Rosy Future for German-U.S. Relations?

German national elections, scheduled for September, will likely bring about a significant shift in German-American relations—in stunning fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Packed with intrigue and drama, German politics have been a feature presentation in the global theater recently. Stay tuned: Some of the most remarkable Bible prophecies are thundering toward fulfillment!

Most analysts believe Angela Merkel, tireless leader of the Christian Democratic Union (cdu), is the candidate primed to replace Gerhard Schröder as Germany’s chancellor. Dubbed the “Iron Lady” of Germany, Merkel is expected to gain the chancellorship thanks to staunch support from the CDUs sister party, the Christian Social Union (csu) led by Edmund Stoiber.

By the end of the year, it is expected that a Merkel-Stoiber team will lead Germany, bringing in a new era in German-American relations. Thanks in large part to Chancellor Schröder’s blatant refusal to contribute to the American-led Iraq war, German-U.S. relations have soured of late.

“A Chancellor Merkel would represent a new pro-American direction not only for Germany, but for Europe as well …. [W]ith European politics currently in disarray, Merkel could be one of the only people in a position to take the reins, and her destination would be decidedly American” (Stratfor, June 8, emphasis mine throughout). The csu’s Edmund Stoiber also supports a policy that prioritizes good relations with the U.S.

Fully aware that almost 90 percent of the German public was against America’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, Merkel was a lone voice in Germany when she publicly declared support of U.S. President George Bush. When European politicians, including Schröder, pushed to lift Europe’s arms embargo against China earlier this year, Merkel stood by America’s standpoint on the issue, insisting that the embargo must remain.

While Schröder has embraced his increasingly dictatorial Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Merkel, who was born in East Germany as it lay prostrate under the Communist boot of the Soviet Union, remains wary of Russia.

A Merkel chancellorship will also likely facilitate a significant shift in the EU’s foreign policy toward the U.S. Is this good news for America? “[B]efore one gets too enamored of the idea of a pro-American Germany, bear in mind the place makes the person. … A Chancellor Merkel will face harsh resistance from a country experiencing its own internal geopolitical split. It is not an entity that will reflexively seek to subordinate its political and security desires to dictation from an entity on the other side of the Atlantic—no matter what the personal preferences of its leader” (ibid.).

There are fundamental divisions between the German and American peoples. An undercurrent of anti-Americanism clearly exists in the minds of many Germans. Their peoples were enemies in World Wars i and ii.

A striking prophecy in Ezekiel 23 confirms that a resurgence in German-U.S. relations is on the horizon. But notice where they lead: “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians [end-time Germany], upon whom she doted.” After gaining America’s trust and support, the Bible foretells that Germany will betray the U.S.! (see verses 22-26).

Over the next few months and years, watch for America to increasingly become “lovers” with Germany, foolishly looking to the greatest war-mongering nation in history for friendship, peace and safety. Fooled by rhetoric, America will lie vulnerable to German betrayal.

The Trumpet’s editor in chief wrote in the September-October 2000 issue: “The U.S. trusts Germany—our lovers, as Ezekiel calls them (Ezekiel 23:4)—more than we trust God! That could be the worst foreign-policy mistake we have ever made—or ever will make.”

The seeds of Germany’s future betrayal of America can be seen in the pro-American policies espoused by both Angela Merkel and Edmund Stoiber.

If a Merkel-Stoiber team ends up at the helm of Germany and the EU, watch for America to naively embrace German efforts to restore and nourish the relationship.

German Military Wants Stronger Role

German Military Wants Stronger Role

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Germany’s defense minister says his country’s military must prepare for combat missions.

In an alarming announcement, German Defense Minister Peter Struck stated that the German Army may “consider missions beyond its current peace-keeping and stabilization mandate” in the future ( Deutsche Welle, June 6). The military of a nation that launched two world wars in a generation has emerged from its ruins and has demanded an active role on the world scene!

In an interview with the German magazine Focus, published June 4, Struck boldly declared that the German Army should be ready to act militarily in areas it is currently deployed, if the situation should deteriorate into violence. Struck also told the magazine that, realistically, troops would lose their lives as they are used in combat situations.

