Islamic State Still a Threat

People stand next to the scene of a car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, on December 22. The attack was claimed by the jihadist Shabaab.
MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic State Still a Threat

As America retreats, Europe seeks to strengthen its position in Syria.

Between December 22 and 25, Islamic State bombings struck Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. The attacks came only days after the United States declared the terrorist group defeated and said its troops would leave Syria. Now, Europe is waking up to a new reality: It must prepare to act alone to keep the Middle East under control.

The first attack happened in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. A suicide bomber approached the rear entry checkpoint of the presidential palace on December 22 and detonated his explosives-laden car. Later, another suicide bomber set off a smaller bomb outside a nearby government-run prison. The plume of smoke from the bombing was visible for miles. At least 26 have died and 20 are wounded, some seriously.

The largest attack was at a government building in eastern Kabul, Afghanistan, also on December 22. The assault began with a car bombing in front of the building, quickly followed by the entrance of armed men who went room to room searching for their victims. At least 357 people were evacuated by police when the shooting began, but many were left inside. Some employees successfully blocked doorways, while others were taken hostage and held during the 8-hour standoff that ensued. The hostages’ presence hampered local police. At least 43 people were killed, including one officer; three other officers were wounded. Nobody claimed responsibility, but the main suspects are local Islamic State or Taliban groups, which are known for carrying out daylight attacks.

On December 25, a car bomb detonated outside the Libyan Foreign Ministry building in Tripoli before three men pelted the building with bullets. Two of the men detonated their suicide vests; the third man tried to enter the building and detonate his vest, but was killed by security before doing so. At least three people were killed and 10 injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Another bombing happened the same day in Iraq. The city of Tal Afar was shaken by a car bomb that detonated outside a café, leaving two dead and 11 injured. Islamic State claimed responsibility. The city had been a stronghold for militants until it was retaken by Iraqi forces in August 2017.

All of these attacks came after United States President Donald Trump declared victory over the Islamic State and announced the withdrawal of all American troops from Syria and about half of all American troops from Afghanistan. “We have won against isis,” he claimed. Just a few days later, however, the four attacks made headlines, with the Islamic State openly claiming responsibility for three of them. What does this mean for the future of Syria and the Middle East?

Clearly, the Islamic State is not vanquished. There is abundant speculation as to why the president made his decision, when even his usual supporters disagreed with him, as did other members of the Syrian coalition. Many are asking whether Mr. Trump made the right decision. Right or wrong, the withdrawal is definitely a milestone—not only for America, but for Europe as well.

The following day, another troubling announcement came when President Trump’s defense secretary, James Mattis, said he would resign.

The U.S.’s decision has caused panic among Europe’s leadership. Carl Bildt, cochair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said there had been “a morning of alarm in Europe” after the president’s announcement.

Germany is waking up to reality in Syria and realizing it will soon need to act. “Mattis was the last man standing for what had been U.S. foreign policy since World War ii,” said German Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Norbert Rottgen. He called Mr. Mattis the only “grown-up in the room.”

Then German politician Norbert Röttgen made this telling statement: “We have to be mature, and we have to rely more on ourselves. How many more wake-up calls do we need in order to engage?

Israel was also shaken by President Trump’s decision. As America withdraws, Iran will have more freedom to get involved in Syria. This is unwelcome news for Israel, which will need to look somewhere other than America for its security. “Mattis believed that a strong American presence in the Middle East served as a buffer to Iran and other hostile elements,” said Michael Oren, the Israeli deputy minister in the prime minister’s cabinet and former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. “Today as in the past, Israel will have to defend itself with its own forces to deal with the great threats in the north.”

Each time America withdraws, and each time the Islamic State carries out another attack, Europe sees more clearly the need for action and self-reliance. The Trumpet has followed this trend for years. We have long forecast that Syria would be influenced by Iran, only to eventually align with a resurgent Europe. As our readers know, we look at world events from a unique perspective, one that is proven and credible: that of Bible prophecy. In this light, America’s retreat, Israel’s defense dilemma, and Europe’s advance take on much greater significance.

