Are We in the End Time? This Pivotal End-Time Prophecy Says Yes

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Are We in the End Time? This Pivotal End-Time Prophecy Says Yes

A sign of Jesus Christ’s return you must not ignore
From the September 2018 Trumpet Print Edition

Many people today are concerned about dramatic world events. They are even wondering if these developments are the same ones that the Bible states will happen in the “end time.” More people are becoming interested in biblical prophecy.

The trouble is, Bible prophecy can be misinterpreted. In fact, it almost always is misinterpreted. Many people have made false predictions about the end of the world based on their misunderstanding of prophecy.

When He was here in the flesh, Jesus Christ Himself prophesied. And He also gave a number of signs to look for so that true Christians could know when these prophecies, these end-time prophecies, would occur.

Here we will look at one remarkable Bible prophecy that will show you where we are in end-time events.

It is a plain, bold promise, directly from Jesus Himself.

A Vision of Christ’s Return

During His earthly ministry, Jesus took three disciples—Peter, James and John—up a high mountain. There, something extraordinary happened: He was “transfigured before them”: His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as light! (Matthew 17:1-2).

With Jesus appeared Moses and Elijah—two spiritual giants of the Old Testament who will be resurrected into the Kingdom of God when Christ returns. Then a bright cloud appeared overhead, out of which a voice said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” The experience was so vivid, the disciples fell on their faces in fear! Jesus told them not to fear, and when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and everything had returned to normal (verses 3-8; New King James Version).

This was a vision of the Second Coming—the greatest event in the history of the universe, the culmination of all end-time prophecy! The Bible describes this event as marking the end of this age of man and the beginning of the rule of God on Earth.

After the disciples saw this vision, what was the first thing they asked Jesus? They asked about a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Malachi.

“And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’” (verse 10; nkjv).

Preparing for Christ’s Return

Malachi 4:5 reads, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

This is what the disciples thought of after seeing a vision of Christ’s Second Coming. This prophecy forecast a specific event that would occur just before “the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” speaking of the cataclysmic end-time events that will occur immediately before Christ returns. God prophesied that, before these events, He would send “Elijah the prophet.”

Once this “Elijah” sent by God comes, the Day of the Lord is imminent—and then comes the return of Jesus Christ!

This is a very specific, important and powerful prophecy!

It is connected to another prophecy in Malachi: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me …” (Malachi 3:1). This too is talking about a man whom God would use to prepare for Christ. In fact, it is the same man described in Malachi 4:5.

Seeing a glorious vision of the Second Coming brought this prophecy in Malachi to the disciples’ minds. They knew that it said a man like Elijah would come first, immediately before the Day of the Lord and Christ’s return.

How did Jesus Christ answer their question? “[Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matthew 17:11).

He confirmed Malachi’s prophecy and added to it! Yes, a man like Elijah would definitely come to prepare the way for Christ’s Second Coming. And exactly how would he prepare the way? He would “restore all things”!

What does “restore all things” mean?

The Apostle Peter explained that when Christ returns, He will “restore all things”: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

Jesus Christ will restore all things to everyone on Earth: billions of people steeped in false religions or no religion who have not known the true doctrines of the true God. How, then, could this end-time Elijah “restore all things”? He comes before Christ, and he restores all things—not to the entire world, but to the true Church of God.

God has been preparing for a long time for Jesus Christ’s return and the restoration of all things to the whole world. He has laid groundwork, orchestrated details, and called specific individuals to fulfill specific roles. Christ Himself did much of the preparation for this restoration at His first coming. At that time, He founded the Church of God, a group of people He would call out of this world to support the work of proclaiming His gospel.

One of God’s final acts of preparation would be sending Elijah to restore all the basic truths of God to His true Church. This would be a major step toward the truths of God being restored to the whole world.

This prophecy, directly from Jesus Christ, is a pivotal end-time prophecy. In fact, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry calls it “the most pivotal end-time prophecy.” He writes, “That vision given to Peter, John and James tied right in with the arrival of an Elijah in the end time, just before Christ returns! … This is a sign to the world that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. When ‘all things’ are restored, that is the beginning of the end!” (The Epistles of Peter—A Living Hope).

What an invaluable sign. The whole world should be watching for the arrival of this end-time Elijah! When you recognize him, you will know that there is precious little time left before the dreadful Day of the Lord and the glorious return of Jesus Christ!

A First-Century Type

Matthew 17 contains another important detail. Christ then said, “‘But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist” (verses 12-13; nkjv).

So Christ confirmed what Malachi prophesied and the scribes and the disciples believed: A man like Elijah would prepare the way for the coming of the glorified Jesus Christ. But what they didn’t realize was that a man like Elijah had already come in their lifetimes, prior to Jesus’s ministry.

Before John’s birth, an angel revealed that he would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:13-17; nkjv).

The Prophet Elijah lived over 800 years before Christ. He reproved the nation of Israel for its paganism and pointed people to the true God. Elijah’s name means “my God is God.” Later, in the first century, God used John the Baptist in a way that He compared to how He had used Elijah. John exposed the falseness of the religions of his day in preparation for the first coming of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.

But Jesus promised, and prophecy repeatedly confirms, that He would come again—the second time in power.

And in this conversation with His disciples, Christ was saying that another man like Elijah “truly shall first come” before His Second Coming. What John the Baptist did in preparing for Christ’s first coming was only a type of the work to be done by the end-time Elijah in preparing for His Second Coming.

Herbert W. Armstrong spoke about this prophecy in a landmark sermon on Dec. 17, 1983. “As John the Baptist was the physical messenger in the physical wilderness of Jordan, so there would be a messenger with a message—with a voice crying out in the spiritual wilderness of the modern 20th century,” he said, “preparing the way for … Jesus to come to His spiritual temple [speaking of the Church] … this time to set up the Kingdom of God and to rule.”

Christ said this Elijah would “restore all things.” Mr. Armstrong then noted, “Now John the Baptist didn’t restore anything. They already knew about the law, and he called them to repentance; but he didn’t have to give them sermons about what all the law is. They knew that. He just called them to repent and turn to another way, and baptized them.”

The “restore all things” part of Christ’s statement is at the heart of what makes this a pivotal end-time prophecy.

There are many end-time prophecies, and people naturally tend to focus on the ones about wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and supernatural disasters. Some people focus on things like blood moons.

But this prophecy is what Jesus Christ focused on.

This prophecy is directly connected with His Second Coming: He said this man would restore all truth within the Church just before the Day of the Lord. This is a sign of the nearness of Christ’s return that you must not ignore!

And what makes this even more important is that this prophecy has already been fulfilled!

Already Fulfilled

There was a man who fulfilled this preparatory role in the end time—a man who did “restore all things.”

That man was Herbert W. Armstrong.

Mr. Armstrong restored all the fundamental doctrines of God’s truth to the true Church of God over the course of his 57-year ministry.

Obviously this is an extraordinary claim to make. But you can look into it and prove it for yourself.

