WorldWatch

From the March 2018 Trumpet Print Edition

No more Mr. Nice Germany

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is paving the way for Germany to more openly pursue its own national interests. “If your focus is solely on values, you won’t find success in a world where others are relentlessly pursuing their interests,” he told Der Spiegel in an interview published January 8. “In a world full of meat-eaters, vegetarians have a tough time.”

Other major writers within Germany see the same shift. “The new global situation will also mean a departure from the good Germany,” wrote Christiane Hoffmann, deputy director of Der Spiegel. “When principles collide with pragmatism, when values clash with interests, Berlin will be forced to make difficult decisions. But how far should we go? What means are we prepared to employ in order to defend Europe, to bring the Middle East closer to peace, or to stabilize Africa?” (January 5).

Germany has always pursued its own interests, but it has done so in a quiet way in order to avoid reviving memories of its culpability for World War ii. But now public figures are making statements preparing the world to accept a more aggressive, “meat-eating” Germany.

On January 12, leading German parties published an outline of policies they aim to pursue if and when they form a government. The outline includes a policy to strip nations of their EU funding if they resist EU decisions (policies that are often controlled by Germany).

Pope calls for two-state solution in Israel?

Pope Francis spoke in support of migrants around the world on Dec. 24, 2017, saying Jesus Christ’s birth shows that foreigners should be welcomed with open arms. He likened Joseph and Mary to migrants struggling to find a home in a foreign land. The next day, Francis likened the baby Jesus to the children of the Middle East who suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Arabs.

This rhetoric sounds loving, but it is based on a skewed interpretation of the circumstances surrounding Christ’s birth and perpetuates a perilous double standard.

Joseph and Mary were not migrants seeking a safe place in a foreign land. Since Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to travel to the city of his ancestral family to be counted and taxed by the Roman Empire (Luke 2:4-5). He stopped at an inn because his wife was about to give birth.

Christ spoke about the importance of being kind to the poor. But He never said the Christian faith compels people to welcome foreigners into their land without restrictions.

Catholic leaders often criticize Americans for not accepting more Mexican immigrants, and Jews for not accepting more Jordanian immigrants. But they never criticize Arabs for not accepting Jewish immigrants.

Pope Francis speaks out for migrants—both legal and illegal—around the world, but he supports Palestinian leaders who call for every Jew to be purged from Israel. This double standard stems from the Vatican’s Feb. 15, 2000, agreement with the Palestinian Authority to transform Jerusalem into an international city.

Catholic leaders want Jerusalem to be an international city, controlled by a third party. If that party were composed largely of European nation states, the Roman Catholic Church would see its control of Jerusalem’s Christian sites greatly enhanced.

Austria’s new government shows Germany the way

A far-right party was sworn in as Austria’s new government on Dec. 18, 2017. Sebastian Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (övp), took the chancellorship, with the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry going to the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (fpö); the Foreign Ministry went to an independent with close ties to the fpö.

Having fpö leaders in Austria’s government is big news. The party was originally founded by a former member of the SS and has been especially criticized for its close ties to Nazi ideologies. Its leader, Heinz-Christian Strache, grew up admiring Nazi ideologies and participated in neo-Nazi rallies in 1989.

Kurz’s winning strategy to partner with far-right leaders is significant beyond Austria’s borders, because Europe is dealing with the same problems. Kurz has embraced far-right ideas and even brought far-right politicians into the government, giving them significant control over migrant policy and the refugee crisis.

Kurz also enjoys support from leaders of the European Union and the Catholic Church.

Across the Continent, the popularity of mainstream parties is declining, while parties that were once considered extreme are rising. Germany is the driving force in Europe, but its neighbor Austria may be the place where the far right rises first and strongest.

Adolf Hitler was born and raised in Austria, and that is where his hatred of Vienna’s cosmopolitanism and multinational character developed. A century later, Austrians are again open to extremist views.

Germany’s ‘Panama Canal on railway tracks’

Representatives from Germany and Bolivia signed an agreement in Switzerland on Dec. 14, 2017, to build a coast-to-coast railroad across South America.

The Central Bi-Oceanic Railway Corridor, sometimes called “the Panama Canal on Railway Tracks,” will stretch an estimated 2,333 miles from the Pacific coast of Peru through Bolivia and across Brazil to its Atlantic coast. Germany and Switzerland will provide expertise, building materials and maintenance support to the project.

The Trumpet and its forerunner, the Plain Truth, have warned for more than 50 years that a German-led European bloc will dominate Latin America, to the detriment of the United States. That warning is based on biblical prophecies in Deuteronomy 28:52, Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27, among others.

In October 1957, the Plain Truth noted that Europe and South America are religious, commercial and political partners. In May 1962, it declared that “the United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Latin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.”

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that the “connection” between Europe and Latin America “will cement” mainly because of their common religion and language. “But it will not be a union of equals,” he writes in Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. “The Latin American countries will become vassal states to Europe!”

“With a German-led Europe … possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and the south by Latin America,” he writes. “The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged.”

Request a free copy of Isaiah’s End-Time Vision to understand where Europe’s deepening inroads into South America are leading.

Weather disasters cause record losses in 2017

The planet experienced an onslaught of weather-related disasters in 2017, according to a January 4 report by the world’s largest insurance company, Munich Re. Since 1980, “natural” disasters have exceeded 600 events per year only five times, and all five have occurred within the last six years. This trend continued in 2017, with a total of 710 such disasters. According to the report, these disasters will cost insurers a record $135 billion in claims worldwide, the most annual insured losses in history.

