German Domination: An Accidental Empire?

German Domination: An Accidental Empire?

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Germany is filling a power void in Europe. Coincidence?

“Germany has created an accidental empire,” German sociologist Ulrich Beck said on March 25. In an interview with europp editors Stuart Brown and Chris Gilson, the professor at both Munich University and the London School of Economics invoked the memory of the last “accidental empire,” Great Britain. But he stopped short of calling Germany a military power—which Britain was. Germany’s de facto empire has an economic power base, not a military one, he proposed.

In the turbulence of the ongoing European financial crisis, one nation has emerged from the storm as the clear leader of the Continent. For the third time in a century, Germany has set itself apart as the top dog in European economics and politics. The Berlin-led bailout of Cyprus proved that point in a tangible way.

That’s just the way it happened to turn out, some may argue. But is this true?

Other analysts are beginning to catch on to what the Trumpet has forecast for years. Jakob Augstein’s Spiegel Online column gives a slightly different take than Beck: “Out of this euro crisis is emerging a conflict over German hegemony in Europe. It looks to be based on economics, when in fact it is based on the politics of power. … Indeed, Merkel’s idea of European integration is simply that Europe should bend to Germany’s political will” (March 25).

Could Germany’s power position be somewhat intentional? Several European countries think so, and they have cried out against Germany in the past year. Greeks and Cypriots protested German-backed austerity, going so far as to make a caricature of Chancellor Angela Merkel with the infamous mustache of a previous chancellor.

Germany called the shots in the bailout of the tiny island nation of Cyprus. When the terms were announced, Cyprus balked. Even Western media outlets recognized the potential for the bailout to bring down the eurozone. However, Germany didn’t back down, and for the first time in bailout history, a large portion of the money to finance the nation’s end of the bargain came directly from its own bank depositors—and it was largely Germany’s idea.

A controversial statement by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, chair of the eurozone finance ministers, caused some Europeans to worry that the same method used in Cyprus would be implemented in other financially floundering countries like Spain or Italy. The spread of that idea could cause panic leading to massive bank runs in crisis countries—definitely something the EU wants to avoid. Dijsselbloem later “clarified” the statement, which only served to cause more of a muddle over future bailout procedures.

On the other side of the controversy, Germany feels the tension. And Germans feel they should be receiving support, not criticism.

“Germany is bringing a spirit of solidarity so that ultimately there is a perspective for crisis countries,” German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told Muencher Merkur last Wednesday. “So I wish that individuals at the highest levels of the EU—the Commission president and the Council president—would also show solidarity with us and defend Germans against unjust accusations.”

Germany has become the creditor of Europe. And “the borrower is servant to the lender,” as the proverb says. If a eurozone member needs a helping hand, Berlin will offer it—but at a price.

Are these recent events just the early stages of an economically-tiered European structure? Just a week ago, Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser wrote of the possibility of a “two-speed” Europe, referencing German think tank Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Mr. Fraser wrote that “the foundation believes that the most likely outcome of the current euro crisis will be ‘the formation of a smaller union around the German center (“Kerneuropa”), while the EU continues parallel in the form of a sort of greater free trade zone.’” The events of the last two weeks show an increasing trend for European policy to revolve around Berlin. Is that a coincidence?

Germany Soon to Rule Europe,” headlined the front page of the Trumpet website back in June 2005. The prophetic headline was written before Merkel had even been elected. The lead paragraph says it all: “Germany is the most powerful nation in the EU—certainly the most populous and arguably the most influential. But its influence till this point has been relatively subtle compared to the position of power it will attain in the near future.” Suddenly Germany’s influence doesn’t appear to be so subtle. Is that simply happenstance—or something more?

Will Germany’s aggressive policies precipitate bank runs in other failing European economies? A real possibility for panic lies in the European financial sector, which is the reason for Cyprus’s extended bank holiday and the numerous financial restrictions imposed since its banks reopened. We are witnessing an economic situation where Germany holds the key to other nations’ financial stability or collapse—and it no longer even hinges on policy, but on perception! One word from Berlin could potentially trigger economic implosion in faltering countries.

