Germany’s foreign policy has just been dramatically and historically transformed.
The pivot occurred in January, and it was front-page news globally. However, few people truly grasped the magnitude of what they had just witnessed, and the catastrophic ramifications for Europe and the world. Many, especially in America, actually embraced the news!
Before we review what happened in Germany, we must consider the context of world events.
You are probably aware of the political and social upheaval that has recently unfolded in Ukraine. Even now, that country teeters on the brink of political and economic collapse, and possibly civil war. Why? In essence, it’s because—as I wrote in the last issue of the Trumpet—Ukraine is being held hostage by Russia.
Many Ukrainians want their country to develop stronger ties with Europe. Until recently, Ukraine’s government was moving in that direction and was working to sign a formal trade agreement with the European Union. But last November, that agreement was destroyed when Russian strongman Vladimir Putin made it clear to Kiev that it had better not get any closer to Europe. Fearful of disobeying Putin, Ukraine’s government gave in. This infuriated millions of Ukrainians. Many of them demonstrated on the streets, sending the nation into pandemonium.
Germany is monitoring events in Ukraine closely. There is a lot of bad blood between Germany and Russia. They were bitter enemies in World War ii, and Berlin is fearfully watching Russia’s forceful attempt to get control over Ukraine. As I explained in the February Trumpet edition, a confrontational and imperialist Vladimir Putin is certain to provoke Germany to take action!
That is the context of what happened in Germany in January. A large part of Germany’s foreign policy shift is a direct result of Vladimir Putin’s recent behavior, especially in Ukraine!
Viewed through the lens of Bible prophecy, the prince of Rosh is awakening the Beast! (I explained that prophecy in our February issue.)
The Trumpet and its predecessor, the Plain Truth, have been prophesying about the end-time emergence of a German-led, Catholic-inspired beast power for more than 70 years! We delivered this warning even in 1945, when Germany and Europe were still smoldering after World War ii. We prophesied it for decades before Germany’s unification in 1989. Today this prophecy is being fulfilled before your eyes! It is obvious that Germany today dominates Europe politically and financially. Now Germany is revolutionizing its foreign policy. Keep watching: Very soon now, Germany will become a superpower even greater than America and Russia. It is prophesied!
You need to think about what this means for you individually. Are you concerned? You need to be! The Bible says the emergence of a German superpower is going to affect you directly!
So, what exactly has Germany done that is so alarming?
A More Assertive Foreign Policy
There’s no way to know precisely when Germany made the change, but it appears a meeting on January 15 could have been significant. As Spiegel reported, this was the day Chancellor Angela Merkel met with her lieutenants—new Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and new Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen—to discuss France’s military missions in Africa, whether Germany ought to provide more assistance, and Germany’s broader foreign policy.
Since then, the message coming from Germany—from Steinmeier and von der Leyen, from lower level government officials, from Germany’s media and from numerous German analysts and think tanks—has been loud and consistent: The time has come to pursue a much stronger foreign policy, both militarily and politically.
Many people are unconcerned by the idea of a newly assertive Germany. Some even think it positive that this nation is willing to help out more. But we have to consider the historical context.
Consider what Stratfor ceo George Friedman and Marc Lanthemann wrote in February: “Since the end of World War ii, Germany has pursued a relatively tame foreign policy. But over the past week, Berlin appeared to have acknowledged the need for a fairly dramatic change. German leaders, including the chancellor, the president, the foreign minister and the defense minister, have called for a new framework that contravenes the restraint Germany has practiced for so long. They want Germany to assume a greater international role by becoming more involved outside its borders politically and militarily …” (emphasis mine throughout).
Here’s how Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s largest and most popular news magazines, put it: “The new German government, inaugurated just a month ago, is charting a new course in foreign policy. Steinmeier and Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen believe that an economic powerhouse like Germany can’t continue to stand on the sidelines. They want to show Germany’s allies that the country can be relied upon.”
The New York Times wrote: “German leaders are pushing a vigorous new case that it is time for their nation to find a more muscular voice in foreign affairs.” The Times noted how, in response to multiplying global crises and a retreating U.S. superpower, “senior [German] officials are urging a rethinking of the country’s assumptions about its diplomatic and military role.” Again, all these observations were written at the end of January, in response to a foreign policy shift that began around January 15-16.
Our booklet He Was Right explains the shocking step-by-step process of how we prophesied this change for many years—and what it means for America, Britain and the Jewish state. Request a copy and we will send it to you at no charge.
Why the Change?
In many respects, Germany’s decision to step up its involvement in world affairs makes sense.
Norbert Röttgen heads the foreign affairs committee of the German Parliament and is a member of Merkel’s conservative party. The New York Times quoted him saying that the change in Germany’s tone stems from “a coincidence of several events that shake you awake” (ibid). Germany’s leaders are watching, for example, what Russia is doing in the Middle East and Ukraine and other places—and they are being shaken into action!
These politicians are beginning to move because the nations are shaking! Instability is increasing, and the need for robust leadership is growing. More and more people view Germany as being the nation best suited to provide that leadership.
