Pope Revamps Vatican to Gain Converts

Pope Francis waves to worshipers at St. Peter’s Square on April 24, ahead of his weekly general audience.
VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Revamps Vatican to Gain Converts

The Vatican’s imperial spirit and desire for dominance revives with a new evangelical crusade.

Pope Francis is overhauling the way the Roman Catholic Church is governed. In 2013, his first major move after being elected pope was to appoint a panel of cardinals to advise him on how to reorganize the Roman Curia (the administration that governs the Vatican). Now these cardinals have finished a new Vatican constitution. Titled Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel), this constitution is currently being reviewed by bishops’ conferences around the world. Significant changes to the text are unlikely, meaning the constitution may be published as early as June 29.

Praedicate Evangelium could be one of the most radical shakeups of the Roman Curia in a generation.

Pope Francis and his panel of cardinals propose restructuring all Curia activities under one simple mission: converting people to Catholicism. According to the Spanish newspaper Vida Nueva, the new constitution will create a new “superdicastery” for evangelization. This Dicastery for Evangelization will merge the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which coordinated Catholic missionary activities, with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization, which is tasked with reversing the secularization of Western countries. The new superdicastery will supersede all other Vatican departments, including the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the body responsible for defending Catholic doctrine.

“Pope Francis always emphasizes that the church is missionary,” Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga told Spanish media in April. “That is why it is logical that in first place we have put the Dicastery for Evangelization and not the Doctrine of the Faith. This way, the pope sends a significant signal of the reform to the entire people of God.”

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias agreed, telling Vida Nueva, “The main point of the new Apostolic Constitution is that the mission of the church is evangelization. It puts it at the center of the church and everything the Curia does. It will be the first dicastery. The name of the text shows that evangelization is the principal objective, ahead of anything else.”

Some traditionalist Catholics are concerned that prioritizing evangelization above doctrinal orthodoxy will liberalize Catholic doctrine. While it is unlikely that the Vatican will make any sweeping doctrinal changes, the church may make some strategic compromises—standing firm in one area while compromising in another—to attract more converts.

During the papacy of John Paul ii, the late Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the Vatican might issue a new and more flexible moral code for Catholics. “The moral and spiritual trend in the world is toward more liberalism—more permissiveness,” he wrote in 1983. “Now even the Roman Catholic Church, in order to keep alive in an immoral and unrighteous world, is relaxing and giving people what they like to call ‘their rights.’”

The Vatican’s push for new converts comes from its imperial spirit and desire for dominance. The word “Catholic” means universal.

The Bible often uses a woman to symbolize a church (e.g., 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-27; Revelation 19:7). Isaiah 47 describes a “woman” called the “daughter of Babylon” and the “the lady of kingdoms,” who says, “I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.” This woman is a church that is unique in history: It descended from the ancient Babylonian mystery religion; it holds a vast amount of power; it has relations with political leaders; it seeks to reestablish its authority over its daughter churches. This description can apply to only one church.

The Catholic Church is striving to increase its influence by making concordats with nations around the world and revamping its own constitution to bring more converts into (or back into) Catholicism.

For more information on where this is leading, and why Mr. Armstrong made these forecasts, read our article “Returning to the Fold.”

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Video Game Addiction: A ‘Battle Royale’—for Your Mind

iStock.com/Михаил Руденко

Video Game Addiction: A ‘Battle Royale’—for Your Mind

Have you let technology enslave you?

The boy was desperate. Gripping a hammer, he smashed the windshield of a family’s car. Over shards of glass, he clambered inside.

Why? The car was his own family’s car, and he thought his parents had locked his gaming device inside. He really, really wanted to keep playing the video game Fortnite: Battle Royale.

After this incident, the boy’s parents took their young son to the hospital. He received therapy for 11 days and gave up the game for good. This boy is now 13, and even he doesn’t understand why the game once had so much power over him. He told the Boston Globe, “It’s hard for me to understand why I got to the point where I was playing it so much and what I’d do to be able to play.” Now that he is free from the game’s grip, he realizes how much of a hold it has on his peers: “The little kids on the school bus have gone from Pokeman cards to Fortnite. They’re in third and fourth grades, and that’s all they talk about.”