When Christ founded His Church at His first coming, He promised that the gates of the grave would never prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). God has kept that promise: His Church has survived through the 2,000 years since, though it has always been, as Christ said, not a large and powerful organization, but a “little flock” (Luke 12:32). However, after the first century, fierce opposition hindered the Church from preaching the true gospel to the world. A counterfeit “Christian” church arose and grew in power and in hostility toward the true Church. Over time, hounded and weakened by persecution, God’s Church lost many points of truth and doctrine.

Revelation 2 and 3 prophesy of the New Testament Church passing through seven eras over the 2,000 years between its founding and the present day. God called Mr. Armstrong at the end of the fifth era, called the Sardis era (Revelation 3:1-6). This Church had lost much of the truth. Christ said of it: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die …. [H]old fast, and repent.”

In his Dec. 17, 1983, sermon, Mr. Armstrong noted that true Christians in the Sardis era obeyed God’s Ten Commandments, including the seventh-day Sabbath, and they followed the truth of first tithe. “God’s true Church has believed those three things through most of the time,” he said. “But many of these other things had to be restored to the Church, which had been lost.” Which biblical doctrines was he referring to?

In the fall of 1926, Mr. Armstrong’s wife, Loma, challenged her husband by telling him that the Bible commanded keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, which sounded like fanaticism to him. At the same time, his sister-in-law confronted him regarding the theory of evolution, saying he was ignorant if he didn’t believe it. These challenges provoked Mr. Armstrong to undertake an intensive study to try to prove them both wrong.

This study lasted six months, and it led to an outcome Mr. Armstrong did not expect. Here is how he explained it: “The important thing is that in this study Jesus Christ, through His written Word, opened my mind to the prime basic truths He wanted me to have in starting me out as His servant” (Good News, April 1980). During this period, God revealed to Mr. Armstrong not only the truth about the Sabbath and evolution, but also many other pillar biblical truths.

These “prime basic truths” were the foundation of what would become the next prophesied era of God’s Church described in Revelation 3:7-13: the Philadelphia era. And they were, Mr. Armstrong later realized, truths that God revealed specifically to fulfill Christ’s prophecy of an end-time Elijah restoring all things in preparation for His Second Coming!

What are the truths the end-time Elijah restored?

Restored Truths

In His famous Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ gave more specific signs of His Second Coming. One was this: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14). Consider carefully: Christ said that preaching the true gospel around the world would be a sign of the end time. That means this message was not broadly preached for the 2,000 years since Christ spoke these words!

This tells you that, even as “Christianity” flourished in various ways throughout those centuries, it was not publicizing “the gospel of the kingdom” that Christ preached. There have been many counterfeit gospels preached.
But the true gospel message of Christ has been suppressed for most of that time.

However, in the 20th century, God did reveal the full truth about the true gospel so it could be preached in this end time, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy! The true gospel is the first and perhaps most important of the “restored truths” that Mr. Armstrong taught. He broadcast that gospel worldwide on the World Tomorrow television program, he published it in the Plain Truth magazine, he wrote books and booklets read by millions of people, and he made personal visits to leaders of countries all over the world. That gospel of the Kingdom was preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. This sign of the end has been fulfilled.

You can prove from your own Bible what that gospel is. Mr. Armstrong wrote an entire book about it, called The Incredible Human Potential, and we will gladly send you a free copy.

Other important biblical truths Mr. Armstrong restored include understanding about the nature of God, God’s purpose for human beings, His inspiring plan for non-Christians, the meaning behind holy day observances, the key to understanding biblical prophecy, the resurrection, and many, many others. These were truths the first Church era, founded by Jesus Christ, had—truths God inspired to be recorded in the Bible. Some are traceable through the subsequent eras of the Church before they were lost. But God used Mr. Armstrong to restore all of them.

These truths, as explained from the Bible, simply were not being taught. Most Christian churches don’t even consider, for example, God’s master plan for redeeming most of humanity, as Scripture plainly states is His purpose (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Many people think billions of souls are damned to hell; others think salvation can be had irrespective of religious belief. The full, inspiring scriptural truth on this point was restored by Mr. Armstrong; you can read it in his book Mystery of the Ages. Before Mr. Armstrong, a person could not find an explanation of the true spiritual meaning of the holy days and how they illuminate God’s plan and purpose. This truth was restored and is revealed in his booklet Pagan Holidays—or God’s Holy Days—Which? The same is true of doctrine after doctrine.

This man restored “all things”—all the pillar doctrines of the Bible. You can prove from your own Bible that Jesus taught every one of these truths. They represent extraordinary understanding and spiritual wealth. And there is still a group of people faithfully living by and proclaiming these truths.

This Matthew 17 prophecy is the single-most pivotal prophecy in this end time. It is the major sign to the world that the Second Coming is almost here,” Mr. Flurry writes. “Christ wants that sign visible. He sent an important personality at a critical juncture in history—a man to restore all things. If you want to get ready for my Second Coming, Christ is saying, learn about those truths and go to where they are being taught and disseminated” (op cit).

God is preparing in a detailed way for Christ’s return, the greatest event in history. And the most pivotal act of preparation is the restoration of truth within the true Church of God.

If you want more explanation of Christ’s prophecy and a more complete list of these restored truths, with scriptures and resources for further study to prove them, then read online or pre-order a free copy of our new booklet A Pivotal Sign of the End Time.

Study into this subject. Understand this most pivotal end-time prophecy. Prove beyond doubt that we are indeed living in the end time. A man like Elijah has come. He has restored all things to the Church. The dreadful Day of the Lord is near. And the glorified Jesus Christ is about to return!

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What Americans Need to Learn From Venezuela

FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

What Americans Need to Learn From Venezuela

Failing to recognize these lessons will prove to be a disastrous mistake.

How much money do you need to buy a tomato? How much for a roll of toilet paper? If you live in the South American nation of Venezuela right now, you need stacks of bundled bills. Stacks and stacks—too many to fit in your pockets. Venezuela is suffering one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history. Last month, it was 83,000 percent. Prices have been doubling every 26 days.

Some cities are suffering electricity cuts. Some don’t have enough water. Food shortages are massive. In some areas, a family needs the equivalent of 22 minimum-wage salaries just to buy a basic basket of food. The average Venezuelan lost 18 pounds in 2016—and 24 pounds last year. Child malnutrition is at a record high. Last year, nearly 400 children starved to death.

People scour through garbage for food scraps in Caracas, Venezuela.
Alvaro Fuente/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Since 2014, 2.3 million people have fled Venezuela: about 7.5 percent of the population. Proportionally, that equates to 24 million Americans fleeing the country. This exodus is the biggest crisis in the Western Hemisphere.

Those who remain in Venezuela are facing the kinds of economic conditions usually associated with something like a civil war. And crime is rising.

The only free market in the country is the black market, so Venezuelans are doing what they can to get food and other necessities any way they can. Nearly everyone in the country engages with the black market on some level. Family men find themselves smuggling gasoline and other contraband into Brazil and Colombia. Teachers, doctors and petroleum engineers sell their bodies in prostitution. Formerly respectable people are involving themselves in drug trafficking. Gangs are recruiting teenagers by just offering them something to eat. Government officials do business with gangs, drug cartels and terrorist networks. Venezuela is like a nationwide mafia organization.

