China’s New Stealth Bomber a Game Changer in South China Sea

New pilots of the Chinese Air Force attend the People’s Liberation Army Air Force aviation open day on August 30 in Changchun, Jilin province.
Getty Images

China’s New Stealth Bomber a Game Changer in South China Sea

‘Shockwaves throughout the U.S. military and the American defense industry’

China’s Hong-20 nuclear stealth bomber is near to making its first flight, military experts told the government-run Global Times on October 9.

“The trial flight will come soon,” military analyst Song Zhongping was quoted as saying. Song said the avionics systems and hydraulics of the revolutionary Hong-20 bombers have apparently passed inspections, which will let the project advance to the next phase of testing.

“The new generation of bombers can carry more bombs than previous H-6K bombers,” Song said earlier this year, adding that the new models “have the advantage of stealth features and are able to strike targets from standoff ranges.”

The Hong-20 (H-20) will boost China’s defensive and offensive capability and give China a “stronger nuclear and conventional deterrence,” he said.

The H-20 has been in development since the early 2000s, and military experts previously compared it to the United States B-2 stealth bomber. But in May, the state-run Aviation Industry Corp. of China released a video teaser believed to show the new aircraft beneath a sheet, and revealing that it may be more comparable to the U.S. Air Force’s more advanced B-21 Raider, which itself is still under development.

The H-20 is equipped to carry at least 10 tons of weaponry with a range of 5,000 miles, giving it considerable advantages over the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s (plaaf) current H-6 bombers. The H-6 is a Chinese copy of Soviet-era Tu-16 Badgers, which were first flown in 1952.

The War Zone wrote on October 10:

By going straight from that aircraft [H-6 bomber] to the new stealth bomber, China will skip multiple generations of bomber concepts that have come in the interim. Carrying a full-load of CJ-10K air-launched cruise missiles, which can carry a conventional or nuclear warhead, the aircraft could give China an entirely new long-range strategic capability to deter potential opponents.

The bombers could “send shockwaves throughout the U.S. military and the American defense industry, which would move to develop new systems and tactics, techniques and procedures to counter the aircraft,” War Zone wrote. “[T]he bombers could also be critical tools for defending China’s territorial claims in the Pacific Region, especially in the South China Sea.”

The South China Sea is among the world’s most valuable and critical ocean regions. It contains an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. But more importantly, it is the route through which sails $5.3 trillion in trade, 30 percent of total global shipping.

Sections of the sea are claimed by Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei. But China claims nearly the entire sea as its exclusive territory. In recent months, the Chinese have been growing more aggressive in their efforts to assert control over the area.

The most recent example came on September 30 when a Chinese warship sailed within 45 yards of an American destroyer as the U.S. ship was conducting a freedom of navigation operation near the disputed Spratly Island chain. The U.S. vessel was forced to change course to avoid a collision.

“Despite such reckless harassment, the United States Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows and our national interests demand,” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech four days after the incident. “We will not stand down.”

But as China accelerates its development, not just of stealth bombers, but also of rail-gun technology, nuclear submarines, hypersonic missiles and general naval capacity, it is fair to ask how long such U.S. determination will last.

As China’s military might continues to rapidly grow, its grip on the South China Sea will tighten. And other powers may be left little choice but to comply.

In May, U.S. Navy Adm. Philip Davidson said China is already “capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Would the war-weary U.S. be willing to go to war with China to prevent it from asserting full control over this trade route?

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that China’s tightening grip on the South China Sea is “steering the world toward war.” In the July 2016 Trumpet issue, he wrote:

Since Japan’s defeat in World War ii, America has protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world. Now the American military is retreating, and other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum. … China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.

Mr. Flurry’s analysis of China’s behavior in this region is founded on Bible prophecy.

In Deuteronomy 28:52, God cautions the nations of Israel that if they reject His authority, He will give control over the world’s strategic sea-lanes and sea-gates to their enemies:

And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

Mr. Flurry explained that this warning in Deuteronomy is not for ancient peoples. “It is a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel,” he wrote. “Two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain. … This prophecy and several others show that He will send foreign enemies to punish America and Britain!”

China’s rapidly expanding military capacity shows how quickly this prophecy could be fulfilled in the South China Sea.