Many parents deceive themselves into thinking that this wildly popular video game is fine because it isn’t as violent or gory as other games on the market. However, Fortnite is so addictive that one British behavioral specialist likened the game to heroin.

Often described as a cross between Minecraft and The Hunger Games, the premise of the game is that 100 competitors are dropped onto an island, and they gather weapons and build structures for protection while killing off the other competitors. The last player or team standing wins. This extremely popular game has had more than 250 million players, with more joining every day.

In 2019, just under a third of Fortnite users played the game 6 to 10 hours per week. The most hardcore players spent 21 hours or more playing the game. In one study, 15 percent of players said they had skipped “a lot” of school to play Fortnite. Children have been admitted to hospitals for malnutrition because they refuse to eat while playing the game for hours on end. The game is breaking up marriages; parents are fighting about who allowed it in the house in the first place. Desperate parents bring their children to psychiatrists and hospitals in a last-ditch effort to break the habit.

There is a reason why Fortnite is so addictive. Modern game designers study slot machines, which are designed to make gamblers keep coming back for just one more chance to win. This is called a variable reward system. Fortnite capitalizes on the human brain’s love of rewards and exploits the lack of self-control in adolescents, which makes them particularly susceptible to this reward system.

The designers of these programs aren’t the only ones to blame. The parents of tech-addicted children should have put restrictions on them to prevent them from becoming addicted in the first place. Whenever I read stories of children playing video games until 4 in the morning, I wonder, Why aren’t the parents making them go to bed?

Children want no limits. Even parents believe that limits are generally bad. But children without limits are miserable!

If you are a teenager, you are especially vulnerable to addictive technology like this game. Are you allowing yourself to become enslaved to the virtual world?

How did the boy who smashed his parents’ windscreen get into playing Fortnite? After changing schools, he struggled to fit in. Fighting loneliness, he discovered that he could make “friends” through the online world of Fortnite. The more time he spent playing the game, the more he improved, and the more “popular” he became in the Fortnite community. In time, the video game became his reality, and real life was secondary. He pulled away from his family and former friends and delved deeply into the online world.

Because you play with other people in the Battle Royale mode, Fortnite is promoted as a way to develop friendships. Surviving on your own in Battle Royale is difficult, but if you make a team with other players, you are more likely to win. But are these virtual friends on Fortniteor Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat, for that matter—really your friends?

Studies show that although this generation is the most connected generation in history because of modern technology, young people today are lonely and depressed. Teens today have everything they could ever want, but still they are depressed. Young people who use social media constantly feel more socially isolated than those who don’t. Even those who have many online friends or video game pals feel very lonely in real life.

Young people today get out less, spend less time together with other teens, and often simply don’t know how to talk to each other, unless it’s through a headset, looking at a screen, alone in a dark room.

At Trumpet headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma, staff members and Herbert W. Armstrong College students are preparing for this year’s Philadelphia Youth Camp. I once gave a lecture at camp titled “Dare to Be Square.” A square is balanced: All four sides are equal. We need to be balanced in our physical health and fitness, our education, our spiritual lives and our social lives.

People have all sorts of reasoning, explanations and arguments for how they should live their lives. And whether it’s a middle-school child addicted to gaming or a real-life violent gang member or a middle-aged woman living in the suburbs, it almost always gets down to this: The right way for me to live my life is whatever I think is best.

We all tend to think that way, even though absolutely nothing in the universe would function or even exist without law, without cause and effect.

In reality, the right way to live your life is to live how your Creator designed you to live. God is the master designer, architect, builder, Creator, life-giver. We are His creations. The way of life that works for humans is the same way of life that works for our Creator. It’s the way of life that He Himself lives, and He reveals it to us in the Bible. It’s a law of cause and effect.

