Vatican Endorses Mario Monti

Vatican Endorses Mario Monti


Once again, the Vatican demonstrates the power it wields in Italian and European politics.

The Vatican’s official newspaper endorsed Italy’s outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti to continue to lead the country, praising his announcement that he may return to the role of prime minister after elections in February. Because of the Catholic Church’s great political power in Italy, L’Osservatore’s endorsement strongly indicates that Monti will run the country for a second term after the parliamentary elections on February 24 and 25.

Last Sunday (December 23), Monti said he would not endorse any political party. But “I would be ready to give my advice, my encouragement and if necessary leadership,” he said.

“I would also be ready to assume one day, if required by circumstances, the responsibilities that would be entrusted to me by the parliament.”

Mario Monti has never stood for election. He was appointed senator for life in 2011 by Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano. This position means that he can become prime minister, if approved by parliament, without being voted in by the people.

Monti’s speech on Sunday was “an appeal to recover the higher and more noble sense of politics that is … to take care of the common good,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote, December 27.

“It is a call for politics on an elevated level,” the paper wrote.

Even the pope himself seemed to give tacit support for Monti during his Christmas message. He told Italians to think about “a hierarchy of values when making the most important of choices.” The bbc wrote that “The remark was widely interpreted as coming close to endorsing the technocrat leader.”

The Trumpet showed in 2008 how then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gained his power because of the support of the Vatican. He fell after he lost that support, with L’Osservatore Romano publicly criticizing him.

Now Monti is the favorite. Even the mainstream media sees this. “Italy remains overwhelmingly Catholic, and the church has always played a role in domestic politics,” Reuters said. “During most of the 19 years that Berlusconi led the center right he enjoyed the backing of the church hierarchy.”

“The church began distancing itself from the 76-year-old Berlusconi before he resigned, after a sex scandal involving an underage prostitute and details of so-called ‘bunga-bunga’ parties in his Milan villa emerged,” continued Reuters.

The bbc noted this on December 27:

In the past, the Vatican has supported Mr. Berlusconi, who gave preferential treatment to Catholic schools, says the bbc’s David Willey in Rome. It has now changed sides, clearly indicating a preference for a democratically elected Monti administration, our correspondent says.

This shows the power the Catholic Church wields not just in Italy, but in the whole of the EU. Italy is a major player in the euro crisis. Its next leader will play a huge role in shaping that crisis. Spain has received a (sort of) bailout. What happens in Italy will determine whether the euro falls apart, who is forced to leave, and what the conditions of membership will be. Watch closely for the Vatican’s continued influence on the future of the euro and all of Europe.

Will Monti Be Given Power Again?

Mario Monti—Italy’s outgoing prime minister—may also be Italy’s incoming prime minister. And if he is voted into office, Monti will owe a lot of his success to the Vatican.

Monti succeeded Silvio Berlusconi in November of last year, but he was appointed by the president, not elected by the people. Since then, he has led a technocratic government that has focused on economic reform. However, Berlusconi’s party withdrew its support for him, and Monti resigned last Friday. He remains in office as a caretaker until Italy holds its elections in February. The prime minister said that he will not run for office, but that he might be willing to lead the new government if it invites him to. If that happens, Monti could once again win the office without worrying about a campaign or an election.

Since he resigned, the caretaker prime minister has not shied away from politics. Monti has published a detailed 25-page political platform and has urged like-minded politicians to support his agenda. He also posted his first tweet, in which he claims to have saved Italy “from disaster.”

Now Monti is getting support from the Vatican. Its newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published a show of support for the prime minister and said it welcomed Monti’s call for the “most noble” form of politics. This move by the Vatican might indicate that Monti will indeed run for office. Or, Monti might prefer to leverage Vatican support to gain power after the elections are over.

Mario Monti is committed to establishing a federal Europe based on Catholic beliefs. He has praised Pope Benedict and called his policies on economics a “textbook” for nations to follow. The combination of Mario Monti and the Vatican fits perfectly with the European elite vision of turning Europe into a federal—and a very Catholic—superpower. To understand more, read “Pope Endorses ‘Prussian’ PM.”

Time to Buy Gold?

Time to Buy Gold?


Central banks around the world seem to think so. Should you?
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

If you had invested $1,000 in ExxonMobil a decade ago, your investment would have doubled. If you bought technology giant Microsoft, your investment would still be worth about $1,000. An investment in General Electric stock would be worth only $660 today. Bank of America, even less at $400. But you could have done worse. Had you invested in, Lehman Brothers, Long Term Capital Management, Enron and a host of other big-name companies, you would have nothing.

What would your investment be if you had invested in gold? $6,800.

Why would a shiny metal with few industrial uses, and that doesn’t earn interest or generate income, almost septuple in such a short time?

First a little background. In case you didn’t notice, the global financial system is in danger of collapse. The dollars, yen and euros backing it could fall with it. Governments are cracking. The world is at risk of a new Greater Depression.

The problem behind it all is too much debt. In the United States, federal debt is now $16.3 trillion—but America’s economy only measures $15.5 trillion. Europe, Japan and the UK have the same problem: Debts are growing—economies, not nearly so much. According to the World Economic Forum, total global debt, including local governments, corporations and individuals, reached a whopping $190 trillion at the end of 2010—more than 3.3 times the size of the total global economy. And even that does not describe the full problem. Governments owe tens if not hundreds of trillions more in promised retirement benefits that people are relying on. There is no way these debts can be paid.

