EU Takes UK to Court Over Welfare System

EU Takes UK to Court Over Welfare System

Department for Work and Pensions/jwp1858

Is the EU trying to make itself more unpopular in Britain?

The European Commission has announced it is taking the United Kingdom to the EU’s Court of Justice, claiming its welfare system breaks European Union law by not being generous enough to European immigrants.

In Britain, the concern is the exact opposite—many believe the UK is too generous. The British public’s two biggest problems with the EU are immigration and loss of sovereignty. It’s hard to think of anything else the Commission could do to make the EU more unpopular in Britain.

“If the Commission wants to push the UK out of the EU, this is definitely the way to go,” wrote Mats Persson, director of think tank Open Europe.

Open Europe’s research director, Stephen Booth, said, “The European Commission has thrown a hand grenade into an already intense debate about the UK’s continued EU membership. At a time when public support for both the EU and immigration are wafer thin, this is the worst possible issue the Commission could have sought to challenge, at the worst possible time.”

The Commission has attracted criticism from Britain’s entire political system. All of Britain’s major political parties want to stand up to the Commission’s decision.

“I will fight this every step of the way, I will not cave in, and I will continue to work on strengthening our benefit system in the meantime to ensure it is not open to abuse by anyone,” said Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.

Labor Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper made similar, though less strident, comments, saying, “The government must strongly oppose any moves to weaken the Habitual Residence and Right to Reside tests.”

The European Commission’s problem is that Britain doesn’t allow EU immigrants to move straight to the UK and claim all the benefits UK citizens receive. Instead, the UK applies a “Right to Reside” test.

Most EU nations operate a welfare system similar in principle to that of the United States. While you work, you pay into the system. The more you pay in, the more you can get out. This makes it impossible for someone to move straight to the country and claim generous benefits.

In the UK, what you get out of the system is not linked to what you pay in. The “right to reside” exists to stop other EU nationals exploiting this and getting money out of a pot they’ve not paid into.

The EU is already more unpopular in Britain than ever before. Watch for the divide between Britain and the Continent to grow, as the Trumpet has been saying for years.

King Hussein’s Miraculous Meeting With Herbert W. Armstrong

King Hussein’s Miraculous Meeting With Herbert W. Armstrong

Hagop Toranian

Jordan’s monarch requested signed copy of his autobiography.

In 1966, Herbert W. Armstrong began broadcast negotiations with a personal aide of Jordan’s King Hussein, and preparations were set for a meeting between the two.

By 1967, the Old City of Jerusalem was part of the Hashemite kingdom. At this time, Jordan’s King Hussein planned a major surge in power of Jerusalem Radio, boosting it to a million-watt station rivaling Egyptian President Gamal Nassar’s Cairo-based broadcaster.

However, for the king to attain his broadcast aspirations he needed the help of the unofficial ambassador for world peace. Even as political tensions rose in the Mideast, negotiations culminated between the Jordanian royalty, Mr. Armstrong and officials of the World Tomorrow program.

“Let me brief you…. A four-year contract had been negotiated, the cost of which would finance the new equipment to provide that tremendous power” of Jerusalem Radio’s million watts, Mr. Armstrong wrote. “It was the very next morning after the funeral and burial of my wife, after 50 years, less three and one half months, of happy marriage, that I boarded a Pan Am polar flight for Amman, Jordan” (co-worker letter, Sept. 24, 1973).

Here he met Ambassador College officials from England, on the way to final negotiations with Adlay Muhtadi, communications representative for the Jordanian government and former chief adviser to King Abdullah i.

“We drove to the station just outside Jerusalem and back. The contract was signed. But on the Sunday morning in June 1967, when I was en route from the campus in England to London airport, to go to Jerusalem and put on the first broadcast in person, the Six-Day War with Israel had started. Six days later, Jerusalem and that station were in Israeli hands!” (ibid, Sept. 24, 1973).

At the time, he noted, “Meanwhile, King Hussein’s government has offered us the facilities of their Radio Amman. Since the war, they have reduced the power of this station very low. But they offered to increase it back to the full 100,000 watts, on their superpower shortwave station, for the World Tomorrow. So while we await whatever is to happen to Jerusalem Radio, the World Tomorrow is to go out at the same time contracted for Jerusalem Radio, every night, starting July 1. This can be heard here in London, so it can be heard all over Europe and all over the Middle East” (ibid, June 29, 1967).

