Why the Pope Preaches Against America

Pope Francis presides over an evening vigil with young people at the Campo San Juan Pablo II in Panama City, on January 26, 2019.
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Why the Pope Preaches Against America

At World Youth Day celebrations, the pope brought a revolutionary message of a new world.

America is led by a “crazy” and “unchristian” leader. That’s the opinion regularly spouted by the far left—and it’s also the belief of the world’s most widely respected Christian leader.

In 2016, Pope Francis called border walls “unchristian,” right after holding mass just on the Mexican side of America’s southern border. Last week, he returned to the subject, as he returned to the region.

On the pope’s flight to Latin America, a journalist asked him about a U.S. border wall. The pope said that walling off the entire border “is madness.”

“It is fear that makes us crazy,” he said.

Then he arrived in Panama for the Catholic World Youth Day celebrations (January 22 to 27). Held every two to three years, this is a major event on the pope’s calendar. The audiences he addresses sometimes number in the millions.

This year’s event was on the smaller side, probably a sign of how the sex-abuse scandal has damaged the Catholic Church worldwide. Even so, several hundred thousand people came to hear Pope Francis. He used the occasion to exhort them to build a very different world.

Popping up in the pope’s speeches at World Youth Day were criticisms of migration control. He used one homily to speak against the “senseless and irresponsible condemnation of every immigrant as a threat to society.” People should instead be “builders of bridges,” he said.

He explained that walls are, in fact, so bad that locking people in prisons is wrong. “This attitude spoils everything, because it erects an invisible wall that makes people think that, if we marginalize, separate and isolate others, all our problems will magically be solved,” he told a group of prisoners. “When a society or community allows this, and does nothing more than complain and backbite, it enters into a vicious circle of division, blame and condemnation.”

As usual, another recurring theme in the pope’s speeches was climate change. He said in prayer that “Your Son’s way of the cross continues in the plea of our mother earth, profoundly wounded by the pollution of her skies, the barrenness of her fields, the contamination of her waters, trampled underfoot by disregard and a fury of consumption beyond all reason.”

But the pope’s message was more than a list of condemnations—of conservatives, climate change and capitalism.

He also exhorted the young people to “say yes” to changing the world—through social activisim.

God’s vision for the world is not “a promise far off in the future, having nothing to do with the present,” he told young people. Instead, he told them, God “calls you in your communities and cities to go out and find your grandparents, your elders; to stand up and with them to speak out.”

He spoke to them about a “new world now being born.”

World Youth Day, he told them, would turn Panama from a hub of migration into a “hub of hope” for “a more humane world.”

It was this call for social activism that led George Neumayr at the American Spectator to comment, “His sermons could have been written by Nancy Pelosi.”

“Pope Francis spends much more time talking about this life than the next one,” Neumayr wrote. “He is given to statements such as ‘Another world is possible,’ but he isn’t referring to heaven. He is referring to a revolutionized political order.”

It’s a good observation. The pope puts forward a vision of the gospel very different from the one in the Bible. The Apostle Paul wrote that if our hope is in this life, this world, “we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Paul described society as “this present evil world” and exhorted Christians to instead put their hope in “the world to come.” Jesus Christ told His disciples to change their actions. And He was not afraid to criticize leaders in the world, especially religious ones. But He never urged Christians to overthrow the Roman Empire and build a new world.

The pope, however, made clear last week that he doesn’t want his followers to wait for this new world to arrive, but to go out and build it in a very “practical” way, now.

In the past, Pope Francis has made clear that he wants to topple the global system of free-market capitalism. He has called it “a new tyranny” and “the dung of the devil.”

When the pope insists that nations must open their borders, that Christ demands more spending on climate change, and that capitalism is from the devil, who is he condemning? When he exhorts Christians to create a new world, whom do they have to tear down to make that happen?

It is very clear the pope is preaching against the United States of America. And last week, just like during his 2016 trip to Mexico, he was doing so on America’s front porch. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote at the time:

If Pope Francis is to be taken at his word, he could not possibly wish for the leader of the capitalist system to thrive and prosper, continuing to inflict its “tyranny” on the world. If he believes the free market is a force of destruction, then he would feel not only justified, but obligated to use his power to weaken it. …

This is a pope who will hug dictators, and then reserve his harshest criticism for the world’s most powerful democracy that has led the world in promoting true freedom. … [T]his pope has made clear that he is staunchly opposed to some of America’s foundational ideals.

The Bible makes clear that God’s Church is not involved with politics of this world. But it describes another church that is. Revelation 17 describes a woman “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication” (verse 2). In biblical symbolism, a woman represents a church. God describes His Church as the Bride of Christ in Ephesians 5. But this woman in Revelation 17 is not married to God—she is committing fornication with the major powers of the world.

