Allergies: When Food Attacks

Allergies: When Food Attacks

Julia Goddard/Trumpet

From the March 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

Lucretius wrote, “What is food to one is to others bitter poison.” Nowhere is this Roman philosopher’s observation more apparent than with the steep rise in food allergies over the last two decades. In years past, some few suffered an allergy to one type of food. Today, it is common to see people suffering from allergies to three or more foods. The scary part is that no one is certain of the cause or how to stop the problem. The allergic condition plagues a person with anxiety, food phobia and constant fear of reactions, sometimes up to and including death.

Why did generations before us not suffer from this epidemic? What is it that’s making us so allergic?

What Causes Food Allergies?

Food allergies have become the fifth leading chronic illness in the U.S., affecting up to 15 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The most common triggers are eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, sesame, soy, fish and wheat.

A seemingly innocuous meal can be a loaded weapon. When the allergy sufferer ingests a trigger food, the immune system produces immunoglobulin E antibodies in order to neutralize what it determines to be a danger. The body releases chemicals such as histamine into the bloodstream, triggering an exaggerated external response and sometimes a deadly internal response of swelling, known as anaphylaxis.

The big mystery is why we get allergies. Theories abound. The hygiene hypothesis says rising rates of allergies mirror our declining exposure to bacteria during childhood, making us prone to reacting to substances that would otherwise be harmless. Some also point a finger at increased rates of vaccinations, the use of carcinogenic agricultural chemicals and even genetics.

Surprisingly, an often-overlooked cause of food allergies is food itself. In The Unhealthy Truth, Robyn O’Brien writes that food allergies and intolerances may be a product of toxins and genetically modified ingredients in the industrial food system.

Beginning in 1994 with the introduction of the first genetically altered tomato, we have now reached a critical juncture with genetically modified foods. They have been shoved onto the public without meaningful debate, without long-term animal feeding studies or government tests, and without labels.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association says between 70 and 80 percent of all processed foods may contain ingredients from genetically engineered plants. So most Americans are eating genetically modified organisms with almost every bite.

The genetically engineered hormone rbgh (recombinant bovine growth hormone), used to increase milk production, causes cows to have higher rates of disease, requiring the use of antibiotics for ill effects. Consuming products from these cows is a major factor precipitating leaky gut, a condition where a person’s intestines have increased permeability. This allows toxins, microbes and undigested food particles to leak into the bloodstream, causing food allergies and many illnesses.

Consuming Pesticides

Another common ingredient in processed foods is soy, a top food allergen genetically engineered to withstand massive doses of weed killer. Corn allergies are also rising, with some genetically modified corn engineered to withstand Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Other varieties are engineered to create their own internal pesticide, Bt toxin (Bacillus thuringiensis), which breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them.

This marks the first time in history that pesticide toxins inside cell walls are being sold for human consumption. It also raises the possibility that eating produce containing Bt might damage the human digestive tract the same way it does to insects.

A 2011 study at Quebec’s Sherbrooke University Hospital showed correlation, finding the Bt toxin in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn babies. And in 2012, The Journal of Applied Toxicology showed the Bt toxin causes leaky gut, something Bt’s aggressive mechanism was designed to do to insects in a ruthless way.

O’Brien writes that since the introduction of genetically modified foods, hospitalization rates due to food allergies have risen 265 percent. This has concerned scientists, including some in the Food and Drug Administration, who have warned that genetically altering a food plant could trigger food allergies. In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine stated, “[S]everal animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with gm food consumption, including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with … insulin regulation … and changes in [major organs] and gastrointestinal system. There is more than a casual association between gm foods and adverse health effects. There is causation ….”

What can you do if you suffer from food allergies? Look for a nutritional program that focuses on removing damaging foods and replacing them with healthy alternatives, giving the intestinal lining a chance to heal and seal. One such program is the gaps nutritional program by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.

For prevention, eat a wholesome diet based on unprocessed, ideally organic or locally grown foods cooked at home. These form the foundation upon which your immune system can function and thrive without allowing allergies to become a lifelong disability.

Should Donald Trump Trust Vladimir Putin?

Should Donald Trump Trust Vladimir Putin?