In his booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes about the results of America’s retreat from the Middle East. Prophecy describes a time when America will be so weakened and inwardly focused because of domestic troubles that Israel will look to Germany and Europe for safety. German-led European armies will surround Jerusalem, giving the impression that peace is just around the corner. But then something tragic happens. He writes:

Why is this European army surrounding Jerusalem? At this point, the main power of the Arab world will already be destroyed. This army has just conquered the king of the south and is probably there to keep peace in Jerusalem. The Holy Roman Empire will undoubtedly make some kind of a peace pact to protect Jerusalem. It will look like the world is about to have peace. The beast power will enter into Jerusalem. At that point, this European power will double-cross the Jews (see Ezekiel 23). It will become one of the greatest double crosses in the history of man. At this point, people will realize that Judah’s “wound” leads to a cataclysmic end! Suddenly, in a moment, the Great Tribulation begins—the worst time of suffering ever on Earth.

President Trump’s unexpected decision to withdraw is leading to yet another Bible prophecy coming to pass in the Middle East. It will turn out to be disastrous, both for America and the nation of Israel. But there is also hope in what you are seeing. As this prophecy comes to pass, the return of Jesus Christ draws near. Only then will there be guaranteed peace for all mankind. To learn more about the hope-filled truth in these Bible prophecies, and to gain vital insight into events in the Middle East, request your free copy of Jerusalem in Prophecy.

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Japan Considers Sending Warships to China’s Fleet Review

A navy flag flies behind sailors of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force standing to attention to see off the destroyer Harusame.
TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

Japan Considers Sending Warships to China’s Fleet Review

China and Japan enter a new era of cooperation.

Japan is considering sending its warships to the Chinese fleet review in Qingdao, China, on April 23, as the two countries look to deepen military and diplomatic ties. Participation in the fleet review would be one of many moves taken to increase cooperation between the two countries under the mechanism agreement that went into operation in June 2018.

A fleet review is a naval event during which ships from a particular navy are showcased in front of the nation’s leader or representative. Fleet reviews are generally intended to demonstrate a nation’s naval capacity.

If Japan decides to send warships to China’s fleet review, it will mark the nation’s first naval deployment to China since 2011. The day of the review coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of China’s navy. Japan is expected to attend the parade on this occasion, which would be another sign of warming relations between the two countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to revive mutual naval visits. From 2007 to 2011, the Japanese and Chinese navies conducted joint naval exercises. These drills stopped when Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese) in 2012, straining bilateral ties. Japan is now considering inviting Chinese warships to its own fleet review in the coming autumn to further boost military cooperation with China.

China and Japan held their first annual talks on December 26. Under the maritime and aerial communication mechanism agreed upon in June, the nations have agreed to establish a code of conduct for their navies to prevent future conflicts. The communication mechanism “will help the defense departments of the two countries enhance mutual understanding, strengthen mutual trust, avoid misapprehension and misjudgment, and uphold peace and stability in the region,” said Hua Chunying, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

2018 saw many breakthroughs in China-Japan relations. In May, Xi called Abe on the phone for the first time. A few weeks later, Premier Li Keqiang made an official visit to Japan, eight years after the last visit by a Chinese Premier. In October, Abe visited China and met with Xi in what was viewed as a “historic turning point” in the countries’ bilateral relations. Xi told Abe that he would “seriously” consider visiting Japan in 2019, which would mark the president’s first visit in 11 years. These diplomatic exchanges have led to a normalization of relations between China and Japan, resulting in Japan’s possible participation in China’s fleet review in April.

Many uncertainties still remain in the China-Japan relationship. But according to Bible prophecy, an alliance between China and other Asian nations, including Japan, will form in the coming years. Our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy states:

Russia, China and Japan will likely combine in Asian alliances, with the ultimate intention of forcing the U.S. out of the Russian “sphere of influence” and out of the Western Pacific. Then, as has been the strategy of the EU, Asian political and economic cooperation will ultimately progress to a military and security alliance.

