Archaeology Proves Bible History Accurate

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Archaeology Proves Bible History Accurate

Is the Bible religious myth or accurate history? Some highly educated people say the Bible’s history cannot be trusted. What do you think? Here is an important article to help you clarify your thoughts.
From the December 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

The Bible is the only ancient, well-organized and authentic framework in which to fit all the facts of history. The Bible does not record all history. In fact, there are huge gaps in the history contained in the Bible. Yet, without the Bible and what it reveals from prehistory, ancient history and prophecy—which is history written in advance—you cannot truly understand any history. No worldly source can help us as the Bible does!

But what do modern men say about the Bible? Most agree it is a book for the religious, but think its history cannot be trusted.

For centuries, until the so-called Age of Enlightenment—also known as the Age of Reason—the Western world accepted without question the historical accuracy of the account of the Garden of Eden, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the history of the patriarchs and the Exodus from Egypt. However, in the 17th and 18th centuries, European intellectuals began to claim that only through human reason could true knowledge be obtained. Rather than the Bible, scientific reasoning became the source of authority—the ultimate judge of all truth. The Bible came under direct attack.

Then in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the theory of evolution—the fable of a creation without a Creator—and higher Bible criticism spawned by anti-Semite German rationalists, came on the scene and succeeded in completely removing God and the Bible from the picture. German Bible critics argued that the Bible was unhistorical and had no reliable basis in fact. They stated that the Bible was merely Jewish fable and folklore fabricated in the 5th and 6th centuries b.c.—in other words, that most of the Old Testament books were not contemporary records, but rather had been written centuries after the events took place. Many scholars came to deny the existence of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and Solomon.

So today, most theologians and ministers look askance at the Bible and its history. The real tragedy is that these men refuse to study into and teach the vital lessons taught by these histories.

Foolish Scoffers

The great men of the Bible prophesied accurately that highly educated men and women who scoff at God and His revealed Word would dominate our world. Although men have sneered at God in every generation beginning with Adam, ours was to be the worst. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:21-22, 28). Although Paul is speaking specifically about the earliest men, we have not changed for the better; we have grown worse.

Since the 17th and 18th centuries, men have produced an amazing fund of knowledge in the industrial and scientific areas. Yet pursuing knowledge about God has been left out. Our generation knows less about God and what God is doing than any prior generation. Modern leaders in education, science and industry have created a science-centric world. They have pushed religion into the outer fringes of our civilization. Ours is not a religious age—though some may think it to be so. Paul saw into our day and said that end-time religion has “a form of godliness,” but that men deny its power (2 Timothy 3:5). Most of the world’s educated believe that mankind has outgrown the need for God. God has been made to seem powerless. This fact should alarm us. It is time we turn back to the all-powerful God.

Many believe that science will save us from our problems. Why can’t we recognize that science is about to destroy us? Soon the need for God will come crashing back upon us. Then all men will have to admit that only God can save us.

The Apostle Peter wrote, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts …. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:3, 5-6). Peter states clearly that one of the hallmarks of our day is a willing ignorance of God. The truth is, men could know much more about God but choose not to. What does this mean? Peter warns that willing ignorance of God, along with a great expansion in all other fields of knowledge, is the cause of the soon-coming, final global disaster (verse 7). Mankind, assuming self-rule without God, will bring itself to the brink of annihilation. Thankfully, God promises to intervene and stop our self-destruction.

Here are some perfect examples of what Paul and Peter are talking about. Bertrand Russell, the late British philosopher and avowed agnostic, wrote this in his History of Western Philosophy: “The early history of the Israelites cannot be confirmed from any source outside of the Old Testament, and it is impossible to know at what point it ceases to be purely legendary.” Mr. Russell dismisses the Bible as unreliable legend in just a few sentences. Even though first printed in 1945, his book is still widely read by university students and is considered one of the best books of its kind. Young, bright minds have been and still are being prejudiced against the Bible, the foundation of true knowledge. Historian R.G. Collingwood, in his book The Idea of History (printed posthumously in 1946), tagged the Bible as “theocratic history and myth.”

Most scholars lower the Bible to the level of Homer—mythology in poetic form. Unfortunately, many Bible scholars, ministers and theologians agree. Yet, there are mountains of evidence to prove otherwise.

