The Mystery of Israel

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The Mystery of Israel

Why is the Bible predominantly about one nation? Why did God found a physical nation? The answers teach invaluable lessons that explain much about our world today!
From the March 2020 Trumpet Print Edition

The Bible is the most popular book in the whole world—yet it is a book about one nation: Israel. That statement may surprise you, but when you look at the facts, it is undeniably true. Yet Israel is a total mystery to the religions in this world.

Herbert W. Armstrong made this subject plain in his most important book, Mystery of the Ages. The fifth chapter of that book is “Mystery of Israel.”

At the beginning of that chapter, Mr. Armstrong said we must understand that Israel “has great significance in God’s purpose for all peoples! One cannot understand the real purpose and incredible potential of man without this vital knowledge.” If you are to reach your incredible human potential, you must understand the truth about Israel!

There are many seemingly paradoxical facts surrounding Israel. Have you ever wondered why God raised up that nation? The Bible plainly states that God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11)—but is He a respecter of nations? Did He show favoritism to Israel? Here is another mystery: Are you aware that God didn’t even offer salvation to the physical nation of ancient Israel? It was given material blessings. But the gift of His Holy Spirit was not made available to them, except for the prophets.

Here is yet another: The northern kingdom of Israel was not Jewish. That may shock you. The Bible’s first mention of the word Jews is in 2 Kings 16:6—and it appears in the context of them being at war with Israel! How do you explain that?

All these questions are answered in Chapter 5 of Mystery of the Ages, a book you need to be well acquainted with.

Father of the Faithful

Seven generations after the Flood, God began using a man named Abram. Following his conversion, his name was changed to Abraham. He eventually became known as the father of the faithful—the patriarch of anyone who has faith in God, whether Israelite or Gentile (Romans 4:11, 16). But to get Abraham to that point, God had to test him.

In Genesis 12, God commanded him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (verses 1-2). What a wonderful promise! God started Israel with one man, just as He started all of humanity with one man.

This was a material promise of national prosperity. God had a plan for Israel. Isaiah 43:21 says, “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” God intended Israel to show the world how to obey Him, and what a multitude of blessings He provides to those who do that!

Throughout the Bible, God works on the principle of duality. There was a first man, Adam—a material, carnal man—and a “second Adam,” Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45-47; Romans 5:14). There is also duality surrounding the nation of Israel. The physical congregation of Israel in the Old Testament was a type of the New Testament Church of God.

Likewise, the promises God made to Abraham are dual: One is purely material and national; the other is spiritual and individual. Here is the second of those promises: “[A]nd in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). This is God’s promise of grace: salvation to all humanity!

In Genesis 17:4, God told Abraham that he was to be a father of many nations—physically. But God also told Abraham, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). That one “seed” is not talking about one great nation. It is talking about Jesus Christ and salvation coming through Him (Galatians 3:8, 16). Christ, the second Adam, died for our sins and prepares us to receive the Holy Spirit, by which He lives in us! We are saved by His life (Romans 5:9-10).

Spiritual Israel

The Apostle Paul was apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13). He said Gentiles who are spiritually converted become a part of spiritual Israel, the Church: “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them [Israel], and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (verse 17).

Here is an inspiring truth most people do not understand: Spiritually, all mankind is to become Israel! Paul wrote elsewhere, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly … But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly …” (Romans 2:28-29). We all become spiritual Jews when we are converted to God’s way of life.

If you turn your back on God, however, as 95 percent of God’s people have done in this end time, then God says you are part of “the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews … but do lie” (Revelation 3:9).

To the children of ancient Israel, God said, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation …” (Exodus 19:5-6). They were to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. They were to teach the world about God. But they didn’t have God’s Holy Spirit, so this was all on a carnal level; they could only obey the letter of God’s law. Still, that is a wonderful way to live if you don’t have God’s Holy Spirit! That law was designed to bring prosperity and peace.

The Israelites told God that they would obey all that He said (verse 8). History shows, however, that they failed to follow through. God later said, “Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:20).

Still, Israel was God’s chosen nation. He gave them His law, His government and His religion—though all on a physical level; they were not a spiritual nation. He was with them, and they could appeal to Him.

What was the purpose of that? It is one of the most amazing truths in the Bible, but very few people understand it!

