‘Let Boys Be Girls. Or Goys or Birls’

‘Let Boys Be Girls. Or Goys or Birls’

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Society is coming to embrace the notion of ‘gender fluidity.’
From the September 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The public now accepts homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” But the fight is not over. The offensive to reshape society in even more radical ways pushes forward.

An effort is gaining ground to create a world where not just “sexual orientation,” but sex itself, is a choice. Where boys can be girls and girls can be boys, or something in between. Where people are expected to ignore the biological reality of sex so that all people coexist androgynously, or according to whatever gender suits them at the moment. Where everyone pretends that gender confusion is normal, if not desirable, and anyone who doesn’t play along can be punished and silenced.

This demonstrates unprecedented contempt for reality and common sense, let alone morality.

Boys in the Girls’ Room

Think of the implications with respect to public bathrooms, sex-segregated activities, locker rooms, college student housing and countless other areas of human interaction.

Does the idea of a boy who thinks he’s a girl showering next to your daughter in P.E. class make you uncomfortable? Then you’d better brace yourself. This cause is winning critical legal battles—and it is starting with our youth.

In July, the California Senate passed a bill saying that throughout K-12 education, a student is “permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities [e.g. bathrooms, locker rooms] consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” “Gender identity” is the terminology these ultrasensitive, morally sophisticated lawmakers use to refer to the sex a person happens to identify with.

In June, a Colorado governing body ruled that a 6-year-old boy who thinks he’s a girl has the right to use the girl’s bathroom at his elementary school. The Colorado Division of Civil Rights said denying him that right “creates an environment rife with harassment” and is akin to racial segregation.

See where this is going? The public majority already agrees that denying same-sex couples the right to “marry” is exactly like prohibiting interracial marriage. Now, denying someone access to a public bathroom on the basis of biology is just like excluding blacks from white-only facilities.

These lawmakers and officials are determined to ensure that these children grow up in a world where sex confusion is welcomed, even encouraged.

What about the girl who feels awkward about having a boy walk in while she’s using the bathroom? Sorry. She is the one who needs to adjust her thinking—not the boy.

This is actually being promoted within our children’s education. Our sons and daughters are learning doubt about sexual matters. Teachers and administrators are implanting and fostering this confusion, and it is occupying more and more of our young people’s thinking. Misguided radical social engineers enthusiastically treat this like it’s the brave new front in civil rights and societal progress. And with coaching from these radicals, youths predisposed to question and reject authority are starting to view their own sex at birth as something “imposed” on them, and any social pressure to conform to it as a form of oppression.

Does that sound like an exaggeration?

Ze, Zim and Zer

“A new generation of young people is challenging our understanding of gender,” intoned National Public Radio in a July 16 report. (Speak for yourself, npr.) “They’re calling for more fluid categories, beyond just male and female.”

Beyond male and female. Within the politically correct cocoon of academia, students in many colleges and even high schools are so diligent to accommodate gender-confused people that they introduce themselves with their “pgps“—preferred gender pronouns. As in, “My name is Stacey and my pgps are he, him and his.” As in, Today, I would like to be identified as a male. These youths insist not only that whether their “emotional gender identity” aligns with biological reality is entirely a matter of choice, but also that everyone else needs to pretend this is perfectly sane.

These students “are going way beyond transgender,” npr reported. “They are arguing for a world beyond the gender binary.” In other words, not only is gender a choice, it is a spectrum. Even pronouns like he and she, they view as confining and unnecessary.

Lynn Walker, a director at a housing organization that caters to many transgenders, told npr, “We encountered high school students who said, I want you to call me ‘tractor,’ and use pronouns like ze, zim and zer. And in fact I reject the gender binary as an oppressive move by the dominant culture.”

Behold the product of our public schools: Students who are convinced that male and female—basic biology—is tantamount to tyranny that must be overthrown.

This is America’s up-and-coming generation of voters and lawmakers. This is a glimpse at where our world is headed.

We are looking at the next “logical” step in society’s wholesale departure from the understanding of masculinity and femininity. Though the concept of your sex having a bearing on your role in society and within a family has dominated human relations for humankind’s entire history, we are now throwing it out as if the facts are subjective. Today it is viewed with contempt. Now, it’s not just roles we reject, but biological absolutes. Everything is relative. Anything is respectable. Nothing is deviant.

Play Along, or Else

At present, in many circles the world remains a fairly hostile place for gender-confused individuals. But society is changing—fast. On July 15, Slate featured a photo blog of a camp for “gender nonconforming” boys. There young boys dress like girls and women, apply make-up, and walk a fashion runway to the cheers of their parents. Such examples are increasingly appearing in the national spotlight—to the cheers of the mainstream press.

Those boys are part of a generation that is receiving the message that it’s not they who must change, but everyone else. And they are gaining the advocacy of lawmakers who are determined to force the world to embrace their behavior.

On the surface, preventing society from badgering poor, gender-confused people may sound like a worthy goal. But this cure is far worse than the disease. Rather than helping people overcome thoughts and tendencies that lead to self-destructive, depressive, anti-social behavior, the transgender crusade encourages and inflames them—and demands that everyone else play along.

Hate crime laws increase penalties on criminals who are deemed to have been motivated by animus against a protected class. In 2009, the U.S. government expanded protected classes to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Anti-discrimination laws based on sexual orientation and/or “identity” exist in 21 states and more than 140 cities and counties. Illegal discrimination includes anything perceived as different treatment because of behavior perceived as not stereotypically male or female.

Ripple effects from these laws are enormous, and already spreading. Universities nationwide are hosting gender-neutral student housing, bathrooms and locker rooms. Transgender law advocates are pushing for health insurance plans to include hormones and sex-reassignment surgery. In June, the Social Security Administration changed its policy for those who want to switch gender on their Social Security card, removing the requirement of sex-reassignment surgery. After victories in California and Colorado, efforts to open public toilet facilities and locker rooms to transgenders continue. Thus, to protect the right of a man who says he feels more comfortable as a woman, the law is preparing to trample on the right of women who feel more comfortable in public bathrooms devoid of perverted men.

