Is Germany About to Ban Your Opinion Online?

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Is Germany About to Ban Your Opinion Online?

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reveals Germany’s desire to control the Internet.

Prior to the European Parliament elections, popular YouTube users in Germany appealed to their followers to influence the election. Their appeal was directed against the Christian Democratic Union (cdu), the Social Democrats (spd) and the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). Following a miserable election result, cdu chief Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer made statements suggesting that in the future, such opinions may be censored. This careless public statement further exposes Germany’s desire to control the Internet.

In the European Parliament elections, Germany’s center-right parties dropped 7 percentage points to 28 percent. Part of the reason their campaign strategy failed miserably was the party’s failure to adapt to today’s digital challenges.

Popular German YouTube star Rezo urged voters to punish the cdu and its coalition partner by not voting for them. Rezo claimed that the government’s inactions on critical issues such as climate change, security and intellectual property rights are “destroying our lives and our future.”

Rezo quickly found the support of 70 other influential YouTube presenters. But politicians accused him of misrepresenting information and lacking credibility in an effort to discredit him. Nonetheless, his video had nearly 4 million views by Sunday, the day of the election.

Experts like Prof. Jürgen Falter of the University of Mainz believe that Renzo’s video swayed the opinions of many undecided voters, especially those under age 30. This was certainly not the main reason for the cdu’s historic loss of votes, but Kramp-Karrenbauer commented on it during a press conference. “[W]hat would have happened in this country,” she asked, if “70 newspapers decided just two days before the election to make the joint appeal: ‘Please don’t vote for the cdu and spd’? That would have been a clear case of political bias before the election.”

“What are the rules that apply to opinions in the analog sphere?” she asked. “And which rules should apply in the digital sphere?” She concluded that these topics will be discussed by the cdu, saying, “I’m certain, they’ll play a role in discussions surrounding media policy and democracy in the future.”

Many interpreted her statements as an attack on freedom of speech and a call to censor people’s opinions online. “The cdu’s understanding of democracy—If you are against me, I censor you—is incomprehensible!” Ria Schröder, head of the Young Liberals, wrote on Twitter (Trumpet translation throughout).

The right of a user on YouTube or other social media to discuss his or her political view is covered by Germany’s Basic Law, which guarantees freedom of speech. Newspaper editors in Germany have the same right, but they typically do not endorse political parties.

Kramp-Karrenbauer’s statements may threaten her chance for the chancellorship. More importantly, they expose the mindset of Germany’s political leadership.

Kramp-Karrenbauer later defended herself, saying she has been misunderstood. But the German parliament passed a law in 2017 that could make what she was talking about a reality. Since the beginning of 2018, Germany has forced media companies to regulate their posts and delete “fake news” and “hate speech.”

Germany Censors the Internet

Germany’s government assessed that Facebook, Google and other Internet companies are incapable of banning what the government defines as hate speech and fake news. The German parliament thus approved the Network Enforcement Law (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG), which forces these companies to comply with German regulations.

Germany demands that social networks with more than 2 million users use a system that allows users to report potentially illegal content including racist or slanderous comments and posts.

But if the law was intended to bring justice to the online community, it is an absolute failure. German web expert Sascha Lobo wrote for Spiegel Online, “Rarely has a more idiotic law come into force in Germany than the NetzDG: Legally it is sloppy, technically uninformed, and it was hastily made for campaign purposes. It also does not help prevent hate on the Net—quite the contrary.”

In a case study, the Washington Post also noted that instead of hate speech “legitimate expressions of opinion are being deleted. The law is achieving the opposite of what it intended: It is actually hampering the fight against crime.”

The reason for this is that rather than judges, employees of social networks are deciding which posts comply with the law and which don’t. The law states that if the content is “obviously illegal,” it must be deleted within 24 hours after being reported. In other cases the social networks have seven days to make a decision and to delete the comment if necessary. “This puts companies under tremendous time pressure to check reported content,” the Washington Post wrote. If they don’t act within that timeframe, Germany may impose fines of up to $57 million against the company.

Lobo explained that the pressure on the agents forces them into a strategy of “overblocking” in order to escape the fine.

But while the law doesn’t deliver what it promises, it is everything but a “sloppy” law. The law was well calculated. And while it notionally regulates hate speech today, in the future, it could ban any other speech that does not comply with German law.

Maybe Kramp-Karrenbauer was thinking about expanding this law to censor “political bias before the election.” Whatever the case may be, Germany has shown an increasing desire to regulate the Internet. What’s more, it is pushing the European Union to do the same. Germany is not only seeking “to curb America’s big technology companies, but to take over the World Wide Web,” as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained in “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.” He wrote:

Germany is the EU’s largest, most powerful and most influential nation. It is using the EU as a tool to stealthily fulfill its own ambitions. Anyone who has followed the European Union knows that nothing significant happens in Brussels without Germany’s sanction and endorsement.