Following this dramatic chain of events, Mr. Muhtadi traveled to England, and upon arriving at the college in Bricket Wood, offered Mr. Armstrong half the price of the original contract for airtime, but now on Radio Amman. A deal was struck! The pair came to terms and, as such, Mr. Armstrong made a major humanitarian contribution to the Hashemite kingdom, as the funds were used to aid refugees of the Arab-Israeli war.

In 1973, Mr. Armstrong termed these endeavors “our extension program of education worldwide,” in reference to what was to formally become, two years later, the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation.

Despite their meeting being delayed by war, Mr. Armstrong was, in November 1967, already planning on a special gift to give the king at their first meeting, which was originally planned for April 1968. Mr. Armstrong would become world renowned for his unique gifts of Steuben crystal to emperors, kings, queens, prime ministers and presidents.

However, for the second time, the 1968 audience with the monarch had to be rescheduled due to an emergency meeting between Jordan’s king and Egypt’s President Nassar, and the government’s concern for Mr. Armstrong’s safety amid fever-pitch tensions in Amman. Later guerrillas would unsuccessfully attempt to assassinate King Hussein and tensions would continue to abort scheduled meetings.

“After a delay of seven years, King Hussein of Jordan and I enjoyed our first personal meeting. It was—at least so it seemed to me—just as if we had been life-long friends who had not seen each other for seven very, very long years,” wrote Mr. Armstrong to subscribers of the mass-circulation Plain Truth magazine’s October-November 1974 edition. The cover featured a picture of the king, with photos of the historic meeting included in the feature article.

In preparation for the long-awaited meeting, Mr. Armstrong had read the king’s autobiography and felt like he knew the monarch already. So impressed was the head of the Hashemite kingdom that, “When he learned that I am now working on the final four or five chapters of the second (and final) volume of my own autobiography, he asked if he might not have the very first autographed copy” (ibid).

Via these and other miraculous events, doors opened for Mr. Armstrong to preach Jesus’s prophesied gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to Jordan. He would go on to have many meetings with Jordan’s king, queen, princes and princesses, and continue charitable and humanitarian support of royal activities.

During January 1986, when the news of the death of this unofficial ambassador for peace reached King Hussein and Queen Noor, Adnan Abu Odeh wrote, “Their majesties instructed me to convey their heartfelt sympathies and condolences on the passing away of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and their hope that the life of benevolence, altruism and the drive for a better understanding among peoples which Mr. Armstrong led will continue to be the inspirational path for others to follow” (Good News, May 1986).

This “inspirational path” has been followed by editor in chief Gerald Flurry, and is actively, via the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, in its third decade of charitable and humanitarian work. Some of the foundation’s earliest activities were in support of the same handicapped education program Mr. Armstrong charted.

We invite you to follow King Hussein’s example and read online Herbert W. Armstrong’s autobiography (Volume 1 and Volume 2) to learn more of the history of this uniquely successful man and the great God who inspired, guided and opened the miraculous doors for His Matthew 24:14 gospel to be preached as a witness to all nations.

WorldWatch

WorldWatch

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

From the July 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Asia

Japan

Going nuclear?

Japan is gearing up to open a massive nuclear reprocessing facility in Rokkasho, northern Honshu. Analysts are concerned about what the Japanese government will use it for, since it appears that it may be capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons.

Japanese officials and nuclear-industry experts claim that the Rokkasho plant could produce an annual output of nine tons of weapons-usable plutonium—enough to build up to 2,000 bombs—within five months of opening, according to the Wall Street Journal (May 1).

The $21 billion-plus plant is “the world’s most expensive nuclear facility” (Asia Times, Sept. 9, 2005). Construction began 20 years ago. “Within Japanese ruling circles … there has been a barely concealed ambition to have a nuclear arsenal,” Global Research claims. “Japan’s extensive nuclear industry was established in part to ensure that the country had the capacity to build such weapons” (May 7). Three of Japan’s neighbors—China, Russia and North Korea—have nuclear weapons. In spite of its World War ii history, it appears that it was just a matter of time before Japan proceeded to develop its own nuclear defensive capability.

“Japan is dependent on imports for almost all of its raw materials,” George Friedman and Meredith LeBard write in The Coming War With Japan. “The more it produces, the more raw materials it needs to import …. In order to import raw materials, Japan must have access to the country that supplies them, as well as secure sea-lanes for transporting the goods. Securing these resources and the sea-lanes is both a political and a military problem, one that Japan has depended on the U.S. to solve. The issue is whether Japan can continue to rely on the United States and if not, how it can go about securing these supplies itself.”