Ezekiel 38 prophesies that a massive bloc of Asian nations, led primarily by Russia and secondarily by China, will form during the end time. The book of Revelation calls this Asian bloc “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). In Ezekiel 38:6, Japan enters the picture. It reads, “Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.”

“Gomer fathered the Japanese people,” Russia and China in Prophecy states. “Togarmah also factored into the ancestry of Japan and some of these other nations.”

This indicates that Japan will be part of the biblically prophesied “kings of the east” alliance. With Japan’s thriving economy and growing military power, and China’s outreach to Japan, the China-Japan alliance will form very soon.

To understand why China and Japan are certain to join the biblically prophesied “kings of the east” alliance, please request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy. This booklet explains the pivotal roles China and Japan will play in the near future. It explains in detail how a Russia-China alliance, which includes Japan, will affect the world. It provides a thorough understanding of how Bible prophecy forecasts the rise of the kings of the east alliance and how it will lead to Jesus Christ’s return. This booklet will also give you tremendous hope!

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A Glimpse Beyond the Borders of the Known World

Ultima Thule
NASA

A Glimpse Beyond the Borders of the Known World

The most-distant object ever explored, and you

In the early hours of the morning (5:30 a.m. utc), nasa’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a flyby of the most-distant object ever explored by man.

2014 MU69 is a chunk of ice or rock over 4 billion miles from the sun. nasa nicknamed the object “Ultima Thule,” after the Latin term meaning beyond the borders of the known world.

It’s an apt name. The New Horizon’s previously big splash was its flyby of the unimaginably distant dwarf planet Pluto in 2015 (and yes, scientists were right to downgrade Pluto from being a planet—bring on the hate mail). Now it is another billion miles further out, into the remote ring of ice and rocks known as the Kuiper belt. Ultima Thule will be the first object within the Kuiper belt to be studied in detail (not including Pluto).

As I write this, I have the nasa press conference live feed on in the background. It’s thrilling to have an object we know so little about, on the brink of being revealed. Yesterday, we barely even knew what it looked like—the only images we had showed a vague smudge. Over the next few minutes, days and months, more and more data will come—revealing a brand-new world before our eyes.

Here’s the latest image:

At some point tomorrow (January 2) we should have much better pictures.

So much about this mission is hugely impressive. Scientists discovered Ultima Thule in 2014, and in about a year discovered enough about it to predict exactly where it would be on Jan. 1, 2019. New Horizons changed course to begin heading to Ultima Thule in the autumn of 2015.

But there is something even more impressive about Ultima Thule—its connection to you.

Ultima Thule is part of a huge number of objects in the outer reaches of the solar system. Over the last century, astronomers have gradually come to realize that our solar system is surrounded by massive clouds of debris.

The Kuiper belt is the smallest and closest of these debris clouds. The Oort Cloud is much larger and much further away—stretching from around 100 billion miles from the sun to 10 trillion miles. That’s 100,000 times further than the distance between the Earth and the sun.

Based on the number of Oort Cloud objects that get thrown closer to the solar system, where we can see them, scientists estimate there are around 400 billion objects out there. Other estimates put the number of objects at 1 trillion. Scientists’ models of how the solar system formed don’t predict anything close to that amount of debris. Where it all came from is one of the mysteries of astronomy. This is part of the reason scientists are so excited about the Ultima Thule flyby. They hope it will shed light on how the solar system was formed, and why there are so many shattered rocks and shards of ice.

Scientists aren’t the only ones who are excited about this. Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of our predecessor magazine the Plain Truth, also got excited about nasa missions. On July 20, 1976, he arrived at Ambassador Auditorium just before 5 a.m. so he could see the first pictures arrive from the surface of Mars, sent by the Viking i probe.

