Back-to-Back-to-Back!

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Back-to-Back-to-Back!

Personal Appearance Campaigns are going back-to-back-to-back right now! Last night we held a one-night event in Phoenix, tonight we are in the Los Angeles metro, and tomorrow night we will be in Sacramento. Trumpet subscribers in each of these cities are receiving a rare chance to hear a strong message, to ask questions, and to hopefully take action.

Many of us have been praying about these campaigns for years now, and recently we have especially prayed that those who are familiar with the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong and who attended the Worldwide Church of God will come to a campaign. Many of them are subscribers, and attending a campaign is an eye-opening and hopefully life-changing experience. The setting is comfortable, relaxed and positive. You can choose to speak with campaign volunteers or ministers if you like: I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity, but it’s up to you. The only pressure comes from God working on your mind to step out in faith and act on what He is communicating to you through the Bible and through the lecture.

In Phoenix, 116 attended, including 50 subscribers who are not already members of the Philadelphia Church of God. (The pcg continues the teachings of Mr. Armstrong. These personal appearances are based on and even named after his campaigns.) We’re excited to see pcg members in all these cities, of course, but I get really excited to meet those who aren’t members. Some are going through hard times. Some are fresh with enthusiasm about learning what the Bible really means. Some have read the Trumpet for years but have gone no further. And some have believed and followed the biblical truths Mr. Armstrong taught, but then turned away. What a thrill to see them step out and come to a campaign!

For those who attend these pacs, we also offer follow-up Bible studies two or three weeks later, conducted by our regional directors. Following last night’s event, we had 17 of the nonmembers sign up for the follow-up study, which is tremendous!

I’d also like to share with you some exciting news from three other follow-up studies that also happened last night in Red Deer, Alberta; Memphis, Tennessee; and New York City. In Memphis, we had nine nonmembers attend, along with 22 pcg members. In Red Deer, there were 11 nonmembers in attendance, many of whom seem very interested in becoming members. That is exciting!

The news from New York is exceptional. When we conducted the campaign in Manhattan two weeks ago, we had 73 nonmembers sign up for the follow-up study. Last night, 55 people showed up for the meeting. Of those, 39 signed up for another Bible study next week. They want to dig deeper into God’s Word. Many of them are intensely interested in becoming pcg members. And most of them live in Manhattan, where we have not had a congregation since 2007. We do have a handful of members who live in New York City. But the nearest Church congregation is located in New Jersey.

Please be praying that God would open the door for us to establish a new pcg congregation in Manhattan in the coming months.

God’s Work is growing! These campaigns and Bible studies are producing fruit! And like I alluded to earlier, that success completely depends on prayer. Only God can make these campaigns successful. Only He can inspire those who are suffering, those who need answers, those who are in their first glow of learning the Bible, those who have turned away from Him and are hesitantly thinking about turning back—to come to these campaigns. And He is doing so! So thank you to pcg members and nonmembers who are earnestly praying for the details of these campaigns, especially the crucial detail of who comes. And thank you especially to all of you who have stepped out, perhaps when it was hard to do so, and have come. Thank you for listening to the lectures about God’s prophecies, His correction, His way of life, His promises. Thank you for coming up and introducing yourself. I ask all of you to please continue to pray for these campaigns—and I ask those of you who have received or will receive an invitation, please step out and come!

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China Admits Belt and Road Includes Global Military Ambitions

Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army perform drills during a demonstration at an open day at the pla Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks on June 30 in Hong Kong.
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China Admits Belt and Road Includes Global Military Ambitions

The Chinese have officially denied that the world’s largest infrastructure also has military uses, until now.

After years of China insisting that its Belt and Road Initiative (bri) is purely for peaceful economic purposes, the nation’s top defense official acknowledged on July 8 that the project includes military ambitions.

Speaking in Beijing to defense officials from Latin American, Caribbean and South Pacific countries, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said the globe-spanning infrastructure project would build a “framework” for military cooperation between China and other nations.

Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Wei as saying, “The Chinese military stands ready to deepen mutual trust and consolidate friendship with the militaries of the Caribbean countries and Pacific Island countries.” He added that such cooperation would take place within “the framework of the bri.”