Shelves are empty in a Caracas supermarket. Venezuela relies heavily on imported food, but as the currency is worthless it cannot afford to import food. The food shortage is a massive problem with more than 80 percent of the population eating only once a day.
Román Camacho/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

You have probably seen the images on the news. Stacks of 100-bolivar bills that are almost worthless. Huge lines at supermarkets. Impoverished mothers and children looking into empty refrigerators. Women who prostitute themselves in other countries. Emaciated, abandoned pets. People rummaging through trash for food. Major power outages. Massive protest marches. Deadly election clashes with police. Venezuelan migrants blocked from leaving the country. Images of malnourished and elderly, adults and children too heartbreaking to link to.

It is a failing state, and there isn’t even a war to blame it on. In 2018, Venezuela is synonymous with government failure, economic disaster and crushing poverty.

The almost worthless bolivar currency is of little value in oil-rich Venezuela.
FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

What happened? Until recently, Venezuela was quite prosperous. In 1950, Venezuelans enjoyed the fourth-largest per-capita income in the world after the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand—$80,000 per person in today’s money. In 1980, it had the fastest-growing economy in the world. As late as 2001, it was the wealthiest country in Latin America. In 2012, its per-capita gross domestic product hit a high of $18,382 per person.

Venezuela has rich natural resources: gold, diamonds and the largest proven oil reserves in the world.

So what happened?

How did Venezuela go from being the richest country in Latin America to an economic and humanitarian disaster zone?

Socialism

Leftists in America loved to praise Venezuela in the early 2000s. Here was a natural paradise where a socialist visionary was enlarging the government, taking over big businesses, nationalizing the oil industry, making the society dependent on the government, and handing out benefits to poor people. This was socialism in action!

That socialist visionary was a former paratrooper who tried and failed to overthrow the government in 1992 and then won the presidential election in 1998. Despite the nation’s wealth, due to government corruption and mismanagement and the falling price of its major export, oil, Venezuela had a poverty rate of an incredible 50 percent. The people elected a democratic socialist named Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías with 56 percent of the vote. Venezuela’s past welfare programs would pale in comparison to what he was about to do. He promised to end government corruption by giving Venezuela’s wealth to the impoverished masses. He would give power to the people.

“Venezuela is a nation of great wealth,” Chávez proclaimed, “but it’s being stolen from its citizens by the evil capitalists and the evil corporations.”

Chávez was extremely popular. He was charismatic, and he appeared on television, speaking directly to his people, for hours at a time. Most importantly, he handed out so many benefits to the poor. Luckily for him, the price of oil, on which Venezuela’s entire economy depended, continued to soar. Enormous amounts of wealth poured in. Chávez looked like a benevolent genius to his people and to socialists abroad. Over the 14 years of his presidency, he took in an estimated $1 trillion in oil profits, and he used these to fund his massive social programs.

The Chávez regime also nationalized thousands of private companies and industries. Chavez said the government would run them better than private owners, and it would distribute the profits to the people.

As a result, the poverty rate dropped from 50 percent to about 32 percent at by the time Chávez was reelected in 2006—with almost two thirds of the votes.

Liberals across the Western world praised Venezuela and Chávez for demonstrating that socialism can work well. After the examples of the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, Cambodia, North Korea and other socialist states, liberals were eager for a current, real-world example they could hail as a victory for “21st-century socialism.” Chávez’s Venezuela was it.

Liberals across the Western world praised Venezuela and Chávez for demonstrating that socialism can work well. After the examples of the Soviet Union, East Germany, China, Cambodia, North Korea and other socialist states, liberals were eager for a current, real-world example they could hail as a victory for “21st-century socialism.” Chávez’s Venezuela was it.

“[L]ook at the positive changes that have happened economically, that have happened in all of South America because of Chávez,” said filmmaker Oliver Stone, who made a documentary called My Friend Hugo, in a press conference in Venezuela’s capital city in 2010.

“Venezuela is seriously conquering poverty by emphatically rejecting the neo-liberal policies of the world’s financial institutions,” said Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the British Labour Party, in 2009.

Chávez had accomplished “historic liberation of Latin America,” freeing it from 500 years of Western force, going back to the time of the conquistadors, according to prominent radical American socialist Noam Chomsky.

“These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today [than in America].” This is an excerpt from a 2011 article posted on the website of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who mounted a popular campaign for Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

Back then, the message from American and other Western socialists was, Just look at Venezuela!

Sen. Bernie Sanders greets demonstrators attending a rally on Capitol Hill.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Authoritarianism

To accomplish his reforms, Chávez took control of all branches of power: executive, legislative, judicial—and military. He eliminated the nation’s Congress and replaced it with a National Assembly, which he controlled. He used this body to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution to keep himself in power, lengthening presidential terms and abolishing term limits. He stacked the Supreme Court with those loyal to him. After his government increased state control over the nation’s oil industry, Chávez fired company leaders he didn’t like and replaced them with people loyal to himself. He effectively destroyed the private sector by confiscating or taking over one industry after another.

These moves were popular, but there was a problem.

People tend to like some of the short-term effects of a socialist government. But giving the government that much control has consequences. “A government big enough to give you everything you want,” said former United States President Gerald Ford, “is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”

The big government of Venezuela’s “socialist paradise” was indeed strong enough to take things away. Not just businesses and jobs, but freedoms. When journalists criticized the president, he had them jailed. When judges ruled against his decisions, he had them arrested too. When people protested, he had them locked up; some of them were even shot in the streets. When his fellow military officers became uncomfortable with these tactics, Chávez imported agents from Communist Cuba to spy on them.

In 2010, Transparency International labeled Chávez’s Venezuela the most corrupt country in Latin America—a region with plenty of candidates for that dubious designation.

Yet the cash kept coming in. Oil was still selling for more than $100 a barrel, so the government kept receiving money and kept handing it out.

In 2012, Chávez was reelected. This time around, however, there were no international election observers, and there was evidence that the election was rigged. He became the latest “democratic” socialist to promise to give power to the people—and yet to exercise authoritarian measures to ensure he would never lose it.

Soon thereafter, Chávez announced that he had contracted cancer. After traveling to Cuba for treatment, he died in March 2013. Conveniently for his legacy, the oil money was still rolling in. He never paid the bill for his short-sighted, reckless policies.

But Venezuela would.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro (left)
JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images

Running Out of Money

Before he died, Chávez picked his successor, Nicolás Maduro. And within a year, the inevitable happened: The price of oil dropped. Oil revenues shrank, and suddenly the real costs of socialism became obvious.

The late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher said, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

“The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
Margaret Thatcher

Since Venezuela’s per-capita gdp peaked in 2012, it has shrunk 34 percent. The national economy shrank 16 percent in 2016, 14 percent in 2017, and a forecasted 15 percent for 2018. The nation has gone from being the world’s fourth-wealthiest nation per capita to the 131st. Inflation, the general increase in prices, was 112 percent in 2015; it had ballooned to 2800 percent in 2017—and this year is projected to be 1 million percent.