That is the truth of the matter. These social engineers want you to think their cause is all about inclusion and tolerance. But if you disagree with them, they have no tolerance for you. The push for transgender rights is a religious mission, aimed at converting the hearts of men. Its missionaries want the nation to repent of its archaic attachment to the traditional family, and to become devotees to the cross-dressing, bisexual, homosexual cause. The only victory is complete victory. Until transgender crusaders achieve this utterly impossible goal—every individual a true believer—they will continue their battle, using every tool of coercion they can summon.

This Affects You

Today, the lgbt life is relentlessly promoted as happy and bright, free of shadows—and without consequences. Mainstream media and politicians ignore its darker side—the diseases, the guilty consciences, the family breakdown.

While a minority still condemns it, the typical “conservative” opinion has become indifferent. As long as it doesn’t affect me, let them do what they want, people say.

But how can anyone look at what is happening in society today and still claim that homosexual-related behavior doesn’t affect those who disagree with it? When it fills our television screen and movie theaters—when it infiltrates our public school curricula, being taught even to elementary school children—when public discussion increasingly ridicules and bullies anyone who isn’t vociferously supportive of it—when judges overturn publicly approved measures to safeguard traditional family—when public policy punishes people who voice their disapproval or act on their conscience based on biblical standards? How can anyone sincerely continue to insist that this is a strictly private matter—so just mind your own business and keep your mouth shut?

They cannot. This issue affects everyone.

Our society has transformed into an immoral “do your own thing” world that tolerates and accepts anything and everything. It is just as it was in Israel during the cursed and bloody period of the Judges, when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). People pompously promote and push a way of life that ignores, insults, challenges and defies God in so many ways.

Our Creator made two sexes—male and female—not a gender spectrum (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4). In Scripture God strongly differentiates between the two, in what He expects in dress, hair length and appearance (e.g. Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 11:14-15). (Deuteronomy 22:5 specifically, directly forbids precisely what parents, policymakers and the media are applauding in our youth. It is a law by which God intended to accentuate and preserve the differences between the sexes. Problems are proliferating in society today because we ignore this law!)

God also makes dramatic distinctions in the roles men and women should fulfill within family and society (e.g. Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:29-33; 1 Timothy 5:8). He created male and female for a reason. Do you know that reason? “Gender spectrum” talk reveals complete ignorance of it. But it is a wonderful subject to study—because it radiates with spiritual significance and beauty!

New South African Political Party Threatens Mugabe-Style Land Grabs

New South African Political Party Threatens Mugabe-Style Land Grabs

MUJAHID SAFODIEN/AFP/Getty Images

The firebrand youth leader expelled from the ruling African National Congress two years ago is now preparing to ignite a political wildfire in the bushveld. On July 11, former anc leader Julius Malema pledged a comeback with a new party dedicated to land reforms in the style of President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. This party—to be known as the Economic Freedom Fighters (eff)—will also be dedicated to the nationalization of South African banks and platinum mines.

Malema and his eff party have attracted considerable publicity by sporting red berets, using Communist jargon and advocating the state assets seizers of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

“We are a protest movement,” Malema told a July 11 press conference in Johannesburg. “We have got a completely different plan. Ours is expropriation of land without compensation. We want to nationalize, and those mines we want to nationalize, we are not going to pay for them. Our enemy No. 1 is monopoly capital.”

According to the party’s manifesto, the South African government should “transfer all land to the state, which will administer and use land for sustainable development purposes.” Once the land is under state control, the manifesto dictates that those wishing to use land would have to apply for a land-use license, which would be valid for 25 years and could be renewed based on whether the land was being used as planned.

Though Malema has invited white South Africans to join in his planned socialist revolution, saying “nobody who will be driven to the sea,” he has a past track record of stirring up racial hatred. In 2011, he was tried by South Africa’s Equality Court for singing a song that calls for the shooting of white farmers with machine guns.

Considering the fact that more white farmers are murdered each year in South Africa than have been killed in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe came to power, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson has already tried to calm tensions by assuring the media that the government will take action if Malema’s followers start occupying agricultural land.

As unemployment soars, Malema’s new party is primarily targeting the 50 percent of young black South Africans who are out of work and whose living conditions have not improved in the 19 years since the end of apartheid. Even political analyst Nic Borain—who described eff leadership as “the clowns and fools of our politics”—said the party could take up to 5 percent of the vote in the 2014 election.

Such a percentage would be enough to influence any future government in a more racist/Marxist direction as a means of gaining more votes. As Frans Cronje, deputy chief executive officer of the Johannesburg-based Institute for Race Relations, said in a 2011 interview: “It doesn’t take a majority of black South Africans in order to drag the country into a racial mess. It takes a few characters like Malema with the tacit consent of the anc.”

For more information on the future of South Africa, read our online booklet South Africa in Prophecy.

Iran’s Battle for Africa

Iran’s Battle for Africa

ATTA KENARE/AFP/GettyImages

It’s the most important war in the world right now, yet it barely makes the headlines.
From the September 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

“Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in our April issue.

This battle has received little media attention. Occasionally a major crisis, like Mali, gets headlines for a short while. But how often do you hear about Sudan, Niger or the Central African Republic?

“Iran has designs on being the strongest power throughout the region,” Mr. Flurry wrote, “and is extending its reach throughout North Africa.” Despite the lack of attention, this is one of the biggest new stories of the moment.

“Iran isn’t the only one interested in Africa,” Mr. Flurry continued. “Germany is making strong inroads as well. Both of these powers are racing to get as much control of North Africa as they can.”