The Belt and Road Initiative is the project and top national priority of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Its stated goal is to rebuild the ancient Silk Road network of routes that facilitated the flow of trade across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. China is loaning nations in those regions billions of dollars to build ports, roads, rail networks, bridges and energy pipelines. The modern Silk Road also extends into nations in Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

Despite China’s frequent assertions over the years that the initiative is strictly an economic endeavor with peaceful intent, the project’s military links have long been apparent, particularly in Pakistan and Tajikistan. China seeks a military footing in such foreign locations as part of its efforts to prevent outside powers—namely the United States—from blockading vital choke points in the Chinese periphery. If Chinese soldiers, sailors and pilots are deployed at international bases, it will be better positioned to deter or dismantle such a blockade. These objectives have been part of Chairman Xi’s motivation for prioritizing the project since its unveiling in 2013.

The repeated denials of military objectives were designed to minimize political opposition to the project.

Wei’s public break from the party line in this regard was unexpected. But the Chinese government may have calculated that, when dealing with certain nations, the glow of economic advancement is outshined by that of military might. And indeed, during the July 8 meeting, rather than recoiling from Wei’s offer, Guyana’s army chief, Patrick West, said his nation is eager to deepen military cooperation with China under the initiative’s framework.

Going forward, especially when dealing with countries where anti-American sentiments are deepening, China may continue to dispense with pretenses and advertise the project’s military potential.

The Trumpet closely watches China’s Belt and Road Initiative progress because the project bears significance in Bible prophecy. Isaiah 23 discusses a “mart of nations” that will emerge in modern times as an economic behemoth. Leading the “mart of nations” will be a power Isaiah refers to as Chittim, an ancient name for modern-day China. Also in a lead role will be Tyre, a city that signifies the commercial center of modern Europe.

Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27 show that these two economic powers, along with Japan, Russia and others, will together control global commerce for a brief era. Deuteronomy 28:52 makes clear that this trade partnership will form to America’s detriment.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains the details of this economic “mart” in his free booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision:

The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged.

That is where China and the giants of Asia enter the picture. When the [European power] attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia.

Instead, it is clear that Asian nations, such as China, will assist the Europeans in carrying out the attack.

Mr. Flurry draws special attention to the Latin American-Caribbean region, mentioning prophecies by the late educator Herbert W. Armstrong about its role in these fast-approaching end-time events. “Herbert Armstrong long prophesied, and we expect, the alliance between Europe and South America to grow extremely strong,” Mr. Flurry writes. Europe already wields significant influence in several Latin American nations. Once China enters a “brief alliance” with the Europeans, the influence it is now building in Guyana and elsewhere in the region will translate into even greater European control over Latin America.

Mr. Flurry shows that the situation will eventually result in a European subjugation of Latin America, saying, “The Latin American countries will become vassal states to Europe!”

With this degree of control in Latin America and the Caribbean, the European and Asian “mart of nations” will be geographically positioned to besiege America. “With a German-led Europe … possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and the south by Latin America.”

“Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations ….”

The significance of China’s Belt and Road Initiative—including the project’s suddenly open military ambitions—is revealed in these Bible prophecies.

China’s increasing military power points to dark times ahead for the U.S. and some of its allies. But the dark future will be immediately followed by the brightest age in mankind’s history. Mr. Flurry writes: “[W]hat a dynamic market of nations it is. All of them are going to besiege America, Britain and the Jewish nation. … But that trading partnership won’t last long. Soon they will clash, just before Jesus Christ returns and destroys both of them” (ibid).

To understand more about the rise of China and how it connects to Christ’s return, order your free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.

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This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (July 13)

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (July 13)

Britain’s attack on Iran, Britain’s ‘deep state,’ Germany’s far right, 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.

United Kingdom Stiffens Its Spine Against Iran

On Wednesday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps momentarily blocked the path of a United Kingdom tanker, the British Heritage, before being forced to stand down by a Royal Navy frigate.

This was Iran’s attempt to retaliate against Britain’s decision to impound a massive Iranian oil tanker sailing off the coast of Gibraltar. The tanker was attempting to circumnavigate around a European Union embargo on Iranian oil, which has been in place since 2011.

Britain’s decision to impound the Iranian tanker and its forthright response to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard underscores a huge shift in British policy toward Iran, one that is emboldened by a growing relationship with the U.S. It’s tied to a profound prophecy found in 2 Kings!

Is Britain’s Secret Service Trying to Stop Brexit?

In a July 6 interview with bbc Radio 4’s Today program, former MI6 director Sir Robert John Sawers said the United Kingdom was experiencing a “nervous breakdown” as it prepares to leave the European Union and stated that the Conservative Party lacks competent leaders.