Japan’s conservative leader, Shinzo Abe, has worked for years to remove the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution and formalize the country’s right to a strong military. (This is largely symbolic, since Japan’s military forces are already larger than Britain’s.) During his first term as prime minister, Abe quickly elevated the Japanese Defense Agency to full ministerial status. Now, early in his second term, he continues a more aggressive, nationalistic—even militaristic—foreign policy than Japan has known since World War ii. Domestically, activists say Abe is proposing widespread changes that would assault civil rights, muzzle Japan’s media and swing the doors open for a return to authoritarianism. Yet he enjoys increasing support from Japan’s ruling elite.

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission estimates that the Rokkasho plant could begin its reprocessing work as early as October. This raises the stakes considerably. Should Japan indicate further that it intends to build a nuclear arsenal, “it would trigger a nuclear arms race in the region. A nuclear-armed Japan would dramatically alter relations in Asia, as it would be less dependent on the U.S. militarily and more able to independently prosecute its economic and strategic interests” (Global Research, op. cit.).

Shinzo Abe could prove to be the wild card in Japanese politics that could reset Japan back to its pre-war, imperialist foreign policy. Friedman and LeBard observe that “Japan’s need for physical security requires that it take control of its regional environment, the Northwest Pacific …. Japan’s need for raw materials demands that it adopt a much broader policy, reaching far beyond the confines of the northwestern Pacific” (op. cit.; emphasis added). This is the conundrum that led industrialized Japan to become an imperial power before World War ii.

In light of its foreign-policy imperatives and the “precarious” nature of continuing reliance on the U.S. as its protector, Friedman and LeBard observe that “Japan must return to history and live in the place assigned it on Earth, living by its own wits and its own powers ….”

That is exactly what your Bible prophesies will happen to Japan.

The Bible—and current events—indicate that we are about to see a grand clash of powers. The new Holy Roman Empire in Europe, led by Germany, will crash into an alliance of three dominating Eastern powers (Revelation 16:12). Ezekiel 38 identifies these powers as an alliance of China (Gog) and Russia (Meshech and Tubal), joined by Japan (the house of Togarmah of the north quarters) and its imperial possessions (Gomer and all his bands—Southeast Asia). Together, these Asian giants will muster a military force of 200 million soldiers (Revelation 9:16).

What will a nuclear-armed alliance of Russia, China and Japan unleash on the world?

China

Philippines

Taiwan, we’ve got your back

The Philippine Coast Guard fatally shot a Taiwanese fisherman on May 9 in disputed waters south of Taiwan, setting off a chain of events that could mend the breach between Beijing and Taipei. After the shooting, China’s Global Times urged Manila to apologize, and Taiwan recalled its Philippine envoy and froze the hiring of Philippine workers. Manila apologized, but Taiwan and China rejected the apology as “insincere.” Taiwan warned its citizens against traveling to the Philippines and announced plans to hold military exercises in the disputed waters. China applauded Taiwan’s measures as a “second front” for China to stand up to neighbors in territorial rows. If Taiwan gets used to relying on China, it could unite the two nations and bolster China’s power in the Pacific.

India

The world’s top consumers

The Asia-Pacific region has overtaken all other regions of the world in terms of materials consumption and is expected to keep dominating world material flows, according to an April 24 UN report. As populous nations like China and India transition from agrarian to industrialized economies, Asia’s drive for resources will intensify. Asia’s growing global footprint will prompt European leaders to take a more combative stance in securing resources for themselves.

Russia

Here’s what concessions to Moscow gets you

Russian strategic Bear bombers flew inside America’s defense zone near northern Alaska on April 28, the fifth incident of Russian bombers flying against the U.S. since June 2012. Analysts say it is part of Moscow’s efforts to sway America’s missile defense plans. Russia has long opposed U.S. plans to complete a Europe-based missile defense system, and, in March, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the cancellation of the final stage of the program. Since this was the very stage Russia had most fiercely opposed, pundits viewed the cancellation as a significant concession to Moscow. At a meeting last March, a live microphone picked up President Obama attempting to privately tell outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” to negotiate on missile defense after his reelection. He has since been reelected, and is fast making use of the increased “flexibility.” Incidents like the April 28 bomber flights show that concessions to Moscow will only spur the Russians to push harder against the U.S.

China

Targeting GPS

China’s military conducted the first test of an advanced anti-satellite missile on May 13, a significant step in Beijing’s strategy of developing asymmetric military programs for use against the United States. The new DN-2 asat system could give the Chinese military the ability to “degrade or severely damage” the U.S. Global Positioning System (gps), said Rick Fisher of the International Assessment and Strategy Center. “This is not merely a threat against some American military satellites, but a threat to what has become a vital part of the global electronic infrastructure, affecting global commerce and financial flows, to your personal finances that contribute to personal freedom.”