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Russian president is more than he appears to be.
From the March 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

Many people are concerned about American President Donald Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But they are not concerned about this relationship for the right reasons. They do not understand the real danger.

On July 31, 2015, candidate Trump said publicly, “I think I would just get along very well with Vladimir Putin.” He repeated this sentiment numerous times throughout his campaign.

Mr. Trump indicated that, under certain circumstances, he might not protect America’s allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. nato was created to keep Russia in check, and Putin would love for it to go away.

Russia is a rival power to the United States. It fought America in the Cold War, and its socialist ideology has infiltrated American universities, news corporations, government and culture since the 1960s. It is also a major antagonist toward Eastern Europe and Europe as a whole, which America has treated as its allies. And it is not afraid to assault nations like Georgia, Ukraine or Syria. Its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems rival those of the United States. These are all reasons to worry about Trump’s comments about Putin.

But I want to focus on another reason why Trump’s comments are dangerous. And this reason revolves around who Vladimir Putin is as a man.

What will happen if the American president does “get along very well with” a man of Putin’s character? What happens to America if our country gets along with this man?

What Kind of Man Is Putin?

Putin’s Russia, along with China, has vetoed multiple United Nations sanctions that would have restricted some of the most terrible regimes on Earth. And yet Western leaders continue to “push the reset button” every time a new administration comes into office, thinking they can work with him.

President Putin has continued Russia’s support of Iran, giving this suicidal religious extremist terrorist nation hefty support, including the development of nuclear weapons. This is a regime that has disgusting, devastating policies and openly calls America the “Great Satan” and the Jewish nation the “Little Satan,” and for the latter to be wiped off the map. Putin supports Russia’s vile policy of sponsoring this nation.

In Chechnya, an Islamic separatist region of Russia, Putin has lashed out in warfare that killed more than 160,000 of his own people. Imagine the president of your country killing 160,000 of your fellow citizens. Russians do not have to imagine that!

Putin has crushed Russia’s independent media and taken control of it. That is the classic hallmark of a dangerous, oppressive, tyrannical despot. But notice this: Putin has allegedly ordered the murder of 134 journalists! Imagine your president not just arguing against or insulting or silencing journalists who disagree with him, but going so far as to murder them!

Vladimir Putin is a former kgb operative. He says that even in high school he dreamed of becoming a spy. Putin told his biographers that the allure of the kgb wasn’t its professed high-minded ideals, but the actual dirty work of espionage. You can read about all this in the Jan. 23, 2016, Washington Post (“The Death of a Former KGB Operative Is a Reminder of Vladimir Putin’s Past Life as a Spy”).

“I was most amazed by how a small force, a single person, really, can accomplish something an entire army cannot,” Putin said to his biographers. “A single intelligence officer could rule over the fates of thousands of people. At least that’s how I saw it” (Telegraph, Feb. 25, 2012). Putin achieved his dream and became a Russian agent during the Cold War in one of the most brutal intelligence agencies that has ever existed—a genuine deception and murder machine.

What did Vladimir Putin actually accomplish as a spy? How did his career in espionage shape who he is now? And how was he affected when he saw firsthand the Soviet Union disintegrate around him? When he ascended to power and ultimately took the presidency, did he leave that deceitful, dangerous and deadly way of life behind? These are vital questions that need to be asked and answered before anyone should trust this man.

‘Supersize Model of the KGB’

Alexander Litvinenko was a former kgb operative. He criticized the actions of his superiors and accused them of assassination. He fled to Britain, where he was granted asylum and apparently worked with the British mi6 spy agency. Then, in 2006, he was murdered. Inquiries into his death found he was poisoned with polonium, a rare and lethal radioactive isotope, and that the murder was likely approved personally by Vladimir Putin.

Putin is also widely considered responsible for the 2004 poisoning of Ukraine’s opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko.

This man is not just an authoritarian leader! He is an evil, ruthless, vindictive agent with Soviet-style methods of psychological warfare, assassination and war! As one Russian journalist put it, Putin “is a supersize model of the kgb.”

This is a man with beastly power and with a beastly desire to rule the world! He is a vengeful, monstrous friend of the devil with all sorts of anti-God policies. He is steeped in secrecy, deception, manipulation, aggression, intimidation, coercion and force, and there is far more about him that we do not know.

