Is This What Victory Feels Like?

Is This What Victory Feels Like?

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images

More blood being spilled in Afghanistan after 11 years of conflict.

Explosions and shots echoed through the streets of Kabul on January 21 as terrorists attacked the headquarters of the city traffic police. The attack follows on the heels of a terrorist attack against a government office in the Afghan capital.

The most recent attack came when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the gate of the traffic police compound. In the confusion that followed, more terrorists stormed the facility. They were armed with machine guns and more explosives. The Wall Street Journal cites a police official saying that at least 11 people have been injured and one killed so far in the ongoing violence.

The guards for the city traffic police facility were unarmed, making them a prime target for the Taliban. The facility also looked down on a number of other government facilities. From there, the Taliban forces fired on soldiers arriving at the scene.

This violence is going on in the middle of the capital city of a nation that has been supported by the world’s lone superpower for over a decade. Despite billions of dollars, and thousands of lives lost, the fighting continues.

The nato combat mission in Afghanistan officially ends in 2014, and security will be given over completely to the local authorities. But the war is by no means over. If conditions continue as they are, the national security forces of Afghanistan will be facing a strong and determined foe in the Taliban, and will not have nato forces to back them up.

The latest attack further demonstrates that the Taliban is growing in power. The armies of the United States have failed to destroy the will and power of the rebel forces in Afghanistan, which have repeatedly shown that they are capable of carrying out terrorist attacks within the most heavily guarded parts of the country. In contrast, the Taliban forces highlight the broken will of nato, which is incapable of stopping the increasingly aggressive rebels.

Read about what’s ahead for Afghanistan in “Afghanistan—Endgame?” and order your free copy of History and Prophecy of the Middle East for more.

Opportunity Rover Still Looking for Answers

Opportunity Rover Still Looking for Answers

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After nine years, NASA rover Opportunity is still scouring the surface of Mars.

It has been a long tour of duty for the small, oddly shaped buggy named Opportunity. For nine years it has trundled across the surface of Mars. It has diligently photographed, filmed, drilled, dug, sampled and sifted its way through a number of craters on the red planet. But so far, it has failed to answer some of science’s most crucial questions. Is there life on Mars? Has there ever been life there? Is the planet capable of sustaining life?

Opportunity touched down on Jan. 24, 2004, in Eagle Crater. There it began its study of the planet. It was not entirely alone in the mission. Another rover was sent with it. This one was named Spirit. Both were sent to work for three months. During 2010, Spirit bogged down in Martian sand and from that time on, Opportunity worked alone on the planet.

When Opportunity landed, it was quick to make important discoveries. It came across minerals that only form in the presence of water. This was seen as a sign that Mars was once far warmer and wetter than the cold desert we see today.

Then in 2011, nasa sent Curiosity. Equipped with even more gizmos, Curiosity is set to shed more light on the planet that has remained cloaked in mystery for so long. Curiosity landed five months ago and has already set to work sampling the soil and rock of the planet surface.

Such discoveries don’t come cheaply. Opportunity and Spirit cost around $1 billion to build and operate. Curiosity cost more than $2.5 billion. Such is the price scientists are willing to pay to try to understand Mars, and answer the age-old question, “Are we alone in the universe?” Despite toiling for 10 years, Opportunity has not overturned a single rock that could answer this question. Curiosity has failed on that score too.

My Oxford wide-margin King James Bible set me back about $170. It was money well spent. That means scientists could have saved taxpayers almost $3.5 billion—if they would just read and believe what God reveals in the Bible.

As scientists explore planets to find the answers, they ignore the fact that God reveals all these mysteries. With the aid of our Creator and His revelation, we can understand the purpose of the vast and expanding universe; why it was created; mankind’s destiny in space; and why, outside of Earth, it is currently void of life. If you wish to know the answers to life’s most important questions, without paying $3.5 billion, request a free copy of Mystery of the Ages today! It will make your Bible come alive.

Fatah and Hamas Set to Reconcile

Fatah and Hamas Set to Reconcile

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Is a ‘Hamastan’ government about to be formed?

Delegations from Hamas and Fatah met in Cairo to discuss forming a unity government on January 17. The meeting saw the implementation of agreements signed between the two parties that set a timetable for Palestinian unity. They expressed a wish to have the unity government idea revived by the end of January. The groundwork was laid for reconciliation back in 2011, but negotiations broke down.

There has been friction between the two parties ever since Hamas ousted the ruling Fatah faction from Gaza in 2007. As the dust from the fighting began to settle, Hamas was throwing Fatah members off rooftops, and Fatah was carrying out reprisals in the West Bank. So when talks of unity between the two factions began, much of the world reacted with doubt.

