United States of America: After 50 Years, the Golan Heights IS Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) visits U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on March 25 after Trump signed an order recognizing Golan Heights as Israeli territory.
Getty Images

United States of America: After 50 Years, the Golan Heights IS Israel

Trump confirms Israel’s legitimate right to sovereignty, but does he expect something in return?

jerusalem
United States President Donald Trump on Monday followed up on last Wednesday’s tweet by officially endorsing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The unilateral declaration breaks with decades of American precedent, which sought to preserve the status quo, whereby the territory that Israel won from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War was currently occupied by Israel, pending a final settlement to be agreed upon by the two nations.

But no more.

According to Mr. Trump, antiquated maxims such as “preserving the status quo” and “observing past precedent” carry no weight in the present, especially in the long-stagnant search of Middle East peace.

Thus, after 52 years of Israeli control of the strategic strip of land overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and almost 40 years since Israel’s de facto annexation of the land, it’s time to acknowledge the reality: The Golan Heights is part of Israel.

On Monday, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Trump signed the declaration that, at least according to the United States and Israel, puts to rest Syria’s claim on the land.

The declaration reads:

The State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, in southern Syria continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel. Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel’s need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats. Based on these unique circumstances, it is therefore appropriate to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The signing of the declaration followed a joint statement from Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump, in which the Israeli leader looked justifiably proud, rightfully recognizing the moment as historic. The decision comes after two years of intensive efforts by the prime minister to persuade this administration to finally make the move.

Why Now?

As brought out in the declaration itself, Iran has successfully leveraged its support for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in the Syrian civil war in order to place its own proxy forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. As recently as two weeks ago, Israel published a video of a Hezbollah outpost just over the border from Israeli territory.

This revelation, as well as the fact that tens of thousands of Iranian-backed Shiite militias are right now roaming about in Syria, proved to Israel and the American president that any future peace agreement with Syria must include Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights as a starting point, not part of the final solution.

Acknowledging this new reality on the ground, President Trump has indeed broken with precedent, drawing international criticism for the decision. Russia condemned it; Europe rebuked it. As for the Iranians, well, they don’t like the U.S. putting such impediments in the way of their goal of driving Israel into the sea. But one place you will not hear any criticism for the decision is from Israel itself.

Golan Residents Delighted

On Monday, I joined a media tour to the Golan Heights to speak to Druze and Jewish leaders about Mr. Trump’s decision. Obviously, Jews on the Golan support the move. Many have risked their lives and livelihoods by investing in the development of the Golan, even while Israel’s leaders were negotiating to give it away. Now that the most powerful nation on Earth has backed their future, many see the decision as a beginning of a new day of population growth and investment for the Golan Heights.

The Mayor of Kaztrin, Dmitry Apartzev, told us that his family didn’t arrive on the Golan “to go for a picnic.” He continued, “Since 1981, Israel had recognized [the Golan] within itself,” referring to when Israel decided to apply Israeli law and not military rule to the territory—a de facto annexation. Now he believes that “the status will not change for 100–150 years at least.” Katzrin was established in 1977, and now boasts around 8,500 people, making it the largest of the 33 Jewish villages.

A majority of the Druze are also pleased with the decision, although they might not admit it so vocally. The Druze have lived on the Golan for over a thousand years, long before Syria and Israel were states. As we learned on Monday, Druze are notoriously loyal to their original state. Given that the Six-Day War created a new border right where they live, families have been divided, some in Syria and some in Israel.

Druze spiritual leader of Buq’ata, Sheikh Jad AlKarem Naser, at the Israeli-Syrian border on March 25
Brent Nagtegaal/Trumpet

Many like Sheikh Jad AlKarem Naser, the spiritual leader in Buq’ata (one of the four Druze villages on the Golan), are staunchly pro-Syrian and hope for a return to Syrian rule. His comments must be tempered though as many Druze have refrained from declaring their support for Israel, in case the Golan returns to Syria and they would face retribution for their “betrayal.”

As time goes on, however, there is a growing Druze attraction toward Israel, especially as the older generation with personal memories of Syrian rule dies out.

To some, like Safadi Saade, a lawyer and resident of Majdal Shams (the largest Druze village), Trump’s decision will give the Druze “strength” to support Israel more openly. “The Druze population feels like they are mostly just surviving for thousands of years. And because of the uncertainty … they don’t want to publicly say, ‘Yes, they are for Israel,’ unless they know 100 percent that Israel will stay here and rule the land.” It’s believed that many Druze will gain the courage to declare their allegiance to Israel as Israeli sovereignty strengthens.