“This church holds significant political influence with ‘the kings of the earth,’” wrote Mr. Flurry. “Such a description could only apply to one church in human history—a church that has exercised power over many great leaders, that has been deeply enmeshed in national politics and international affairs.” He continued:

When this biblical truth is viewed alongside Pope Francis’s recent activities and statements, it becomes clear why this should deeply concern us all. But most people are asleep to the danger.

Fifty or 60 years ago, no pope would have dared say some of the things this pope has said. Intervening in America’s political system would have provoked a major backlash. Today, it has stirred little more than amused talk about Donald Trump versus the pope.

The pope is a world leader, and he is stirring public opinion against not just the U.S. president but America’s core principles. He clearly preaches against free markets and limited government—core principles of the U.S. Constitution.

Herbert W. Armstrong warned for years that the Catholic Church would play a major role in opposing the U.S. He said that it would help cement Europe into a united power against the United States. “In only one way can this resurrected Holy Roman Empire be brought to fruition—by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, uniting church and state once again, with the Vatican astride and ruling,” he wrote (Plain Truth, January 1979). In 2017, Pope Francis called on Europe to come together as a “federal community.”

Just over a week ago, Mr. Flurry dedicated his Key of David television program to the subject of Europe’s influence in Latin America.

In 1962, the Plain Truth, under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership, wrote that “the United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs—Europe and Latin America—mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.” What can solidify such an alliance? The Catholic Church is a major part of the common cultural bonds between the two.

America should be very concerned that such a prestigious figure is traveling around the world as a diplomat of anti-Americanism. To learn the reason why, read our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

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Why Has Emotion Replaced Reason in America?

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during the Women’s March in New York on January 19.
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Why Has Emotion Replaced Reason in America?

The answer will surprise you.

“Facts are stubborn things.” That’s what American founding father John Adams famously said. But in modern America, facts are not so stubborn, and you don’t get famous by clinging to them. You get famous by being stubborn with your emotions. In modern America, more stubborn than facts, truth and logic are emotions, feelings and “personal truth.”

Historian Niall Ferguson described the phenomenon in this week’s Sunday Times, writing, “We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an ‘emocracy,’ where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings—the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation—the more influence you have.”

I discussed this issue on yesterday’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, available here:

Is Ferguson exaggerating? Or is he stating the facts? Look at just a few recent news stories, and you be the judge.

Last week, a 60 Minutes interview with newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aired. She is an avowed socialist and has been called the future of the Democratic Party by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Interviewer Anderson Cooper challenged her regarding her use of inaccurate facts to support her political views. Instead of addressing the facts themselves, Cortez took the moral high ground, as she sees it, and condemned those who would dare call her out:

Oh my goodness. If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.

It doesn’t matter if you make a few things up here or there, what’s more important is if you are morally right. Of course, Cortez doesn’t define what makes something moral. Cortez believes that her views are moral, regardless of the facts. She believes that her views are right, regardless of the facts.

And in answering a question about nonfactual statements she has made in the past, Cortez made another nonfactual statement. She said that there are lot of people more concerned about being precise factually, rather than morally right. In fact, it’s the opposite. We are living in a time where more people are concerned more about their narrative and their “truth,” rather than the objective facts.

This anti-fact bias has also taken hold of the American media. Executives, editors and journalists choose stories, conduct research, and craft narratives not according to the facts they find but according to their preexisting political views.

The handling of the arrest of Roger Stone last week is another example of this.

Dozens of heavily armed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided the house of the former adviser of United States President Donald Trump. No, we are not talking about the raid on Michael Cohen in April. We are talking about the raid on Roger Stone last Friday. It occurred at 6 o’clock in the morning and involved no less than 29 agents. This was caught on video by cnn, which happened to have its own people in place at Stone’s residence.

The 66-year-old Stone was arrested on charges related to lies he told after he started being interviewed by Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He was not arrested for any collusion with the Russians.

In “Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy,” Andrew McCarthy pointed out:

The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the fbi have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the fbi had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency—over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern—heedless of the damage to the country.”

And so, fitting the narrative of Trump’s guilt in colluding with the Russians, cnn was there to publicize the guns-blazing capture of an old man.

An American Spectator author, who has participated in planning the arrests of mob bosses, drew attention to the bizarre nature of the much-publicized arrest of Stone. In “How Many FBI Agents Does It Take to Terrorize an Unarmed 66-Year-Old?”, he noted that law enforcement normally deploys only as many agents as necessary to conduct an arrest, partially in order to reduce the chances of a friendly fire incident. He wrote:

Team Mueller’s use of 29 agents plus cnn video support elements were confronted with a challenging tactical problem. Despite the fact that Stone has no prior criminal record, he is nevertheless 66 years old. … Once upon a time, you could have invaded a small country with that much firepower much less arrest a white-haired gadfly who allegedly lied to the authorities. Is the wimp quotient really that high in today’s fbi?

