Three Men Who Saved Millions

Gary Dorning

Three Men Who Saved Millions

Chernobyl could have been a far worse disaster, but for the sacrifice of these heroes most of us have never heard of.
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

CORRECTION: This Trumpet article below was based on a 2011 report from The Scotsman, which says the three men died shortly after their foray into the radioactive waters at Chernobyl. However, since this Trumpet article was written, it has come to our attention that the three men did not die as a result of entering the waters, but survived the ordeal. In April of 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko presented state awards to Alexey Ananenko and Valery Bespalov for their bravery, and posthumously to Boris Baranov (who had died in 2005). The fact that the three survived does not detract from the heroism they displayed back in 1986. The Trumpet regrets the error.

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This year marked the 30th anniversary of the nuclear power plant disaster that devastated Chernobyl, Ukraine. On April 26, 1986, employees conducted a systems test that triggered two explosions and fires at one of the plant’s four nuclear reactors. The reactor melted down, and the resulting disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, both in costs and casualties.

The explosion released 400 times more radiation than the atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima, affecting parts or all of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Poland and the Baltic nations. Dozens of people died immediately, and, in the aftermath, thousands more. Hundreds of thousands of others were scarred for life. Experts say the long-term death count from the radiation poisoning is still growing 30 years after the catastrophe.

The Chernobyl disaster was horrific beyond words. But without the effort and the sacrifice of three individuals, it would have been horrific times horrific.

Racing Toward a Second Explosion

On May 1, 1986, just five days after the explosion, Soviet authorities at Chernobyl made a terrifying discovery: The core of the reactor that had exploded was still melting down. The core contained 185 tons of nuclear material, and the nuclear reaction was continuing at an alarming rate.

(Listen to the episode of The Sun Also Rises about this astounding story.)

Beneath those 185 tons of melting nuclear material was a 5 million-gallon pool. The water was used as coolant for the power plant, and the only thing between the melting reactor core and the water was a thick concrete slab. The melting core was slowly burning through that slab, descending toward the water in a smoldering flow of molten radioactive metal.

When that white-hot, melting reactor core touched the water, it would trigger a massive, radiation-contaminated steam explosion. The fallout created by it would contaminate much of Europe. The death toll would make the first Chernobyl blast look almost insignificant.

Journalist Stephen McGinty wrote, “This would trigger a nuclear explosion that, so Soviet physicists calculated, would vaporize the fuel in the three other reactors, level 200 square kilometers [77 square miles], destroy Kiev, contaminate the water supply used by 30 million people, and render northern Ukraine uninhabitable for more than a century” (The Scotsman, March 16, 2011).

The 2009 School of Russian and Asian Studies had an even bleaker assessment: If the melting core reached the water, the resulting explosion “would have wiped out half of Europe and made Europe, Ukraine, and parts of Russia uninhabitable for approximately 500,000 years.”

The Chernobyl disaster was horrific beyond words. But without the effort and the sacrifice of three individuals, it would have been horrific times horrific.

The experts on hand saw that the melting core was devouring that concrete slab, burning through it—getting closer to the water with each passing minute.

Engineers rapidly drew up a plan to prevent the other three reactors from exploding. Three men in scuba gear would dive through the flooded chambers of Reactor 4. When they reached the cooling pool, they would locate a pair of gate valves and twist them open, allowing the water to drain out completely before the melting reactor core made contact.

For the millions of Soviets and Europeans who would be killed, maimed, scarred and otherwise affected by the impending detonation, it was a good plan.

But for the three divers, it was not a good plan. The water beneath the slowly melting Reactor 4 was the worst place on the planet to touch. Everyone knew that anyone who went down into that radioactive brew would live long enough to do the job, and that was about it.

The Chernobyl Three

The Soviet authorities explained the impending second explosion, the plan to stop it, and the consequences: certain imminent death by radiation poisoning.

Three men stepped forward.

Three men volunteered, knowing it would probably be the last thing they did. They were a senior engineer, a mid-level engineer, and a shift supervisor. The shift supervisor’s job was to hold an underwater lamp so the two engineers could identify the valves they needed to shut.

The next day, the Chernobyl three suited up and dove into the fatal pool.

The pool was totally dark, and the supervisor’s waterproof diving light was reportedly dim and periodically flickered out.

Groping in the murky dark, the search was fruitless. The divers wanted out of the radioactive swim as soon as possible: every minute submerged was another minute that isotopes freely ravaged their bodies. But they had not yet located the drain valves. So they kept searching, even though the dive light could fail at any moment, letting the darkness close in.

The light did burn out, but it was just after its beam crossed a pipe. The two engineers spotted it. They knew it led to the valves they were looking for.

The three divers swam in the dark to where they had seen the pipe. They grabbed onto it, and climbed along, hand over hand. There was no light. There was no protection from the radioactive ionization destroying their bodies. But there, in the darkness, were the two gate valves that would save millions.

If the trio had not dived in and drained the pool, a history-altering second explosion would have claimed and affected hundreds of thousands, or even millions of other people.

The divers twisted them open, and the water began rushing out. The pool rapidly began to drain.

When these three men surfaced, their job was done. Workers and soldiers embraced them as the heroes they were. Reports say the men were literally jumping for joy.

Over the next day, all 5 million gallons of radioactive water drained out from beneath Reactor 4. By the time the melting core above devoured its way through to the pool, the water was gone. There was no second explosion.

The analyses conducted in the aftermath of this dive all agree: If the trio had not dived in and drained the pool, a history-altering steam explosion would have claimed and affected hundreds of thousands, or even millions of other people.

The lives of hundreds of thousands were saved by three men.

Within a few days, those three began to experience inevitable and unmistakable symptoms: radiation sickness. Within weeks, all three had died.

They were buried in lead coffins, the lids soldered shut. Even in death, their bodies remained saturated with radioactivity.

Many heroes have done great deeds for others, with only a slim chance of survival for themselves. But these three men knew that there was no chance for them. They were staring down into the waters of certain death. And in they dove.

Their names were Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bespalov and Boris Baranov.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13

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China’s Hundred-Year Strategy

Reese Zoellner

China’s Hundred-Year Strategy

Beijing has a documented plan to be the premier global superpower by 2049. It’s over halfway there.
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Americans think in four-year election cycles. Chinese leaders think in terms of centuries. Just leaf through the glossy, cream-colored, gold-flecked pages of The Governance of China. This anthology of political theories by Chinese President Xi Jinping is considered almost sacred scripture in Beijing.

Across 18 chapters about leading the most populous nation on the planet, Xi outlines his utopian vision for the Chinese people. In the world he describes, the Chinese are heirs to an ancient and unique civilization entitled to a privileged position among nations. In this world, China is an economic, cultural and military superpower, while the United States is no longer a major geopolitical power.

If the Chinese people dutifully follow the program their paramount leader has laid out in The Governance of China, Xi promises they can achieve what he terms the China Dream by the year 2049—exactly one century after the founding of the People’s Republic of China during the Chinese Communist Revolution.

Achieving the China Dream has become a trademark slogan of Xi’s administration since he first publicly uttered the phrase in a November 2012 speech. When Xi refers to the China Dream, however, he isn’t making empty political promises like so many Westerners assume. He is actually making a subtle reference to a geopolitical strategy. Nationalist hawks in the Chinese military have been pushing this strategy since the days of Chairman Mao Zedong.