What Mankind Lacks

The history of Israel proves a crucial spiritual point. It illustrates the limits of human beings when we lack God’s spiritual power working in us!

Mr. Armstrong wrote, “To Israel, God gave His statutes and judgments, as well as His spiritual law. But these perfect laws did not, without God’s Holy Spirit, solve the nation’s problems! God could say: ‘I am God. Take my word for it.’ But God gave proof, through Israel, that without the Holy Spirit, man is helpless! They even had God to appeal to” (Mystery of the Ages).

Ancient Israel had tremendous advantages as a nation. They experienced tremendous miracles from God. For example, the Red Sea parted, they walked across on dry land, and the walls of the sea collapsed on the Egyptian army chasing them. What an amazing miracle to experience! This should have bolstered their faith, convincing them that God could pull them through anything! Instead, they shortly began grumbling and claiming that God had brought them into the wilderness to kill them!

Then God delivered the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. This was a perfect spiritual and moral law! When God gave it, the mountain was afire, lightning flashed, and thunder shook the earth, illustrating God’s great power and authority. God then followed that by giving them a perfect set of statutes and judgments. But rather than being awed and inspired at their great Lawgiver, and grateful for these incomparable gifts, the Israelites grew scared!

God worked countless miracles for this nation: He collapsed the walls of a great enemy city; He halted the movement of the sun in the time of Joshua; He defeated enemy armies with swarms of hornets. The Israelites had God directing them. They were His nation. He made a marriage covenant with them, known as the Old Covenant (e.g. Jeremiah 3:14). They had an intimate relationship with God! Nevertheless, Israel still proved faithless, stubborn and rebellious!

Why such a ghastly failure? In Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong explained, “God now decided to give them knowledge of His law—His kind of government—His way of life! He was going to prove to the world that without His Holy Spirit their minds were incapable of receiving and utilizing such knowledge of the true ways of life. He was going to demonstrate to them that the mind of man, with its one [human] spirit, and without the addition of God’s Holy Spirit, could not have spiritual discernment—could not solve human problems, could not cure the evils that were besetting humanity. The nation Israel would be His guinea pig to demonstrate that fact.”

This explains why man is continually plagued by insoluble problems! Israel’s failure proves that, no matter how many other advantages people may have, without God’s Spirit mankind is helpless to devise solutions to troubles that are fundamentally spiritual! Human beings insist that they can reason their way to the right answers. But our problems are of a spiritual nature and must be solved spiritually! That is an astounding truth we ought to understand when we look at the 6,000 years of human history.

Herbert W. Armstrong personally met with hundreds of heads of state and prominent world leaders. He wrote, “[M]any kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers I have conferred privately with now realize the problems are beyond human ability to solve” (ibid).

What a crucial truth! Humankind has bungled through 6,000 years of operating apart from God, and we have reached the point where we face the very real prospect of human annihilation! That is a problem beyond our ability to solve!

God, however, reveals the solution.

The Solution

Among the commands God gave ancient Israel was this: “Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God …” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21). Remember Isaiah 43:21: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” The Israelites should have been praising God to the whole world! But they never did. That job still needs to be done.

The Apostle Peter wrote about the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant in 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” This echoes the account in Exodus 19. Peter is talking about a kingdom of priests who praise God and teach the Word of God to the world, helping people to live the way of blessings. This is what God’s true Church, spiritual Israel, must do today.

Notice: This spiritual nation is not just “a kingdom of priests”—it is “a royal priesthood”! Those of the New Covenant have God’s Holy Spirit in them! Jesus Christ is living in them. That is what makes it a holy nation.

God had a goal with ancient Israel on a physical, letter-of-the-law level, but the people failed. But spiritual Israel, God’s Church today—if we are doing our job prior to Christ’s return—is showing forth the praises of God! Our lives should be filled with praise for God because of the wonderful blessings He continually gives us! And what He gives us today is only a tiny foretaste of the riches to come: God’s saints today will receive salvation in the Family of God as the Bride of Jesus Christ! (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 19:7-9). But to receive that transcendent reward, we must heed God’s message and obey Him now.

Hebrews 8:6 describes the New Covenant as “a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” than the Old Covenant. With the New Covenant, you can receive forgiveness of your sins. You can call on God the Father, your Father, and pray to Him, and He will take you into His Family forever! You can receive eternal life! You will become a God being. That’s what your Bible teaches throughout. These truly are wondrous promises! How inspiring and moving!