You need to understand Iran’s power grab in Africa and where it is leading.

Fingerprints Throughout the Region

“Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and Hezbollah’s terrorist activity have reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s, with attacks plotted in Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa,” wrote the U.S. State Department in its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2012,” published in late May. News sources have noticed the same thing, with articles like “Out of Iran, Into Africa: Hezbollah’s scramble for Africa” appearing in Israel’s left-wing paper Haaretz.

But this goes far beyond Hezbollah. From the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to rebel forces in central Africa, Iran’s own fingerprints can be found in militias across the continent.

The Iranians are also orchestrating a huge flow of armaments into Africa. Conflict Armament Research last year published the results of a six-year investigation of the trade in ammunition from Iran in nine African countries. The organization noted that “until recently most international observers would have described Iran’s role in this market as negligible to nonexistent.” Not anymore. “Although a recent entrant, Iran’s ammunition ‘footprint’ is widespread,” it concluded.

Although this organization focused mainly on small-caliber ammunition, it also found “clear evidence of Iran’s role in supplying a range of other ordnance to the continent, including mines, explosive light weapons, and larger conventional arms and ammunition.”

Other observers point to Iran’s efforts to woo African governments. In a paper titled “Africa: Iran’s Final Frontier?” Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, wrote, “Tehran sees many of Africa’s 54 countries as easy picking” (April 17).

“This outreach takes many guises and is geared toward specific diplomatic and military purposes that could challenge U.S. aims across Africa,” he wrote. “In comparison with recent American presidents, who made just three visits to Sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, [former] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejed travels to Africa at least annually, with key Iranian ministers visiting even more frequently.”

Iran’s Target

Rubin outlined three main goals in Iran’s outreach to Africa: to win support in multinational institutions like the United Nations; to establish a string of naval bases to expand the nation’s maritime presence; and to find sources for uranium.

He described how Iran has reached out to African nations that are non-permanent members of the UN Security Council or that serve on the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea).

For years, Iran has supplied South Africa with cheap oil. Quid pro quo, when the iaea found in February 2008 that Iran was violating two Security Council resolutions as it continued to enrich uranium, South Africa prevented the Security Council from imposing further sanctions.

When Gabon became a temporary member of the Security Council, Iran courted the nation with a flurry of activity. And Gabon used its Council seat to support Iran’s nuclear program.

But Mr. Flurry has spotlighted a larger goal of Iran’s push: confronting Europe, especially European trade. In his April 2011 article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Mr. Flurry explained how Iran is gaining influence along the Mediterranean and Red seas. Why? These two seas “comprise the most important trade route in the world!” he wrote. He warned that Iran will push at Europe “probably from its trade route power.”

What kind of power does Iran have? Europe gets a great deal of its oil and gas from the Middle East and North Africa. Much of it comes through the Straits of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and through pipelines across Iraq. But pipelines from Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco also carry natural gas into Europe. Several European companies want to support a project to build a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria so Europe can get more of its natural gas from Africa.

To disrupt this trade, Iran doesn’t need to take over the governments of the countries along the route. Pipelines are easy to break. Narrow straits of water can be strewn with mines, making it too expensive to insure ships to cross them. If Iran can gain enough power in these areas—a goal it is working toward—it can hold Europe to ransom.

Russia famously brought Ukraine back to heel during the winter of 2008-09 by cutting off its natural gas supplies. Iran could soon have the same power over Europe. In 2011, nearly 37 percent of the eurozone’s oil imports came from or through Middle Eastern and African nations vulnerable to Iranian disruption. At the same time, a quarter of eurozone gas imports came from or through these areas. With control of these areas, Iran could shut off more of Europe’s natural gas than Russia.

When we examine southern European countries on their own, we see an even more disturbing picture. In Spain, 54 percent of crude oil and 77 percent of gas imports are vulnerable to Iranian disruption. In Italy, it’s 48 percent of oil and 46 percent of gas. (A few years ago, before Libya’s oil and gas output plummeted, this dependency was even greater.)

Iran is expanding the reach of its terrorist activities and creating goodwill with African nations to further spread its ability to strike at Europe. It’s a murky game that’s run, in part, by Iran’s secret service. Not all the facts are readily available. But Iran clearly has an extensive network—including rebel groups, rogue states and Islamists—throughout Africa. They are certainly capable of pushing back against Europe’s expansion in the continent and threatening the West’s access to Africa’s wealth of raw materials.

Iran’s Influence in Africa Infographic

Hezbollah

Hezbollah is one of Iran’s most important tools in this battle. The Shiite terrorist group is active throughout the world, but especially in northwest Africa. Over a century ago, a large number of Shia Muslims from Lebanon migrated to the area. Hundreds of thousands now live there, providing an excellent recruiting ground for Hezbollah.

Today, northwest Africa is a vital fundraising hub. Hezbollah collects donations from its Shia supporters, and also makes money through the drug and “blood diamond” trades, extortion and, in some cases, legitimate businesses.

Iran also appears to be building up weapons caches throughout the area for Hezbollah to use, should Tehran want the organization to become more active. Nigerian authorities arrested four Hezbollah agents in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano, between May 16 and 28. The operatives had thousands of rounds of ammunition and a small arsenal of weapons.

Just days earlier, on May 13, two men were sentenced to five years in prison for their involvement in a 2010 plot to ship 240 metric tonnes of heavy weapons and ammunition to Gambia. One of the men, Azim Aghajani, is believed to be a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ infamous Quds Force. Conflict Armament Research reports that this could have been the third such shipment.

In February, Nigerian authorities arrested three men they accused of being members of an Iranian-trained terrorist cell that planned to attack U.S. and Israeli targets.

It has become clear, Haaretz concluded, “that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has become a hotbed for Iranian/Hezbollah terrorist activities” (June 17).