Ruling over this wreck of an economy and wreck of a nation, Maduro is determined to hold on to power. In 2013, he won the presidency with 51 percent of the vote in an election that was likely rigged. At that point, the poverty rate was around 32 percent. Five years of economic catastrophe, social upheaval and malnourished oil workers later, Maduro won reelection with 68 percent of the vote. His popularity—somehow—rose by one third. This is puzzling, until you learn that Venezuela again blocked international election observers from participating, and that the British company that provided the voting machines said it found a discrepancy of at least 1 million votes between the vote participation recorded by the machines and the statistic announced by Venezuelan authorities.

It is clear that “democratic socialism” has once again produced classic authoritarian socialism. A government big enough to give Venezuelans what they want is a government big enough to tell Venezuelans how they voted.

It is clear that “democratic socialism” has once again produced classic authoritarian socialism.

Many Venezuelans have rejected the Maduro government’s claims and have protested in the streets en masse. Maduro’s security forces have cracked down on the protesters and journalists. Bolivarian National Guard troops have even arrested people just for recording video of long lines outside supermarkets with food shortages.

Meanwhile, the press reports that Hugo Chávez’s daughter has accumulated an estimated fortune of $4.2 billion.

It turned out that electing a democratic socialist to end corruption, distribute the nation’s wealth, and give power to the people ended up fostering corruption, crushing the economy, and reducing the power of the people!

What a lesson in how socialism can and does go horribly wrong. Just look at Venezuela!

A member of the national guard fires his shotgun at protesters during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela on July 28, 2017. Protesters took to the streets in Caracas in a show of defiance toward President Nicolás Maduro.
Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ignorant America

Yet astoundingly, at the same time that this disaster is unfolding, just a few countries to the north, what is the hot political trend in America?

Democratic socialism.

An August 13 Gallup poll says 51 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 have a “positive view” of socialism. Only 45 percent have a positive view of free markets. In the Democratic Party, 57 percent have a positive view of socialism, while only 47 percent are positive toward free markets. Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said that one popular self-avowed “democratic socialist” is “the future of the Democratic Party.”

This wave of enthusiasm for socialism surged in the last presidential election as young people supported Bernie Sanders. Now, socialists are winning in state primaries. Some of them could win governor’s offices, and some could join Sanders in Congress.

Already serving alongside Sanders in the Senate is a Harvard Law School professor, a scholar in bankruptcy law, a leading figure in the Democratic Party—one of the finest minds our educational and political system can produce, the way many would view it. She is the senior senator from Massachusetts and a possible presidential candidate for 2020. Her name is Elizabeth Warren, and she has a plan. She wants the federal government to control every major business in America.

You can make all of these ideas sound noble. That’s why socialism is such a powerful force. But human beings have been trying these ideas throughout history, and they have led to disasters like the Soviet Union and Venezuela—every time.

This is not just rhetoric. Warren has introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, a nice-sounding bill that would establish government control over every major business in America (any business with more than $1 billion in sales). She is literally calling for the federal government to take control of more than a thousand of the largest companies in America: The government would directly control 87 percent of American businesses by sales and 97 percent of the entire U.S. economy. It would be the largest takeover of private wealth in human history.

And she is proposing this at a time when Venezuelans are literally starving to death due to socialism! Somehow, Warren and fellow liberals can look at Venezuela and still say, That is what we want for America. A majority of young Americans, and most members of the Democratic Party, are saying, in effect, We need to look at nations like Venezuela as a model for having universal health care, for universal education, for free college tuition, for massive minimum-wage increases, for redistributing wealth, for certain price controls.

You can make all of these ideas sound noble. That’s why socialism is such a powerful force. But human beings have been trying these ideas throughout history, and they have led to disasters like the Soviet Union and Venezuela—every time.

In this case, we have a spectacular failure occurring right under our noses, right now. You don’t even have to read a history book to see this. All you have to do is pay attention and learn the obvious lesson.

What History Teaches

Socialists want “equality” at all costs. In Venezuela, as in the Soviet Union, as in other socialist countries, they are getting it. Except for the very few within and connected to the ever more powerful government, everyone is equally oppressed and equally poor.

Everyone is equal in terms of their value as a human being and their potential. But in almost every other way, we are unequal. We have different abilities, different interests, different opportunities. We have different backgrounds, different levels of achievement, and yes, different incomes. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but in a free society people who produce more generally end up having more. Hence, “income inequality.” Wealth always tends to be concentrated in a minority.

History shows that this often leads to the majority becoming resentful and restless and, in some cases, rising up in revolt. Leaders can gain a following if they promise the masses to redistribute the wealth.

The problem is, moving wealth doesn’t create more wealth. Production creates more wealth. And handing people money doesn’t make them more productive. In general, it tends to make them less productive. And taking money from producers makes them less productive as well.

On top of that, the more violent the revolution, the more wealth is destroyed in the process.

So the result of such revolutions tends to be a general loss of wealth, and a loss of productivity. And once that redistributed wealth is spent, then poverty comes roaring back with a vengeance.

This is not just a recent phenomenon: This has happened throughout history.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant wrote this in The Lessons of History: “The experience of the past leaves little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity. Substitutes like slavery, police supervision or ideological enthusiasm prove too unproductive, too expensive or too transient. Normally and generally men are judged by their ability to produce.”

Socialists fail to understand or reject this fundamental truth of human nature, taught by thousands of years of human experience.

But the Creator of human beings understands it perfectly. This is why His Word says that if anyone does not work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). This is why His Word promotes the economic system of every man under his own vine and his own fig tree. This is why His Word says that we all eat the fruit of our doings, that we all receive our own reward according to our own labor, that we each must give an account of ourselves, that He rewards each man according to his works and renders to every man according to his deeds. This is why His Word says that the responsibility of feeding each family rests on the head of that family providing for his own, especially for those of his own house (1 Timothy 5:8). It does not say to rely on government social programs that pay you diminishing amounts of benefits in return for you relinquishing your vote, your power and responsibility over your own life.

When a government simply takes from the producers and the wealthy, and gives to the poor in exchange for votes, it is ignoring these basic biblical truths and commands.

Every time we do what seems right in our own eyes, we create problems rather than solving them. Our ideas might seem to produce good results for a short time, as they did under Chávez, but the reckoning always comes. It’s a matter of cause and effect. It’s a law, like physics. And the place to learn the fundamental laws of human life is not the mind of Chávez, Lenin or Marx.

How flawed is the human mind? Well, Americans live in an economic system that has done more to eliminate poverty and generate wealth than any other system in history—that has lifted millions upon millions of people to a standard of living higher than any other people have enjoyed in history. Yet we are turning toward socialism.

Why can’t we just believe God, obey God and hold to the principles of the Bible? Certainly the free market and capitalism are not the perfect systems of God, but they are far more consistent with biblical principles than socialism, communism, feudalism, corporatism or any other economic system besides the actual economic system outlined in the Bible itself.