But Mr. Flurry explained that these disturbing trends are closely tied to the best imaginable news. “All this prophesied destruction is what it will take for God to reach this world!” he wrote. “After this, people will be ashamed—and they will get to know God! Ezekiel repeatedly talked about that inspiring conclusion (e.g. Ezekiel 6:7; 7:4; 11:10; 12:20; 13:9; 23:48-49; etc). Yes, there is a lot of bad news when you consider what it takes to get people to the point of knowing God. But ultimately, the outcome is spectacularly good news!”

To understand the details of these prophecies and the deep hope that is linked to them, request a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

New Cover .jpg

Are You Observing the Right Day of Worship?

Most Christians have never studied why Sunday is their day of worship. If you are one of them, you are denying yourself special blessings from God!

Read More

America: ‘To Preserve It, We Must Love It’

iStock.com/rypson

America: ‘To Preserve It, We Must Love It’

Thomas Jefferson was right. What will happen now that so many Americans are coming to hate America?

I love America. I am very thankful to have been born in this most-blessed country in history. I love many of the ideals on which it was founded. I’m impressed by the efforts of the founders to create a new government that applied the best lessons of history and sought to avoid the traps that have brought down great powers of the past.

“Now a government is like everything else,” Thomas Jefferson said: “to preserve it, we must love it. Everything, therefore, depends on establishing this love in a republic; and to inspire it ought to be the principal business of education” (emphasis added throughout).

To be great, any nation or people—or even individual—has to believe in what it stands for.

Historically, there have been many evil regimes that have benefited from such confidence and conviction. But I believe America—though it was messy and not without sin—represented a noble cause. It has rightly served as a beacon and a blessing to the rest of the world. It has been a bright spot amid so much dark human history.

At one time, American education did a good job of establishing that sense of confidence and purpose, that love within its people for what the nation represented. And generations of Americans learned, believed and fought for a better way.

Today, though, education in America increasingly does the opposite. It actively teaches an ideology that emphasizes America’s flaws (real and imagined) in order to accuse, condemn and dismantle the principles this nation has stood for. And generations of Americans are learning to hate America.

If Jefferson was right—that to preserve a government, we must love it—then the hatred many Americans have come to possess will lead to our ruin.

Biblical prophecy confirms this is exactly what will happen to America. (Read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove this crucial point.) But the evidence of just how much this crash will be self-inflicted is growing every day.

Surely the self-destruction of this richly blessed nation will rank as one of the great tragedies of history.

Considering this sad truth reminded me of an article from last year (July 15, 2017), by John Hawkins, titled “Our Civilization Deserves to Fail.” “[T]he truth we all hate to talk about is that America deserves to fail,” he wrote. “I don’t want that to happen. After all, this is the greatest country ever on God’s green Earth. … Without us, the bad guys would have won World War i, World War ii and the Cold War. We’ve been the indispensable nation.

“Are we still?” He answered that question this way:

Today, Americans would rather sit out a war, no matter how important, rather than see our soldiers die as they did during World War i. We weren’t able to deal with less than 4,000 deaths in Iraq while we lost more than 13 times that number in World War i. Our industrial production was the decisive factor in the Allied Victory in World War ii. Just to give you one example, when the war started, we had 3,000 planes and by the time it was over, we had produced 300,000. Could we do that again? No.

What is remarkable is how much greatness America still has and could have—if we weren’t fighting among ourselves! If Americans united with each other and behind our government, we very likely could do that again. But many factors in America as it is in reality would make this impossible.

Mr. Hawkins wondered whether we “still have the sort of leadership it took to win the Cold War.” He wrote: “If the Soviet Union was still around today, half our military secrets would be leaked to it through the New York Times while idiots would laud the leakers improving ‘transparency in government.’ Even while Reagan was taking the steps that brought the Soviets down, Hollywood and the Democrat Party were fighting him every step of the way and we’ve gone even further backwards since then.”

At the Trumpet, we often point to Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, chapters where God instructed the Americans’ ancestors that if they obeyed Him, they would receive blessings, and if they disobeyed Him, they would receive curses. Included among the latter is this pronouncement from God: “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:18-19).

Broken pride in our power is a curse! And the United States of America is suffering this curse right now. This nation still has power, but our will to use it has been broken! We hesitate, we waver, we fear, we disbelieve, we apologize. Some Americans even push back against the president’s “Make America Great Again” slogan—because they don’t believe this country was ever great!