But Nigeria isn’t Hezbollah’s only base of operations in Africa. In June, the U.S. Treasury Department identified four men—one in Sierra Leone, one in Senegal and two in the Ivory Coast—as Hezbollah leaders in their respective areas, responsible for transferring funds to the organization.

We have yet to see Hezbollah’s full capabilities in Africa. The terrorists have been caught smuggling and hoarding weapons, but not using them. These individuals remain an asset that Iran can call upon at will. Working in conjunction with other terrorist groups or rebel armies, Hezbollah could do more than carry out terrorist attacks. It has the potential to destabilize nations.

Al Qaeda Affiliate Groups

The relationship between Iran and al Qaeda is dangerously misunderstood. Too many take false comfort in the Sunni/Shia divide, arguing that these two could never work together because they come from different branches of Islam. The war in Syria, at first glance, supports this view. Al Qaeda sends its men and resources to support the rebels, while Iran and Hezbollah prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad. But the truth is that the al Qaeda/Iran relationship is much more complicated.

The Sunni-Shia divide is real and significant. But Iran and al Qaeda’s hatred for the West is even more powerful. The two groups have fought in the past—but they have also patched things up and fought the West together. Moreover, al Qaeda is not a unified bloc, but rather a loose coalition of militants fighting under the same brand name. A local commander in North Africa doesn’t care who Iran is fighting in Syria, provided he gets the weapons he wants.

Al Qaeda and Iran maintain a cozy relationship, according to U.S. Treasury Department reports. In the summer of 2011, the Treasury announced that the U.S. had uncovered an al Qaeda network operating inside Iran under an agreement with the Iranian government. “Iran is a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” it wrote.

“Al Qaeda’s core financial pipeline—which runs from Kuwait and Qatar, through Iran, to Pakistan—depends upon an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government to allow this network to operate within its borders,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in his October 2011 written testimony (emphasis added throughout).

The next February, the Treasury reported that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security “has facilitated the movement of al Qaeda operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.” The Treasury said that Iran had “also provided money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq (aqi) … and negotiated prisoner releases of aqi operatives.”

Then again in October 2012, Cohen unveiled new material that highlighted “Iran’s ongoing complicity in this network’s operation.” At this point, the Syrian conflict was well underway. Yet Iran and al Qaeda were still working together.

“Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran, al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities,” wrote the Treasury Department. “In return, the government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.”

What will be the fruits of this relationship? These kinds of links can often take years to fully uncover. Last November, a Washington District Court heard that Iran trained the al Qaeda operatives behind the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya. Have more recent attacks in Africa been carried out as a joint venture between al Qaeda and Iran? It took 14 years for Iran’s involvement in the Kenya bombings to become public. It may take time before all the facts are known, but already there’s some good evidence that Iran had a hand in the Benghazi attack.

In May, Egyptian authorities arrested three militants armed with 22 pounds of explosives and bomb-making equipment. Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told journalists that the group had received instructions from an al Qaeda leader called Dawoud al Asadi—an alias for the leader of al Qaeda in Iran. To cement the connection even further, Ibrahim said that one of the three terrorists had received military training in Iran.

Ibrahim said that Asadi (aka Fadhli) told the terrorists to get in touch with a group known as “the Nasr City Cell”—an Egyptian-based group, which has now been rounded up, with strong connections to both al Qaeda and the Benghazi attack.

Al Qaeda in Iran was working with some of the planners of the Benghazi attack.

Under its agreement with Iran, al Qaeda had to keep the Iranian government up to date with its activities. Did Iran merely know about the Benghazi attack, or was it a key part of it? As with the attack on the embassies in Kenya, the proof might not emerge for years.

But in another part of Africa, there is, almost literally, a smoking gun. In September 2011, the Nigerien military captured weapons and ammunition from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (aqim). It included ammunition that Conflict Armament Research identified as originating in Iran. In May 2012, the Nigeriens intercepted a shipment of weapons that also contained Iranian-manufactured ammunition.

To the east, in Somalia, al Shabaab also maintains strong links to Iran and is affiliated with al Qaeda.

Iran’s patronage of al Shabaab’s predecessor, the Islamic Courts Union (icu), is clear. The United Nations monitoring group in Somalia discovered several instances of Iran supplying it with weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.

Around the same time, the icu sent 720 of its best fighters to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah. Some of the fighters stayed after the fighting for advanced training. In return, Hezbollah arranged for Iran and Syria to give the icu some extra support.

Since then, the icu has changed its name to al Shabaab and became the official Somalian wing of al Qaeda. But Iran’s support has continued. In July, un monitors reported that Iran could be using illegal fishing boats to ship weapons to al Shabaab.

It also reported that the African Union’s mission in Somalia had captured several “nearly new” rocket-propelled grenade (rpg) launchers that “closely resemble Iranian-manufactured” launchers. Monitors are also investigating a ship seized in January in Yemen that was packed with weapons and fuel. The UN believes some of that cargo could have been bound for Somalia.

On their own, each of these incidents of cooperation between al Qaeda and Iran would be interesting, though not conclusive. Together they paint a pattern of broad cooperation across Africa and the Middle East.

Hezbollah and al Qaeda are undoubtedly the two most powerful terrorist groups in the world. By working together with Iran’s support, they have nation-destroying potential.

The New Great Game

One hundred years ago, Britain and Russia fought what became known as “the Great Game” over control of Central Asia. The prizes included a land route to India, lucrative trade deals and access to any resources that could be discovered.

Today, some people speak of a new colonization of Africa. But that’s not accurate. As Europe gets more involved, it isn’t sending thousands of settlers to rule the continent. Instead, we are seeing a new “Great Game.”

Europe needs access to Africa’s resources. Iran wants to be able to cut off those resources, even for just a short time. So Germany arms friendly governments to fight Islamists. France, Germany’s ally, stays closely involved in the politics of its former colonies, maintaining military bases and even backing coups.

