Germany Takes Its Seat at the UN Security Council

2019 brings an intense focus on German foreign policy.

2019 promises to be a big year for German foreign policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel devoted a good chunk of her traditional New Year’s Day speech to talking about Germany’s role in the world.

She made clear her opposition to United States President Donald Trump. “In such a situation, we must stand up more for our convictions; we must argue and fight for them,” she said. “And we must take on more responsibility in our own interests.”

She said Germany would be spending more on its military and promised to make the EU “more robust and more capable.”

The same day Germany took an important step toward fulfilling those promises. Germany took its place as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

To get the seat, it had to be voted in by the UN, and it was supported by 184 out of 193 countries—which gives a sign of Germany’s international standing.

It will be on the Security Council for two years. It has been there before, but it will now have an elevated role in foreign policy.

It’s a role it wants to keep. Deutsche Welle noted, “Over the next two years, Germany’s main concern will be to try to ensure that the European Union as a whole is given a permanent seat.”

Deutsche Welle also wrote, “Many observers say it should have a permanent seat—not least because the country has gained worldwide respect and recognition in recent years by participating in UN security missions, which the UN Security Council issues mandates for.”

It went on to list all the many UN missions Germany has played a major role in.

It’s really interesting to see Germany stepping into the foreign-policy spotlight, at the same time that there is a huge break between America and Germany.

We’ve been forecasting this break for years, saying that Germany would not be America’s friend. More and more, we are seeing Germany take the lead as the anti-American power in Europe, rallying Europe against America, unifying Europe against America.

The rise of Germany was a key forecast of Herbert W. Armstrong. He began forecasting that from May 1945, when Germany was lying in rubble after World War ii. And he did so because of what the Bible prophesies for Germany: that it will be a major power.

The Bible also says Germany will become known as a great peacemaker. Hosea 5 prophesies that Israel will turn to Germany for help in its peace process. Other scriptures talk about Germany coming into the Holy Land as a peacekeeping force—but then taking over.

Germany’s rising profile as an international leader, and especially at the UN, paves the way for those prophecies. As that Deutsche Welle article said, Germany is already well known for its participation in peacekeeping missions.

To learn more about this prophesied role as a peacekeeper, read our free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy. And to keep up to date with Germany’s rise and what it means for the world, subscribe to our free Trumpet magazine. The cover article for the latest issue, titled “France Rejects America—and Empowers Germany!”, is on this subject.

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Il Capitano Matteo Salvini: Italy’s Crisis or Opportunity?

Italy’s crisis may contribute to Europe’s prophesied transformation and the rise of yet another strong Catholic leader.

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What a 20th-Century Watchman Means for Today

Winston Churchill statue near the Big Ben clock tower and houses of Parliament
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What a 20th-Century Watchman Means for Today

Lessons for our time from Winston Churchill

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.

I do not consider myself an expert on Sir Winston Churchill—not by a long shot.

I’ve watched a few documentaries about his life, read a couple of smaller books, and perhaps a few dozen articles. This has led me to a general understanding of his place in history and what Western civilization owes to his leadership in preserving the world from a Nazi takeover during World War ii.

But not too much more than that.

It was because of this limitation, and also the advice of Trumpet managing editor Joel Hilliker, that I began reading Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman, by editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

After getting halfway through the 72-page booklet, I strongly recommend that you order your own free copy today—regardless of where you are in your study of Churchill’s life.

I’ve been amazed by how many lessons can be applied to our time right now, especially as they relate to the failure in political leadership to accept the truth, the unreliability of the press to report the truth, human nature’s desire to listen to comfortable deceptions rather than hard truths, and the personal responsibility involved in listening and heeding a true watchman’s voice.

Here are a few quotes from the booklet that stood out to me. (I’m yet to get up to the actual war, so these are all reflections on the pre-war years.)

As before World War ii, this generation has to grapple with living for many years in unreality. Our big battle in foreign policy is not to give in to rock-hard tyrants.