However, since 2007, things have changed. On November 29 last year, the Palestinian Authority managed to secure its “observer status” in its ongoing quest for statehood. The end of 2012 also saw international sympathy for Gaza spike dramatically during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense.

Now the conditions for an alliance appear to be in place. Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah leader and Palestinian National Authority president, may hope to glean some of that international sympathy in forming a transitional government with Hamas. And since Hamas has been significantly crippled by the Israeli strikes on its government and military infrastructure, an alliance with the Palestinian Authority would bolster its ailing government. A shared hatred of Israel also lends itself to the formation of a unified government.

During the Cairo talks, there were agreements made to discuss the release of prisoners, resume registering voters in Gaza, and stop attacking one another through the media. These are all significant first steps in mending the relationship between the divided factions.

If Hamas and Fatah resolve their differences, Israel will feel the Islamic noose around its neck tighten. This threat is something Israel can’t afford to ignore. Whether a Palestinian unity government forms in the immediate future or not, the unifying of the two factions is one more step toward the fall of East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. To understand this impending conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, read Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Europe—Defining How the World Works

Europe—Defining How the World Works

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Of all the key regions of the world, it is Europe that is set to dominate the developing global order in 2013.

“Taken as a single geographic entity, Europe has the largest economy in the world. Should it choose to do so, it could become a military rival to the United States. Europe is one of the pillars of the global system, and what happens to Europe is going to define how the world works. I would argue that in 2013 we will begin to get clarity on the future of Europe.”

So states George Friedman, ceo of respected think tank Stratfor (January 3).

The tendency for Bible prophecy for our times to be so rapidly coming to fulfillment, daily, at present, would seem to support Dr. Friedman’s contention “that in 2013 we will begin to get clarity on the future of Europe.”

Three elections will be held in nations that play a key role in end-time prophecy this year—Israel on January 22, Italy in February and Germany in September. The leaders elected will find themselves enmeshed in the rapid-fire consummation of many of the Bible prophecies for our time, each of these nation’s political machinations impacting the other. The key political role influencing the geopolitics of each of the others will be played by Germany.

Israeli elections will see that country’s leader elected for a four-year term, though given the volatility of Israeli politics few prime ministers hold the job for that term before another election is forced upon them.

It would seem that incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win the January 22 vote. Thus we should expect little change in the foreign-policy direction of this nation in the immediate term. The result will be continuing strain with the American administration and an increased tendency to look to Europe for the support traditionally given to this benighted nation by the United States. This will particularly be the case as EU foreign policy (read Germany) centers on the Middle East and North Africa in 2013.

Elections for an Italian prime minister will be held in February. Already the pope has endorsed Jesuit-educated technocrat Mario Monti as his choice. If Monti succeeds, look for a strengthened alliance between him, central banker Mario Draghi and EU President Herman Van Rompuy in relation to the endorsement of further centralization of the EU economies at the expense of the loss of the national sovereignty of eurozone nations.

In September, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s sputtering political career as Germany’s chancellor shall probably end at the German federal elections. With the mood turning ugly both within Germany and in Europe about the current nature of the German psyche, the time is rapidly developing for the rise of a populist leader in that nation (Spiegel, Dec. 13, 2012).

Of all three of the vital national elections being held this year, it is the German election which has the most potential to impact international relations over the next few years. This is especially the case as German and Italian politics will tend to merge in supporting the vision of Europe’s imperialist elites under increasing influence from Rome.

Put this together with George Friedman’s claim that Europe could—should it choose to do so—as “the largest economy in the world,” become also “a military rival to the United States,” and it becomes a worrisome prospect that with Europe “as one of the pillars of the global system,” it will be in a powerful position, given the right leadership, “to define how the world works” (op. cit.).

All those statements are in direct alignment with Bible prophecy for our times!

For over 70 years we have trumpeted—first under Herbert Armstrong, and latterly under our current editor in chief, Gerald Flurry—the rise of a powerful European combine, under the leadership of Rome and Berlin, which would dominate the globe economically, financially, commercially and militarily. This is in exact accordance with the prophecies for our time as revealed in Revelation 13 and 17, and Daniel 8 and 11.

The fact that one of the brightest geopolitical minds on the scene today recognizes much of this potential is worthy of taking note. What is so much to the point in considering the direction of Europe from here on is the statement by Friedman that “If, however, Europe does emerge with a plan that has general support and momentum behind it, then we might say that Europe is beginning to emerge from its crisis, and that, in turn, would be the single most important thing that happens in 2013” (ibid).

Yet it is hard to see that such a plan would have any prospect of coming to fruition unless Europe has the quality of leadership in place to not only endorse it but to strong-arm it into reality. This is why we propose that such an event may have to wait till the outcome of this year’s federal elections in Europe’s leading nation—Germany.