The Bible is a book of accurate history. Contrary to what Mr. Russell had to say, there is evidence outside the Bible that proves the reality of its history. However, we hear very little about this evidence.

New Science: Archaeology

Most scholars have been ignoring pertinent facts. The willing (and sometimes willful) ignoring of the truth has been happening for decades. Even while Russell and Collingwood were writing their books, other scholars were unearthing spectacular discoveries that cast a bright light on the truth of the biblical record. Even prior to the mid-20th century, the new science of archaeology—the digging-up and study of the remains of man’s bygone years—caused an earthquake within the anti-God scholarship of the critics. The facts are amazing.

As a science, archaeology has expanded to include the study of all cultures. However, at its earliest stage of development, the infant science was concerned most with ancient civilizations. For centuries, robbers, religious pilgrims, even Napoleon had unearthed and carried away multiple thousands of ancient artifacts from sites throughout the Near East and Egypt. It was during Napoleon’s military expedition in Egypt in 1799 that the vitally important Rosetta stone was dug up.

Yet, it was not until the end of the 19th century that a systematic study and evaluation of the Near East began. This geographic region is known as the Fertile Crescent. Egyptologist James Henry Breasted first used the term “Fertile Crescent” to describe the lush, well-watered, crescent-shaped geographic region starting at the Persian Gulf moving up the Tigris-Euphrates valley, then westward over Syria and southward along the Mediterranean Sea through Palestine. The productive Nile valley is often included within the boundaries of the crescent. It is in this geographic region that the lands and peoples of the Old Testament history are located. For nearly two centuries, the Fertile Crescent has been the focus of intense archaeological scrutiny. Even Herbert W. Armstrong supported critically important digs in Jerusalem by sending Ambassador College students there as workers.

There should be strong public interest in the archaeological findings of this region. Although at one time archaeological findings did spark sharp interest by both secular and religious scholars, much is now forgotten or goes unnoticed.

Archaeology has confirmed without question the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Gainsaying Not Stopped

The scholars’ main attack on Bible history in the early 20th century was that no secular records existed to provide evidence of the Flood, the Exodus, or the lives of David and Solomon. Many claimed that Moses could never have written the first five books of the Bible, since writing had not been invented at that time. But when the curious, energetic men and women dug up the past, these commonly held ideas were proved to be without foundation.

Modern archaeology has challenged the world of education to admit that the Bible is factual. Solid, documented evidence outside the Bible record confirms events and persons that were at one time considered to be suspect or plain false.

Still, some people work tirelessly to discredit the Bible as a God-inspired record of critically important history. Some have stubbornly overlooked overwhelming evidence. Others have purposely misinterpreted the facts to hold on to pet theories. Are we surprised? Not really. Why?

The Bible has the answer. No man of himself can accept or submit to the authoritative Word of God. Paul wrote: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Men have been successful in getting rid of God and His great authority (though in reality, God is very much present). They don’t want Him back! To admit that the Bible is accurate historically would mean accepting that God does exist—and that His Word holds authority over the lives of all men. The brightest minds know that if the Bible is exact in its history, then its commands are in full force. You cannot separate Bible history from Bible law! The entire Bible is true, or it is false. It cannot be both.

Let’s be plain: You can rely on the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Behistun Rock Deciphered

Let’s look at several of the more important archaeological finds that confirm Bible history. Not all of these artifacts have been as publicized as some of the more spectacular ones like the Rosetta stone or the tomb of King Tut of ancient Egypt, yet they are momentous in regards to the evaluation of the Bible chronicle.

The deciphering of the Behistun inscription in the 19th century was one of the most remarkable archaeological advancements and the most vital to understanding ancient writings uncovered in the Fertile Crescent. The discovery opened the door for archaeology to further confirm the Bible’s historical accuracy.

The inscription, like a billboard about the size of half a football field, is situated on a cliff about 300 feet above the base of a mountain in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. The site lies along the road that connected the ancient capitals of kingdoms of Babylonia and Media: Babylon and Ecbatana. The inscription dates back to 516 b.c. and is an account of Darius i’s assumption of the Persian throne (521-486 b.c.). This account was written in cuneiform in three languages (Babylonian, Elamite and Old Persian). In 1835, Sir Henry C. Rawlinson copied and began to decipher the text, finishing the Persian translation in 1846. He and other scholars were soon able to translate the Babylonian and Elamite portions.