As the danger worsened, the leaders and Parliament kept reassuring the public with false statements. Being self-deceived, they deceived the people. The leaders were too weak to face the hard truth.

“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure.” –Winston S. Churchill

If mankind is unteachable, it’s not just ignorance. It’s refusing to face the truth.

The “endless repetition” of our foreign-policy weakness plagues us. We fail to remember history, and we get lost in the present. As we make nation-destroying mistakes, the press and people remain indifferent—just as we did in the past.

The people did not want to think about the bloody dangers of a world explosion. They didn’t want to be disturbed from their comfortable routine and pleasures. … The same is true today. We face a far worse world explosion. But we are too glutted on sports and entertainment to heed a strong warning.

Here is one final quote from page 18 that really got me thinking—and it really should you too:

The Times newspaper, perhaps the best in the world at that time, had a headline which proclaimed, “A Chance to Rebuild.” The Times discussed rebuilding just before the greatest destruction this world has ever experienced! The world-famous newspaper helped lull people to sleep. It had a glorious chance to help Churchill watch and warn. Instead, it made Churchill’s job much harder! …

The press failed to learn a crucial lesson. Therefore, don’t expect them to be receptive toward a strong warning today about a dangerous and militant Germany rising once again in Europe, which is about to shatter the peace of this world!

Reading this, I found myself wanting to be transported back to the late 1930s to understand the public sense in terms of a coming war. How was Nazi Germany spoken of on the street among the regular people? Were they worried? Were they too consumed by their day-to-day activities to not give a thought of another war?

In hindsight, it’s easy to look back on Britons of the late ’30s and think that they were foolish for not heeding Churchill’s call.

The honest truth, however, is that if we were living in Britain in the 1930s, there is every reason to believe we would have followed along with the majority and not heeded Churchill’s warning.

He was preaching a hard message. He spoke of the inevitability of war, when the rest of the political establishment and the press were talking about peace. The people no longer had the stomach for war.

So that brings us to today: Given that we would have likely had the same reaction of those in Britain prior to World War ii, are we sure we are not making the same mistake today?

The fact that you are reading this Trumpet Brief is a good sign that you aren’t being hoodwinked by prophets of peace.

Nevertheless, what I’m learning as I go through this booklet is that just as there was not a general sense of imminent danger before World War ii, neither will there be today—even as the storm clouds gather toward a final climactic war.

I can’t expect to read about the dangers of a German-led Europe in the mainstream press. The press won’t be talking about the horrific outcome of a growing alliance between Russia and China. Nor will it be talking about Iran’s quest for domination, not just inside the Middle East, but beyond. Nor will it talk about the swift demise of the modern nations of Israel.

Some may be waiting for a Winston Churchill type to save Western civilization again. The Bible, however, says that is not going to happen this time around.

But that doesn’t mean we are without a watchman to ensure we are alerted to what’s really happening. God would not allow it.

The question is: Are we listening to the watchman and letting that message impact our lives?

A really great place to start answering that question is by reading Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman, by Gerald Flurry.

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China’s tightening grip should concern ‘anyone in any country.’

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In the 21st-Century Space Race, China Is Winning

A simulated landing process of Chang’e-4 lunar probe is seen on a monitor at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, China, on January 3.
Xinhua/Jin Liwang/Getty Images

In the 21st-Century Space Race, China Is Winning

China’s prophesied rise in space exposes the dangerous weakness of the West.

China achieved a world first on January 3 when its moon lander, Chang’e-4, made a soft landing on the far side of the moon. This is another triumph in China’s quest to dominate the space race of the 21st century, and it will have important consequences for us on Earth.

Many probes have photographed or crash-landed onto the moon’s far side, but Chang’e-4 is the first to make a “soft” lunar landing, a type of landing where no serious damage occurs to the spacecraft. This is a tricky maneuver because signal transmissions from Earth are blocked by the moon.

To solve the problem, China came up with a simple solution: deploy a signal relay satellite to orbit the moon before the probe’s arrival.