Germany is also looking for allies as it prepares to confront Iran, and bases it can use to push Iran back.

Meanwhile, Iran looks for friends among nations the West has rejected or ignored. It funnels weapons to its terrorist allies as it tries to exploit weaknesses in the nations Europe supports.

In Mali, the “game” turned into war. How involved Iran was is unknown. The fall of Qadhafi in Libya sent a torrent of weapons into the area. The rise of al Qaeda in Mali suited Iran’s agenda, but its assistance wasn’t really needed.

Algeria could be the next flash point. There, 76-year-old President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika is Algeria’s longest ever serving president. He suffered a mini-stroke in April and may not live much longer. His death could give the Islamists a chance to take over.

That is why Germany has been hugely supportive of Algeria’s military. It plans to sell Algeria $10 billion of weapons over the next decade.

The last part of Daniel 11:40 describes a clash between the “king of the north” and the “king of the south” that begins the chain of events that leads to Christ’s return. Right now, in Africa, both of these powers are preparing for that clash. In fact, they’re already clashing in Mali and Algeria. The Great Game is played primarily by individuals out of the public eye. In how many other countries are Iranian and European agents vying for control?

In his article in April, Mr. Flurry called these clashes a “prelude to the fulfillment of this prophecy.” This is what the “game” in North Africa is all about. These two powers are preparing to fight—they are jockeying for position. Once the situation comes to blows, Iran wants to be able to cut off the resources Europe desperately needs, strangling its economy. Meanwhile, Germany wants to be able to quickly take control of the region.

A great prophecy of your Bible is about to be fulfilled!” wrote Mr. Flurry in April. “You need to watch what is happening in the Middle East and Africa!” Nowhere can you see the buildup to World War iii more clearly than in North Africa. The media may ignore it, but the events in this region give a powerful warning to the world. In the silent war in Africa, we see a preview of the conflict that is about to ignite world war.

The Mystery of the Royal British Throne

The Mystery of the Royal British Throne

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

From the September 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

The London Evening Standard published an article on July 23 titled, “Will William and Kate Call for the Rabbi?” It said, “Queen Victoria, convinced that the British royal family was descended from King David, had all her male offspring circumcised. The tradition continued through Edward vii, the Duke of Windsor and Prince Charles, who was circumcised by Jacob Snowman gp at Buckingham Palace in 1948. His brothers Andrew and Edward also underwent the same procedure.”

Sadly, this article only scratched the surface of what Queen Victoria believed about the throne from which she ruled.

Any student of the Bible knows that circumcision is taught in the Bible. The ancient Israelites practiced it to demonstrate their belief in God.

Queen Victoria believed “the British royal family was descended from King David.” Did she know that God made a covenant with David that his throne would continue forever? Probably so. Did she also know that she was actually sitting on God’s throne (which we prove in our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy)—the very throne from which Christ is about to rule this Earth after He returns? Perhaps she did.

Did the Queen know that God promised in the Bible to punish the rulers on that throne if they forsook their part in God’s covenant with David? Her belief in circumcision would seem to indicate that she did. The author of the article had no interest in digging further into this mind-staggering subject, which would explain the true meaning behind Prince George’s birth.

Most journalists and scholars are not interested in deeply understanding the truth about that throne—to their own shame!

Much of the true history of that throne has been impugned, ridiculed and blotted out—except for a little remnant of believers. Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Church of God have thundered that message to this world for nearly 70 years!

Over 6 million people have read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Only a few have believed and committed themselves to that truth.

My booklets The Key of David and Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible build on what Mr. Armstrong taught. (If you would like to request any of this reading material, all of our literature is free.)

God’s Covenant With David

You can’t understand the royal throne of Britain without discussing some of the many scriptures about it in the Bible.

The royal families are a part of God’s covenant with David because they sit on David’s throne. God gave them the honor, and with it came a heavy responsibility.

Here is God’s promise to King David: “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). God told David that his son Solomon would build His house, the temple, and that David’s throne would be established forever.

This is a universe-shaking truth! God said He would establish David’s throne forever! That is one of the most important promises that God makes in the Bible.

Queen Victoria probably knew that. But journalists and scholars don’t seem to have much interest in proving if that throne even exists—or the supreme magnitude of its importance! And it’s not all that difficult to prove.

That throne contains the only hope in this terrifyingly dangerous world! The very events you see unfolding before your eyes in this world are going to lead directly to Christ’s rule on David’s throne forever!

It’s time for mankind to wake up and see our magnificent future. “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). Jesus Christ is not going to return and sit on a non-existent throne! He is going to rule from David’s throne—the same throne Queen Elizabeth sits on today.

That throne continues to this day in England because of God’s covenant with David. The king spoke of this covenant just before he died. “Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel …. Yea, does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?” (2 Samuel 23:1, 5; Revised Standard Version). God made an everlasting covenant with David. The throne of David will never cease, even throughout eternity! (Isaiah 9:6-7). Anybody who sits on that throne today is a part of that special throne covenant made with King David whether they know it or not. Or whether they like it or not.

They also have a serious responsibility whether they realize it or not. Queen Victoria had some understanding of that responsibility.

God gave the rulers on that throne a clear warning in the Bible about how they would be corrected if they sinned. “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (2 Samuel 7:14). God wanted to make the ruler His son (or daughter), and He would be their Father. The Hebrew word for “name” in verse 13 could also be translated family. The covenant was made so that this throne would be a part of God’s Family! It’s a God Family throne. God is going to use that throne to build Himself a family of sons and daughters. You have the potential to be born into God’s own Family—to become a son of God, which means becoming God! (Philippians 3:21; Revelation 1:10-14; Psalm 17:15; 2 Peter 1:4).

That is a zillion times more important than whether or not Prince George is going to be circumcised!

