America’s New Best Friend?

America’s New Best Friend?

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The United States is abandoning Britain in favor of a new friend—the European Union.

British Euroskeptics have long dreamed of leaving the European Union and forming a new relationship with the Commonwealth and the United States. Unlike the EU, this alliance would share Britain’s fundamental values—their laws flow from the same tradition. It would be a trade alliance that would benefit all involved.

The problem is, America’s not interested. It’s more pro-European than most of Europe is.

America’s response to Britain’s growing Euroskepticism shows that it views Britain as a bridge to Europe, rather than an important ally in its own right. If Britain leaves the EU, its usefulness to America is over.

The UK Independence Party is growing in popularity. Prime Minister David Cameron recently said that a British EU exit was “imaginable.” Faced with this shift, U.S. President Barack Obama himself is reportedly lobbying Cameron to keep Britain in.

The Telegraph’s diplomatic correspondent Alex Spillius reported that “the issue was raised by President Barack Obama in a video-conference call with the prime minister” on December 18.

American diplomats are also raising the issue. “It is important to state very clearly that a strong UK in a strong Europe is in America’s national interest,” Spillius reported a “senior U.S. administration official” as saying.

The sheer hypocrisy of a nation formed because it didn’t want foreign control over its affairs (no taxation without representation) telling Britain that it must subordinate itself to Brussels has offended many in Britain. But America’s shift in priorities has some logic. Britain used to be a major power, and the European Union used to be a bickering trading organization. Now, Britain is steadily shrinking in power and prestige while Europe is growing into a more powerful political union (though the bickering continues.)

Britain doesn’t have the clout that it used to, so America is looking for a new ally that does.

The fact is, the U.S. administration no longer sees Britain as its friend. Its friend is Europe. The administration’s European track record proves it.

Washington-based foreign affairs correspondent Nile Gardiner details this track record in a blog post for the Telegraph. In January 2011, America’s ambassador to the UK, Louis Susman, said, “I want to stress that the UK needs to remain in the EU.”

Stronger British participation in Europe “is crucial if, together, we are going to meet all the global challenges facing us, including climate change and security,” he said. “But let’s be clear: All key issues must run through Europe.”

In 2010, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Brussels could claim the title of “capital of the free world.” He praised steps toward closer integration, like the signing of the Lisbon Treaty. “The Obama-Biden administration has no doubt about the need for and strongly supports a vibrant European Union,” he said. “We believe it’s absolutely essential to American prosperity and long-term security.”

Now, America’s support for Europe could be set to move beyond rhetoric. Many commentators expect a new U.S.-EU trade initiative to be announced early this year.

“Despite approving noises from both sides of the ocean over the years, a comprehensive EU-U.S. trade deal has never seriously been attempted,” wrote the Wall Street Journal last month. “That could be about to change, and a good thing too.”

Both sides see a transatlantic free-trade deal as a cost-free way to boost the economy.

European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht recently said that “Perhaps not a marriage, but certainly a closer partnership” between the EU and the U.S. was in order. De Gucht is still discussing the feasibility of such a plan with U.S. authorities, but said, “I am confident we will be able to deliver it very soon.”

The idea also has strong support in the U.S. In November, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton supported the idea, saying, “If we work at it, and if we get this right, an agreement that opens markets and liberalizes trade would shore up our global competitiveness for the next century, creating jobs and generating hundreds of billions of dollars for our economies.”

President Obama, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy called for “a bold initiative to expand trade and investment” in a joint statement earlier in the year.

“2013 presents the best moment for a serious U.S. trade initiative since Mr. Obama was first elected,” wrote Edward Luce in the Financial Times just over a week ago. “Most European governments, including the French and particularly the Germans and British, are also enthusiastic.”

Luce sees the deal as more than an economic partnership. He heralded “the geostrategic benefits to what is likely to be called the ‘transatlantic partnership.’”

“By 2030, Asia’s economy will be larger than that of the U.S. and EU combined according to the U.S. National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report,” he wrote.

“By acting now when they still account for half the world’s economy, the U.S. and EU still possess the leverage to set the global standards that others, including China, are likely to follow,” he continued. “Five years on, it may be too late. In the words of a senior EU official, the round would be ‘strategic not tactical, global not bilateral.’”