Stone quickly made bail and was back out of custody. To say that he is not considered a threat to anyone is an understatement. This shows that this was a circus from the beginning.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote, “[W]hy after 21 months is the special counsel still hounding minor transitory Trump officials (Stone was fired from the Trump campaign way back in August 2015) in hopes of flipping them to find proof of almost anything against Trump? Stone, like all other Americans indicted by Mueller so far, is not charged with any crime close to ‘collusion.’”

Furthermore, all of the crimes discovered occurred after Mueller was appointed. They were lies that were made before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 26, 2017. Hanson continued, “If Stone lied under oath to Congress as Mueller alleges, then by all means prosecute him to the fullest. But what exactly are the federal criteria that adjudicate when and where lying under oath to Congress or to federal authorities is a prosecutable crime? … After all, nearly the entire Obama administration intelligence hierarchy not only lied under oath to Congress, but in some cases confessed to such.”

James Clapper admitted that he lied. Why haven’t dozens of agents invaded his home?

As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich put it, “This whole thing has become such a clear, vicious act of destruction that people ask themselves, is this really America when at 6 in the morning somebody who is not violent, has no record of violence, has armed fbi agents in full battle vests pounding on the door at 6 a.m.? While cnn covers it? There is something despicable about what’s happening in America today.”

Why is this happening?

Is this about facts? Is this about justice? Or is about politics, ideology and will?

Spirit of Hate

Newt Gingrich isn’t the only one questioning what’s going on in America. Your average, normal, sane person is looking at what is happening and wondering what in the world is going on. People who shouldn’t get published in your local paper are getting elected to Congress. People who do the exact same types of things are treated in opposite ways. The federal government is at war with itself. Government officials—and many everyday Americans—believe that, more than facts, more than morals, more than anything, what matters most is winning.

It’s confusing, because there are so many bizarre, unprecedented and dangerous things happening at the same time. Most of them seem unrelated. But even though the craziness manifests itself in many different forms, it traces back to one source.

“[A]ll the evils and troubles in the world are caused by minds clashing with minds,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. Biologists, neurologists and evolutionists have no explanation as to why human beings have minds (not just animal-type brains) in the first place, let alone why they clash. They admit that they know very little about the human brain. These experts aren’t any better at their relationships than other human beings. Why? Because the human mind is so much more than just the human brain. What powers it is the human spirit.

The real cause behind minds clashing with minds is the influence of the invisible spirit world on the spirit component of the human mind! It’s not just merely some sort of imbalance in the biology of our brains. It’s not physical; it’s spiritual!

Ephesians 6:12 states that we are not actually striving against other human beings but against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [evil spirits] in high places.”

There is a real spirit world! It might be invisible to the naked eye, but the spiritual realm is actually more real than the visible material creation.

The Bible perfectly describes the world conditions we are facing: 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan is the god of this world. Ephesians 2:2 says that human beings walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” As Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, “People simply do not realize that there is an invisible spirit power injecting into their minds these hostile attitudes.”

It’s not that the average person underestimates the power of Satan’s influence. We don’t even realize it’s there. And his hateful and destructive influence is worse now than it has been in any previous generation.

In these last days, the Bible tells us about a universe-shaking, spiritual “war in heaven.” Michael and his angels, it says in Revelation 12:7, prevailed against Satan and his demons. There is no more space for Satan and his demonic army in heaven! They are now confined to this Earth (verses 8-9).

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (verse 12).

Why is our world coming apart at the seams in so many different ways? Why are nations rising up against other nations? (Luke 21:10). Why the resulting pestilence, famine and disease epidemics? Satan is influencing human minds, and he has now been cast down! He is the cause of all violent social disorder and unrest. He is the father of murder, lies and deception (John 8:44). He surcharges the air with his spirit of unrestrained emotion: anger, bitterness, strife, jealousy and envy.

Aren’t these the same emotions taking over the United States?

The louder you are with your uncontrolled emotion, the more credible you seem! That is our world today. God gave us emotion, but He also gave us His law to show us what is right and wrong, so we can direct our emotions. Otherwise, uncontrolled and unbridled emotions lead to catastrophe. And what is the source of this? Mr. Armstrong continued in Mystery of the Ages:

Human nature is, simply, the subconscious pull of a definite attitude of mind. It is the attitude that became Satan’s. It is the natural attitude implanted from infancy by the invisible Satan. It is the attitude of vanity—of self-concern—of lust and greed. It is the attitude of hostility to others, and resentment of authority over it.

You see this attitude everywhere you look, and in particular now, because Satan has been cast down.

Adolf Hitler said, “What you tell people in the mass in a receptive state of fanatic devotion will remain; words received under a hypnotic influence are radical and impervious to every reasonable explanation. … A new age of magic interpretation of the world is coming, of interpretation in terms of the will and not of the intelligence” (emphasis added).

Facts don’t matter. Truth doesn’t matter. What matters is “your truth”—and how much you can force others to accept it.