Many ancient cultures in the Middle East used cuneiform, but these works were a mystery until the trilingual Behistun inscription was deciphered—the discovery made possible the translation of other cuneiform writings.

The Behistun breakthrough led to others, including the translation of 22,000 tablets at the ruins of Nineveh, Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk, Shennacherib’s Prism, and the epic poems of Gilgamesh and Enuma Elish. (These poems contain accounts of the Flood, creation and the tower of Babel that closely parallel the Bible.)

The Fabled Hittites

Bible critics had long sneered at references in the Bible to a people called the Hittites (Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8, 17; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 1:4; Judges 1:26 and elsewhere). Their opinion was that the Hittites were simply one of the many mythical peoples made up by Bible writers. Some critics said they may have been a small and unimportant tribe. But the critics were off the beam!

Toward the end of the 19th century, Hittite monuments were uncovered at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in Syria, proving the Bible right. Later, in 1906, excavations at Boghazkoy (ancient Hattusas, capital of the Hittite Empire) in Turkey uncovered thousands of Hittite documents, revealing a wealth of information about Hittite history and culture. The centuries-old Hittite rubbish showed they were a real and formidable power. They were once one of the dominant peoples of Asia Minor and the Near East. They exercised considerable control south into Syria and Palestine.

The Bible was right all along! Today, no one questions the existence of the Hittites. Volumes of books exist on the history, art, culture and society of the Hittites. Yet an anti-Bible prejudice still exists. Scholarly people usually believe that if it’s in the Bible, it’s wrong. But the Bible is right and has always been right.

In 1974, Italian archaeologists found approximately 17,000 cuneiform tablets and fragments at the site of ancient Ebla in northern Syria. The inscriptions on these artifacts date them prior to the 24th century b.c. Noachian Flood. Similar finds were uncovered in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The tablets show that writing was common centuries before Moses. The critics can no longer claim that Moses and his contemporaries were illiterate or that the Pentateuch was written by Ezra in the 5th century b.c.

No Jewish Captivity?

One of the most ridiculous claims of the critics has been that the Babylonian captivity did not take place. This is on a par with those who believe the Holocaust of World War ii did not happen. The Bible gives specific details about the captivity of Judah by the armies of Babylon early in the 6th century b.c. (ii Kings 24-25). Scholars have said it’s all just another Jewish myth. However, between 1935 and 1938, important discoveries were made 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem at a site thought to be ancient Lachish. Lachish was one of the cities recorded in the Bible as being besieged by the king of Babylon at the same time as the siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 34:7).

Twenty-one pottery fragments inscribed in the ancient Hebrew script were unearthed in the latest pre-exilic levels of the site. Called the Lachish Ostraca, they were written during the very time of the Babylonian siege. Some of them are exchanges between the city’s military commander and an outlying observation post, vividly picturing the final days of Judah’s desperate struggle against Babylon! Since the 1930s, there has been more unearthing of Babylonian historical texts describing the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. The historical fact of the Babylonian captivity is firmly established.

We could discuss literally hundreds of archaeological finds that corroborate Bible history. Noah’s Flood, the Exodus, David, Solomon and the kings of Israel and Jerusalem as described in the Bible are proven to be historical by non-biblical sources. If you desire to know more, go to your local library and do some self-study. You may be surprised to find how much information is actually available to you. Unfortunately, you will not find this information on your nightly news. Two books we can recommend are The Bible as History by Werner Keller and On the Reliability of the Old Testament by K.A. Kitchen.

There are numerous biblically related artifacts in the British Museum located in London. They are breathtaking to see. Even though you may never be able to go to London, it is possible to log on to the museum website (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk) and see pictures of the artifacts. Here is a short list of some of the more important treasures of antiquity:

  • The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) shows Jehu, king of Israel, bowing before the Assyrian king. This is the only known picture of an Israelite king.
  • Tablets from the time of Tiglath-Pileser (744-727 B.C.) state that he received tribute from Jehoahaz of Judah. This is the full name of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:7).
  • A wonderfully detailed limestone relief from Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh shows the siege of Lachish.
  • One of the most important is the cylinder of Nabonidus (555-539 B.C.). He was the last ruler of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. This stele proves that his son Belshazzar was co-regent with him (Daniel 5; 7:1; 8:1). Scholars previously scoffed at Belshazzar’s existence.
  • In his book A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Gleason Archer Jr. quotes author John Elder as saying, “It is not too much to say that it was the rise of the science of archaeology that broke the deadlock between the historians and the … Christian. Little by little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one culture after another whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists …. Contemporary records of biblical events have been unearthed and the uniqueness of the biblical revelation has been emphasized by contrast and comparison to newly discovered religions of ancient peoples. Nowhere has archaeological discovery refuted the Bible as history” (emphasis mine). That last statement is the most important. Archaeology has proven that the Bible is accurate history!