Japan

China

Beijing wants Okinawa too?

China’s main state-run newspaper said on May 8 that Beijing is unsure of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa, which is home to key U.S. military bases. People’s Daily said China may rightfully own the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa. The Ryukyu chain was a kind of vassal state to China before Japan annexed it in 1879. The article also reiterated China’s historical claims over a group of small, uninhabited islets in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. If China pressures Japan to make concessions, it would accelerate the shifting balance of global power in favor of an ascendant China.

Russia

A study in contrasts

As Russia upgrades it nuclear forces, the U.S. is preparing to make more nuclear missile cuts. Moscow announced in April that it will deploy the new intercontinental ballistic missiles that can penetrate U.S. missile defenses. Russia is also developing new rail-mobile icbms, submarine-launched missiles and strategic bombers. By contrast, the American military is short $1 billion to $1.6 billion that policymakers had allocated for nuclear modernization. President Barack Obama is expected to soon announce plans to cut U.S. nuclear stockpiles to as few as 1,000, which could undermine U.S. ability to extend a nuclear umbrella to its allies in Europe and Asia. Some analysts believe even more drastic cuts to America’s arsenal lie in store.

Europe

Serbia 

We surrender

On April 19, Serbia finally stopped fighting and surrendered to Germany. Attacked by its historical allies and demonized in the public press the world over, Serbia had no hope of winning. Now Serbia is on its way to joining the EU and being welcomed back into the fold of Western democracy. Negotiations centered on northern Kosovo, where areas inhabited predominantly by ethnic Serbs and currently under Serbia’s control were turned over to Kosovo. In return, the areas will be given considerable self-government. Serbia has done a deal with Kosovo—or rather, with its backers in Germany and elsewhere—that offers some recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Serbia’s leaders are basically admitting they can no longer stand in the way of German dominance of the region.

Germany

A rising military power

Germany should station troops in troubled European countries in order to quickly quell unrest, a report from the European Union Institute for Security Studies recommends. It advises the European Union to develop “capable and well-functioning armed forces with extended regional (if not global) reach.”

Despite German and foreign press reports that Germany’s military is stagnant or depleted, the reality is that the High Command is increasing its aggressive, strategic planning, and Germany’s gargantuan military industry is more active than in decades.

Langley Intelligence Group Network published a report on April 24 describing the nation’s boost in weapons sales to Persian Gulf nations (whose anti-Iran intentions are described in our article on page 1). This trend portends a shifting military culture that could soon mean Germany rearming itself, the report said. “Merkel may be sensing a change in the mood of the electorate and adopting a new German national security strategy in an effort to be seen as a modern Bismarck,” the group reported. “Germans are generally beginning to accept that their government needs to take a more muscular role in foreign policy.” The group warned that “German views on war and peace are slowly evolving, and the higher rate of arms sales to the Middle East is pushing a reluctant public to confront its fears of militarism.”

Though Germany’s military might not seem superpower-grade, its leaders and its tool-makers are. Bible prophecy indicates this trend will culminate in a German-led European force that will put its military muscle to fearsome use.

New book shows Nazi cover-up

German authorities went to great lengths to protect a former Nazi who infiltrated every level of German society, according to a book published by journalist Malte Herwig on May 13. “I found the biggest postwar cover-up imaginable,” he wrote; “it went all the way to the top of the state. … Every German cabinet, every federal government cabinet, from Adenauer to Kohl, contain former NP [Nazi Party] members right up to 1992.” He said the names he uncovered “were the last people you would have expected to be members of the Nazi Party”—including “leftists, Communists after the war, very educated, upright democrats.”

In May 1945, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote, “We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii! … [T]he Nazis have now gone underground. … They plan to come back and to win on the third try.” Herwig’s revelation provides yet more proof that Mr. Armstrong was right.

