Interview With Dr. Eilat Mazar

Stephen Flurry with Dr. Eilat Mazar, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 28 January 2018
Trumpet

Interview With Dr. Eilat Mazar

Listen to the Jan. 30, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

I’ve just returned to our regional office at Edstone after a whirlwind trip to Jerusalem. On this brief trip, I was able to tour the current excavation on the Ophel, visit with Herbert W. Armstrong College student volunteers, and interview archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar. On today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, I give a brief history of the Ophel area as it’s mentioned in the Bible, and then play an interview I had with Dr. Mazar and AC alumni Brent Nagtegaal and Christopher Eames.

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Our Generation of Old Infants

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Our Generation of Old Infants

In a world that needs leadership, our men aren’t growing up.

Scientists may be in the process of redefining the word “adulthood.” Why? Because children just aren’t growing up. Traditionally, adulthood begins at 19, but the Telegraph reported last week that scientists have concluded that “adulthood does not begin until 24 … because young people are continuing their education for longer and delaying marriage and parenthood.”

Reports on delayed adulthood are not new. Thirteen years ago, Time magazine described a new age bracket they called “twixters”—young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who don’t want adult responsibility. But the trend keeps getting worse.

The American Psychiatric Association has gone as far as defining adolescence as a period extending from puberty all the way up to age 34! In other words, adolescence today is three times longer than it was just a few generations ago!

Since the 1970s, the average age that a couple first gets married has increased by eight years. Today, the average age for a man entering his first marriage is 32.5 years, and for a woman it’s 30.6. That is a dramatic change in our culture!

The Telegraph continued: “Lead author Prof. Susan Sawyer said delays in young people leaving education, settling down and becoming parents, showed adolescence was now longer and argued that policies that support youth should be extended beyond teenage years.”

Rather than addressing the actual problem, they reason: If it’s taking children longer to mature, we should just keep treating them like children and simply change the terminology. This approach is breeding a generation of adult children!

This trend is especially damaging in America’s young men. Traditionally sociologists used five milestones to define the transition to adulthood: finishing school, leaving the parents’ home, earning financial independence, getting married, and having a child. These statistics reveal that our men are taking longer to transition into adulthood:

  • In 1960, two thirds of 30-year-old American men had finished school, left home, become financially independent, and started a family with at least one child. By 2000, that number was cut in half.
  • In 1970, 80 percent of American men age 25 to 29 were married. Today, that number too has been cut in half.
  • In 1950, 1 in 20 men was unemployed. Today it’s approximately 1 in 6.

It is also taking longer for men to leave home. Around 60 percent of 18-to-24-year-old men are still living with their parents. For 25-to-34-year-old men, the number is around 20 percent. Women are leaving their parents’ homes almost twice as fast as the men!

Prof. Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist, has come to recognize that young people, particularly young men, desperately need help. In his lectures and interviews in the United Kingdom this month, Peterson discussed the vital need for men to grow up.

In a Spectator piece titled “The Curious Star Appeal of Jordan Peterson,” Douglas Murray wrote (emphasis added throughout):

Peterson has found a huge audience by telling uncomfortable truths. But he also tells them what should be comfortable truths too ….

From his teaching, speeches, writing and interviews, it is clear that Peterson has made one of the most unpopular but vital realizations of our time: that we are creating a generation of men who (especially if they don’t belong to any “minority” group) are without hope, foundation or purpose. Everything in the culture insists that they are terrible: proto-rapists when they are not rapists; proto-racists when they are not racists; condemned for their ‘privilege’ even when they are failures and their every success dismissed as undeserved.

As the Spectator brought out, “Peterson has found a huge audience by telling uncomfortable truths” because they are simply not getting it anywhere else! An enormous number of men feel purposeless and are starving for some sort of direction or encouragement. They have never been taught to develop themselves.

“What I’ve been telling young men is that there’s an actual reason why they need to grow up. … They have something to offer,” Peterson said in an interview this past week with Cathy Newman.

There’s nothing good about “an old infant,” he went on to explain. It’s not good for the men, it’s not good for the women, and it certainly isn’t good for the children.

When fathers fail to fulfil their role as the head of the home, it creates weak families. But this problem stretches farther than just individual families. Educator Herbert W. Armstrong emphasized that strong families are at the heart of any stable and enduring society. Weak male leadership in the home produces weak leadership outside of the home.