This passage continues by explaining where Israel failed: “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” (verses 7-8). What was the problem with the Old Covenant? Was it the law? No—that was perfect (Psalm 19:7). It wasn’t with anything on God’s part. The problem with the Old Covenant was the people! They didn’t have the Holy Spirit. And as a result, they couldn’t obey God, and couldn’t solve their problems, which were spiritual in nature.

God was showing all the world that the fault is with us! We must learn that we need another spirit! Then what will God do? “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them [not on physical tables of stone, but] in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10).

This is the solution to this world’s problems!

The nations of Israel today, America, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East, have received abundant blessings from God (read The United States and Britain in Prophecy for a biblical explanation). Yet they have not learned how desperately they need God and His Spirit. God is going to punish them if they don’t repent of their sins. But He also has an incredible future prepared for them.

Mr. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages makes God’s plan for the nations of Israel—and all mankind—plain. There is abundant hope in that plan. I urge you to study this book to understand the Bible’s most amazing truths—truths that will change your life!

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Latin America: Where Democracy Goes to Die

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Latin America: Where Democracy Goes to Die

Dissatisfied with liberal democracy, a continent yearns for strongmen.
From the February 2020 Trumpet Print Edition

Imagine living where wealthy 1-percenters control the economy. You lack the education necessary for a good job, and you are too poor to further your education. Gangs rule poor neighborhoods like yours. One leader after another empathizes with your plight, promises change, holds rallies, wins an election that may or may not have been rigged, becomes immersed in corruption scandals, fails to improve your situation, and gives way to the next candidate promising change.

This is not an imaginary scenario for many people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

These regions have some of the highest levels of income inequality in the world. In Brazil, 1 percent of the population controls half the land. In some areas, people still pay property taxes to former Portuguese royals and nobles in addition to paying taxes to their local governments. More than 40 percent of Brazilian children live in poverty, and fewer than half the nation’s adults have a high school education. In August 2019, the government cut education spending, which provoked thousands to protest.

And this is one of the most stable nations in the region.

In Chile, people started rioting in October 2019, when the government announced plans to increase subway fares from $1.12 to $1.16. The same thing happened in Ecuador when the government announced an end to fuel subsidies for bus, taxi and truck drivers. And the same thing happened in Haiti when the government announced tax increases on gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

Meanwhile, violent drug cartels rule large areas of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The ongoing trial of infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán continues to reveal that nearly every level of the Mexican government has been corrupted by bribes from his Sinaloa cartel: airport officials, tax assessors, police officers, military personnel, prosecutors and prison guards.

The Organization of American States has charged both Bolivia and Venezuela with election rigging. President Evo Morales enjoyed so little confidence that thousands of Bolivians marched through the capital protesting disputed election results, and the military forced him from office. President Nicolas Maduro has only clung to power in Venezuela by hiring Cuban agents to spy on his own military officers to keep them from turning on him.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that 3 out of 4 people in Latin America have little or no confidence in their national governments. It is easy to understand why. And it is easy to understand how they desire political strongmen to sort out this mess. The Bible reveals that the political shift now underway in Latin America will affect an entire continent, and the whole world.

Authoritarian Past

Cuba joined the Holy Roman Empire in 1520, when Emperor Charles v inherited the island from his maternal grandparents, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The next year, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire on behalf of the Holy Roman Empire. Twelve years later, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire on behalf of the Holy Roman Empire. By the end of his reign, Charles v ruled most of Latin America aside from Brazil, which was ruled by Charles’s brother-in-law King John iii of Portugal.

The Spanish and Portuguese converted the peoples of Latin America to Catholicism. They implemented a caste system where the Spanish and Portuguese ruled over the American Indians and the Africans they brought as slaves. This system of colonial rule lasted three centuries until Spanish aristocrats in Latin America began working toward independence after French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain.

By 1830, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela had become republics dominated by Spanish aristocrats. Meanwhile, King Dom Pedro iv of Portugal fled across the Atlantic, joined the Brazilian secessionist movement and became Emperor Pedro i of Brazil. Even after Latin American nations gained independence from Europe, the aristocrats were still the wealthiest people in the region. They owned vast plantations that employed or subjugated the lower castes.