Cyprus 

Sell us your gold, thank you

As part of its economic bailout package, Cyprus will have to sell around three quarters of its “excess gold reserves” (us$523.7 million). This stipulation was imposed by Germany and its international banking allies. It’s almost certain the buyers will be the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are—with Germany’s sanction—bailing out Cyprus. The imf and the ecb possess about 2,814 and 502 tons of gold respectively. Germany has 3,391 tons. Together, this equals about 82 percent of America’s gold supply—and that excludes the gold reserves of other individual European countries. Don’t be shocked if Germany and the ecb make a play for gold owned by other ailing European economies.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

UAE

Iran

U.S. arming the Middle East

A secretive arms deal between the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has come to light at a time when Iran appears closer than ever to obtaining nuclear weapons. The proposed deal, which amounts to $10 billion in military sales, was announced to Congress April 18. The three nations that will benefit from this deal are all “pro-Western,” seen as key players in counterbalancing the rise of Iran to the east. It is no secret that the U.S. wants to build tangible resistance against the increasingly belligerent Iranians. But the deal, which includes long-range weaponry, also sheds light on U.S. weakness. Unwilling to use its own military might, the U.S. is arming “pro-Western” nations and hoping they will solve the problem. In one sense, Washington holds the gun, with Iran firmly in its sights, but rather than take the shot, it is giving the weapon to others, hoping they will shoot in the right direction. All of these countries are compromised by internal instability and, in some cases, even ties with terrorist groups. They have variously shown themselves more than willing to transact deals with Iran and to otherwise defy U.S. interests. The U.S. is playing a dangerous game by putting weapons into the hands of such governments.

Qatar

The cost of supporting Israel

The tiny, natural-gas-rich country of Qatar made a bold bid in April to have the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (icao) moved from Montreal, Quebec, to Doha, Qatar. It set off a firestorm in Canada, with many calling it an attempt by Arab states to punish Canada for its stance on Israel and the Palestinians.

The current Canadian administration is an unapologetic supporter of the tiny nation of Israel, a position that has raised ire among many Arab and Muslim nations. Arab ambassadors at the United Nations in New York met on April 23 to discuss Canada’s perceived bias toward Israel. The icao has over 500 employees and contributes approximately $119 million annually to Montreal’s economy. Losing this organization would be a political kick in the teeth for Canada’s Conservative government and the economy in general. For the bid to succeed, Qatar will need a minimum 60 percent approval from the 191 member states.

The nation of Israel and those that support it are increasingly being isolated and even reprimanded for doing so. Bible prophecy indicates that anti-Israel sentiment will increase to the point that it will break the brotherhood between Canada and Israel.

Israel

A new peace broker

Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 30 to talk about peace negotiations with the Palestinians. He also planned to discuss the status of church properties in the Holy Land. Palestinians hope Pope Francis will discourage Israel from extending its West Bank separation barrier through the village of Beit Jala. The planned fence would affect some Vatican properties.

Also on April 30, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas met with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna. The two leaders discussed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

These overtures from both Palestinians and Israelis indicate that both sides believe the United States is biased and untrustworthy. Although few analysts realize it, Catholic Europe is seeking to develop a dominant presence in Israel, especially in Jerusalem. The Trumpet has repeatedly warned that the U.S. will lose relevance in Middle Eastern affairs. Palestinians and Israelis disagree on almost everything, but they appear to agree that involving the EU and the Vatican might be the only solution to the Middle East peace process.

Israel

Egypt

Pushing into Jerusalem

A prominent Islamic extremist declared May 9 that Israel has no right to exist. “[W]e will never recognize Israel,” Egyptian-born Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said during a speech at the Islamic University of Gaza. “We are the owners of that right to own that land, and we will continue our work to restore our rights in this holy land.”

Al-Qaradawi traveled to Gaza in a landmark visit that was considered a boost of legitimacy for Hamas. While at the university, he and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh signed a document protesting Israel’s control of Jerusalem. Al-Qaradawi was banned from Egypt for 30 years under former President Hosni Mubarak, but he was welcomed back with open arms just seven days after Mubarak resigned in February 2011.

Al-Qaradawi’s visit to Gaza is another rotten fruit produced by the so-called Arab Spring. This revolution, pushed by Iran and supported by the U.S., has radicalized Egypt and now seeks to further overrun Gaza, with the ultimate goal of taking Jerusalem.

Latin America

Africa

Cuba 

Pope shows special affinity with Latin America

Many Roman Catholics believe their church’s future may depend on the ability of Pope Francis to revive the faith in his native Latin America. As the evangelical movement takes root across the region, the pope is moving to shore up the popularity of traditional Catholicism by appointing an increasing number of native Latin American saints. On May 12, Pope Francis canonized two long-dead nuns—one Mexican and the other Colombian—who together enshrine the church’s mission of defending the faith and nurturing hope. (The nuns were canonized alongside more than 800 Italian villagers murdered by Ottoman invaders in 1480 after refusing to convert to Islam.)

In related news, on May 8 Pope Francis granted an audience to Cuban dissident Berta Soler, leader of Ladies in White, in the Vatican. Soler is on a worldwide tour to publicize the plight of Cuban dissidents and to drum up support for an end to repression in Cuba. After her meeting in Rome, she told media that the pope had given her a blessing and asked her to continue her fight.