“For those of us who were born after the war this is an unfavorable idea but we must be realistic,” he was quoted as saying. “It is possible that we will consider going to other countries and separate warring parties by military means” ( ibid.).

There are already around 6,500 German troops deployed around the world, mostly in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Just this spring, Germany agreed to send 75 military observers to Sudan to join a group of 750 UN observers, which will form a part of a UN peacekeeping force of 10,000 troops. The deployment was set to last for six months and was limited to southern and eastern Sudan as outlined by the UN Security Council resolution passed in late March. The group of observers will not offer direct help in the region but will be able to liaise with African Union troops in the area.

Struck is scheduled to meet with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the end of June, where they will decide whether to extend the length of the deployment.

This follows after a statement from the German Defense Ministry in April that declared Germany was willing and ready to play a stronger role in Afghanistan.

“Germany is ready to take charge of the entire northern region,” Struck said in a visit to Uzbekistan before he left to Kabul, capital of Afghanistan ( ibid.).

Struck said that Germany would of course wait until nato finalized its plans for the region before it would approve of expanding the role of the 2,000 German troops deployed in Afghanistan.

So more German peacekeepers in a war-weary world is a good thing right? Wrong!

The German military may have quietly maneuvered itself into peacekeeping missions, but it has a far more ambitious goal than liaising with foreign troops. Peacekeeping is just a way for Germany to test the waters and to get the world to accept a renewed German military power.

The Trumpethas declared for years that the German military would rise again, but not to bring peace as it says it will, but to start World War iii!

For more information, see our booklet The Rising Beast.

The Burden of Youth Culture

The adverse effects of teen culture’s rising influence in Western society.

With about 35 million in America already, teenagers make up our fastest-growing demographic. In a godly society, we would be applauding and encouraged by that statistic. God has always intended for children to be a blessing to their parents—like “olive plants” around the table (Psalms 128:3)—and to society (Proverbs 20:29; 1 Timothy 4:12).

In these latter days, however, prophecy points to our youth as being a burden on society. Instead of helping to build it up, our own offspring are tearing it down. Isaiah 3:12 describes our children as being “oppressors”—a word that means to tax, harass and tyrannize.

This prophecy in Isaiah 3 is being fulfilled in two ways, primarily. One is in the more literal sense of youth oppressing society by their rebellious disregard for adult authority. Look at verse 5: “… the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.” The pervasive attitude young people have toward their elders in Western society is one of rebellious disrespect. In the most extreme cases, it can become violent. Teens commit three times as many crimes as adults. Our prisons are filled with young people. This is not encouraging.

The other fulfillment of this prophecy is even deadlier than the most violent youth killer. It’s described in verse 4: “And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. God isn’t talking about children with respect to age necessarily, but rather the way adults are ruling: like children! Read the first three verses of Isaiah 3 and you will see all the qualities of leadership that have vanished from our society: vision, prudence, judgment, wisdom, honor and eloquence. God said these kinds of qualities would be practically extinct today. And it’s because, in far too many cases, our leaders—whether in the home, within education, or business, or in government—have degenerated to a child’s level of understanding. Instead of preparing our children for the responsibilities of adulthood, we, as adults, are acting like children.

Time magazine recently reported on a new phenomenon among youths—about how long it is taking them to transition into adulthood (January 24). “They’re not kids anymore,” the subtitle to the article says, “but they’re not adults either.” So what are they? According to Time, they’re twixters—men and women (or boys and girls?) between the ages of 18 and 25 who don’t want adult responsibility. Social scientists have noticed an increase in the number of young “adults” who still live with their parents and who have no clear goal or ambition in life. The number of 26-year-olds who live with their parents has nearly doubled since 1970 from 11 percent to 20.

A couple years ago, the American Psychiatric Association even went so far as to define the stage of adolescence as a period that extends from puberty to age 34—the time they believe most youths enter the independent stage of adulthood. What that means, as Tony Atherton brought out in the Ottawa Citizen, is that adolescence for today’s youth lasts about three times longer than it did in previous generations (March 19).