In 1888, Brazil became the last country in the Western world to abolish slavery. Brazilian Emperor Pedro ii was deposed in a military coup d’état a year later, and the nation became the Republic of the United States of Brazil.

As the 20th century dawned, Brazil and other Latin American nations were now constitutional republics where citizens voted for their representatives. Yet their ethnic and class divisions remained, weakening their national unity. The power vacuum left by the Holy Roman Empire led to ethnic and class uprisings and rebellions. This in turn led to the caudillos, military dictators such as Juan Perón of Argentina, Fulgencio Batista of Cuba, Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina, Humberto Castello of Brazil, Juan Velasco of Peru, and Augusto Pinochet of Chile.

By 1977, only two of the 19 nations that were former Spanish and Portuguese colonies could be classified as democracies (Costa Rica and Venezuela). Colombia was in the midst of a democratic transition, while the other 16 nations were ruled by dictatorships. Between 1968 and 1989, military juntas in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay killed roughly 50,000 people and imprisoned 400,000 others. Yet many of these dictatorships halted the spread of communism and used military-style law enforcement during a chaotic time.

Democratic Present

It has only been since 1977 that most Latin American nations have become democracies. Yet many are already tired of them. Citizens enjoy a reduced threat of being arrested and imprisoned without trial, and the gap between rich and poor has narrowed over the past 20 years (unless you are Cuban or Venezuelan). But crime is spiraling out of control. Homicide rates in the Americas have nearly doubled in the last two decades, mainly because of rising crime in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela.

Only 8 percent of the world’s people live in Latin America, but the region accounts for 33 percent of the world’s murder victims: 400 every day. Much of this carnage is perpetrated by drug cartels. In many places, these cartels have corrupted democracy by bribing government officials, threatening politicians, and even running their own candidates.

Faith in democratic institutions is weak. According to the polling service Latinobarómetro, only 48 percent of Latin Americans polled favor democracy over authoritarianism, while 28 percent said democracy is not necessarily preferable to authoritarianism. That is the highest percentage skeptical of democracy since the service began tracking the trend in 1995. The skepticism is highest where cartel violence is worst.

One of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s sons suggested that in order to control street protests, his father’s government might have to adopt dictatorship-era tactics, such as suspending some of the rights of opposition lawmakers and suspending parts of the Constitution. Brazil’s Getulio Vargas Foundation published research indicating that 55 percent of Brazilians would not mind a non-democratic form of government, as long as it solved society’s problems. The same foundation found that only 6 percent of Brazilians trust the federal government, but 53 percent trust the Catholic Church, and 56 percent trust the military.

Roughly 11 percent of Brazilians would like to see the monarchy restored. Prince Luiz of Orléans-Braganza, a royal descendant of both Holy Roman Emperor Francis ii and Brazilian Emperor Pedro ii, advises Bolsonaro on foreign policy. Luiz’s uncle, Prince Bertrand of Orléans-Braganza, actually claims that Bolsonaro’s election is the first step toward restoring the Brazilian monarchy and moving the country back to Roman Catholic values.

Such a move would bring Latin Americans full circle back to the form of government their ancestors rebelled against two centuries ago. To many, the option seems preferable to ongoing anarchy and crime in a “free” society. Whether people are yearning for a Catholic monarch, a socialist dictator or a military junta, they agree the current system is not working. They want protection from violent drug lords and corrupt politicians. But how do you find such protection without turning to an authoritarian government run by violent, corrupt people?

The Prophet Jeremiah pondered similar questions, and prayed: “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Humanity has cried and bled its way through 6,000 years of failed governments, and is learning the lesson that effective government requires a level of perfect, righteous character that human beings do not naturally possess.

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Don’t Believe the Deniers—Iran Wants to Go Nuclear

Ballistic missiles during a parade commemorating the 31st anniversary of Iran-Iraq war on September 22, 2011 in Tehran, Iran.
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Don’t Believe the Deniers—Iran Wants to Go Nuclear

New report reveals Iran’s shrouded nuclear past.

Despite several reports, the majority of the world chooses to deny the assertion that Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb. Last week, former executive director of the International Institute for Security Studies Mark Fitzpatrick asked, “Is Iran building the bomb?” He answered, “No, Iran has not restarted its nuclear weapons program.” While this may or may not be true, what Iran has done is far more dangerous.

It has significantly reduced the time it would take to build a nuclear bomb.