Expect the new Argentine pope to take a strong stance in turning Cuba and the rest of Latin America back to their Catholic roots. Biblical prophecy suggests that he will further the initiative undertaken by his predecessors, working to unify Europe and Latin America under the auspices of the universal church.

Mexico

Colombia

New turf for drug cartels

The decline and fall of Colombia’s drug gangs—once the undisputed masters of the illicit drug trade—has allowed Mexican cartels to move into the area and gain access to large supplies of cheap Colombian cocaine. In order to bypass the Mexican cartels and regain some of their lost profits, the remaining fragments of the Colombian cartels are starting to export more to Europe. Despite this move, however, Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel is swiftly becoming the dominant criminal force in Central America.

Brazil

Bypassing the dollar

China and Brazil met during the brics summit in South Africa in March and signed a major currency swap agreement. The People’s Bank of China traded 190 billion yuan for 60 billion Brazilian reals from the Central Bank of Brazil. The trade represents approximately us$30 billion. Officials say they hope the exchange will ensure normal trade between the two nations despite instability in the global economy. Brazil’s central bank president, Alexandre Tombini, said the deal represents “eight months of exports from Brazil to China and 10 months of imports to Brazil from China.” The arrangement represents another push by China to give the yuan a greater international role. Since the 2008 financial crisis, China has signed 15 currency swap deals. These types of deals reveal that the world is beginning to abandon the U.S. dollar as a global reserve currency. As confidence in the dollar evaporates and China works to undermine America’s economy, the dollar’s value will plummet.

Nigeria 

‘Massive’ military campaign targets Islamists

Nigeria sent a massive deployment of men and resources into its three northeastern states in mid-May to combat Islamist militants. Fighters from the Boko Haram group have been blamed for a series of deadly terrorist attacks, prompting President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. The German military has been training Nigerian soldiers to fight radical Islamists since last August. Expect German military involvement in Nigeria and across Africa to increase as Berlin moves to counter the Islamist threat.

UK Statistics Confirm That Marriage Works

UK Statistics Confirm That Marriage Works

creacart/iStockphoto

If you meet a British 15-year-old who lives with both his parents, you can be almost certain that his parents are married, a report published May 22 showed. Titled “The myth of ‘long-term stable relationships’ outside marriage,” the report, based on a survey of 40,000 households in 2010 to 2011, showed that married couples were overwhelmingly more likely to stay together than unmarried ones.

Just over a week later, a study published by the Office for National Statics (ons) showed that married couples reported themselves to be happier than singles or cohabiting couples.

The Marriage Foundation’s study showed that in an average group of 100 15-year-olds who still live with both parents, 83 will have been born to married parents and 10 will have seen their parents get married since their birth. Only six will be the children of unmarried parents who stayed together. (One unfortunate child goes “missing” only because we’re rounding the figures to the nearest whole number.)

The figures appear to support earlier predictions—that a child born to married parents has a 70 percent chance that his parents will stick together throughout his childhood. On the other hand, a child born to unmarried parents only has a 35 percent chance of them staying together.

“The relative scarcity of ‘long-term stable relationships’ outside marriage confirms that it is disingenuous and untenable for government to keep ‘airbrushing’ marriage from family policy papers,” the report’s author, Harry Benson, wrote.

Meanwhile, the ons report found that while the amount of money people earned didn’t affect their happiness, marriage did. When asked to rate how happy they were on a scale of 0 to 10, married people rated themselves 0.14 points happier than cohabiting couples, 0.3 points higher than singles and 0.4 points higher than those who had divorced or separated. The survey of around 165,000 found that the only factors more important to a person’s happiness was their health and their employment status (whether they had a job or not).

Study after study continually confirms that marriage is the best way to conduct family life and bring up children. That is because it was designed by a loving and all-powerful Creator. For more information on why marriage works, see our free booklet Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete?

Why the Nations Are Shaking

Why the Nations Are Shaking

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

There is a purpose behind all this suffering.
From the July 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

On May 20, about 27 miles south of our offices, a monster 1.3-mile-wide EF-5 tornado tore a 17-mile-long scar through central Oklahoma. It damaged or obliterated 12,000 homes, and devastated businesses and infrastructure. More than 230 people were injured, and 24 died, including seven elementary-school children.