Broad Israeli Support

With Israel’s elections less than two weeks away, it is the season for politicians to publicly air their policies. However, there isn’t one politician hoping to do well in the elections who is bold enough to voice any disapproval for Mr. Trump’s decision.

More than ever, Israelis understand the strategic danger of withdrawing from critical land. The almost weekly missile attacks from the Gaza Strip are a constant reminder of the need for Israel to control such territories that could be overrun by Iranian proxies.

But even if the Iranians weren’t entrenched in the Golan Heights, Syrian control alone would pose a threat.

Syria controlled the Golan Heights from its independence in 1946 until it decided to launch an offensive war against Israel in 1967. Syria used the elevated territory for repeated attacks on Israelis. Syrian snipers would take out farmers in the kibbutzim (communal farms) below. Syrian artillery would often fire upon the Jews, making midnight runs to bomb shelters a frequent occurrence for the civilians, somewhat akin to what is taking place on the Gaza border today.

Then, in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, it was only the fact that Israel controlled the Golan Heights that gave Israel the time it needed to mobilize its forces to again confront the invading Syrian tank battalions.

Mr. Netanyahu, and any other prime minister-hopeful, wouldn’t dare undermine Israel’s security position by giving away the Golan.

And now it seems that an American president finally understands Israel’s position.

With President Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, symbolized by the subsequent moving of the American Embassy, it seems there is finally a clear-eyed U.S. president who sees things as they are in Israel, rather than how international bodies, such as the United Nations, determine they should be.

For that reason, Trump’s approval among Israelis, which started at 30 percent when he took office, now hovers around a whopping 70 percent.

Part of the Deal of the Century?

However, in this moment of ecstasy for the Jewish state, there is cause for some caution and even concern.

Could it be that Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, as well as the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, are all parts of his strategy to push upon Israel a peace deal with the Palestinians?

You can bet that President Trump is keeping track of his gifts to Israel.

You can also bet that he will expect something in return, and he has said as much.

As Daniel Pipes has repeatedly noted, President Trump’s gifts to Israel come with the caveat that something is expected in return.

Speaking at a rally in West Virginia in August 2018, President Trump said that after Israel received the gift of the embassy move, it is now the “Palestinian’s turn.”

“Israel is going to have to pay a higher price,” he said. “The Palestinians are going to get something good. They say that it is the toughest of all deals—we’ll see what happens.”

Based on this idea, the additional gift of the Golan Heights is only increasing the price that Mr. Trump will expect Israel to pay.

It’s obvious that Mr. Trump does have a sincere concern for the well-being of the Jewish state. His willingness to follow through on promises made to Israel shows his favor to the Jewish state unmatched by previous American presidents.

But Mr. Trump is also a dealmaker.

Given his boast at the start of his presidency that he would be able to pull off the “deal of the century,” as he calls it, could it be that Mr. Trump will soon ask Israel to compromise on something equally historic? Perhaps even asking Israel to give up something related to Jerusalem?

And if he does, will it result in the breakup of the American-Israeli relationship?

Given that the Trump administration says that the details of the elusive peace deal will be made public in the coming weeks, we won’t have long to wait.

Based on a Bible prophecy in Zechariah 11, we have forecast such a split between Israel and the United States. Mr. Trump’s desire for a deal could bring about that prophesied break.

Zechariah 11:14 states: “Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.”

When the Bible speaks of America and Britain, it uses the name Israel; and when it speaks of the nation of Israel in the Middle East today, it uses the name Judah. Today’s nation of Israel is a misnomer. The citizens are primarily descendants from the southern kingdom of biblical Judah and are called Jews. (For proof, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)

Referring to this prophecy, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2004: “Look again at Zechariah 11:14, about breaking the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. … I believe it may also apply on a physical level to America and the nation called Israel, or biblical Judah today. … This could be a prophecy of a rift between these two countries—one that would leave Judah very alone ….”

This rift will cause Israel to look to another protector. Israel has many enemies in the Middle East. Iran, its most hostile enemy, is close to acquiring nuclear weapons, putting Israel in a dangerous situation. The Bible prophesies that Israel will seek help from a different nation, not from its historical friends of America and Britain. This will lead to even bigger earthshaking events. To understand more of these prophecies related to Israel, please request our free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

190821-Matteo Salvini-GettyImages-1162878028.jpg

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

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

Read More

This Article—Soon Blocked By the EU?