Germany’s ambitions for the Internet should concern everyone, even those who don’t have a computer. The EU’s behavior on this issue exposes the dictatorial nature of this German-dominated entity. Really, we are witnessing the manifestation of the spirit of the Holy Roman Empire in the tech world. The biblically prophesied seventh and final resurrection of this empire wants to control the Internet!

France-based Reporters Without Borders nongovernmental organization warned that Germany’s Network Enforcement Law provides an ideal opportunity for a dictator. The same can be said for almost any law that seeks to regulate the Internet. Once a head of state is given such power, he can use such dictatorial power to censor opposing opinions.

The Bible reveals that a dictator will rise in Germany (Daniel 11:21). The laws that are currently in force in Germany and the EU, or suggested by Kramp-Karrenbauer, may seem mild compared to the control this man will soon wield. Nonetheless, Germany’s and Europe’s politicians today are preparing the way for his power grab. Controlling the Internet means controlling the major tool that shapes the opinions of millions of people, especially those of the youth.

The Internet is a powerful tool. Uncontrolled, it has caused much harm to individuals; but controlled by a single individual, it has the darkest of implications for mankind. The Bible prophesies that an evil leader will get control of Europe’s governments (Revelation 17) and enforce his will on the people (Revelation 13). Controlling the Internet will play a major part in the fulfillment of this prophecy.

His dictatorial rule will get so bad that Jesus Christ Himself will have to return to Earth to put an end to his rule (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 17:14). Read “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet” to learn why Germany wants this control. This article puts today’s news in the prophetic context that we must understand to escape the coming suffering.

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Israel Is Falling Into Lethal Political Dysfunction

Israeli demonstrators carry a national flag and a banner during a rally against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his Jerusalem residency on May 30, 2019.
GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

Israel Is Falling Into Lethal Political Dysfunction

Like America and Britain, the Jewish nation is in an unprecedented state of political chaos. Earlier today, we learned that Israel will conduct a national election on September 17—its second in less than six months. The election is necessary because, for the first time in Israel’s history, a prime minister-designate failed to form a coalition government.

This announcement caught many by surprise. In the April 9 election, Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party won 35 seats in Israel’s 120-seat parliament. Following this victory, Netanyahu had six weeks to form a coalition with other political parties. (No single party has ever won a majority of parliamentary seats; Israel’s government has always been some form of coalition government.) Coalition negotiations are always tricky, but almost no one thought Netanyahu would fail to form one—until this week.

Enter Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman leads Yisrael Beiteinu, a hard-right political party that won five seats on April 9. Lieberman, a former foreign minister and defense minister, has a long and tempestuous history with the prime minister. Once a member of Netanyahu’s government and a firm supporter, Lieberman has in recent years turned into one of his harshest critics and a perpetual thorn in his side. Lieberman’s refusal to join Netanyahu’s coalition yesterday left the prime minister with only 60 seats, one short of the required 61-seat majority.

“Lieberman hates Netanyahu,” explained Caroline Glick today. While there is obviously a great deal of personal history between these two, the other key factor was a law that allows ultra-Orthodox Jews to avoid military conscription.

In Israel, ultra-Orthodox Jews are allowed to postpone mandatory military service so long as they are studying in a Yeshiva (a school that focuses on Jewish religious texts). The law dates back to an agreement between the Haredi Jews and David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, at Israel’s establishment in 1948. That year, the Torato Umanuto legal arrangement allowed 400 Jews to abstain from military service. Today, more than 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews abstain from military service.

This issue has become a major point of contention, both politically and among the public. Many ultra-Orthodox also receive financial support from the government (meaning Israeli taxpayers), and they don’t have to work. This has angered many traditional (Orthodox Jews) and secular Jews, many of whom work and pay taxes, and all of whom are required to join the military at 18. Many believe the ultra-Orthodox Jews abuse the law to avoid the dangerous job of defending the nation.

Avigdor Lieberman sides with the traditional and secular Jews. He wants the law overhauled to require more ultra-Orthodox Jews to enter military service.

Lieberman’s position on this issue poses a problem for Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud. Israel’s ultra-Orthodox political parties, which obviously support this law, are pivotal allies. Shas and the United Torah Judaism, two of Israel’s largest religious parties, have 16 seats in the Knesset. Without these seats, Netanyahu has no chance of securing a ruling coalition government. On the other hand, Lieberman says he can’t support Netanyahu until he’s prepared to change the law.

Over the past six weeks, Netanyahu made every effort to court Lieberman, even offering him top jobs in government, including the Defense Ministry. Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox parties even indicated their willingness to compromise on legislation for requiring more ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the military. But it wasn’t enough to bring Lieberman to the table. This has led some, such as Glick, to believe that Lieberman’s true motive here was “to bring down Netanyahu.”