The Socialists’ Power Grab

There is another troubling aspect to what’s happening in Venezuela that teaches a crucial lesson, if only we will heed. It’s the way the “democratic socialist” government has transformed into an authoritarian socialist government.

Behold the evils of human nature. When you give a leader or a government an enormous amount of power—to control the economy as well as the military, policy, international relations and everything else—the power to take from these people and give to those peoplethis is what it so often leads to!

Over and over again, leaders use “democratic socialism” to come to power, and then they consolidate that power and never let it go. Most democratic socialist revolutions throughout history end up becoming authoritarian. Many turn into full-blown dictatorships.

Once the people of a nation concede their individual rights to give their government overwhelming power over their lives, it’s easy for that government to be controlled by a small group or even a single person. And so often, inside those people or that person, human nature rages.

These leaders always say they live to help the people. But what they really want is power to remake the nation as they want it. Some of them just want power and wealth—and that’s it.

And whether people want to admit it or not, this is exactly what is motivating the socialist movement in the United States. Avowed socialists are openly talking about nationalizing health care, nationalizing 97 percent of the economy, raising taxes, and taking money so that politicians can distribute it the way they believe is just—for example, to provide “free” education in institutions that teach new generations about the glories of Marxism!

This isn’t about equality at all. This is a massive power grab!

Like Hugo Chávez, these politicians believe that the problems in the free market can be solved simply by stripping power from private enterprise and giving it to the government. As if only private individuals have selfish, evil human nature—whereas socialist leaders have pure, altruistic nature and can be trusted implicitly to always act in the public interest. Their bottom line is, The more power we have, the better off everyone will be!

For more than a century, this godless ideology has been progressively infecting America’s government, transforming it from a limited federal government to a more and more massive central government.

Yet people like Elizabeth Warren think the government doesn’t yet have enough power!

This is exactly the opposite to the thinking of America’s founders. More importantly, it is opposite to the principles of the Bible.

Trust the Government? Or Trust God?

America’s founders understood many biblical principles. They understood that God was not leading America in the same way that He led ancient Israel through Moses—but they formed a system of government that at least accounted for the truth about human nature revealed in the Bible. They put the opportunity, the responsibility and the accountability for a man’s life where it belonged: on the shoulders of that man himself.

The biblical model of government places the responsibility for an individual’s life on that individual. The governmental system is very lean. It gives individuals and families a tremendous amount of economic and personal freedom—and accountability.

Socialist governments tax 60, 70, 80 or even 90 percent of people’s incomes and take on the responsibility of doling out the money and benefits that they think people should have. God’s system operates on an exceedingly spare 10 percent flat tax—known as tithing. That alone shows you the difference in scope of God’s government versus human socialist government.

The big-government socialist model ignores the principles of human nature contained in the Bible, ignores the limitations of human beings revealed in the Bible, ignores the system of government established in the Bible. It boldly, blindly insists that human nature—at least the human nature of government leaders—is fundamentally good and that the more power you give a socialist government, the better it will be for everyone. It promises that socialism will provide for your needs. It insists that corruption will not flourish in this system. It insists that the only problem is people who don’t trust the ever growing government.

God says, Cursed is the man who trusts in man! (Jeremiah 17:5).

God wants to help all people to learn responsibility, to work and to grow, and to learn to look to Him for our help, and to trust Him! Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord—and whose hope the Lord is (verse 9).

Are You Teachable?

We must learn the powerful, dire, costly lessons of what is happening in Venezuela right now.

Something is very wrong with the thinking of Americans today, who will indulge in God-rejecting socialist dreaming while a nearby nation implodes after a 20-year experiment in socialism.

Americans are proving to be unteachable. We won’t learn the lessons of the Bible. We won’t learn the lessons of history. We won’t even learn the lessons unfolding on the news before our faces. Socialists say that the Soviets got this detail wrong, or the Chinese got that detail wrong, and that America could succeed if it tried “real” socialism. We are bold enough to say this even though we cannot name a single example of successful, sustainable socialism—and all evidence points to the fact that the premise of the system itself is fatally flawed!

We reject the obvious lessons because we are too convinced of our own wisdom. We trust our human reasoning against all challengers—and we will pay a terrible price for that ignorance and arrogance.

What will it take to make us teachable?

The Bible tells us the grave answer. Our rejection of God and our unteachability will lead directly to terrifying consequences worse than what is happening in Venezuela. Biblical prophecy shows that America will be at the center of the worst suffering in human history. That is what it will take for us to recognize the flaws of human nature, including our own, and the foolishness of trusting in men, including ourselves.

God will allow and even apply much of this punishment and suffering. Not because He hates us: If He hated us, He would destroy us. But He loves all of the human beings He has created, and He knows that to achieve our potential, to make our lives worthwhile, we must learn. When we reject Him at every turn and in every way, we leave Him no choice but to punish us for our sins until we relinquish our insistence that we are right, no matter what.

Beyond this period of terrible punishment and suffering, our loving Creator has revealed that another revolution is coming. It’s a revolution in government. It’s a revolution in economics. It’s a revolution in human happiness and fulfillment. And it can come about only by the leadership of Jesus Christ.

The good news for suffering Venezuelans, for “blind” Americans, and for this whole world is the soon-coming return of the King of kings, Jesus Christ, to literally and directly rule all nations. Only He and God the Father understand human nature. Only they have the ability and capacity to rule human beings the way they should be ruled. Only He and God the Father can guide human beings to fulfill not just their income potential or their happiness potential, but the eternal, incredible human potential for which they were born.

You can read about the vision God gives about His system of economy and His system of government. You can get a glimpse of how wonderful Venezuela, the United States and the entire world will be when the Creator of human beings implements His system. You can read it in Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry’s article “A New World Economy.”

Also, please request The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, by Herbert W. Armstrong. It will fill your mind with an amazing vision about a future of prosperity, purpose and fulfillment for everyone, achieved by keeping the law of God.

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‘Civil War’ on the Streets of Germany

Demonstrators light flares on August 27 in Chemnitz, East Germany.
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

‘Civil War’ on the Streets of Germany

Riots in the town of Chemnitz show the nation is on edge.

The migrant crisis has left Germany unstable and even explosive. Just a small spark could ignite it.

This past weekend proved that. This morning’s Times stated, “Germany Gripped by Worst Far-Right Clashes in 26 Years”:

Germany was shaken by the worst far-right rioting since 1992 when police with water cannon failed to stop thousands of neo-Nazis and other extremists chasing immigrants, hurling bottles and fireworks, giving Hitler salutes and chanting “foreigners out” ….

Police appear to have been surprised by the numbers and struggled to contain the disorder, despite deploying water cannon and tear gas. At least 20 people were injured as fireworks and other objects were hurled by both sides.

It all started early Sunday morning, when a 35-year-old man was stabbed to death in Chemnitz, in eastern Germany. The murder came after a fight between “a number of people of different nationalities.” Rumors soon circulated online that the fight started after a woman was harassed in the street. Rumors also stated that migrants were behind the stabbing.