In a book actually titled The China Dream, People’s Liberation Army (pla) Col. Liu Mingfu outlines a strategy for China to surpass and replace the United States as the world’s premier superpower. This book is a bestseller in China. Only parts of it have been translated into English.

This book is where American defense policy adviser Michael Pillsbury first came across a specific written reference to the “Hundred-Year Marathon.”

Strategic Lessons From History

Colonel Liu is now a scholar at China’s National Defense University, an institution that trains future generals for the People’s Liberation Army. His strategy for supplanting the United States as the global superpower calls on Chinese leaders to learn from history—particularly from the history of America’s rise to superpower status in the 19th century, and from the Soviet Union’s failure to replace America in the 20th century.

Liu writes that China should strive to avoid directly antagonizing the United States too soon as the Soviet Union did in the Cold War. Rather, he advises that China influence U.S. foreign policy in such a way as to ensure that Washington behaves like Great Britain in the early 20th century. What happened to Britain in the 20th century? It declined and gave way to the U.S.

“The competition between China and the United States will not take the form of a world war or a cold war,” Liu writes in his book. “It will not be like a ‘shooting duel’ or a ‘boxing match’ but more like a ‘track and field’ competition. It will be like a protracted ‘marathon.’” Like many other Chinese nationalists, Liu foretells that China’s Hundred-Year Marathon will be a struggle for supremacy over economics, trade, currency, resources and geopolitical alignments.

Like President Xi, Colonel Liu estimates that it will take about a century for China to surpass America as the global superpower. He allots 30 years for China to match the U.S.’s gross domestic product, 30 years to match its military strength, and 30 years to equal its per capita gdp. Unlike Xi, Liu obviously considers this 100-year plan to have begun at some point after the 1949 Communist Revolution.

In fact, Colonel Liu is something of a latecomer to the idea of the Hundred-Year Marathon. Chinese author Zhao Tingyang published an essay in 2005 that is swiftly gaining mainstream acceptance in China. This essay, “The All-Under-Heaven System,” calls for the establishment of Tianxia—a Chinese-led empire that “values order over freedom, ethics over law, and elite governance over democracy and human rights.”

In a July 2012 interview with Michael Pillsbury, Zhao explained that the ancient Rites of Zhou mandated that a Chinese emperor have a 4-to-1 military superiority over his rivals to ensure his ability to enforce the All-Under-Heaven System.

Therefore, Chinese nationalists like Xi, Liu and Zhao admit that, in order to protect its growing economic empire, Beijing will eventually need a military force more powerful than any other!

Weighing the Emperor’s Cauldrons

A committee of 21 Chinese generals has sponsored the publication of a nine-book series titled Strategic Lessons From China’s Ancient Past. This series draws strategic lessons from China’s Warring States Period—an era between 475 and 221 b.c. when eight states warred against each other until they were conquered by the Qin dynasty. Many of the proverbs used in modern-day Chinese foreign policy originated during these struggles between states.

Perhaps the most famous proverb from this period is: Never ask the weight of the emperor’s cauldrons.

Ancient Chinese legend says the Kingdom of Chu was rising while the Kingdom of Zhou was declining. The leader of Chu knew that the Zhou dynasty had nine cauldrons symbolizing its authority. These cauldrons would be removed when the emperor of Zhou lost the “Mandate of Heaven.” So, while the leader of Chu was reviewing his troops along with an ambassador from the declining Zhou dynasty, he couldn’t help but ask about the size of the Zhou emperor’s cauldrons. The ambassador from Zhou then scolded the leader of Chu for his impertinence. By asking the weight of the Zhou emperor’s cauldrons, he inadvertently revealed his true intention to challenge him—before the time was right for the “Mandate of Heaven” to be moved.

The lesson, in short: Don’t let your enemy know you’re his enemy until it’s too late for him to stop you.

During the Warring States Period, successful Chinese kingdoms often conquered rivals by inducing them into complacency. In some cases, rising challengers even duped the old emperor into unwittingly assisting their rise.

Based on this wisdom, the committee of generals has advised that the Chinese government should not challenge the U.S. by matching its military strength plane for plane, ship for ship. They advise China to hide its full strength until the “Mandate of Heaven” is officially moved.

By 2049, the Chinese economy is projected to be much larger than the U.S. economy—perhaps double or triple the size, according to some estimates. At that point, it will be easy to bring the Chinese military into compliance with the ancient Rites of Zhou by making it four times larger than America’s armed forces. Until then, China’s policy is to induce the old American emperor to sit back and enjoy the delicacies provided to him by his “loyal” Chinese allies!

Wielding the Assassin’s Mace

One ancient Chinese legend describes a warrior who confronts a powerful enemy who is said to be stronger than the strongest giant. Yet the warrior prevailed using a secret weapon: a shashoujian. This term combines three Chinese words meaning hand, mace and kill.

The assassin’s mace that this warrior used looked like any other mace, but it had the power to knock out any enemy with a single blow. In military histories, the term shashoujian has been referenced in Chinese texts since the Warring States Period. An “assassin’s mace” is any military strategy that allows a warrior to defeat a powerful foe using unconventional means.

In his book The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower, Pillsbury recounts how he first came across the term “assassin’s mace.” He read an article by three of China’s preeminent military strategists that discussed new technologies that might contribute to defeating America without arousing the same level of suspicion that a Soviet-style arms race would.

The article called for the development of tactical laser weapons to be used in antiship missile defense systems, electromagnetic pulse weapons, radar-jamming technology and cyber weapons.

Maj. Gen. Li Zhiyun, the director of foreign military studies at China’s National Defense University, published an anthology of the works of 64 Chinese military authors. The anthology details a long list of U.S. military weaknesses vulnerable to exploitation by “assassin’s mace” technologies. The most prominent weaknesses listed are America’s overreliance on high-tech computer systems, satellite technology and long maritime supply lines for ammunition, fuel and other resources for waging war.

The pla is currently developing high-tech computer viruses, building antisatellite missiles, and militarizing the world’s most important maritime choke points. China’s generals are preparing to use the assassin’s mace to strike America in its Achilles’ heel should Washington ever wake up to China’s true intentions.

Anticipating Europe’s Response

Most American foreign-policy experts seem to think that nationalist generals are a fringe element in Chinese politics that should not be taken too seriously. Even if this had been true under the leadership of Hu Jintao, it certainly is no longer. President Xi is closely connected to the hawks in the pla and has even borrowed their slogan, fuxing zhi lu—meaning “road to renewal.”

For eight years, the United States has been governed by a president who considers Anglo-American imperialism the world’s greatest evil. While President Barack Obama may like to see China assume a seat at the table in a multipolar world, the leaders of China have no interest in sharing superpower status with America.

Xi Jinping and the nationalist generals of China well remember the admonition of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius: “There cannot be two suns in the sky, nor two emperors on the Earth.”

The clock ticks toward Chinese global domination in 2049. While U.S. leaders seem willingly blind to this fact, there is a cabal of technocrats in Europe that is aware that time is running out. Since Adolf Hitler’s defeat at the end of the Second World War, this cabal has worked to unify the European continent into a corporatist superstate capable of rivaling the U.S. and China on the world scene.

The geopolitical architects behind the European Union are waking up to the fact that even a pan-European superstate won’t have enough economic power to thwart China’s Hundred-Year Plan. A Citigroup report forecast that Western Europe will only account for 7 percent of the global economy by 2050, while “developing Asia” will account for 49 percent.

