Forging a Superpower

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Forging a Superpower

German industry is building the machinery for world war—again.
From the April 2019 Trumpet Print Edition

Germany is an industrial heavyweight, more powerful than Russia, India and the United Kingdom. Its economy almost single-handedly keeps the European Union from going bust. But in military prowess, Germany is a lightweight.

At the end of 2017, the “Bundeswehr had 128 Eurofighters, of which 39 could fly,” the Spectator reported. “It had six submarines, none of which were working when the [February 2018 Defense Ministry] report was compiled. Of its 13 aging frigates, only five could sail. Of its 93 Tornado jets, 26 were ready for action. German Air Force trainees struggled to qualify because so few aircraft were ready for use” (June 16, 2018). This isn’t merely an issue of decrepit subs and broken jets. Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr, is woefully undermanned and in need of thousands of soldiers, officers and administrators.

Despite this bleak picture, the Trumpet expects Germany to soon transfigure into a terrifying military power that will spark another world war.

This is what the Bible forecasts. And improbable as it may seem, this transformation could happen much more easily and rapidly than most people know!

How? Ultimately it will come down to two key ingredients: industrial capacity and will. Germany already has plenty of the first. It is the world’s fourth-largest industrial power and third-largest exporter. German-made products, from cars to machinery to chemicals and pharmaceuticals, dominate global markets. Germany’s landscape, as anyone who has driven on the Autobahn knows, is a land of factories and cathedrals. Germany already manufactures masses of military products it sells all over the world.

Germany has the industrial capacity. It only needs the willpower, the incentive—and it could transform militarily from dwarf to formidable giant virtually overnight!

Why isn’t Germany more of a military heavyweight already? First, its power isn’t nearly as weak as many say. Second—and this is critical, given the nation’s history—the military is an exceedingly complex and sensitive topic, both domestically and internationally. Germany cannot simply build a powerful military. Until the last 10 to 15 years, the Bundeswehr couldn’t fire up a tank without being accused of starting World War iii.

Germany has to be very careful with how it shapes its military identity. Since the nation reunited in 1990, the costs to its reputation, economy and politics simply haven’t justified the expense of putting on serious military muscle.

But times have changed. The incentive to militarize is intensifying—and Germany is positioned to quickly become a military heavyweight!

Illustrious Military Legacy

Understanding Germany’s military requires historical context. While every race and nation has a long history with war and conflict, the Germans have a unique penchant for combat. This history can be traced all the way back to their forefather Asshur and the ancient Assyrians in Mesopotamia. But that is a story for another day.

The first to unite most of Europe’s Germanic tribes on a large scale was Charlemagne, the eighth-century French-German emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Less than a century later, the German war machine was operational again, this time under Otto the Great. His kingdom is referred to as the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. Over the next thousand years, the land between the North Sea and the Adriatic Sea was some of the most war-torn territory in the world. The Thirty Years War (1618–48), for example, which began as a Catholic-versus-Protestant conflict but gradually engulfed most of Europe, caused the deaths of more than 8 million people and reduced the German population by 20 percent.

Even modern Germany was conceived in the crucible of war. At the start of the 19th century, Germany was divided into 300 duchies. Then Otto von Bismarck arrived, and by 1871 he had united these states under Prussian leadership. How did he do it? He picked a fight with the French. The Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) was the glue that united Germany.

Less than 20 years after Bismarck died, Germany again went to war. In 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm started the First World War by manipulating Austria-Hungary into conflict with Serbia (and its ally Russia). Germany was defeated. Within 20 years, Adolf Hitler plunged Germany, and much of the rest of the world, into another terrible war. Germany was again vanquished.

The sheer destruction of World War ii and the horrors of the Holocaust slowed the German war machine. But over time, Germany’s military identity reformed. In the early 1990s, the newly unified German state, together with the Vatican, sparked the Balkans wars.

‘Fertile in Military Surprises’

Time and again Germany has shown a proclivity for subterfuge and deceit over its military capacity and ambitions. At the time Hitler took power in 1933, most Western leaders considered him a peaceful leader seeking only to strengthen his nation’s position in Europe. When war erupted in September 1939, many were shocked by the sheer scale of Germany’s military strength. In just a few years the nation had quietly but not secretly transformed from a hollowed-out power to a military giant, and most of the world had scarcely noticed.

Winston Churchill was one of the few men watching closely; he understood Germany’s capacity for deceit. In a speech on Nov. 28, 1934, he warned about its growing air power. “So far I have dealt with what I believe is the known, but beyond the known there is also the unknown. We hear from all sides of an air development in Germany far in excess of anything which I have stated today. As to that all I would say is, ‘Beware!’ Germany is a country fertile in military surprises.”

Poland was one of the first to experience firsthand the truth in Churchill’s warning when, in September 1939, it was crushed under its martial assault. Poland’s famed cavalry was no match for Germany’s tanks. Next came France—conquered on June 25, 1940, after a mere six weeks of resistance. When the Luftwaffe began bombing London in September 1940, its 2,682 planes outnumbered the Royal Air Force nearly 4 to 1. Were it not for Churchill’s inspired leadership and a series of divine miracles, Britain would have been defeated in 1941.

Remarkably, Hitler was able to build his massive navy, air force and army without Britain, France and America really knowing until it was too late. Virtually the entire world slumbered as Germany prepared for war!

Could this history repeat itself?

Many of the best and brightest men in the West certainly believed it could. This is why Allied leaders gathered in Germany in 1945 and forged the Potsdam Agreement. This agreement demanded “the complete disarmament and demilitarization of Germany and the elimination or control of all German industry that could be used for military production.”

These men recognized the deadly axis between Adolf Hitler and German industry. The Potsdam Agreement curbed Germany’s industrial might, thereby preventing it from building another war machine. But the effort soon failed and within a few years the war factories were again thriving.

In the fall of 1950, Konrad Adenauer, the West German chancellor, gathered at the Himmerod Monastery with military leaders and experts who previously served in Hitler’s Wehrmacht (the Nazi armed forces). The men discussed how to restore the nation’s military following the war. Many of the attendees were later granted high offices in the Bundeswehr and nato.

The substance of this discussion later became part of the “Himmeroder Memorandum” of Oct. 9, 1950. The memo’s main thesis was that a future German Army required rehabilitating the Wehrmacht. This document served as the basis for negotiations with the West. Though Adenauer carefully negotiated and knew the demands had to be implemented in small steps, it is clear that Germany’s military ambition still smoldered.

The embers of World War ii hadn’t yet been extinguished, and already top German leaders were plotting how to rebuild Germany’s military!

By 1955, with the Communist threat rising, Germany was allowed to rearm and join the newly created North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There were conditions: Germany must waive the right to biological and chemical weapons, the Bundeswehr was to be capped at 500,000, and it was to operate under nato command. On June 7, 1955, Theodor Blank was appointed minister of defense, giving Germany its first postwar defense minister.

The Allies also loosened their ban on German rearmament. Step by step, the very same industry that had built Hitler’s war implements was allowed to restart operations. Their stories are told not just in hidden documents but in detail on the companies’ official websites.

For example, the Rheinmetall website provides an extensive chronology of the company’s history during the war. Concerning the years 1942 to 1944, Rheinmetall writes: “As the war progresses, the Nazi regime demands ever greater efforts on the part of industry to step up arms production. The requirements of the German Army, Navy and Luftwaffe for technical innovations force the development departments of Rheinmetall-Borsig to push ahead at full speed, too. By July 1944, the company has developed some 20 weapon systems that have been fielded by the Wehrmacht.” What is Rheinmetall’s intention here? Some would say it is bragging about its support for Adolf Hitler!

Many other arms companies recount similar stories. Even more interesting is how they returned to business after being banned in Potsdam in 1945.