Also, Christ is going to marry the firstfruits—those saints called out and converted before His Second Coming (Revelation 19:7).

Would the Eternal God marry any beings less than created Gods—sons of God?

Men were created not after the animal kind, but after the God kind (Genesis 1:25-26). That means man has the potential to become created sons and daughters of God! The firstfruits are now being created spiritually into the image, or character and mind, of God.

All of those firstfruits who remain loyal will share David’s throne with Christ. Only God beings could be so honored.

None of this makes sense unless human beings are willing to see their own mind-splitting potential!

God has given us a tangible throne on this Earth so we can better understand the depth of God’s hope and our potential.

But this world can’t seem to rise above trivia.

People refuse to understand even the physical signs. And where can you find a greater physical sign on this Earth than David’s throne? It leaves Britain and other nations without excuse, and God is going to hold them accountable.

If the rulers on that throne sin, God said He would chasten them with the stripes of men. Often that means God would cause them to be defeated in significant military battles or wars.

Still, David’s throne always continues. “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (2 Samuel 7:15-17). That throne must continue. It was established forever.

What if the royal family of Britain fails to heed God’s extremely strong warning? God will send destroyers against the rulers sitting on David’s throne who forsake God’s covenant with David (Jeremiah 22:7-9). Jeremiah is very descriptive of their end.

That punishment will help cause the modern nations of Israel (The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains which nations they are) and the world to know God. They will know that He does exactly what He prophesied in the Bible. Then most people will decide to obey Him and the Earth will be filled with hope and joy forever!

The End of This Age Is Not the End of the World!

The End of This Age Is Not the End of the World!

IGOR ZHURAVLOV/iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The Philadelphia Trumpet, in conjunction with the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, presents this brief excursion into the fascinating study of the Bible. Simply turn to and read in your Bible each verse given in answer to the questions. You will be amazed at the new understanding gained from this short study!
From the September 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

With problems and crises multiplying so rapidly in today’s society, many people are concerned about the end of the world. Even mainstream commentators are using apocalyptic language to describe current conditions.

Is this overreaction—or are we in the last days? And if we are, what does that mean, exactly? What can we expect in the time ahead? Is there any hope?

The Bible reveals the answers to these questions—and more.

It is certainly true that the world around you is full of danger, and it is getting worse. It is as the Apostle Paul prophesied of our modern era: “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:13). The influence and spread of carnal-minded human nature, which leads to destruction and death (Proverbs 14:12), is increasing, resulting in growing levels of greed, immorality, violence and debauchery. Simultaneously, mankind has developed weapons that are capable of human annihilation!

Jesus Christ, the greatest newscaster who ever lived, knew the ultimate result of the terrible state of affairs men would bring on themselves in this end time. He predicted: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive—Moffatt]” (Matthew 24:22).

Yet, your Bible shows there is hope for mankind! God Almighty has promised to intervene in world affairs. He will not allow the scientific genius of man to destroy all life on this planet. He has promised to send Jesus Christ again—this time to save us from ourselves and bring us peace at last!

What Is the ‘End of the World’?

1. What did Jesus say about the “end of the world” and the sign that would point to His return? Matthew 24:3.

God inspired the New Testament to be originally recorded in the Greek language. The Greek word translated “world” in this verse is aion, meaning “age”—not the physical planet on which we live. The Revised Standard Version translates the expression as “the close of the age.” The disciples were asking Jesus not about the destruction of the terrestrial globe, but about the end of an “age” of human history.

2. Did Jesus prophesy that a time of great trouble would occur on Earth just before His return? Verse 21.

3. What did He declare would happen if these days of tribulation continued? Verse 22.

The Moffatt translation renders this verse more clearly as “not a soul would be saved alive.” This verse is not referring to spiritual salvation, but to being saved from physical destruction—from being killed.

4. Did Jesus prophesy that only the inhabitants of Jerusalem would be threatened by total destruction? Same verse.

The Revised Standard Version says “no human being would be saved ….” Jesus was talking about all the inhabitants of the Earth, not just those in Jerusalem.

5. Who will intervene in world affairs to cut short this time of trouble, and thus prevent the annihilation of all humanity? Mark 13:20.

Jesus Christ will step in at the very moment humanity would otherwise destroy itself. By His direct intervention, He will cut short the days of man’s rule over man, which would otherwise lead to the destruction of all human life!

World Government to Bring Peace

1. Does God intervene in world affairs without first revealing His intentions to His prophets? Amos 3:7.

If you study the messages of the prophets, you see not only forewarning of the trouble to come, but also promises of what God will establish on Earth after Christ’s Second Coming.

2. Will God establish a kingdom to supplant the kingdoms of today’s world? Daniel 2:44. Is this coming kingdom a literal, world-ruling administration? Psalms 67:4. Will this government have a presence within a specific city here on Earth? Isaiah 2:1-3.

An all-powerful, world-ruling government is indeed coming that will solve all global problems fairly and righteously for all peoples. This will be a government ruled not by carnal men, but by the living, all-powerful Creator of the universe!

3. Will there be warfare then as there is now among nations, or will people learn the way to peace and productivity? Isaiah 2:4.

Mankind’s very Creator will establish His government to teach us the way to peace—to guide our inventive genius entirely into peaceful channels.

4. Will that government produce not only peace, but also material prosperity for “every man”? Micah 4:1-4.

5. Whom did Isaiah prophesy would rule over this government, and hence, over the Earth? Isaiah 11:1-4. Is David the “stem,” or son, of Jesse? Acts 13:22. Then is the “rod,” or shoot, Jesus Christ? Verse 23. Does the “branch” growing out of Jesse’s roots also refer to Christ? Jeremiah 23:5-6.

This prophecy in Isaiah 11 predicted, centuries in advance, that Jesus Christ will personally and literally rule the Earth!