“One of the greatest miracles this world has produced in our time is the resurrection of Germany: the rise of Germany from rubble to the greatest power in Europe—and soon to be the greatest power in the world! It is mind-boggling,” wrote Gerald Flurry in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

“The German Federal Constitutional Court, the Bundesbank and Chancellor Merkel are acting like the center of Europe, to the exasperation of our neighbors,” said former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Schmidt also feels that part of the German public is prone to have a “national-egotistical view” of their country. As Augstein brought out, a man who lived through the entirety of fascist Germany and World War ii would not use those words lightly (op. cit.).

Germany has created an empire, and it is not by accident. It may be economically driven right now, but it will soon have organized military might behind it. This may take the world by surprise, but it won’t shock those who understand the prophecies in the Bible.

The German people have a tremendous capacity for innovation and engineering, as well as unquenchable loyalty to a strong leader—all qualities that the Almighty God will use powerfully in the coming era of peace that will soon be ushered in by the living Jesus Christ. But before that time can come, that war-prone nation is prophesied to become a great conquering power in not just the European continent but the entire globe.

For further explanation, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and The Wonderful World Tomorrow: What It Will Be Like.

How Germany Conquered Cyprus

From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

It is now well known that the euro, Europe’s common currency, was, from the start, designed to fail. This failure would ultimately force reluctant European nations to relinquish power to a German-controlled central authority. A common currency creates economy-crashing imbalances—unless and until it is administered by a common government. Since 1829, Greece has spent about half the time in default. Giving countries with this type of bankruptcy record access to the eurozone’s cheap credit is inviting disaster. For European imperialists, the trick is not to let the disaster go to waste.

  • Jan. 1, 2002
  • The official beginning: euro coins and notes become legal tender.

  • May 1, 2004
  • Cyprus joins the European Union.

  • Jan. 1, 2008
  • Cyprus adopts the euro as its currency.

  • Sept. 15, 2008
  • The bank Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy. The cascading financial crisis exposes weaknesses not only in the U.S., but also at the heart of the eurozone.

  • May 2, 2010
  • The Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund agree to Greece’s first bailout.

  • Nov. 29, 2010
  • The EU finances a bailout for Ireland.

  • May 16, 2011
  • The EU finances a bailout for Portugal.

  • Feb. 21, 2012
  • The EU finances a second bailout for Greece. Its terms dictate that anyone who owns Greek debt will get just under half what they are owed. Cyprus’s banks, which are already shaky, have lent a lot of money to Athens. Their balance sheets skew wildly. The nation is all but doomed to become the next to need a bailout.

  • Dec. 4, 2012
  • Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announces that Cyprus has no choice but to accept a bailout. Spiegel Online says Cyprus “will effectively lose its sovereignty.”

  • Feb. 24, 2013
  • Backed by Angela Merkel, Nicos Anastasiades wins Cyprus’s presidential elections by a landslide. “We will be absolutely consistent and meet our promises,” he says. “Cyprus belongs to Europe.”

  • March 15
  • At an EU summit, Angela Merkel reassures Anastasiades that the bailout terms won’t be too harsh. She gets him to agree to a small tax on bank deposits. This establishes the principle of withdrawing money from people’s personal accounts.

    That evening, EU leaders depart, leaving their finance ministers behind to negotiate a bailout for Cyprus. Anastasiades stays behind, but is reportedly not allowed in the meeting.

    Friday evening and Saturday morning: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble tells Anastasiades that if he wants a bailout, he must remove €6 billion (US$7.8 billion) from the bank accounts of account holders. Anastasiades refuses and walks out. “The president said, ‘I can’t do that,’” one member of the Cypriot delegation told the Financial Times. A German board member of the European Central Bank (ecb) gives Anastasiades the ultimatum: It’s this, or the ecb cuts off its emergency lending to Cyprus’s banks and lets its economy collapse, leaving the government with a bill of tens of billions of euros. Anastasiades gives in. The original plan taxes everyone with over €100,000 ($131,260) in the bank. Fearful of how Russian depositors will react, Anastasiades changes the terms so that everyone has to pay.