Granted, marrying at 18 is too young. But a 34-year-oldadolescent? Jesus Christ—the greatest teacher who ever lived—sacrificed His life for the world at age 33. What would He have thought about our immature, teen-dominated, sexually perverse, gross-out culture?

Even religion, the last place you would expect teens to dominate, is dumbing its message down to attract younger crowds. Here in Edmond, Okla. (where the Trumpet is headquartered), one evangelical minister surveyed the area and found potential church-goers fed up with how boring religious services had become. “So he designed Life Church to counter those preconceptions, with lively, multimedia-filled services in a setting that’s something between a rock concert and a coffee shop” (Business Week, May 23). According to the article, even as Protestant and Catholic denominations are seeing their congregants leave—especially young ones—evangelical megachurches are booming because they are adapting to “contemporary culture.” “Kids are often a prime target audience for megachurches. The main campus of [Craig] Groeschel’s Life Church in Edmond, Okla., includes a ‘Toon Town’ of 3d buildings, a 16-foot-high slide, and an animatronic police chief who recites rules. All the razzmatazz has helped Life Church quadruple its Sunday school attendance to more than 2,500 a week. ‘The kids are bringing their parents to church,’ says children’s pastor Scott Werner.”

Jesus Christ is not encouraged by this trend. Neither is He encouraged by the same trend extant in education, business and government.

In 1 Corinthians 13:11, the Apostle Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Today, instead of putting away childish things and preparing our own children for adulthood, we are letting youth culture educate us.

“It’s the commercial media entertainment economy at work,” wrote Danesi in Forever Young. “Age is now considered a disease. Youth sells. There’s a big emphasis on having it all: good living, keeping your youth, having as much fun as you can. It’s empty because there is no wisdom behind it.” Worse still, he goes on to explain, “It’s a cultural disease. And now we’re into the final silly stages.”

Iran Preparing for War

Iran’s most recent gain in missile technology proves that this Islamic republic is using diplomacy with the West merely to buy time as it arms itself to the teeth.

Ongoing talks between the EU and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program have failed to produce a satisfactory agreement. Iran maintains that it is not seeking to develop nuclear warheads, yet it continues to beef up its rhetoric against any moves to limit its military capabilities. Also, it keeps moving forward in its military technology development.

On May 31, Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani stated that Iran had successfully tested a new missile motor using solid-fuel technology for its medium-range ballistic missile known as Shahab-3. A solid-fuel (as opposed to liquid-fuel) engine is much easier to move and far quicker to prepare for launch—a quality that increases its ability to be hidden from surveillance, as well as its potential for use in surprise attack.

Using solid fuel instead of liquid also allows the missile to be stored for years, making mass production of the Shahab-3 more practical for Iran. “Using solid fuel would be more durable and increase the range of the missile,” stated Shamkhani (bbc, May 31). Experts state that the solid fuel technology is also necessary for Iran to develop a multi-stage rocket that could fly further than the Shahab-3, which could pave the way toward an Iranian icbm program.

According to Stratfor, the announcement “stunned Israel,” because a solid-fuel engine makes these missiles “slightly more accurate but also more readily deployable.” Being well within range of the Shahab-3, Israel is understandably nervous. “Couple that with a nuclear program, and the potential future security situation becomes much more complex for the United States” (June 1).

Tehran continues to exploit diplomatic talks, using them to buy the time it needs to develop its military and become a nuclear power. The development of the new fuel technology shows Iran gearing up for a future war, while using diplomacy to lull the West into inaction.

Sky Wars—Europe Vs. America

The EU and the U.S. are embroiled in the most heated trade spat ever—so bad that they are taking their case before the World Trade Organization. The U.S. is fighting a losing battle.

If it weren’t for the European Union, the aeronautics company Airbus would not be nearly as powerful as it has become. The EU has supplied the company with huge subsidies, giving it an edge on its American competition, Boeing, and angering the U.S. in the process.