Such a free-trade deal would not be easy. It would require many compromises, which Brussels may not be willing to make. But the recent surge in interest in a transatlantic free-trade partnership shows that America is keen on pursuing an alliance with Europe.

Even America’s so-called “Asian pivot” is pushing it toward this alliance. It’s a little counterintuitive, but if America wants to focus more attention on Asia, then it must have a strong, reliable partner across the Atlantic to cover for it. This is why America is trying to persuade EU countries to spend more on defense, rather than relying on the U.S. The U.S. seems like it would even favor a strong military union in Europe.

It’s still a bit of an exaggeration to say the EU is now America’s new best friend. It’s the direction transatlantic relations are heading, not a destination that has already been reached.

But they will get there. Two important trends the Trumpet has watched for years are the breakdown in relations between Britain, America and Israel, and America’s growing love for Europe, and especially Europe’s leader, Germany.

America can see that its global power is diminishing. But rather than addressing the cause of it, it is trying to build up a new power in Europe.

The loss of America’s power ultimately gets back to individual morality and a refusal to trust God for deliverance. This loss of power isn’t causing the U.S. to turn back to God in repentance; instead America is turning to its new European ally.

Bible prophecy reveals that this trust will be betrayed in a frightening and horrible way, but it will teach America a vital lesson. The American people will ultimately learn to trust God, not other nations, for protection.

For more information on how America will learn this lesson, see Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “A Special Warning: Germany’s Long History of Deadly Deceit.”

U.S. Avoids Fiscal Cliff for Fiscal Nuclear Explosion

The United States Senate passed legislation early on Tuesday, New Year’s Day, to neutralize across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that kicked in at midnight.

The pre-dawn vote was heavily one-sided in favor of the legislation with 89 senators voting for and eight against.

The Senate passage set the stage for a final showdown in the House of Representatives, where a vote on the legislation is expected later on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Without legislation, economists in and out of government had warned of a possible new recession and spike in unemployment if the fragile U.S. economy were allowed to fall over the so-called “fiscal cliff” of tax increases and spending cuts.

Shortly after the Senate vote, President Barack Obama said the agreement was the right thing to do and encouraged the House to pass it “without delay.”

Under the deal, taxes would remain steady for the middle class, but increase for individual incomes over $400,000 and incomes over $450,000 for couples.

Spending cuts totaling $24 billion aimed at the Defense Department and domestic programs would be deferred.

In essence, this deal does nothing to fix the economy or America’s debt problem. As one analyst said, it is like a 400-pound diabetic deciding to eat more vegetables, and then ordering meat-lovers pizza with olives—and then not even eating the olives.

Don’t expect politicians to take any meaningful action on the economy until another full-blown crisis hits. And by then, just as it was in 2008, it will be too late.

In the year ahead, look for the U.S. economy to continue to struggle, because no one is willing to face the cause of the crisis.

As President Abraham Lincoln said, “Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” President Lincoln was quoting Psalm 33:12, and as he indicated, there is a direct link between morality and prosperity.

Without national repentance and a return to God’s law, no amount of voting or legislation will permanently fix the very broken U.S. economy. For a clear perspective on the current U.S. economy, read the article, “‘They Can Print Money.’

Fiscal Cliff and Fiscal Insanity

Fiscal Cliff and Fiscal Insanity

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If the fiscal cliff fiasco shows one thing, it is that America is living in a dangerous make-believe wonderland.

Details are emerging about the “fiscal cliff” deal passed by the Senate early this morning. It makes no sense.

The new bill to avert the “fiscal cliff” contains no net spending cuts, according to the Congressional Budget Office (cbo). That’s right: none, zip, nada.

All that talk about slashing spending and raising taxes to get our finances in order was apparently hallucinatory politician doublespeak. The cbo reports that the bill includes $25 billion in new cuts, of which $2 billion will take effect in 2013. But these cuts will be absolutely dwarfed by $330 billion in new proposed spending over the next decade!

America’s politicians are delusional if they think there won’t be economic consequences to this folly.