Trumpet writer Dennis Leap explained the reason for the masculinity crisis we are witnessing today:

The simple truth is, children need fathers to help them grow up mentally and emotionally healthy. To become leaders, boys need a strong father as a model. Fathers should teach their sons how to lead their families and other institutions.

Our current leadership crisis is really a family crisis. Broken families produce flawed leaders ….

Now we have a new generation of non-fathered men who do not understand what it means to be a male. Many of today’s men are moving through life without direction. Frustration runs high. Never before has our society been so confused about being male.

More than ever before, we need strong leaders. If you would like to learn more about this subject, I talked about it at length in my Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

We also offer an e-book, Biblical Manhood, which will give you detailed, practical instruction on what it means to be a man in today’s confused society.

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California Is America’s Poverty Capital: Here’s the Real Reason Why

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California Is America’s Poverty Capital: Here’s the Real Reason Why

Many economic policies in America today are promoted as kindness toward the poor. Are they really?

California has a poverty crisis. And it is worse than you think. Between 2014 and 2016, 1 in 5 Californians lived in poverty, according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (spm). This statistic adjusts for the fact that food, clothing, shelter and utilities are more expensive in California than in many other states and shows that real poverty is 5.9 percent higher than the state’s official poverty rate. This means that California, with almost 8 million people living below the poverty line, has the highest poverty rate of all 50 states.

Of course, even the poorest Californians are still rich compared to those in developing nations who are truly poor. (The spm poverty line for a single parent with two children renting an apartment in San Francisco was $29,500 in 2016.) But the question remains, why does California have so many poor people compared to the rest of the United States?

In 2017, California spent $44 billion on welfare programs. That is over $1,100 per person if it were equally distributed among all Californians—twice the national average. The state has 12 percent of the U.S. population, yet it accounts for roughly 30 percent of the nation’s welfare recipients. Lawmakers have not neglected to throw money at the problem.

In fact, this spending seems to have made California’s poverty woes worse.

Fifty-five percent of immigrant families and 30 percent of native families in California receive some type of means-tested welfare, according to City Journal. Many of these benefits come in the form of no-strings-attached handouts to the poor and kind-of-close-to-poor. As long as your income falls under a certain threshold, you get free money—even if you are able to work but choose not to.

“In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states—principally Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia—initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress,” wrote Kerry Jackson of the Pacific Research Institute. “The common thread of the reformed welfare programs was strong work requirements placed on aid recipients. These overhauls were widely recognized as a big success, as welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the workforce. The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, have resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as if welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place.”

Among other things, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act that President Clinton signed in 1996 banned food stamps for drug felons, made immigrants ineligible for federal welfare funds until they had lived in the U.S. for five years, and cut people from federal welfare if they did not get a job within two years. These reforms helped millions of welfare recipients back into the workforce, but California refused to implement similar reforms on a local level. And today, California is the poverty capital of America.

Of course, not all impoverished Californians are freeloaders looking for a handout. There are well-meaning people who sincerely want a job and cannot find one. Why is this happening? Largely because the state’s minimum-wage laws exclude them from the market. Its current minimum wage is $11 per hour. Low-skill workers whose output brings anything less than $11 an hour to their potential employers simply can’t find a legal job. This encourages employers to hire illegal immigrants, who are paid off the books. State lawmakers have promised to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.

But the primary reason California is America’s poverty capital is because it has rejected God’s law. The Fourth Commandment tells us when to work, as well as when not to work. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work” (Exodus 20:8-10). In addition to teaching people to rest on the Sabbath, this commandment tells us to work the other six days of the week.

The New Testament develops this principle: “[I]f any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). By giving cash handouts to those below a certain income level, California’s government is incentivizing able-bodied people to eat without working. This is sin. God’s law allows for financial assistance to widows and orphans without families (Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 1 Timothy 5:3-16). It also allows for zero-interest loans to those genuinely in need, so long as the giver is not coerced into loaning (Exodus 22:25). But God’s law does not allow for no-strings-attached handouts to those who refuse to work.

Instead, the Bible teaches that the poor should be given opportunities to work. In Old Testament times, the priesthood taught land owners to leave the crops in the corners of their fields for those poor willing to get out and harvest it (Leviticus 19:9-10). There was no minimum wage—people were rewarded based on their work ethic.