  • March 16
  • Cypriots rush to get what money they can out of atms, and take to the streets in protest.

  • March 19
  • After repeated delays, Cyprus’s parliament votes on the deal. It is defeated: 36 no votes and 19 abstentions; zero yes votes.

  • March 22
  • The parliament gives the government power to break up banks and impose capital controls. Anastasiades can now go back to Europe to negotiate a new deal without having to get parliamentary approval afterward.

  • March 25
  • Monday morning, Cyprus finally agrees to a bailout deal. Germany gets its way. The EU doesn’t have to provide any extra money. Instead, those with over €100,000 in Cyprus’s top two banks will lose a huge chunk of their savings. Those with money in the Bank of Cyprus would lose around 40 percent of all savings over €100,000. At Laiki, they could lose up to 80 percent.

    Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem indicates that the Cyprus bailout could be a template for future bailouts. Others deny his statements, but investors are left worried that the Cyprus model will be copied in other countries.

  • March 27
  • Cyprus announces capital controls: Those with Cypriot bank accounts are severely limited in what they can take out of the country. This puts Cyprus halfway out of the eurozone, as Cypriot euros can no longer be freely exchanged with euros from another country.

  • March 28
  • Banks open after being shut for almost two weeks.

    Put First Things First

    Put First Things First

    Todd Sadowski/iStockphoto

    From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    In one of his books, author Stephen Covey related a story about a professor who placed a one-gallon container on a table in front of him. He then set about a dozen fist-size rocks on the table and, one at a time, placed them into the jar.

    After putting all the rocks inside the jug, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

    “Yes,” the class said.

    He then grabbed a bag of gravel from under the table and proceeded to dump these smaller rocks into the jar. He shook the container, working the smaller pieces into the spaces between the bigger rocks.

    “Is the jar full?” he asked again.

    “Probably not,” the class said, sensing that he was going to take it a step further.

    He then poured a bag of sand into the container and again shook the jar to help the sand fill in all the cracks between the larger rocks and the gravel. Finally, the professor grabbed a pitcher of water and emptied it into the jar, filling it all the way to the brim.

    “What is the point of this illustration?” he asked the class.

    “No matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!” one student blurted out.

    “No,” said the professor. “The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

    Spiritually speaking, the two biggest rocks we must place into the jar every day have to do with our relationship with God. Prayer and Bible study are our most important activities each day. And unless we get into the habit of placing those two rocks in the jar first, they may not fit into the jar later as it fills with other material.

    Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” As any farmer knows, in order to reap a bountiful harvest, you must first prepare and work the soil, carefully planting each seed and nurturing each plant as it sprouts, protecting it from weeds, watering it, and so on. Then, at the absolute end of that process, you will finally be able to reap the fruit.

    The principle God is teaching with this parable is that diligent work and effort always precede fruitful blessings and rewards. And sometimes, those blessings don’t appear until after many months or even years of hard, diligent labor.

    We can’t skip all the hard work and rush to the harvest! God says that if we want to reap the blessings of growth and prosperity, we must sow the right way. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

    “The light of the body is the eye:” Jesus taught, “if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). If your mind is focused right, then your whole life will be full of light!

    Later, Jesus said, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (verse 25). God knows we have physical needs (see verses 31-32). What Jesus is saying is that God will help to supply those needs as long as we tend to the spiritual needs first.

    Notice! “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (verse 33).

    After establishing the right priorities, we must maintain our focus on each of those priorities. “Focus is the most important factor in determining whether you’ll achieve a goal or stick to creating a new habit,” Leo Babauta wrote in The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential … in Business and in Life. “If you can maintain your focus on a goal or habit, you will more often than not achieve that goal or create that habit. If you can’t maintain your focus, you won’t achieve the goal, unless it’s such an easy goal that it would have happened anyway. It’s that simple.”