Hawkins continued:

Along those same lines, Hoover Dam was built in five years. Today, there would be hashing things out with lawyers and environmental rights wackos for that long and it is doubtful that it could be built at all. Remember when we shocked the world by putting a man on the moon in 1969? Well today, we’re no longer capable of going to get the flag we left there. Instead, we’re obsessing over whether men with mental problems who believe they’re women should be treated like real women.

This appalling short-sightedness is playing out in arena after arena. America is facing genuine, nation-threatening, existential crises: national debt, insolvent welfare programs, insecure borders, racial strife, political division and nuclear proliferation. Yet we are preoccupied instead on issues that are, at best, trivial by comparison and, at worst, manufactured lies. Our leaders have us focusing on irrelevancies like how much Native American blood a senator has, whether or not a judge drunkenly assaulted a girl at a party 36 years ago, or the fact that the president said a Confederate general was great.

A major segment of Americans today simply do not love America. If you were married to someone who continually pointed out your flaws, fixated on your weaknesses, and minimized or ignored your strengths, or was constantly trying to remake you into someone different, would that be a loving relationship?

A government is like everything else: to preserve it, we must love it.

An end-time prophecy in the book of Isaiah, aimed at the modern descendants of Israel—America most prominent among them—well describes the way that America is dismantling itself from within: “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity …. [T]he whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores …. Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (Isaiah 1:4-7).

That is a severe assessment. Many people are concerned about the corruption and division within America. But we need to recognize it to the extent that God does—and accept His evaluation and correction.

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained in his article “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily,” a lot of corruption is being exposed because of Donald Trump having become president—corruption that otherwise would have remained concealed, and only grown more malignant. God wanted America’s sickness exposed! He is giving us a good look at ourselves!

Seeing the outrageous anti-American behavior of the left, some Americans are walking into a trap. Recognizing the evils of their political adversaries, they think that the problem lies entirely with the other side. If only they were set right or eliminated, we would all be OK, because we are righteous!

You cannot compare yourself to the left and feel you are OK. If that is your standard of measurement, you are deluding yourself.

The truth is, the reason why the left is having such success is that the nation’s will has been broken! The nation is suffering curses for having turned its back on God. As in the vision of a defiled temple in Daniel 8, evil prospers and “cast down the truth to the ground,” why? “By reason of transgressionbecause of the sins of the people! Truth in America has been cast down because our families are weak, our morals are in the gutter, and our sense of national identity and purpose is destroyed!

A strong, moral nation with pride in its power would never grant the radical left the kind of power it has usurped in America today.

The truth is, the righteousness of God is all too rare in America and nowhere in American politics.

God is cursing us for a wonderful reason—the same reason that a parent disciplines a child he loves: to correct us, to prevent us from making even worse mistakes, and to turn us back to Him.

Yet Americans have become too “wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” to take the correction (Isaiah 5:21).

Weather disasters are part of God’s correction (e.g. Nahum 1:3; Job 37:11-13; read our free booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? for proof). After Hurricane Michael struck Florida on October 10, the devastation was so catastrophic that some people compared American cities to a Third World war zone, or a nuclear bomb detonation site!

Will people accept God’s rebuke? Here is cnn’s answer, in its imperatively titled “How to Talk About Hurricanes Now” (October 11):

Hurricane Michael isn’t a truly “natural disaster.”

Neither was Harvey in Houston.

Nor Maria in Puerto Rico.

Yet we continue to use that term.

Doing so—especially in the era of climate change—is misleading if not dangerous, according to several disaster experts and climate scientists ….

“The phrase ‘natural disaster’ is an attempt to lay blame where blame really doesn’t rest,” said [one mit expert].

Where does blame really rest, according to cnn? Backed by their experts and scientists, they claim that America needs to repent of our sinsnot our sins of apostasy, idolatry, blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, familial dysfunction, hatred, adultery, lust, stealing, lying and covetousness—but our “sins” of emitting carbon, building beach homes, and electing a president who withdrew from a climate-change accord.

People took that calamitous storm—which killed 48 people and caused $8 billion in damage in America alone—not as an invitation to repent, but an opportunity to advance this political agenda. And others, surveying the damaged homes and businesses, viewed it as a chance to steal. Police reported widespread looting in Michael’s aftermath.

That reveals a breathtaking level of spiritual sickness.

Read Isaiah 5:24-30. This is a shocking prophecy of this great nation—so compromised and vulnerable because of civil infighting, so self-absorbed and oblivious to external threats—being blindsided and leveled by foreign invasion. It says that God actually invites this attack, removing the restraints presently holding these enemies of America back.