On Sunday night, anti-migrant groups began a protest. They also began harassing anyone who looked like a migrant. Spiegel Online said the police were “completely overrun at times.” They had to call for backup from the police departments of the much larger cities of Leipzig and Dresden.

The next day, Chemnitz Police Chief Sonja Penzel promised this would never happen again. But it did, that very night. Monday night was far worse. Around 5,000 anti-migrant protesters clashed with 1,000 left-wing counterprotesters. Spiegel Online described the evening:

The violence starts shortly before 8 p.m. Several hundred right-wing radicals suddenly begin pushing against a line of riot police chanting: “Free! Social! And national!” A firecracker flies off toward the counterdemonstrators and explodes. The right-wingers begin throwing glass bottles into the crowd. A flare comes down and several police rush to get out of the way. It is a moment when they can’t even guarantee their own security. With great effort, the police are able to push the mob back and are only just able to prevent a larger confrontation.

The right-wingers begin moving, marching through the city chanting: “Germany for the Germans! Foreigners get out!” Some stretch out their right arms in the Hitler greeting, which is illegal in Germany. They are flanked only by small groups of police. “We are receiving reports that huge numbers of paving stones are being pulled up,” the officers are warned over their radios. Another police officer says of an order they receive: “Given our numbers, that isn’t very smart, but the order came from the commanders.” Given the situation, the two water cannons parked nearby don’t provide much reassurance.

The police had to use water cannons to stop the demonstrations. Spiegel Online described a typical instance in the protests:

The neo-Nazi goes on the attack. He throws his arms above his head, yells and waves toward the parade of demonstrators in an attempt to get his comrades to follow him. Then, along with a group of 10 to 12 others, he storms up the stairs to a terrace in front of the Stadthalle, an event venue in the heart of the city of Chemnitz. On the terrace are cameramen, onlookers and counterdemonstrators—and they don’t see the attackers coming. The neo-Nazi grabs a young man from behind, jerks him to the ground, and hits him. Over and over again.

Only then do four police officers show up and push the neo-Nazis back. The officers are clearly overwhelmed, just as the entire police force had been throughout the demonstrations on Monday evening—demonstrations that eventually turned into a riot.

A riot fueled by xenophobic hatred.

“There is a small right-wing mob in our country that will take every opportunity to enact its violent fantasies of civil war-like conditions on our streets,” said Social Democrat Burkhard Lischka.

Die Tageszeitung wrote, “Nazis rehearsed civil war in Chemnitz on Monday night.”

This is exactly what the Trumpet has been warning about with the migrant crisis in Germany. It’s clear from media interviews that a lot of people participating in and supporting the protests are not neo-Nazis. They have legitimate concerns about migrants. But the far-right and neo-Nazis are the only ones who will discuss the problem, so these people are all being pushed toward the far right. We wrote in our 2016 article “Germany, Migrants and the Big Lie”:

What happens when the majority of Germans realize they have been deceived? What happens when the majority of Germans lose confidence and trust in mainstream leaders? Frustrated and angry, the German people, as any people would, will seek an individual, a political party, willing to heed their concerns and solve Germany’s migrant crisis. This trend is already evident in the dramatic rise of pegida and the AfD, a right-wing political party whose popularity is at all-time highs.

Many of the Germans becoming disillusioned with mainstream politics and turning to these groups are not hardcore neo-Nazis. They don’t want to persecute the migrants or see them imprisoned, beaten up or killed. They are not extremists seeking genocide. They are regular, sound-thinking, rational people, many of whom have terrific empathy for those suffering in Syria and elsewhere. These people are simply concerned about the impact millions of migrants will have on their nation, its institutions, its infrastructure, its economy, its culture and on the German people. They are concerned about Germany’s future. But Angela Merkel’s government refuses to give serious attention to these concerns and refuses to tell the truth about the impact the migrants are having and will have on the nation.

If she continues to do this, Germany’s chancellor risks helping transform the German people—and Germany itself—into something very different and much more frightening than the democratic, peaceful, friendly nation we see today.

The Merkel government’s handling of this situation is turning the German people into a ticking time bomb! The more disillusioned, frustrated and angry the German people become, the more vulnerable they will be to radical politics and radical leaders with radical solutions.

This is exactly what has happened. Germany has become volatile. It just takes a spark like Chemnitz to cause an explosion.

Five years ago, many of those demonstrating would not be caught in the company of people performing Nazi salutes. But these were some of the only people that shared their concerns. The fact that Germany is experiencing its largest neo-Nazi riots in decades is a direct result of the refusal of establishment authorities to confront the problem.

“Common sense alone tells us an explosion is coming,” we wrote in 2016. That explosion is here. We also wrote that “the Bible specifically warns us what will be the result: a radical change in German leadership.” The article continued:

The book of Daniel is written specifically for the “time of the end” (Daniel 8:17; 12:4, 9). In passage after passage, it talks about a powerful leader who will shake the world. He will be the “king of the north” (Daniel 11:40), ruling over a united European power. Most likely he will be the leader of Germany, which controls the rest of the EU.

What type of man is this new leader? The Bible says that “the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god” (verse 36). He will be a “king of fierce countenance” (Daniel 8:23). He is assertive, aggressive and ambitious. He is a strong leader!

This leader shall come “understanding dark sentences” (verse 23)—or, as Clarke’s Commentary puts it, he is “very learned and skillful in all things relating to government and its intrigues.” …

The migrant crisis is creating a desire for a strong leader.

This is where the migrant crisis is leading. And its explosive power was clearly on display on Monday night in Chemnitz. For more on the leader who will take advantage of Germany’s volatile situation, read our free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.

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Germany Riots, Scandal at the Vatican, and America’s Corrupt Criminal Justice System

German right-wing demonstrators light flares on August 27 in Chemnitz, East Germany.
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

Germany Riots, Scandal at the Vatican, and America’s Corrupt Criminal Justice System

Listen to the August 29, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

On today’s program, violent protests in East Germany bring the migrant crisis back to center stage and will possibly push Angela Merkel to the brink, the Catholic Church sex scandal reaches the Vatican, and China may have stolen thousands of e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s private server.

Subscribe to the Trumpet Daily Radio Show on iTunes, RSS or Stitcher.

Download past episodes here.

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Bab el-Mandeb: The Gate of Tears

Bab el-Mandeb, Yemen
USGS/NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Bab el-Mandeb: The Gate of Tears

A focal point of money, oil and power

We live on the land, but our society runs on the seas and oceans. The world’s merchant fleets include 52,183 ships as of January 2017, Statista noted. These vessels carry over 90 percent of the world’s trade. As they transport goods from producer to consumer, these fleets often sail through sea-gates, narrow maritime waterways.

The most dangerous sea-lane, according to the National Interest, is the Bab el-Mandeb—the Gate of Tears.

The Bab el-Mandeb links the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This waterway enables ships to sail between Europe and Asia without having to spend several days circling around the entire continent of Africa.