So on May 18, when Airbus officials announced that they were applying for $1.7 billion in government support for their new plane, the a350, the U.S. said enough is enough: It announced that it was filing a lawsuit. The EU’s trade commissioner responded by “accusing Washington of slipping money to rival producer Boeing through military contracts, local aid and Japanese government funds for wing construction” ( Daily Telegraph, June 1). Negotiations having fallen apart completely, the World Trade Organization began the largest litigation effort in its history on May 31.

Now, the wto has to decide if the rise of Airbus was fair. The question is, if it wasn’t, what can anybody do about it now? According to the Airbus website, becoming competitive against the U.S. in this market is why Airbus was founded: “Airbus was established in 1970 as a European consortium of French, German and, later, Spanish and UK companies as it became clear that only by cooperating would European aircraft manufacturers be able to compete effectively with the U.S. giants.” A similar premise is a major reason for the existence of the EU itself.

As the Chicago Tribune pointed out, it would be hard for Airbus to claim it has been harmed by Boeing while rising from 30 percent market share in 1992 to over 50 percent today. In 2003, the tide turned with Airbus delivering more aircraft than Boeing for the first time.

While this latest round of battle in the wto is the most heated conflict yet, legal disputes between Airbus and Boeing are nothing new.

More than a decade ago, Washington filed several formal complaints, saying that European governmental support of Airbus was tantamount to illegal export subsidies. The first formal complaint arose over an order by Indian Airlines for nineteen a320 aircraft. “Boeing and the U.S. government accused Airbus of selling the a320s at less than cost, and putting political pressure on the Indian government, violating Articles 4 and 6 of the gatt [General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade]” (International Business Environment—Text and Cases, 1995, Prentice Hall).

In 1991, the U.S. filed a new complaint against Germany for providing the German part of the four-nation Airbus consortium a subsidy of us$470 million. Later in the year, “The U.S. Commerce Department claimed that altogether the four governments had provided up to $26 billion (in real terms) in subsidies to Airbus since 1970” (ibid.).

Frank Shrontz, then ceo of Boeing, showed concern when he stated, “Just think what we could have done with a $10 billion-plus subsidy.”

“Boeing’s current financial position looked strong [in 1991], but Shrontz pondered the direction of the company’s strategy and how well placed it was for the future” (ibid.). Now we can clearly see that Mr. Shrontz was right to worry: Airbus, which was not as serious a threat at the time, is now outpacing Boeing! Although the wto became much more stringent in regulating subsidies after 1992, Airbus had already gained the advantage.

Despite the years of scandal and battle over subsidies, new subsidy improprieties come up every year. The plans to support the a350 are especially suspect: “A midnight amendment to Germany’s 2005 budget showed Germany plans to help the a350 with $890 million in government funds that originated as part of the U.S. Marshall Plan” ( Chicago Tribune, May 20). The Marshall Plan was created to rebuild Germany after World War II; it’s unlikely the drafters of the plan intended to rebuild Germany at an altitude of several thousand feet.

Now, with Boeing already on the way down, the subsidy wars are getting a new lease on life that can and probably will hurt Boeing further. Taking Boeing’s case before the wto should prove interesting; on May 26, the next head of the wto was officially named: former EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy. It might be difficult for U.S. officials to distinguish the judge from the opposition.

Boeing has already lost its dominance in the industry—one critical to the U.S. both economically and militarily. Now the wto is positioned to deal a major blow to Boeing by the end of the year. But all of this is just a shadow of a much larger battle developing between the EU and the U.S.

Airbus isn’t rising alone; the entire EU is rising while the U.S. falls militarily, economically, politically—even morally—just as the Trumpet has always predicted, and just as your Bible prophesies.

Pope Makes a Mark

Pope Makes a Mark

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Pope Benedict XVI hasn’t wasted any time in delineating the fundamental issues of his papacy. The topic of a recent message by the pontiff identifies an issue which conjures images of chilling history and dreadful prophecies.