Thousands of people demonstrate against the planned EU copyright reform and possible upload filters. Shortly before the decisive vote on the reform of copyright in the EU Parliament, thousands in Europe protested against the project.
Getty Images

This Article—Soon Blocked By the EU?

After months of talks, votes, consolations, protests and petitions, the European Union finally did it. The EU Parliament today passed one of its most controversial pieces of legislation in its history.

Inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, cofounder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales and 70 other Internet pioneers signed an open letter to the president of the European Parliament warning that it was about to pass a directive that was “an imminent threat to the future” of the Internet. Over 5 million people signed Change.org’s largest-ever petition to try to get the EU to reconsider. Hundreds of thousands turned out to protest last weekend.

None of that mattered. Today, the European Parliament passed its new Copyright Directive, its largest-ever attack on a free and open Internet.

The controversy centers around two articles of the directive, both of which are far more important than they at first seem. Protecting copyright holders is sensible. But the EU’s directive paves the way for what European Digital Rights calls a “censorship machine.”

Article 11 of the EU Copyright Directive is the “link tax.” Individuals and organizations who post information to websites commonly quote other publications. Here at the Trumpet, we often quote a few sentences from an outstanding article, and give readers a link to the full article. As a writer, I love it when others link to my articles. It means a wider audience comes and reads my work.

The EU wants to put a stop to this. Anyone quoting beyond just a few words will have to pay a fee to the creator. The result? Fewer people share articles, and the creator ends up worse off.

Germany and Spain both tried this, and it proved unworkable. Experts predict the directive will lead to the Internet becoming more dominated by a small number of giant companies. It is just too time consuming to reach agreements with lots of small news sites to allow you to quote them. It is easier for a few big media companies to strike agreements with each other. This leaves smaller sites to die without the oxygen of publicity.

Worse, Article 11 can be used to clamp down on criticism. For example, last year Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry and I wrote an article exposing a New York Times story that told a bunch of ridiculous lies about life in the United Kingdom. We quoted the New York Times and compared it with reality. Under Article 11, the New York Times could forbid us from quoting its content. It’s pretty hard to prove someone is lying if you can’t quote what he said.

Perhaps even more concerning is Article 13. This applies to sites like YouTube, Facebook and any others that host material made by the public. Currently you can post just about anything to YouTube. If there’s a copyright violation, the copyright owner will flag the video, and YouTube will take it down.

Already the system is pretty clunky. Most of the scanning for copyright violation is done by computer programs. If you upload content to YouTube regularly, you’re familiar with the pattern. A program will flag your content as copyrighted, and YouTube will automatically take it down. Then you have to get together a bunch of paperwork to show YouTube that your content is actually not copyrighted, or that you have the rights to use it.

The EU wants to make it even more restrictive. Everything that goes up on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc will have to be checked for copyright violations before it is posted. Around 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Over the same time period, Facebook users upload 240,000 pictures, like 3.1 million posts, and send 31 million messages. Scanning all of that for copyrighted content is humanly impossible, so it must be delegated to a computer program.

Again, this isn’t so bad for Internet giants. Google and Facebook can afford to spend millions creating contact filters—YouTube has already poured $100 million into its ContentID system for helping track down copyrighted material. But smaller websites? Not a chance. They’ll probably end up paying Google to do the filtering for them.

Meanwhile, websites will face big penalties if they fail to block copyrighted content, but small or no penalties if they mistakenly block content that should be allowed. They will err on the side of caution. Expect parodies, memes and other innocent content to be blocked.

Europe is pushing the world toward an Internet where all content is filtered before it’s uploaded.

At first, that filtering may just be for copyrighted material. But once the filters are in place, how long before the EU demands the filters be tweaked to filter out “hate speech” and any other speech it doesn’t like? And who trusts the EU to decide what should and should not be allowed?

This is why Tim Berners-Lee and his fellows warned that “Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.” Diego Naranjo, senior policy adviser at European Digital Rights, warned that “Article 13 of the Directive sets a dangerous precedent for Internet filters and automated censorship mechanisms—in the EU and across the globe.”

This is not about copyright protection. EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas tweeted that with this rule, the EU “takes back control” of the Internet. That’s what this is all about: “control.” The “back” is wrong—the EU never really controlled the Internet, but it has always wanted to.

Control is in the EU’s makeup. Part of the reason Britain wants out of the EU is because of the way the EU pass laws regulating every walk of life.