Rheinmetall-Borsig AG split into two companies to make it easier to obtain production permits. In 1950 both companies received permission to manufacture civil sector products. In 1956, Rheinmetall was authorized to resume producing military equipment. Thus the Potsdam Agreement was undermined not long after its ink had dried!

The story of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is even more striking. The company’s official website reads, “Krauss-Maffei Wegmann reflects on 170 years of history which is steeped in tradition and closely linked with the Kassel and Munich locations.” The company is indeed “steeped in tradition”—but tradition to be proud of?

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann contributed to the building of the tanks that rolled into Poland and across Europe. In that tradition, the company today produces greater, faster and far more powerful tanks. It was Nazi tradition to name tanks after big cats, such as Tiger and Panther. The war’s end halted work on another tank that was to be called Leopard. But in the 1960s, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann started production on the Leopard 1 battle tank. The Gepard and Leopard 2 followed. (To learn more about where Hitler’s arms manufacturers are today, see the infographic on page 18.)

The very arms industry that shocked the world in World War ii rose rapidly during the Cold War. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (sipri) says Germany spent as much as 5.2 percent of its gross domestic product on its military in 1963. By 1982, 300 Leopard 2 tanks were manufactured annually. By 1990, the now-reunited German Army numbered 500,000.

nato documents record that throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the Bundeswehr had become the “backbone of nato’s conventional defense in Central Europe.” Mere decades after the Potsdam Agreement, nato was relying on Germany to deter Russia on the Continent, and German industry was churning out tanks and other military supplies.

The Soviet Union’s collapse in December 1991 had a direct impact on Germany’s military expansion. But not in the way you might expect. Germany actually began to reduce military spending. Why?

Saving Money for the Third Round

When the Cold War ended, Germany largely stopped militarizing. Even as nato officials demanded that Berlin increase its military budget, it refused.

Did this mean Germany’s military ambitions had been extinguished? On the contrary: It meant the newly united Germany was rejecting nato’s authority. Within nato, Germany had reached its authorized military potential. To exceed these imposed limitations, it developed its own plan for military domination. This plan required first focusing on getting healthy and strong domestically, bringing Eastern Germany into the fold, and securing dominance over Europe economically and politically.

Rather than invest billions each year to safeguard Europe, Germany relied on the U.S.-sponsored security umbrella. The billions it saved were then invested in the civil industry and economy. Outside of nato, however, Germany developed its arms industry, its integration with other EU armies and its foreign deployment.

Today, while many countries face bankruptcy, Germany has one of the strongest economies in the world.

The U.S. and Russia are still among the world’s largest military powers. But what about the race for the next generation of weapon systems? Can the U.S. or Russia win that race? Technologically, they have the capacity—but both are in trouble financially and are having to cut military spending. Meanwhile, Germany’s economy is comparatively strong, and is ready to finance a military upgrade!

In this age of cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence and technological advancement, it takes a lot of money and effort to keep apace with competitors. At this crucial time in history, the U.S. and Russia are forced to make military cuts—while Germany can rearm.

“Germany has benefited from the fact that the strategic situation has remained calm for two decades, allowing it to invest in the civilian economy,” stated Swiss military expert Albert Stahel in an interview with Focus Online. “But that is now over: The whole orientation of the state must be rethought. The armament machine must be restarted” (Feb. 7, 2017; Trumpet translation throughout).

Germany today is ready—economically and industrially—to reenter the military armament game. It has the technology, factories and industry. It also has decades of experience with producing world-class military hardware.

Secret Strategy Behind Exports

“At first glance,” wrote German public broadcaster ard, “Germany looks like a deeply peaceful country. But that is only partially true. Since the mid-1950s, German armaments companies have been selling weapons all over the world” (Nov. 2, 2017). In 2016, Handelsblatt wrote that “Germany is one of the largest arms producers in the world” (Jan. 25, 2016).

Though Germany’s military spending declined, its military production industry never stopped. In fact, it grew from strength to strength.

The March 2018 sipri Fact Sheet states, “The combined arms exports by European Union member states accounted for 27 percent of the global total in 2013–17.” Germany alone rose to become the world’s third-largest arms exporter. Even after recent cuts, it remains in the top five, currently fabricating 7 percent of the world’s total arms exports. That is impressive, especially for a nation that is such a military lightweight itself!

But why is Germany exporting weapons everywhere? It’s not the profit. In 2017, weapons exports accounted for less than half a percent of its total exports.

Germany’s Economic Ministry states on its website: “Arms exports are not resources for economic policy.” In other words, it has a strategic reason to manufacture and export arms. The government gives at least two reasons: It builds strategic partnerships and alliances, and it maintains Germany’s arms industry and thus its national security.

Manufacturing and exporting weapons brings enormous strategic and military benefits. Germany may have neglected its military stock at home, but it hasn’t neglected its capacity to manufacture military hardware. It has made profits by producing and exporting weaponry while others have spent money storing and upgrading weaponry. Germany may not have thousands of tanks and millions of machine guns in storage, but it has the factories, the plans and blueprints, the experience and the skill set to militarize!

Germany has tested its weaponry in various terrains around the world. Repeatedly the industry has been alerted to malfunctions in the equipment, and upgraded and perfected its weaponry in peacetime. For example, Turkey used German tanks against the Islamic State in Syria, giving the Germans feedback that helped them perfect their design. Had Germany overstocked its military warehouses with tanks, it would have had to upgrade thousands of malfunctioning tanks on its own dime.

Germany produces some of the most highly demanded tanks in the world. In cooperation with France, it is working on the next generation of combat systems. Newly designed tanks are predicted to outperform Russia’s T-14. A joint venture of Airbus and Dassault Aviation aims for dominance with next-generation fighters and a Future Combat Air System. German-French fighter jets are predicted to excel America’s F-35.

War Factories

Though Germany isn’t a military heavyweight, the overall picture is strong. Its military budget is the seventh highest in the world. This rank could suddenly rise if Germany commits to rearm—for which its capacity is mighty.

Germany excels in the small-arms industry, which is a conglomerate of smaller manufacturers and other industry branches that also produce arms and security technologies. Among its greatest armories is Heckler & Koch, one of the world’s five largest gun manufacturers, which produces handguns, pistols, rifles and machine guns. Its G3 is modeled after the Kalashnikov AK-47.

Another great manufacturer is Germany’s photonics group Jenoptik, which produces mechatronic and sensory products for civilian and military markets. The company is present in more than 80 countries. In 2017, it generated about €748 million (us$850 million) in revenue.

The Munich-based company mtu Aero Engines produces engines for combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter, and the civilian Airbus A380. Founded in 1934, the company today extends worldwide to 14 locations, with 10,000 employees and revenue of €5 billion ($5.7 billion).

Diehl Defense is the armaments division of the Nuremberg-based Diehl Group. The company specializes in the production of tank tracks, ammunition and guided missiles. The company is present in 18 locations, primarily in Europe.

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann specializes in manufacturing howitzers, troop transporters and tanks. Its famous Leopard 2 was built in cooperation with Rheinmetall. kmw has 3,500 employees in seven countries; 30 countries rely on its military technology.

Rheinmetall Defense is the armaments division of the Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall Group. Its main products include tanks, anti-aircraft systems and ammunition.

Steel manufacturer ThyssenKrupp also operates an armaments division. The company produces world-class submarines and naval vessels.

Some of Germany’s arms manufacturers have also expanded through mergers beyond national borders. mbda developed into a European defense company with locations in France, Britain, Italy, Germany and Spain. The company specializes in guided missiles.

Germany’s largest arms manufacturer is also a merger. The Airbus Group consists of the German dasa, the French Aérospatiale-Matra and the Spanish casa. The company specializes in fighter jets, troop transporters, tankers and combat helicopters. European aircraft producer Airbus is ranked the second-largest industry in the field.