    Our overarching spiritual goal is to seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. But we must go after it! As Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Seven Laws of Success,You must make the decision. You must set this right goal. You must set your will. You must expend your full effort. You must work at overcoming, growing and developing spiritually, and sticking with it. Yet God supplies the all-important ingredient—His power, His love, His faith—His guidance—His life!”

    What a fantastic, life-altering promise! Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Make that your first goal—your biggest rock. Then, work to maintain your focus on that singular objective. Put God first, and everything else will fall into place.

    Then, at the end of the day, you will have squeezed more into the jar than you ever thought possible!

    History of the Papacy

    From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    Do You Realize What Happened in Cyprus?

    Do You Realize What Happened in Cyprus?

    BARBARA LABORDE/AFP/Getty Images

    Germany just conquered this island nation, seizing a crucial, strategic piece of real estate.
    From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    The government of Cyprus no longer rules its own country. In March, the world watched in shock as the Cypriot government prepared to obey the Germans and raid the bank accounts of its own citizens.

    Why should you be concerned about this small island in the Mediterranean? Cyprus is one of the world’s most strategic pieces of property. It will play a significant role in the near future, and will probably be the launching pad for World Wariii!

    Why Cyprus Matters

    Cyprus is a powerful watch-post for anybody who wants to survey events in the Middle East. This is precisely what Germany and Rome are interested in.

    A confidential note from America’s embassy in Cyprus published by WikiLeaks proves that America’s diplomats see the importance of that island. Cyprus itself, they wrote, “simply is too small, too distant and too lacking in natural resources to affect U.S. interests.” However, Cyprus houses British intelligence installations and radar stations that America relies on. If America lost access to these British bases, it “would pose a threat to our national security interests in the eastern Mediterranean,” the embassy said.

    “It has been joked that ‘a mosquito can’t take off in Tehran without the radar watchers in Cyprus knowing,’” Trumpet contributor James Leigh and Predrag Vukovic wrote in an article for the gloria Center. “Cyprus is also a listening post from which to monitor electronic communication media, very helpful for signals intelligence. With the surveillance technology installed in Cyprus, for decades, Britain has been able to share intelligence data with the United States, and now, no doubt, with the EU, as a member state” (Dec. 22, 2011).

    The tiny island nation is also greatly significant as a military base. Fighter jets based in Cyprus can cover much of the region without refueling.

    Cyprus has been a bridge between Europe and the Middle East for millennia. It has allowed European nations to project their power into the Middle East, and for Middle Eastern powers to push against Greece and southern Europe. Even today, it still serves as that bridge. When the German military began patrolling Lebanon’s coast in 2006 as part of a United Nations mission, those ships were based in Cyprus. This island is vital for getting ships, planes and even soldiers into the area around Israel.

    Germany is deeply aware of the significance of this island. It is moving into the Middle East even as America moves out. Germany wants control of the island as it watches a new power rise in the region.

    I addressed this subject in our January 2011 issue: “More than one crusade has been launched from Cyprus. Will we see the last crusade launched from there as well? Is history about to repeat itself? … Cyprus is now a member of the EU. Are European leaders already thinking about Cyprus as a launching pad from which to protect their Jerusalem interests? You can be certain that they are thinking about how to protect the holy places in and around Jerusalem. The Europeans have thought like this for almost 2,000 years!”

    Germany Determined to Get Cyprus

    The European Union currently has 27 presidents, or kings, but according to biblical prophecy, that number will soon be reduced to 10. Already, it’s becoming clear that Cyprus will almost certainly be part of those 10 nations, or groups of nations, that will constitute the Holy Roman Empire.

    After being completely destroyed in World War ii, Germany now rules Europe again. And it has Cyprus in bondage. The German government is so determined to get control of the island that it is willing to ignore the opinion of its own people to get it.

    In a poll released in late February, 63 percent of Germans were against bailing out Cyprus. Only 16 percent were for it. Sixty percent said the issue was something “very important” or “important” when it came to selecting Germany’s next chancellor.