    A Recent Find

    The contribution of archaeology to the Bible record is far from over. In August this year, an incredible find was unearthed in the Old City of Jerusalem. The event did not make national news. It should have!

    Workers repairing a sewage-pipe break uncovered the Pool of Siloam in Old Jerusalem. This pool was a major gathering site for the Jews. The Pool of Siloam is central to the account of the miracle of Christ healing a man blind from birth (John 9:1-7). Christ put clay on the man’s eyes and then told him to wash at the Pool of Siloam. Obeying Christ by washing in the pool completed the miracle (verse 11). This created an incredible stir among the Jewish elite of Christ’s day (verses 14-41). Why? Jesus Christ had made the clay with His own spit on the Sabbath day. The Jews considered this act a breaking of the Sabbath command. Jealous and insecure, the Pharisees declared that Christ was not of God for healing the blind man on the Sabbath (verse 16). A study of the whole chapter makes plain that the entire incident was used by God to show the Pharisees how blind they were to God and what God was doing on this Earth. Of course, they failed to learn that lesson.

    Why is all this important today? Here is what the Los Angeles Times reported about this incredible archaeological find: “‘Scholars have said that there wasn’t a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit’ to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. ‘Now, we have found the Pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.’ A Gospel that was thought to be ‘pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history,’ he said” (August 9). Do we get it? The scholars are wrong—again. The Bible is accurate—always!

    Unfortunately, this archaeological event received very little attention. What if it had? Think about what this find tells us. It not only establishes the historical accuracy of John’s Gospel, it reinforces the historicity of Jesus Christ. The find also establishes that it is God’s desire to heal mankind of seemingly impossible health crises. God is very real and very powerful. Our modern scholars have their part in making many men, women and children as spiritually blind as the Pharisees of Christ’s day.

    It’s time for all people to seriously question Bible critics. It is time for all Bible critics to stop pointing their finger at God—to quit casting doubt on the Bible record and start learning the true knowledge that will solve all humanity’s problems.

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    A Relationship to Watch

    From the December 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

    When Bavarian Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope, a fellow countryman and the leader of Germany’s most Catholic province said, “I am certain that the new pope will be able to win over and rally all the world’s Catholics, not only because he is the most brilliant theologian of all time, but also because of his human and pastoral qualities.”

    Clearly, Edmund Stoiber is a faithful admirer of the new pope.

    What’s interesting is that Bavaria’s Edmund Stoiber and now-Benedict xvi are two men the Trumpet

    has closely watched for several years now. We forecasted that both would likely take the lead of their respective governments. That already happened for one of them.

    Now, Benedict xvi has visited with Edmund Stoiber.

    After the official meeting with Stoiber’s complete entourage on November 3, the pope met privately with Stoiber for about 10 minutes. No “official statements,” no political hobnobbing, no cameras—just two Bavarians behind closed doors.

    What intriguing timing. Stoiber has just turned down a cabinet post in a messy grand coalition that seems to have been doomed before it even started. He has no portfolio in the new government. Yet he is the only German politician to have an audience with the most powerful man in the world’s largest single religion. Is it not strange?

    There is no doubt the pope is interested in the political crisis in his homeland. What does he have to say about it? What influence is he wielding to forge a solution?

    Look at the facts. Both men think alike (somewhat similar to how Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the Iranian clerics think). Both want increased Catholic influence in European politics.

    If Benedict sees in Stoiber a man with the fervor and influence to help bring about these spiritual changes, is it possible these two men have forged some kind of agreement—the pope to get more involved in German politics and work to boost Stoiber’s bid for power—and Stoiber to implement the bidding of “the most brilliant theologian of all time”?

    No relationship may be more necessary to watch than that nurtured on this November 3 visit.

    Past Predictions

    Bavaria was home soil not only for the present pope and a staunch-Catholic premier, but also European influentials like Otto von Habsburg and Adolf Hitler.