Here’s what he wrote to co-workers after seeing those pictures:

The pictures showed a Martian surface as a sandy desert littered with rocks—from very minute size up to perhaps a foot or more in diameter.

But I had to think—it showed precisely what I had expected from what is revealed from the God of creation in the Bible. It was a dry, barren surface of decay and futility—total unproductiveness.

Few indeed have any remote conception of the fact that God Almighty reveals facts about this universe—planets such as Mars, their origin, their present state, and the causes and reasons thereof. Sometimes it seems futile that many of the best minds of humans are devoted to a lifetime of vain speculation, based on erroneous hypotheses totally untrue.

I had to realize that from this scientific laboratory, right here in Pasadena, great minds are, in fact, uncovering facts actually revealed in the book they do not understand and probably do not accept—the revealed facts and truth of the Eternal living God!

Romans 8:21 tells us that “the creation”—the whole universe—is in “bondage to decay” (Revised Standard Version). This is why Mr. Armstrong was excited to see those Mars photos. He wrote, “[Y]ou can realize the thrill I experienced, seeing in our own House of God Auditorium, the first, real, close-up photographs from the very surface of Mars, confirming the state the Bible reveals such planets are in today.”

The New Horizons mission confirms this on an even greater scale. It is not just one or two planets subjected to this decay. Our entire solar system is surrounded by a vast, dead, decayed cloud of debris on a scale we cannot imagine. The Bible tells us the origin of the universe and explains all this decay.

But the same passage tells us that this decay will end. Verse 21 states that “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God” (rsv).

The universe will finally be free of this decay when God’s people are born as His sons. Romans 8 describes the whole universe yearning for this time. “No more amazing, awesome, eye-opening passage could be written!” Mr. Armstrong wrote in his book The Incredible Human Potential. “It is so astonishingly revealing one doesn’t fully grasp it just reading quickly through.”

Hebrews 2:8 tells us that “all things” will be put in subjection to man. In Hebrews 1, Moffatt translates “all things” as “the universe.”

All things—the Oort Cloud and far beyond—will be put in subjection to man. And that is when its decay will end. We will have the awesome responsibility of cleaning up that decay.

Mr. Armstrong concluded that co-worker letter writing: “This is all part of the wonderful true gospel—the good news of the Kingdom of God, soon now to come—the gospel the world has not heard from the first century a.d. until now—the most important work on the face of the Earth today—revealing this glorious good news of the future glory of man in his salvation—and what we shall accomplish throughout the entire universe!”

That vision is why Mr. Armstrong went to Ambassador Auditorium before 5 a.m. to see images of a dead planet being transmitted back from space. The Bible is full of scriptures of that vision. God says in Isaiah 51:16, for example, that He intends to “plant the heavens.”

“Understand this deeply!” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in our Christian-living magazine, Royal Vision. “God is going to plant the heavens! … God is going to undertake a massive building project out in the cosmos to make the universe exquisite! Do you really believe that? God is going to extend His government throughout the universe. He is giving you the opportunity to help Him plant the heavens!”

God is preparing people to be born into His Family. These people will help clean up the decay and destruction in the universe and beautify it. That is why these pictures from nasa should be exciting to all of us.

“When we hear stories like Gene Cernan’s [the last astronaut to walk on the moon] and view pictures of the universe, our future among the stars becomes more real to us,” writes Mr. Flurry in The New Throne of David. “Right now the universe is in a state of decay. We will soon change that.”

You can gain a greater vision of that future with our full-color booklet Our Awesome Universe Potential. It will show you why the universe is presently in a state of decay. It will take you through, in detail, what the Bible says about your future. It is full of pictures and facts to make that vision really come alive. Order your free copy here.

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The Joy of Giving

iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

The Joy of Giving

A new study proves a biblical law that has existed from eternity.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Many people quote this biblical statement arbitrarily. It sounds nice, but few realize how true it really is. Two new studies, released on December 20, prove that blessings do result from giving.