The rover will now explore the Aitken Basin, one of the moon’s oldest and largest-known craters. Located on the South Pole, it is about five miles deep and 1,550 miles wide. It covers a quarter of the moon’s surface.

While Chang’e-4 begins exploring the moon, it is important to remember that China’s actions in space will directly affect us here on Earth.

China’s triumphant moon landing is recognized as a sign of its ambitions to become a world leader in space. Though it entered the space race later, China quickly gained momentum and already has audacious plans to dominate it.

One reason China has caught up so quickly is that it is learning from the Americans.

Investigations in the United States have revealed that the Chinese are trying to dominate the space industry in a similar way to how they are attempting to monopolize the 5G mobile network.

Their space strategy is basically the same: invest in American companies. In one instance, China’s Tencent Holdings invested in American company Moon Express, a partner of nasa. In another, Boeing canceled a satellite order from Global IP after discovering that China had invested $200 million in the company.

In addition to making gains from American companies, China is also pouring time and money into its domestic space programs.

The pace of development in China is incredibly fast. In 2018, China launched 36 rockets, more than any other nation. The U.S. launched only 30.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Namrata Goswami, an expert on China’s space program at Auburn University, who said, “China sets long-term goals and meets them. They see the moon as a vast energy resource for sustainable development. Their plan is to industrialize the moon.”

China wants to establish a manned lunar base, with hopes to land astronauts on the moon by 2030, from which it would aim to lead the world in further space exploration. It has already created a fully functional satellite navigation system. It has previously demonstrated its ability to shoot down satellites. It has even made plans to create an artificial moon, reducing or eliminating the need for streetlamps in specific areas.

Although making an artificial moon is unlikely at present and is not China’s highest priority, it reveals the spirit behind the nation’s space program. It shows what China’s leadership wants to achieve. Conquering land and sea is not enough; China must also subjugate space.

“The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger,” President Xi Jinping said in 2013 soon after he became president.

While China plots to colonize the moon, America fails to strengthen nasa, falling further behind.

nasa’s budget is only 0.5 percent of yearly spending. In 2018, it received just $20.7 billion, compared to the $987 billion given to social security and $589.5 billion given to defense each year.

China’s National Space Agency is the second-best funded in the world behind the U.S. And judging by what they are accomplishing, they are much more efficient than their American rivals.

China’s moon landing is much more than just an interesting diversion. It has sent a powerful message to the world, and specifically to the United States.

The same technology that gets a rover to the moon can also deliver an anti-satellite missile to its target. China has already proved itself capable of shooting down satellites.

America’s military relies on satellites. It depends on them for its civil and military needs, for everything from weather forecasts to phone service to communicating on the battlefield to detecting hostile missile launches.

America has had years to grow accustomed to being the only power with significant space capabilities. It has grown to rely on its systems, while at the same time not really having to defend them.

Now, it can be seriously challenged by China. And America’s space systems are like anything fragile: hard to build, hard to defend, but much easier to damage or destroy.

For years, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has pointed to America’s technological dependence as its “Achilles’ heel.” It may surprise you that this exact situation was prophesied more than 2,000 years ago in your Bible.

Bible prophecy clearly shows that America’s weakness is its dependence on technology. In an article titled “America’s Achilles’ Heel—and Germany,” Mr. Flurry wrote about how America’s enemies will exploit this weakness:

I believe one key end-time Bible prophecy could well be fulfilled through … cyberterrorism: “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” (Ezekiel 7:14). The trumpet of war is to be blown in Israel—mainly America and Britain. … 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?

America will be attacked—but nobody will act. This is a real-life situation that is very possible in today’s technology-filled world; yet your Bible described it thousands of years ago. We must pay close attention when we see events heading this way.