What is that life-governing, powerful, unchangeable law? It’s actually even simpler to describe than the simplistic gameplay of Fortnite. Herbert W. Armstrong summarized it in The Incredible Human Potential: “God’s law—the basis of God’s government—is the way of love—outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others, love toward God in obedience, humility, and worship—the way of giving, sharing, helping, cooperating.”

Whether it’s a physical, mental, spiritual or social aspect of your life, whatever situation you’re in, compare your mentality to that law. Obeying that law will lead to balance, success, purpose and happiness, every time. It’s cause and effect, just like the laws of biology or physics.

In the case of video games, it’s obvious that those sitting in front of a screen and interacting with others in such a limited, imbalanced way does not follow the law of love. Giving, sharing, helping, serving and cooperating are actions—you have to get up from the couch to do them. In 1 Corinthians 9:19, the Apostle Paul said that he worked hard to be a “servant unto all.” The word “servant” here means “bondslave.” Paul tried to serve everyone that he came into contact with. That required vigorous action on his part, not engaging in frivolous self-entertaining pleasures for hours at a time.

What will really make you happy? Serving. That requires human interaction. Develop deep and lasting friendships with others in the Church. Learn to share yourself in human relationships. Share your warmth, your love, your plans, your interests, your dreams. Listen to others as they share these things too. Offer kindness and encouragement when others are down. You can never give away too much love!

Everyone wants a lot of friends. Even the most introverted person craves social interaction. Proverbs 18:24 shows that you can have a lot of friends—if you give of yourself first. Unless you help others grow socially, you won’t grow socially. Giving is the only way to build lasting friendships.

Even if you don’t play Fortnite, you are very likely addicted to some degree to electronic technology: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix and surfing the Internet in general all have addictive qualities. The companies that design social media applications, games, video streaming services and even television have spent decades and millions of dollars learning to design their products to make them as addictive as possible and as profitable as possible. The result is your attention is snatched away from what really matters.

Every day, there is a real “battle royale” raging. Its objective is not only your attention, but control over your mind. Satan exists, and he wants to control your attention and your time. He wants you to break the laws that lead to success, balance and happiness. He wants to addict you to electronic technology and other pursuits that waste your time and distract you from what really matters in life—developing your relationship with God and His Family.

Don’t let yourself be programmed. Dare to be different—dare to be square. Dare to learn God’s laws of success and happiness, and lead a balanced life of purpose and incredible potential.

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

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We should already hear and intently fear the galloping hoofbeats of the four horsemen. They are racing toward us at this very moment. And here is the most terrifying truth of all: God’s own rebellious people will be devastated more than anyone else!

Read the booklet: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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Putin Offers Eastern Ukrainians Russian Passports

A person holds passports of the Russian Federation and Ukraine at a center for issuing Russian passports to residents of the Lugansk People’s Republic, located in east Ukraine.
Alexander Reka\TASS via Getty Images

Putin Offers Eastern Ukrainians Russian Passports

Ukraine is the linchpin in Putin’s plan to restore Russian greatness.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on May 1 to expedite the procedure for some Ukrainians to acquire Russian citizenship. The new rule applies to those who lived in Crimea before Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014, and to some Ukrainians who have moved to Russia from certain parts of eastern Ukraine since that time.

On April 24, Putin had signed a related decree to accelerate the process of granting Russian citizenship to individuals living in the rebel-held Donbas region, which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk subregions. Three days later, Putin said he would consider expediting procurement of Russian citizenship for all Ukrainians. Russian citizenship can be given “not only to residents of the Luhansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic,” Putin told reporters in Beijing on April 27, “we are thinking about simplifying the procedure of granting Russian citizenship to all Ukrainian citizens in general.” Offering all Ukrainians Russian citizenship is only talk at this point, but it could materialize in the future.

Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a facility in Luhansk and another in Donetsk to help with the process. On May 3, the day that officials started to issue Russian passports, about 100 people seeking to apply for citizenship had gathered in the Donetsk migration center before it opened. According to a poll cited by Kirill Alzinov, the spokesman for Migration Affairs in the Russian Interior Ministry, almost 90 percent of residents in the Donbass region want to receive Russian citizenship.