Ed O’Brien, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Samantha Kassirer, from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, paired up to investigate happiness for the Association for Psychological Science. They found that in order to sustain joy, you must “experience something new.” If something is repeated over and over, the initial joy produced disappears quickly. Except, it would seem, in giving: Giving to others provides more lasting joy.

Repeated giving, even in identical ways to identical others, may continue to feel relatively fresh and relatively pleasurable the more that we do it,” O’Brien said. The result? The joy of giving lasts longer than the joy from getting.

In the first experiment, 96 college students, separated into two groups, were given $5 every day for five days. One group was told to spend the money on the same thing for themselves every day. The other group was told to spend the money on others, the same way for all five days (e.g., charity donation, tip jar at the same café, etc). At the end of each day, each student reported how he or she felt spending the money and rated his or her happiness level.

Both groups ended day one with the same level of joy. But by the end of day five, those spending the money on themselves reported decreased happiness. Those who gave to others, however, maintained the same level of overall happiness throughout the five days.

A second experiment reaped similar results. In this one, 502 individuals played an online puzzle game for 10 rounds. At the end of each round that they won, they earned a nickel. One group of participants kept the nickel and the other group donated it to their chosen charity.

The reports after each round showed that those who gave maintained higher overall happiness for longer periods, while those who kept the winnings, lost joy much more quickly. Researchers said that this result remained true even after taking into account factors such as the time and effort that it takes to give a donation.

Researchers believe that these decreases are the result of focusing on outcomes. When receiving something like a paycheck, we think in terms of comparison. This focus distracts us from the feelings produced by each experience, causing us to feel that we never have enough. Each act of giving, however, does not cause this comparison. It tends to excite fresh feelings each time.

Not only this, but previous studies have found that giving sends your brain into “helper’s high.” This has been linked to a decrease in stress, blood pressure and depression, while increasing self-esteem and happiness, leading to a longer life.

Once again, science correlates with the Bible.

With all these emerging studies, one would think that people would be giving like never before and overflowing with happiness. But this is not the case.

The World Giving Index reported last year that generosity is declining. Of the 139 countries studied, the 10 richest countries—those with the highest gross domestic product per capita—declined in their generosity index score. Those with the most to give appear to be the most selfish, a trend that correlates with rising depression and mental health problems in these countries. The evidence is everywhere: Depression and selfishness are closely linked. So also is generosity and happiness!

God knew this. He created this way of life that produces happiness and every good thing that comes from giving. His whole way of life is the way of give!

The word give appears 880 times in the King James Bible. Clearly, God places great emphasis on this!

Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Trumpet’s predecessor magazine, the Plain Truth, continually spoke on God’s way of give versus Satan’s way of get, represented by the two trees in the Garden of Eden. In The Missing Dimension in Sex, he wrote:

[T]here exist, overall, only two basic ways of life—two divergent philosophies. They travel in opposite directions. I state them very simply: One is the way of give—the other of get. …

Few realize this vital fact: The “give” way is actually an invisible, yet inexorable, spiritual law in active motion. It is summarized, in principle, by the Ten Commandments. … It is a law as real, as inflexibly relentless as the law of gravity! It governs and regulates all human relationships! …

If the Creator is a God of love … Could He have neglected to provide a way—a CAUSE—to produce peace, happiness, prosperity, successful lives, abundant well-being?

I repeat: There has to be a cause for every effect.

If there is to be peace, happiness, abundant well-being, something must cause it! God could not be God without providing a cause for every desired good.

God’s give way produces happiness, abundance and every desired good to those who live it. And science supports this eternal law.

Try it! Live the way of give and your life will run over with good fruits. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over …” (Luke 6:38). Your Father in heaven wishes to give you “good things” so that you may “prosper and be in health” (Matthew 7:11; 3 John 2). God the Father is the greatest giver of all!

Becoming like Him and experiencing His perfect joy results from giving. This is a law that will always produce “peace, happiness, prosperity, successful lives, abundant well-being.”