“This is the type of influence we see holding a grip on many people today. This hypnotic influence cannot be explained reasonably,” my father writes in America Under Attack. You cannot explain it logically. What people are doing is irrational. Until you understand the truth about the real, invisible spirit world.

Colossians 2:18 and 23, when correctly translated, read, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of demons, intruding into those things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind …. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship ….”

As my father writes in that booklet, will worship “is exactly what Hitler was talking about, but on another level: ‘magic interpretation in terms of the will.’ He said, Look, this is what it’s all about now. Your reasoning isn’t going to stop us. That doesn’t mean anything to us. We follow this magic interpretation today.”

Don’t tell us that it is right or wrong. Don’t talk about God’s law, or even absolute truth. Bend to MY will, because it is MY will!

People in the world today are not looking to the Bible or to God for answers. They are not seeking guidance from above. They are not interested in reasoning together with God (Isaiah 1:18).

Thus, facts are no longer stubborn things. Emotions are.

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Violence in Northern Ireland Renews Old Fears

Forensic officers inspect the remains of a van used as a car bomb outside Derry Court House on January 20 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Violence in Northern Ireland Renews Old Fears

High tensions over Brexit and the Irish border are moving the UK closer to prophesied violence.

A car bomb rocked the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland on the evening of January 19, part of a recent outbreak of violence, which is the worst Northern Ireland has seen in two decades. Police suspect that the bombing was perpetrated by the New Irish Republican Army (ira) militant group.

The Londonderry car bomb exploded outside a downtown courthouse, only moments after a group of people had walked by. They narrowly escaped injury. Not long after, two van hijackings by masked men occurred in the same city.

Brexit is raising questions about how the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union, will be administered. Some fear a return of The Troubles, a time of deadly violence and terrorism between Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists in Northern Ireland and beyond.

For the past couple of decades, such violence has been rare. The last car bombing was in February 2017. Other politically motivated murders have occurred, but not in large numbers or close together.

Minor security alerts are a normal part of life in the region because the tensions from a few decades ago are still present. Militant groups like the New ira are continually recruiting, and other paramilitary groups still exist. After last summer’s riots, it became apparent that these violent groups are able to influence and mobilize younger generations that did not live through The Troubles.

The city of Londonderry is itself a symbol of division. Those opposed to being part of the UK simply call it Derry, which comes from an Irish word for oak grove. However, those who promote union with Britain call it Londonderry, a historical reference to Londoners who rebuilt the city in the 1600s.

Londonderry still retains its old stone walls, which were built in the 17th century to divide the city between Catholic and Protestant districts. The city has historically been home to a Catholic majority, which is one reason why it has struggled to attract investment, remains poorer than the average UK city, and to this day, lacks a major highway connecting it to Belfast.

Those who fear violence is returning to Northern Ireland have reasonable grounds to be concerned. Surely we should be concerned when the Londonderry city council can barely pass a motion to condemn the deed.

The Irish border backstop and Brexit do not make up the central cause of the violence, but they could greatly inflame it, according to Politico’s Naomi O’Leary, who fears that Brexit has the potential to aggravate the sense of inequality that exists between factions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to the south.

Europe is using the Ireland issue to make Brexit happen on its own terms, in a form of “punishment” on Britain, as conservative Member of Parliament Jacob Rees-Mogg said in October.

Now, Prime Minister Theresa May is caught between two seemingly impossible options. Currently there is no “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Both are in the EU, and so there’s no need for custom inspections. And the UK and Ireland have a separate Common Travel Area agreement that does away with passport checks. However, the UK and Republic have not yet agreed on the matter of customs inspections at the border. The EU demands that the border issue be resolved by March, when the UK formally leaves the EU. Prime Minister May must either conform to EU demands on Northern Ireland and create chaos within her own government, possibly losing her parliamentary majority, or resist and draw out the Brexit process even longer, angering her own people.

Northern Ireland’s politics are also in paralysis. Stormont, where Northern Ireland’s government meets, has been in deadlock and accomplishing virtually nothing since January 2017, following a dispute between the two main parties. Important decisions by the government have been deferred. Violence could result from this stalemate alone, without the additional pressures imposed by Brexit.

There is abundant speculation over whether or not violent groups from Ireland will make a comeback, what will happen with the Irish border, and generally how Brexit will come about. In the midst of such a complicated situation, can we have any concrete answers about the future? Are those who fear renewed violence simply exaggerating, or is there a real danger here?

The answer may surprise you.

There are specific answers to what will happen to Britain and Ireland in the years just ahead of us. The late Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Plain Truth magazine, wrote in depth about Britain’s future. One of his most widely distributed books was The United States and Britain in Prophecy. In it, Mr. Armstrong used Bible prophecy to prove that the British people are descended from the tribe of Ephraim, one of the 12 tribes of the biblical nation of Israel. (Request your free copy to prove this for yourself.)