Whatever his motive, the result is that Israel is in a state of political uncertainty and chaos. It’s important to note too that Israeli politics—especially the politics surrounding Netanyahu—are already in a state of disruption. This development moves the Israeli political chaos level from Category 3 to Category 4, or worse.

Avigdor Lieberman is far from the only Israeli who despises his prime minister. Netanyahu remains popular, particularly among regular Israelis, but he is deeply resented and hated by Israel’s left and especially the nation’s left-wing media.

The more you look into this, the more parallels you see with United States President Donald Trump and his relationship with America’s radical left. Like Mr. Trump, Israel’s prime minister faces a deeply and openly hostile media that is more interested in giving opinions and pursuing agendas than it is in exploring and reporting facts. When it comes to Netanyahu, many in Israel’s media seem to be almost overwhelmed by hatred. Take this opinion piece from Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading newspapers: “Benjamin Netanyahu’s darkest, deepest fear is coming true. We, an entire country, can suddenly see him for what he really is: A loser.” And that is one of the tamest sentences in the article.

Netanyahu and his family have faced a torrent of accusations and criticisms, particularly prior to the April election. The prime minister has been accused of pandering to the far right, of conspiring to thwart political opponents, and of numerous acts of corruption. Earlier this year, Israel’s attorney general said that he plans to charge Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

Of course, there might be merit to some of these claims, in which case the media has a responsibility to report the facts. (Just this week Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, reportedly agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors over allegations she misused state funds.) Netanyahu is an imperfect man and an imperfect leader. He has no doubt made mistakes. But as it is with Donald Trump, when the mainstream media and leftist politicians talk about Benjamin Netanyahu, there is so much emotion, so much opinion and ideology, so many unsubstantiated accusations and inferences—and so little fact, evidence and reason—that it is hard to know what is truth and what is fiction.

The result? Israel has an increasingly dysfunctional government that is at war with itself. And like Brexit and like the radical left’s war on President Trump, this dysfunction is steadily destroying the average Israeli’s trust in government, the media and Israel’s entire democratic system.

Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, said this about the need for another election: “This is devastating to the average Israeli, who is really tired of such selfish politics. There is no way to explain this situation to the average Israelis, who are saying their politicians aren’t working for their interests.”

You could make the same statement about the people of Britain and America! Who isn’t tired of selfish politicians and political parties putting their own agenda, ideologies and ambitions before the democratic will of the people, before tradition, and before the rule of law?

Isn’t it also remarkable that the people of Israel, America and Britain are all simultaneously experiencing a growing hopelessness about the state of their governments and political systems?

More than any other Western nations, these three countries (as well as Commonwealth nations like Australia and Canada) have been beacons of democratic governance and political stability and constancy. Politics in these nations have always been imperfect, with plenty of clashing, abuse, corruption and scandal. But there has always been an underlying faith in the system overall. All three nations have a political system based on the rule of law and with effective judicial and legislative institutions. All three political systems have built-in checks and balances, which limit the quantity and potency of conflicts, injustices and scandals. All three nations have a journalistic tradition that, for the most part, values facts, truth and law over ideology and opinion.

But all these critical elements are currently being undermined, refashioned or completely destroyed. Today, a palpable and lethal dysfunction pervades the politics and political systems of all three nations. In all three, there is a growing feeling, especially in the general public, that the system is broken beyond repair.

In America, the radical left is actively, openly seeking to destroy a president constitutionally elected by 63 million people. Mr. Trump currently has the upper hand and is restraining the radical left, but the forces of lawlessness are strong and growing stronger. Meanwhile, Britain’s politics are in unchartered waters. Brexit hasn’t just broken two prime ministers, it is destroying the nation’s two largest, longest-established political parties.

What is going on here? Is there a common cause for this collapse into lethal dysfunction?

That is a big question, and one that requires deep study and meditation to answer well. But it is an important question. In Hosea 5:5, the prophet says, “And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them.” This prophecy is referring to Britain, America and the Jewish state in the end time, the time immediately prior to the return of the Messiah.

This prophecy says that these three nations will actually collapse at the same time!

The Bible also explains that the reasons for the fall of these three nations is the same. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has explained these reasons many times in many different books, articles and Key of David television programs. In Great Again, he wrote: “God is against three nations in particular—America, Britain and the Jewish nation—because of their history with God, the birthright and scepter blessings today, and their unparalleled rebellion. NOT ONLY IS GOD NOT HELPING US, HE IS AGAINST US!”

If you’re interested in learning more about the intimate connection between these three nations, both historically and prophetically, I encourage you to read The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Really, it isn’t hard to understand what is happening in these three countries—to understand why all three are falling into the same lethal dysfunction—if only we were more willing to honestly consider what God reveals in the Bible.

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Secretive Bilderberg Group Talks Brexit, the Future of Europe

A private security guard is seen above the entrance of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel in Montreux on May 29, which is scheduled to host the annual Bilderberg meeting.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Secretive Bilderberg Group Talks Brexit, the Future of Europe

It may not be the new world order conspiracy theorists imagine, but Bilderberg is still one of the most influential groups in the world.