The world is locked in a recession. Serious economists like John Mauldin and Bill Gross warn that the economy will be lucky to grow at a 2 percent rate. We are spending $3.2 trillion per year, but are only collecting $2.2 trillion per year in taxes. America’s $16.3 trillion debt has surpassed 100 percent of its gross domestic product—a level that has triggered meltdowns in other nations. Foreigners are already refusing to lend us the difference, so the Federal Reserve is creating money out of thin air to cover the difference. And now our leaders in Washington plan on increasing our debt another $4 trillion over the next four years.

By the time President Obama leaves office, America’s debt will likely exceed $20 trillion, and our debt will hit a whopping 125 percent of gdp—if everything goes well.

There are also tens of trillions of dollars’ worth of Medicare and Medicaid promises politicians have made but have not set aside money for.

If that was the sum total of all the debt America had to contend with, it would be bad enough, but the nightmare is only starting. America still has all the debt accumulated by various state, local and municipal governments—debt that will take generations to pay off, if ever. There are also the massively underfunded state pensions—more promised money that only exists in politicians’ fairy tales. Don’t forget corporate debt, or the multitude of various personal debts, such as car loans, mortgages, student loans, credit cards and medical debt.

This new budget bill clearly illustrates that America is past the point of no return. It may seem insane, but politicians are still not ready to face reality—that means we should prepare for worse economic times ahead.

Read the article “Time to Buy Gold?” for advice on how best to prepare for a very tough 2013 and beyond.

Germany Approves Another Armored Vehicle Sale to Saudi Arabia

Germany Approves Another Armored Vehicle Sale to Saudi Arabia


Germany has approved in principle the sale of up to 100 Dingo 2 armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, the Bild am Sonntag reported December 30. The Dingos are mine-resistant and designed to defend their occupants against nuclear radiation, as well as biological or chemical attacks.

Citing sources close to talks on the deal, Bild am Sonntag reported that Saudi Arabia plans to buy 30 of the vehicles for around €100 million (over us$130 million). Over the long term, it plans to buy 70 more.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which makes the Dingos along with Bruker Daltonik, advertises them as “the safest and best-protected wheeled vehicle in its class,” showing “outstanding performance on extremely difficult terrains and under extreme climatic conditions.”

Each vehicle can carry up to eight men. As standard, it has a remote-controlled machine gun in the roof, with the option to mount other weapons.

Bild am Sonntag reports that Germany’s national security council is yet to reach a final decision, but has given it the go-ahead, in principle.

This is just another example of Germany’s new policy of using strategic arms sales to build up alliances with other nations. Germany’s arms trade with Saudi Arabia could grow very large. According to some German media reports, Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 to 800 German Leopard ii tanks. This is part of a concerted effort by Germany to arm and ally with opponents of Iran, as prophesied in the Bible. For more on this important subject, see our recent article “The Truth Behind Germany’s Record Military Exports.”

Was Jesus a Prophet?

Was Jesus a Prophet?

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This simple question has caused considerable religious controversy recently.
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

How can we answer such a question? There is only one way.

Jesus Christ said we are to live by “every word of God” (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). He was actually quoting the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 8:3), so His statement obviously includes the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. Christ also said, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

Was Christ a prophet? There’s been a recent religious controversy about that, because the leader of 1.1 billion Roman Catholics says no. But we need to prove from God’s Word, the Bible, the answer to that question. People can prove it for themselves very easily.

Jesus’s Testimony

Look at Revelation 12:17: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This verse says that repentant Christians “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” What is that? Considering that it is what Christ spoke—His testimony—we need to know what it is!

God says that no scripture is of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). We should always let the Bible interpret the Bible. That is the only way we will understand it. In this case, there is another scripture that defines exactly what “the testimony of Jesus” is!

That definition is found in Revelation 19:10: “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” In other words, what Jesus Christ spoke is in the spirit of prophecy!

That is a strong statement! If you know anything about the Bible, you know Jesus Christ came preaching the gospel, or “good news,” of the Kingdom of God (e.g. Mark 1:14-15). He said that Kingdom was “at hand,” but not here yet.

What is the gospel? It’s the good news of the coming Kingdom, or Family, of God! Christ’s message about it was a prophecy direct from His mouth! It is a wonderful prophecy of the beautiful World Tomorrow that is about to come to this Earth when Jesus Christ rules and brings peace and abundance and joy! The gospel is the context of all the Bible’s prophecy!