The Bible has much to say about Britain. In fact, it gives a detailed warning that unless the people of Britain repent of their rebellion against God’s law, their nation will be engulfed in violence and riots.

The Prophet Ezekiel gave one such warning. He wrote of Israel, meaning America and Britain today: “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them” (Ezekiel 5:12).

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains this verse in his book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet:

The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see the Gesenius’ Lexicon). One definition of the root word is “to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.” So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning—not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence or rioting—such as the Baltimore riots in 2015 or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Why would the first third be burned with fire (verse 2), if it refers to a disease epidemic?

Don’t we see that same plotting and spirit of violence today in the tensions simmering over Northern Ireland and Brexit? That tension boiled over only a few decades ago. Could it do so again? As Europe continues using the Irish border dispute as leverage to gain power over Britain, renewed violence could be a result.

Regardless, violence will engulf Britain’s cities. But there is good news: You can be protected from it. To find out how, and to read more on the subject of Britain’s future, request your free copies of The United States and Britain in Prophecy and Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

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Israel Retaliates Against Iranian Missile

Syrian air defense batteries respond to what the Syrian state media said were Israeli missiles targeting Damascus on January 21.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Israel Retaliates Against Iranian Missile

Iranian aggression and Israeli air strikes force the issue for Syria.

On January 20, Iran’s Quds Force launched a ballistic missile from the outskirts of Damascus. According to the Israel Defense Forces (idf), the target was an Israeli ski resort in the Golan Heights. Hundreds of tourists were visiting at the time, and some captured footage of the incident.

Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system successfully intercepted the Iranian-made rocket. Many skiers immediately stopped after hearing the Iron Dome engage and saw the interceptor missile pass overhead.

Iran claims the attack was a response to Israeli air strikes earlier that day. Israeli intelligence asserts that the attack had been planned long in advance and approved by the Iranian regime.

In response to the missile, the Israeli Air Force retaliated with three waves of air strikes against Iranian intelligence facilities, weapons warehouses and a training camp near Damascus. The strikes hit four Iranian sites and six Syrian anti-air defense units. Eleven people were killed in the air strikes: seven Iranian troops and four Syrian soldiers.

On January 21, the idf released news of the attack and video footage of an air strike on a Syrian air defense unit and posted it on social media.

The Israeli air strike came hours after a Syrian cargo plane from Tehran landed at Damascus International Airport. Israeli Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that over the past two weeks, Iran has been shipping weapons to the Quds Force main storage hub near the airport. From there, the weapons are distributed to Hezbollah’s terrorist army and other Shiite militia groups in the region.

Another flight from Iran was en route to Damascus, but it turned back after the report of Israeli air strikes.

Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, both regional and global powers have sought participation in the war. What began as a conflict between revolutionaries seeking to overthrow their government and those seeking to keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power quickly became an international proxy war for powers trying to advance their interests in the region without expending personnel or political capital directly.

In 2014, Iran saw the rise of the Islamic State as an opportunity. Under the facade of battling terrorism, Iran sent Shiite militias to battle the Sunni group, and to entrench themselves in the region.

Iran seeks to control the Shia Crescent, a large corridor of land spanning from Iran, through Iraq and Syria, to its terrorist proxy in Lebanon on the Mediterranean Sea, Hezbollah. Control over this area would allow Iran to continually supply its various proxies with armaments, including ballistic missiles. Control of Syria is vital to its goal, but one base lies in its way.

On December 19, United States President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of America’s 2,000 troops in Syria, many of whom are stationed at the Al-Tanf military base in southern Syria. The U.S. has enforced a 34-mile radius semicircle demilitarized zone around the base. Any unauthorized entry into the zone was quickly dealt with by the U.S. military.

This strategic base sits directly in the way of Iran’s coveted highway.

The Al-Tanf is located in the region U.S. troops are set to retreat from, but it is still unknown who will replace the U.S. as the keeper of the Al-Tanf.

Syria’s Dilemma

After the Israeli Air Force retaliatory strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “We will strike at anyone who tries to harm us.”

Even though Iran fired the missile and Israel launched the air strikes, Israel holds Syria responsible for the violence. The idf statement said that the rocket was launched “from inside territory that [the Syrian government] promised would not host an Iranian presence.” To Israel, the Iranian presence exists because the Syrian government allows, or even encourages, it.

This presents a dangerous situation for the Syrian government. By allowing the Iranian presence inside Syria, it encourages the continuation of Israel air strikes. The Israeli Army saw the missile attack as “more clear proof of the purpose of Iran’s efforts to entrench itself in Syria, and the danger this poses to the State of Israel and regional stability.”

The nation of Syria has already been torn apart by eight years of civil war. Continued Israeli air strikes won’t help Syria rebuild. The United Nations reconstruction plan is estimated to cost $388 billion. Syria doesn’t have that money, and the number is only going to increase with each Israeli air strike.