“God doesn’t command that we set up soup kitchens, give handouts or issue unemployment checks,” Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker wrote in “The Welfare System That Works.” “He commands the poor to get out and work. If you want a meal, you are welcome to it—but you have to go into the field and pick it yourself. Modern welfare laws break this law. They take the responsibility away from the neighbor and place it on a vote-hungry government that uses taxation and debt to put—and keep—people on government paychecks, vouchers and subsidies. These policies encourage laziness, welfare dependency and fraud.”

Current policy in California—and elsewhere—robs the poor of opportunities to work and encourages them instead to rely on the state to provide for them. The Bible says “the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10). Many economic policies practiced in America today are sold to the public as ways to show tenderness and mercy to those in need. But if they violate God’s law, they are actually wicked. And wickedness always results in curses.

If you are concerned about the real solutions to poverty, study God’s economic laws.

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Sweden Is Instructing Its Civilians on How to Prepare for Total War

A soldier from the Swedish Armed Forces peers out the top of a Patria XA-360 AMV at Hagshult Air Base.
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Sweden Is Instructing Its Civilians on How to Prepare for Total War

Amid anxiety over Russian aggression, Sweden is ramping up its military readiness.

Sweden has taken its first steps to prepare citizens for an outbreak of war with Russia. Plans are currently being drawn up to produce and distribute pamphlets across the nation—pamphlets that detail how a civilian population can contribute to Sweden’s defense.

Starting in the spring, the instructions will go out to 4.7 million homes. According to cnn, these leaflets urge Swedish citizens to prepare not only for “crisis and catastrophes in peacetime, but also for different kinds of attacks on society and Sweden.” In addition, they will provide Swedes with information on how to take part in the defense of their country and procure essentials like water, food and heat.

The last time material of this kind was disseminated to the Swedish public, World War ii was raging. Sweden is again preparing for war.

Christina Andersson, the head of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, said, “All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven’t been using words such as ‘total defense’ or ‘high alert’ for 25 to 30 years or more.”

Total war is a terrifying concept. It implies the active participation of every man, woman and child in an effort to survive.

Preparing its citizens for such a war is another step forward in Sweden’s surge in military preparedness. Last year, the country voted to bring back conscription; in 2015, the government budgeted an additional 6.2 billion krona (us$780 million) for national defense for 2016–2020.

These steps are in response to the rising threat from Russia.

Russia’s increasing military readiness coupled with its invasions of Georgia and Ukraine have alarmed Europe.

Sweden especially has cause for concern. The head of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service, Maj. Gen. Gunnar Karlson, has stated publicly that the main perpetrator of cyberattacks against his country is Russia.

Many European countries are alarmed at Russia’s resurgence. The Trumpet has been watching this growing trend for over a decade.

In his 2004 article “Russia Frightens Europe and Fulfills Bible Prophecy,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discussed the biblical significance of Russia’s rise and its effects on Europe. At the time, Mr. Flurry focused on the Russian elections and the consolidation of Vladimir Putin’s grip on power.

After years of Russian economic and military growth, that warning is now more urgent than ever.

The consequences of Russia’s rise to power are extremely dire, not only for Europe but for the entire world. God foretold a coming clash of civilizations to occur in the time of the end. Daniel 11:40-43 warn of an end-time “king of the north,” a united Europe led by Germany. (For further information and proof on this subject, request our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.)

Verse 44 states: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him [the king of the north] ….” This passage declares that in the end time, the very time we find ourselves in now, news from the northeast will cause Europe great alarm and anxiety. A map clearly shows that Russia lies northeast of Europe.

But notice what is prophesied to happen next: “[T]herefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly make away many” (verse 44).

There is a great war coming. Every time Europe anxiously prepares to defend itself against Russia is a step closer to this prophesied clash of powers.

It is essential that we watch events in Europe with this prophecy in mind. Continue to watch for further anxiety in Europe to push its nations to rise to meet the threat of Russia.

To learn more about this subject, request our free booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’by Gerald Flurry.

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Germany Cracks Down on Iranian Spies, Signals Major Shift

German police searched the homes and businesses of 10 alleged Iranian spies on January 16.
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Germany Cracks Down on Iranian Spies, Signals Major Shift

Germany is ending decades of tolerance and support for Iranian spies.