What will happen to a country that will “get along very well with Vladimir Putin”?

That’s not just a rhetorical question. The closer our president and our nation gets to Putin, the further it gets from what is good and what is right—the further it gets from God! That is deadly dangerous!

Putin will stay true to his character and prey on President Trump and America as he has preyed on others. And we will deserve it for having cozied up with him.

Two Individuals Prophesied

Putin’s Russia is in the news almost daily right now because of how active it is in the world. But do you know that what this nation is currently doing was forecast many centuries ago?

If you can believe it, a perfect description of 21st-century Russia and its leader is recorded in the sixth-century b.c. book of Ezekiel. This is a stunning and wide-ranging prophecy, one of the longest in the entire Bible.

Ezekiel 38:8 says, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years ….” Notice that Ezekiel was writing not for people who lived at that time, but to people who would read his book “in the latter years.” That is our time today.

“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezekiel 38:1-2). God wants a man in the latter years to prophesy against “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” This prince is a powerful leader who is visible in world news.

The Bible prophesies of a “prince” in our lifetime and says he will be revealed during a period called the end time. It also prophesies that there will be a messenger who will prophesy against this leader. You can’t deliver this message and you can’t understand this prophecy unless you know who this prince is.

Ezekiel gets specific here. There are two individuals, a “son of man” and this “prince.” If you can identify the message of Ezekiel to this prince, then you can also identify God’s messenger in the 21st century. God reveals this message to His messenger. No human being can just figure out these prophecies and discern anything from them. Only God can unlock what these prophecies mean.

This passage mentions “Gog” and “Magog.” Ezekiel is using the ancient names of these nations. What modern nation or nations do these peoples represent? The Bible says Gog and Magog must be warned. So God’s messenger has to know who these two great nations are and who this prince is.

This is an electrifying prophecy in your Bible that discusses super-powerful nations that are active in the latter years. If you know this is a prophecy for our time period, then it is not that difficult to discern who these nations are, who this world leader is, and who this messenger is.

This is the leader of Gog, the leader of Meshech, the leader of Tubal, the leader of Rosh! This is the prince of Russia.

This individual controls an enormous, monstrous swath of land in Asia, from east to west. The territory described in your Bible sounds very much like that of the former Soviet Union, the territory Russia dominates or wants to dominate right now.

Russia’s ‘Prince’

Russia has already conquered or threatened states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. In 2007, Putin ordered a devastating cyberattack against Estonia. In 2008, he sent the Red Army into Georgia and conquered it. In 2014, he sent masked gunmen with no insignia to seize the peninsula of Crimea and ordered it to be annexed to Russia. The same year, he deployed the same type of masked troops to mainland Ukraine to assist pro-Russian rebels in Donbass who want to separate from Ukraine. In spite of evidence that these Russian operatives may have been responsible for shooting down a commercial airplane in eastern Ukraine in 2014, Russia continues to field troops in the region.

The “latter years” prophecy about Gog, Magog and the prince of Rosh, including Meshech and Tubal, indicates that Russia may conquer more former Soviet satellites.

Under Putin, Russia is mobilized and aggressive. He is a powerful prince. In 2005, he called the demise of the Soviet empire “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” To put it mildly, most people don’t agree with his statement. After all, the oppressive Soviet regime persecuted all kinds of people, imprisoned them, and murdered countless millions just because of their ideas and thoughts. Most people were glad to see the Soviet Union break up in 1991. But Vladimir Putin thinks very differently. He sees the Soviet Union as Russia’s greatest glory in this modern age.

Putin rules an immense territory, but he wants to extend it even farther. If you think the world is too sophisticated or too nice for Russia to reconquer former Soviet states and try to create a new Russian empire—it has already happened!

The prophecy in Ezekiel 38 is being fulfilled now.

When you look at what Russia is doing, the burning question is, where is this leading? Well, the same Bible that forecast Vladimir Putin’s dominance also forecast the answer and revealed how it would affect the whole world!

The Largest Army in History

If the prophecy of Ezekiel seems amazingly up to date, look at Revelation 9:16: “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.” This verse uses an ancient description of soldiers, “horsemen,” and an entirely modern phenomenon: the fact that there are two hundred million of them. In fact, the entire book of Revelation is specifically for the end time.