The directive may sound bad, but it is still some time away from being implemented. European leaders have already signed off on the directive, but they need to approve it one more time before it becomes official. It’s possible—though unlikely—that one of them could change his mind. Then, it will be up to each country to pass its own law that implements the directive by 2021. Part of the directive’s problem is that it is very vague. It will be up to national parliaments to determine, for example, exactly how long of a quote one can use from another site without paying a fee.

So there’s still time for the directive’s many opponents to push back—though it would be very hard to overturn. What is most concerning, however, is the intent. Regardless of how far this law goes, we’ve seen what EU leaders want. They want to pull out all the stops, ignore all the experts and massive public opinion, in order to gain more control.

TheTrumpet.com managing editor Brad Macdonald wrote about the EU’s efforts to regulate the world last year. He showed how the behavior of these leaders ties in with a key, and famous, Bible prophecy. He wrote:

So what does all this mean?

Even the most distant observer of Bible prophecy has heard the term “mark of the beast.” This mysterious “mark” is mentioned multiple times in the book of Revelation. All sorts of conspiracy theories exist about exactly what this “mark” is, but there is no need for theorizing. The Bible plainly reveals that the “mark of the beast” is Sunday worship. You can prove this by reading Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?, by the late Herbert W. Armstrong.

For now, let’s notice Revelation 13. In verse 11, the Apostle John says, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” This beast is also pictured in Revelation 17; in this chapter, she is the woman (church) who rides the seven-headed, 10-horned beast, known today as the Holy Roman Empire. These prophecies forecast the end-time formation of a German-led, Catholic-inspired European superstate. Mr. Armstrong often referred to this end-time entity as the coming “beast power.” You can study this further in our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

Now notice Revelation 13:16-17. Talking about this European beast power, John writes, “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Notice, this European beast power has a dictatorial global presence (Revelation 17 and 18 prove this too). It has power over “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond.” Notice too, the beast power has the influence and power to dictate who is allowed to “buy and sell,” in other words, to trade, to practice commerce and industry. The seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is going to have tremendous regulatory and financial power. It’s going to regulate global business and industry, trade and commerce.

Verses 16-17 clearly show that if people don’t accept this “mark”—if they don’t follow Europe’s rules—they will not be allowed to conduct business with this powerful and wealthy European superstate. Does this sound familiar? In spirit, this is what has already happened with the gdpr [General Data Protection Regulation]. It’s happening with the imminent EU copyright directive. The message behind both these initiatives is clear: Do business our way, submit to our rules, or we will shut you out of our market. We have yet to see the literal institution of the “mark of the beast,” but the EU today is operating in the spirit of the mark of the beast!

With the new copyright directive, the EU is setting up the infrastructure to control what people say online, and shut down its critics. “The Copyright Directive will create two internets,” wrote Matthew Lesh. “The first, a heavily censored version for European users, including filters to prevent you from uploading content. The second, a free internet where creativity is encouraged, for everyone else.”

The EU would love such a filter system. Mr. Macdonald concluded his article writing:

Isn’t this electrifying? The EU right now doesn’t feel like an autocratic, imperialist power. It doesn’t feel like an invasion is underway. When one sees Jean-Claude Juncker shuffling behind the lectern, one isn’t exactly paralyzed with fear. The EU looks and behaves like a sprawling, unwieldy, bureaucratic mess. And it is, at least in many respects. But it is this perception that makes the EU so dangerous; it is so easy to misread and underestimate. Remember, the beast of Revelation 13:11 looks like a lamb, but speaks and behaves like a dragon.

The beast power is rising. Europe’s power and influence is growing. For now, it’s not using tanks and aircraft carriers. Instead, it’s growing its power by creating long documents filled with complex, boring legislation. It’s called regulatory imperialism, and Europe has mastered it.

Hong Kong—the End of Freedom Begins

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

Read More

The Collusion Con

Special Counsel Robert Mueller leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 21, 2017, at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Getty Images

The Collusion Con

The following is from the Trumpet Brief sent out yesterday. These daily e-mails contain personal messages from the Trumpet staff. Click here to join the over 25,000 members of our mailing list, so you don’t miss another message.

It’s now confirmed, 28 months after the fact: Donald Trump’s winning the 2016 election by secretly conspiring with Russian operatives was an elaborate hoax. It was invented by the Department of Justice and the fbi at the end of the Obama presidency for the sole purpose of destroying a political enemy.