Hawkins concluded:

There are still a lot of good people in this country, but as a nation, we’ve become complacent, decadent and jaded. We’re the trust-fund kid living off the money great-great-grandad left us while the family business we don’t understand fails. What we have in America [is] rare. Historically, there are not a lot of extremely prosperous, free nations that don’t have to fear invasion because of that powerful military. That means we are squandering an inheritance left to us by previous generations of Americans that we may never have again once it’s lost. We foolishly assume it will be this good forever even though we laugh at and impugn many of the ideas, attitudes and principles that were responsible for our success in the first place. America is not on track for a happy ending and as much as I hate to say it, we’re going to richly deserve the pain, misery and disaster our own actions are going to bring down on our heads one day.

That is a terrible future—for people who have tolerated and committed terrible things. That is a cursed future—earned by a disobedient people.

What a shame—and what a condemnation of the sickness within the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9)—that even when God gifts us with a great nation, with noble principles, with a shining hope, we let it burn out—or enthusiastically douse it.

We must recognize the truth about American greatness: Everything that was truly good about American principles and American greatness came not from men, but from God. He gave it to a people who tried to acknowledge Him and follow Him, in fulfillment of promises He made to the biblical patriarchs. We have squandered this greatness and turned our backs on Him, and now He is taking that greatness away. He will allow us to experience the consequences of our actions and will punish us to teach us the lesson. Like a loving Father who knows how to handle a rebellious son, He will deal with us appropriately.

Because I love America, I wish our example to the world was demonstrating, not the curses of disobeying God, but the blessings of obeying Him.

Cover - JAG - ColorizediStock-183049532.jpg

‘And the Sun Stood Still’

Was the miracle of Joshua’s long day just an eclipse?

Read More

Portland: American Division on Display

Members of Antifa watch police and far-right protesters during the August 4 Patriot Prayer Rally.
Getty Images

Portland: American Division on Display

Left- and right-wing groups erupt into violence in Oregon.

Violent brawls between left-wing Antifa and right-wing Patriot Prayer broke out in Portland, Oregon, over the weekend. Dozens of members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer began a “flash march for law and order in pdx,” an acronym for Portland, on October 14. They were met by Antifa counterprotesters; the confrontation led to violence.

On September 30, Portland police shot and killed Patrick Kimmons, who had just shot two men when police arrived on the scene. He started to “head their way holding a gun” when the police shot him, according to the Oregonian. This led to a protest against police brutality held on October 6.

During the protest, demonstrators began blocking off roads and directing public traffic. An elderly man, Kent Houser, was driving through the area when the street became filled with protesters. Houser wanted to turn right, so he slowly crept along his path. Protesters yelled at him and struck his car. One man threw himself on the hood of the vehicle. Houser continued inching forward until the path ahead was finally clear of people, then sped away. Protesters continued running after him.

Houser was accused of “plow[ing] through protesters.” The video shows something quite different.

“When you have an angry mob yelling at you and beating on your car, you just want to get out of there,” Houser said. “If I was really interested in running someone over, I could have just gunned the engine, and that guy would have been under my car. He would have been toast.”

The police monitored the protest but did not get involved. To protest Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s handling of police inaction during the October 6 march, Patriot Prayer held its “Law and Order” march on October 14.

The march started peacefully early Sunday evening with chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Wheeler’s got to go.” Police stood by, knowing that clashes with Antifa counterprotesters were likely. After nightfall, fighting broke out with both groups using fists, pepper spray, batons and clubs. Many people were injured, but none were hospitalized.

When members of Antifa attempted to burn American flags, one Patriot Prayer member snatched a burning flag from the counterprotesters and sprinted away, putting out the flames.

This is the third major confrontation between these two groups within two years. The first incident happened in June 2017, with the second occurring almost exactly a year later. Unlike the first two, however, police did not arrest anyone during the October 14 march.

America has a history of protests and riots, but in recent years, the frequency, severity and violence of these riots have increased. And it is only getting worse.

This most recent clash came amidst calls for incivility and violence made by prominent Democratic Party leaders. On October 7, former Attorney General Eric Holder said, “When [Republicans] go low, we kick ‘em. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” On October 9, Hillary Clinton said that Democrats “cannot be civil” until they regain power in the American government.

When Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for the harassment of U.S. President Donald Trump’s officials in June, multiple members of President Trump’s staff were chased out of restaurants and shouted at in the streets. In his article “American Politics Turn From Ugly to Violent,” Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker listed several other examples of violence and incivility that are becoming the norm in American politics:

Republican Rep. Brian Mast received death threats directed toward his children because of his support of President Trump’s immigration policies. Laurence Wayne Key called an intern at Mast’s office and said, “If you’re going to separate kids at the border, I’m going to kill his kids.”

Charles Murray, a guest speaker at Middlebury College, and Prof. Allison Stranger were confronted with “scary, violent mob action.” Students and nonstudents protested the controversial, “classist” guest speaker. The professor was injured during the assaults and subsequently hospitalized.

Antifa counterprotests in Berkeley, California, in 2017 resulted in at least five people being attacked with pepper spray and beaten, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, and 13 arrests. Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer, was among those attacked by the counterprotesters.

These are just a small number of the many threats and acts of violence that have resulted from America’s divisive political hatreds. Along with these incidents, the U.S. is plagued with frequent race-related protests and even riots, including the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and the 2015 riots in Baltimore, Maryland.

The political and ideological division in America is spinning out of control. Gone are the days when Americans could debate political issues in a civil manner while retaining their love and patriotism for all Americans. Nowadays, if someone disagrees with what you believe, violence is becoming the go-to answer.

This trend is shockingly disturbing and disappointing, but it should not be surprising. It is, after all, prophesied in your Bible! “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. … And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable” (Isaiah 1:7; 3:4-5).

Doesn’t this sound like the direction America is heading in today? Rioters burn flags, cars and buildings. Our national leaders are acting like children. Protesters are punching, kicking and stabbing each other. Young people are harassing and disrespecting their elders. America is terribly divided, and this is just the beginning of the sufferings that our nation will endure.

“These divisions are leading to America’s collapse and downfall,” Mr. Hilliker continued.

But there is hope. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained the causes and future outcome of these problems in his July 2015 article “‘Your Cities Are Burned With Fire’”:

Every prophecy that is fulfilled points to the eventual Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Those who listen to and act on God’s warning message now will be spared from the terrible suffering that occurs beforehand.

NEW 2- ARM001-20.jpg

God’s Miraculous Work and a Wonder

God wants your life to be full of wonder! This will energize and greatly motivate you. Here is how you can achieve it.

Read More

A Day for Canadian Potheads to Rejoice

iStock.com/brazzo

A Day for Canadian Potheads to Rejoice

Listen to the October 17, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

Today, Canada becomes the first Western country to legalize marijuana nationwide. Canada, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the helm, is at the forefront of mandating radical-leftist social changes. The legalization of marijuana is one of many dramatic social upheavals that have taken place over the past decades that have transformed Canada from a stable Commonwealth country into a vanguard for immorality. We are living in the days when, like the Prophet Isaiah foretold, peoples and nations declare and celebrate their sins.

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

Download past episodes here.

NEw cover - Untitled-1.jpg

The Inspiring Truth Abortionists Should Know

It’s a fundamental question of what a human life is worth.

Read More

Is the Global Economy About to Crash?

iStock.com/peshkov

Is the Global Economy About to Crash?

When the imf warns of global recession, we should pay attention.

The following is from the Trumpet Brief sent out yesterday. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the over 20,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (imf) published a dire warning about the state of the global economy. In the latest imf Global Financial Stability Report, Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that “large challenges loom for the global economy to prevent a second Great Depression.”

The fact that the imf is warning about a possible second Great Depression got a lot of people’s attention—and rightly so. It’s not hard to find alarmist economists out there who warn about imminent economic collapse. It is far rarer for an organization with the stature of the imf to issue a warning titled “A Decade After the Global Financial Crisis: Are We Safer?”

This is not just fearmongering. The possibility of a second Great Depression becomes more and more probable every day.

One of the main subjects covered in the report is the massive global debt. Remember the 2008 global financial crisis? Nations got out of that crisis by borrowing and printing a ton of money. That got the world out of trouble temporarily. However, 10 years on from that recession, we still haven’t paid off any of the money we borrowed in 2008. In fact, the world is even deeper in debt than it was 10 years ago in the depths of the recession. If another recession hits, how could we stop it from spiraling completely out of control?