This prophecy is definitely for our modern era! This is an enormous army even by current standards. The U.S. military has only about 1.5 million personnel. Even in the 21st century, where could you find a 200 million-man army? You will find it in the near future in Russia, as well as in China. (Bible prophecy also includes Japan and perhaps India in a power bloc it calls “the kings of the east” in Revelation 16:12.)

This may sound astounding, but the book of Joel describes this same army and actually calls it God’s army! God is using this unrighteous power for His own purposes. And why? Because He says He is going to cause the heathen to come to know Him. God is orchestrating His plan on this planet, and not even the mighty, massive kings of the east can do anything but play right into His hand. All of this great turmoil and war around the world will lead to the heathen coming to know God.

The rise of Vladimir Putin; Russia’s invasions; a budding alliance between Russia, China and other Asian nations—these are all signs that Bible prophecies are true! Bible prophecy and just honestly looking at the world reveals that this is all building toward a nuclear World War iii!

When nuclear bombs begin detonating, when a 200 million-man army mobilizes, when World War iii explodes, it will seem like this will literally be the end of the world, the end of life on Earth. And it would be, except for something else the Bible prophesies. The Bible forecasts not only the geopolitical situation we are facing right now and the resulting violent eruption, but also what comes next: the precise events leading to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!

The Bible has been 100 percent correct about its prophecies so far, and it prophesies that the rise of Asia, the rise of Europe, and the clash of these two superpowers are all leading to the Second Coming! In fact, these superpowers will be fighting each other in the Holy Land and then fighting Jesus Christ Himself right in Jerusalem! It will be the bloodiest battle ever on Earth—yet it will mark the end of man ruling over man and the injustice, tyranny, violence and death it produces.

If the Bible is exactly right about the prince of Rosh, you can be certain it is right about the return of Jesus Christ!

Notice Ezekiel 39: “[A]nd they shall know that I am the Lord. … Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God …. Neither will I hide my face any more from them” (verses 6, 28-29). This is where these events are leading: All mankind will come to know the Eternal! Isn’t that wonderful?

God prophesies massive destruction in connection with the prince of Rosh and the 200 million-man army. But He also prophesies in the same books of Ezekiel and Revelation that He will resurrect the dead who have never had the chance to know Him. Then they will have the chance to know God!

That is the greatest news we could hear!

A Shameful Record Against Israel

From the March 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

June 4, 2009: President Obama condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “occupation” during his famous Arab outreach speech in Cairo, Egypt.

March 23, 2010: President Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; presents him with 13 demands; abruptly leaves room after disagreement over Jewish settlements; no customary photo op.

May 19, 2011: Barack Obama becomes the first United States president to officially endorse a two-state division of Israel based on its pre-1967 borders.

March 2012: High-level sources reveal that the Obama administration allegedly leaked Israel’s secret relationship with Azerbaijan, where Israeli planes could refuel for an air strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

September 11, 2012: President Obama refuses to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu during the Israeli leader’s visit to the United States.

March 21, 2013: Obama visits Israel; refuses invitation to speak before Knesset; speaks to students about Israel’s “foreign army” in Palestinian territory; says, “It’s not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own.”

March 2015: U.S. State Department attempts to oust Netanyahu from power by funding an opposition political group in Israel with $349,276.

April 6, 2015: President Obama says in an interview that Iran’s recognition of Israel will not be a precondition of the Iran nuclear agreement.

January 16, 2016: President Obama lifts economic sanctions against Iran, opening the path for an Iranian nuclear bomb.

January 19, 2016 U.S. supports EU regulation requiring goods originating in the West Bank to be labeled separately from those made in the rest of Israel.

September 2016: White House publishes a transcript with a speech location as Jerusalem, Israel, then republishes it with a strike through the name “Israel.”

December 23, 2016 President Obama’s United Nations ambassador breaks a decades-long diplomatic precedent and allows a Security Council resolution to pass that condemns Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.

January 20, 2017: In his final hours as president, Mr. Obama gives $221 million to the Palestinian Authority. Two House Republicans had placed a hold on the money due to concerns about the PA, but the president did not honor the hold.