6. Before Jesus was born as a human being, what did an angel tell Mary about His destiny? Luke 1:30-33.

Jesus Christ will take over an actual throne and rule on this Earth.

7. Did God reveal to Daniel the time when the saints—Spirit-born Christians—will be given rulership over Earth with Christ? Daniel 7:18, 21-22, 27.

God’s 7,000-Year Plan

God has set aside a period of 7,000 years to fulfill His plan for mankind. His little-understood plan for man began about 6,000 years ago. The pattern for this plan is given in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is the week of seven days.

Note that the Earth has existed for much longer than 6,000 years. In Genesis 1, only verse 1 refers to the original creation of the Earth. Then, verse 2 states that the Earth “was without form and void,” but the word was should be translated became. There is a huge time gap between verses 1 and 2. Verse 2 onward describes the re-creation or refashioning of the Earth, which God accomplished in six days. Then He rested on the seventh day.

1. To God, is a day like a thousand years? 2 Peter 3:8.

2. What day specifically foreshadows a time period of 1,000 years? In Hebrews 4:4, 11, the seventh day of the week pictures a type of the peaceful “rest” on Earth which will follow Christ’s return. This time of Christ’s rule on Earth will follow this present age of human misrule and senseless warfare. Is it specifically prophesied to be a thousand years? Revelation 20:4.

Since the last “day” of God’s plan is 1,000 years, then it logically follows that the preceding six “days” would amount to 6,000 years—a total of 7,000 years.

3. When the disciples asked Jesus if He would restore the government of God in their day, what was His reply? Acts 1:6-7.

The apostles did not understand the general time frame of God’s plan while Christ was on Earth with them, and for many years thereafter. At first, they thought God would establish His rule in their lifetimes. But before they died, they understood Christ would return at a much later date. Peter said, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise [of coming again] … but is longsuffering …” (2 Peter 3:9). God is patient. He has refrained from intervening in world affairs for 6,000 years. For these six millennia, mankind has been proving the inarguable truth that the ways of man, apart from God, bring nothing but suffering and death.

By tracing the genealogies of Adam’s progeny backward from Christ, as recorded in the Bible, we know that Adam was created roughly 4,000 years before Christ was born. And a little more than 2,000 years have elapsed since Christ’s birth—totaling about 6,000 years of human civilization to date.

How awe-inspiring and significant that in our present age—in the very time that the world is threatened with the extinction of all life—6,000 years have almost elapsed. How exciting that Jesus Himself said that when we would see all the events He foretold taking place, He would come again—this time to rescue humanity from annihilation, to set up the Kingdom of God, and to bring us lasting peace!

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Is Your Child Being Bullied?

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From the September 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” That was my usual response in grade school when a classmate called me names or made fun of me. Unfortunately, there were those times when a classmate used this same expression on me.

Herein lies the truth on bullying: Children are bullied and are bullies. I hated to be bullied; yet I was not afraid to bully others.

However, bullying has moved far beyond what I experienced in the 1950s—just part of being a kid—to a much darker side involving physical violence, mental and emotional harm, even suicide. Bullying is a serious dilemma plaguing children and teens from kindergarten through high school across the globe. Parents, school administrators and law enforcement officials grapple with the problem, yet bullying is spiraling out of control.

In 2012, school administrators reported that 282,000 high school students in America were physically attacked each month. This number may reflect only a quarter of the actual physically violent bullying incidents that took place. In school surveys, 90 percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying.

Parents’ Involvement Needed

Based on 2012 reports, more than 13 million American school-age children will be bullied in the coming school year. Fifty-six percent of students attending school will witness some type of bullying incident. Each day, 160,000 kids will stay home from school due to fear of being bullied. One in 10 students who drops out of school will do so because of repeated bullying.

This is no small issue. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth, ages 10 to 24: About 4,400 young people kill themselves each year. A recent British study stated that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. Over the last three decades, bullying incidents have risen dramatically. The suicide rate among 10-to-14-year-olds grew more than 50 percent in the same time period.

In the U.S., all states except Montana have anti-bullying legislation. There is a growing lobby to enact federal anti-bullying laws. Internationally, concerned groups want federal laws enacted in their countries. Japan is in the process of enacting zero-tolerance laws to get control of the problem there. Will more laws solve the bullying problem? Think about it. How often do laws stop crime?

Parents, to protect your child from bullying—or becoming a bully—you must take action. Do you know what bullying is? It is not just kid’s stuff anymore. Extreme cases involve assault and battery. Do you know if your child is being bullied? Most young people—intimidated and ashamed of being bullied—are reluctant to tell their parents. Do you know what is going on in your child’s school? You must educate yourself. Your child’s chances of being bullied or seeing another student bullied grow each day that school is in session.

Expect Bullying to Continue

Many administrators live in denial that bullying is a serious problem at their schools. School and law enforcement officials are not in agreement—and some are outright confused—about how to control bullying, let alone stop it.

Get to know your child’s principal and assistant principal. Attend school board meetings. Some school administrators do not take bullying seriously. Some school boards have viewed the problem as a “kids will be kids” matter, anticipating that bullies will outgrow the problem. Unfortunately, it has taken the tragic suicides of young students to reveal the monster that bullying has become.

Bully, a documentary released in 2012, reveals the menacing effects bullying has on young people and their families. The film chronicles the tragic history of Tyler Long and Ty Smalley, who, because of the chronic mockery and physical harassment they faced, committed suicide. The film also documents three other families’ difficulties with school officials and law enforcement as they try to solve the bully problem in their school districts. It is worth seeing.

More than anything, Bully shows the vital importance parental involvement plays in solving the bullying problem.