    Voters don’t want their tax money spent on Cyprus—which they see as merely a safe haven for corrupt Russian businessmen—even if it does give Germany control over strategic real estate.

    Still, Chancellor Angela Merkel made the very unpopular decision to bail out Cyprus anyway. To appease the German public, Merkel’s government insisted that Cyprus come up with some of the bailout money. Cyprus had to provide nearly €6 billion (us$7.7 billion). That’s a lot of money for such a tiny island. For Germany—whose 2012 tax revenues are estimated to be €600 billion—it’s closer to pocket change. But in order to control Cyprus without upsetting its core voters overly much, Germany imposed conditions on Cyprus that are so severe they could upset the financial stability of the eurozone!

    This bailout won’t be the last. It did not fix Cyprus’s economy. Just like Greece, Cyprus is now dependent upon Germany. Every few months, it will need German approval for the money it needs to keep its economy and government going. And it will have to meet Germany’s conditions to get it.

    The Coming Clash

    This Cyprus takeover marks the beginning of one of the greatest military missions in our time. Cyprus provides an intelligence outpost, a naval base, a launching pad and an aircraft carrier for Europe to send its forces into the Middle East.

    Europe is watching radical Islam spread throughout northern Africa. Islamists are gaining control of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Germany conquering Cyprus is a preparation step for confronting Iran and radical Islam.

    All these maneuvers and coming conflicts center on Jerusalem. Radical Islam wants to control Jerusalem, one of its most holy sites. But Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, also wants that city, which it also considers one of its holiest sites.

    We are watching the preparations for a repeat of the Crusades!

    You ought to take note of this coming clash. The Trumpet has forecast this very event for many years, but most people remain uninterested.

    These events all bring to light the keynote prophecy in Daniel 11:40. The king of the north and king of the south are prophesied to clash. The king of the south (led by Iran) is already pushing at Europe (led by Germany). Sometime soon, Germany will attack and destroy radical Islam. Both of these powers are planning for this conflict right now!

    This will be the final crusade to take Jerusalem. It will sweep the entire world into war on an unprecedented scale!

    Then, the Bible promises, Jesus Christ will return and establish His headquarters in Jerusalem. In the 1980s, Herbert W. Armstrong brought this message to Cyprus’s acting president at the time, Georgious Ladas. Mr. Armstrong told him, “The God of all of our religions is going to step in supernaturally, by supernatural power, and is going to shake up this world, and is going to bring about such a condition that He is going to change the nature in us.”

    Ultimately, this is what this confrontation between the modern Holy Roman Empire and radical Islam is about. It will be a terrible time—but it is going to bring about a wonderful change to man’s nature. No longer will human beings live the way of get. We will learn to live the way of give, which will cause peace and happiness. This coming clash is the final step before God gets rid of Satan and the satanic nature in man that causes all our conflict and suffering. That means we are only a few years away from the reign of God on Earth! These recent events are a sign that man’s rule over man, and the suffering that comes with it, is almost over!

    Same-Sex ‘Marriage’—the New Mainstream

    Same-Sex ‘Marriage’—the New Mainstream

    PeskyMonkey/iStockphoto

    From the May 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    Public perception of homosexuality is undergoing a rapid, unprecedented change. Aggressive homosexual activism has shifted the fringe view to the center and shoved the center to the fringe. In March, as the Supreme Court considered two cases aimed at granting homosexuals the right to the legal status of marriage, the subject dominated the national conversation—with unambiguous bias.

    One cnn talk show was held in a theater-in-the-round format, with the host—plainly pro-same-sex “marriage”—in the center at a table with a lesbian celebrity in a 12-year relationship. A man in the audience was given the unenviable task of defending traditional marriage in a noticeably unreceptive crowd. Welcome to modern America: a land of nationally televised bullying over homosexual “marriage.”