    Now, combine recent events with past analysis from the Trumpet. Those familiar with us know that we refer to Bible prophecy to determine which events to highlight and which to make strong assertions about.

    The world is staring down the barrel of another resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Based on key prophecies scattered throughout the Bible, we at the Trumpet have been looking for a Germanic resurrection of such an empire.

    That is why we strongly speculated on the appearance of a German pope before he was elected (in our May 2005 issue, which arrived in mailboxes around the time that white smoke ascended from Vatican City that cloudy day in April). And that is why we have tracked the career of the Bavarian premier loyal not only to the Vatican but also to his political mentor, Franz Josef Strauss.

    Our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, wrote in one of the Trumpet’s sister publications back in the summer: “We need to watch the European Union for a man stepping in and seizing control of that entity through flatteries.” He based this statement on a prophecy in Daniel 11:21, which indicates this political leader of the Holy Roman Empire will not be voted in. “I truly believe the Vatican will help bring that political leader on the scene, and that’s when we will really see the fireworks. We know from these prophecies that the Vatican will become very powerful and instigate some radical changes” ( Royal Vision, July/August 2005).

    This was written before the stalemate occurred in Germany’s elections.

    What’s even more captivating, this Royal Vision piece was based on comments by Mr. Flurry at a January 2005 conference—long before the installment of a German pope or even the death of Pope John Paul ii! He asked publicly, about the coming pope, “What would a German do in that office? He certainly would know quite a lot about German politics, I would think. … I think the Vatican is going to be working behind the scenes. They may have a pope to help them do it who really knows the German system and begins to get the leader in there that can really swing things around, a good strong Catholic ….”

    As the Trumpet declared just after Benedict’s installment, “Now that a Bavarian pope reigns in the Vatican, we must wonder how Europe would change were a Bavarian premier to take the German chancellorship—or, more significantly, a position at the top of the European Union. We have been looking for a strong church-state connection to take hold in Europe, steered by the Vatican and Germany. Would it not be natural for these two powerful men—both from the same religiously charged region in Germany—to make this happen?”

    With the Bavarian Benedict able “to win over and rally all the world’s Catholics” and a rising political twin who will likely lead Germany and even Europe, it appears Europe’s future as a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is coming very close to fruition.

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    5,000 Suicide Bombers in Germany

    From the December 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

    Between 3,000 and 5,000 potential Islamic suicide attackers are in Germany, Guenther Beckstein, interior minister of Bavaria, told an online newspaper.

    In an interview with Netzeitung on September 12, Beckstein exhibited concern that small terrorist cells were capable of preparing attacks without being detected.

    “In Germany we have between 3,000 and 5,000 of these Islamists who are prepared to use violence and do not shrink from suicide attacks,” Beckstein said (Associated Press, September 12).

    Beckstein, a member of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (csu) maintains that anti-terror laws in Germany are still too lax to deal with security threats.

    Currently, Germany’s constitution strictly limits domestic troop deployment to defensive missions and prohibits state surveillance except in extreme situations. In response to the July 7 terrorist bombings in London, the csu, sister party to Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (cdu), proposed a constitutional amendment to allow the government to place federal troops on patrol in cities during times of emergency. The proposal has received fierce opposition from other parties.

    The cdu/csu also insists on creating an “anti-terror database,” that would provide information on individuals, to help investigators avert terrorist threats. Disputes between the cdu/csu and the Social Democratic Party over how much information should be included in the file has prevented its creation so far.

    Watch for the growing fear of terrorist attacks in Germany to motivate Berlin to find new ways to secure its country. Right now the debate is in the domestic realm—whether or not to use the German military within German borders. But watch for the nation to increase the use of its military outside its borders to stem the terrorist threat.

    Soon Germany will exert the will to take out terrorism at its very head. For more information see our September-October article “The New Islamic Superpower.”

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    Commonwealth Heads Define Primary Global Problems

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    Commonwealth Heads Define Primary Global Problems

    Leaders struggle to come to grips with immigration, poverty, trade, terror—and peace.

    St Julians, Malta—Following 10 days of talks, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (chogm), convened in Malta at a cost reported to be between $7 and $11 million, concluded on Sunday with the heads issuing their final communiqué.