Sir John opposes the Conservative Party’s Boris Johnson as a prime minister candidate. In the past, Sir John has argued that former Prime Minister David Cameron was “unwise” to hold a referendum on EU membership in the first place and has called on voters to reverse this “strategic mistake” in a second referendum.

The fact that Johnson wants to carry out the will of the British people and make sure Brexit happens has earned him the disdain of many UK bureaucrats—including spies. And the fact that Sir John is using innuendo and unverified rumors to influence Parliament’s decision on who should be the next prime minister is concerning. In fact, it is reminiscent of the American “deep state’s” efforts to discredit President Donald Trump.

Germany’s Army and Police Becoming Far Right

Germany’s police officers have seen the consequences of the migrant crisis firsthand. They have seen millions of migrants flow over their border. They’ve dealt with those migrants who have rioted and committed rape and other crimes. They have watched the establishment of refugee shelters.

And they have witnessed Germans attack those same shelters.

A growing number German officers and soldiers are evidently sympathizing with far-right political movements.

Some investigations have exposed a growing right-wing extremist network among police and soldiers that plan to overthrow the government. Investigations are still ongoing, but the evidence is alarming. Soldiers, reservists, policemen and members of the German intelligence service were all connected with the plans, which includes the assassination of politicians.

“How could the appalling evil and message of hate inspired by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War ii ever resurface in this sophisticated age?” Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry asked in “The Resurgence of Nazi Germany.” “World history and Bible prophecy should strike us like a bolt of lightning with the proper answer to that question!”

Why Do Putin and the Pope Keep Meeting?

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on July 4. This is his third meeting with the pope, a high number for a dictator who is closely allied with the Orthodox Church, which split from the papacy almost 1,000 years ago.

The meeting was private and little is known about what was discussed. But the situation in Ukraine was expected to be high on the agenda. A statement released by the Vatican said that the pair discussed the situation in Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela, as well as “the life of the Catholic Church in Russia.”

Putin called the nearly hourlong talk “very substantive.”

The Trumpet has long expected Russia and a German-led Europe to make some kind of a deal. The Vatican, which often plays a very public political role, could be a big part of making that happen.

History warns us of exactly what to expect from a deal between Germany and Russia.

DNA Study Shows Bible Correct on Philistine Origins

Hundreds of news sources picked up on a recently published study claiming the Philistines were immigrants from southern Europe. But none seem to have drawn attention to the most compelling aspect of the study.

That is: The Philistines likely came from exactly where the Bible says they came from!

“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.

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Anthems, Plonkers and Megan Rapinoe

USA women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe kisses the trophy in front of the City Hall after the ticker tape parade for the women’s World Cup champions on July 10 in New York.
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Anthems, Plonkers and Megan Rapinoe

There is a fatal moral inversion now consuming Britain and America.

I want to show you two videos that in my opinion demonstrate the fatal moral inversion now consuming Britain and America.

The first video shows members of the UK Brexit Party turning their backs on the EU anthem (Beethoven’s Ode to Joy) as it was played during the opening of the European Parliament in Brussels last week. They had just been lectured by European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who told them, “You stand for the anthem of another country.”

Keep in mind, the EU isn’t a sovereign country. The EU shouldn’t have a national anthem, just like it shouldn’t have a national flag. It shouldn’t be building a national army, and it shouldn’t be installing leaders who have not been democratically elected. But it is doing all of these things. Claiming the EU has a national anthem represents a “seizure of democracy,” said Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party. And this is what the Brexit Party members were quietly protesting.

In Britain, this anthem protest was universally excoriated by the media and mainstream leaders and personalities. “This is petty, small-minded little England at its worst. These plonkers do a proud and open nation a disservice. Shame on them,” tweeted Labour M.P. David Lammy. Conservative M.P. Nigel Adams tweeted: “Congrats to the Brexit Party for embarrassing yourselves. Very un-British and childish. Grow up.”

Now consider Megan Rapinoe, the outspoken cocaptain of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. Rapinoe refuses to sing America’s national anthem. At the World Cup, she stood silent with her hands behind her back and her mouth bolted shut when the anthem was played. To Rapinoe, America’s national anthem and flag represent racism, xenophobia and inequality. Said Rapinoe, “I’ll probably never put my hand over my heart. I’ll probably never sing the national anthem again.”