President Obama’s Hidden Legacy

President Obama’s Hidden Legacy

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Did he ‘fundamentally transform America’?
From the March 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

Former United States President Barack Obama ran his campaign on “change” and said he would “fundamentally transform America.” For eight years he added action to his words, and America has indeed been transformed, fundamentally.

President Donald Trump’s campaign inspired support by opposing Mr. Obama’s transformations. Candidate Trump said undoing what Obama had done would be easy: He could nullify his executive actions by issuing executive actions of his own. When Mr. Trump got to work in January, he began signing them right away.

But is reversing eight years of Obama as simple as signing executive actions with the signature “Donald J. Trump”? Is it as simple as a Republican-controlled Congress repealing laws passed by the previous Democrat-controlled Congresses?

In reality, President Obama made eight years of systemic changes: not only legal and regulatory, but also cultural, moral and psychological. Some of this transformation of America cannot be reversed.

Let’s start with young Americans. The Obama Justice Department and Education Department enforced policies, regulations and laws that prevent educators from disciplining insubordinate students. They argued that since statistics show that black teenagers are disciplined at a higher rate than white students, American teachers and administrators are racist. Obama’s bureaucracy coerced and even prosecuted schools into leaving two high school generations unrestrained and unpunished. The result is millions of young people who have been educated to throw off rules and laws.

President Obama also attacked America’s prison system, accusing it of systemic racism. He blamed the makeup of jail populations not on law breaking, but on the law itself, particularly the judges and law enforcement officers. He accused police of racism so vile that officers often murder a man simply because he is black.

By the end of Mr. Obama’s second term, it had become much more common to see people marching in the streets, trashing public places, beating people on the sidewalks, and rioting in cities like Ferguson and Baltimore.

Fringe arguments received the vocal support of the highest office in the country. Eight years on, many more Americans now mistrust, disrespect and even attack law enforcement officers. Many hate the law more than they hate the crime.

President Obama, occupying an office created to enforce the law, personally undermined the rule of law, in some cases openly refusing to enforce laws that his office is specifically required to enforce. His enforcement of immigration was lawless at best, completely anti-law at worst.

Mr. Obama gave a presidential endorsement to many more issues that fundamentally weakened America’s culture, economy and security. He flung the doors wide open on entitlement culture and spent hundreds of billions giving away phones, health care, money and more. He hooked tens of millions more people on welfare benefits. He passed a gargantuan health-care law, reportedly the largest tax in history, that was a massive federal overreach into Americans’ personal lives. He became the biggest spender in world history, accumulating twice as much debt as his predecessor and nearly doubling the national debt to almost $20 trillion. Can that be paid back—with interest—with a few signatures?

President Obama also invited inside the White House Black Lives Matter, an organization whose website reveals that it has as much or more to do with anti-constitutional socialism as with race-baiting. He bathed the outside of the White House in the colors of the homosexual/bisexual/transsexual/queer/intersexual/etc. flag, celebrating the newfound right of homosexuals to “marry.” President Trump has said he is not interested in challenging this law, which by itself fundamentally transforms America.

President Obama successfully used the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service as political weapons. He presided over the surveillance of journalists, the mass surveillance of average Americans, and the targeted killing of American citizens involved in terrorism. His Justice Department provided a framework arguing that the federal government sometimes has the legal right to kill Americans without trial, overseas and at home.

The most fundamental transformation President Obama accomplished can be summarized in one word: lawlessness. The most important American office for enforcing laws was occupied by a man who instead enforced his personal will. Unshackling the presidency from its constitutional limitations is one of the most dangerous transformations of all, no matter who occupies the Oval Office. The worst legacy of the Obama administration is the erosion of the rule of law.

In 2017, America is a different nation from what it was on Jan. 20, 2009. To sign away some of Mr. Obama’s policies and laws will be easy, but to confront America’s changed mentality will not. To instead leave it as it is will be easy; to transform it back to the way it was, much less to make it great, will not. That’s because the Obama years appealed to an ugly, destructive and powerful element: our lawless human nature. The only way to truly roll back the Obama years is to change our own hearts and attitudes toward law.