On Friday, Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller iii submitted his long-awaited report to the attorney general’s office, ending a torturous 22 months of investigating Donald Trump and nearly everyone associated with his 2016 presidential campaign. For two years, Democrats, Never-Trumpers and their all-too-overeager allies in the mainstream media reminded us every day that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to rig the election. The Mueller probe, they assured us, would prove every one of these slanderous accusations: from high crimes and misdemeanors to outright treason. Donald Trump, his children and their advisers were all going to prison, probably for life, for conspiring with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

American taxpayers funded every penny of this sham investigation, estimated at $25 to $40 million. According to Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the report, Mueller employed 19 prosecutors and was assisted by 40 fbi agents. The special counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed 500 search warrants, interviewed 500 witnesses, collected 230 requests for communication records, and submitted 13 requests for evidence to foreign governments.

After all that, according to the report, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” (emphasis added throughout). In other words, not one, single American was indicted or convicted for conspiring with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

The media reaction to this revelation has been astounding. They are not happy or even relieved to know that the Trump team did not conspire with Russia to compromise the American election process. They are instead furious that Mueller didn’t take down Donald Trump!

They haven’t even read the full report (it hasn’t been released). But they know President Trump is guilty. And they are all competing to be the ones with the most anti-Trump reaction to the news that he and his team have been cleared.

They are displaying to the world that they are impervious to facts. The evidence does not matter if it differs from their opinions.

“How can they let Trump off the hook?” one commentator mournfully asked on Friday night. Another said, “I don’t need the Mueller report to know he’s a traitor—I have a tv.” Yet another said he was still convinced that Mr. Trump is Benedict Arnold, the infamous Revolutionary War defector. One Democratic presidential candidate says he knows “beyond a shadow of doubt” that Trump colluded with Russia. Another Democrat in the House of Representatives is now calling for Robert Mueller to be subpoenaed!

These people should be hanging their heads in shame. Instead, they simply turn their eyes and ears away from truth and carry on with this disgraceful con job. There are plenty of other investigations still pending, one commentator gleefully noted over the weekend.

They won’t stop until they get rid of Donald Trump because, well, he’s Donald Trump. They hate the fact that he defeated them. They hate him. But most importantly, they hate those who support him.

This was Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s response to the Mueller disappointment: “The special prosecutor is limited in scope; his job was limited in scope and limited to crimes. What Congress has to do is look at a broader picture.” Never mind crimes! The Democrats in Congress have so much more they can “investigate” in order to, at the very least, bog down and oppose President Trump and his policies.

So they will do everything in their power to continue the con. But the truth is there for those who have eyes to see.

On my radio program earlier today, I had a lot to say about the Mueller probe and the Russian collusion hoax. At this milestone moment in this crucial presidency, I really encourage you to have a listen:

Haven’t you wondered why Donald Trump has been so resilient, to say the least? People considered him a novelty. He ran for president of the United States. People said his candidacy was a joke. He won the nomination. People poured on the hate. He won the election. Democrats, journalists, commentators, celebrities, former friends and associates, more than a few Republicans, and even powerful people inside his own government have all tried to, at least, slow him down and, at most, impeach him (or perhaps goad someone into killing him).

But President Donald J. Trump rolls on.

Not only does he retain the presidency, but he gets things done: reforming taxes, confirming a record number of circuit judges, withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights, increasing border security, reducing regulations, renegotiating trade deals, making businesses optimistic, and helping the U.S. economy surge.

Not only does he retain the presidency and get things done, but the more his enemies work to destroy him, the worse things go for them. About half the country opposed him, and I’d say about 90 percent of the elites hate him. President Barack Obama’s administration doubled down on its opposition to him by stacking the powerful Department of Justice with agents who would try to undermine and end the Trump presidency. Yet as my father showed in “Nunes Memo Exposes Unseen Threat to America,” the scheming, collusion and deceit that the former president and other radical liberals aimed at destroying President Trump backfired, and the world discovered much of that corruption. Their attack damaged them more than it damaged Mr. Trump. How does that happen? Why does it keep happening?

They doubled down further by launching the Mueller investigation. They devoted a huge amount of executive, legislative, media and cultural power to it. Now, rather than meaningfully damaging the president, they have again damaged themselves. Yet even with the humiliation so fresh, they have little choice but to double down even further in their opposition. (Backing off now, in the face of the facts, would mean admitting they were wrong and, in most cases, admitting that they tried to influence people in a biased if not deceitful way.) They’re probably working right now on their latest, most creative, most vicious insults to voice on television in the competition to show that they are the celebrity, politician or journalist who possesses the most rage toward President Trump. But by now they probably have a sinking feeling that their best isn’t good enough. Something is powering this president that they haven’t been able to stop.