Here is a photo from earlier this week of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team standing for the national anthem during a victory parade in New York City. Rapinoe not only refused to sing, she had a bold, confident smirk. She clearly relishes the rebellion.How did the mainstream media and radical left react to Rapinoe’s anthem protest? With rapturous applause and unfettered praise. Rapinoe returned from France a national hero, and for reasons well beyond her notable soccer skills. Rapinoe today is worshiped by the far left as a goddess of human rights and equality, and a role model for young girls, homosexuals and feminists across America. (It also helps that she hates Donald Trump and is quick to disrespect the president and his office.) This article in the Week even endorsed Rapinoe for president.

I understand that these are unrelated incidences from two different countries. But I think it’s fair to say that America’s leftist elite and mainstream media would respond to the Brexit Party anthem protest much like Britain’s mainstream media and elites did. And vice versa.

America and Britain have now reached the point where, if you quietly protest an increasingly unpopular, anti-democratic organization that is actively developing the organs of a dangerous federal superstate, you are blasted as small-minded, shameful and wrong. Meanwhile, if you protest the anthem of the world’s greatest humanitarian nation, a nation that has rescued the world from the jaws of tyranny—and a nation that, more than any other country on Earth, protects and advances values such as freedom of expression, individual liberty, equality and human rights—you are brave, admirable and right.

America and Britain in the 21st century are exactly as the Prophet Isaiah said they would be some 2,600 years ago. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

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U.S. Hits Back at Iran in Lebanon

Pro-Iranian Hezbollah fighters participate in a parade.
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U.S. Hits Back at Iran in Lebanon

America has a strategy to sideline Hezbollah in Lebanon, but will it work?

jerusalem
The United States sanctioned three high-ranking Hezbollah members on Tuesday, including two active members of Lebanon’s parliament. This marks the first time that the U.S. has targeted members of the Lebanese Parliament.

According to the United States Treasury, the sanctioned individuals leveraged “their privileged positions to facilitate Hezbollah’s malign agenda and do Iran’s bidding.”

In making the designation, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said, “Hezbollah uses its operatives in Lebanon’s parliament to manipulate institutions in support of the terrorist group’s financial and security interests, and to bolster Iran’s malign activities.”

Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah stated in 2016, “Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” It’s well understood that Hezbollah operates in Lebanon as an Iranian proxy.

The U.S. position on Hezbollah stands in contrast to European nations, such as Germany and France, who have designated Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organization but not its so-called “political wing.”

This latest move is significant because it notifies the world that, according to the U.S., there is only one Hezbollah. And all of it, whether fighters or lawmakers, is part of the same terrorist infrastructure and can be targeted according to United States law.

The statement from the U.S. Treasury said that there was “no distinction between Hezbollah’s political and violent activities.” Mohammed Hasan Ra’d, one of the men sanctioned, said in 2001, “Hezbollah is a military resistance party. … There is no separation between politics and resistance.”

Hezbollah usually receives more than $700 million each year from Iran. But not this year. Reports from earlier this year show that many of Hezbollah’s fighters have not been paid or have received half-pay only. Nasrallah has asked supporters to be generous financially and make up for the shortfall in cash from Iran.

But it will take more than bankrupting Iran to undermine Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon.

By virtue of Lebanon’s diverse ethnic make-up and corresponding constitutional strictures, the Hezbollah party holds outsized power inside the government. Since the May 2018 election, Hezbollah-aligned parties have formed the majority in Parliament. Because of this, it is difficult for the U.S. to hurt Hezbollah without seriously affecting the rest of the country.

In fact, Hezbollah is so powerful inside the government that many conservative analysts put no distinction between the Lebanese state and Hezbollah. They view the entire nation as nothing more than an Iranian vassal.

U.S. policy has been to support anti-Hezbollah parties within the government in the hopes of a turnaround. It has also bolstered the armed forces of Lebanon in an effort to counter the strength of Hezbollah. This is a dangerous policy considering there has been coordination between the American-armed Lebanese forces and Hezbollah in the past.

The fact that the U.S. continues to supply the Lebanese military indicates America still has a strategy to sideline Hezbollah inside Lebanon.

These sanctions likely play into that strategy and could be seen as a way to break Hezbollah’s hold on the government.

While only two lawmakers were sanctioned, there are likely to be more. In fact, this action is probably meant as a warning to other Lebanese politicians that they could be next unless they separate themselves from Hezbollah.

Since the U.S. has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, it can sanction more of Lebanon’s leaders, even those who are not Hezbollah members.