On Sunday, May 29, Pope Benedict xvi nailed his colors to the mast on a primary issue which he sees as fundamental to his papacy. At a mass celebrating the closing of the 24th National Eucharistic Congress, delivered before an audience of some 200,000 in the Italian city of Bari, Benedict declared that fundamental to his mission was the reinforcement of Sunday worship.

To students of history, this is chilling stuff. It bespeaks a return to the papacies of old, the papacies of that ever recurring imperial European power, the Holy Roman Empire. In declaring this basic tenet of his papal ideology, the pope is simply publicizing to the world that he is bent on a crusade to resurrect that ancient entity.

Pope Benedict perceives only too well the secularist moral vacuum which has plagued Europe since the time of the Enlightenment. He is simply intent on filling that vacuum—the old Roman way! That way was never sympathetic to a voluntary accession by the public to its tenets. Rather, as even a cursory study of history will reveal, it was imposed by force—force of arms! As Texas-based think tank Stratfor mused, “Europe, for geopolitical reasons, cannot be unified except beneath the heel of a conqueror” (June 2).

European unification, following the recent and resounding rejections of the European Constitution by both France and the Netherlands in the past week’s referenda, appears to be in disarray. But this pope’s dream is in concert with that of his predecessor, John Paul ii. It’s a vision that pictures a Europe united from the North Sea in the west to the Ural Mountains in the east.

It is a vision of continental proportions. The only times throughout history that vision has been fully realized has been when Rome imposed its religion as, to borrow a phrase from Karl Marx, “the opiate of the people.” With its plebeians thus drugged with a common religious ideology, the Roman Empire was able to hang together in repeated resurrections following Charlemagne’s “conversion” in the eighth century and wreak havoc on those who might deign to resist its will and whim.

Pope Benedict deeply understands the impact of the iconic on the masses. To this end he is committed to reinstating the active observance of the Roman Catholic Church’s chief icon—SUNDAY. He knows that to popularize religion in Europe he has to reintroduce a means of promoting what in marketing terms is known as brand loyalty. The most historic brand which the pope can offer to the people with which to identify in a common bond is the ancient day of worship, fashionable since Babylon, the old day of the sun—Sunday. Hence his forceful promotion of that old Roman brand in his mass at Bari.

Note the terms that Benedict used to motivate the people to return to this ancient Roman practice of Sunday worship: “Sunday, day of the Lord, is the propitious occasion to draw strength from him, who is the Lord of life. The Sunday precept, therefore, is not a simple duty imposed from outside. To participate in the Sunday celebration and to be nourished with the Eucharistic bread is a need of a Christian, who in this way can find the necessary energy for the journey [of life] to be undertaken. … We must rediscover the joy of the Christian Sunday.”

The pope concluded with this prayer: “May today’s Christians again become aware of the decisive importance of the Sunday celebration” (Zenit, Bari, Italy, May 29).

The intensity of the papal commitment to enforcing Sunday worship in Europe, however, was underlined in the pope’s statements as reported by one of Italy’s most popular conservative newspapers. It reported his words as follows: “We cannot live without Sunday. The religious holiday of obligation is not a task imposed from the outside, but a duty of the Christian.” Now that’s profound! That ought to send a chill up the spine of any real student of the history of the Holy Roman Empire. Sunday—we “cannot live without” it, it’s a “holiday ofobligation,” it’s a “Christian duty”!

The historic facts are that since Charlamagne, the observance of Sunday within Europe did actually become a matter of life or death. Many actually were put to the sword, burned at the stake, stretched to death on the rack, or met their end by some other horrible means at the hands of others who literally declared that citizens could not live without Sunday! These were those declared heretic by Rome, declared martyrs by historians such as the 16th century’s John Foxe.

Let us hope this pope, Benedict xvi, did not have this long and agonizing history in mind when he uttered that most unfortunate phrase, “We cannot live without Sunday!”

(In his booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?, Herbert W. Armstrong explained a chilling prophecy in the book of Revelation regarding Europe’s coming drive to enforce Sunday worship. The Philadelphia Church of God publishes this booklet and offers it freely to any who request it.)