What happened right before Christ began to proclaim that gospel? In verses 12-13 of Mark 1, you read that Jesus had to fight a titanic struggle with Satan the devil (see also Matthew 4; Luke 4). Do you know why? It was because He had to qualify to replace Satan on his throne, from which the devil rules this Earth! Yes, Satan has a throne, and he does bear rule. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that he is “the god of this world”—the world worships him!

Nevertheless, Christ won that struggle and overcame Satan, and He qualified to kick him off his throne and to govern the Earth. He will assume that rule at His Second Coming.

That is why it was right after that struggle that Christ came declaring the gospel of the Kingdom of God!

God is offering positions of rulership today, as well, to those who conquer the devil as Christ did (e.g. Revelation 3:21). Though it is not on the same level as what Christ did, the firstfruits also qualify to rule with Jesus Christ by overcoming the devil today. That truth is very much a part of Christ’s glorious gospel!

Really, all the truth in the Bible should be viewed in the context of that gospel.

Christ’s Most Important Prophecy

In his November 18 Angelus to the faithful, Pope Benedict xvi declared, “Jesus does not describe the end of the world, and when He uses apocalyptic images, He does not act as a ‘seer’ [or prophet]. On the contrary, He wishes to ensure that His disciples in every age remain unmoved by dates and predictions.”

That is a startling statement. What does the Bible say about it?

Jesus Christ issued many prophecies while He was on Earth. The most important of these was the Olivet prophecy, recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. All prophecy revolves around it. I believe it is the most pivotal prophecy in the Bible.

And what is it about? In it, Christ describes the end of this age.

Matthew 24:3 sets the stage: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The Greek word translated “world,” aion, should read “age.” It’s referring to the present age of Satan’s rule on Earth; when Christ returns, there is actually a new world coming!

So this chapter shows Jesus Christ prophesying what’s going to happen at the end of this age! How could anyone say He’s not a prophet?

Some commentaries call this prophecy “the little apocalypse,” and for good reason. An account of it appears in Matthew, Mark and Luke—but not the Gospel of John. Why is John the only Gospel writer who did not record the Olivet prophecy? Actually he does, but not in his Gospel. He records it in the book of Revelation, chapter 6.

There John discusses seven seals, the first four of which are known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The word apocalypse is an untranslated Greek word that means revelation. The seven seals in the book of Revelation are interpreted in the Olivet prophecy! You can read about this in my article last month, “The Seven Seals of Revelation Have Been Opened!” So actually, all four Gospel writers had a version of the Olivet prophecy!

Revelation 5 shows that Christ is the only Prophet qualified to unloose the seven seals of Revelation. Christ is the Prophet of all prophets!

There are many instances in the Bible where Christ is referred to as a prophet (e.g. Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; Luke 7:16; 24:19; John 4:19; 6:14; 9:17; Acts 3:20-23; Hebrews 1:1-2). There are many more where He gave prophecies (e.g. Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 25:31-34; 26:64; Mark 13:1-2; John 7:37-40).

Prophecy is revelation from God about what He is going to do. Christ prophesied, and every bit of that prophecy has comes to pass or is about to!

The prophetic signs Christ gave in Matthew 24 are intended to help us to be watchful and to prepare for His Second Coming. “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (verses 42-44). Christ said we wouldn’t know the day or the hour, but we should know when it is near—at the door (verse 33). We must understand that!

War With the Dragon

End-time prophecy describes a great, fearsome political power that has “a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies …. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God” (Revelation 13:5-6). This “beast” is prophesied to ally with another “beast” that looks like a lamb but speaks like a dragon (verses 11-12). This is a powerfully deceptive religious entity prophesied to kill millions and even to martyr the saints of God (e.g. verses 13-15).

What a condemning prophecy! Thus, it should be no surprise that the powers it describes would seek to take people’s focus off prophecy, and off the prophetic message of the greatest prophet ever, Jesus Christ.

In reality, a statement that Jesus is not a prophet is an attack on Christ—and on those who have the testimony of Christ!

Consider this end-time prophecy: “And the dragon [Satan the devil] was wroth with the woman [the biblical symbol of a church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). The devil hates that testimony and tries to discredit and suppress it. And he does so by warring against those who have it.