A secretive group of some of the world’s top politicians, bankers and businessmen met today for its 67th annual conference. Since its inaugural meeting in May 1954, the Bilderberg Group has been an annual forum for elites from Europe and North America to discuss important issues away from the eyes and ears of the press.

According to the group’s website, “Every year, between 120-140 political leaders and experts from industry, finance, labor, academia and the media are invited to take part in the meeting. About two thirds of the participants come from Europe and the rest from North America; approximately a quarter from politics and government and the rest from other fields.” This year’s meeting in Montreux, Switzerland, lasts from May 30 to June 2.

According to a press release, topics for discussion include China, Russia, Brexit, the future of Europe, climate change, the future of capitalism, the weaponization of social media, the importance of space, the development of artificial intelligence, and the danger of cyberthreats.

The chairman of Bilderberg 2019 is Henri de Castries, a French count and retired insurance tycoon. Other noteworthy guests include German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, Google chief Jared Cohen and Microsoft ceo Satya Nadella.

The meetings are held under Chatham House Rule, meaning participants may use the information that is presented, but they may not reveal the identity of the speaker.

Due to the secrecy surrounding Bilderberg discussions, the conference has become a popular target of conspiracy theorists claiming that Bilderberg members secretly work with the Illuminati, the Freemasons or a secret cabal of shape-shifting lizards founded by the ancient Babylonian sorceress Semiramis.

Back in reality, it is true that the group was cofounded by two controversial figures: Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Polish political adviser Józef Retinger.

Bernhard, the former German prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld, was an SS intelligence officer attached to the main industrial supporter of the Nazi regime, I. G. Farben. The prince resigned from the Nazi Party in 1934 and married Princess Juliana, the future queen of the Netherlands.

Józef Retinger was thought to be an agent of the Vatican. According to British political commentator Rodney Atkinson, he was expelled from the Allied countries during World War i on suspicion of helping the superior-general of the Jesuits, Wlodimir Ledóchowski, plot the creation of a Central Europe Catholic federation. Retinger founded the European Movement in 1947, leading to the establishment of the Council of Europe in 1949.

Prince Bernhard and Retinger founded the Bilderberg Group primarily to create trans-Atlantic support for the idea of a United States of Europe.

Richard Aldrich, a professor at the University of Warwick, wrote in 1997 that the three groups most responsible for the European Union are: the Bilderberg Group, Retinger’s European Movement and Jean Monnet’s Action Committee for a United States of Europe. “Bilderberg was founded by Joseph Retinger and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in 1952 in response to the rise of anti-Americanism in Western Europe and was designed to define some sort of Atlantic consensus amid diverging European and American outlooks,” he wrote in Diplomacy and Statecraft. “It brought leading European and American personalities together once a year for an informal discussion of their differences.”

Belgian viscount and former Bilderberg chairman Étienne Davignon bragged in the 1990s that the Bilderberg Group helped create the euro currency.

While the Bilderberg Group may not be the secret world government of conspiracy theory lore, it is still a highly influential group. “[T]his group is not a tight-knit group of conspirators setting out to destroy nations,” explained Rodney Atkinson in a 2001 interview with Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry and late Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser. “They’re the kind of people selected on the basis that they might say yes to international supernational corporatism, which is the foundation, of course, of the modern European Union ….”

While many Bilderberg supporters have legitimate concerns about the need for a trans-Atlantic alliance to counter the rise of Russia and China, Bible prophecy reveals that America’s relationship with Europe will end in disaster.

Tragically, America is responsible for creating many of the globalist movements that threaten it today—and nowhere is that more true than in Europe.

The U.S. government cooperated with the Catholic Church, European politicians and even former members of the Nazi Party to build a European superstate capable of helping it oppose the Soviet Union. Instead of trusting God and striving to obey His law, the people of Britain and America have trusted in nations that will turn out to be enemies. Building up the EU and Germany will prove to be one of the most foolish decisions these nations have made.

The Bible prophesies of a corporatist empire that will straddle the Atlantic Ocean in the time just before Jesus Christ’s return. This resurrected Holy Roman Empire will be led by Germany and the Vatican, and it will cause the “merchants of the earth” to wax “rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:3-13).

Both America and Britain will be suddenly and violently conquered by this rising superpower.

God allows this to happen because these nations have turned away from Him. But God also reveals how individuals can be protected from this unparalleled disaster. The book of Ezekiel was written specifically for this end time. (Request a free copy of Ezekiel: The End-time Prophet, by Gerald Flurry.)

Ezekiel 33:10-11 state: “Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

There is only one way that God will protect us. Our people must turn, turn, turn from our evil ways.