For tens of thousands of people in the path of that whirlwind, this was a devastating tragedy. For millions of people who watched the news coverage around the world, it was deeply disturbing. Yet these types of catastrophes are happening with alarming frequency. More weather disasters, more crashing economies, more crime, more terrorist attacks, more weapons of mass destruction, more wars.

Just like with the Moore tornado, we are helpless to stop these calamities. But these are not just matters of time and chance.

The Old Testament book of Haggai is filled with prophecy about this end time, and it specifically talks about the nations being shaken in our day. In this prophecy, God claims ultimate responsibility: “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). God says He will shake all nations! He says He is allowing or even causing this suffering because of our sins!

Why? What does God want us to learn? He is trying to teach us a lesson. We choose whether to learn that lesson from words—or by a lot of woe.

The Bible contains many specific prophecies about world events—prophecies that are being fulfilled right now! Believe it or not, God gives us these prophecies because He wants us to stop suffering.

If we really believe God, we ought to act on what He says. If we don’t, we are going to have more and more trouble.

Shaking the Nations

Last fall we saw Hurricane Isaac shred the Caribbean and the northern Gulf Coast of the U.S. Then Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast with rain and wind. It flooded and destroyed parts of Long Island, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey.

We have also seen horrific mass murders. A psychopath indiscriminately killed 12 people in a Colorado movie theater last July. Another gunned down six school employees and 20 first-graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

In April at the Boston Marathon, nearly 27,000 runners represented 96 countries. Two Chechen terrorists, who had lived in America for about 10 years, wanted worldwide publicity for their cause, so they detonated two pressure-cooker bombs right near the finish line. They killed three people, including a child, and injured more than 260 others. Runners and bystanders suffered busted eardrums and injuries from flying shrapnel. Many lost fingers, arms and legs.

That bombing ought to have united America, but it actually led to more division. The Russians had alerted the fbi in 2011 that the older brother was associated with radical Muslims. In 2012, this man took a six-month trip to Russia. The fbi—whose top priority is to protect Americans—knew about it, but, to its own shame, failed to stop him.

The Boston bombers were clearly radical Islamists. But as radical terrorists do the dirty work, the general Muslim community doesn’t stand up to them or denounce them as it should. In fact, evidence shows that a large percentage of mosques in America are led by radical Muslims. Many Muslims in America empathize with the views of these killers.

A decade ago, American Muslim journalist, columnist and author Stephen Schwartz testified before a Senate panel that Muslim leaders estimate 80 percent of American mosques are under Wahhabi control, a strict, even extremist Muslim sect. These people could commit terrorist acts all over America!

Britain’s homegrown Muslim extremist problem is even more well known. On May 22, two Islamic Britons attacked and killed an off-duty soldier with knives and meat cleavers. They did it in broad daylight, just 200 yards from military barracks in southeast London!

Terrorists are certainly coming after the West—especially the U.S., Canada, Britain and the Jewish state of Israel. Who is going to stop them?

The King of Terror

Just after the Boston Marathon bombing, Canadian authorities arrested two Arab terrorists planning to detonate a bomb that would have destroyed a passenger train as it crossed a bridge. These terrorists were from Iran.

Everyone knows that Iran is the world’s number one sponsor of radical Islam. That nation is a safe haven for terrorists. Why? Because nobody has the courage to do anything about it!

In October 2011, Iran sponsored an attempt to assassinate a Saudi ambassador on American soil. America did not hold Iran accountable for it. On Sept. 11, 2012, al Qaeda attacked an American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing our ambassador and three other Americans. That terrorist group is affiliated with Iran. Yet the United States has done nothing in response.

The attacks are intensifying. How do America, Britain, Canada and the other modern nations of Israel react? Time after time, when these bold attacks trace back to Iran, our governments do very little. It seems the West is even afraid to label Iran what it is: the number one terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world! Who in the government or the media even mentions that?

Little Iran—which thinks it’s the mightiest nation in the world—has the West running scared. Is America afraid to go after this terrorist nation because the Iranians could inspire radical mosque leaders within the U.S. to cause more bombings in America?

Iran harbors terrorists who attack other nations, which are acts of war, yet it faces no real consequences because America and the West are weak! The Prophet Isaiah says the U.S. is faint of heart and sick! (Isaiah 1:5).

Daniel 11:40 talks about a “king of the south”—the powerhouse in the Middle East. That refers to Iran leading radical Islam. Iran is the king of the south and nobody is willing to stop it.

There is a solution to all of this if we are willing to be taught by God.

Nuclear Proliferation

North Korea is taunting America, threatening to launch missiles with nuclear warheads. How has America responded? We asked China to intervene.