How can a man facing such enormous enmity still succeed?

He can’t.

This presidency has been used to temporarily save the nation, but the savior is not Mr. Trump. God Himself has used this presidency to keep this nation from falling. What is powering the president is not his own strength, personality, allies or anything else. My father spoke and wrote about the real reason for the president’s success about a year ago. I encourage you to read it: “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily.”

20190722_Deepika Phone-8506810_B.jpg

Your Most Important Relationship

Learn what the Bible reveals about who and what God is!

Read More

Will the Resignation of Kazakhstan’s Strongman Bring the Nation Closer to Russia?

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev announces his resignation during a televised address.
Getty Images

Will the Resignation of Kazakhstan’s Strongman Bring the Nation Closer to Russia?

The last Soviet-era leader has stepped down, but a more perilous age is here.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the only leader Kazakhstan has had since gaining independence from the Soviet Union three decades ago, unexpectedly resigned on March 19. His departure could open the door for the oil-rich nation to draw closer to Russia again.

Nazarbayev came to power in 1989 as first secretary of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan when the nation was still a Soviet republic. In 1991, he presided over the transition to independence. He was reelected, against token challengers, in 1999, 2005, 2011 and 2015.

Authoritarians like Nazarbayev seem to exit the presidential palace only in coffins or coups. But Nazarbayev, 78, voluntarily resigned. In a television address to the nation, he said his decision to step down was “not easy,” but that he wished to help “a new generation of leaders.” Nazarbayev also said that he would remain chairman of the nation’s Security Council and leader of the ruling party.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, chairman of the Senate, was sworn in as interim president to serve out the remainder of Nazarbayev’s term, ending in April 2020. Shortly after being sworn in, Tokayev ordered the capital city, Astana, to be renamed Nursultan in honor of the departing strongman.

An Opening for Russia

Nazarbayev’s rule was marked by constantly and skillfully rebalancing Kazakhstan between its historic ties to Russia, the growing gravitational pull of China, and its relations with Western powers. His success helped legitimize his rule.

In recent years, Nazarbayev’s balancing act began to increasingly tilt Kazakhstan away from its Soviet history. He banned the Russian language in cabinet meetings and parliamentary proceedings. He established an economic zone built on English-style common law. And in an effort to break Kazakhstan out of Russia’s cultural orbit, he switched the nation from the Cyrillic alphabet that Russia had imposed in 1940 to a Latin script, like English.

Russian President Vladimir Putin applauded Nazarbayev’s decision to step down. He likely expects Tokayev and future leaders to allow more Russian influence on the government. Even if Nazarbayev’s successors do not intend to let Russia reassert itself in Kazakhstan, analysts doubt they will be as skilled as Nazarbayev in balancing the nation between Russia, China and the West, which could translate into a victory for Russia.

The ‘Prince of Russia’

The Trumpet watches the former Soviet nations because Putin views the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century.” Putin has actively worked to rebuild Russian power in these nations, invading Georgia in 2008 and annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. He has also used political pressure to increase dominance over Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.

With a leadership transition now underway in Kazakhstan, Putin will seek openings to bring it more firmly under Russian control.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has often drawn attention to Putin’s efforts to dominate the former Soviet republics, and has shown how these efforts align with Bible prophecy. In our September 2014 issue, he discussed Revelation 9:16, which describes an Asian military force of 200 million soldiers fighting in World War iii. He also explained Ezekiel 38:2, which states that this force will be led by the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal” (Young’s Literal Translation).

Meshech and Tubal, he explained, are ancient names corresponding to modern Russian cities, and Rosh is a variation of an ancient name for Russia.

“I strongly believe Vladimir Putin is going to lead the 200 million-man army,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “Other nations are leaning toward an alliance with Russia” and “[s]everal of them are prophesied to join.” History, geography and prophecy show that many former Soviet countries such as Kazakhstan will likely be among these “other nations.”

A Sign of Hope

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry writes that, although the direction of Putin’s Russia shows that the world is on the fast track to a third world war, there is also cause for hope and joy tied into these developments.

He explains that the fact that Putin is now in power shows that the most hope-filled event in man’s history is on the horizon. He writes:

Mr. Putin’s warfare is going to lead directly into the Second Coming of Christ. … Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign, that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible.