    Key issues debated during this high-profile meeting embraced migration, poverty, trade and terrorism. The importance that the 53 nations of the Commonwealth attach to this meeting, held every two years within one of its member countries, was underscored by the fact that 38 heads of state were present, other member nations except one being represented by senior government officials.

    The chogm communiqué, issued soon after the recently concluded United Nations 2005 world summit, in immediate advance of the November 27-28 Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona and next month’s Hong Kong-based World Trade Organization summit, is designed to influence discussions on matters of international concern to be considered at these latter meetings. However, a dichotomy exists among these three international bodies, which represent the collective interests of all major nations around the globe.

    This division is most starkly evident in the vast disparity that exists between the Commonwealth nations and the European Union. Although the Commonwealth embraces a much vaster geographical area than the EU and contains, by far, both greater population and more natural resources, for every single dollar that chogm’s Secretariat receives to fund the Commonwealth’s various institutions and initiatives, the EU receives the equivalent of $500.

    This huge financial gap contrasts the power and wealth of the EU on the one hand with the relative poverty and weakness of so many of the Commonwealth countries on the other. Hence the stress by chogm, in its final communiqué, on the need for the EU to action longstanding considerations on the reform of the Union’s Common Agricultural Policy and the removal of barriers to trade from Commonwealth member nations.

    The restrictive trade practices of the EU—while protecting often-less-cost-effective EU industries, especially agriculture—mitigate against the growth of many of the Commonwealth’s developing nations. They frustrate the efforts of lesser-developed nations to move beyond Third World economy status. Thus, these nations often find their populations involved in waves of mass migration to nations of higher economic status to seek a better standard of living.

    So it is that First-World nations are caught in a vicious circle, the EU being a key culprit. Increasingly, EU nations are being agitated by the constant incursion of migration from African nations in particular. The Union’s restrictive trade practices, while shutting out African nations’ exports (in particular, their agricultural products) to the European continent, result in a greater and more costly problem: being forced to absorb migrants from cultures quite incompatible with its own. This is stimulating a xenophobic mindset within the EU, especially within Germany and France.

    Unable to absorb these waves of migrants into their own strategic economies, these nations are increasingly suffering from societal reactions—witness the recent fires in Paris. With many of these often illegal migrants hailing from countries sympathetic to the cause of extremist Islam, the security of EU nations is also placed at great risk by the phenomenon.

    It’s a catch-22 situation that the EU has failed to come to grips with. Hence, all four interconnected problems—migration, poverty, trade and terror—formed the heart and core of chogm’s deliberations and were threaded throughout their final communiqué.

    The most evident fact that arises from being able to observe high-powered international conferences such as chogm in action is their obvious lack of ability to effectively mount any coordinated action to relieve the mountainous problems that challenge their member nations. The best these heads of nations can do is highlight the problems, issue statements of condemnation for the perpetrators of terror, declare deep concern at many seemingly unsolvable problems, affirm support to various UN resolutions with which they agree, and give themselves a resounding pat on the back for some degree of cooperation and settlement reached in several isolated instances where positive progress has been made.

    Yet, among all the internal machinations of this huge international body of the Commonwealth—despite the pontificating, the politicizing, the rhetoric and the disparity of opinion—it is clear that most national leaders recognize that the effective administration of their countries is heavily dependant on effective government underpinned by a system of clearly defined, enforced law.

    Of the 103 articles contained in their final communiqué, one in particular stands out as getting somewhat close to highlighting this truth. Article 32 of the communiqué states: “Heads of government also called for increased efforts to promote economic development and good governance as a means of tackling insecurity and conflict. They recognized that international cooperation to fight terrorism must be conducted in conformity with international law, including the UN Charter and relevant international conventions and protocols. States must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, in particular human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law.”

    Yet, unless such law is accepted as having a common application to all members of society, unless it is backed up by a judicial system consistent and equitable in its administration of jurisprudence, any attempt at effective government will fail. In addition, unless those who administer government are constant, scrupulously honest, in complete cooperation and unity at all levels, the system will be rendered largely ineffective.

    Bodies such as chogm strive for an effective form of world governance. Yet, as history so clearly demonstrates, that has never been possible under any of the systems adopted by man.

    There is but one solution to the effective governing of mankind that will yield the world peace and a resolution of all world problems such as it has sought since creation. It is a solution literally out of this world. As Gen. Douglas MacArthur opined, “It must be of the Spirit, if we are to save the flesh.”