This Russian offer of citizenship to individuals in a former Soviet state is not an isolated case. In 2002, it issued Russian passports to citizens in the Republic of Georgia from the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In 2008, Russia then went to war in Georgia partly under the pretext of defending the Russian “citizens” it had created in 2002.

“The governing ideology of the Russian Federation today is Russian nationalism—the goal of which is to protect not only Russians living in Russia but also Russians living in foreign territories,” Geopolitical Futures wrote. Similar to what it did in Georgia, Russia could use “new Russian citizens in Donbass as justification to shift from not-so-covertly funding regional separatists to deploying its own military forces.”

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has referred to Ukraine as the “linchpin” of Putin’s goal of a renewed imperial Russia. “A linchpin is the pin in an axle that keeps the wheel from coming off,” Mr. Flurry wrote in the March 2014 Trumpet issue. Putin’s aggressive actions in Ukraine is for the purpose of keeping “the wheels from falling off his dream of a new Soviet empire,” Mr. Flurry continued. The new passport decrees are part of that same strategy.

Just after Russia had waged war against Georgia, Mr. Flurry wrote in the October 2008 Trumpet issue: “Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more!”

“Will a crisis occur over Ukraine?” he asked. “That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.” Six years later, in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, which formerly belonged to Ukraine. Guided by his understanding of history and Bible prophecy, Mr. Flurry had accurately predicted that Russia would soon invade Ukraine.

“I was certainly right in my prediction that Russia would also get control of Ukraine!” Mr. Flurry writes in The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’ “I knew because Putin has a long pattern of diabolical evil at the level of Joseph Stalin.”

Scriptures such as Ezekiel 38, which Mr. Flurry based his prediction on, show that a powerful bloc of Asian nations will form in the end time, led primarily by Russia and secondarily by China. Verse 2 mentions the “prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal,” ancient names associated with the predecessors of modern Russia (New King James Version). Mr. Flurry has identified Russian President Vladimir Putin as the “prince of Rosh,” a strongman prophesied to lead Russia. In The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ he writes:

The use of all three names shows that this is an individual ruler of all the peoples of Russia, from the west to the east. … This giant swath of land indicates the prince will probably conquer more nations of the former Soviet Union.

When you study these scriptures alongside current events revealing modern Moscow’s imperialist direction, you see that Russian President Vladimir Putin could well be the prince of Rosh. We strongly believe he is.

Offering passports to Ukrainians is just another example of this strongman’s bid to make Ukraine part of his Russian empire. This move could be part of a plan to sow division among Ukrainians and weaken the country for a possible future invasion.

To understand why Vladimir Putin is the biblically prophesied “prince of Rosh,” and where his aggressive posture in Ukraine is leading, please request a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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Erdoğan’s Party Loses; Election Result Voided

Turkish President Erdoğan addresses party members during his party’s parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on May 7, in Ankara.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images

Erdoğan’s Party Loses; Election Result Voided

Turkey’s strongman cracks down further on opposition to his power.

Turkey’s Supreme Election Council announced on May 6 that the results of Istanbul’s recent election will be nullified and the vote will be rescheduled. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party had been defeated in the original vote on March 31. Opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu was sworn in as mayor on April 17. However, his mayorship has been canceled and an interim mayor appointed until new elections are held on June 23.

Erdoğan controls all levels of government and jails his opponents in politics and the media. Despite this, his party lost in Istanbul—but now he is voiding that vote. This confirms that democracy in Turkey is dead.

Erdoğan rose to prominence in 1994 when he was elected mayor of Istanbul. He established the Justice and Development Party (akp) in 2001, became prime minister in 2003, and transitioned to president in 2014, tightening his grip on the country with each passing year. The 2014 election included suspicious akp victories at the local, parliamentary and presidential levels. In 2016, a section of the military attempted to oust Erdoğan from power, but the president quickly and easily defeated the coup and took the opportunity to purge about 150 generals and other government officials.

Erdoğan once said, “Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey,” which makes his recent defeat problematic.