Notice this statement from Seth Frantzman at the Jerusalem Post:

For the Syrian regime, the cost of continuing to use its air defense to defend Iran’s position in Syria may be increasing. …

Despite direct warnings, Syria sought to defend the Iranians and its defense infrastructure paid a price.

The new Syrian battlefield is being drawn on a canvas of increased Syrian government responsibility.

An idf statement said, “Syria is paying a heavy price for its approval of the [rocket] operation and the fire yesterday toward the northern Golan.”

In 2017, Israel revealed it had carried out 100 air strikes against weapons transfers in Syria. In 2018, Israel stated this number had increased to 200 air strikes. Israel is unlikely to stop these air strikes anytime soon, but will instead look to increase its activity in the region.

Syria finds itself in a dilemma: The Syrians could keep enduring air strike after air strike from Israel, or if Syria wants to rebuild, it could get rid of the problem by kicking Iran out of Syria.

Syria has been caught in the crosshairs and is paying the price of harboring Iranian militias. Will Syria finally decide to kick Iran out? It does seem to be Syria’s best option. The Bible prophesies of this coming Iran-Syria divorce. A prophecy in Psalm 83 lists several moderate Arab nations that will ally themselves with a German-led European Union.

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (Psalm 83:5-8).

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry identified these nations in “A Mysterious Alliance”:

Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom—Turkey; Ishmaelites—Saudi Arabia; Moab—Jordan; Hagarenes—anciently dwelt in the land known as Syria today; Gebal—Lebanon; Ammon—also Jordan.

The Hagarenes were a semi-nomadic people who lived in the desert region between the lands of Gilead, Bashan and the Euphrates River, which is now known as Syria. They are mentioned as living in the same region during the 600s b.c. When the Psalm 83 prophecy says the Hagarenes will be part of the Arab alliance, it is actually referring to the modern-day nation of Syria.

Notice Iran is not part of this alliance. This shows Iran will not be in control of Syria. Instead, Syria will be looking to Germany and the European Union. Europe is already becoming more involved in Syria; it recently attended a meeting in Istanbul to discuss the condition of Syria going forward.

As Syria faces its tough dilemma, watch for it to turn against Iran.

For more information about Syria’s dilemma and who it will look to for support, read Mr. Flurry’s article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.”

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Venezuela Chaos: Not Just a Problem for Venezuela

The head of Venezuela’s National Assembly and the country’s self-proclaimed “acting president,” Juan Guaido, speaks to a crowd of supporters in Caracas on January 26.
FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela Chaos: Not Just a Problem for Venezuela

Outside geopolitical blocs have differing goals for the nation.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president of Venezuela on Wednesday, two weeks after incumbent President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second six-year term. Since Maduro’s reelection was marred by claims of vote rigging, Guaido has labeled him an illegitimate president and called for free and fair elections. United States President Donald Trump has recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, as have government officials in the European Union, Canada, Brazil and 10 other Latin American countries. But Venezuela’s military still backs Maduro, as do the governments of Cuba, China, Iran and Russia.

Now that Venezuela has two competing presidents, protesters in this impoverished country are pouring into the streets. Several people have been killed in clashes with government forces. In an attempt to bring peace to the nation, Guaido has offered Maduro amnesty if he goes into exile. Security experts are unsure about how this situation will play out.

The Bible, however, gives us a strong indication of Venezuela’s future. A decade ago, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast the formation of a brief economic alliance between a German-led European Union and major Asian powers. This forecast is based on a prophecy in the biblical book of Isaiah. In Isaiah 23:1, China is referred to by its ancient name, Chittim. And in verse 13, Germany is referred to by its ancient name, Assyria. These two economic powerhouses are going to team up against the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel (the United States and Britain, primarily).

(All of these biblical identities are explained in Mr. Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-time Vision and the late Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Logistically, the U.S. cannot truly be blockaded unless Latin America participates. Some of the most vital shipping and supply lines to America flow through the Caribbean Sea into the Gulf of Mexico. That is why Mr. Armstrong prophesied that Europe would draw a lot of power from an alliance with Latin America. His Plain Truth magazine stated in May 1962 that “the United States is going to be left out in the cold as two gigantic trade blocs, Europe and Latin America, mesh together and begin calling the shots in world commerce.”

Venezuela’s language (Spanish) and religion (Roman Catholicism) make it a natural ally of the EU. If Maduro is forced into exile, it is likely that opposition forces will realign their country toward Europe and the U.S., and away from Russia and China. But ultimately, the Bible reveals that Europe will turn its back on the U.S., make common cause with Russia and China, and use its Latin American allies to besiege and invade North America.

Consider the following quote from Chapter 7 of Isaiah’s End-Time Vision:

With a German-led Europe (the king of the north) possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and the south by Latin America. The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged. That is where China and the giants of Asia enter the picture. When the Holy Roman Empire attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia. In fact, considering that China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates (which, ironically, at one time were held by Britain and America), we believe there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east). Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations and enslave them.