    That system of government—government of the spirit in man by a superior Spirit, the Spirit of His Maker—is the only, and ultimate, solution to the myriad of world problems frustrating such world bodies as the Commonwealth of Nations. Read our free booklet No Freedom Without Law for a deeper understanding of this supreme reality.

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    GM: An American Icon Failing

    Reuters

    GM: An American Icon Failing

    The world’s top car manufacturer is cutting back its work force and closing plants. The American economy is going to feel it.

    On November 21, General Motors Corporation (GM) announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs and close nine manufacturing plants across North America, in an attempt, according to its ceo, to “get its costs in line with [its] major global competitors” and “return [its] North American operations to profitability as soon as possible” (Associated Press, November 21). These cuts represent approximately 9 percent of its 325,000 global workers.

    For GM’s American operations, this is quite an earthquake. Out of 181,000 U.S. employees, 26,100 will lose their jobs—more than 14 percent of GM’s American work force. Under the plan, 7 percent of GM’s U.S. salaried staff will be cut in 2006, making for a 40 percent total cut in white-collar staff since 2000.

    For almost three quarters of a century, GM has been the world’s number-one vehicle manufacturer. However, with the projected 19 percent decline in North American vehicle production accompanying the 2006 staffing cuts, this may not be so for long.

    GM’s production cuts stand in stark contrast to number-two auto-maker Toyota, which plans to increase its American production. Some analysts are predicting that in 2006, Japanese-owned Toyota will overtake GM as the world’s largest vehicle producer.

    In response to questions about Toyota this past January, GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner said, “We’ve been ahead 73 years in a row, and I think the betting odds are we’ll be ahead for the next 73” (Wall Street Journal, November 19).

    Unfortunately, however, GM may have a rough road ahead.

    GM’s U.S. market share, or percent of sales in the domestic automobile market, has been dwindling. During the early 1980s, GM held 40 percent of the domestic market, but its share has since steadily eroded and currently stands at only 26.4 percent.

    Over this same time period, profitability has plunged. During the last three quarters alone, GM has lost almost $4 billion. According to the Associated Press, GM’s total debt now stands at $276 billion. To put GM’s debt into perspective, the U.S. federal government owes $242 billion to China, its second-largest foreign debt holder.

    This past May, GM’s debt (sold as bonds) was downgraded to the first level of junk status. In September, it was downgraded even further. The downgrade in status means that it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly for GM to borrow money to fund operations, and for investors who hold GM bonds to purchase insurance against a possible GM bankruptcy.

    Speaking of bankruptcy, Bank of America analysts recommended selling GM stock, saying that it was “inevitable” that GM would eventually seek bankruptcy protection.

    If GM were to declare bankruptcy, it would be catastrophic for many Americans. Today, GM pays pension and medical benefits for 519,000 retirees, up from only 96,000 in the 1970s. Unfortunately, it is these legacy costs that are in part making GM vehicles more expensive and hence hurting sales. Approximately $1,500 dollars of every GM vehicle sold goes to pay medical costs of employees—mostly retirees. GM now pays more for employee medical costs than it does for steel! (Christian Science Monitor, June 9).

    The auto industry is just one example of the decline in American industrial might over the past two decades. Dave Kassel of the outsourcing firm International Smart Sourcing said, “There’s no point looking in the rear-view mirror.” With alternatives like China, he said, expecting U.S. industrial manufacturers to dominate in the decades to come is foolhardy (Daily News, New York, August 9). Mr. Kassel is also predicting that “in a decade, Detroit is going to be a fraction of what it is today.”

    Are GM’s layoffs the beginning of the end for the American auto industry—or worse, a sign of a more rapid decline of American manufacturing?

    An old adage says, as General Motors goes, so goes the nation.

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    Ariel Sharon Moves Boldly Into Danger

    Reuters

    Ariel Sharon Moves Boldly Into Danger

    Israel’s prime minister appears to be forcibly clearing out all obstacles to settling the Palestinian question once and for all.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s maneuvering to gain control over final-status negotiations with the Palestinians is in full swing. In a move to circumvent conservatives in Likud—the political party he helped to found in 1973—who are opposed to accelerating the peace process, Sharon last week announced that he would leave the party.