During his much-underreported visit to Lebanon in March, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that sanctions could be placed on other leaders who support Hezbollah. Asharq Al-Awsat wrote on April 12:

A number of ministers and deputies confirmed that during his visit to Beirut last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo frankly told Lebanese officials that America will not tolerate individuals who collaborate with Hezbollah.

Pompeo hinted that U.S. sanctions on Hezbollah could even involve non-Shiite figures if there was evidence on their involvement with the party, the ministers and M.P.s told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Sanctioning non-Hezbollah members would be a big step for the United States. It might be what is necessary to motivate some Hezbollah-aligned politicians to rethink their allegiances.

On the surface, these sanctions might not seem like much. And granted, if there is no follow-up with more pressure, sanctioning three individuals will do little to weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon. However, the sanctions are a sign that the U.S. believes it has a winning strategy in Lebanon to sideline Iranian influence. Given the success of President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy so far, it’s worth considering. Especially given what the Bible says regarding Lebanon’s future.

It is our long-standing forecast that Iranian influence in Lebanon will not last.

A prophecy in Psalm 83 details an end-time alliance of nations that includes biblical Gebal, or Lebanon, and the “inhabitants of Tyre,” referring to southern Lebanon. Other nations in this alliance are Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. (Read the Trumpet’s Trends article on this subject for more information.)

This alliance of moderate Middle Eastern nations is largely an anti-Iranian alliance. This indicates Lebanon will flip from a proxy of Iran to an adversary, which probably could not happen if Hezbollah were to maintain its power in Lebanon.

We understand how bold it is to claim that Lebanon will fall out of Iran’s grasp, even as we often report on Hezbollah’s power in the country. Nevertheless, the Bible is clear about Lebanon’s future, and Iran will have no part in it. Given this prophecy, there is every reason to believe that the current U.S. strategy in Lebanon will be successful.

However, given how crucial Hezbollah has been to Iran’s plan to threaten Israel, it is only logical that Hezbollah will not easily retreat.

To understand more about where these events in Lebanon fit into Bible prophecy, please read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Why You Need to Watch Lebanon.”

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United Kingdom Stiffens Its Spine Against Iran

Supertanker Grace 1 near the coast of Gibraltar on July 6
JORGE GUERRERO/AFP/Getty Images

United Kingdom Stiffens Its Spine Against Iran

What happened to Britain’s slow-moving, timid foreign policy?

jerusalem
The United Kingdom essentially joined the United States last Thursday in its high-pressure campaign against the Iranian regime when it decided to impound a massive Iranian oil tanker sailing off the coast of Gibraltar.

Yesterday, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted to return the favor when it momentarily blocked the path of a UK tanker, the British Heritage, before being forced to stand down by a Royal Navy frigate.

Britain’s decision to impound the Iranian tanker and its forthright response to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard underscores a huge shift in British policy toward Iran, one that is emboldened by a growing relationship with the U.S.

Gatekeeper of the Mediterranean

Known as the “Rock,” the tiny British enclave of Gibraltar, which overlooks the entrance to the Mediterranean, has been a critical asset to Britain since Spain ceded the territory in 1713. In the early hours of July 4, over 300 years later, Britain proved that Gibraltar still retains strategic value when it directed 30 Royal Marines to board Iran’s Grace 1 tanker as it sailed into the Mediterranean Sea.

The vessel was due to offload its cargo of Iranian oil at Syria’s Banyas Refinery, contravening European Union sanctions imposed on Syria in 2011. So Britain decided to act.

“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria,” noted Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, in a statement. “With my consent, our port and law enforcement agencies sought the assistance of the Royal Marines in carrying out this operation.”

While the decision to detain the vessel was about enforcing sanctions on Syria, Britain was clearly going after Iran. Britain confirmed that Grace 1 is filled to capacity, holding 2 million barrels of oil as it sits at anchor off the coast of Gibraltar.

While the Royal Navy was acting within its mandate to impound the vessel, its decision to do so took most by surprise, especially Iran.

It’s doubtful that Iran anticipated the UK would have the courage to pull off such a move. For years, the UK has shared Europe’s dovish position on Iran, rather than following the U.S.’s more confrontational approach.

Matthew Oresman, commercial sanctions adviser, highlighted Britain’s unexpected intervention, as reported by the National, “This is the first time that the EU has done something so public and so aggressive. I imagine it was also coordinated in some manner with the U.S., given that nato member forces have been involved.”