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. “Why will ye die, O house of Israel?” What a terrifying question! Yet even if the nations of Israel reject God’s warning, they will eventually repent after they have experienced the worst suffering ever. Then He will make them the chief nations of the wonderful World Tomorrow. It is a matter of life-and-death importance that everyone who hears this message sit up, pay attention and note the seriousness of the times.

For more on what the Bible says about this trans-Atlantic empire, read The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

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Largest Election in History Means India Will Turn Further Toward Russia

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets Russian President Vladimir Putin during a welcoming ceremony on October 5, 2018 in New Delhi, India.
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Largest Election in History Means India Will Turn Further Toward Russia

Prime Minister Modi’s mandate is strengthened, including his policy toward Russia.

Following the largest democratic exercise in human history, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won a landslide reelection victory that could allow him to draw India closer to Russia.

Over the course of six weeks, more than 600 million Indians cast a ballot. They voted at over 1 million polling stations in megacities, on islands and in remote mountainside villages. Official data from the Election Commission published on May 24 showed that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party won 303 of the lower house’s 542 seats. This exceeds the 282 seats the party won when Modi first came to power in 2014, and empowers him to better pursue his nationalist goals inside and outside of India.

Modi campaigned as a hard-liner on foreign policy, drawing special emphasis to the tough stand he has taken against Pakistan. He has also built a reputation for deftly walking the tightrope between Russia and the United States. But there are indications that this balancing act could soon be replaced with closer alignment with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first world leaders to congratulate Modi on his reelection. “I am convinced that, as the prime minister of India, you will further strengthen the centuries-old friendship between our peoples and the all-round development of a particularly privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India,” Putin said.

The “centuries-old friendship” between Russia and India has become especially significant since the mid-1960s when the Soviet Union sold MiG 21 helicopters to India. In 2000, the two nations signed the Declaration on the India-Russia Strategic Partnership, establishing deeper cooperation in defense, security and economy. Around that time, India also became the biggest buyer of Russian military equipment.

By 2010, the Russia-India relationship had been upgraded to what was referred to as a “special and privileged” strategic partnership. From 2000 to 2014, Russia provided around 73 percent of India’s military imports. By the time Modi became prime minister in 2014, India had no closer partner than Russia.

“Even a child in India, if asked to say who is India’s best friend, will reply it is Russia, because Russia has been with India in times of crisis,” Modi told Putin in 2014.

In the time since, the India-Russia partnership has grown stronger. From 2014 to last year, overall India-Russia trade increased from $6 billion to $10.7 billion. In October 2018, Modi and Putin finalized a deal for India to buy Russia’s advanced S-400 air defense system. This landmark deal came despite warnings from the U.S. that the purchase could result in U.S. sanctions being placed on India. The Trumpet wrote at the time: “The fact that India quietly went ahead with the purchase despite U.S. threats shows that New Delhi may be willing to jeopardize its close relationship with America in favor of its relationship with Russia.”

In 2018, Russia and India signed eight other major deals, including a milestone agreement securing Russia’s partnership on India’s ambitious “Skycraft” manned space mission.

Last month, Putin awarded Modi with Russia’s highest civilian award, the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, for his work in strengthening ties between the two countries. Modi thanked Putin for the honor on Twitter, writing: “President Putin remains a source of great strength for the India-Russia friendship. Under his visionary leadership, bilateral and multilateral cooperation between our nations has scaled new heights.”

One of Modi’s first meetings after being reelected will be with Putin next month on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Kyrgyzstan. Modi is also planning to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the summit.

It is clear that Modi intends to further improve what Putin called the “centuries-old friendship” between Russia and India, and his strengthened mandate gives him the power to do so. This trend is significant because of what Bible prophecy says about India’s direction in the “latter years.” (This refers to the modern age, which you can prove by studying Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry’s article “Are These the ‘Last Days’?”)

The Trumpet has often discussed an Oriental armed force with an army of 200 million soldiers, which Bible prophecy says will form in the “latter years.” In our September 2014 issue, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about this future army:

The Bible gives some important details about this largest army ever assembled on Earth. It tells us which nations will contribute soldiers to it. It shows it will include the combined forces from several Asian nations. It refers to this Asian confederacy as the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). …

A prophecy in Ezekiel 38 gives us some of these important details. “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him” (Ezekiel 38:1-2). …

Scholars generally agree that “Gog” is Russia, and that “the land of Magog” includes China. The descendants of Meshech and Tubal have been found together throughout history. In Assyrian and Greek histories, Meshech appears as Musku, Muski or Mushki—all names related to the Russian spelling of Moscow, as you can read in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. What about Tubal? On the eastern side of the Ural Mountains lies the city of Tobolsk, named after the Tobol River, derived from Tubal. Tobolsk was once the seat of Russian government over Siberia and was basically considered Russia’s Asian capital.