America’s fall will involve China and Germany. Other prophecies in Ezekiel and Isaiah describe a German-dominated Europe briefly aligning with Asian nations to economically besiege America. After America is out of the picture, these two superpowers will turn on each other, further escalating an already unprecedented time of suffering. The world-swallowing conflict that will result will be so intense that if Jesus Christ did not intervene, all humanity would be wiped out (Matthew 24:22).

The good news, however, is that He will intervene. As we have written in our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy:

There is wonderfully good news in the midst of all these horrors. Both of these armies will gather in Armageddon to fight each other, but will end up fighting Christ at His Second Coming! The “king of fierce countenance”—the leader of the beast power—will try to fight Christ, and will be “broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). The armies will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them (Revelation 17:12-14). All of these evil forces will be soundly defeated! The conclusion of that battle will mark the beginning of a new, peaceful age for the whole Earth!

You need to stay informed on how China’s rise is fulfilling Bible prophecy. To read more about the time of hope and lasting peace that lies just beyond the suffering, request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.

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China’s Plan to Become the World’s Next Superpower

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China’s Plan to Become the World’s Next Superpower

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.

The face of the planet is being changed by hundreds of major infrastructure projects that are suddenly and simultaneously underway. In Pakistan, a new deepwater port is being linked to a vast 2,000-mile network of road and rail. In Montenegro, the country’s first border-to-border motorway is being laid through the nation’s roughest terrain. In remote Kazakhstan, a bustling town is springing up from scratch around a massive new rail terminal. In Laos, a new bridge has just broken the world record for the longest span between two piers. And in Rwanda, a new railway is connecting the landlocked country to Tanzania’s port of Dar es Salaam.

The common factor in all these projects is that they are parts of an initiative by one nation: China.

“This will be a great undertaking,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in 2013 when the plans for this globe-girdling initiative were first unveiled.

In the time since, Xi’s China has been fixated on making the “great undertaking” a reality. It is called the Belt and Road Initiative, or the bri. Nearly 70 nations have signed on to this “project of the century” so far. Altogether, it will connect 60 percent of the global population, closely linking three continents and spreading its extensions into the other four. At an estimated cost of $5 trillion, it is the most ambitious infrastructure venture in all of mankind’s history.

“The Belt and Road Initiative simply blows out of the water anything else that’s been attempted in human history,” said William F. Laurence, research professor at James Cook University in Australia, in a recent interview with Nexus Media. “It’ll affect every facet of human endeavor, in one way or another.”

That’s a striking statement. And what’s even more striking is that the Belt and Road Initiative has one overarching and underpinning purpose: To give China dominance over world trade.

As journalist Sam Ellis wrote in April of 2018, the bri is “designed to reroute global trade,” and it is “how China plans to become the world’s next superpower.”

More and more analysts such as Laurence and Ellis are coming to see the history-alerting implications of the Belt and Road Initiative. But there is something far more momentous about China’s moves toward dominating global trade that few recognize: It was prophesied in Bible scriptures written thousands of years ago. And now these prophecies are in the early stages of fulfillment.

To understand these prophecies and to see why these planet-altering developments will affect your life, please read my new article: “Brave New World (Made in China).”

Today’s episode of Trumpet Hour is also devoted entirely to this important topic, and you can listen to it here.

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Why America Needs to Beware Modern Assyria

Just as it did anciently, Germany will soon shock America and the world.

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Germany Groans for a Savior

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Germany Groans for a Savior

The German media questions how long Merkel’s government will survive as the public groans for a savior.

“Will Merkel’s Government Survive 2019?” the website of Germany’s most popular tabloid Bild asked on December 26. Germany’s political crisis will likely reach another peak in 2019 with no solution in sight. While Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes for a smooth democratic transition, Germany groans for a savior.

2018 was a rough year for Germany’s political system. After suffering a historic election blow in the September 2017 federal election, its political parties struggled for six months to form a new government. But no one had a reason to celebrate as the new government finally took office in March 2018. It was yet another “grand coalition” of the Christian Democratic Union (cdu) and Social Democratic Party (spd). It was this exact composition that aroused the anger and frustration of millions of Germans. Many marveled at the fact that even after six months of negotiations and political chaos, seemingly nothing had changed. Former German Defense Minster Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg described it as the “crippling agony of a grand coalition.”