For more on this way of give, the very definition of love, read Stephen Flurry’s article “A Word About Love.” Remember Acts 20:35: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

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Czar for Life? Russia Considers Constitution Change to Keep Putin in Power

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Czar for Life? Russia Considers Constitution Change to Keep Putin in Power

‘If there is Putin, there is Russia. If there is no Putin, there is no Russia.’

Russian officials discussed the idea on December 25 of revising the nation’s Constitution in a way that would allow President Vladimir Putin to remain in power after his current term ends.

During a meeting of the ruling United Russia Party, Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the State Duma, broached the issue. “There are questions in society, esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich,” he said, addressing Putin in reverential fashion. “This is the time when we could answer these questions, without in any way threatening the fundamental provisions [of the Constitution].” He added: “The law, even one like the Basic Law, isn’t dogma.”

Volodin also reminded party members that the current Russian Constitution was written 25 years ago during a time when the people of Russia had “lost faith in the authorities.” The situation is different now. And he said the quarter-century anniversary may be a suitable time to reevaluate some aspects of it in light of new circumstances.

Vasily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, spoke to the Trumpet about Volodin’s remarks on December 28. “The Constitution is criticized from all sides for a number of norms including, for example, the priority of the international law on the Russian national law,” he said, adding that “the current Constitution is hated by most nationalist and left-leaning groups.”

Putin himself seems to share in these sentiments toward the Constitution, and has circumvented its restrictions in the past. The most notable instance came in 2008, after he had served two consecutive four-year terms as president. The law says, “One person may not hold the position of Russian president for more than two terms in a row.” So for the next four years, Putin handed the presidency over to his subservient protégé, Dmitry Medvedev, and Putin became prime minister. But during this time, Putin continued to operate as the ruler of Russia in all but official title, essentially using Medvedev as a puppet. Also in 2008, Medvedev signed a law extending the presidential term to six years upon the next election. Putin won the 2012 presidential election, making his rulership official once again, and in March he was reelected for a fourth term, which means he remains president until at least 2024.

After this year’s election win, Putin was asked whether he might again transition out of the presidency from 2024 to 2030, then run again in 2030. He answered, “What am I going to do, stay until I’m 100 years old? No.”

But last month, Putin seemed to open the discussion of changing the Constitution so that he could stay on after 2024. The Russian Constitution is “not some fossilized legal construct but a living, developing organism,” he said. During a press conference two weeks ago, Putin said any revisions to the Basic Law should be “a matter for broad civic discussion.”

Last week’s statements by Vyacheslav Volodin show that Putin’s subordinates are taking their cues from him, and possibly preparing the everyday Russians and the rest of the world for a constitutional change. The Kremlin’s tight grip on Russia’s political system means it could swiftly pass such a change if Putin supported it.

Few in Russia see a candidate who could effectively replace the man who has controlled the nation—whether officially as president or unofficially as prime minister—for the last 18 years. As Volodin said in 2014, “If there is Putin, there is Russia. If there is no Putin, there is no Russia.”

The Bible Foretells a Russian ‘Prince’

The Trumpet keeps a watchful eye on Vladimir Putin and his grip on Russian power because of what Bible prophecy says on the topic. Around a.d. 90, the Apostle John was inspired to write a striking prophecy: “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:16). That is discussing a military force of 200 million soldiers, which is more people than were even alive on Earth at the time that John wrote.

Bible passages give several important details about this largest armed force ever amassed on Earth. Revelation 16:12 designates the bloc as “the kings of the east,” showing it to be a group of Asian countries. A prophecy in Ezekiel 38 provides still more information: “And there is a word of [the Lord] unto me, saying, ‘Son of man, set thy face unto Gog, of the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy concerning him” (verses 1-2; Young’s Literal Translation). Meshech and Tubal are ancient names designating modern Russian cities. And Rosh is a variation of an ancient name for Russia, once called Rus. Many encyclopedias and commentaries, such as the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary, recognize this.