To reverse this trend toward European decline, corporatist technocrats are pushing for the merger of U.S. and EU economies. A Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (ttip), currently being negotiated in secret by American bureaucrats and European technocrats, would create an “economic nato” with a combined economy valued at around $35 trillion. Such a transatlantic economic alliance would have the economic and geopolitical might to rival the Chinese empire.

Yet this path to geopolitical power comes at a dear price. In addition to establishing a free-trade area, the ttip would harmonize U.S. and EU regulations governing industrial standards, labor laws and intellectual property rights. To enforce these regulations, the European Commission is insisting on an Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Such a mechanism would bypass domestic courts and override the will of national legislatures. It would subject the U.S. to the same type of authoritarian, technocratic regulations that member states of the European Union endure!

The Real ‘Mandate of Heaven’

Most politicians would scoff at the idea that there is a God in heaven who gives power unto kings. Yet it is true. “[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. … Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing” (Daniel 4:17; Isaiah 40:15).

The fact that Britain has fallen from greatness and that China is eclipsing America does not escape God. We must see such seismic global power shifts with His perspective. In the end, the problems afflicting America and Britain are actually correction from God to help the Anglo-American people see their sins and repent. Because a spirit of lawlessness and rebellion has taken hold in Anglo-America, God will send foreign enemies to punish America and Britain!

The Bible describes a time of “great tribulation” for the Anglo-American people in astonishing detail. Neither America nor Britain will willingly surrender sovereignty to the cabal of technocratic corporatists who run the EU. Instead, as the Prophet Isaiah forecast over 2,700 years ago, a German-led European superstate will betray America and Britain by forming a short-lived economic alliance with the nations of Asia, including China, Russia and Japan. This anti-American alliance will literally besiege the United States and Britain—economically freezing them out of world trade.

The Prophet Daniel foretells that when this siege has weakened America and Britain to the point of complete societal breakdown, the king of the German-led superstate will break his alliance with the kings of Asia and unilaterally invade North America. With the economies of America and Britain forcibly integrated into Europe’s technocratic dictatorship, this German-led empire will have power to rival China and its Asian allies. The Chinese generals can talk about not asking the weight of the emperor’s cauldrons, but the German General Staff uses a different military strategy: blitzkrieg!

With the Anglo-American people enslaved and the vast economic resources of North America at its disposal, the German empire will still only have a short window of time to stop Asia’s rise. The Apostle John prophesies in the book of Revelation that this German-led, Catholic empire will launch a preemptive military strike against the kings of Asia. Just like Kaiser Wilhelm ii launched a preemptive strike designed to halt Russia’s ascension to superpower status during World War i, this German empire will strike out in a desperate attempt to thwart China’s Hundred-Year Plan.

To counter this attack, the Bible foretells that Russia and China will amass an army of 200 million men!

Every human being would actually face extinction in a devastating nuclear war between Europe and Asia, unless Jesus Christ Himself intervenes in world affairs (Matthew 24:22). Fortunately, the Bible records a definitive promise from God that Jesus Christ will intervene to end this madness. After accumulating 6,000 years of evil and suffering, the human race will finally be ready to listen to God and be taught His way of life!

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Diabetes: Are You at Risk?

Trumpet Illustration

Diabetes: Are You at Risk?

Hundreds of millions are. Here’s how to escape the danger.
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

Diabetes is now one of the top 10 killers in the world. According to the World Health Organization (who), it ranked number eight in 2012, killing 3.7 million people each year. Since 1980, new cases of diabetes have nearly quadrupled worldwide, rising to a staggering 422 million people annually.

Once considered a disease of affluence, diabetes has now spread to every corner of the globe. Two thirds of cases occur in low-to-middle-income countries. The who said in its first Global Diabetes report that the crushing $827 billion annual cost of the disease is a burden to the economies of all nations.

What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes occurs in three main forms. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops producing the hormone insulin and, as a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy. This form has no known cure. In type 2 diabetes, the body uses insulin ineffectively. This is the most common form. The third form, gestational diabetes, is a temporary condition in women who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy.

The mechanisms of the disease are intricate. According to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, the way your body stores fat is a carefully regulated process controlled primarily by the hormone leptin. If you gain excess weight, the additional body fat produces extra leptin that sends satiation signals to the brain, causing us to stop feeling hungry.

But if you consume a diet heavy in sugar and processed foods, your body no longer hears the messages telling it to stop eating and to burn fat. This is because the continued onslaught produces abnormally high blood sugar levels with repeated surges in insulin. This in turn causes cells to become insulin resistant. In short, there is a metabolic miscommunication in the body when leptin and insulin levels are continually disrupted, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes (Mercola.com).

Grave Health Implications

Those with type 2 diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and 80 percent of these will die from it an estimated 12 to 14 years prematurely. Other repercussions include nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, infections leading to amputations, and medical costs two to five times higher than those of the average person (International Journal of Health Sciences).

The steady rise in diabetes is to a large degree a manifestation of our flawed, modern society. Fueled by rapid urbanization, unhealthy foods and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the rise in diabetes has closely paralleled that of obesity, as almost 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Some refer to this overlap as “diabesity” (U.S. National Library of Medicine).

Still, science fiddles while Rome burns, seeking the unlikely prospect of a cure via the pharmaceutical pipeline or a discovery that puts the blame squarely on genetics. Yet the “miracle cure” to diabetes might be as simple as changing your lifestyle.

Effective Diabetes Lifestyle Tips

Studies show that exercise may be one of the most powerful ways to control diabetes. It increases the number of insulin receptors in muscle and the sensitivity of the body to insulin, which releases the pancreas of the burden of constant insulin production. Exercise also results in the release of neurotransmitters and appetite-suppressing hormones that help forestall overeating (GreenMedInfo.com).

Nutritionally, you should eliminate all refined grains, sugars and processed foods, especially those made with fructose and high fructose corn syrup.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, advocates building your diet around real foods: fruits and vegetables supported by lean protein and a smaller consumption of whole grain carbohydrates.

This approach also stays clear of chemicals and genetically modified organisms, focusing on organic and sustainable principles of food.

What Can You Do?

Scientists have proved that even small amounts of weight loss (10 pounds or more) can reduce your blood sugar levels toward a healthy range and reduce the risk of diabetic complications. But further, you can actually reverse diabetes or come off medications altogether, according to Ann Albright, Ph.D., director of diabetes translation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In one study, people with type 2 diabetes exercised about three hours a week and limited their calories to between 1,200 and 1,800 a day. Within a year, about 10 percent improved to where their blood sugar level was no longer in the diabetes range, and 15 to 20 percent were able to stop taking their diabetes medications altogether (WebMD.com).

All of this information adds up to great news: You don’t have to be a part of the diabetes epidemic. But remember, your lifestyle will make or break you if you are a diabetic or prediabetic. Be mindful of your diet; resist temptation and stick to whole, unprocessed foods; and get your body moving to avoid becoming a statistic. Keep the door open to a healthy, abundant life.

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America’s Real Enemy

Melissa Barreiro

America’s Real Enemy

Politics in America today is full of people pointing fingers and casting blame. But the real source of the nation’s problems is being overlooked.
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

September 11 is a date that borders on sacred to most Americans. The day in 2001 when Islamic terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 people on American soil permanently changed the nation. It is seared in our minds.

Eleven years later on that day in 2012, as Americans were honoring those victims, Egyptians attacked the American Embassy in Cairo. They ripped the American flag to shreds and hoisted a black Islamist flag.