And with the agony, Germany’s groaning for a savior continued.

Needless to say, the “new” government coalition aroused no renewed euphoria among the German people. “After the wobbly start in March, things continued to be shaky in the summer. The grand coalition was already twice at the brink of its end,” Bild commented. Only a few months later, the voice of frustration reached the chancellor in a way she could no longer ignore. After her party suffered repeated blows in various state elections, Merkel announced her resignation as party leader.

The announcement set off an exciting race for her successor, but the result again disappointed many. On December 7, the cdu’s party congress elected Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to take over the party leadership. Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s favorite, is set to continue her course. Merkel’s rebels, Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn, have been defeated, for now. After a few weeks passed and the excitement over the open contest and new candidates had settled down, many Germans marveled again at the fact that after all this, seemingly nothing had changed.

Germany’s groaning for a savior continued.

Anne Merholz wrote for Bild (Trumpet translation throughout):

How will the coming year turn out? Will the grand coalition break in 2019? After all, there are five elections: a new European Parliament will be elected in May, on the same day Bremen will hold elections, followed in the fall by Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia. Each one of these elections could kill the grand coalition.

“It could be that the great coalition breaks in 2019,” political scientist professor Oskar Niedermayer told Bild. The polls foretell a dramatic crash for the spd in the upcoming European election. The Social Democrats have found themselves in a downward spiral governing with Chancellor Merkel and are looking for a way to escape. The European Parliament election might be the trigger for them to exit the coalition and call for a major political reshaping. But between then and now, various other scenarios could prematurely break Germany’s shaky coalition.

If the coalition collapses, the German federal president could call for new elections, which would make the situation worse. The cdu could attempt to form a minority government without Chancellor Merkel and perhaps with Kramp-Karrenbauer at the head. But this scenario also comes with great risk and uncertainty, especially for the newly elected party leader. In every scenario, the cdu would have to decide on a future without Merkel.

Germany’s political future looks bleak. Chancellor Merkel’s attempt to satisfy Germany’s groaning has failed. The hope for change has faded. But the question remains: Who will satisfy Germany’s groaning for a savior?

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

German conservative newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has spotted a noteworthy trend in the nation’s political debacle. Every time a new hope rose in the the mainstream parties and promised radical change, the German people responded with great euphoria.

“Guttenberg, Schulz and Merz are fundamentally different, but all three have seen a meteoric rise in the political arena, and at least two also a corresponding descent, which demands an explanation,” faz.net commented as it explained the phenomenon of the “yearning for a savior.” This is exactly what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry described when he wrote in “Germany—A New King Is Imminent”:

There is a strong demand for a new leader in Germany. People can’t agree on what his policies should be—but they want someone different from Merkel, and someone with vision.

Prior to his plagiarism scandal in 2011, Baron Guttenberg was viewed as such a savior. Faz.net noted: His success was largely a result of what was being projected on him: a leader of a different sort, portraying straightforwardness, charisma and independence; a savior who swept away the small-scale, half-hearted and seemingly cowardly politics in one fell swoop.”

In an Aug. 17, 2015 article titled “Guttenberg, the Savior in Demand,” Wirtschafts Woche wrote, “Germans are constantly fascinated by every new action of the former defense minister, even after he escaped to a luxury property in New York following his downfall for plagiarism in 2011. … This unwavering fascination also explains why yet another traditional German organization is vigorously courting Guttenberg as their savior: the csu.”

Many Germans still groan for a savior and millions believe that Guttenberg will save them. A 2017 poll indicated that 45.8 percent of Germans would like to see Guttenberg’s return to politics. The question of a comeback comes up in almost every interview he gives. Popular newspapers like Die Welt see him as the chancellor of a futuristic digitalized world. He is invited to meetings, conferences and lectures to speak to audiences groaning for his return.