All the prophetic indications lead to the conclusion that it will be a powerful Germanic leader that causes the final configuration of a militarily dominant European entity to coalesce into 10 separate regional groupings all rendering their support to a single overarching leader (Revelation 13, 17). Ultimately, this will be the “plan that has general support and momentum behind it,” to quote Stratfor.

So, what to watch for in 2013?

Watch January 23 for the outcome of the previous day’s elections in Israel, and watch the reaction of extremist Islamist groups to that result place Israel under huge pressure to seek out an alliance with the EU—especially its leading nation, Germany—to replace its ailing relationship with the U.S.

Watch the outcome of the Italian elections on February 24 and 25. If Monti—the pope’s man—gains office, then the linkage between the Vatican and the leader of old Chaldea will be strengthened significantly. This, in turn, will give a powerful boost to the confidence of imperialist Catholic European elites—especially in Germany—who are the real movers and shakers behind the scenes in Europe.

The upshot could well have significant effect on the outcome of the German elections in September.

As we have consistently declared, Europe is now ruled by a Rome/Berlin axis. France has been rapidly diminished in political stature in Europe since the Hollande liberal-socialist regime was voted into office.

These vital elections take place amid a Europe in crisis. As George Friedman writes (ibid):

People are not being asked to die on a battlefield for the European Union but to live lives of misery and disappointment. In many ways that is harder than being brave. And since the core promise of the European Union was prosperity, the failure to deliver that prosperity—and the delivery of poverty instead, unevenly distributed—is not sustainable. If Europe is in crisis, the world’s largest economy is in crisis, political as well as financial. And that matters to the world perhaps more than anything else.

The reason it matters to the world is the history of what such crises tend to produce in Europe. History reveals that crises of this nature have huge potential for dislocating the whole global system.

The rapidly escalating conflicts in North Africa are bound to enmesh Europe—especially Germany, which has been deeply entrenched in that continent for many a decade—to take on a more assertive role in their resolution. At stake is the guarantee of continuing reliable oil supplies to the EU.

For the second time in less than a century, Europe is on the brink of unleashing the effects of a deep crisis on the rest of the world. The results, in the short term, will be catastrophic beyond imagination. Yet the wonder of it all is that this is but the major harbinger of the replacement of the whole global system by a future system of global peace and order such as man has longed for since creation.

For the deepest insight into the causes and effects of this whole European scenario, read our booklets Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Herbert W. Armstrong Toured Adolf Hitler’s Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally Grounds

Herbert W. Armstrong Toured Adolf Hitler’s Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally Grounds

TIMM SCHAMBERGER/AFP/Getty Images

The World Tomorrow TV crew filmed segments for international broadcast.

Herbert W. Armstrong arrived in Munich from Israel on Thursday, May 16 1985. Two days prior, while in Jerusalem, he made the last edits to what would be his final and finest book, Mystery of the Ages.

On May 17 while in Germany, Mr. Armstrong met with former emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and respected EU parliamentarian Otto von Habsburg, who had brought with him his youngest son, Georg, a Munich university law student at the time. The two had met previously at Ambassador College in Pasadena and also in the Belgian capital, Brussels. The majority of the 90-minute meeting was recorded by the World Tomorrow television crew and incorporated into a special program later that year.

“On the Sabbath, Mr. Armstrong spoke to over 530 brethren from all over the German-speaking area in the Cherubim Hall of Munich’s Hotel Vierjahreszeiten. He began by commenting on the Church choir’s special music ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth,’ then proceeded to give a very encouraging sermon reassuring us that we have the truth and that world peace will come soon. Mr. Armstrong also whetted everyone’s appetite by outlining for us his new book, Mystery of the Ages. The German audience was also thrilled to hear him speak a few words of German he had learned some 70 years ago” (Pastor Generals Report, July 7, 1985).

From 1927 through 1939, the nsdap, or Nazi Party, held its rallies in an 11-square-mile area of Nuremberg. After 1933, these events were titled the National Congress of the Party of the German People, whose purpose was to focus on Adolf Hitler, purportedly chosen by design from above to cleanse Europe of its Jews and establish a thousand-year Teutonic Reich. The thronged masses numbering up to 150,000 witnessed their Führer’s fiery tirades, pledged loyalty and paraded before their leader. The rallies served as powerful propaganda not only within Germany, but also via film and audio as a witness to the world of Deutschland’s mighty power.

This trip to Nuremberg in May would impact members of the Worldwide Church of God during their annual Feast of Tabernacles observance in late September. The convention was the largest and longest running conference of its type and was observed by over 100,000 people at 92 sites spanning 50 countries. During his last Feast of Tabernacles, Mr. Armstrong approved a segment of the Behind the Work film to center upon the prophesied final resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire (Daniel 2, 8, 11; Isaiah 47; Revelation 13, 17-19).