Europe’s land and maritime production industries are undergoing similar mergers. Government reports published in November say Germany will lead the production of a new European super tank that involves the German companies Rheinmetall and kmw and the French Nexter. France’s state-owned Naval Group also seeks to merge with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

German industry has also formed business and strategic partnerships with industries worldwide. Take Rheinmetall: Beyond exporting its goods around the world, the company is known for investing in other countries directly. For example, it has been heavily involved in the construction of a tank factory in Turkey.

Rheinmetall’s reach gives it power to subjugate competitors. In January, the British defense company bae Systems announced that it is selling a majority controlling share of its Land UK division to the German Rheinmetall Group.

Andreas Schwer, a native German and executive for the Düsseldorf Rheinmetall Group, sits on the board of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries. Then there’s Rheinmetall Italia and American Rheinmetall Munitions, the company’s operations in Italy and America.

This manufacturer was banned after World War ii, and today it is one of the top industrial companies in the world!

Combining the strength of its arms industry with its civil industry, Germany could soon be mass-producing tanks and other military vehicles instead of cars. Incidentally, Europe’s great car and truck producers, Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, Volkswagen and man, are all involved to some degree in the production of military equipment and parts.

These factors give Germany enormous military potential. It may not be brimming with tanks, fighter jets and guns, but it has the industrial capacity to create all these things. Indeed, it does manufacture them for others. It need only keep a few at home.

As peaceful as Germany seems because its army has shrunk since 1990, its military potential has grown exponentially. The stage for sudden rearmament is set.

European Strategy

When calculating Germany’s military potential, it is important to also consider the capacity of its European neighbors. Why? Because, thanks to its economic and political position in Europe, Germany can tap into their assets. Moreover, Bible prophecy speaks of an end-time European superpower, led by Germany.

In time, we will see Germany gain more influence and even exercise direct control over France’s air force, Italy’s navy and Poland’s impressive tank brigade. Indeed, the effort to streamline these disparate sectors is already underway. Germany is working to merge Europe’s weapons industry, its military operational headquarters, its armies and its leadership. Most of the Dutch Army is already integrated into the German Army. The Czech and Romanian armies have also agreed to join the Germans. Our Trend article details the progress of the integration: “Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military.”

In 2017, EU nations launched a military pact called Permanent Structured Cooperation (pesco) that includes logistics, transportation and training missions that will help coordinate member countries’ operations.

But Europe’s army and military would be largely ineffective without capable leadership at the officer level. This is why Germany is training military officers all over Europe.

The Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, currently has 24 training facilities open to soldiers from other EU member states. It also has troops in 55 training facilities of other armies across Europe. Some Bundeswehr officers are attending the elite officers’ school in Saint-Cyr, learning about the military structure, strategies, resources and mentality of France.

German officers are learning to work with and to command foreign soldiers. They are cooperating with the French on flying helicopters. German submarines could soon set off for patrol carrying joint German-Norwegian crews.

Preparing for World War III

In 1945, Herbert W. Armstrong told radio listeners: “From the very start of World War ii, [the Germans] have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii!” (May 9, 1945).

Between 1945 and his death in 1986, Mr. Armstrong delivered this same warning hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times. Like Churchill, he understood that Germany “is a country fertile in military surprises.” But Mr. Armstrong had another advantage: He understood the many biblical passages prophesying the formation of an end-time German-led United States of Europe.

He knew the prophecy in Isaiah 10, where God says He will use the “Assyrian” as a corrective rod to punish the nations of Israel (America and Britain). Verse 6 says Germany (modern-day Assyria) will have the military might “to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”

He knew the prophecy of Daniel 7. Depicted in this chapter are four “beasts,” each representing a world-ruling empire. These empires rise and fall chronologically; that means the fourth is on the scene prior to the return of Jesus Christ. This fourth “beast” is the most destructive; verse 7 says it is “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly ….”

Mr. Armstrong knew the prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17. He understood the identity of the “woman” in Revelation 17 who rides the seven-headed, 10-horned beast. He understood that the seven heads of this beast represent the seven consecutive resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire, and that the 10 horns on the seventh and final head represent a united, German-led European empire.

He understood the prophecies in Ezekiel, Habakkuk and Matthew 24 that describe a time of intense violence and tribulation. Notice Habakkuk 1:8-10, which describe this end-time European empire: “Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.”

This passage is describing the single most destructive, most frightening military force in human history!

Remember Genghis Khan’s mass slaughter, Joseph Stalin’s gulags and purges, and the Nazi Holocaust? The destruction inflicted by the German-led European war machine described in Bible prophecy will eclipse all these!

This is why we must closely monitor Germany’s military. The Germans are an industrious, disciplined people, with many wonderful qualities. But history shows they have a penchant for war and conquest. It would be unwise to discard centuries of history in a moment of self-righteous political correctness.

The will, the incentive, for war grows almost by the week. Inside Germany, issues like migration, radical Islam and economic uncertainty are arousing nationalist sentiments. As anxieties and fears grow, the people will naturally begin to think more about the need for security and protection, and the need to defend their interests at home and abroad. The more threatened they feel, the more they will accept the need to militarize.

Nearly the entire international community is virtually begging for Germany to do more militarily—and not just in Europe, but also in the Middle East, in Central Asia and in Africa. How often in the past two years have we heard America’s president call on Berlin to spend more on the military and take more responsibility for Europe’s security? Now we see France and Germany making real progress on developing a European military.

Consider the mounting threats too. Europe faces pressure from Russia, which is unafraid to show force and is drawing ever closer to China and Asia. The problems in the Middle East, in Iran, Syria and Turkey, all ripple into Europe. The continued invasion by migrants from the Middle East and Africa is a daily threat. Meanwhile, the U.S. and Britain—once the guarantors of Europe’s strategic defense—are abandoning that role.

There has never been more incentive for Germany and Europe to militarize.

But there is also an even more profound and inspiring reason why Germany is militarizing!

In 2011, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “But here’s the most astounding and inspiring part of Revelation 17: God put it in the minds of Europe’s leaders to do what they’re doing!” (February 2011). He was referring to verse 17, which says, “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”

Will you believe what the Bible plainly states? Germany’s imminent militarization, followed by its initiation of World War iii, is actually God’s will.

But why would God allow another world war? This is hard for many people to fathom.

The answer? Through this coming conflict, God is trying to establish a connection with mankind, particularly with the end-time nations of Israel. God takes no pleasure in suffering. In Ezekiel 33:11, God says, “As I live … I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

This is God’s great purpose for the coming tribulation: He is correcting the nations of Israel, and all mankind, to help them turn from their ways and live!

Since 1931, especially since December 1989, God has been telling Israel, “Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways.” God has been measuring Israel’s correction for many, many years. Some have listened, repented and changed—and these people will be protected in a place of safety when the tribulation comes (Revelation 12:14). But most people and nations reject God and reject His warnings.

Today, the only way God can get people’s attention is by getting tough. Mankind simply must see the consequences of their rebellion and repent. You might wonder: Is there no other way that God could break through to mankind? Sadly, God has tried every other option.

But there are a few, and indeed only a few, who understand what God is doing today. These few understand the prophecies and see the great hope in their fulfillment. They see God’s hand in world events. They see Bible prophecy as proof of God’s existence, and that His Word, the Holy Bible, is true and accurate. These few today proclaim God’s master plan. These few are striving to submit to God’s law and government, and they experience the happiness and blessings that result.


Why America Needs to Beware Modern Assyria

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

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Iran Launches First Submarine Cruise Missile

A screen grab from PressTV shows Iran’s new Fateh submarine.
PressTV via YouTube

Iran Launches First Submarine Cruise Missile

Large-scale naval drills threaten the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian military drills near the Strait of Hormuz are exacerbating the fear that Iran will halt all passage through this major oil shipping route. On February 22, Iran began its annual Operation Velayat 97 naval drills in the Sea of Oman near the mouth of the Persian Gulf. According to the public relations department of the Islamic Republic Army, over 100 vessels participated in the maneuvers, and for the first time, Iran test-launched sea-to-air cruise missiles from its new Fateh submarine.