City of Pieces

City of Pieces

thomas coex/getty images, menahem kahana/afp/getty images, stefan tyszko/getty images, istockphoto/claudiad, derek hudson/getty images

As united Jerusalem turns 50, we ask: Will it make it to 51?
From the March 2017 Trumpet Print Edition

jerusalem

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Over several turbulent days in 1967, the tiny Jewish state of Israel defended itself against three Arab armies simultaneously. The Jews not only survived, but by the war’s abrupt end, they had taken possession of the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan, expanding Israel’s territory by 300 percent. At the time, many Jewish leaders and foreign journalists alike recognized this as a miraculous victory.

The most symbolic and emotional moment of the war for the Jews occurred on the third day, when Israeli Army Chaplain Rabbi Shlomo Goren gathered soldiers before the Western Wall to blow the shofar at Judaism’s holiest site. The solemn blast announced to the world that the Jews had captured the Old City and the Temple Mount. For the first time in almost 2,000 years, Jerusalem was united under Jewish rule.

But now, 50 years on, we must ask: Will united Jerusalem make it to 51?

Unilaterally Dividing Jerusalem

Entering 2017, more attention is being focused on Jerusalem than any year in recent memory.

On Dec. 23, 2016, the United States broke with its traditional role as Israel’s protector at the United Nations Security Council (unsc) by choosing not to veto a resolution that calls Israeli communities in the West Bank illegal and invalid. The resolution, however, has a more sinister clause than most previous attempts to impugn Israel’s claims over the territory it won in the 1967 war.

Resolution 2334 attacks Israel’s control of and sovereignty over not just the territory of the West Bank, but over Jerusalem itself.

Notice the first three points of the resolution. They say that the unsc (emphasis added):

1. Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard;

3. Underlines that it will not recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967, lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations ….

Why single out Jerusalem in the resolution? Why not just mention the West Bank, or the more general term of the “territories” as in previous resolutions?

Because the real target of this resolution is the unity of Jerusalem.

According to the unsc—which is the closest thing this planet has to a world government—Israeli rule over East Jerusalem “has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

In each of these three points, the resolution draws specific attention to East Jerusalem, not just the West Bank. East Jerusalem of course is technically part of the West Bank, but all previous negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, such as the Oslo Accords in the 1990s and the Camp David Summit in 2000, dealt with Jerusalem as a separate issue from the West Bank. The issue of Jerusalem in a final peace deal was to be negotiated separately.

But now, according to the United Nations—notably enabled and supported by America’s abstention—the Israelis not only cannot build or live in Judea and Samaria, but any construction in East Jerusalem beyond the now-invisible 1967 lines is also illegal.

The UN has unilaterally divided Jerusalem, and Israel didn’t even have a vote—or an ally willing to vote on its behalf.

Past Precedent

Some past Israeli leaders have offered East Jerusalem to the Palestinians in an effort to reach a peace agreement. One of these was former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

In 1993, the government of Yitzhak Rabin signed the first set of the Oslo Accords. It became the new foundation from which Israeli-Palestinian peace would be negotiated. As part of the accords, the future of Jerusalem was declared to be a separate subject for future negotiations. The likelihood of Israel giving up sovereignty of East Jerusalem in a peace deal was highly unlikely. Rabin even declared in his last Knesset speech before he was assassinated in 1995 that Jerusalem must always remain the united capital of Israel.

Five years later, however, one of Rabin’s own followers, Ehud Barak, went against Rabin’s stance.

In 2000, during the waning months of his time in office, Barak offered Palestinian Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat, a terrorist, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in return for peace as part of the Camp David summit negotiations with U.S. President Bill Clinton.

This offer signaled a radical shift in the Jews’ negotiating platform: Israel was now willing to negotiate away East Jerusalem. Israel had always said Jerusalem would be undivided, but apparently the Israelis themselves were divided over that issue.

Dore Gold, adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recounted in his book The Fight for Jerusalem that when the Israeli people learned that Jerusalem was being offered as part of a peace deal, they were furious. This led to the largest demonstration in Israel’s history: A protest march to the Old City walls drew an incredible 400,000 Israelis.

Yasser Arafat refused the offer. Still, at the time, some leftist Israeli officials considered proposing a unsc resolution where the parameters for peace including East Jerusalem would be locked into Israel’s new negotiating position.