Is Germany in the midst of a major change in the way it treats Iran? Thus far, it’s been a bit of a soft touch. Its tolerance of Iranian-backed terrorist groups has made Germany a safe haven for Iran. Berlin appears to be a major hub for Iranian espionage. But recent events suggest that might be changing.

German police cracked down on an alleged Iranian espionage campaign on January 16. They searched the homes and businesses of 10 alleged Iranian spies, but made no arrests. According to Deutsche Welle, these spies were gathering intelligence on Israeli and Jewish groups within Germany. The spies are suspected members of the al-Quds Brigade, a special forces unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc).

Last year, the United States government designated the irgc as a terrorist group, but the European Union has not yet followed suit.

German news source Deutsche Welle wrote: “Iranian agents are believed to regularly spy on Israelis, Jewish institutions, Iranian dissidents and other targets abroad” (emphasis added throughout). Evidence backs this up. Between 2007 and 2017, Germany investigated 22 instances of Iranian espionage within its borders, putting Iran only slightly behind Russia, which was behind 27 cases of espionage in that same period.

In January 2017, Germany convicted a Pakistani man of spying on the former head of the German-Israeli Friendship Society. After his conviction, the Jerusalem Post wrote: “Iran has a vast espionage infrastructure in the country that coordinates with its embassy in Berlin.”

Iran has also tried to use Germany as a back door to acquire nuclear weapons—in blatant disregard of the nuclear deal. The Jerusalem Post wrote: “Germany is widely considered a stronghold of Iranian espionage, including regime efforts to obtain missiles and nuclear goods. Tehran made nearly 40 attempts in 2016 to purchase missile and atomic technology ….”

The irgc is not the only terrorist organization with operatives in Germany. Hamas and Hezbollah also have a presence there. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency reported in 2017 that there were around 300 Hamas and 950 Hezbollah agents and supporters within the nation’s borders. The real numbers may be far higher. Hezbollah and Hamas are both known terrorist groups, and they are both funded and supported by Iran. Hamas is designated as a terrorist group in Germany, but Hezbollah is not.

Philip H. J. Davies and Kristian C. Gustafson, the director and deputy director of the Brunel University’s Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, wrote, “Iran’s German networks were its most important in Europe, because they were derived from the special political relationship between Iran and Germany that has existed since the 19th century. … Consequently, the working intelligence relationship between Germany and Iran was one that both parties made efforts to maintain” (Intelligence Elsewhere: Spies and Espionage Outside the Anglosphere).

Beyond merely tolerating these groups, the German intelligence service—the bnd—has supported the irgc. The two worked together in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, when both wanted to help Muslim Bosnia break away from the Serbs. The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation noted, “Close connections happened to exist between the German [bnd] and the Iranian services. For example, this German service allegedly supplied computer hardware to Tehran, and it trained Iranian intelligence officers in Munich in 1992.” The Wall Street Journal reported that the bnd had sold the irgc advanced German spy technology. German officials denied the story, but confirmed that intelligence staff had met with then Iranian spy chief Ali Fallahian.

Iranian espionage has been going on for decades, but Germany is only starting to crack down on it. According to Reuters, the German government summoned the Iranian ambassador to Berlin in January, warning him that “[s]pying on people and institutions with special ties to the State of Israel on German soil is an egregious violation of German law.” The German foreign minister told the ambassador that “such activities would not be tolerated and were completely unacceptable.”

This crackdown on Iranian espionage against Israel is a significant event. Germany and Iran have long-standing ties, which Germany would not abandon lightly. The fact that those ties are fraying is indicative of a much larger, more permanent shift in the relationship between these two powers. It is a sign of the rising tension between these two nations. This is a trend the Trumpet has been monitoring for decades.

A pivotal prophecy in Daniel 11 describes a major confrontation between two major powers: a radical Islamic Middle Eastern power led by Iran and a European power led by Germany. The conflict between these two powers will center around Jerusalem.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has drawn a lot of attention to this subject over the years. In a Key of David program titled “Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran,” he discussed this prophecy:

So here is that king of the north and the king of the south, or Germany and Iran. But Iran—or the king of the south—is going to push, push very violently. That’s a violent word! It’s an act of war! And they’re going to push at that king of the north—or Germany—and their allies, and Germany is going to respond like a whirlwind of violence and war!

Now, out of all of this you can see the Holy Roman Empire rising up along with the king of the south, and it’s more noticeable, and it’s going to get more and more noticeable as time goes on.