Iranian Navy Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said the naval exercises included “plans to deal with any external threats, displaying power, assessing the equipment, the level of preparedness and accountability of the Navy, and declaring readiness to achieve collective security in open waters.” The Jerusalem Post said that the drills “would begin two kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman, and continue to 10 degrees north of the Indian Ocean.”

The three-day operation, which ended on February 24, was supposed to have four stages; use of helicopters, submarines, surveillance planes and warships; and include electronic warfare tactics and data transmission from the coast. Khanzadi also said that Iranian warships would test-launch various-range missiles during the exercises.

Iran’s government-affiliated Tasnim News Agency reported that anti-submarine helicopters would land and take off from the flight deck of the Sahand destroyer.

In 2017, during Operation Velayat 95, Iran successfully test-fired its Dehlaviyeh anti-ship missile for the first time. The missile is designed to be fired from land at passing ships. Now, Iran has upped the ante by increasing its missile-firing capabilities.

On February 17, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the newly retrofitted, domestically built Fateh-class submarine. This “state-of-the-art” submarine weighs 600 tons and is equipped with naval mines and a guided missiles system capable of launching torpedos and anti-ship cruise missiles. According to the Jerusalem Post, “The Fateh, which also has an advanced sonic radar system that can identify enemy vessels, was also said to be able to dive to a depth of 200 meters for up to five weeks.”

According to government-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency, on the third day of the naval exercises, a Ghadir-class Iranian Navy submarine successfully launched the Jask-2 anti-ship cruise missile, which reportedly hit its target. The Ghadir-class submarine has to surface in order to launch a cruise missile, but the Fateh-class submarine can, allegedly, launch cruise missiles while submerged, making it less vulnerable and harder to detect.

Khanzadi said, “For the first time, these weapons will be tested seriously and we can make the maritime region unsafe for the enemy in any way possible.”

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari said on the sidelines of the military drills that the “Iranian Army is vigilantly monitoring all threats in the region.” During the drills, the Iranian Navy Marines practiced recapturing land and sea territory in southern Iran from a hypothetical enemy by using amphibious vessels.

Because Iran frequently makes such threatening statements, some in the international community refuse to believe it is an aggressive nation. Ghanbar Naderi, an Iran-based defense analyst, told Al-Jazeera, “There is nothing exceptional about this annual event …. The whole idea is to test the readiness of the armed forces. This should not be interpreted as a threat to regional security.”

In Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas, Rouhani even said, “Our defense power is solely defensive,” and blamed increased military development on the “enemy’s pressure and sanctions imposed on Iran.” The dichotomy of Iranian statements makes it hard for some to understand Iran’s true intentions, but the nation’s actions clearly show that it is on the offensive.

The Operation Velayat 97 drills were conducted after the entrance of a United States amphibious assault carrier into the Persian Gulf. According to Stratfor, the uss Kearsarge ported in Manama, Bahrain, on February 21.

A similar situation occurred last December. Iran conducted extensive military drills on Qeshm Island near the Strait of Hormuz as the uss John C. Stennis aircraft carrier entered the Persian Gulf. Some Iranian warships even launched missiles into the sea in the vicinity of the U.S. carrier.

Military drills are held for three primary reasons: to prepare a nation’s military for a specific circumstance, to provide an excuse for deploying troops to a given area, and to send a message to enemy nations. By conducting military drills in and around the Strait of Hormuz, Iran is increasing its readiness to act in the vital oil shipping route.

In July 2018, Ali Jafari reiterated Rouhani’s warning: “We will make the enemy understand that either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one.” Iran’s war games at Qeshm Island and the Gulf of Oman give its military experience in operating around the Strait of Hormuz, presumably to provide backing for its threat of closing the strait.

The Strait of Hormuz facilitates about 30 percent of the world’s seaborne oil. This makes it a very important oil artery. In July 2018, Stratfor wrote, “The mere threat of closing the strait increases market uncertainty, stokes oil prices, and creates some leverage for Iran without requiring that it follow through.” Iran could wreak major disruptions to the global economy, causing prices around the world to rise suddenly and dramatically.

In 2011, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned of Iran’s strategy to gain control of the region’s vital oil arteries. In his booklet The King of the South, Mr. Flurry identifies radical Islam, led by Iran, as the biblical “king of the south” prophesied in Daniel 11:40. This scripture states that Iran will “push” against a European power in the north. Iran’s efforts to control these vital oil arteries is one aspect of that push. (Request your free copy of The King of the South.)

In his April 2015 article “Iran Gets a Stranglehold on the Middle East,” Mr. Flurry wrote:

Daniel 11:40 shows that as these events play out with Iran, the United States won’t be a factor! It is Europe that Iran is going to push against. And it is Europe that will respond.

A European superpower is rising on the scene that will have the boldness and the power to deal with Iran’s pushing.

Europe is very worried about what Iran just did in Yemen. And unlike America, this European power will act!

Iran is continuing to see how far it can push until it is stopped. So far, it has not reached its limit. Iran’s growing military capabilities continue to rise. As it continues to demonstrate its newfound strength, Iran becomes more emboldened. Watch for Iran to continue to operate in these vital oil arteries until it finally pushes too far and causes a European retaliation.

For more information about Iran’s strategy to control these vital waterways, please read Mr. Flurry’s article “Iran Gets a Stranglehold on the Middle East.”

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‘And the Sun Stood Still’

‘And the Sun Stood Still’

Was the miracle of Joshua’s long day just an eclipse?
From the March 2019 Trumpet Print Edition

One of the Bible’s most remarkable miracles made headlines in recent months: the time during Joshua’s day when “the sun stood still.”

Researchers from the University of Cambridge claim to have identified this event, down to the specific day it occurred. According to them, it was in fact an eclipse on Oct. 30, 1207 b.c.

This “revelation” may come as a surprise, particularly because the Hebrew text has no indication of an eclipse. Here is the passage in question: “Then spake Joshua to the Lord … and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still …. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies” (Joshua 10:12-13).

That doesn’t sound like an eclipse. But Cambridge researchers say the Hebrew word for “stood still” has the same root as a Babylonian term describing eclipses.

These researchers, assuming the scripture refers to an eclipse, developed a new “eclipse code.” From their computations they were able to identify only one eclipse that occurred between 1500 and 1050 b.c.—on Oct. 30, 1207 b.c. Scientists then point to the Merneptah Stele—an Egyptian artifact dating to around 1208 b.c., which makes the as-yet earliest confirmed reference to “Israel”—as evidence of Israel being on the scene around this time period.

Is this really the case? Is the Bible just describing an eclipse?

What the Bible Says

The full text of the Bible account is clear. “Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon” (Joshua 10:12). Leaving aside the phrase “stand thou still,” it is clear that the sun was directly over Gibeon, and the moon was directly over Ajalon. These are two very different locations.

Notice the next verse: “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it …” (verses 13-14).

This is unequivocal language. This was not an eclipse that lasted a short time. The sun and moon literally stopped moving (or rather, the Earth stopped rotating) for about the length of an entire day. Whether or not one believes this miracle occurred, that is what the text says.

This was no “hiding” of the sun behind the moon. The sun remained visible for a prolonged period; it “hasted not to go down.” As the context shows, Joshua, recognizing the immensity of the task of chasing and overcoming Israel’s fleeing enemies, asked that God would allow the sun to “stand still”—to keep shining—so they could continue fighting. God answered, and the sun remained out until after Israel had wiped out the enemy. The whole point of Joshua’s request was that the sun would continue to make Israel’s enemies visible so they could not escape under cover of night. Thus, the text shows the opposite intent of the sun being “hidden” in an eclipse.

Merneptah Stele
Wellcome Images

Other factors make clear that an eclipse would be impossible here, notably the fact that this event immensely elongated the day, and that “there was no day like that before it or after it.”

