free copy of Gerald Flurry’s booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.

You Can Overcome Fear!

We are living in a world filled with fear. Only God provides a viable solution to overcoming fear, by being a soldier for him as we wage spiritual warfare.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Our world is filled with horrifying problems, and many people are experiencing depression and discouragement. More and more are suicidal, especially in the Western world. Even the foreign policy of America and other nations has become very timid and fearful. What is wrong here?

Consider this profound observation from British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden in 1938 in the lead-up to the Second World War. “Hatred of war is good. It is sane and it is healthy,” he said. “But fear of war is not so good, for fear of war paralyzes the will, and no policy that is based upon fear, no policy which makes an appeal to fear, can be a policy that this country should follow.”

That is true, and what is happening in our nations today proves it! Fear paralyzes willpower and motivation, which prevents you from making hard decisions and doing great deeds.

The Prophet Isaiah pinpointed a crucial reason that few people see. He gave this prophecy about our nations today: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider” (Isaiah 1:2-3). This is correction from God for the end-time nations of Israel—especially the United States and Britain. And here He pinpoints the problem: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” (verse 5).

“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” means we are paralyzed with fear. This is a deadly destructive problem—whether to a nation or an individual.

Winston Churchill faced a time of crisis before World War ii, a time when men were faint. He said, “If you tell me that our party is definitely committed to the easygoing life, to the surrender of our possessions and interests for the sake of quietness, to putting off the evil day at all costs, and that they will go along with Chamberlain into what must inevitably be a state of subservience, if not indeed actual vassalage to Germany, and that you can do nothing to arrest this fatal tide, then I think the knowledge would simplify my course.”

Churchill used his political career to fight that faintness and to strengthen his nation for war against German tyranny.

Nations always must be ready for war if they are to survive. That’s the way the world is. It is a deadly fantasy to think otherwise.

The same principle is true spiritually: God repeatedly refers to His people as spiritual soldiers, waging spiritual war (e.g. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:11-15).

Most people don’t understand that this world is in the midst of a spiritual war. That spiritual dimension is causing the disturbing, violent events we see around us. Scripture shows that the vast majority of people are deceived—and without realizing it, are actually fighting on Satan’s side!

But when you believe what God says in the Bible, you can not only be on the right side, but also gain incredible spiritual strength. In 2 Timothy 1:6-7, the Apostle Paul says that the Holy Spirit, which God puts within true Christians, is not “the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

How desperately we need that Holy Spirit of power!

Without that Spirit, we are not complete. We don’t have power or godly love, and we don’t have a sound mind! When you look at leaders in this world, it is becoming more and more obvious that they lack that spirit and that sound mind.

God will give it to us if we do our part. This is how He wants us to live without fear! If we have a faint heart, we will be nervous wrecks, afraid of everything. The Creator of everything wants us to purge that fear and let Him give us His awesome power—and His love, and a sound mind.

To overcome fear, you have to realize that you are in a spiritual war, and become part of God’s army—and you have to fight.

You can be strong—not faint of heart, not fearful or indecisive, not having your willpower paralyzed. That is something worth fighting for!

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

Here God tells us how to become a fearless soldier. It has to do with coming out of this deceived world.

Many people think they have God’s Holy Spirit, but they do not. We offer a free Bible correspondence course that will teach you in detail how to prove whether you have that Spirit—the Spirit of power and love and a sound mind—and, if you don’t have it, how to get it! (Enrolling in the Herbert W. Armstrong Bible Correspondence Course is absolutely free. See the back cover of this magazine for details.)

Isn’t it worth putting forth effort like a soldier to get rid of a faint heart and the fears that so many people have? Doing so will change your life!