“The extended period of ultralow interest rates in advanced economies has contributed to the buildup of financial vulnerabilities,” warned the imf. “The large accumulation of public debt and the erosion of fiscal buffers in many economies following the crisis point to the urgency of rebuilding those defenses to prepare for the next downturn.” The report went on to state, “Some of the crisis management tools deployed in 2008–09 are no longer available … suggesting financial rescues in the future may not be able to follow the same playbook.”

Just before the 2008 crisis, the total debt of states, households and nonfinancial companies equated to more than double (210 percent) the value of of the entire global economy. Now, global debt is at 250 percent of the global economy. It would take everything the world could produce for 2½ years to pay off all of those debts.

This is unsustainable.

The imf report points out that debt is a critical issue at every level of the economy. It’s not just federal government debt; it’s state government debt, local government debt, household debt, business debt, pension debt and more. Just about every level of the global order has borrowed itself into oblivion.

An economic collapse is a danger in its own right. But it would also intensify all the other disturbing trends we see around us.

“Alarmist as that may sound, it’s worth keeping in mind that all the major geopolitical processes we’ve been tracking for the past several years have occurred in a time of relative economic stability. It won’t last forever,” wrote Geopolitical Futures. “When money gets tight, geopolitical fault lines are more likely to rupture.”

Look how divided America is today. What happens when unemployment shoots up, pensions disappear, and cities go bankrupt? The Middle East is a mess already. What happens when economic problems topple two or three regimes? Europe is already struggling to avoid an economic crisis in Italy as it is. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote for the Telegraph on October 10, paraphrasing a projection from think tank Notre Europe: “The eurozone will not survive another global recession as currently designed.”

One of Herbert W. Armstrong’s key forecasts, based on Bible prophecy, was that a massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” He wrote that in 1984.

This is just one prophecy that a global economic crisis would help accelerate.

The Bible warns us that God will take away Britain’s and America’s financial prosperity. Scriptures like Revelation 18 paint a dramatic picture of the new financial system that will replace our current one. The financial crisis of 2008 pushed us toward this prophecy’s fulfilment. A major economic crash would bring us even closer.

For more on where this is leading, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “A Bold Warning: America’s Economic Collapse.”

NEW - JAG-Putin and Xi NEW.jpg

Axis of Authoritarians

The Russia-China alliance is reshaping the world.

Read More

Consequences of the Bavarian Election

Workers remove election posters of Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder, top candidate of the Christian Social Union, in Sonthofen, southern Germany, on October 16, two days after regional elections in Bavaria.
KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Consequences of the Bavarian Election

Are we about to see job vacancies in one of Germany’s most important political parties?

The German state of Bavaria held an election on October 14. The result showed that many are upset—not only with Bavaria’s leadership but also with Berlin’s.

The conservative Christian Social Union (csu) has ruled Bavaria for decades, most of the time with an absolute majority and no need for a coalition partner. But on Monday, the csu suffered its worst election result in 68 years and a rare loss of its absolute majority. Over the past five years, support for the csu has fallen 10.5 percentage points.

Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) received 10.2 percent of the vote and entered the Bavarian parliament. If the upcoming election in Hesse goes as predicted, the five-year-old right-wing party will soon have members seated in every German state.

The Greens Party, which focuses on environmental protection and social justice, won 17.5 percent of the vote and will enter Bavaria’s legislature as the second-strongest party. The Free Voters won 11.6 percent and are considered a good coalition option for the csu.

The Social Democrats (spd) are seen as the biggest losers of the election. The party lost more than half of the votes it had received in 2013. spd national chairwoman Andrea Naples said, “There’s no doubt that one reason for our poor performance in Bavaria was the poor performance of the grand coalition here in Berlin.” German newspaper Die Welt reported: “This Defeat Might Mean the End of Merkel’s Grand Coalition” (Trumpet translation throughout).

Many believe that the historic defeat for the csu and spd will result in a dramatic leadership change. The large loss of over 20 percent collectively by the spd and csu is seen largely as a result of the continued infighting in Berlin. If nothing changes in Berlin, the people will continue to vote for change, no matter who is running Bavaria. spd deputy leader Ralf Stegner told Phoenix tv that “the citizens delivered a resounding slap” to the governing parties and that, unless something changes at the top, “the grand coalition won’t last much longer.”