What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! … Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear.

To better understand these Bible prophecies and the hope that is at their core, order your free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

190913-GettyImages-544175028-small.jpg

Why America Needs to Beware Modern Assyria

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

Read More

Survey: Germany Growing Stronger

iStock.com/fotoVoyager

Survey: Germany Growing Stronger

Combined with economic anxiety, perception among Europeans that Germany is surging brings a key prophecy closer to fulfillment.

A Pew Research survey published on March 19 shows that many Europeans see Germany as a more important player on the world scene than it was 10 years ago. At the same time, many are anxious about the future of the economy.

There is a vital connection between these two findings—a connection that we must understand.

The Pew Research survey polled residents of 10 European nations: Poland, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Greece. It covered a variety of topics, such as how Europeans see the European Union, how they perceive immigration, and whether or not they are financially better off as a result.

The most significant results of the survey concerned Germany, which is enjoying an increase in the number of people who view it as a powerful, relevant nation. Meanwhile, the relevance of the UK and France is viewed as stagnant or in decline.

According to the report:

In addition to economic tumult and challenges regarding immigration, the past decade has also seen shifts in the stature of European nations on the world stage. This is particularly true of Germany. Across the 10 European nations polled, a median of 47 percent say Germany plays a more important role than a decade ago, while 36 percent believe it plays as important a role and just 15 percent think it is less important.

In Greece, the vast majority said Germany’s importance in the world has increased, with 81 percent saying Germany has a more important role in world affairs than it did 10 years ago. In Spain, 56 percent agreed; 55 percent agreed in Italy. In Germany itself, 51 percent of respondents agreed that their nation has grown in importance. This is a notable portion of the population of Western and Southern Europe.

Also noteworthy is the pessimistic economic outlook shared by a majority of Europeans. In most countries, a majority of people said they expected the financial situation of their children to be worse than theirs. In France, 8 in 10 people believe their children will be worse off than them.

A majority of people in France, Italy, Spain, the UK and Greece also said they believed their financial situation had worsened compared to 20 years ago.

However, attitudes about the EU are still generally positive. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed said the EU promotes peace; slightly more than half said the EU promotes prosperity.

Will the EU system and Germany’s growing role bring the peace that many hope for?

As far back as 1945, one man looked to Bible prophecy to predict that Germany would indeed rise from the ashes of World War ii and take on a leading role in Europe. That man was Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Trumpet’s predecessor magazine, the Plain Truth.

In our free booklet He Was Right, we note that right from the end of World War ii, Mr. Armstrong forecast that Germany would rise again. “Germany inevitably [will] emerge as the leader of a united Europe,” he wrote in 1954.

What did he base his forecast on?

The Bible prophesied far in advance that Germany would rise again after World War ii, to lead Europe in the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Revelation 17:10). The Bible describes seven resurrections of the ancient Holy Roman Empire. At the time when Mr. Armstrong came to understand these verses, the sixth king was on the scene in the form of Adolf Hitler and fascist Europe.

That resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire has come and gone, leaving only the seventh yet to come. During His time on Earth, Jesus Christ warned that the last appearance of this violent world-ruling power would lead to a time of such violence that if He did not return to stop it, humans would annihilate themselves (Matthew 24:21-22). Such annihilation became possible only in the past century with nuclear warfare.

In 1984, Mr. Armstrong wrote that a massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.”

The recent survey by Pew Research confirms both aspects of what Mr. Armstrong prophesied: Money is on the minds of many Europeans, and if there is a recession, they will look to Germany for deliverance.

“That, in turn, could bring on the Great Tribulation suddenly. And that will lead quickly into the Second Coming of Christ and the end of this world as we know it,” wrote Mr. Armstrong.

Christ’s return will herald the beginning of a new world of total peace and economic security for all. To learn more about how one man used Bible prophecy to predict the future of Germany and the world, request our free literature He Was Right and The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

Hong Kong—the End of Freedom Begins

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

Read More

What Is God’s College Like?

God’s college today was prophesied in your Bible! What is its purpose?

I am the chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College, which has its main campus at the Philadelphia Church of God headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma, and a branch in England. This isn’t my college; it is God’s college. Its purpose is twofold: to teach students how to become teachers in the wonderful World Tomorrow, and to hasten their spiritual education.