That didn’t happen in 2001. But fast-forward to December 2016, and that Security Council resolution has passed. The international community has unilaterally decided, with U.S. support, that East Jerusalem does not belong to the Jews. East Jerusalem is no longer up for negotiation: the UN has decided that it is Palestinian land and the Jews have no right to it. Jerusalem, according to the United Nations, is not the united capital of the Jews.

Setting the Stage

Why is this important? It would be easy to disregard Resolution 2334; it’s nothing more than talk. Israel today, especially under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would refuse to concede the Old City and East Jerusalem to the Palestinians; the prime minister himself has said as much. If the UN decides to enforce this resolution, it would have to march member-nation armies into Jerusalem to force Israel out. Most people agree that it would be highly unlikely and irregular for the UN to be able to organize itself that way.

But it is possible that the Palestinians themselves could react to this resolution in an armed uprising and/or terrorist intifada and try to take what the UN has now said already belongs to them. At that point, Israel would suppress the violence. One would think that, on the basis of the resolution, the international community would then retaliate against Israel.

For the past two decades, the Trumpet has forecast this exact scenario we see developing. Pointing to a prophecy in the biblical book of Zechariah, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said for many years that half of Jerusalem will indeed fall into Palestinian hands.

In March 2006, he elaborated on how it would come about: “It seems the Palestinians could get East Jerusalem, minus the Temple Mount, without a fight. Zechariah’s prophecy implies that there will be an impasse over the Temple Mount—which the Palestinians ‘resolve’ by taking East Jerusalem by force. That is why I believe the conservatives could regain control in Israel. They have a stronger will to fight for the land they believe belongs to the Jews.”

At the time Mr. Flurry made this statement, a passive left-wing government was in power. But for this prophecy to unfold, it appeared conservatives would have to return to power.

This has since happened.

Netanyahu will not accept Palestinian control of the Temple Mount or East Jerusalem. Yet buoyed by this recent resolution and likely further action by the international community in the coming months, the Palestinians could be motivated to make a run for it themselves.

In this environment, the unsc resolution does not improve the chances for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. It instead undermines Israel’s negotiating position and encourages the Palestinians to fight for the land, thus bringing into play Zechariah’s pivotal prophecy of half of Jerusalem falling.

Added to this, Prime Minister Netanyahu seems to be viewing the presidency of Donald Trump in the United States as a green light to virtually disregard the United Nation Security Counsel’s decision. This was evident in the first week of Mr. Trump’s tenure when the Israeli government approved construction for nearly 600 apartments in east Jerusalem as well as almost 2,500 abodes in outlying areas of the West Bank in direct defiance of the resolution. After the decision to proceed with the construction in East Jerusalem Mr. Netanyahu stated, “There is no longer a need to coordinate construction in the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. We can build where we want and as much as we want.” However, it is likely that these actions will only further infuriate the Palestinians and the rest of the world. This will only increase the volatility of the situation.

In 2017, all eyes are going to be on Jerusalem. Zechariah’s prophecy of half of the city falling is a verifiable and highly visible event that sets off a chain reaction of the fulfillment of subsequent prophecies leading to the coming of the Messiah.

To understand in detail the events to follow the fall of East Jerusalem, read Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Who Made America Great?

Who Made America Great?

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Why America was ‘fated to lead’—and who made it that way.

Why is America a great nation? What made it great? United States President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” has meant this question is being discussed more than ever before in recent times.

One of those joining the discussion is Robert Kaplan, a veteran foreign-policy writer with a new book titled Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World.

The United States, he writes, “is fated to lead. That is the judgment of geography as it has played out over the past two and a half centuries.”

“Geography remains an overwhelming advantage and source of American power,” he writes. “I have traveled for many weeks from east to west across the most impressive political geography in the world, or in history for that matter.”

Kaplan’s promotion of his book has brought a vital yet often overlooked truth to the world’s news media. The New York Times titled its review of the book “Geography Made America Great. Has Globalization Undone Its Influence?

The phrase “geography made America great” is certainly worth remembering, as Mr. Trump promises to make America great again.