The same day, terrorists attacked the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They murdered four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

The Benghazi attack in particular was horrific and deeply shameful for a number of reasons. Less than a year before, the U.S. had provided the military power to overthrow Libya’s dictator, Muammar Qadhafi. Ambassador Stevens was personally involved. He risked his life to help ensure the Libyans would have a more democratic government. Because of his efforts to promote democracy, Stevens became the target of a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda. He knew about it and told Washington that his life was under threat. The last day of his life, he was pleading with the American government to send more help to protect him. There is evidence that the consulate staff was appealing for help while shots were being fired—and help was denied.

Why didn’t the U.S. fulfill that request? Why not send help to a man so dedicated, so willing to risk his life for his country? That is a maddening question.

Sadly, however, it was only the first of several aspects of the Benghazi attack and its aftermath that should be a source of dismay and sadness for every American, and for anyone concerned for America.

First, the administration of President Barack Obama immediately implemented an aggressive strategy to cover up and deflect blame for what had happened. Though they knew straightaway that it was an al Qaeda-linked attack, administration officials, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, downplayed it as a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Rather than countering the murderous terrorist attack, they directed their loudest condemnation at the video for its religious intolerance! They went to tremendous lengths pretending this “inflammatory” video was to blame—even farcically arresting the filmmaker—while doing nothing to bring those terrorists to justice!

Investigations have since made abundantly plain just how numerous and blatant the administration’s lies about what happened that night really were. Never has a president and his staff been so brazen and deliberate in using deceit!

To this day,nothing has been done about those Libyan terrorists who killed America’s ambassador and three others on the most painful date possible! This is a massive insult to our country and our dead. But it doesn’t infuriate our people the way it should.

America’s pathetic response to the Benghazi attack was far more dangerous than it was insulting—because it showed the entire world how weak this nation has become. It was a spectacle of American weakness. It did a lot to inflame the disrespect, disgust and contempt that our enemies are showing with growing brashness.

Should it surprise us to see America under such attack today—when the nation’s own president won’t even defend it? The Obama administration’s response to Benghazi was consistent with how the president has repeatedly apologized on behalf of America and acted like our enemies’ hatred is justified. In his view, America is the cause of the world’s grievances and ills. The United States is the real problem.

How could a U.S. president undermine America’s interests so completely? How could he be so sympathetic to his country’s enemies—and so casual about defending his country’s honor and welfare?

Could there be a more deadly plan against America? And it is coming from within! Something has gone profoundly and horrendously wrong.

It’s all about the death of our nation! (Ezekiel 33:11).

A pall of the blackest kind of evil is hanging over this land. It is about to bring a measure of suffering worse than anything this world has ever experienced!

Amassing Power

This president has not been weak on everything. Far from it. At the same time the Obama administration has undermined America’s power abroad, it has amassed power within the nation in the federal government, especially in the presidency itself. This may seem contradictory, but in fact it is another side of the same story.

In case after case, this administration has taken more power for itself and increased its control over the American people. President Obama modified and ignored a number of provisions of the Affordable Care Act with barely a pretense of legality. He launched a military campaign in Libya without congressional approval. He evaded the constitutional requirement that the Senate confirm high-level government officials by appointing “czars.” He asserted the right to kill American citizens without due process if a “high-level official” says they pose an imminent threat to the nation.

Examples of this trend abound. Here is a short list: President Obama deciding to ignore laws he does not like, choosing not to deport illegal immigrants who would have been allowed to stay in the country if Congress had passed the “Dream Act”; the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitting it uses surveillance drones over U.S. soil; the powerful Internal Revenue Service targeting the president’s enemies, mostly conservative and pro-Israel groups, to suppress their political involvement before the presidential election; the Justice Department secretly seizing the records of more than 20 Associated Press phone lines in what was called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion”—while the attorney general claimed to know nothing about it; the National Security Agency (nsa) conducting illegal, covert surveillance programs in violation of the Fourth Amendment, keeping phone and Internet records of millions of Americans with the full cooperation of nine major Internet companies. Such revelations have surfaced repeatedly throughout this presidency.

Before President Obama was reelected, Franklin Graham, the son of the famous preacher Billy Graham, said two of his ministries were targeted by the irs. He believed a newspaper ad they ran supporting an amendment against same-sex “marriage” triggered an audit jeopardizing their tax-exempt status. The process took more than twice as long as usual, and it wasn’t finished until just after President Obama was reelected. Many other conservative groups told similar stories. This indicates an unprecedented amount of political meddling! This administration blatantly manipulated the political process, and the nation is too weak to do anything about it!

If you aren’t paying attention to this trend, you should be. Many people are trying to pretend there is no real problem, and that those who are concerned are overreacting. But this should deeply trouble every American! There is an unparalleled spirit of lawlessness here—and it is leading to an outcome far worse than most people realize.

Data Collection

In June 2013, we learned that the nsa has a secret data warehouse in Utah, a “billion-dollar epicenter” where it can store massive amounts of information. Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, YouTube, aol, Skype, PalTalk and Apple were caught handing over to the government all kinds of information about Americans—including phone records, e-mails and other digital communications—and claimed they were forced to do so. However, the nsa says there is no cause for concern: An agency spokeswoman said that “[i]ts operations will be lawfully conducted in accordance with U.S. laws and policies.” Does that reassure you? Has this administration done anything to suggest that it is careful to follow the law?

When a ceremony was held in May 2013 to celebrate completion of the Utah data center’s exterior, it was “closed to the public—an exclusive, invitation-only gathering that barred even the mayor of Bluffdale,” the Associated Press reported. “The nsa also rejected a request by city officials to take a group of visiting Utah mayors on a bus tour of the outside of the facility. The agency said all tours—even of the exterior—are prohibited” (June 13, 2013).

Whyall the secrecy? Washington claimed it needs all this information for America’s war against terrorism. It was expanding the nsa’s powers exponentially, using the war on terrorism as the rationale. Yet at the same time, the president gave a speech telling Americans that thereisno war on terrorism. “This war, like all wars, must end,” he said. America shouldn’t be on “a perpetual wartime footing.” He claimed that the war is winding down, thanks to several victories by his administration. If this is all true, what does the government need that Utah facility for?

Despite all the data the government is collecting, it did not stop the Boston Marathon bombers in 2013. It didn’t stop an Islamist from killing four Marines at two military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015. It didn’t stop two Muslims from killing 14 people in San Bernardino that year. It didn’t stop a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State from killing 49 people in Orlando, Florida, in June. The “underwear bomber” wasn’t stopped in 2009 by the surveillance program, but by a tip from the would-be bomber’s parents. How many terrorists is this program catching? Some analysts say jihadists tend to use online resources that popular search engines don’t even see. That means these surveillance tools are basically only good for gathering data on law-keeping citizens.

William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the nsa turned whistle-blower, was asked where the surveillance data was heading. He said: “It’s really a turnkey situation, where it can be turned quickly and become a totalitarian state pretty quickly. The capacities to do that is being set up” (emphasis mine throughout). That is a chilling statement—it gets to the heart of the issue! Look at the potential power the government already has.

What kind of a mind-set is behind the nsa secret data warehouse in Utah? This nsa veteran says “it can be turned quickly and become a totalitarian state pretty quickly”!

Are we afraid to even ponder what the radical left’s agenda really is?