Central banks around the world are responding by doing what all the fashionable textbooks say should be done: They are printing money like crazy to pay debts.

The trouble is, this “solution” comes with side effects: devalued currencies, trade war, and a risk of America being reduced to a barter economy. That is why the world’s biggest banks are also buying up a whole lot of an asset that can’t be created or willed into existence by politicians seeking to cheat economic realities.

That asset is gold. They’re buying it. Should you?

Emergency Countermeasures

In late 2009, Cheng Siwei, a former vice chairman of the Chinese Communist Party Standing Committee, said China was alarmed by U.S. money printing. He stated that China had lost confidence in the U.S. dollar and was moving toward a partial gold standard through reserve accumulation. “If they keep printing money to buy bonds it will lead to inflation, and after a year or two the dollar will fall hard,” he said.

That same year, Hong Kong announced that it would repatriate all its gold that was stored in London. The central bank of India also announced that it had secretly purchased 220 tons of gold from the International Monetary Fund. In 2011, Venezuela ordered the return of all 220 tons of gold it stored in London and New York. Reports emerged of Russian and Middle East central banks buying gold.

For the first time in many years, central banks became net buyers of gold in 2010. Since then, bank gold-buying has accelerated. This year, central banks will purchase an estimated 550 tons of gold—up from 85 tons in 2010. In 2012, Ecuador asked its banks to repatriate one third of its gold stored overseas. Forbes reported that China imported 76 tons through its new gold center in Hong Kong—up 22 percent from a year earlier. In November, the Bank of Korea announced it had increased its gold supply by 20 percent. In November it was reported that Brazil’s central bank had purchased 19 tons.

Now, golden heavyweight Germany is also bringing its gold home from New York. After German authorities were not allowed to inspect their gold deposits, Berlin has asked for 165 tons—about 10 percent of its holdings in America—to be returned. Germany repatriated two thirds of its gold from London years ago.

Analyst John Mauldin calls gold “central bank insurance.” He says history shows that “monetary stability yields to political exigency.”

If central banks, which have shunned gold for the past 41 years, are now turning to it as an insurance policy, something must be very wrong. The scramble for gold is heating up.

But if central banks are looking to gold to fix the world’s debt problems, gold is going to be in very short supply—very soon.

What About You?

Is gold a safe investment for you?

As long as the global economy is functioning and people are worried that paper money is being destroyed, there will be a growing demand for gold. In the short term, gold has potential as a good investment.

Gold is in a stealth bull market. Since 2002, when Trumpet news editor Ron Fraser predicted that gold could “head out of orbit,” it has increased from $300 per ounce to around $1,700 per ounce. That’s more than a 500 percent return. The Dow Jones rose only about 30 percent during that time.

Yet much of America seems oblivious to gold’s glittery record. Outside of conservative talk radio, just about the only mention of gold you hear is from companies that want you to pawn or sell your gold jewelry. This is the opposite of the 1970s and ’80s when coin stores across the country popped up to sell investment-grade gold to people. Most Americans missed one of the best investments of the past decade.

For 10 years in a row, gold has crept higher and higher. Why has it gone up so consistently? And will it continue to do so?

“Gold is great disaster insurance,” wrote Mr. Fraser. “Predictions of global economic disaster presently abound even among some high-profile commentators” (September/October 2002). In that article, he noted that gold is a hedge against banking troubles, the falling dollar, and growing U.S. government credit risk.

These were very real and looming threats in 2002. Today, the economic situation is orders of magnitude worse—with no solution in sight. As economic reality eventually dawns on the collective mind of the public, gold prices could easily head for that “moon shot” Mr. Fraser talked about.

But by then, buying gold will be an exercise in futility. If you are looking to gold to save you from looming economic collapse, you’re in for a shock.

A Very Relevant Prophecy

When the economic system collapses and there is no food to eat, no one will care how much gold you have. Deep down, many investors realize this. That is why some financial advisers recommend becoming self-sufficient and learning to farm.

But even growing your own food and knitting your own clothes won’t provide security.

The Bible warns that the world’s economic troubles are about to worsen. Times will get so bad that people will throw their gold and silver in the streets (Ezekiel 7:19). Ezekiel warns that all the gold and silver in the world won’t be able to buy food. Read this whole chapter; it is a prophecy for the future of the United States and Britain.

There is, however, another safe investment guaranteed to produce an absolutely massive return—but you have to be willing to invest.

Invest in God. Invest in your relationship with Him. Store up treasures in heaven, where moths and rust—and quantitative easing—can’t destroy them (Matthew 6:19-21). Put your heart in God’s work today. This is the only sure investment you can make. God doesn’t need your money; He can support His work in all kinds of ways. But God is concerned about your priorities—where you are spending your time and energy. God wants to know what is important to you. What do you put first in your life? What do you spend your money on? What do you sacrifice for?

Invest in gold if you wish. But if you really care about your future, invest in the one true source of protection. Invest in God.

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

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


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


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.