It is clear that this colossal Asiatic military force will be led by Russia. Ezekiel 38:5 states that “Ethiopia and Libya” will also be part of this bloc. In this passage, these two names would more accurately be rendered “Cush” and “Phut,” as the Darby Bible and Young’s Literal Translation correctly translate them. History records that while some branches of the peoples of Cush and Phut settled in Africa, the remainder migrated to India. The context of this scripture shows that it is referring not to African peoples, but mainly to modern-day Indians.

With Modi’s mandate strengthened, India is now better positioned to take its place among “the kings of the east.”

In the near term, the deepening relationship between India and Russia shows that the world is headed for the most destructive war in mankind’s history. But the trend is also intimately tied to the best imaginable news.

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Gerald Flurry explains:

War is coming … on a scale that is hard to imagine! … But the Bible also prophesies that at the end of all of these wars, the world is going to see the greatest event ever in the universe: the Second Coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ! … What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away. …

We have to realize that this is all good news because Jesus Christ is going to return to this Earth at the very end of the coming world war. … Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear. Surely we ought to be studying our Bibles and understanding these prophecies. They have such deep meaning and are so important to you!

These prophecies leading up to Christ’s return are being rapidly fulfilled today. Seeing that God is bringing His prophecies to fulfillment should stir us to work toward “understanding these prophecies,” as Mr. Flurry wrote. It should stir us to take action to get to know God and to work toward escaping the destruction that is quickly coming on the world.

To understand more about India and the end-time Asian military force that is already in the early stages of unifying, and the hopeful message that is at the core of these prophecies, order your free copy of The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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Drought Withers Australian Wheat Crop

Australian drought-stricken wheat farm
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Drought Withers Australian Wheat Crop

As farms struggle and food prices rise, where can Australians find solutions?

Australia announced on May 14 that it will import wheat for the first time since 2007, a decision spurred by record lows in rainfall across the nation, poor yields and food prices that are beginning to rise.

Although the dry weather primarily affects wheat crops on the east coast, it is also damaging crops and depleting water reserves in Western and Southern Australia. Forecasts remain bleak, and the current heat wave is setting records. January and March 2019 were the hottest ever recorded, with February ranking in the top five hottest. Temperatures have been above average by 2 to 8 degrees.

After seven years of worsening drought, Australian farmers desperately need a good growing season, Fiona Simson, president of the National Farmers Federation, told the Australian. Australia’s wheat production has dropped to its lowest point in a decade, with the 2018–2019 harvest dropping by 19 percent.

“It’s a pretty tense and tough time at the moment,” Simson said, “because, particularly for solely grain-growing farmers, this is their only chance to be set up for the coming year, and many farmers are feeling they’re on knife’s edge following several disastrous seasons.”

South Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory received zero to five millimeters of rain between April 1 and 28, far below average. The Bureau of Meteorology found that soil moisture at root depth is also dangerously low in large swathes of the country. It labeled January to April of this year as “particularly dry” in all corners of the country. The average moisture has decreased notably in every state, with large areas on the east and west coasts reaching severe deficiency.

The Murray-Darling Basin, the location of most of Australia’s wheat production, currently has only 33 percent of its total water capacity, down from 69 percent last year. “The Murray-Darling Basin has been in drought for some time,” the basin’s website stated. “Drought is a significant issue for the basin and continues to impact on its environment, industries and communities.” The site warned that water storage levels were at less than half capacity throughout the first quarter of 2019, and they continue to decrease.

Another result of the drought is that the total area of wheat-producing land has shrunk. As less water becomes available, the fertile region decreases in size. In the 2016–2017 harvest, the area was just above 12 million hectares; it is now around 10 million.

Wheat is Australia’s largest food export. It’s vital to international markets, because the country is one of only a few major growers around the world. In 2016 to 2017, production of grains, oilseeds and pulse crops accounted for around 27 percent of the total value of Australia’s farm export income.

What is happening with Australia’s weather? This problem stems from a source ignored by the media and most people. It is not climate change. It is disobedience to God’s law.

God promised in the Bible blessings for obedience to His law and curses for disobedience. There are definite causes outlined in Scripture that lead to definite results. The Bible has a lot to say about how law-keeping relates to a nation’s agricultural success. Because it is such a vital component of any functional nation, agriculture can be either a great blessing or a gigantic curse. Right now, Australia’s people are facing curses.

God promised that disobedience would mean “… your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits” (Leviticus 26:20). He specifically describes drought as a punishment: “And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust …” (Deuteronomy 28:23-24).

Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 also describe blessings for those willing to change and obey God’s law. You too can bring blessings into your life, even amidst the suffering affecting so many. It starts with repentance and obedience to God’s law.

Our booklet Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? addresses how people respond under weather crises such as droughts. Many blame climate change or dismiss the curses as bad luck. But circumstances like what we see in Australia should make people stop and ask an important question: What is God telling us?

Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? states:

Could it be that God is indeed employing nature as His “unlimited broadcasting station”? That He is cursing our weather patterns and increasing the destructiveness of natural events in an attempt to communicate with us? The Bible shows that this is exactly what He is doing. It shows that He is currently delivering a message via nature that we all desperately need to hear and respond to!

The disasters we see increasing are in fact a tool that the Creator of the natural world has reserved for Himself, to use for His purpose and at His pleasure—in order to speak with us! After all, we don’t tend to listen very well. But severe natural phenomena are impossible to ignore.

Yet for most people, even as our planet is coming apart, the message is still not resonating.

The question is, are you prepared to listen?

Request your free copy of Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? to learn more about the real causes for Australia’s falling wheat production and the solutions you can act on today.

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Why You Need to Remember D-Day

Use your imagination.

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Abortion Laws in America: A Life-and-Death Battleground

An anti-abortion sign outside the Reproductive Health Services building in Montgomery, Alabama, on May 20
SETH HERALD/AFP/Getty Images

Abortion Laws in America: A Life-and-Death Battleground

Anti-abortion laws are passing, and it is sending the pro-abortion left into hysterics.

Abortion advocates in America have been working in recent months to liberalize abortion laws, making it easier than ever to kill the unborn. But now others, seeking to protect life, are pushing back—and pushing hard.

This life-and-death battle is highlighting deep moral divisions in the nation and exacerbating already painful cultural rifts.

This issue is reaching its biggest watershed since the Supreme Court unilaterally legalized abortion nationwide 46 years ago with Roe v. Wade.

An estimated 61.3 million babies have been aborted in America since that decision, which established that a woman can abort her unborn baby up until it could survive outside the womb, around 24 to 28 weeks. State legislatures are now considering bills to make abortion legal until birth in some cases. New York passed its law on January 22. Rhode Island and Virginia have debated similar measures. This past Sunday, Illinois Democrats pushed a bill that, if passed, would be the nation’s most extreme, removing all abortion restrictions and expanding insurance coverage of abortion. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam supported a bill that would allow an “abortion” even after the baby was delivered.

Meanwhile lawmakers in other states are moving to the opposite position—not just back to Roe v. Wade’s 24-to-28-week standard, but toward complete protection of life in the womb. So far this year, Ohio, Kentucky, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi and Georgia have passed laws making the cutoff point for legal abortions considerably earlier. Most of these allow abortions only before six or eight weeks, which is when existing technology can first detect the baby’s heartbeat—and most women do not even realize they are pregnant. Similar bills have been introduced in Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina. Two weeks ago, Alabama made performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. Two days later, Missouri legislators passed legislation to ban abortions at eight weeks, and the governor is expected to sign it into law by mid-July; after that, doctors who break the law will face 5 to 15 years in prison.

Supporters say this wave of laws is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. They want to send the issue back to the Supreme Court.

This is an extraordinary development. After seeing states pass laws that encourage abortion, you could be forgiven for thinking the whole culture was moving that direction. To hear the mainstream media, you would think everyone agrees abortion is wonderful. The strident left capitalizes on the feeling of inevitability behind their movement: Culture is always sliding toward liberalization and greater tolerance of their extreme views.

But this trend shows that many people disagree.

Anti-abortion bills are not new. North Dakota, Iowa and Oklahoma have all tried to pass bills restricting abortion and failed. What is new is that these bills aren’t getting killed—they’re becoming law. And these successes cheer the people horrified by America’s ongoing abortion holocaust.

Why are these bills now passing? Many people are pointing to a familiar name: President Donald J. Trump. He nominated Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, boosting hopes that Roe v. Wade may one day be overturned. The president has also appointed many conservative judges to appellate courts, increasing lawmakers’ confidence that their new laws will withstand appeals. (At the same time, this is also what has motivated liberal lawmakers in other states to pass their pro-abortion laws: to preserve abortion in case the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade.)

Perhaps President Trump has also infused conservatives with some courage and will. His unapologetic combativeness with the left has helped to expose just how radical, unbalanced and nonnegotiably illogical their views are. Maybe more conservative leaders are recognizing the benefit in taking a more hard-line approach, and are doing what is right in spite of whatever attacks may come.

And those attacks are coming.

Leftists, fanatical about killing unborn babies, view dissenters as fundamentalist barbarians. Perhaps they don’t constitute a majority outside the Democratic Party, the media and academia, but even if abortionists are a minority, they are loud and proud. And anti-abortion laws have provoked a lot of hyperventilation and hysteria.

In Alabama, hundreds of angry protesters stormed the state capital. Statewide, thousands more called for the law to be repealed and the lawmakers unseated. At a large rally in Montgomery, a protest organizer said: “I think this size shows us that people are mad. And we are in the majority and that abortion rights are human rights and that’s what we want for the state of Alabama.”