The tension between these two nations is becoming more noticeable. This conflict is still in its early stages, but Daniel 11 shows that very soon it will climax into a war that will eventually engulf the whole world.

To understand more on this subject, read “Why the Trumpet Watches Iran and Europe Heading for a Clash of Civilizations.”

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China Infiltrates American Classrooms

A statue of Confucius
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China Infiltrates American Classrooms

Confucius Institutes teach the Chinese language—alongside what one politburo member admitted is propaganda.

America’s leaders are busy debating whether or not to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and wondering which politician will be next to fall in a high-profile sexual harassment scandal. Meanwhile, in China, policymakers are busy infiltrating educational institutions around the world with Communist propaganda through the Confucius Institute.

In a Politico article titled “How China Infiltrated U.S. Classrooms,” Ethan Epstein wrote:

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte made an announcement to great fanfare: The university would soon open a branch of the Confucius Institute, the Chinese government-funded educational institutions that teach Chinese language, culture and history. The Confucius Institute would “help students be better equipped to succeed in an increasingly globalized world,” says Nancy Gutierrez, unc–Charlotte’s dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and “broaden the university’s outreach and support for language instruction and cultural opportunities in the Charlotte community,” according to a press release.

But the Confucius Institutes’ goals are a little less wholesome and edifying than they sound—and this is by the Chinese government’s own account. A 2011 speech by a standing member of the politburo in Beijing laid out the case: “The Confucius Institute is an appealing brand for expanding our culture abroad,” Li Changchun said. “It has made an important contribution toward improving our soft power. The ‘Confucius’ brand has a natural attractiveness. Using the excuse of teaching Chinese language, everything looks reasonable and logical.”

By Li’s admission, the main purpose of the Confucius Institute is not to teach the Chinese language. That is an excuse China’s government uses to spread Chinese culture and exert power around the world. This strategy is working well for Communist China.

Epstein continued:

More than a decade after they were created, Confucius Institutes have sprouted up at more than 500 college campuses worldwide, with more than 100 of them in the United States—including at the George Washington University, the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa. Overseen by a branch of the Chinese Ministry of Education known colloquially as Hanban, the institutes are part of a broader propaganda initiative that the Chinese government is pumping an estimated $10 billion into annually, and they have only been bolstered by growing interest in China among American college students.

The primary reason U.S. universities and grade schools are allowing the Chinese Ministry of Education to set up Confucius Institute branches on campuses is money. According to a Heritage Foundation report, the institute provides schools with an initial $1 million investment, and then gives $100,000 to $200,000 per year.

“Universities are always on the lookout for money, and this money they have gotten comes at a very high price in terms of their integrity and in terms of their academic freedom,” Mike Gonzalez, author of the report, told Campus Reform in an interview.

The Communist Party of China is attempting to use its network of Confucius Institutes to influence a new generation of world leaders and policymakers in a more pro-China direction. In addition to teaching about Confucianism and communism, these institutes teach oncoming generations of American leaders to take a more accommodating position concerning China’s history of human rights abuses, especially where Taiwan and Tibet are concerned. If China is successful in this regard, it will be a great step toward its goal of dominating Tibet, Taiwan and all of Asia.

As the Philadelphia Trumpet reported in its August 2016 issue, Beijing has a documented plan to be the premier global superpower by 2049.

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.

Many U.S. politicians scoff at the idea that there is a God in heaven who gives power unto kings, yet it is true. The Bible specifically describes a time when God will allow Gentile nations like China, Iran, Germany and Russia to rise to prominence over the Anglo-American people. God does this as part of His plan to correct all nations for turning away from His law.

The fact that Britain has fallen from greatness and that China is eclipsing America does not escape God’s notice. 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.

Long-time readers of the Trumpet know that the U.S. and Britain are actually descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob (who was renamed Israel). You can prove this for yourself by reading Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

The Prophet Isaiah specifically corrected the house of Jacob for forsaking God’s law and running after Eastern philosophies. “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord. Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers” (Isaiah 2:5-6).

Accepting Chinese money to teach the upcoming generation about Chinese Confucianism and communism is not going to solve America’s problems. It is going to help strip America of its blessings—the greatest national blessings ever conferred on any people. Every nation on Earth has to learn the lesson that only God’s Word brings lasting peace and prosperity.