Although Asia sustained the largest number of natural disasters, North America, including the Caribbean and Central America, suffered the most economically. North America incurred 93 percent of insured losses and 83 percent of overall losses worldwide. This is mostly due to the most devastating hurricane season in American history, which inflicted $215 billion in damage.

California experienced its wettest winter on record, which ended years of drought but caused floods that inundated hundreds of homes, caused several landslides, and destroyed an estimated $1.7 billion in property and lost productivity. California then experienced its worst fire season in state history. By October, the losses had exceeded $10 billion.

These weather disasters are intended by God to teach us a major lesson. To learn the real cause behind these catastrophes, watch Gerald Flurry’s Key of David program “The Most Deadly Climate Change Deception” and request your free copy of Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?.

Iran ready to fight for Jerusalem

Iranian leaders have warned that United States President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would accelerate the destruction of the Jewish state, and that Iran would help cause that destruction.

During a conference of senior Iranian military officials on Dec. 11, 2017, Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami reportedly said President Trump’s decision “will hasten the destruction of [Israel] and will double unity among Muslims.” He pledged Iran’s full support of militant Palestinians, saying that “the freedom-loving people of the world will become more determined than ever to become united and stand up for [the] liberation of Jerusalem and the land of Palestine.”

The same day, Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, pledged “complete support for Palestinian Islamic resistance movements.” According to Hamas’s leader, Yahya Sinwar, Suleimani said, “All of our capabilities and potential are at your disposal in the battle for the defense of Jerusalem.”

On December 27, Iranian lawmakers unanimously agreed to recognize Jerusalem as the “Palestinian capital forever.”

In his December 7 Trumpet Brief newsletter, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Prophecy shows that Jerusalem’s eruption into violence will be the trigger for end-time events. … We need to be watching closely for the fulfillment of these urgent end-time prophecies!” Read Mr. Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecyfor more information.

Russia to build naval base in Syria

On Dec. 13, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma an agreement for Moscow and Damascus to construct a full-fledged naval base in Syria’s Mediterranean coastal city of Tartus.

Adm. Viktor Kravchenko, the former head of the Russian Navy’s Main Staff, told Interfax that the move “will strengthen the operational capabilities of our fleet in the Mediterranean and, in general, Russia’s position in the Middle East.”

Since the Soviet era, Russia has maintained a logistics hub in Tartus, but Kravchenko said it has had considerable limitations. At present, first-rank ships must remain in Tartus’s outer roads and can only be refueled and serviced with the assistance of auxiliary vessels. Under the new plan, the channel will be deepened and widened to bring large ships portside to be serviced directly.

Russia’s power projection into the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Ukraine and beyond is causing alarm in many, especially Europeans.

“We need to watch what is happening in Russia and how Europe responds to it,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’ “[S]ome Europeans recognize that Putin’s power maneuver on Ukraine was no isolated incident …. The Ukraine crisis continues, and America is sleeping through it. But Europe is deeply alarmed! The changes this crisis provokes in Germany and Europe will shake the nations!” To understand more, request Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’.

China: 2017 a ‘crossroads of history’

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued an end-of-year assessment on December 10, saying 2017 closed with the world now “at a crucial stage of evolving international landscape and shifting balance of power ….”

In a speech to open the Symposium on International Developments and China’s Diplomacy in 2017, Wang painted a revealing picture of how China’s leadership sees the end of an era of American global dominance leaving a void that China must fill.

“The world is changing like never before, and China is on the final leg of its march toward national rejuvenation,” Wang said. “In a great era that is unfolding before our eyes, let us follow the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, keep our mission firmly in mind, live up to the trust placed on us, and scale new heights in our major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.”

He said, “The human society has once again come to a crossroads of history.”

Wang pointed to Chinese Premier Xi Jinping as a man with the rare leadership abilities that the world needs.

The Bible prophesies of an end-time era called “the times of the Gentiles.” Jesus Christ used this term in Luke 21:24, and the context shows that these “times” will occur after a shift in global power: America losing power and two other power blocs gaining it, one led by Germany and the other by Russia and China.

In 2014, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized. However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm. … This is part of the core of biblical prophecy—right out of your Bible! Yet we don’t hear much about the times of the Gentiles today.”

To understand more about this major shift that is now underway and this “core” part of biblical prophecy, read Mr. Flurry’s article “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?”.

China to construct base for Afghan forces

China will build a military base for Afghan armed forces along the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, according to a January 7 report by EurasiaNet.

China continues to grow its presence in Afghanistan and Central Asia in its efforts to fight terrorism and to develop its Belt and Road Initiative, a modern version of the Silk Road trade route between China and Europe.

The Trumpet monitors China’s progress on the Belt and Road Initiative because of the project’s biblically prophetic significance. Isaiah 23 describes a “mart of nations” that will form in modern times. Leading this massive economic partnership will be a country Isaiah refers to as Chittim, an ancient name for modern China. Also at the helm will be Tyre, a city that represents the commercial center of modern Europe. Isaiah 23 says these two economic powers will become partners and gain control of global commerce for a brief time. Deuteronomy 28:52 makes clear that this trade partnership will form at America’s expense.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains the details of this biblically prophesied “mart of nations” in his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.