Some school administrators and teachers see that bullying has grown worse and are working hard to deal with the problem. “Bullying isn’t a new phenomenon. In recent years, however, the world has witnessed an increase in the frequency and intensity of bullying in our schools,” wrote former teacher Reba Wadsworth, co-author of Bullying Hurts. “The increased incidence of bullying in all its forms (physical aggression, verbal abuse, emotional bullying and cyber-bullying) has resulted in psychological and physical harm to the victims and in too many instances, the suicides of children and youth” (ibid).

How are experts like Ms. Wadsworth dealing with the problem? “Our profession is coming to understand that bullying is more complex than most of us have previously thought,” Wadsworth says. “There are no quick fixes, no set of rules or regulations that will magically turn this around. The research we have read suggests the need to build empathy throughout the community, to highlight and strengthen the bonds of common humanity, to feed and support kindness behavior, and to avoid feeding bullying behaviors through apathy, laughter and increased social status.”

All of that may sound good on paper, but it reflects a lot of feminine-oriented thinking that will not stop peer-to-peer violence and ridicule. Sitting down for discussion over a cup of chai tea will not stop a bully. The film Bully shows clearly that handshakes and hugs aren’t workable solutions. Bullies must be taught that there are serious penalties for both physical and emotional bullying. Here is what you can do.

‘My child? A bully?!’

To stop bullying, you must start at home—in the family.

To protect your child and other children from bullying, you must first make sure that your child is not a bully. As a parent, you must face the reality that your child could be a bully. Experts who study bullying recognize that it is largely a learned behavior. Children can learn bullying at home. It is a tough reality to face, but true.

Siblings are often guilty of bullying each other. It takes a careful eye to catch and stop it. During our child-rearing years, my wife and I discovered that it is not always a matter of the oldest child bullying the youngest. One of my youngest daughters knew how to get the best of her older sister. When you see your children bullying each other, stop it immediately. Teach them how their actions are harming their brother or sister. Spell out how you will punish them if the problem persists, then follow through. When you don’t stop bullying at home, you could be helping your child to land in jail.

What about you parents—are you bullies? Do you incessantly tease your child or others? Do you point out your child’s weaknesses, foibles and physical imperfections in front of others? Do you regularly put others down? Do you play practical jokes on others at inappropriate times? Are you part of a clique that isolates others? These are actions of bullies. Remember, your example is one of your child’s most powerful teachers.

Bullying Is:

As a parent, you need to become an expert at detecting bullying—in your child, or against your child. Bullying comes in several forms.

Physical bullying can involve elbowing, hitting, kicking, knee bending (pushing or kicking the back of someone’s knee), pinching, pushing, slapping, tripping, and shoulder slamming in an embarrassing or hurtful way. There are also more violent forms of physical bullying, such as cramming someone into his or her locker, choking, restraining or forcing someone to do something he or she does not want to do. Boys tend to be the experts at physical bullying.

Verbal bullying involves teasing, name-calling, insults and put-downs, behind-the-back whispering, bigoted or racist remarks, threats or intimidation.

Relationship bullying happens when a child’s friends and peers refuse to talk to someone, gossip, spread nasty and malicious rumors, exclude someone from a group, destroy a friendship, destroy a reputation, use humiliation, use negative body language or facial expression to undermine someone’s confidence, and use threatening, taunting or pestering gestures as a means of intimidation. Girls are masters at the verbal and relationship bullying.

Cyber-bullying is essentially doing these same things, only using electronic media such as texting, e-mail, chat rooms, digital photography, voicemail, Web pages and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Oftentimes, cyber bullying is even more vicious because of the anonymity or degree of separation that the Internet provides. Both boys and girls use cyber-bullying.

You should be actively involved with your child to know if he or she is doing any of these things. If so, you must discipline your child, then you must labor to teach him or her how these actions harm others. Teach your child to love, respect and help other children.

You must educate your children to be humble—to encourage and uplift others less fortunate, less talented or less intelligent than they are.

Since children will often not reveal when they are being bullied, all parents must know the signs that indicate their child is under attack. For example, if your child comes home from school with unusual bruising on the upper back and arms, he or she may be a victim of physical bullying. Or, if your child who has always loved to go to school no longer wants to, that could indicate he or she is being regularly bullied.

Consider the Satan Factor

It is not popular to talk about Satan the devil today. Yet, the Bible shows that he is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan rules a violent world filled with appalling evils (Galatians 1:4). This is not God’s world. It is because of Satan’s sway over the world we live in that, wherever there are groups of children, bullying will take place sooner or later. Satan is the reason the problem is growing worse and more violent.

One of the most important Bible prophecies for our day shows that Satan has been cast down and imprisoned on Earth (Revelation 12:9, 12). He only has a short time left to wreak havoc on human beings before Jesus Christ returns and kicks him off his throne (Revelation 20:1-2).

The devil is the chief bully of the universe, and he will do everything possible to make your child either a bully or a victim of a bully. You must face the reality that your child is subject to Satan’s evil broadcast (Ephesians 2:2). “People simply do not realize that there is an invisible spirit power injecting into their minds these hostile attitudes,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages.

People in the world believe that bullying is a complex issue. Yet, bullying is not as hard to understand when you put Satan into the picture. Bullying is nothing more than arrogant hostility directed at another human being. Satan is the author of that hostility—he inspires it in children and can inspire it in your child if you allow it. Realize that when you are dealing with bullying, you are wrestling with Satan the devil (Ephesians 6:12).

To prevent your child from becoming a bully, you must teach him or her to control his or her aggression, arrogance, contempt for others, desire for dominance, hostility, jealousy, feelings of superiority and selfishness. These are the building blocks of bullying.

In addition, you and your child must build a strong relationship with God. God promises to protect and deliver the righteous from all their trials (Psalm 34:17). Set the example for your child and be sure your relationship with God is secure. Your children should know that you pray and study the Bible. Your children should know that you trust and rely on God for protection, and that you look to Him to fight your battles for you. Then they will do the same.