The strait is the narrowest point between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa and forms the southern entrance to the Red Sea. To the north, the Suez Canal opens the way from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.

The strait is 20 miles wide, divided into an eastern and western channel by Perim Island. The western Dact el-Mayun channel is the only one deep enough for large vessels, such as tankers.

That doesn’t mean the entire channel is operable. To avoid collisions, a north and south shipping lane has been established. Each is a mere 2 miles wide.

Why This Strait Matters

From antiquity until the 15th century, the Red Sea was the main thoroughfare for east-west seafaring trade. But cargo had to be unloaded in Egypt, transported across land, then loaded back on ships. The discovery of the Cape of Good Hope led to a drop-off in trade through the Bab el-Mandeb. To avoid the cumbersome process of overland travel, traders sailed around Africa.

In 1869, Egypt’s Suez Canal opened. Ships could now sail directly from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean. The distance from Asian ports to European ports was cut by as much as two thirds. The Bab el-Mandeb suddenly became one of the most crucial sea-lanes in the world.

The nations surrounding the strait awoke to newfound power. The impoverished nation of Yemen can punch above its political class for only one reason: It borders this sea-lane. On the Western shore, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Eritrea also enjoy close proximity and the influence it brings.

Through the Gate of Tears’ 2-mile-wide lanes, 20,000 ships sail each year, an average of 55 per day. Since the 1930s, these vessels have included oil tankers.

Crude oil tanker
iStock.com/AvigatorPhotographer

Oil has become a driving force behind worldwide economic growth and military preparedness. It is the lifeblood of the global economy. Sixty percent of the world’s oil is transported by sea.

If shipborne oil is the blood of the world, then Bab el-Mandeb is a major artery. And just like the circulatory system, we tend to not think of it when it is functioning normally. But when it is cut or clogged, its importance becomes obvious.

If the lane were blocked or the flow of vessels significantly slowed, our world would change. Insurance companies would charge higher rates or refuse to insure ships traversing the strait. The cost of goods and commodities coming from Asia would rise.

There would likely be a dramatic military build-up, as fail-safes, put in place by world powers, kicked into gear. Israel, for instance, has vowed retaliation against Iran if it closes the Red Sea.

The petrol at your gas station would leap in price. Even if you live somewhere that doesn’t rely on trade through the Red Sea, you would be affected. An attack on a tanker in this crucial sea-lane could dramatically escalate tensions and violence in the region. The world economy would be rocked, and the European continent in particular.

You can see why world powers invest billions in security to keep this strait open. The world economy cannot afford to let the gate close. Neither can it afford to see it controlled by hostile powers—which is exactly what Iran is trying to do.

Iran’s Red Sea Strategy

As you read this, Iran is working to control the Gate of Tears.

First, Iran wants the strait as a bargaining chip. Why? Because the mullahs have done this elsewhere, and it works.

Iran already controls the Strait of Hormuz, the only entrance to the Persian Gulf. Ships carrying 18 million barrels of oil per day pass through that strait. According to Express, the closure of the Strait of Hormuz could push oil prices above $200 per barrel.

Iran routinely threatens to close the strait. Iranian Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ali Jafari said on July 5, “We will make the enemy understand that either everyone can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one.” This was in response to America’s recent reimposition of sanctions targeting Iranian oil.

Iran knows that threats to shut the strait, while often construed as hot air, carry weight. It grants Iran power and leverage—particularly in negotiations, nuclear or otherwise.

As powerful as that leverage is, controlling the Bab el-Mandeb would make it even more powerful. American think-tank Stratfor noted, “Iran’s navy cannot project enough power to control key shipping lanes, but Tehran has emphasized its presence around Bab el-Mandeb as a possible means of disrupting global trade in the event of an attack on Iran and a key point for negotiations in the future.”

But Iran’s strategy goes well beyond mere bargaining chips.

Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian Navy
LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images

In 2015, Iranian-backed Houthi fighters captured Perim Island. Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the Iranian Navy, announced, “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s navy has deployed in the north of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, and this presence will continue forever.”

By supporting the Houthi rebellion, Iran is setting up a proxy at the gate. On January 8, Saleh al-Samad, the head of the Houthi rebel government, told a visiting United Nations delegation that his group could “turn to strategic options … including cutting off the Red Sea and international navigation” if the Saudi coalition continued to threaten Hodeidah, the only major port under Houthi control.

Speaking about the conflict in Yemen, Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at rbc Capital Markets, said, “We’re just one missile away somewhere from getting into a more direct confrontation.”

We have already seen a foretaste of what that portends for the world. On July 25, two tankers were attacked by Houthi rebels. Each tanker carried 2 million barrels of oil. Neither was sunk, but the reaction from Saudi Arabia was serious.

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Aramco announced that it was suspending oil shipments through the strait. That represents an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 barrels of oil per day. Oil prices around the world jumped.

Tanker Wars

Think that Iran wouldn’t target oil tankers? Think again! It has already happened. Often seen as a side-show to the Iran-Iraq War, the Tanker War of 1984–1987 was very real. Iraq targeted Iranian terminals and tankers, hoping to goad Iran into closing the Strait of Hormuz. Doing so would have drawn the ire of the United States, which promised to intervene in such a circumstance. Instead of closing the strait, Iran attacked Iraqi vessels. It wasn’t long before both sides were attacking ships up and down the Persian Gulf.

During the war French naval ships were deployed to the Persian Gulf to protect oil tankers and rigs, which became targets as fighting escalated between Iraq and Iran.
Patrick Robert/Sygma/CORBIS/Sygma/Getty Images

The two nations carried out 451 attacks. Of those, 259 were against oil tankers. Some 430 civilian sailors were killed. Surprisingly, the attacks did little damage to the economies of either nation. This is likely because the Strait of Hormuz never closed. Both nations also used rudimentary methods of attack. Iraq used almost all air-to-sea missiles; Iran used almost all rocket-propelled grenades. Sea mines were only a small factor.

Today, it would be a very different story. Iran has a well-established military and an advanced missile program. According to Maritime Executive, Iran also has a stockpile of at least 2,000 sea mines. Some are EM-52 smart mines. These lay on the sea floor and fire rocket-propelled warheads capable of penetrating an aircraft carrier hull.

Seafloor mines are notoriously hard to find. In the 1980s, it took a Royal Navy minesweeper six days to detect a single smart mine in the Red Sea. These weapons pose a new psychological warfare that Iran could unleash upon sea-lanes in both the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

A Long-Range Forecast

The strategy Iran is pursuing is described in great detail in a book written thousands of years ago. The Bible explains that strategy, and based on its prophecies, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2015:

The Houthis’ takeover of Yemen was not just an organic revolution. It was a part of a deliberate and calculated Iranian strategy to conquer the Red Sea. This strategy is revealed in a powerful prophecy in the biblical book of Daniel.

As astounding as it may sound, the Prophet Daniel foretold about what just happened in Yemen! He even mentions names of individual nations along the Red Sea corridor that will be aligned with Iran.