When the opposition social-democratic Republican People’s Party won the Istanbul vote by a narrow margin, the akp filed a formal complaint. Erdoğan called for a “return to the ballot boxes,” saying, “Fraud and corruption are evident here”—ignoring the fact that fraud and corruption have been evident in his party’s victories.

The election board said that the decision to rerun the election was based on material evidence of fraud, including unsigned documents and ballot officials who are not civil servants. But few believe these are legitimate crimes. In the past, there was much stronger evidence of fraud by Erdoğan’s party, but it was never investigated. The Republican People’s Party deputy chairman, Onursal Adıgüzel, posted on social media, “It is legal to run against the akp, but illegal to win against them. This is plain dictatorship.”

In the June 23 repeat election, Erdoğan will apparently prevent fraud and corruption by appointing members of his own party as election monitors.

The Economist wrote:

Analysts see Mr. Erdoğan’s fingerprints on the decision, and warn that Turkey and free elections no longer belong in the same sentence. “For nearly 70 years, there was a consensus in Turkey that political power changed through the ballot box, and that consensus came to an end today,” says Soner Çağaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an American think tank. “I thought there was one institution in Turkey that could act somewhat independently,” said Kemal Kirişci, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, “and I was wrong.”

The Wall Street Journal wrote, “A repeat election in Istanbul could set the stage for a brutal confrontation between an increasingly authoritarian Mr. Erdoğan and an emboldened opposition, which won control of the capital Ankara and several other large cities in the municipal election.”

A large number of frustrated citizens are demanding that members of the election board resign and are fearful of the effect that a repeat election will have on a vulnerable economy.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that for Erdoğan to lose a city of 16 million people, with a $4 billion annual budget and a staff of 82,000, “risked spawning a powerful rival for the next presidential election,” which will be held in 2023. “It is too big for Mr. Erdoğan to lose,” said Çağaptay. Erdoğan’s party has ruled in Istanbul for the last 25 years, since he became mayor.

The Istanbul election came during a time of increasing fears that Turkey is falling deeper and deeper into dictatorship. The opposition party’s victory indicated the vote was, to some degree, free and fair. Many thought that Erdoğan’s losses in Ankara and Istanbul were an opportunity to prove that Turkey is still at least partially free.

Journalists called the results a “turning point … which showed that Turkish democracy—or what remains of it—still has a pulse.”

“The fact that Erdoğan has lost Ankara and Istanbul, … two symbols of political and financial power, will give hope to a young generation of Turks who have seen nothing but Erdoğan’s electoral victories,” the Brookings Institution wrote shortly after the election. “The results also prove that Turkey is not a dictatorship. But make no mistake, Turkey is still an autocracy. And it is clearly still too early to rule Erdoğan out of Turkish politics. But there is no doubt that the Turkish strongman has entered the last and most difficult stage of his political career.”

That was until Erdoğan exerted his newest bold display of authority. Since Imamoglu took office on April 17 (before being removed on May 6), several investigations into the alleged fraud have begun, and at least 100 ballot officials have been questioned.

Mehmet Bekaroğlu, a Republican People’s Party member of parliament, claimed that Erdoğan’s party threatened election board judges with prison if they voted against redoing the vote.

Whether this claim is true or not, Erdoğan will not give up his role as Turkey’s strongman.

The January 2018 issue of the Trumpet focused on the roles of authoritarians around the world. The articles “King Me” and “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Self-Serving Sultan” noted that between the failed coup of July 2016 and January 2018, Erdoğan had fired 146,713 teachers, academics, politicians, military officials; shut down more than 3,000 educational institutions; dismissed 4,463 judges and prosecutors; and arrested 61,247 individuals. He shut down 187 media outlets and arrested 308 journalists. In 2017, Turkey passed a law allowing Erdoğan to stay in power until 2029 as long as he continues to win elections. And as long as he has the power to annul election results that he doesn’t like, his party will continue to win elections.

It is not yet certain that Erdoğan and his party will hold on to power in Istanbul or the nation as a whole, but it wouldn’t be surprising. It wouldn’t be the first time he has come out of a setback with more power than ever. And it seems that this is already the case in his party’s defeat in Istanbul.