Fox News’s Bob Beckel, a Democrat, said the nsa data mining “is strikingly close to authoritarian rule that has no place in this country and no place certainly under our Constitution.” Herbert Meyer served as an intelligence specialist in the Reagan administration, as special assistant to the cia director and vice chairman on the National Intelligence Council. This man compared the actions of this administration to what the Nazis did under Adolf Hitler. (He didn’t say these officials are like the Nazis, but that they are going about their plan the same way the Nazis did.) Even the Germans have severely criticized President Obama for his nsa program! Some critics say he’s acting like the Gestapo.

The nsa is amassing enormous power. If it ignores the laws of the land, it can get practically anything it wants.

Imagine what a tyrannical government could do with all that information.

Americans have grown accustomed to and complacent about this steady erosion of their privacy and liberty. They do not prize freedom as they once did. This carelessness is going to come at a high cost.

Destroying Separation of Powers

In cases when Congress refused to implement his radical agenda, President Obama has simply sidestepped the legislative branch of government and ruled by executive decree.

“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need,” he told reporters before one of his cabinet meetings in 2014. “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward in helping to make sure our kids are getting the best education possible, making sure that our businesses are getting the kind of support and help they need to grow and advance, to make sure that people are getting the skills that they need to get those jobs that our businesses are creating.”

To make it harder for the courts to rein in his executive decisions, President Obama has substituted “executive actions” for executive orders. Unlike executive orders, which are issued as an official cataloged transcript, executive actions are informal orders from the president to his underlings in the executive branch, making them more difficult to challenge legally, and making it easier for him to trash the Constitution—the supreme law of the land. It’s all about lawlessness!

Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley, a political liberal, is one of the few legal minds warning of the danger behind such executive power grabs. “The system of separation of powers was not created to protect the authority of each branch for its own sake,” he wrote in a Los Angles Times editorial. “Rather, it is the primary protection of individual rights because it prevents the concentration of power in any one branch. In this sense, Obama is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system; he has become the very danger that separation of powers was designed to avoid” (March 9, 2014).

Please read that paragraph again. If it doesn’t strike fear in you, it should!

In midterm elections later that year, Mr. Obama and his Democratic Party took a shellacking. Voters made clear that they were unhappy with the president’s record over the previous six years. Yet when the president spoke about the result, he acknowledged no fault or error on his part. Immediately after the election, Mr. Obama renewed battles over immigration and net neutrality. That November, he issued executive action on immigration policy. He instructed the executive branch of government to offer temporary legal status to millions of illegal immigrants. This order unilaterally enacted immigration reform that congressional lawmakers wouldn’t enact themselves.

When confronted about his record of executive overreach, the president taunted his critics: “Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me.”

Trashing the Constitution

When he became president, Barack Obama promised his supporters a radical transformation of the U.S. By the end of his first term, some supporters felt the change he promised wasn’t coming fast enough. To them the president explained: “What’s frustrated people is that I have not been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. … Well, you know, it turns out that our founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes.”

This is one of several statements the president has made showing his distaste for America’s Constitution. Mr. Obama is an outspoken critic of the Constitution and has long desired to cast off its restraints. In a 2001 public radio interview, then Senator Obama said the Constitution reflected the “fundamental flaw” of the United States. He characterized the supreme law of the land as “a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”

There is a reason the Constitution focuses on what the government can’t do to you: it aims to restrain despotism and to preserve freedom! That is its great strength, not its fundamental flaw!

America’s Constitution has given more freedom to more people than any other government charter in history. It is a noble document that has inspired and enabled so many to attain accomplishments that any other system anywhere else in the world would have denied them.

You would think Americans would love the Constitution, but that is not the case in this country anymore. The radical left wants to destroy the Constitution! The Obama administration and the radically left Democrats are very hostile to the Constitution, and so are the media. Some in the media say Mr. Obama’s only real problem has been that he hasn’t used executive actions to enact radical policy enough. Many liberals now preach that for America to solve its many problems, it needs to abandon the Constitution. Most of the educational institutions would like to get rid of it. Many even argue that it is not even the supreme law of the land! Even one of the Supreme Court justices said the Constitution is outdated and should not be used.

This too is a liberal strategy to usurp power that America’s founders never intended politicians to have. An administration that pays no attention to the Constitution when it doesn’t match its own agenda has a lot of power!

More recently, the attack on the Constitution has become even more vile. People have criticized it not simply for making change more difficult, but because it represents what they perceive to be institutionalized racism inherent within the American system!

“The goal of the Constitution was to make an agreement between factions known as states, which were built on the backs of black slaves.” That’s a paraphrase of what Alicia Garza said during a University of Missouri Black Lives Matter event in February of this year. Garza is one of the three founding members of Black Lives Matter, an organization for which President Obama and the radical left have been major supporters. “The people vowing to protect the Constitution,” Garza said, “are vowing to protect white supremacy and genocide.”

That is a satanic lie! How can the president and the radical left support such a racist organization? The truth is that it was the system built by the Constitution that allowed the United States to become one of the first societies in history to completely abolish slavery!

Comments like these are a contemptible attack on the U.S. Constitution—the supreme law of the land! Such vile statements are stirring up a lot of anger and bitterness against the system of government established by America’s framers.

Do you realize how deadly dangerous this trend of lawlessness is? Very few people do. But it gives insight into the real nature of the threat facing America.

This is quickly moving America toward a race war and rule by dictatorship or tyranny.

Lies

Mr. Obama repeatedly said how transparent his administration would be—yet virtually everything he has done has been in the dark. Many journalists have complained that his has been the most opaque administration in history.

That is the path to a violent dictator ruling America! And it wouldn’t take but a few large and destructive riots to reach that nightmare.

In March of 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was called before Congress and asked, “Does the nsa collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir  …  not wittingly.” That was a lie, and he knew it.

Attorney General Eric Holder has also lied to Congress—about the Fast and Furious scandal, and about what his department did to reporter James Rosen.

As these scandals pile higher and higher, nobody can get administration officials to tell them anything! They have lied and lied and lied—and have been caught in their lies! This administration covers itself in a cloak of deceit. In some cases, they have even joked or bragged about their lies!

It is impossible to measure the damage that such deception has wreaked on the fabric of our politics and our society. But nobody seems to care. When Secretary Clinton was later investigated over the lies in the White House’s response to the Benghazi attack, she responded, “What difference at this point does it make?” Apparently a lot of Americans agree with her. Mrs. Clinton is now the presumptive Democratic nominee and could become America’s next president!

That speaks volumes about our people. We get the leaders we deserve. Especially in a democratic republic, we the people must accept the blame for the problems!

Many Christians pray for more righteous leaders, but their prayers are not being answered. Why? Because of their sins.

What happens to a nation when people come to expect their leaders to lie? When people embrace deceit? That is a far deadlier crisis than most people realize. Lies enslave and destroy us. Lies are the tools of tyrants. It is truth that sets us free. We should be passionate lovers of truth.

We must see reality: Something deadly dangerous has seized the country—far more than what people realize. There is a spiritual dimension to what is happening, and you cannot understand these events unless you recognize that.

Know Your Enemy

What is happening to America’s leadership, its domestic policy and foreign policy is not just a quirk of history. The fact that Americans are casting the Constitution to the ground and encouraging lawlessness in their marriages, in their government and in their foreign policy has a very definite cause.

We must know our enemy in order to understand what is going on in America.

Revelation 12:12 reveals that Satan is our deadly adversary. He is the one behind these dangerous developments. The devil is full of wrath, and he has gotten control of the government of this land! He controls the radical left. The fruits prove it. These people want to bring this system down. They are deceived (verse 9).