The two-hour video production culminated with approximately seven of the final ten minutes devoted to video of Hitler’s famed rallies in Nuremberg. As the pictures rolled, the venerated voice of The World Tomorrow, Art Gilmore, narrated, “His Third Reich was soon to lunge out at Europe and hold it captive for five nightmare years.

“Hitler drew inspiration from ancient Rome; even his architecture was inspired by the styles of the caesars. Before this ninth fearsome horn of the empire had been crushed in the ruins of racism and the Third Reich, much of Europe had been reduced to rubble.”

As the video footage captured that May 19 in Nuremberg played, Mr. Gilmore continued, “Forty years later there is little left to remind the visitors of the ravages of war. The place where Hitler once goaded his people into frenzy is now a park where old people stroll and children play.”

“Close by, the review stand at Zeppelin field, where the legions of the Third Reich paraded before their Führer, is now in ruins,” listeners heard, while video of Mr. Armstrong visiting this site played for the thousands of viewers gathered at festival sites worldwide.

The production concluded by reminding the membership—which supported, to the tune of over $200 million per year, the mass circulation Plain Truth magazine as it peaked at over 8 million subscribers, the World Tomorrow program broadcast on over 400 stations, Ambassador College and the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation—that one final resurrection of this Holy Roman Empire, a combine of church and state, would arise to rule and thereafter be reduced to abject ruins by the returning Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 17:14; 19:16).

The past 27 years of fulfilled prophecy, as declared by Mr. Armstrong beginning in January 1934, have seen the fall of the Berlin Wall resulting in the reunification of Germany, collapse of the ussr and rapid advancement of the European Union. These irrefutable prophecies of your Bible and documented facts of history enabled our editor in chief to declare on Jan. 1, 2010, that the final resurrection of this empire had begun!

As regular readers are aware, we have warned and encouraged our readers to watch for a powerhouse, domineering Germany to continue calling the shots in the euro crisis; to watch for that nation to soon weary of the bloc’s weaker nations, including anti-EU Britain; to watch for the sudden rise of a German-centric, Vatican-guided, streamlined United States of Europe to replace today’s cumbersome 27-nation EU; and to watch for that powerful European empire to have the stamp of the making and design of both Rome and Berlin etched deeply into its core. For vivid detail of this assured prophecy, request your free copy of Gerald Flurry’s compelling booklet Nahum: Prophecy for Germany.

Germany Trains for Desert Warfare

Germany Trains for Desert Warfare

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The German Air Force completed two major training exercises in the United Arab Emirates (uae) last month, as it draws closer to its Middle Eastern allies and gains operation experience in the region.

Nearly 40 German Air Force personnel participated in the “Common Sky 2012” exercises—a simulated defense against a Middle Eastern aggressor. Held from December 9 to December 20, the exercises also involved a similar number of personnel from the uae .

The maneuvers were a thinly disguised attack on Iran. In the scenario, a friendly Gulf nation is attacked, and Germany rushes to the rescue. The maneuvers focused on these two nations working together against the common enemy.

The second exercise was the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course, held from November 18 to December 13. Here the German Air Force trained alongside Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UK and the United States. Nearly 200 personnel from Fighter Bomber Wing 31 “Boelcke” took part.

This was the first time Germany had tested the Eurofighter under desert conditions, according to German-Foreign-Policy.com. Other aircraft, including the F-15, F-16, Mirage and British version of the Eurofighter, took part.

The exercises included 92 planned missions, involving a total of 1,400 flight hours.

Both of these exercises used the uae’s Air Warfare Center at the Al Dhafra Air Base. “The German Air Force loves this facility,” writes German-Foreign-Policy.com, “not least of all because there are hardly limitations on low-level flying and risky operations in the Emirates, and it provides authentic conditions for desert operations in the Gulf region.”

It also speculated that the use of the German Eurofighter was part of German efforts to sell the uae around 60 Eurofighters. This would help Germany’s arms manufacturing industry and further cement its relationship with the uae.

Germany has consistently taken part in training exercises in the uae over the past few years. It held operations similar to the Common Sky 2012 missions in 2009. It participated in the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course in 2008. German soldiers have been training at the Air Warfare Center for years. The two nations signed a “strategic partnership” with a focus on “cooperation agreement in the military sector” in 2005.

The German military is quietly making sure it is prepared for a war in the Middle East, as well as building an alliance of Islamic countries ready to confront Iran. For more information on this important trend, see last week’s article “Germany’s Rise … and Rise to Power!