Notice it: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40). This is an end-time prophecy. It concerns the time we are living in right now, and it directly concerns these Middle Eastern nations.

For almost 25 years we have identified “the king of the south” as a radical Middle Eastern power led by Iran, and the king of the north as a German-led European power. This prophecy reveals that the Iranian-led power will push at Europe. It may be that this push could take place in the very area of Yemen or the Gulf of Aden.

You can bet it wasn’t just oil prices that leaped when Aramco announced its decision to avoid the Red Sea. Leaders in Europe must have leaped, as well. The European continent relies heavily on the Bab el-Mandeb for the flow of imports and exports. If Iran controlled both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb, the mullahs would have Europe over a barrel.

But prophecy says Iran won’t stop at two gates. It will soon have a third! Notice what else Mr. Flurry describes in his booklet Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran:

The following verses in Daniel reveal other nations that will align with Iran, the king of the south. Those mentioned include Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya (verses 42-43). These nations all follow the sea route from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. In April 2011, I wrote that these nations are “the key that unlocks the strategy of radical Islam. … They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!”

Think of the danger posed by a radical Islamic power controlling the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb and the Suez Canal! No wonder Europe will respond with a whirlwind!

The Iranians are pushing to gain this crucial logistical leverage. Your Bible says they will get it, but it is going to backfire in spectacular fashion! Europe is going to respond to Iran’s pushy foreign policy with whirlwind blitzkrieg!

While the end of Iranian influence over the world economy is a good thing, Europe’s military response is not. Keep reading Daniel’s prophecy to learn why! Emboldened by victory, German-led Europe will move to take control of the Holy Land and turn on the nations of America and Britain! Your Bible states it plainly! Jesus Christ Himself forecast this time and called it the “great tribulation” (Mathew 24:21). For more on this subject, be sure to request our free booklet The King of the South.

When we see Iran control the Bab el-Mandeb, we know Europe’s response is close. But take heart. The good news is that soon Christ will come to put an end to man’s violent rule over man. Where evil empires and powers once ruled, Christ will reign. Systems that enslaved or held to ransom other nations will be torn down. In their place, Christ will establish a world government. And under this rule all nations will prosper. This is the amazing future beyond the Gate of Tears.



The Prophet Daniel wrote about a future confrontation between the king of the north and the king of the south. We are now in the time when these two major powers are quickly rising! The king of the south is stirring up trouble even today. It is critical that you know the identity of this prophesied power! Request your free copy of The King of the South.

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Denmark Forces Women to Unveil

iStock.com/THEPALMER

Denmark Forces Women to Unveil

Denmark’s ban against the burka and niqab signals a dangerous trend in Europe.

Denmark has been praised as one of Europe’s most proudly liberal and tolerant countries. But decades of multiculturalism have apparently taken their toll, and Danes have passed a series of laws to preserve Danish culture. The latest of these laws came into effect August 1, when face and body veiling became illegal in all public areas in Denmark.

The number of non-Western immigrants in Denmark has grown from 50,000 in 1980 to almost 500,000 today. The total population of Denmark is 5.7 million. The ban is aimed primarily against the estimated 150 to 200 who wear the face veil, but the new law is seen as a sign that Denmark is now turning against multiculturalism.

Hundreds of women, veiled and unveiled, have marched the streets in Copenhagen in protest. But the first fines have already been issued. On August 3, a woman wearing a niqab was fined 1,000 kroner (us$156) and was asked to either remove her veil or leave the public area.

Austria, France, Belgium, Bulgaria and the German state of Bavaria have already passed similar laws banning full-face Islamic veils. In addition to burkas and niqabs, Denmark’s ban includes balaclavas, ski masks and false beards in public areas.

For years, Denmark has been praised for its tolerance toward other cultures and lifestyles. But instead of integrating into Danish culture, these other cultures have formed parallel societies in Danish cities.

One of the effects of multiculturalism in Denmark has been the creation of ghettos. National Public Radio reported that the term “ghetto” in Denmark is a “legal designation typically applied to a neighborhood with more than 1,000 residents” that includes at least two of the following criteria (though additional criteria may apply), as outlined by npr:

  • At least 50 percent of residents are immigrants from non-Western countries.
  • At least 40 percent of residents are unemployed.
  • At least 2.7 percent of residents have criminal convictions.

While the idea of cultural diversity sounds wonderful, the crime and unemployment rates are alarming. The Danish government draws a parallel between these factors and immigration. The government now has a goal to eliminate the 20-plus ghettos in Denmark by 2030. The law aimed at preserving “Danishness” mandates that young children must be sent to day centers to learn Danish values and language.

From Copenhagen, the Daily Mail’s Sue Reid described the measures the government is taking to turn things around:

Later this year, legislation will force all families living in these ghettos to send their toddlers, as young as 1 year old, to approved day centers to learn the Danish language and Danish values.

The children will have to complete 25 hours of compulsory state education, and while the primary focus will be on language skills and learning, the plan is to educate the mainly Muslim children in the Danish way of life, as well as to give instruction on religious holidays, Christmas and Easter, and their importance in the Christian calendar.

Parents who fail to sign up have been told they could lose their child benefits.

This is the radical policy of a government that, like so many others in Europe, has accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants over recent years and is trying desperately to tackle the problems of integration. Indeed, the challenges Denmark is wrestling with are replicated across the EU as countries including Greece, Italy, Austria and Germany struggle to assimilate large numbers of migrants.

Failed integration has brought immense problems to Denmark and other European countries. The government’s attempt to solve them by enforcing a cultural conversion will only make matters worse. In “How One Activist in Germany Woke Up to the Dangers of Muslim Immigration,” theTrumpet.com senior editor Joel Hilliker described a similar mood change occurring in Germany and explained the prophetic relevance:

Enmity between Catholic Europe and Islam—particularly Germany and Islam—is one of the most prophetically significant trends in the world today. The shift in the German mindset is already measurable. The Bible foretells that an opportunistic leader will seize the moment and put himself forward as the solution to repel this threat to the nation.

The prophecies also suggest that this very issue could help unite several other European nations behind Germany, to demonstrate a united front of resistance. A unified German-led European empire is coming! Today’s headlines show the groundwork in advanced stages of preparation for this crucial biblical prophecy to be fulfilled.

Europe today is proof of this prophesied clash of civilizations, and this proves the accuracy of the Bible itself. Daniel 11:40 describes “the king of the north” responding violently against “a push” from “the king of the south.” The king of the north is modern-day Europe, led by Germany, and the king of the south is radical Islam, led by Iran. These two cultures have clashed repeatedly over the last few centuries, never learning the way of peace that would unite them. The flood of migrants into Europe is leading to the worst clash yet.

To learn about this prophesied clash and what follows thereafter, order your free copy of The King of the South, by Gerald Flurry.

Daniel 8 prophesies of the rise of a strongman in the king of the north. You can read more about him in our booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent. This man is prophesied to lead an already hostile Europe to war. Europe’s failing immigration policies are leading to his power grab.