Our people don’t understand their Bibles as they once did. They don’t understand the many scriptures about Satan the devil. He has his agenda against America, and it will prevail.

Only God can protect us from this powerful evil spirit.

In his second epistle to the people of Corinth, the Apostle Paul drew attention to this evil spirit being. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he called him “the god of this world” who has “blinded the minds of them which believe not.” In 2 Corinthians 6:15 and 11:3 he warned about how easy it is to be beguiled through his subtlety. In verse 14, he wrote that Satan actually transforms himself into an angel of light, and his ministers look like ministers of righteousness! (verse 15). This is an extremely deceptive being with a lot of power!

Paul cautioned the people to be careful and vigilant, “[l]est Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11). In any war, ignorance of the enemy is dangerous. We are far more vulnerable to the devil if we are ignorant of his devices, designs or schemes. The more you know, the better equipped you are to resist and fight! Satan is laying a trap, and you need to recognize it!

The devil’s fingerprints are all over what is happening to America today. The rampant deceit bears the stamp of the father of liars (John 8:44). The contempt for law springs from Satan’s own lawlessness. The support for America’s enemies, the appeasement of dictators, the undermining of alliances, the hatred of the Jewish state—all these are telling signs of Satan’s influence. Even the way that all of these problems are originating from the very top is consistent with the devil’s methods of operation.

Still, many people scoff about there even being a devil—while he is tearing them apart! They know little or nothing about their Bibles. They don’t understand anything about God, nor do they know the devil. Until they do, the problems will only intensify.

Those who fail to see the devil behind what is happening in America today will end up being his victims.

Let me warn you again not to forget Revelation 12:7-12. Satan and millions of his demons have been cast down from a war in heaven. They are now confined to this Earth. Their time is short because of Christ’s imminent return, and they are full of their worst wrath ever!

You see evidence of that wrath in this violent world full of treacherous deceit.

America is being attacked from within and without. There are failures everywhere: economically, culturally, politically, militarily and morally. Anyone who says there isn’t a real problem here needs to open his eyes! We need to see what is happening to our nation.

The radical left is not our big problem. It is only leading the way. Ultimately, this isn’t about a man or an administration; it’s about an evil spirit being who is working to destroy this nation—and about why God is allowing it to happen!

Time Is Short

God is against three nations in particular—America, Britain and the Jewish nation—because of their history with God, the birthright and scepter blessings today, and their unparalleled rebellion. Not only is God not helping us, He is against us! (Ezekiel 5:8). (This is all explained in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Look at what God says about this through the Prophet Ezekiel: “Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled” (Ezekiel 7:23-24). That prophecy is about America in particular (for proof, request our free book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet).

“The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord” (verse 27). God blames the people for their sins, not the leaders! America is full of sins—and the whole world sees them! The leader may lead us to destruction, but God blames the people.

God says He has broken the pride of our power (Leviticus 26:19). Benghazi is just one example that perfectly shows that although America has tremendous power, we fear to use it. It is a sign that America has receded into the background and is declining rapidly.

Being weak causes violence and wars! The fact that America will not respond will only allow evils like this to increase. As we get weaker, people will attack us more and more violently.

Why is America so weak? Study Leviticus 26. Again—it is because of our sins. This is why God has brought this curse upon us.

The curses on America are plain to see. Prophecy is being fulfilled in events all over the globe! You would think that as times get worse and worse, people would look to the Bible to see what God has to say. Conditions are intensifying and getting so bad that anybody can recognize something is terribly wrong. But virtually nobody is turning to God. That is to our shame.

America’s problems are a direct result of America’s sins. No political candidate is going to “make America great again,” no matter what people think! I would like to see it happen, but it isn’t going to happen in this age. Everyone will come to recognize that truth before much longer! God will make America great again in the World Tomorrow. He is going to solve our problems—in spite of our rebellion. He will save America—and the world—at Jesus Christ’s return, which will occur immediately after all these crises climax.

Notice the end of verse 27 of Ezekiel 7: All the punishment that is coming upon us is intended to bring people back to God. This is good news: In the end, people are going to know God!

You absolutely need to understand the truth about what is happening to America today. We have been protected in this country for a couple hundred years. We have not experienced the turmoil that many other nations have. Yes, we were involved in two world wars, but God has given us a lot of peace. As a result, our people have settled into an unreality about what is really happening around us. They don’t understand how deadly dangerous this world is!

This is not God’s world. There is a lot of evil in this world. It is full of tigers waiting to tear people apart. It has always been that way. As Winston Churchill said, the history of man is the history of war. Yet somehow we can’t come to grips with that today.

Are you willing to face reality? Most people are not. A haze of deception enshrouds our world. It is absolutely stunning how easily the people in this land today are duped.

Many people are alert to the problems in America today, but have only become deeply discouraged and anxious as a result. But if you open your eyes to the spiritual dimension, then you will see the tremendous hopebeyond the tragedy that is unfolding. Putting these events in their full prophetic context shows how God is using these events to serve His purposes—and how they are quickly leading to the greatest event ever: when He will intervene to establish His rule on Earth!

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… And What’s Next for Europe?

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… And What’s Next for Europe?

The time ahead will be tumultuous—but here is why Europe will emerge stronger than ever.
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

When German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble was asked in March what Germany would do in the event of a Brexit, he said, “We would cry.”

In the wake of Britain’s vote, there is a real sense of crisis in Europe.

If the vote happened in isolation, it would probably have been a bit of an anticlimax. Britain wakes up to Brexit on June 24, but then doesn’t actually leave the European Union until 2018 or 2019. The sense of radical change on June 24 would quickly dissipate, as nothing much happened in the weeks and months immediately after.

But Brexit didn’t happen in isolation. Europe is reeling from the euro crisis, the migrant crisis and renewed terrorist attacks. Euroskeptic parties are rising to unprecedented heights in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and even Germany. In that environment, the EU just received what some believe is a knockout blow in the form of Brexit.

Europe’s crises just got much worse. But as one of Europe’s founding fathers, Jean Monnet, put it, “Europe will be forged in crises, and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises.” The European Council president put it slightly differently in the immediate aftermath of the vote: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

The Brexit crisis could be transformational for Europe.

Everyone Hates Europe

It is not just Britain that is disappointed with the EU. A Pew poll published in June found that only 27 percent of Greeks view the EU favorably, compared with 71 percent who see it unfavorably. The French dislike the EU even more than the Brits do, with 61 percent unfavorable. Even in Germany, the EU has at best lukewarm support, with 50 percent viewing it favorably, compared to 48 percent seeing it unfavorably.

Anti-EU parties are making waves far beyond Britain. In Austria, a fringe-right Euroskeptic party came close to winning the presidency. In Italy, the antiestablishment Five Star Movement won mayoral positions in Rome and Turin. In Rome, the party tripled its support from just three years ago.

Brexit is a wake-up call to Europe’s leaders. They need to transform the union from the ponderous unpopular bureaucratic machine, or they’ll be faced with Spexit, Frexit and Departugal.

Some in Europe are preparing for others to leave. Schäuble has called for Europe to change course to a core Europe. Former Vice President of the EU Commission Viviane Reding said, “We need a ‘core Europe,’ this must be imposed quickly” (June 19).

Europe’s six founding members held a crisis meeting the day after the Brexit result was announced. In that response and its need for a quick decision, we can already see the direction the EU is heading: a smaller, leaner, quicker union with more punch.