    “I find it extraordinary that you … don’t want [this woman] to have the right to marry,” the host lectured the man. The two at the table asked the audience to voice, as a mob, their disapproval of the marriage advocate’s position, showing this man how outnumbered he was. The host concluded, “The idea that you want to stop people … from getting married in America in the modern era, I just find a bit offensive these days. It’s not fair, it’s not tolerant, it’s not American.” (The host is British, by the way.)

    Public opinion at large is not nearly so enthusiastic for same-sex “marriage” as that cnn studio audience. Polls show that its supporters have just edged past half of the country. Nevertheless, it’s clear we’ve passed a tipping point. Suddenly, defense of traditional marriage—until recently a majority opinion in America—is something the mainstream media now feel able to characterize as out of touch and intolerant. News networks aren’t merely reporting; they are pushing homosexual “marriage” toward public acceptance using schoolyard intimidation.

    It was just as instructive to hear this man’s argument for traditional marriage. “I think all Americans have the right to live and to love how they choose to,” he said repeatedly. His primary concern over the Supreme Court cases was not morality versus immorality, but states’ rights versus federal power. “It’s up to citizens to vote for what marriage is,” he argued.

    Of course, popular resistance to same-sex “marriage” is in rapid retreat. A cnn poll showed that whereas in 2007, 60 percent of Americans were against it, that number has since shrunk to 47 percent. Soon enough, letting states vote on it will produce the same result as a Supreme Court shortcut.

    Only 16 years ago, a liberal, Democrat president signed a law to ensure the federal government defined marriage as a male-female union. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed by large majorities in the House and Senate. Now, Bill Clinton says it was a mistake. The current administration says doma is unconstitutional. Eight federal courts have agreed. Most observers believe the law is about to be killed. After all this time, we’ve suddenly recognized that defining marriage as a male-female union violatesthe founding document of the country.

    Mainstream opponents of same-sex “marriage” are being shouted down as they try to argue logically why homosexuality is okay but homosexual “marriage” is not. Homosexuals have already won the arguments that homosexuality is morally acceptable, that homosexuals are entitled to legally recognized “civil unions,” and that homosexuals should raise children (through artificial fertilization or other means).

    And—they have absolutely won the argument that the Bible has no place in determining public policy or law. Discussing the Supreme Court cases, a major Fox News personality said disdainfully that same-sex “marriage” opponents’ only argument is to “thump the Bible.” Yes, as much as the Constitution is under attack, the Bible’s status is far worse. “While most politicians take their oaths of office on the Bible, many of them prove by their actions that they don’t believe, or follow, what’s in it,” wrote Cal Thomas recently. “Better they should place their hands on Rolling Stone or People magazines, which more accurately reflect the direction and attitude of contemporary culture.”

    Where did marriage come from? The Bible. It was created by God at the beginning of human history, in the second chapter of Genesis. The laws defining and governing marriage are contained throughout its pages: restricting sex to marriage; forbidding divorce; placing the man as the head of and provider for the family; enjoining parents to love and teach their children; putting children under the authority of their parents. People can vote on these things if they’d like, judges can ignore them, governments can define and redefine. But God’s laws of marriage do not change.

    When we break those laws, we suffer. To see the proof, just look around. Our “traditional” marriages have trashed God’s laws to the point where fornication, cohabitation, adultery, divorce, shattered homes and fatherlessness are epidemic. Many people recognize the resulting crises and are desperate for answers: how to have harmonious marriages; how to control wild kids; how to bring sanity to their home lives. Sadly, too few look to the Creator of marriage and family for answers.

    Advocates of same-sex unions are completely ignorant of how marriage even came to exist. They ignore God’s wisdom in creating humans to reproduce through male-female sex, which He safeguarded within marriage so every child would grow up with his father and mother, having strong male and female role models. They have no idea of the profound, inspiring purpose for which God created marriage and family in the first place.

    They can dress up what they’re doing in the language of love, and say it will help “fix” marriage and family. But this bullying, freight-train crusade to stretch the definition of marriage is a supreme example of a “solution” far worse than the problem.