At the same time, Guttenberg faces strong opposition from former party members, current politicians and millions of Germans whose hopes were crushed by his scandal. As much as his return to politics would be greatly celebrated, it would also be greatly ridiculed and opposed. Thus their hope for a savior remains unsatisfied.

But Bible prophecy indicates Germany’s groaning for a strongman will very soon be satisfied. Daniel 11:21 shows that Germany’s prophesied strongman will not be given “the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” Mr. Flurry continued in “Germany—A New King Is Imminent”:

Current conditions in Europe, including the refugee crisis and the turmoil in German politics, provide probably one of the greatest opportunities ever for a new leader to come into power “by flatteries.” Chancellor Merkel is on her way out and is now a lame duck. Expect political and social crises in Germany and Europe, and public resentment and anger, to grow even deeper.

Then watch for a strongman to take advantage and make his way to power through flatteries!

It took six months for Germany to form a government that is barely able to keep its head above water. It took another seven months for Chancellor Merkel to acknowledge the personal consequences of the election debacles. Germans have had enough of the political turmoil that cannot solve their problems. They are crying out for a leader who will save them from chaos and conflict. The longer they wait for a political solution, the more willing they become to embrace the unelected savior.

Germany’s groaning for a savior will be heard, and we believe Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg will fulfill this prophecy. But Bible prophecy also reveals that Germany will soon find itself under a dictatorship that will make Adolf Hitler’s regime fade into insignificance by comparison. Request a free copy of our booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent and learn not only about the imminent dictatorship that is rising in Germany but also about how God will save the world soon thereafter.

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Why America Needs to Beware Modern Assyria

Just as it did anciently, Germany will soon shock America and the world.

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China Preparing to Take Over Kenya’s Main Port?

Chinese workers stand at the construction site of Standard Gauge Railway during the Presidential Inspection of the SGR Nairobi-Naivasha Phase 2A project in Nairobi, Kenya, on June 23, 2018.
YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

China Preparing to Take Over Kenya’s Main Port?

Debt-trap diplomacy is furthering China’s drive to dominate global trade.

China may be preparing to take control of Kenya’s largest port as a result of debt-trap diplomacy, according to recent African media reports.

The Kenyan government is at risk of “losing the lucrative Mombasa port to China should the country fail to repay huge loans advanced by Chinese lenders,” African Stand wrote on December 20.

Since 2013, Kenya has accepted some $4.9 billion for the construction of the Stand Gauge Railway (sgr) connecting Mombasa, the largest port in East Africa, and Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The sgr is the largest infrastructure project Kenya has undertaken since its independence. But in its first year of operation, the project reported losses equivalent to $98 million, making Kenya’s servicing of the loans unmanageable.

Kenyan Auditor General Edward Ouko warned last month that the terms of the deal were designed to favor the China Exim Bank, which loaned Kenya Railways Corp. the funds to build the sgr. “[I]f Kenya Railways Corporation defaults in its obligations and China Exim Bank exercises power over the escrow account security,” his office wrote in a November 16 audit report, “[t]he China Exim Bank would become a principle” over some Kenyan assets.

Africa Stand noted that, besides the Mombasa port, Kenya could also be pressured to hand the Chinese control of the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi. “Implications of a takeover would be grave, including the thousands of port workers who would be forced to work under the Chinese lenders,” it wrote.

Authorities in both Kenya and China have refuted reports. But if China were to take control over some Kenyan assets due to its failure to repay loans, it would not be China’s first time.

A Worrying Precedent

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his plans to rebuild the Silk Road, an ancient network of trade routes that facilitated flow of goods, ideas and culture across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The revived version, called the “Belt and Road Initiative” (bri) aims to connect 60 percent of the global population to China with vast infrastructure projects.

Sri Lanka was among the most enthusiastic nations to welcome China’s quick cash to build bri-related infrastructure. It accepted billions of dollars in loans for such projects as the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port in Hambantota.