The only “evidence” given for an eclipse is that the Hebrew word for “stood still” looks similar to a Babylonian word used to describe eclipses. This is the case of a single word being misinterpreted to extrapolate out a meaning contrary to the scripture. It is similar to other attempts to explain away biblical miracles. The biblical text, though, is clear. You either believe it, or you don’t.

The sun and moon literally stopped moving for about the length of an entire day. Whether or not one believes this miracle occurred, that is what the text says.

Even the Merneptah Stele (which the researchers pointed to) shows that Joshua’s battle could not have taken place in 1207 b.c. The stele, dating so close to that year, shows that Israel was an already well-established and recognized nation-state. This could not have been the case if, as the researchers claim, Joshua and the Israelites had only barely begun fighting their way through the Promised Land at that time.

The fact that the researchers accepted a date in the early 1200s b.c. for Joshua’s conquests exposes their belief in biblical minimalism. Biblical chronology is clear that the Israelites had to enter the Promised Land just before 1400 b.c., around 200 years earlier. Scholars, however, argue that a great deal of destruction hasn’t been uncovered for that time period. They point to other destruction layers, from the 1200s b.c., and say those mark the century of the conquests of Canaan.

This is a deeply flawed assumption, because it ignores the fact that the Bible corroborates the massive upheavals during the 1200s b.c. These occurred in the thick of the tumultuous and bloody period of the Judges. And it overlooks archaeological evidence—material and textual—that does exist for massive upheaval and conflict following the traditional conquest time of around 1400 b.c. onward.

There is nothing to suggest that the event of Joshua’s day was an eclipse: wrong textual interpretation, wrong century. If this eclipse of 1207 b.c. doesn’t relate to Joshua’s time period, is there anything that does? Is there any evidence for this miraculously long day?

Accounts of a Long Day

If this kind of astronomical event happened, it must have been witnessed around the world. While difficult to corroborate, there are various ancient legends of an incredibly long “day” or “night” from numerous cultures. Harry Rimmer briefly summarized some of them: “In the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico have a like record, and there is a Babylonian and a Persian legend of a day that was miraculously extended. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo.

“Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length.”

Surveying the numerous parallel records of an extended day is another study. They are, as yet, difficult to corroborate through archaeology. But there is evidence of a known massive upheaval in Canaan dating to the time of Joshua’s conquests. The background for this battle has been well illustrated through a collection of tablets known as the Amarna Letters.

The Amarna Letters

Again, it was not until just before 1400 b.c. that the Israelites began to enter Canaan. It took years for them to move through and gradually conquer the land.

We find some desperate correspondence from Canaanite rulers to the pharaoh of Egypt dating to the 14th century b.c. These documents are called the “Amarna Letters” because they were found stored within the Egyptian city of that name. Nearly 400 Amarna tablets have been found; most are from Canaan.

The letters describe a fierce group of “nomads” invading Canaan, by the name Habiru (sometimes called ‘Apiru or Hapiru). Terrified Canaanite rulers, subservient to Egypt, were watching as the entire land of Canaan fell to these invaders. The Canaanite ruler of Jerusalem, one of the last places to fall to the Israelites, wrote regarding the Habiru invasion: “Lost are the territories of the [pharaoh]. Do you not hear to me? All the rulers are lost; the king, my lord, does not have a single ruler left.” This letter is just one of dozens referencing the onslaught from the Habiru.

Amarna Letter
The Amarna Letters are eyewitness accounts not merely of pesky raiders, but of Habiru invaders taking over entire lands and conquering Canaanite cities en masse.

The terms Habiru, Hapiru and ‘Apiru are similar to the term Hebrew. In fact, at this point in the Bible account, the term Hebrew is used far more than the term Israelite. History records the Habiru presence around Canaanite lands, in some form or other, as early as around 1800 b.c. This aligns with the Hebrew presence in the land before the sojourn in Egypt. At the start of the 14th century b.c., the pleas of the Canaanite kings fell on deaf Egyptian ears, and their territories were gradually overrun. A very different land appeared several hundred years later, one that archaeology (in particular, the Merneptah Stele) shows was populated with Israelites.

Many scholars attempt to discredit any Habiru connection with the Hebrews, stating that they were probably just bands of marauders and thieves. Yet their significance cannot be downplayed. The Amarna Letters are eyewitness accounts not merely of pesky raiders, but of Habiru invaders taking over entire lands and conquering Canaanite cities en masse. These people tore through the Promised Land to the point that the king of Jerusalem believed he was the only one left. And this occurred at exactly the same time period the Bible states the Hebrews were on the scene invading Canaan. The parallels are too stark to discount.

While these letters establish a good overall picture of Joshua’s conquests, does any specific evidence support this event where the sun stood still?

Joshua vs. Amorites: Archaeology

First, the Amarna Letters and other archaeological discoveries reveal the presence of a number of places from this biblical battle. They show evidence of the cities belonging to the belligerent kings: Jerusalem, Lachish (Lakisha), Jarmuth (Yarimutta) and Hebron. They mention Ajalon (Ayyaluna)—the valley over which the moon “stood still.” The Bible lists the belligerents as being part of the “Amorite” kingdom; archaeology has confirmed this assessment, showing the wider “Amurru” kingdom as having reigned throughout these lands of Canaan. We also see a possible identification of the Caves of Makkedah, where the fleeing kings were trapped before being executed (Joshua 10:15-17). Archaeology even corroborates the account of the kings’ public humiliation. Joshua ordered his men to stand on the necks of the kings before killing them (verse 24). This ancient practice of humiliating a conquered king is depicted and well attested to through archaeology.

A later Amarna letter states that the Habiru killed the king of Lachish and had control over his city. The Bible records that the king of Lachish was one of the kings killed on the day that the sun stood still. The Amarna Letters also confirm that the city of Gezer fell to the Habiru, just as the Bible says occurred directly after Joshua battled these Amorite kings.

However, this “overwhelming consensus” is not supported by the evidence on the ground. The evidence underlines the accuracy and truth of the biblical account—not a faithless interpretation of it, but exactly as it reads.

So while we can’t point to a specific day or year when this battle took place, there is archaeological support for it. The cities and geographical locations have been found. The presence of a powerful force of Habiru invading throughout wider Canaan has been shown. There is an abundance of archaeological support for this story, and no archaeological discoveries that disprove it. The same is true for other stories of Joshua’s conquests, such as the miraculous fall of Jericho and Hazor.

If we can learn one thing from the University of Cambridge research, it is that the miracle of Joshua’s day wasn’t an eclipse. Their eclipse-computer model confirmed as much. For at least the past century, some scholars have believed that the day the “sun stood still” was merely a day of an eclipse. Unwittingly, the university researchers proved this false by showing that there was no eclipse occurring during the 15th to 14th century b.c., when Joshua would have been on the scene. In fact, there wouldn’t be one for another 200 years after his time.

Prof. Carl Ehrlick correctly noted that “the overwhelming consensus of modern scholarship is that the conquest tradition of Joshua is a pious fiction.” However, this “overwhelming consensus” is not supported by the evidence on the ground. The evidence underlines the accuracy and truth of the biblical account—not a faithless interpretation of it, but exactly as it reads.

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Germany Prepares for Nuclear War

Germany Prepares for Nuclear War

An overlooked world power has been preparing for decades to have nuclear bombs.

The world again stands in fear of a looming nuclear war. But while some worry about North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programs, or the United States and Russia announcing the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (inf) Treaty, few consider the culprit of Word War i and ii to be a nuclear threat. Bible prophecy, however, foretells that this world will soon be shocked by the rise of a nuclear-armed Germany that starts a large-scale nuclear war.

The groundwork for this prophecy to be fulfilled has already been laid—but almost no one has paid attention.