The Trumpet has been following this trend for some time. In our December 2013 cover story, “We’re All Falling in Love With Germany,” we described how leaders the world over have been calling upon Germany to be more dominant. Now, German leaders are joining the chorus and expressing their desire to do just that. In our January 2014 edition, we focused on how much of this is coming about as a result of America’s historic abdication of its leadership role!
Notice what George Friedman wrote about why Germany is making these changes: “[Germany] has to adjust to the U.S. policy of global disengagement and it must manage a complex, necessary and dangerous relationship with Russia.” He is exactly right. Can you see what is happening? German leaders have even admitted that their nation must rise because America is declining (“‘Don’t Hide Behind Your History’”). America’s retreat has left a huge vacuum in the world, and the Germans, Russians and others are filling it! We will soon see that this is going to make our world far more dangerous than ever before.
German-Foreign-Policy.com wrote on January 27 about “The World’s Expectations” and how Germany’s leadership is getting bolder. “Germany must lead,” former Defense Minister Volker Rühe wrote in a recent newspaper column. Wolfgang Ischinger, who recently served as director for the Munich Security Conference, said Germany “must massively bring to bear its foreign policy in Europe.”
You need to understand what a drastic change this sort of language is! There is a strong reason why Germany hasn’t been talking like this for many decades—and why these statements are so alarming today!
Unlike most Western journalists, Friedman didn’t shy away from invoking historical reality. “Such a reconfiguration … for Germany … is a radical position, given its experience in World War ii. It has refrained from asserting a strong foreign policy and from promoting its national interest lest it revive fears of German aggression and German nationalism” (ibid). That is right: For years Germany has refrained from being too assertive because of its warmongering past. But now, it is casting off that restraint!
Look closely at what Germany has done in the past: It started World Wars i and ii, as well as other wars! Germany is a great nation and the German people are a great people, but they have been shaped and molded to a great extent by what is called the Holy Roman Empire, which they have been a part of off and on since a.d. 554—right up to the present!
“Either something new must be introduced into the European experiment or it might come undone,” that Stratfor article went on to say. “Berlin believes that holding the European Union together requires adding another dimension that it heretofore has withheld in its dealing with the bloc: military-political relations.” They have to unify. They have to have a strong military. Where is this leading?
A Warning From Edward R. Murrow
Most authorities agree that Edward R. Murrow was the foremost American reporter in World War ii. He was upset that the U.S. wouldn’t join in and support Britain much earlier than it did. He said America didn’t really choose to join Britain in that war—it was bombed into it by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. Murrow condemned America for being very isolationist.
Murrow had a tv news program after World War ii called See It Now. He traveled to Germany and visited all of the concentration camps—which he called “extermination camps”—and was shocked by what he saw! He became very angry because of what the Germans had done. The radio broadcasts he produced were some of the most powerful this world has ever heard, and you can still access them today. Murrow was deeply convicted about the importance of what he reported. After broadcasting from those extermination camps, he said that if he had offended people he wasn’t the least bit sorry.
When Murrow returned to London from Germany, he said, “I was impressed with the absence of any feeling of guilt.” Even after the nightmare of World War ii, the Germans didn’t seem to show any remorse for what they had done to other nations and peoples.
During a 1958 radio broadcast, Murrow said, “No one has yet produced a formula for ridding the German people of their appetite for war, their recurring desire to shoot people and to take their land and their homes.” That is a serious accusation, but it is true. Murrow also warned about “the reemergence of Germany as a world power.” It was his exposure to the nightmares of the Holocaust that made him deeply concerned about that.
The April 1952 Good News magazine wrote, “Does America dare arm Germany? … Our leading generals in Europe adamantly warn that Germany is a calculated risk”! What happened to those pragmatic voices? Nobody even thinks about that risk today. Nobody remembers that recent history. “Why will the diplomats think that today the hearts of the people in Germany are different from yesterday?” it continued. “Every one of those undemocratic nations, when once armed, has turned upon us.”
Do you really understand what is going on in Europe? Again, the German people are in many ways a great people. This is not a put-down of the German people. It is simply a statement of facts. This is recent history! We ought to know it. It teaches powerful lessons that we need to learn. Sadly, we don’t seem to have an interest in history today; it is almost nonexistent in America’s universities.
Our educational institutions, the media and many politicians have caused the Western world to be blind to the worst crisis ever, which is about to strike this planet!
Germany and the Holy Roman Empire
Revelation 17:10 contains this electrifying prophecy: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”
This verse is loaded with important prophetic information. (My free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation explains it in detail.) It is talking about the seven resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. History has already recorded six of them, and this prophecy is written from the perspective of when that sixth resurrection was on the scene. That empire was the Hitler-Mussolini axis of World War ii. At that time, Herbert W. Armstrong came along (when “one is”), and he prophesied what would happen in Germany and Europe. Everything he prophesied is coming to pass today! These are facts; I’m not telling you anything that you can’t prove from your own Bible.
Notice that the scripture says one “is not yet come.” When Mr. Armstrong was around, that seventh resurrection was “not yet come.” But now, some years later, itIScome! It is right there before our eyes! It is forming, and Germany has everything to do with forming it. Germany will lead it, according to your Bible. Isaiah 10:7 and many other scriptures make that clear. That is where we are right now in Bible prophecy—most of which is for this end time. What is happening in Europe and to the military inside Germany is prophesied over and over in your Bible.