Part of the reason for the EU’s unpopularity is that it is stuck halfway toward a superstate. It is powerful enough to cause problems but not powerful enough to solve them. Europe’s open borders spread the migrant crisis across the Continent, for example, but the EU lacks any common border control.

The EU is left with 27 nations without Britain. It has five different presidents. the European Council, the Council of the European Union and the Council of Europe are three different governing bodies. The governance of the EU is a mess.

The euro crisis and the migrant crisis have increased the pressure on Europe to act. In response, it has taken some major steps toward a fiscal union. It has also sped up plans for a European border guard, aiming to have it operational by the end of summer—instead of around 2030 as previously planned. These are major changes, but they don’t solve the lumbering bureaucracy at the heart of the European project that makes every response to a crisis tortuous.

Now the pressure is on to act.

One area where Europe could move the quickest is defense. France has been pushing for unity on this issue since the November 2015 terrorist attacks. Germany is also keen for greater pan-European defense, but talk on this was delayed until after the Brexit vote. The turmoil in the wake of Brexit may delay it a little further, but Europe will not put off the discussion much longer.

Ahead of the Brexit vote, Agence France-Presse wrote that there is disagreement within Germany and Europe on how to react to a British exit. “Consequently, several sources believe that the EU partners would turn their attention to issues where there is greater consensus, such as security and defense,” it wrote (June 21).

“We are going to talk a lot about European defense in the coming months,” afp reported a French government source saying. It wrote that “heavyweights France and Germany—both founding members of the bloc—will find themselves under pressure to defend what’s left of their vision for Europe.”

“They may be forced to only pursue issues such as security, as enthusiasm for the bloc has eroded due to a morose economic outlook and as populist rhetoric gains ground,” it continued.

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told Le Monde that “to avoid contagion from Brexit” the EU must launch “a positive project for Europe.” Many see a European defense union being just such a project.

A Chance to Move Forward

Brexit will also remove one of the biggest obstacles to EU integration: Britain. Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and former prime minister of Belgium, expressed exactly this hope in an interview with the EU Observer on June 3. “The whole discussion and referendum around British membership is an opportunity,” he said. “Why? Because if it is a ‘No,’ we need to start negotiations.”

Summarizing his comments, the EU Observer wrote, “No matter what the result of the British referendum on 23 June, it will lead to changes in the European architecture.”

German EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger also believes the EU will advance after a Brexit. “[M]y expectation would be that the European project would gather new dynamics,” he told Politico. The EU may have to wait until the next series of elections are finished in 2017, but then “I believe we will gather more power and strength,” he said.

The Telegraph reported that anonymous European bureaucrats had made similar statements. They wrote about “senior sources” who are “insisting that the union will emerge stronger than before if its most reluctant member does choose to withdraw ….”

The Telegraph quoted one source as saying, “The EU will have found an identity and will have moved forward, deepening in key areas like monetary union and defense.”

The Rise of a German Europe

Just days ahead of the Brexit vote, Andrew Peek at the New York Daily News expressed his fervent hope that Britain would stay. “Britons would certainly be justified in junking the whole thing when they go to the polls on Thursday,” he wrote. “But it is better for Americans, 3,000 glorious miles away, if they stay. The reason is Germany.

“The basic problem of Germany hasn’t changed in nearly a century-and-a-half since its unification in 1870. With the highest population and largest economy on the Continent, Germany naturally dominates Europe” (June 20).

“It has historically tacked between Russia and the West, playing one off against the other, creating turmoil and insecurity among its smaller neighbors,” Peek warned.

“Taking Britain’s voice out of the EU will make its members countries more likely to follow Germany, wherever it leads,” he wrote.

Brexit puts Germany in a dangerous position. On the one hand, Europe has just lost a major power with some ability to keep Germany in check. Germany’s power and influence in Europe has increased.

But in a sense, Germany also lost an ally. Germany may have a lot of power, in terms of realpolitik, but many EU decisions are made by votes. Britain held a similar economic view of the EU as Germany. With Britain gone, Germany is now more likely to be outvoted and could have economic policies imposed upon it that run against its fundamental interests.

Germany will be forced to consolidate its power within Europe to prevent that happening. George Friedman warned in his book Flashpoints that other European nations would try to get their hands on Germany’s wealth. Brexit could accelerate that. “Germany will have a choice of accepting the punishment or using its vast resources to transform wealth into power,” wrote Friedman.

“Germany will face stark choices, and increasing its strength in all dimensions will become more bearable than the alternatives,” he wrote. “Germany will therefore become a full-fledged power, first flexing its political muscles and in time its military ones as pressures develop.” Germany will be forced to push the EU away from decisions made by votes, and ensure that power is more directly controlled by Germany.

To Trumpet readers, this post-Brexit Europe will sound very familiar. This is exactly what we have been forecasting, based on Bible prophecy, for decades.

A Post-Brexit Superpower

In 1948, when the dust was still settling from World War ii, Herbert W Armstrong wrote about the unification of “10 nations in Europe.”

“It will be a ‘United States of Europe,’ but that probably will never become its official name,” he wrote. “Leading statesmen in both America and Britain are actively advocating the idea of a United States of Europe” (Plain Truth, December 1948).

He continued to warn about this as European nations came together in the Coal and Steal Community and the common market.

Bible prophecy is clear that this power will be made up of 10 nations or groups of nations. The EU, minus Britain, has 27. The Trumpet and Plain Truth have said for decades that this number will shrink. Could that happen in the wake of Brexit?

This shrinking of the EU, or the formation of a new 10-nation European body, certainly implies the EU has a tumultuous time ahead of it. Going from 27 nations to 10 may not be easy. During the euro crisis, in 2011 Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned that nations would leave the eurozone and maybe the EU. “When that happens, the pundits will say European unification is dead, that the European Union has failed,” he wrote. “Don’t listen to them!”

The Bible also forecasts the arrival of a stronger leader in Europe—something the EU sorely lacks. The union will require a “confidence-inspiring leader,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in the November-December 1954 Plain Truth.

He also wrote that the common market would become a military power. “The nations of Europe have been striving to become reunited,” he wrote in the January 1979 Plain Truth. “They desire a common currency, a single combined military force, a single united government. They have made a start in the Common Market.”

Mr. Armstrong also forecast Germany’s dominance. “This will be the heart and core of the united Europe,” he wrote (Plain Truth, June 1952).

Remarkably, Britain’s vote for an EU exit could dramatically hasten every single one of these trends.

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What’s Next for Britain?

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What’s Next for Britain?

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union was prophesied in the Bible! What does this source of advance news say will follow?
From the August 2016 Trumpet Print Edition

On the day of the vote, June 23, the pound sterling reached its strongest level all year. The financial markets were absolutely confident: Britain would stay. And little wonder. Bookmakers indicated there was less than a 20 percent chance that Britain would vote to quit the European Union.

But one man forecast this outcome decades before. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages: “[T]he soon-coming resurrected ‘Holy Roman Empire’—a sort of soon-coming ‘United States of Europe’—a union of 10 nations [will] rise up out of or following the Common Market of today (Revelation 17). Britain willnotbe in that empire soon to come” (emphasis added).

In 1956, even before Britain joined the EU, Herbert Armstrong wrote: “Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”

The Trumpet has consistently proclaimed the same message. “We have … said for many years Britain would not be a part of the final European Union,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in 2012.