The chapter discusses the exploits of the forces led by this “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,” and also discusses the eventual defeat of this mighty power. So who is this powerful Russian “prince”?

In the September 2014 Trumpet, editor in chief Gerald Flurry gave the answer:

I strongly believe Vladimir Putin is going to lead the 200 million-man army. Just look at the power he already has. Can you think of any other Russian politician who could become so powerful and have the will to lead Russia into the crisis of crises? I see nobody else on the horizon who could do that. And only a tiny few years remain for the prince of Rosh to appear! … This much is absolutely certain: The restoring of Russia’s power by Vladimir Putin—the prince of Russia—was prophesied! He has already solidly allied Russia with China. The prophecy about the prince of Russia includes that main alliance.

Parts of this “prince of Rosh” prophecy are already fulfilled, and it seems likely that Putin will remain in power to fulfill even more of it. So whether Putin alters Russia’s Constitution or if the world descends into conflict before the question becomes pressing, the Trumpet believes he will be at the helm of Russia during the most tumultuous period in mankind’s strife-filled history.

But this is not all bad news.

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry writes that, though catastrophe looms on the horizon, there is great hope connected to these prophecies about Russia. He writes that the fact Putin is now in power proves that the most hope-filled event in mankind’s history is near: “Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign, that Jesus Christ is about to return!” he writes. “This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible.”

Mr. Flurry continues: “What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away.”

To understand more about both the danger and the hope, order your free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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Cyberattack Reminds Us About America’s Achilles’ Heel

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Cyberattack Reminds Us About America’s Achilles’ Heel

Computer malware attacks threaten U.S. infrastructure, personal data and military security.

Several of America’s best-known newspapers suffered printing and distribution delays over the weekend as the result of a cyberattack. Staff at the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union–Tribune noted that the attack came from outside the United States, but stopped short of accusing a foreign government. The attack targeted the networks of Tribune Publishing, which prints the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Union–Tribune, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Baltimore Sun. The Saturday distribution of all five papers was affected before the Tribune removed the malicious computer programs from its networks.

“Computer malware attacks on infrastructure, while relatively rare, are hardly new,” reported the New York Times. “Russia has been credibly accused of shutting down power grids in Ukraine and a petrochemical plant in Saudi Arabia, Iran crippled a casino in Las Vegas, and the United States and Israel attacked a nuclear enrichment plant in Iran. But this would be the first known attack on major newspaper printing operations, and if politically motivated, it would define new territory in recent attacks on the media.”

Since computer malware attacks are frequently the work of criminal networks, a foreign government may not have supported the cyberattack on Tribune Publishing. But this attack still illustrates how vulnerable America is to cyberattack. In March, representatives from the federal government, security firms and private investors met in Austin, Texas, and issued a warning that Americans are in for a rough future if they do not get more serious about cybersecurity. Computer software has made it easy for small countries and private hackers to carry out dangerous attacks.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry emphasized in the January 1995 Philadelphia Trumpet that the primary weakness of the U.S. military is its dependence on information technology. If an enemy of the U.S. could sabotage this technology, it could conquer the nation, he wrote. One of the main ways to sabotage information systems is cyberwarfare.

In his article, Mr. Flurry described an end-time Bible prophecy that could be fulfilled by a cyberattack.

Ezekiel 7:14-15 say, “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. The sword is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.”

The verse is actually a prophecy for the end time. “The trumpet of war is to be blown in Israel—mainly America and Britain,” Mr. Flurry wrote in an updated version of his 1995 article. “It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs! Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of computer terrorism?”

Intoxicated with success, Americans have forgotten God and rejected His law. They trust in their military to save them from calamity, but Bible prophecy says that when calamity comes, the military will not respond. With one successful and powerful strategic cyberattack, crucial high-tech fortifications could be cast down. That is why the one and only path toward true safety and security is repentance toward God.

To understand more about what the Bible says concerning America’s misplaced trust in military technology, read Mr. Flurry’s updated article “America’s Achilles’ Heel—and Germany.”