Again, that “testimony” is “the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Those who have this revelatory spirit look to the one who gave that testimony—the one who alone can unloose the seals of Revelation so we can understand it—the Prophet of prophets, Jesus Christ! They then turn around and proclaim and publish that prophecy, which exposes Babylonish religion and reveals the deceitful, blasphemous spirit that dominates it (Revelation 17).

Revelation 12 tells the story of this battle, throughout history, between God’s saints who have Christ’s spirit of prophecy, and a church inspired by this “old serpent” that seeks to silence them in order to avoid that exposure!

Act Now!

It is a rather brazen statement to say that Christ wasn’t a prophet. He is the Prophet of all prophets! If He hadn’t unsealed the seven seals, which is the whole story of Revelation, we wouldn’t know anything about the time frame or sequence of all other prophecies in the Bible.

This error ought to powerfully motivate anyone who has the testimony of Jesus Christ remaining in their memory to repent and cleave to the Father of lights where His lamp of truth burns so brightly!

The time for taking such action—and receiving God’s protection from the devastating end-time Tribulation prophesied by Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:21)—is fast running out! Was Jesus a Prophet?

China and Germany Strengthen Cooperation With Nigeria

China and Germany Strengthen Cooperation With Nigeria

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As America grapples with the fiscal cliff, China and Germany are increasing their military presence in an African nation vital to global seaborne trade.

In many ways Nigeria is becoming the new Somalia. Like the Somali al-Shabaab terrorist militia, Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents are unleashing a wave of religiously-motivated violence across the country. Like the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, West African pirates are now terrorizing ships off the coasts of Nigeria and across the Gulf of Guinea.

Although pirates have been attacking ships in the oil-rich Niger Delta since the 1980s, their attacks have increased in frequency and severity in the last three years. According to Foreign Policy magazine, between January and September of 2012, pirates attacked 42 vessels in the Gulf of Guinea—taking 168 crew members hostage. Just last month, a group of Somali pirates operating off the Nigerian coast looted a German oil tanker, taking five Indian sailors hostage.

Analysts are attributing this rise in piracy to the fact that the Nigerian coast is largely unregulated and without an adequate maritime police force. This was not always the case.

After Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807, the African Oyo Empire began to decline and eventually collapsed. British influence in the Niger region then gradually increased over the course of the 19th century until Nigeria became an official British colony in 1900. Operating from this new colony, the British military was able to end the slave trade in the region and keep the Gulf of Guinea free from pirates. After Nigerian independence in 1960, with Britain’s global power in decline, the United States took on more maritime policing responsibilities.

Although the U.S. Navy is still involved in the Gulf of Guinea, its efforts to keep the waterways safe have proved ineffective. This has prompted other world powers to increase their military presence in the region.

Just last August, the Chinese military had discussions with the Nigerian government to upgrade the Nigerian Navy. During the discussions, Chinese military attaché to Nigeria, Kang Honglin, pointed to the fact that China has already helped Nigeria set up an ammunition assembly line. He then went on to talk about China’s desire to provide the Nigerian Navy with both the training and equipment necessary to secure the Gulf of Guinea.

The German military is also very involved with Nigeria, although Berlin’s focus has been more on combating terrestrial-based Islamic extremist than it has been on combating marine-based pirates. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in discussion with the Nigerian president last August wherein she offered German military training to Nigerian soldiers combating Boko Haram Islamic insurgents. Such military training would be a big step toward ensuring the safe passage of Nigerian oil supplies to both European and Oriental markets.

Foreign affairs analysts rank Nigeria as one of Africa’s three most geopolitically important nations. As Egypt’s fate determines the stability of Northern Africa and South Africa’s fate determines the stability of sub-Saharan Africa, so Nigeria’s fate determines the stability of the oil-rich nations surrounding the Gulf of Guinea. This fact is not lost on the political leaders of China or Germany—who are taking great pains to develop bilateral relations with Nigeria.

As America grapples with the fiscal cliff and financial decline, China and Germany are increasing their military presence in an African nation vital to global seaborne trade.

Deuteronomy 28 and Isaiah 23 foretell a time when a temporary German-Chinese alliance will ally against the United States in a great, global trade war. For a detailed explanation of this prophecy, read Chapter Seven of editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.