Stratfor, where Kaplan used to be Chief Geopolitical Analyst, has also drawn attention to this fact in an excellent essay called “The Geopolitics of the United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire” (emphasis added throughout):

The American geography is an impressive one. The Greater Mississippi Basin together with the Intracoastal Waterway has more kilometers of navigable internal waterways than the rest of the world combined. The American Midwest is both overlaid by this waterway and is the world’s largest contiguous piece of farmland. The U.S. Atlantic Coast possesses more major ports than the rest of the Western Hemisphere combined. Two vast oceans insulated the United States from Asian and European powers, deserts separate the United States from Mexico to the south, while lakes and forests separate the population centers in Canada from those in the United States. The United States has capital, food surpluses and physical insulation in excess of every other country in the world by an exceedingly large margin.

This geography has allowed America to live in a level of peace not known anywhere else in the world, as Stratfor explains:

Instead, the United States could exist in relative peace for its first few decades without needing to worry about any large-scale, omnipresent military or economic challenges, so it did not have to garrison a large military. Every scrap of energy the young country possessed could be spent on making itself more sustainable. When viewed together—the robust natural transport network overlaying vast tracts of excellent farmland, sharing a continent with two much smaller and weaker powers—it is inevitable that whoever controls the middle third of North America will be a great power.

Beyond just security, this geography has provided America with vast resources in food. The American Midwest “comprises both the most productive and the largest contiguous acreage of arable land on the planet,” Stratfor continues. Furthermore, America’s river system means that this food can be sold and eaten in good time, unlike Russia, where “[e]ven in modern times … crops occasionally rot before they can reach market.”

There are a lot of very intelligent people that see the massive blessing America has in its geography. However, they fail to look one step further and recognize why America has that geography.

In an article titled “What If America’s Founders Had Settled in Russia?Trumpet contributing editor Jeremiah Jacques wrote:

If the people who inhabit this exceptional real estate were geographically guaranteed to become great, then it’s worth considering how the American people came to possess it.The Bible makes clear that God, and not men, determined the geographic locations and national borders of the Earth’s various peoples. The Apostle Paul explained in Acts 17:26 that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bound of their habitation” (see also Deuteronomy 32:8; 2 Samuel 7:10).Long before Paul explained that truth, God inspired the Old Testament patriarch Jacob to utter a landmark blessing upon his two grandsons: Ephraim and Manasseh. He placed his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the older of the two boys, and blessed him, saying he would become a great single nation (Genesis 48:14-22; 49:22-24). God fulfilled this promise to Manasseh spectacularly in the 19th and 20th centuries, when the United States of America attained towering cultural dominance, unparalleled military might, and mind-boggling economic power.But before the 20th century, before the 19th century, even long before Ephraim and Manasseh were born, God foreordained America’s greatness with geography.All the way back when He was re-creating the Earth as recorded in Genesis 1—sculpting its surface, separating dry land from sea, and carving out the continents, God was thinking of Manasseh and of His future promise to make of him the single greatest nation on Earth. Toward this end, God designated a massive and exceptional chunk of real estate for Manasseh’s descendants, the American people.Geography also motivates the U.S. government to take a more hands-off economic approach than most nations have employed. Laissez-faire capitalism has flaws, but it contributed to America becoming a bastion of freedom. A deeper look into America’s geography reveals that God set Manasseh in a position where economic and religious freedom would reign, and where His end-time work could be carried out free of the persecution that would have plagued it in most any other nation.How inspiring to consider that the Creator reserved the bulk of American land for some 5,500 years of mankind’s history, keeping it isolated and relatively unpeopled until Manasseh was ready to inhabit it and receive these astounding blessings! In a sense, God kept the land that would become America reserved for the majority of man’s history—as He waited to fulfill His promise to Manasseh. God “determined the bound” of U.S. borders, and He used geography to foreordain America’s prosperity!

This is a truth absolutely vital to remember in the age of Donald Trump. In a recent Key of David program titled “Great Again,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said:

First of all, we have to understand that men didn’t make America great in the first place. Nor did they make Britain great, in the first place. God did that! … God is the one that should be given credit for that, and we don’t really give God credit for that today.

Only once we acknowledge this and turn back to the One that made America great in the first place, can America overcome its problems. For more on how America can, and will, be made great again, read our new, free book Great Again.