Since the 1950s, Germany has developed the technical ability to produce and use nuclear weapons. Initially, U.S. wariness had been mollified by Germany’s promise to not produce nuclear weapons, but times have changed and Germany is considering breaking its Cold War agreements. This change should alarm and disturb anyone who knows German history. Almost overnight, Germany could rise to become a nuclear power.

Unless you understand Germany’s nuclear history, you cannot understand its current nuclear debate nor biblical prophecy about its nuclear rise.

New Rules in Post-Cold War Times

Following America’s and Russia’s announcements suspending their inf Treaty in early February, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against a relapse into a Cold War mentality. “In nato, we agree that we cannot transfer the simple answers of the ’70s and ’80s to the present day,” she said. “We need new answers, new solutions” (Trumpet translation throughout).

During the Cold War, the world stood in fear of the impending outbreak of a nuclear war between America and the Soviet Union. In light of this looming threat, Russia and the U.S. agreed on various treaties to prevent further nuclear proliferation. The inf Treaty between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was signed in 1987 and called for the elimination of all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The demise of the agreement has added fuel to Europe’s, and especially Germany’s, nuclear debate. As assistant managing editor Richard Palmer noted, the “Demise of the INF Puts Europe in the Nuclear Crosshairs.”

But there is yet another and even more important Cold War agreement that has recently been questioned: the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. This 1968 agreement has been signed by 130 countries, including Germany. The only reason Germany signed the agreement was because of America’s guarantee of nuclear protection and its promise of Germany’s part in the nuclear-sharing agreement.

This treaty is the only thing keeping Germany from going nuclear.

But is this treaty still applicable for Germany today? When Russia and the U.S. start canceling their agreements, why should Germany stick to its promises?

U.S. President Donald Trump has openly questioned the nato alliance. Nuclear-armed Britain is leaving the European Union. Germany cannot rely on Europe’s other nuclear power, France, to provide its nuclear security. As Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted, Emmanuel Macron’s decision to not attend the Munich Security Conference is only one of many signs that Germany’s belief in a shared nuclear program with France is a one-sided illusion.

In all this, Germany sees its position reinforced: Only Germany can provide for Germany’s security. Renowned German political scientist Christian Hacke caused a widespread debate last year with his article “Why Germany Should Get the Bomb,” which was later translated into English. He wrote: “The emerging nuclear threats of the 21st century should not be trivialized as relics of the Cold War but must be resolved with Germany’s active and constructive participation.” Hacke argued that Germany needs its own bombs.

Although President Trump is blamed for rekindling the nuclear debate, Germany’s contemplation of going nuclear is not new. Its nuclear ambition started in World War ii as Adolf Hitler sought to get the bomb. The shocking truth is that this ambition never died but continued to live in the minds of West German leaders after the war ended. The only reason Germany did not get nukes was because of America’s restraining force.

Although its ambition was kept in check, Germany has prepared for decades to become a nuclear power. To understand how, we must look back at Germany’s history during the Cold War.

Preparing to Produce and Use Nukes

In the 1950s, German leaders argued that it was untenable for the nation to be without its own nuclear program as its neighbor to the east was rapidly rising. At the time, the consequences of World War ii were still glaring, and under no circumstances did the Allied forces want to allow Germany to go nuclear. But pressed by Germany, the U.S. negotiated a few fatal compromises.

Germany regained independence in 1949 and was placed under the leadership of West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Besides negotiating Germany’s general rearmament, Adenauer also pleaded with the U.S. for the right to its own nuclear program. As it became clear that the U.S. would not grant Germany this right, Adenauer negotiated in 1958 with French President Charles de Gaulle to create a European nuclear program to which Germany would be allowed to contribute. To ease the debate, Adenauer trivialized the use of tactical nuclear weapons, calling them “especially harmless weapons.”

In the end, de Gaulle shattered Adenauer’s dream by directing his attention to French involvement in the Algerian War. Spiegel Online recounted: “For Adenauer and [Defense Minster Franz Josef] Strauss, de Gaulle’s decision meant the final end of their lofty nuclear dreams. Their only remaining option was the ‘nuclear participation’ that the Americans granted them. Strauss, who was known for his nuclear ambitions, revealed his thoughts on this bluntly in his memoirs: ‘One allows the little clown to walk alongside the military music with his children’s trumpet and let him believe he is the drum major.’”

Even though Strauss was greatly disappointed, he gained a partial victory and “dutifully” made everything possible for U.S. nuclear bombs to be stationed in Germany. He quickly obtained the U.S.-required carrier system for stationing the bombs and purchased the U.S. Starfighter F-104 in the fall of 1958.

While Strauss strictly followed U.S. guidelines, he had his own plans in mind for using the bombs.

In regard to U.S. documents, Spiegel recounted that after Henry Kissinger met with Strauss in 1961, he warned the Kennedy administration of Strauss’s ambition. He wrote that America should secure its nuclear weapons in the Federal Republic of Germany in a way that would be “physically impossible” for Germany to use them without American consent. He warned that in a crisis situation, it could be assumed that Strauss would “simply take” these weapons.

In 1962, U.S. officer Hugo Charles Sanford was stationed at the secret bunker where the tactical U.S. nuclear weapons were stored. In 2013, he told Spiegel that the U.S. seriously feared a violent takeover of the bombs by the Bundeswehr and so drastically increased its military security around the bombs.

Thus Strauss’s plot was thwarted. And although Germany has continued to train in the use of these bombs, America’s fear of a violent German takeover has significantly diminished. It has since been allowed to produce its own Tornado fighter jets that are able to carry nuclear bombs, and German pilots practice the use of these bombs regularly.

Today, the aging Tornado fighter jet needs a successor, and Germany has two options: Boeing’s F/A-18 jets or Airbus’s Eurofighter. In both cases, Germany wants to retain its ability to conduct nuclear strikes.

Time will prove that the decision to grant Germany access to the U.S.’s bombs is a fatal mistake.

But that’s not all. Clearly, from the start Strauss and Adenauer had far greater nuclear ambitions than those the U.S. granted. America’s second fatal mistake was to allow Germany to pursue its own civil nuclear program.

Before Franz Josef Strauss became defense minister, he was appointed minister of nuclear energy in 1955. During his ministry, he laid the groundwork to develop uranium enrichment plants, allegedly to produce nuclear energy. After the U.S. denied Germany’s right to develop its own nuclear bombs, Strauss focused on sponsoring scientific research and developing various facilities to enrich uranium in Germany.

Although the U.S. was aware that Strauss was furiously working to get nukes, it still allowed Germany to develop the technology to produce nuclear weapon materials. Thus Germany today can transform from a non-nuclear power into a nuclear giant—in a heartbeat.

Since the 1950s, Germany has become one of the world’s largest suppliers of toll enrichment services to the commercial market. By 2011, Germany used 17 reactors to obtain one quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy. Since then, Germany has taken various steps to become independent from nuclear energy and has invested heavily in renewable energy.

For awhile, it seemed as if Germany’s nuclear ambition had faded. But as the nuclear debate rekindles in Europe, Germany is considering repurposing its nuclear program. Thanks to the loopholes of the 1967 Non-Proliferation Treaty, the switch isn’t that difficult. Michael Shellenberger wrote for Forbes:

In truth, no nation decides to get a nuclear weapon simply because they have nuclear power plants, and the fuel used in nuclear plants is not enriched enough to make a weapon.

But under the rules of the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, nations are allowed to have facilities to enrich uranium, and extract plutonium from spent fuel, which could be used to build a weapon.

In order to produce nuclear reactor fuel, the concentration of uranium 235 needs to be increased to about 5 percent; for nuclear bombs, to about 90 percent. But the amount of uranium needed to build a nuclear weapon is considerably less than to fuel nuclear power plants. Thus as Ivanka Barzashka wrote for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “Any civilian enrichment facility can be used to produce nuclear weapons material.” Once uranium is enriched to 5 percent, the further enrichment needed to reach 90 percent gets easier with each percent. For this reason, “the ability to produce weapons material has been widely used as a proxy measure for a country’s nuclear weapons potential,” Barzashka wrote.