However, the AfD also underperformed in the election. The party leadership had hoped for big gains in conservative Bavaria, which has been heavily afflicted by the refugee crisis. Deutsche Welle reported October 14:

Part of the AfD’s difficulties may have been the lack of a charismatic lead candidate and the reticence of Catholic voters in the face of some of the populists’ more hard-line positions. The Free Voters, who beat out the AfD for third place, likely also siphoned off some conservative voters disgruntled with the csu.

The csu and AfD have fought over the same pool of voters while neglecting the more liberal parts of the population. Most who voted for the AfD did so mainly to show their opposition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy. The AfD campaigned with the demand that “Merkel has to go.” But beyond strongly opposing Merkel, the AfD had little more to offer Bavarians than the csu already does.

Sensing the disquiet and fearing big losses to the AfD, the csu drifted toward the right to regain voters. But since it is still in a coalition with Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu)—and is therefore tacitly supporting her lenient refugee policy—csu slogans espousing right-wing views came across as disingenuous.

The loss of support for the cdu and csu is causing more and more party members to revolt. In two weeks, state elections will be held in Hesse. If the predictions are right, the Social and Christian Democrats will again suffer historic losses. This might heavily influence the cdu’s next election for party leadership, which is set for December. Merkel currently holds the chancellorship, and she has led the cdu for 18 years, but the recent poor performance in state elections might cost her the leadership of the party and the nation. Opposing candidates seem puny compared to her, but poor state election results and infighting make anything seem possible.

At the same time that Merkel is watching the uproar in her own party, she is also dealing with a coalition partner fighting for its survival. The Social Democrats know that as long as they appear as a mere puppet of Merkel’s, they will never recover their historic losses.

Where are these political earthquakes leading? Who can put an end to them?

Since 2017’s devastating national election results, the csu has tried everything to secure its power in Bavaria. With State Premier Markus Söder, the party had hoped to give the election an untainted face from the turmoil in Berlin; Horst Seehofer was forced to retreat to Berlin. But the attempts to please the largely conservative, Catholic Bavaria failed miserably. The Guardian reported:

“A lot of trust has been lost,” the German chancellor said at a business conference on Monday, a day after her Bavarian allies in the Christian Social Union (csu) were handed their worst result since 1954 in the prosperous southern state.

She said the result had shown that even a thriving economy and high employment were not enough to win over voters. As a consequence, her biggest takeaway from Sunday’s trouncing was that she “must better ensure that this trust is there and also make the results of our work visible,” she said.

Many in the csu had hoped to be able to imitate Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s results. He was able to adopt many of the far-right ideas while at the same time presenting himself as a Christian chancellor. Instead of being rebuked by churches, like the AfD and csu were, Kurz was supported and promoted by high-ranking bishops. He got what the csu and AfD failed to get: the trust of the people. Austrians see in Kurz a leader who is not only protecting them from huge influxes of refugees but also serving as a moral guide. (Read more about how Kurz uses his Catholic faith in his politics in “The Holy Roman Empire Goes Public—Big Time!”, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.)

Germany is lacking charismatic leaders who convey such trust. In his latest Trumpet Brief, Richard Palmer highlighted the prophecies that we need to keep in mind while watching the aftermath of Sunday’s election. He wrote:

Many prophecies throughout the Bible talk about the rise of a strong leader in Germany. Daniel 8:23-24 describe the rise of “a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences.” Verse 25 says that he will be defeated after he stands up “against the Prince of princes,” revealing the time frame for this fierce king’s reign. He will come to power in the very end time, right before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

As Trumpet staff members watch for this leader, our attention has been drawn to politicians from the Christian Social Union. Herbert W. Armstrong thought that perhaps the late chairman of the csu, Franz Josef Strauss, could fulfill this role. Strauss died in 1988, but he is still revered today. (On the 30th anniversary of his death last week, all the top csu leaders attended a ceremony in honor of their political “father figure.”) Our attention was next drawn to former chairman Edmund Stoiber, a Strauss protégé. Then we focused on Stoiber’s protégé: csu rising-star Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

Guttenberg was forced out of politics in 2011. But a major shake-up in the csu and a crisis in German politics could help persuade him to return.

In this brief e-mail, there isn’t space to present the full proof from the Bible of why these scriptures apply to modern Germany—and why we think Guttenberg fulfills this role prophesied in Daniel 8. But we have a free booklet on exactly this subject—titled A Strong German Leader Is Imminent. Order your free copy, and while you’re waiting, have a look at our 90-second video “Who Is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg?”