Your Bible foretold the existence of God’s colleges in this end time, during the last two Church eras. Anciently, three biblical prophets ran three colleges each. Before his death in 1986, our predecessor, Herbert W. Armstrong, operated colleges in California, Texas and England. Today, besides our two main college branches, there’s a partial third branch in Jerusalem. We have sent students to assist Jewish archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar with all seven of her excavations since 2006. The possibility remains of establishing a permanent college campus there.

God used Mr. Armstrong as an end-time type of Elijah to “restore all things” to the Church (Matthew 17:11)—including God’s colleges, which were modeled after the ancient Elijah’s.

Why is God so focused on education? It is only possible to restore all things if we also restore God’s college—the engine that makes the whole vehicle run.

The appearance of Mr. Armstrong on the scene in this end time fulfilled Bible prophecy. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). Mr. Armstrong proclaimed a message of family unity. God wants unity in His Church. This man is a sign that Christ’s return is near—at the very door! I’m talking about a decade or less, almost certainly.

The end-time Elijah has already come and gone. (You can prove that Mr. Armstrong fulfilled this office by studying my book Malachi’s Message, the “little book” of Revelation 10. You can also study The Little Book.) Mr. Armstrong restored all things primarily through the colleges he raised up.

“It was the development of the college in Pasadena that made possible the growth of the whole gospel work!” Mr. Armstrong wrote in his autobiography. God did a great work through him: over 400 television stations, 8 million Plain Truth subscribers (more than Time and Newsweek combined), and a $200 million annual income.

The name Elijah means “My God is God.” We’re discussing the real God! Elijah corrected ancient Israel for following the traditions of King Jeroboam, just as the modern nations of Israel are doing in this end time (Amos 7). (Study my booklet Great Again to prove the identity of the end-time type of Jeroboam.) God charged Elijah with confronting King Ahab and telling him that God knew about the innocent people Ahab had killed. It often requires great courage to do God’s work, but the reward could just about make you faint!

The world today is terrifying, with nuclear bombs proliferating faster than the experts can track them. Hate and aggressive militarism are everywhere. How sobering, but we need not be afraid if we have faith in God’s plan. God’s college is preparing our students to teach and lead the whole world one day soon.

When Mr. Armstrong started Ambassador College, the work of God began to grow at a phenomenal pace of 30 percent every year for decades! This is unparalleled in the business world! He trained students to become ministers, administrators and assistants under him as the work grew continually.

Students at Elijah’s colleges were considered “sons of the prophets” (1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3). Elisha followed Elijah around on various journeys—he wouldn’t leave Elijah alone! He considered Elijah his spiritual father. When we recognize God’s Elijah work, we should cling to it and shout, My father, my father! I will not leave these teachings!

When God decided to transport Elijah in a chariot of fire—not to heaven, but to a distant land—it was time for Elisha to take charge of God’s work. Elisha was determined to follow every detail of Elijah’s example, and he relied on God for help in accomplishing that goal: “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:9-10). God did allow Elisha to see the invisible spiritual chariot of fire, proof that Elisha would be blessed with a double portion of the Holy Spirit.

There’s only one chariot of God. We all must jump on it to move God’s work forward! Only one chariot will ever move the nations of Israel back into close contact with the Creator God. One day, all humanity will be governed by the teachings of Elijah, which will be taught by the students of Elijah.

In Isaiah 28:9, the Prophet Isaiah asks, “Whom shall he teach knowledge?” He goes on to say that we can’t just unquestioningly accept whatever religion we grew up with. If we prove that we have been observing false religion, we must be prepared to rip it out of our minds. Replace lies with the truth of God! Most people refuse to do this. It is very hard to root out the tree of wrong ideas, but God won’t teach us unless we commit to lasting change.

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). Go from deceived babe to nursing on the truth. Become teachable like a little child. Worldly intellectuals are too arrogant and self-willed to learn from God.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3). Jesus Christ Himself kept every word of both the Old and New Testaments. We can’t cherry-pick which parts of the Bible to favor while disregarding the rest.

How will God respond to those who obey every word of the Bible? “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:3, 6). By doing God’s will today before Christ’s return, we qualify to share Christ’s throne with Him and to rule from Jerusalem for all eternity, bringing peace and joy to this miserable world.

Before Elijah and Elisha, the Prophet Samuel also established three colleges. He ended the polluted priesthood and founded a pure one. The two books of Samuel are part of the former prophets, as are the two books of Kings in which the stories of Elijah and Elisha are told. These books are prophecy for this end time! Today, we possess the wonderful truths taught by these biblical heroes. God’s college is about to fill the world with His truth!