China supplies North Korea with most of its fuel and food. All evidence indicates that China is orchestrating North Korea’s actions! What logic is there in asking China to solve the problem it is basically causing? China is actively working against America in many ways, including using cyber-espionage to steal many of our military and corporate secrets! But America doesn’t confront China either, because we’re hoping it will help calm North Korea down. You can be sure China won’t do that—not as long as North Korea’s saber rattling produces such fear in America! China is using North Korea as leverage so it can continue its thievery and other attacks against America!

As nuclear proliferation in North Korea and other nations continues, insane men are getting control of nuclear bombs! This is destined to produce nation-destroying cataclysms!

This is reality! I’m not trying to alarm you about something that isn’t real. Anybody can see that this is an issue of human survival! And America’s feeble response is making the situation worse.

But look again at Haggai’s prophecy. It holds a note of great hope.

Where Peace Begins

Haggai 2:7 can be broken down into three parts. First, it says that God will “shake all nations.” This is a terrifying prophecy that leads into the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. Then it says “the desire of all nations shall come.” What is that desire? The context is about peace—the peace we desire so badly but just do not have.

“I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come,” God says. You can see that this shaking of nations will actually usher in peace! After God shakes the nations, He will send the Messiah! It’s all tied together. God will make us snap out of our wicked carnality and bring us the peace we desire!

In the third part of this verse, God says “and I will fill this house with glory.” The Hebrew words here indicate that this “house” is a physical place. This is explained in our free booklet Haggai: God Has Begun to Shake the Nations. I urge you to order this booklet if you don’t already have it. It’s an extremely important message for this end time.

“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 9). God will give peace in a physical place on Earth right now! The same peace that will soon fill this Earth is in a specific house on Earth!

“The desire of all nations” in verse 7 is not about only one place having peace. God promises to bring peace to all nations—so all mankind can enjoy prosperity and happiness, a good family life—all the wonderful blessings God has to give.

That worldwide peace begins in this end time at a physical place. This place publishes a message of hope for all nations. The people there understand what God is doing and set an example for this world about how to have real peace. This is a phenomenal, earthshaking prophecy.

God wants all mankind to have peace, but mankind refuses to listen to Him. So we must learn our lesson the hard way, through terrorist attacks, violence and calamity, until we hear Him.

This stupendous prophecy is encapsulated in just one verse in Haggai. But there are at least a hundred other prophecies just like it in your Bible! Ninety percent of prophecy is being fulfilled in this end time because the Bible was recorded mostly for this end time (article, page 24). Yet we hear almost nothing about prophecy in religion today.

God gets very specific about how He will give us peace, joy and happiness. He will shake us so that we realize how arrogant—yet helpless to stop evil—we have become. When we have suffered, we will finally be to the point where we will listen when the Messiah comes. Then He will teach us the way to happiness. That time is almost here! And God is now preparing people to help Him teach this world how to have peace.

‘Consider Your Ways’

This is a dreadful warning, but it is also an inspiring sign. God is going to get this world’s attention!

In Haggai 1:5, God says, “Consider your ways”! The original Hebrew means to deeply concentrate to see what’s wrong with your ways.

Most economists will tell you that America’s $17 trillion debt is very dangerous. David Stockman, budget director under former President Ronald Reagan, said that no nation has everborrowed money on such a scale and survived! If spending continues at the current rate, in another decade the national debt will reach $30 trillion. America prints $85 billion a month. It has already created over $2 trillion out of thin air! Do we realize how dangerous this is?

The Bible says we ought to leave an inheritance for our children and grandchildren (Proverbs 13:22). Yet we have gotten the next generation so deeply in debt they won’t ever dig their way out! That is a great sin in this land! This economic malady afflicts Britain and most of Europe—except Germany, which has more sense and is the powerhouse of Europe.

“Consider your ways,” God says. He’s almost pleading with us. Something is not right! God is full of wrath because of the way we are living!

The good news in all this is found in Haggai 2:6: “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.” As I explain in my booklet on Haggai, spiritual shaking is already going on right now, and physical shaking is going to intensify to prepare this world and universe for a glorious outcome.

This is all good news. God will bring peace to all mankind. That peace is almost here, and it’s going to last for eternity! Mankind won’t have to endure such terrible suffering ever again. This is a message of tremendous hope! God will soon usher in the peace, joy and happiness we all desire.

A Key That Unlocks Prophecy

Ninety percent of Bible prophecy is for this end time today. However, there is only a small number of people today who really understand Bible prophecy. God says in the Bible that you should prove all things. In order to prove all things you need to know and understand Bible prophecy.