Germany’s Urenco Group’s uranium enrichment plant in Gronau is seen as one of the world’s leaders in uranium enrichment. It uses centrifuges that can easily enrich uranium to the 80 to 90 percent level needed for nuclear weapons. This advanced technology and the many centrifuges used give Germany the ability to produce hundreds of nukes in just a few months. Barzashka wrote:

A typical 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactor uses 27,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium in a year. This means that an enrichment plant sized to fuel one reactor has the capacity to produce about 20 bombs per year. That is roughly 300 centrifuges of the kind run by Urenco, the European enrichment consortium, or over 100,000 centrifuges of the kind mostly used by Iran. To produce one bomb a year would require less than 20 Urenco machines or more than 5,000 Iranian ones.

Having the enriched uranium is by far the greatest challenge in the production of nukes; the next steps are considerably minor. Germany’s meticulous planning for this moment reveals that it was only looking for an excuse to break its Cold War agreements. The excuse was not available during Strauss’s day, but it is today.

As Germany continues to distance itself from America, it continues to enhance the ability of its fighter jets to carry American bombs and is even contemplating producing its own nukes. Kissinger warned that Strauss planned on using these bombs against America’s interest. Shouldn’t America be even more concerned about this today as Germany openly turns its back on the U.S.?

Just as Britain and America could have stopped Hitler’s rise, they too could have prevented Germany’s emergence as a nuclear power. But as it is, they have done little to prevent Hitler’s rise or Germany’s nuclear rise today. History teaches us that such a laid-back approach to these urgent matters will be deadly for the world. Watch the Key of David program below to learn how history helps us understand the Bible’s predictions for the future.

Franz Josef Strauss and Herbert W. Armstrong

Kissinger was not the only one who warned about Strauss’s ambition. For decades, Herbert W. Armstrong warned about a rising European empire that would be led by Germany. He repeatedly drew his listeners’ attention to Franz Josef Strauss. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained why:

One man who closely watched Strauss’s political career was Herbert W. Armstrong. He was founder and editor in chief of the Plain Truth newsmagazine, forerunner of the Philadelphia Trumpet. Mr. Armstrong observed world events closely, especially in Europe. He devoted much of his work and his message—which reached millions of people worldwide—to analyzing Germany in particular. Why? Because he studied and proclaimed Bible prophecy, and Bible prophecy forecast not only that Germany would reunite, but that it would lead Europe once again—exactly what we are seeing today. …

Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The world appears bereft of ‘great men.’ But a world-recognized ‘strongman’ in all probability will now very soon appear. … There will be 10 [kings], ruling 10 nations or groups of nations in the area of the once-great Holy Roman Empire. But there will be one super-king over the 10” (Plain Truth, May 1969).

Concerning that super-king, Mr. Armstrong wrote that Europe was “waiting for the confidence-inspiring leader ….” Mr. Armstrong felt Franz Josef Strauss might be that leader. Yet Strauss died in 1988. [Otto von] Habsburg died in 2011. German strength and the dream of European unification, however, did not die with them. When Strauss first published his ideas, he knew he might not live to see his dreams carried out. “… I am under no illusions about the length of time it will take to set this sequence of events in train,” he wrote. “It might take a generation. … If the process is to take time, then it must be time put to good use.”

During Strauss’s day, the groundwork was laid for the fulfillment of the prophecies of a Vatican-German alliance and the rise of a German strongman. Still, those prophecies have yet to be fulfilled.

The God behind these Bible prophecies led Mr. Armstrong to closely watch Strauss. Today, we see why. Germany is about to get its strongman who will use the groundwork Strauss laid during the Cold War to start a nuclear world war. The evidence is there for all to see, but most refuse to heed God’s warning. (Read A Strong German Leader Is Imminent to learn more about the man that we believe will continue the legacy of Franz Josef Strauss.)

The Prophet Isaiah saw a vision of the time we are living in today and asked God how long He would allow it to go on: “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate” (Isaiah 6:11). Isaiah prophesied of this coming nuclear holocaust that we are about to see. Mr. Flurry writes in his book Isaiah’s End-Time Vision:

Why does God lay cities waste without an inhabitant? Because that is what it takes to get Israel’s attention! That includes spiritual Israel, or the Church of God, and the nations of Israel.

Israel in this end time primarily refers to the U.S. and Great Britain. (Request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy to learn more about ancient Israel’s modern-day identity.) The only reason God allows this to happen is because mankind refuses to heed the warning He delivered through His man.

Mr. Armstrong spoke to millions on his weekly television program. He often warned about Germany’s rise. His flagship magazine had a circulation of 8 million; yet, the U.S. and Britain have largely ignored his warning. Even worse, the church that God built through Mr. Armstrong stopped declaring His message.

Mr. Armstrong’s message was not one of gloom and doom. He was inspired by the book of Isaiah, which is filled with wonderful prophecies of a coming World Tomorrow. For this reason, Mr. Armstrong named his television broadcast The World Tomorrow. Mr. Armstrong proclaimed God’s coming Kingdom that would end all human suffering. Every warning from Mr. Armstrong pointed to that ultimate reality.

The sad story of human history is that mankind has to suffer before they will listen to God. The wonderful truth though is that God has not given up on mankind and will very soon usher in a wonderful world, in which the deserts of the nuclear wilderness will blossom again (Isaiah 35), a time when wild animals will be tamed and all humans will live in harmony (Isaiah 11). Eventually every human being who has ever lived and never knew God will be resurrected into that wonderful world. To learn more about these wonderful prophecies and how they will be brought about, request a free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like.

Before all these wonderful prophecies can be fulfilled, God must lay cities waste without inhabitant. We have two options: choose to heed God’s warning or wait until a nuclear world war strikes us. Thus far, mankind has chosen the second option—we see the signs of the fulfillment of these prophecies all around us.

Yet God promises to bring about that wonderful World Tomorrow. In the midst of the world’s nuclear arms race, we need to consider the clear vision Bible prophecy provides us. Request your free copy of Isaiah’s End-time Vision, by Gerald Flurry, to learn about the prophet’s warnings for the end time and why we need to take heed today.

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This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (March 2)

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (March 2)

European elections, Germany’s arms exports, concerns about a major recession by 2021, and more

Here are five of the most important news stories this week, as well as relevant links to the full articles and videos here on

Is a Devout Catholic About to Lead the EU?

European parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 23 to 26. The new Parliament will vote for the European Union’s next Commission president in July. The most likely candidate to replace the incumbent Jean-Claude Juncker is Manfred Weber, a devout Catholic from Germany’s most Catholic state, and a member of Germany’s most Catholic party, the Christian Social Union.

Weber is openly promoting his religious faith and believes that the EU as a whole should do the same. The implications are quite prophetic.

Germany Bypasses Arms Export Rules

Germany is now willing to compromise on its previous position and partner with France to renew arms exports to Saudi Arabia, according to an official paper signed recently and seen by Der Spiegel.

After journalist Jamal Kashoggi was murdered, allegedly by the Saudi Arabian government, Germans were outraged. The German government halted weapons exports to the Saudi kingdom. Only a few months later, increasing Franco-German cooperation has completely changed the situation.

An agreement on common export policies and resuming exports to Saudi Arabia will lead to a stronger, more assertive Franco-German alliance. All that remains to be seen from that alliance is the emergence strongman prophesied in Daniel 8.

‘High Volatility’ in Spain’s Snap Elections

On February 15, only 8½ months after becoming Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez called for snap general elections. The early elections were called after a parliamentary vote rejected the proposed national budget. In response, the socialist prime minister said, “One cannot govern without a budget. Between doing nothing and continuing without the budget and calling on Spaniards to have their say, I choose the second. Spain needs to keep advancing, progressing with tolerance.”