This port is at a key location for China’s maritime “road.” But for the Sri Lankan economy, the port was a bust. Instead of fueling growth, the port (and other Chinese-funded infrastructure projects, such at the “world’s emptiest airport” in Mattala) sunk Sri Lanka deeply into debt.

By 2016, a third of Sri Lanka’s total government revenue went toward servicing Chinese loans, and the nation was forced to apply for debt relief with the International Monetary Fund. But the imf provided only temporary relief, and the Sri Lankan leadership soon felt that the only course of action was to give China a controlling stake in the Rajapaksa Port for 99 years. The handover set off alarms in Sri Lanka and beyond because it represented a Chinese victory with potential military applications. “The acquisition provided Beijing with a deepwater port in the region in which it can dock its navy, off the coast of its key regional competitor, India,” Foreign Policy wrote on October 29.

Sri Lanka is often cited as the textbook case of China’s “debt-trap diplomacy.” But Pakistan, Montenegro, Djibouti, Zambia and the Maldives are all in similarly precarious positions, thanks to China’s bri loans, and pundits worry that they may be forced to hand over assets to Beijing. And now Kenya may be added to this growing list.

“China wants to avoid the impression that it is sinking its dragon claws into other countries,” said Lu Xiankun, senior research fellow at the Shanghai Center for Global Trade and Economic Governance, during a 2016 imd Discovery Event. But as bri progress continues, it is becoming clearer that for many nations, that is essentially what is happening.

The ‘Times of the Gentiles’

Bible prophecy says that in the “end time,” shortly before worldwide war breaks out culminating in the return of Jesus Christ, the world will enter an era called “the times of the Gentiles.” Jesus Christ used this phrase in Luke 21:24, saying, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

In the July 2014 Trumpet issue, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about this quickly approaching era. “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized,” but “we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm,” he wrote (“What Are the Times of the Gentiles?”).

He explained that the term Gentile refers to “non-Israelite peoples,” adding that the Israelite peoples constitute “a lot more than the little nation in the Middle East.” In end-time prophecy, “Israel” refers mostly to modern-day America and Britain. (For a thorough explanation, order a copy of our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)

Mr. Flurry continued: “Once you understand who Israel is, then you can understand how the Gentiles—the non-Israelite peoples—have started to take charge of the world right now.”

For many decades, American and British supremacy has brought stability to much of the world. But in “the times of the Gentiles,” power is being transferred away from them and toward two main blocs of non-Israelite nations. “While there are many Gentile nations around today, when this prophecy is completely fulfilled there will be two major powers,” Mr. Flurry wrote. One of these will revolve around Germany, and the other around China and Russia.

China’s increasing expansion of the bri and related initiatives is shifting global power away from the Israelite nations and toward these other nations. The project’s imbalanced loan terms for nations such as Kenya and Sri Lanka makes the dangers of the shift more plain.

Mr. Flurry explained that a primary reason for the global shift in power is “America’s disappearing will.” He wrote:

The big reason these powers are rising today traces back to the power vacuum created by America’s weakness—and the disappearance of America’s will. … In recent years, America has demonstrated its lack of will to use its power in several international arenas. … Recognizing that weakness, China is asserting its power ….

China’s actions prove that Gentiles are rising to power before our eyes! And this is just one of many Gentile nations growing more aggressive on the world scene.

The U.S. is no longer asserting itself as it should, which is putting its allies on shaky ground. … While many will rejoice at the United States’ demise, this trend is building to catastrophe like never before seen!

Mr. Flurry pointed out that though the shift in global power now underway is deeply worrisome, it is connected to good news. He wrote:

This is terrifying news. Luke’s record of Christ’s prophecy says it will be a time of “[m]en’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

However, notice the very next verse! “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (verse 27). These times of the Gentiles lead directly to the return of Jesus Christ! … Now that is good news!

To understand more about the rise of China and the “good news” tied to it, read “What Are the Times of the Gentiles?” and “Brave New World (Made in China).”