“Clinicians reacted with disgust to the passage of the bill” in Missouri, Associated Press reported. During debate on the measure, abortion supporters chanted, “When you lie, people die,” and, “Women’s rights are human rights” before being escorted from the chamber. Outside, after the bill passed they shouted, “Shame! Shame! Shame!” Some women had dressed as characters from the The Handmaid’s Tale, a book and tv series which, as AP described it, “depicts a dystopian future where fertile women are forced to breed.”

Democratic Minority Leader Crystal Quade told Republicans on the Missouri House floor, “Since you’re fine with forcing children who have been raped to have their rapists’ babies, I truly hope when y’all go to sleep tonight that you think about that.” Others have taken this grotesque sentiment to a much more extreme level.

Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh, an anti-abortion advocate, praised Alabama for passing its law. After posting to social media about his stance, he received a torrent of threats from sick and unhinged leftists. They said, for example, that Walsh’s own mother should have aborted him, that he should kill himself, that they wished his wife and 5-year-old daughter would be brutally raped, and that his own daughter would get a million abortions. “You are the best reason for abortion I have ever encountered,” one said. “It is a crime that your mother failed to exercise her right …. One can only hope that by some happening that error in judgment is remedied. This is not a threat but a hope, a wish, that you, and all who think like you do, are permanently silenced.”

What evil had Matt Walsh committed? He had publicized some facts about abortion. For example: Children conceived due to rape account for less than 1 percent of abortions. More than 85 percent of abortions can be attributed to these top six reasons: 1) Not ready for a child—timing is wrong; 2) can’t afford a baby now; 3) have completed my childbearing; 4) don’t want to be a single mother/am having relationship problems; 5) don’t feel mature enough to raise a child; and 6) would interfere with education or career plans.

“You can disagree with our case, but if our ‘don’t kill people’ position sends you into a blind rage, that should tell you something about your own psychological state,” Walsh wrote. “Speaking of questionable psychological states, this week I have been inundated with hate mail from abortion supporters who are upset in general about my pro-life views, and in particular that I have the gall to suggest that the children of rape victims should not be executed for the crimes of their fathers. I have also pointed out that rapists use abortion to cover their tracks, which is a documented, self-evident, but apparently completely taboo fact.”

For the crime of pointing this out, there are people who believe Walsh and his family should be harmed and that the world will be better off when he is permanently silenced. For a segment of America today that claims “we are in the majority,” this is morally superior thinking. They feel justified for being filled with such hate!

I am 46 years old. Roe v. Wade was decided a little less than six months after I was born. So in my lifetime, this country has smiled on the deaths of 61.3 million people my age and younger who would otherwise be alive today.

That is more people than died at the hand of Mao Zedong, or of Joseph Stalin, or of Adolf Hitler. This is an unparalleled holocaust, and it is still going.

Now people are standing up and saying, Enough!

They have tried stopping it in other ways, but nothing has worked against Roe v. Wade—for 46 years! Finally, in recent months, they are starting to get some traction. And it is sending abortionists into a vicious rage.

Amid all the issues that are dividing Americans today, here comes another. This fight will grow more ferocious as these competing bills and laws make their way through states and subsequent legal challenges.

On one side are people trying to save lives. They are recognizing the basic fact that this is a life-and-death issue. On the other side are people fanatically committed to snuffing out lives for the sake of convenience, and then demonizing anyone who opposes them.

When you look at the way they are thinking, and the depths to which they will descend to defend their position, you realize there is something very dark going on.

This is what happens when people jettison absolute standards of right and wrong, and they prioritize convenience, or career, or prosperity, over human life—to the point of justifying killing a child. Taking such a stance perverts one’s thinking.

There is no other real way of understanding the wicked and violent sentiments coming from these pro-abortionists than that they have opened themselves up to an evil spiritual influence.

It may sound drastic, but they are being manipulated by the devil, who has been a murderer from the beginning! (John 8:44). He is the real instigator behind the war on marriage, the war on family, the war on humanity and human reproduction.

The Apostle Paul prophesied twice that in our age, people would become “without natural affection” (Romans 1:31; 2 Timothy 3:3). You certainly see this in the absence of natural feeling so many women have for their unborn children. They and the people influencing them and putting instruments into their bodies are killing 1 million babies a year, just in this country!

Paul also prophesied that people would be “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, … false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (verses 2-4). All these are painfully evident in the abortion movement.

As conservatives finally push back against abortion in a meaningful way, how radical will abortionists get? How many of their threats will they carry out? The more that people acquiesce to Satan’s influence, the uglier things will get.

You need to understand the truth about abortion. Read our article “The Inspiring Truth Abortionists Should Know.” If you have wondered why the push for abortion, this will answer you. If you have wondered whether abortion is murder, this will answer you. It will show you that God is a God of life!

And if you have wondered what the purpose of a human life is, before and after birth, this article will explain the wonderful, inspiring, stop-you-in-your-tracks purpose for which God created each human being! This is truth you need in order to understand the abortion war: “The Inspiring Truth Abortionists Should Know.”