Just two years ago, experts estimated Iran’s breakout time to build the bomb to be as little as seven to 12 months. However, as a result of Iran taking several steps away from the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by increasing its uranium stockpile and enrichment purity, experts now believe Iran’s breakout time to be about four to five months. According to the New York Times, some believe it is even as low as two months. This reduced time frame would make it even easier for Iran to build a nuclear bomb if it chooses to do so.

This raises the question: Does Iran want to build a nuclear bomb?

On January 18, the Daily Mail released a new exclusive report providing additional proof that Iran has intended to build nuclear warheads as far back as 2002. According to the Daily Mail, a document dated Nov. 28, 2002, reported on a “senior Iranian official requesting the parameters of a warhead fitted on a missile.”

A note scribbled in the top left corner of the document read: “In the name of God. Right now in a treatment process. Please archive the original script of the document. Fakhrizadeh.” Moshen Fakhrizadeh is an officer in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; he played a lead role in Iran’s nuclear program and can be seen in photos next to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to the Daily Mail, this document proves that, despite its claims otherwise, “Iran intended to become a fully operational nuclear state” and that there is a “military dimension” to its nuclear program.

And this is only one document of a growing trove of condemning evidence.

Iran’s Shrouded Past

In The Iran Threat, Alireza Jafarzadeh explains how Iran managed to hide its nuclear program from the world for 18 years before he first exposed it in 2002. Iran concealed its actions through the use of several front companies. Prior to 2002, Iran used private firms as camouflage for acquiring expertise, conducting research, and purchasing equipment and material required to build a nuclear weapons program.

“This allowed the regime to buy nuclear-related materials from a number of foreign countries under the cover of benign civil purchases,” writes Jafarzadeh. Many nations justified these sales simply “because they were written up as sales to nonmilitary and nongovernmental entities.” Iran’s network of front companies allowed it to hide what it was doing to partially avoid suspicion.

When the program was finally exposed, Iran quickly put it under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and literally moved it underground. Iran is one of the most mountainous countries in the world, with 50 percent of the country covered by mountains; burying its facilities under these mountains has made the nuclear program practically untraceable.

In a second revelation on March 24, 2005, Jafarzadeh made an announcement to the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) in Washington, D.C. His contacts in Iran had discovered illegal operations at the Parchin Military Complex, 19 miles southeast of Tehran. According to the report, the Iranian Defense Ministry had secretly built an underground nuclear development facility.

In late 2005, proof in the form of satellite imagery and firsthand accounts emerged that nuclear operations at the facility were underway. The Parchin facility was being used for explosives testing, the development of a nuclear core, and the production of a nuclear warhead.

Not far from the Parchin facility, Iran’s Hemmat Industries Group manufactures Shahab-3 and Ghadar ballistic missiles—both of which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

When the iaea confronted Iran about the facility, it was initially not allowed to inspect it. About a year later, Iran finally invited inspectors to take soil samples. Inspectors reported seeing several new renovations to and mass terraforming around the facility—an obvious indicator that Iran was hiding something.

An Oct. 23, 2018, report by the Institute for Science and International Security confirmed these reports and published proof in the form of documents, photos and satellite imagery of the nuclear activities Iran has conducted at the Parchin facility.

A Nov. 20, 2018, report by David Albright, founder and current president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said that by the end of 2003, Iran had put into place “the infrastructure for a comprehensive nuclear weapons program” intended to build five nuclear warheads, each with a 10-kiloton explosive yield.

On Jan. 11, 2019, Albright reported on the newly discovered Project 110, which was tasked with the smelting and forging of “uranium metal components for nuclear weapons.” The activities, which were previously hid from the world, were conducted in separate facilities in the Parchin Military Complex.

Two months ago, Iran had resumed uranium enrichment at its Fordow facility—the only facility capable of achieving 20 percent uranium purity, which is only a short technical step away from weapons-grade uranium necessary for building a nuclear bomb.

Most recently, on January 5, Iran announced it would no longer abide by the restrictions of the nuclear deal. “It’s finished,” said Albright. “If there’s no limitation on production, then there is no deal.”

This history shows that Iran has intended to build a nuclear bomb from the beginning. Its recent behavior defying the nuclear deal has brought the bomb even closer within reach.

The more Iran pushes, however, the more resistance it receives from Europe.