The current turmoil in Venezuela will give Germany and the Vatican an opportunity to increase their influence in Latin America. This is just one more step toward the time when foreign enemies will lay siege to the United States. Yet there is great hope in this 2,700-year-old prophecy. The same God who prophesied the rise of an economic bloc against the United States, has also prophesied the fall of that bloc. The whole context of Isaiah 23 is about the time when God destroys this mart of nations and sets up His own Kingdom in its place.

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The Real ‘Bombshell’: France and Germany Unite!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron sign the Aachen Treaty on January 22 in Aachen, Germany.
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The Real ‘Bombshell’: France and Germany Unite!

American journalists love to report “bombshells.” Bombshell news about a celebrity. Bombshell news about a “miracle cure.” Bombshell news about President Donald Trump. But there was a much bigger bombshell on January 22, and most journalists didn’t even notice that it had gone off!

The biggest bombshell of January was the Aachen Treaty.

The Times of London reported that the January 22 treaty includes “shared defense, foreign and economic policies in an unprecedented ‘twinning’ pact regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union.”

In some of the most important aspects of national power, France is bolting itself to Germany. And people think that other EU nations should do the same.

The Times wrote that the treaty enables Germany and France “to present a united diplomatic front and act jointly in peacekeeping missions. … Some officials regard these experiments as a petri dish for the integration of the EU.”

This is a real bombshell! Europe’s second-most powerful nation is giving its power over to Europe’s most powerful nation, and this might be just the beginning.

The Aachen Treaty does not shy away from the issue of military cooperation. After signing the treaty, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said its provisions will build a “common military culture” between France and Germany and “contribute to the creation of a European army.” French President Emmanuel Macron said, “[A]uthoritarian powers are emerging everywhere … let’s build a real European army to protect ourselves and have a real foreign policy.”

The treaty also contains a mutual defense clause. If either France or Germany is attacked, the other nation will come to its defense. The nato alliance, which includes the United States, already provides these two nations with guaranteed defense in case of attack. So why are they making an independent agreement about it? The treaty indicates that these two countries are already looking past nato. If America pulls out of nato or the agreement otherwise falls apart, Europe will have to protect itself without American firepower.

My father’s cover article for the February 2019 Trumpet is “France Rejects America—and Empowers Germany!” In November and December 2018, he gave three Key of David programs on the subject. The series was sparked by Macron’s comments in November, when he called for a real European army, praised a Nazi collaborator from World War ii, and publicly rebuked Donald Trump as not being a true patriot. At the same time, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for a European “empire” and urged Germany to take the lead. Merkel joined the chorus and called for a “real, true European army.” Then Macron visited Berlin and told the German parliament, “France loves [Germany].”

France loves Germany! How true that is. Deutsche Welle wrote, “Never before in French history has there been a government so fixated on partnership with Germany.” France plans to lobby for Germany to receive a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, which is where the real power of the UN lies. The five permanent members of the Security Council are the five victors of World War ii—the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. Now France wants Germany, the instigator of World War ii (and World War i), on board. How soon we forget our history!

My father wrote in the February Trumpet: “France really does love Germany—you can see it in these important joint ventures!” That was written before this treaty was reported.

Here’s another key statement from the Times: “France and Germany also intend to speak with one voice in Brussels, drawing up common positions before pivotal European Union summits in an effort to make the bloc a more decisive power on the world stage.”

France and Germany are already the two strongest powers in the EU. If they hammer out their differences beforehand and join forces in every debate with other EU nations, they will dominate the rest of the bloc even more than they already do. The smaller, weaker EU states with dissenting opinions, especially those who are in debt to Germany, will face pressure to support things like a “real European army” or face consequences, perhaps as extreme as getting kicked out of the European bloc altogether.

“The text bears the imprint of Mr. Macron’s desire to use Franco-German consensus to rally the EU into becoming more assertive as a global power” (ibid). In reality, there will be no “rallying” about it—the Franco-German consensus will impose its will on the other members!

“There are concerns that the ever closer union between the bloc’s two most powerful economies could create a juggernaut capable of crushing dissent beneath its wheels.

“The Aachen Treaty lays the groundwork for a Franco-German defense and security council that would act as a political steering group.’ … Berlin and Paris will also frequently exchange diplomats and civil servants. Ministers from one country will regularly sit in on the other’s cabinet meetings. On the military front, the treaty enshrines an ambition to form a ‘common culture and common deployments’ overseas” (ibid).

This is real integration! This is real European Union. This is a 21st-century empire!

This news story should be alarming to students of history. In the early 1900s, people felt the world was too modern and sophisticated for something like World War i to ever happen. In the 1930s, people thought the world was too modern and too sophisticated for something like World War ii. Now again, people are feeling too modern and too sophisticated to worry about something like World War iii.