Indeed, it makes sense that the U.S. was aware of what the UK was planning and perhaps worked together with Britain.

Shortly after Britain captured the ship, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted, “Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace 1 laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions. America and our allies will continue to prevent regimes in Tehran and Damascus from profiting off this illicit trade.”

The fact that Grace 1 was even near Gibraltar is a result of the reinstatement of U.S. oil sanctions on Iran.

Ships usually travel from the Persian Gulf through the Red Sea and Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean Sea, a 4,100-mile journey from Iran to Syria. But since the start of 2019, Iranian oil vessels traveling to Syria were denied access through the Suez Canal.

Grace 1 was forced to take the 14,500-mile trip around Africa, an expensive but still profitable voyage for supplying much-needed oil to Syria, Iran’s ally.

Britain’s bold move, however, didn’t come without the risk of Iranian retaliation against British assets.

Iran’s Attempted Seizure

After Britain impounded the Grace 1, Iranian Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaee tweeted that “if the UK does not release the Iranian oil tanker, our officials are duty-bound to reciprocate and seize a British oil tanker.”

Before reports surfaced of Iran’s attempted seizure of the British Heritage, the UK was already moving to protect its assets in the Persian Gulf.

The Times reported on July 9 that a Royal Navy frigate, hms Montrose, escorted an Isle of Man-flagged tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Gulf of Oman. But by early afternoon, the hms Montrose was called to protect the British Heritage from an attempted Iranian seizure as it transited the Strait.

After the incident, the UK Ministry of Defense stated that “contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz.”

hms Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels, which then turned away,” the statement said. Media reports indicated that aiming the Montrose’s 30-mm guns at the attack boats also encouraged the Iranians to stand down.

Before deciding to impound Grace 1, British leaders must have modeled the very scenario of brinkmanship that played out in the Persian Gulf yesterday. Yet Britain still decided to act.

This is not the usual slow-moving, timid British foreign policy that we are used to. Three times between 2004 and 2009 British Navy soldiers or marines have been taken captive by Iranians while working inside the Persian Gulf. But not yesterday.

For its part, Iran did go through with its attempted seizure of the British Heritage, even though it was being flanked by hms Montrose.

As Jerusalem Post analyst Seth Frantzman wrote today, perhaps Iran was testing whether the UK would fold under pressure. “Iran is brazen. If the reports are accurate, its attempt to harass the tanker was done openly and done with full knowledge of the presence of the British Navy to test the UK’s response and also to see if the U.S. is serious about its international coalition.”

Iran received its answer.

These two actions, impounding Grace 1 and not standing down when provoked by the Iranian fast boats, indicate that Britain has deliberately chosen a firmer course on Iran. And given that the frontrunner to be Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson, supports a tough response on Iran, it is likely to stay that way. In an interview with the Jewish Press, Johnson stated, “I certainly think you could not fault the UK government for being tough on Iran’s sanction busting. As prime minister, I’d make sure we continue to do everything we can to constrain Iran’s disruptive behavior in the region.”

Just how far Mr. Johnson or Britain’s current leadership is willing to go to constrain Iran is yet to be seen. However, it becomes far easier to act boldly against Iran when you know the resurgent U.S. is doing the same. Britain’s newfound international confidence is, in part, a result of the boldness of its longtime ally.

But there is another related reason.

As noted by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his article “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily,” the election of U.S. President Donald Trump has led to a temporary resurgence of the U.S., both internally and abroad. Mr. Flurry wrote, “Donald Trump has proved himself willing to take a stand where others have not. It is quite something to behold him resisting these anti-American forces! … When you compare what this president is doing to what his predecessor did, there has been a clear change in direction, one that will slow the speed at which America is being pulled apart.” The forecast of a resurgent U.S. under President Trump is based off an ancient prophecy found in 2 Kings, which is explained in his article.

As we addressed in our August issue of the Trumpet, Mr. Trump’s high-pressure campaign against Iran appears to be working. While Bible prophecy shows that Iran will not be restrained in the long term, it is possible that suffocating U.S. sanctions could temporarily chasten Iran.

The fact that the UK appears to be joining the U.S. in this effort is not surprising. Biblical history and prophecy confirm that the U.S. and Britain are brothers. This is proved in Herbert W. Armstrong’s widely read book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Understanding the historic identity of Britain and the U.S. is essential to understanding Bible prophecy and critical to understanding the revitalized relationship between Britain and the United States.