Otto von Habsburg, once a member of the European Parliament, said this 25 years ago: “The European Community is living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, though the great majority of the people who live by it don’t know by what heritage they live.” The Holy Roman Empire is their heritage.
Habsburg went on to say, “We possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations of Europe equally. This is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.” That empire began in a.d. 554 with Justinian. Then came Charlemagne, the second of seven iterations of this Holy Roman power. Charlemagne waded through rivers of blood to bring people under subjection to that empire. At that time it was called the First Reich. Adolf Hitler was the sixth resurrection, and he called his the Third Reich. How many people know what that means? You need to understand about the Holy Roman Empire; even the people in Europe need to understand it better.
If you study the biblical prophecies about the seventh and last resurrection of that empire—which is to rise just before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming—then several details of what is happening in Europe today become far more striking.
For example, Defense Minister von der Leyen told Spiegel, “Europe must speak with a single voice in the future when it comes to security policy” (op. cit.). Right now, with 28 nations in the European Union, it cannot speak with one voice, and this creates serious problems. To be able to speak in a more unified way, you can be sure they will have to pare down the number of nations in the Union.
This points toward the prophecy in Revelation 13 and 17 that this European empire is going to consist of “ten kings”—probably 10 nations. Once that occurs, then Europe will speak with one voice.
We can also take note of the prophecy in Daniel 2, which pictures this end-time empire as being part of a great statue. The legs on this statue, made of iron, prophetically portray the Roman Empire, which had two capitals—one in the east and one in the west, Constantinople and Rome. The last resurrection of this empire is pictured by two feet, made of an unstable mixture of iron and clay (Daniel 2:31-33, 40-43). Is there a more apt description of Europe today? It is an unstable mixture of iron and clay!
In August 2005, I wrote, “There is some real tension between Russia and Germany over Ukraine” (Royal Vision). I wrote that nearly nine years ago—because of this prophecy in Daniel. “It’s all about the eastern leg of the Holy Roman Empire taking shape,” I wrote. If you know anything about the Daniel 2 image, you can see what I’m talking about. (We have more explanation about that image in our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire; request your free copy.)
A European Strongman
Here is another prophecy we need to watch in light of what is happening in Germany and Europe today: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The book of Daniel is prophecy for the end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). This is talking about the fact that sometime soon, this European empire will be led by a strongman—as it has been so many times in the past.
This man is also described in Daniel 11:21: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries”—in other words, it strongly indicates that this “vile person” will not be voted in. Watch Europe for this strongman! He is about to come on the scene.
This change in Germany’s military policy is creating a framework that this individual will be able to take advantage of. What does Germany do when it gets a strong military? Do you dare read its history and see? Once that military is in place, it will be put to use! This world doesn’t comprehend that because it doesn’t understand history and Bible prophecy. We just have to look at the truth to understand what we’re dealing with. Everything is moving at lightning speed.
Chancellor Merkel has yet to weigh in on the use of the military. She is known as a very cautious lady—and that could actually lead to her downfall. Spiegel wrote, “In her eight years in office thus far, Merkel has lost faith in the notion that military intervention can bring about improvements. She was particularly disillusioned by the German Army’s mission in Afghanistan” (op. cit.). Other German leaders, like former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, certainly disagree with her on that issue. It appears she is out of step with many of the elite in Germany. When that strongman comes along, he is going to handle things very differently than the current chancellor. That is what Bible prophecy tells us.
Daniel 8 continues: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power”—this leader is going to have help from an evil spirit—“and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many …” (verses 24-25). This is describing the terrible Great Tribulation that is foretold in dozens of biblical prophecies. That nightmare is just ahead of us!
In 1957, when Germany was a pile of rubble, Mr. Armstrong said, “Germany is going to rise again with great power.” He said the same thing in 1970. In 1980, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “I have been forecasting this revived Roman Empire publicly since February 1934. Now, it may go together suddenly, rapidly.” It is doing just that today! In 1983, he said, “The Bible prophesies of this coming United States of Europe, a new united superpower, perhaps more powerful than either the Soviet Union or the United States.” He went on to say that we don’t realize the thoroughness of the Germans, and that they are going to carry through what they started in World Wars i and ii in another world war—World War iii.
He said that in 1957!
In the Second World War, Mussolini’s son-in-law was speaking with the German foreign minister, and he asked: “What do you Germans want? Do you want Danzig? Do you want the corridor?” The German foreign minister said: “We want war!”
Winston Churchill said, “The history of man is the history of war!” The Western world has had relative peace for so long that we have allowed ourselves to forget the vital lessons of history.
Thankfully, however, this last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is tied directly to the coming of the Messiah. Notice how Daniel’s prophecy of this end-time Roman emperor concludes in verse 25: “… he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” That means he will be broken by God Himself! The Messiah is going to break that man, that empire and all of its power—destroy it completely! And then, the Bible promises, He is going to bring real peace and joy to this world forever!