On Thursday, ipa News, citing Turkish news sources, reported that Istanbul’s interim mayor, Ali Yerlikaya, has already shown his support of Erdoğan by making several changes, including firing some officials who were appointed under opposition winner Imamoglu.

Erdoğan will not let go of his power without a fight. Could he be the man to lead Turkey in its fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

The January 2018 Trumpet stated:

Biblical prophecy does not say whether or not Erdoğan will continue to rule Turkey, but it does indicate that there will be a strong ruler in Turkey capable of navigating powerful alliances, especially with a German-led Europe. It also states that Turkey will be part of one of the greatest double crosses in history, against the modern nations of Israel (read more of these prophecies in our free booklet The King of the South). Given Erdoğan’s self-serving alliance in nato, as well as his cool relationship with the Jewish state of Israel, he becomes a probable candidate to lead Turkey to fulfill those prophecies.

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This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (May 11)

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (May 11)

Gaza crisis, Met Gala, alleged Russian nukes in Venezuela, and more

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

Why Can’t Israel Solve the Gaza Crisis?

Six hundred ninety rockets or mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip last weekend, marking the most serious uptick of violence in the past four years. Some of the projectiles that were not intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome Aerial Defense System hit populated centers in the south, killing four civilians and wounding dozens more.

Click here for Trumpet Middle East correspondent Brent Nagtegaal’s firsthand account of this latest crisis—and for an explanation about how God, not Israel, will ultimately solve the Gaza crisis.

The Met Gala: A Sign That America Is Broken

It’s easy to ignore the Met Gala, with all its extravagance and absurdity, as an anomaly: a marginal event for a fringe minority. But this view overlooks a larger lesson.

The spirit of the Met Gala is rank materialism, lawless creativity, epic vanity and chronic perversion. And it courses like a raging river through Western culture. The event is valuable as a window into America’s soul. It actually celebrates and epitomizes a way of thinking, a lifestyle, practiced by celebrities and commoners alike. It is, in many respects, a glimpse of the future.

This shallow, gaudy, selfish Met Gala lifestyle ends in pain, suffering and ruin, as both history and the Bible document! Have no part in it!

Has Russia Secretly Installed Nuclear Missiles in Venezuela?

Ties between Russia and the United States have worsened since Russia annexed part of Ukraine in 2014. Now it is making a play in America’s hemisphere by supporting an anti-American regime in Venezuela.

Russia claims it sent nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Venezuela. U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart has suggested that Russia may have already installed nuclear missiles in Venezuela, like its attempt to install nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962. While no proof of such a development exists, Russia does have the missiles and the political connections in Venezuela to make this frightening, prophetic scenario a reality.

China’s Submarine Force Is Coming Up Fast

The Chinese Navy is quickly building one of the world’s strongest submarine fleets, which now includes a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent, according to a May 2 report by the United States Department of Defense.

China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy is “an increasingly modern and flexible force,” the report says, and modernizing its submarine fleet is a “high priority” for China. The Navy now possesses 50 conventional attack submarines and 12 nuclear models, six of which are the Type 094 models that can carry 12 JL-2 nuclear ballistic missiles. The report says the Type 094 is “China’s first credible, sea-based nuclear deterrent.”

This means China is now among the few nations that can launch nuclear strikes from under the waves, joining France, India, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Using Bible prophecy as his basis, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the July 2016 Trumpet issue that China’s increasing naval might—in the South China Sea and beyond—demonstrates that “China is steering the world toward war.” He wrote that China is challenging “seven decades of American naval dominance in the Pacific Rim.” This trend “should alarm the world!”

Is the United States the Aggressor in the Middle East?

“In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the uss Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

That was part of a statement from United States National Security Adviser John Bolton on May 5.

The New York Times, Politico and BuzzFeed would have their readers believe there is no current threat to American forces in the region, and that it is not Iran but the U.S. that is the aggressor in the Middle East.

The truth is a matter of life and death.

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