    The Likud Party formed when three parties merged; the acronym Likud means unity in Hebrew. As of late, the party has been the antithesis of unity. Sharon, sharply criticized for his plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip, suffered through repeated votes of confidence and a challenge to his leadership by former prime minister and Likud finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu. All were eager to stultify Sharon’s peace agenda.

    “The break separating right from right, Mr. Sharon’s chief strategist says, is the result of what might be summarized as the inevitable split between pragmatists and purists” (Christian Science Monitor, November 25).

    Tired of the opposition within the ranks, he turned the tables by dropping a political atom bomb. His decision to form a new party scattered the fragmented Likud into two camps: centrists and hardliners—with centrists flocking to Sharon’s side and hardliners struggling to fathom this new political reality.

    And this political reality is compromise.

    “While the purists are holding fast to their dreams of having a ‘Greater Israel’ that includes the West Bank and Gaza, the pragmatists—many of whom are joining Sharon—have come to view a Palestinian state in those territories as an inescapable conclusion” (ibid.).

    Sharon made the move to blunt the hardliners’ swords in opposing the peace arrangements he is molding with the center-left doves. In doing so, he decimated their party, shattering its power as a leading voice in the Knesset. The move also cleared the way for his left-leaning brotherhood in arms, the Labor Party, to forge an alliance with his new party.

    In this bold political step, essentially Sharon signaled his commitment to clear the path for moderates to secure a final political framework with the Palestinians.

    Sharon named his new party Kadima, meaning forward. His agenda, smelted by years of political heat and his own burning desire for a pragmatic solution to the Palestinian question, is set to capitalize on his embattled people’s yearning to go forward toward peace in their lifetime. By forging a new party and eliminating the opposition, Ariel Sharon positioned himself to be Israel’s provider. He wants to be the man who brings peace to his people.

    Israel has had to fight to exist since the day of its birth. Generations of Israelis have aged and died in the shadow of violence, terrorism and war. Most are resigned to the deadening sense that their children’s lives will be plagued with more violence than their own. They want—they hope, with a hope ground thin and hollow—to live in peace.

    Oh, how an Israeli prime minister would love to give it to them.

    This pressure brought Yitzhak Rabin to shake hands with Yasser Arafat despite giving his word he’d never negotiate with the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This pressure convinced Benjamin Netanyahu to cede the Golan Heights to Syria, a plan that, if enacted, would have smashed one of his own campaign promises. This pressure coerced Ehud Barak to offer much of eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority after vowing to keep the city united under Jewish rule forever (New York Sun, June 29, 2004).

    Looking at the climate in which Israel’s leader must govern, it’s easy to see why the men in that office have tended to take such risks. But that doesn’t change the reality that these risks have never paid off, producing only more violence and making the promise of peace that much more elusive.

    Nevertheless, it appears the Israeli public is ready to follow Sharon where he is preparing to travel. According to a poll by one of Israel’s leading newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, if elections were held now Kadima would win 33 Knesset seats, the Labor Party 26 seats, and the beleaguered Likud a paltry 13. Foregoing some seismic shift to the right by the general populace, it appears that the March 2006 election will bring Sharon’s center-left designs to full fruition.

    For Sharon, who is 77, this is his last voyage into the murky waters of peace deals. “[Sharon] doesn’t need to run again,” says Ethan Dor-Shav, a political analyst and associate fellow at Jerusalem’s Shalem Center, “and it’s going to be stated quite clearly that this will be a last time for him, and that he will reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, one that will determine borders, within the next four years” (Christian Science Monitor, November 22).

    Here is the unhappy truth of the matter, according to Bible prophecy: Any sacrifices the prime minister makes will prove only to strengthen his enemies and weaken his country.

    Prime Minister Sharon has promised not to give up the larger settlements in the West Bank or Jerusalem. But his backpedal on the Gaza settlements belies such pledges.

    In fact, the history of Israeli politics since the start of the misnamed peace process is strewn with instances of Israel’s leaders going back on promises in desperate hopes of achieving a state of peace.

    This is a pivotal moment for Israel. The more impatient Sharon gets—the more eager to make his mark on history—the more devastating it will be for the Jewish state.

    These events are worthy of our closest scrutiny. They presage the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy the Trumpet has informed its readers of for a decade—a prophecy of Israel becoming so desperate for an end to its woes that it runs for salvation into the arms of its greatest enemy.