The elections, to be held on April 28, again highlight Europe’s political turmoil.

The Bible prophesies that out of this turmoil will emerge a united Europe, the last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—united for a short time to fulfill God’s will (Revelation 17:17). This united Europe, also called “the king of the north” (Daniel 11:40), is emerging right now.

United Nations: Britain Must Surrender Chagos Islands

Before World War ii, Britain and the United States controlled a great number of the world’s “sea gates,” including the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, Singapore, Cyprus, Hong Kong and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Their control over these strategic locations played a key role in decades of global stability and economic growth. But since that time, America and Britain have surrendered control of many of these assets. And on February 25, the United Nations’ highest court ruled that the Chagos Islands must now also be surrendered.

Britain and the United States’ control, and eventual loss, of the world’s “sea gates” is actually a dramatic fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

Poll: Economists Expect Major Recession by 2021

Three fourths of American business economists say they expect a major recession to hit America by the end of 2021, and half expect it to arrive earlier, according to a recent poll by the National Association for Business Economics. This ominous forecast from those who closely watch the world’s most important economy should cause everyone to sit up and take note.

A financial crisis in America would significantly affect the entire world.

“This Week” appears every weekend. To receive an update on our latest stories in your inbox ahead of time every Friday afternoon, subscribe to the Trumpet Brief daily e-mail. Sign up by clicking here or by visiting home page.

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Are India and Pakistan About to Trigger World War III?

Are India and Pakistan About to Trigger World War III?

Bible prophecy gives a detailed description of the spark that will ignite the next and final world war.

Tensions between India and Pakistan are rapidly escalating, and some analysts are saying that since both nations have nuclear arsenals, it could ignite World War iii.

Here are some headlines from the last couple of days:

  • “World War III: India and Pakistan Tensions ‘FLASH POINT’ for Nuclear War” (Express, February 28).
  • “Yes, India and Pakistan Could End the World as We Know It Through a Nuclear Exchange” (The Drive, February 27).
  • “World War III: India and Pakistan ‘On the Brink’ of Nuclear War?” (tv9 Today, February 27).

Are these analysts overreacting? Or will time prove their forecasts right? At the Trumpet, we study such questions relying on a different intelligence source than other publications. We examine them through the lens of Bible prophecy.

Around one third of the Bible consists of prophecies, which are forecasts of what the future holds. And a sizable percentage of those prophecies contain details about a third and final world war: what will ignite it, who the main players will be, what types of weaponry they will use, where critical battles will take place, and more. Prophecy also discloses how that war will conclude.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

When Jesus Christ’s disciples asked Him what the sign of “the end of the world” would be (Matthew 24:3), He gave a detailed answer. He said prior to His return, religious deception would mislead many, “wars and rumors of wars” would abound, and there would be “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes” (verses 4-7). He said these would be early-warning indicators, but would not mean the end of the age of man is imminent.

Then Christ discusses an event that would signal the imminent end of the age: “For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive …” (verses 21-22; New Living Translation).

When Christ spoke these words, a global war that could threaten to end all human life was not yet technologically possible. But around 1955, a major milestone was crossed: Increased prevalence of nuclear weapons made a war capable of ending all human life possibleeven dangerously probable.

Today, nations continue to hold each other at nuclear gunpoint. This shows that some key Bible prophecies about World War iii could only be possible in the modern nuclear age. This shows the “time of calamity” prophesied in Matthew 24:21-22 refers to what we now call World War iii.

World War III’s Main Players—and the Trigger

Daniel 11 provides details about who the main powers in this civilization-destroying world war will be.

Verse 40 says a power called “the king of the south” will “push at” another power called “the king of the north.” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has identified the king of the south as radical Islam, led by Iran. You can prove this identity by reading his booklet The King of the South. The king of the north will be a unified European power, led by Germany and guided by the Vatican. To learn which scriptures prove this identity, read our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

Daniel 11 shows that after the king of the south pushes at the king of the north, the latter will release a torrent of devastation on Iran and its Islamist partners.

This conflict will rattle the world.

Luke 21 records more details from the conversation between Christ and His disciples. In verses 20-22, Jesus describes an event that will happen just before the outbreak of the final world war that threatens all human life: “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. … For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

Matthew 24 also describes Jerusalem being surrounded by multiple armies, labeling it “the abomination of desolation … in the holy place” (verse 15).

The prophesied push by Iran against a united Europe discussed in Daniel 11:40 is closely connected to this time when armies surround Jerusalem.

Mr. Flurry explained the connection between the two events in his article “The Whirlwind Prophecy” from the July 2013 Trumpet issue.

“Study Daniel’s prophecy more deeply, and you see Jerusalem right in the middle of it,” he wrote. He went on to say that the push by the king of the south against the king of the north could happen in the city of Jerusalem. “Does it have something to do with radical Islam attacking or controlling a site owned by the Catholics?” he asked. Several of Catholicism’s holiest sites are located in Jerusalem, so it is not difficult to envision such an event occurring, and how aggressively the Europeans would react to it.

Whatever the exact details of that “push” turn out to be, the Scriptures reveal that it ties into the armies surrounding Jerusalem, and that it will escalate into nuclear world war.

So Bible prophecy is clear. It will not be New Delhi or Islamabad or Kashmir or any other city that the armies of the world will surround in the lead-up to World War iii. It will be Jerusalem.

Pakistan, India, Armageddon and Beyond

This does not mean that we should be blithe about the escalating violence between India and Pakistan. These two nuclear-armed nations have fought four wars since splitting apart from each other in 1947 and have nearly come to blows on several other occasions. Nationalism is sharply rising in both countries, and there is nothing in Bible prophecy saying another war between them will not take place.

If such a conflict does erupt, it would contribute to the “wars and rumors of wars” that Christ warned would occur before the Third World War breaks out. But prophecy shows that it will not be the spark that ignites World War iii.

Prophecy shows that India and Pakistan will likely be assimilated into “the kings of the east” power bloc (Revelation 16:12), which is prophesied to play a major role in World War iii. This bloc will be led by Russia, with China in a secondary leadership position. Many other Asian nations will be aligned with it. (Read Ezekiel 38:5-6 and our article “The Other Asian Powerhouse: India.”) This means that all the missiles and nuclear weaponry that India and Pakistan have developed will contribute to the unprecedented devastation to occur during the prophesied Third World War. But prophecies such as that recorded in Daniel 11:44 show that this will occur later in the global conflict, not at the beginning.

Altogether, this shows that even though the currently escalating India-Pakistan tensions will not be the spark that ignites world war, we should still view the danger soberly. It should cause us to consider the Bible’s prophecies of a nuclear world war, and to see that they are coming closer to fulfillment.

God instructs His people in Luke 21:36 to be vigilant about watching world news and how events fulfill Bible prophecies: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

The evidence today shows that World War iii is quickly approaching. But the Bible’s prophecies do not end with nuclear war eradicating mankind.

In Matthew 24:21-22, just after Christ says that the war at the end of this age will be so violent that it could kill all human life, He then adds an important statement: “But it will be shortened” (nlt).

World War iii will be interrupted by Christ’s return!

In his booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door,’ Mr. Flurry writes about this game-changing interruption:

The good news is God will shorten the time span and save us alive. But if He did not intervene, there wouldn’t be anyone alive on this planet. He will let it go a long way so that people learn they can’t rule themselves. Men don’t know the way of peace. God knows—and if you keep His law of love, it will bring great joy and peace into your life.

Revelation 19:11-16 describe the scene as Christ returns to assume His office as King of kings, ruling over India, Pakistan, Kashmir and the entire Earth. On the topic of this age of harmony, Isaiah 2:4 says: “[N]ation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Knowing how near that peaceful future is can provide us with a perspective that fills us with hope.

To learn more about the prophetic significance of the rising nuclear tensions around the world, and the hope that is ultimately tied into these trends, order your free copy of Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’