Now that Britain has voted out, there is a huge amount of uncertainty. The pound experienced its biggest drop since the 1980s. The stock market dropped hundreds of points. Some banks saw their share prices fall over 30 percent. British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to step down by October.

Where is Britain going? What will its relationship with Europe be? Who will even be running the country in a few months? So much is up in the air.

Amid all this uncertainty, it makes sense to turn to the same sources that forecast Britain’s exit.

We didn’t know for sure if Britain’s exit would come in this vote, but we knew it would happen. Equally, we cannot forecast exactly what will happen next. But the broad outlines are already clear.

New Dawn for Britain?

“Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” announced the leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, as the votes came in.

“Let June the 23rd go down in our history as our Independence Day!” he said to cheers.

Is this a new birth of freedom for Britain? At the Trumpet, we have certainly pointed to the flaws in Britain’s relationship with Europe. We have lamented the loss of sovereignty to Europe. So is it sunlit uplands from now on?

Sadly, no. While the EU has certainly caused problems for Britain, the biggest wounds are self-inflicted and won’t go away even when this divorce is finalized.

Britain has a huge debt problem. Householders are forecast to borrow at an unprecedented rate this year, higher than at any point since records began in 1987, the official for Budget Responsibility warned in March. Total household debt is at $2.17 trillion—an average of around $44,000 (£30,000) a person. Among the G-7 group of advanced economies, only Canada has higher debt-to-income ratios.

Last year, Britain’s government borrowed an equivalent of 4.4 percent of its gdp. The only EU nations with higher borrowing levels are Spain and Greece, both troubled economies that have required some form of bailout.

Britain’s trade is in a dire position. Its current account deficit is at 7 percent of its gdp—the highest peacetime level since record-keeping began in 1772. At the heart of this problem is the simple fact that Britain is importing far more than it is exporting.

The state of a nation’s society is much harder to quantify than the state of its economy, but here too the situation is dire. Theodore Dalrymple concisely summarized some of the most disturbing statistics in an article for the Australian five years ago, in the midst of England’s worst riots in decades: “British youth lead the Western world in almost all aspects of social pathology, from teenage pregnancy to drug taking, from drunkenness to violent criminality. … British children are much likelier to have a television in their bedroom than a father living at home. One third of them never eat a meal at a table with another member of their household—family is not the word for the social arrangements of the people in the areas from which the rioters mainly come” (Aug. 11, 2011).

These problems are all unconnected with the European Union. Many EU nations do not share them, and leaving the EU won’t fix Britain’s social problems.

A House Divided

The EU referendum has left Britain more divided than at any point in history. Just one week before the vote, Jo Cox, a British member of Parliament and mother of two little children, was killed by a far-right madman. The shooting horrified the nation.

To many Europhiles, the pro-Brexit group that just won the vote is a group of racists, who—in creating a climate of anti-foreigner hate—are in part responsible for Cox’s death.

“For the last few weeks Farage, and his allies Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, has chosen to play the race card,” reads one pro-Remain leaflet. “The Leave campaign’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has stoked the British public’s fears to the point that we now find ourselves in a country riven by hate. History tells us that scapegoating those we think are not like us always has terrible consequences. Jo Cox’s tragic murder is possibly only the start.”

Such an accusation by the Remain camp is wrong and deeply unfair. But it doesn’t make the divide any less real. Journalists, politicians and even Church of England clergymen have all called the Brexit campaign racist.

Britain has no leadership that can unite the nation. Every major political party encouraged its voters to stay in the EU. Three quarters of Britain’s M.P.s who declared a position on the EU voted to stay in.

The referendum also exposed a generational divide. Seventy-five percent of voters under the age of 24 voted to stay, according to a YouGov poll.

Meanwhile, both Scotland and London voted overwhelmingly to stay, only to be overruled by the rest of the country. “Scotland has delivered a strong, unequivocal vote to remain in the EU, and I welcome that endorsement of our European status,” said Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon—hinting, as she has in the past, that Scotland will try to break away from the UK in order to stay in the EU.

Who can provide a unified vision for Britain in order to face the uncertainty ahead? Who can rally Britain to confront its problems? No one.

“UK historic goal is to stop hostile power dominating Europe,” wrote veteran analyst Joseph de Courcy ahead of the vote. “Brexit [would] mean hostile EU whose first move will be to procure UK breakup.” The fault lines are many, and Brexit hasn’t changed that—it’s made them worse.

In Europe We Trust?

How will Europe respond to Brexit? This is perhaps the biggest unknown of all. Some have argued that European nations earn a great deal of money trading with Britain. Europe will not punish Britain, they argue, because it would be cutting off its nose to spite its face.

Others say that the EU will react irrationally. They say that Britain’s exit will be like a messy divorce, with bitter recriminations on both sides. Still others point out that there are rational reasons for the EU to lash out at Britain. If the UK prospers now, other countries may do the same. Within just hours of Britain’s referendum vote being announced, major political parties in Italy, France and the Netherlands called for their own referenda. If Britain’s vote becomes a rush for the exits, the entire EU could fall apart.

This question will be played out in tough negotiations that will probably take place over the next two years. Again, no one can detail exactly how these will play out, but we can point out some fundamental trends and how they align with Bible prophecy.

Britain is reliant on the EU. Nearly half of all its exports go to the EU. On a more fundamental level, Britain relies on the EU for its food supplies. Britain’s membership in the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy means that the nation is no longer self-sufficient in food, and most of the shortfall—70 percent of the nation’s imported food and non-alcoholic drink—comes from Europe.

It is also reliant on Europe for defense. Britain currently has no aircraft carriers—instead, it relies on an agreement with France. If Argentina once again took the Falkland Islands, Britain’s military is currently too small to retake it. The UK would have to rely on the Anglo-French defense treaty. With France working hard to create some kind of European defense union, Britain could soon find itself reliant on a European military, even though outside the EU.

This dependency exists largely because Britain joined the EU in the first place. In 1962, when Britain first began seeking European membership, Hebert W. Armstrong warned that, “in her economic distress right now, Britain is … going to the Common Market, undoubtedly to be dominated by Germany” (Plain Truth, July 1962).

He was right. Britain has already heavily invested its trust in Europe. Now, after Brexit, the nation is left simply hoping that this trust is not misplaced.

The Source of These Forecasts

How was Mr. Armstrong able to predict Britain’s EU exit—right from the moment it joined? Why is the Trumpet so sure our forecast for the next few years is correct?

Our analysis is based on Bible prophecy. Already that prophecy closely matches what we see happening in the world today.

The Bible says of Israel, which includes Britain, “[T]he whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores …” (Isaiah 1:5-6). Britain’s problems are deep and widespread. They cannot be repaired by a simple referendum.

The Bible also says that God has taken away “[t]he mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator,” (Isaiah 3:2-3). It does not have any leaders who can unify the country or rally it to solve the nation’s problems.

The Bible says further that Britain will put its trust in this European power, but that its trust will be misplaced. Whether or not the EU punishes Britain for the Brexit, we don’t yet know; it is certainly possible. Either way, soon Britain will deeply regret placing its trust in Europe.

The Old Testament book of Hosea describes how Britain puts its trust in other nations instead of God. Mr. Armstrong cites this passage in his 1962 article: “When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them: I will bring them down … I will chastise them …. Woe unto them! for they have fled from me,” says God to Britain today (Hosea 7:12-13).

The Bible gives much detail about what is coming to Britain. With the Brexit vote, we see those prophecies being fulfilled in a dramatic way.