This should be a real bombshell to students of Bible prophecy. It is part of the fulfillment of a modern resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Revelation 17:12 states that this revived empire will consist of 10 kings, meaning 10 nations or groups of nations. It will be unified through the direction of the Catholic Church, and Daniel 8 states that at the very top will be a strong German leader.

France is giving much of its power to Germany. Soon other Catholic-influenced nations will as well.

This coming Catholic European empire will follow the tradition of Charlemagne. Charlemagne united Europe politically and religiously, but he did it through decades of breaking agreements, raids, deportations, taking hostages, brutally imposing Catholicism, and slaughtering people en masse. The Times noted that the January 22 Franco-German treaty honors the history of Charlemagne, since the two nations selected Aachen, a location “heavy with symbolism,” as the place to sign the treaty. Aachen was Charlemagne’s capital. Politico wrote:

Aachen was not chosen as the venue by chance. The city … was the capital of the Franconian King Charlemagne, sometimes called the “father of Europe,” whose empire stretched over large parts of what later became the European Union’s six founding countries, including France and Germany.

The treaty was signed in the coronation room of the historic Aachen town hall. The tourist website for the hall says, “The town hall represents the theme of power.” The hall was originally part of Charlemagne’s palace complex, and it is filled with frescoes and images of the Holy Roman emperor, including a large portrait and a life-size bronze statue of him holding a sword in one hand and an orb in the other. The hall also houses copies of Charlemagne’s crown and other regalia from his coronation. The replicas were commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm ii—the leader of Germany before and during World War i.

Germany and France are getting serious about European unification. They want political action, they want to be sitting together on the UN Security Council, and they want a European army—a real one. Can you begin to see how this alliance will be pared down to 10 nations? Eight other nations or groups of nations will also lend their power to Germany. But others will leave or be pushed out. Europe will have its core of nations that, like Charlemagne, are serious about political power, serious about economic power, serious about religious power, and serious about firepower.

Could it be any more obvious? Europe is uniting before our eyes!

The Times story coincides remarkably well with the feature article in the February Trumpet, which is hitting mailboxes right now. My father wrote about how France is turning away from its traditional allies, Britain and America, and toward its traditional enemy, Germany—the nation that has repeatedly invaded it, most recently in 1940 during World War ii, a conflict that crushed and degraded France and killed a total of 60 million people.

France’s attitude toward the U.S. and Britain today is often open rebuke. That will soon turn into open betrayal. France descends from Reuben, one of Joseph’s brothers who betrayed him into slavery. (Read The United States and Britain in Prophecy for a detailed explanation of the modern-day descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel.) Britain and America descended from Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph. In this end time, Reuben will betray his brother again (Genesis 37), as my father has explained on the Key of David program.

My father said in his December 7 Key of David program: “I think President Macron is just groveling before Germany and saying, ‘Well, we’ll be your servant. We’ll do whatever we have to do just to be a part of your great power.’ They just don’t seem to have the will to fight like Winston Churchill did in World War ii.”

The EU can say all it wants to about equal governance, but someone is going to take the lead, and it will be Germany. My father wrote in the February Trumpet, regarding an article by author James Pinkerton:

Pinkerton went on to write that he believes Macron wants to be Charlemagne. I agree! Macron recognizes that Germany lacks strong leadership right now. He knows Europe needs a strongman. And he thinks he can do the job! He believes that if he bashes America and woos Germany—Europe’s economic powerhouse—then he will become the new Charlemagne. That is why he is willing to sacrifice so much to be on even better terms with Germany. He doesn’t mind his nation making sacrifices and bowing to Germany, if he gets to be that strong leader. …

But the Bible also tells us this coming strong leader will not be French! … This strongman will command the army Macron is helping to build right now! But it will be a German that takes it to war.

This leader will not be French! Macron might be willing to sign this treaty with Merkel right now because he sees that Merkel is weak and hopes he can take advantage of that. But although Germany’s leadership is currently weak, that is about to change! A strong German leader will soon come on the scene, and Europe will unite quickly under his leadership.

Dramatic events with huge consequences are occurring, and they are moving quickly! Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied this for years. In a 1980 World Tomorrow broadcast, he emphasized that this empire would appear suddenly:

Gradually, and now faster and faster, a new power is being developed from underneath the surface. A new world power which the public now least suspects, which the world does not yet see, doesn’t realize, doesn’t dream is coming, but it is developing just as prophesied in Europe. A resurrected Roman Empire. … A power so mighty that our Western peoples will stand aghast when it flashes suddenly into full being. Yes, your Bible says that the world will be startled.

Keep an eye on this partnership between France and Germany. Prophecy is being fulfilled at an astonishing rate, and we must follow Christ’s admonition in Matthew 26:41 to watch and pray. The world will be startled when this empire suddenly appears—but we don’t have to be.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read my father’s feature article from the February Trumpet,France Rejects America—and Empowers Germany!