Confrontation

While traditionally a key proponent of the nuclear agreement with Iran, continually working to keep the deal alive, Europe has begun to show signs of resistance against Iran.

In addition to its maritime security mission in the Persian Gulf, three European nations—Britain, France and Germany—triggered the nuclear deal’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism on January 14, expressing concern over Iran’s ballistic missile development and nuclear program. If no solution is reached over the next 65 days, then the United Nations Security Council will have to vote on reimposing sanctions lifted by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Russia or China will probably veto any meaningful sanctions, but it is still a symbolic step.

While this is only a small step, much greater confrontation is on the horizon.

The Bible prophesies that in the end time, just before the return of Jesus Christ, a Middle Eastern power bloc called “the king of the south” will arise with a very pushy foreign policy.

Daniel 11:40 says, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

As far back as 1994, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry identified the king of the south as radical Islamic extremism, led by Iran. This nation is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, and its Twelver Shiism beliefs make it one of the most erratic and irrational nations in the world.

In The King of the South, Mr. Flurry proves that Iran is the nation leading this Islamic power. He writes:

The king of the south is about state-sponsored terrorism. That is how Iran became king! … It is a nation that is always pushy in its foreign policy. It pushes until it starts a war. …

Iran is extremely radical—the king over radical Islam. Where is this nation’s pushiness leading? To war! Just as it has in the past. It’s leading to terrifying war with weapons of mass destruction.

Iran’s unrelenting push for the nuclear bomb is pushing the world closer to World War iii. However, Iran will not succeed in its ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate headquartered in Jerusalem.

Daniel 11:40 says that Iran’s push causes a mighty German-led European Union to “come against him like a whirlwind.” This confrontation leads directly into Daniel 12:1, which describes “a time of trouble, such as never was.”

Iran is pushing the world toward this prophesied war, largely through its nuclear program. The closer Iran gets to the nuclear bomb, the more uneasy Europe becomes and the more it stands up to Iran.

Continue to watch for the complete collapse of the nuclear agreement and for Europe to stand up against the Iranian push.

For more information, request your free copy of The King of the South, by Gerald Flurry.

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A Word in Defense of the British Empire

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A Word in Defense of the British Empire

Like a colossal riptide, the shattering news of Prince Harry’s abdication is swallowing a whole range of innocent victims. One of which is the British Empire.

More than once over the past few weeks, I have heard “experts” discussing Megxit portray the British monarchy as little more than archaic residue of the ghastly British Empire. This New York Times article by Afua Hirsch is a good example. From the moment Meghan met Harry, wrote Hirsch, she has been under attack. At its core, this hatred for Meghan is the result of “Britain’s history of empire,” which is “a global construct based on a doctrine of white supremacy.”

To Hirsch, British society is intrinsically racist, and the source of this abhorrence for people of color is the British Empire.

This corrupt view of the empire is not new of course. For many years now, slandering the British Empire has been the sport of countless scholars and pseudo-intellectuals. Driven by utter hatred of Britain’s imperial past, these people write and tweet and broadcast their ignorant, one-dimensional views virtually without consequence. Today, the view that the empire was evil beyond the pale is so widely accepted, many find it treacherous to their reputation and careers to rise to its defense.

Not us.

The legacy of the British Empire, like every empire and civilization, race and tribe, has its black spots. History shows that evil lies within the nature of all humans. The story of human civilization is one of competition and conflict, subjugation and exploitation, violence and murder. It is this inherently selfish nature—not the British Empire—that is the ultimate cause of all the world’s problems.

The fact that evil is endemic to human existence is not an endorsement of Britain’s ugly behavior (such as its treatment of the Boers, for example), but it does mean that the flaws of the British Empire were entirely unexceptional. Actually, compared to other empires, Pax Britannica was quite exemplary.

Measuring the character of an empire (or nation, race or individual) by reflecting on its mistakes alone only confirms that it was comprised of humans. The more accurate gauge of an empire’s quality is its fruits: What was the extent and importance of its contributions to the peoples it ruled and to human civilization. By this standard, the British Empire is unrivaled.

Consider global trade and commerce, a phenomenon we take for granted today. No nation or empire in history has done more to promote the free flow of goods and capital around the world than Britain at the height of its empire. It was England’s prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries, thanks to the Industrial Revolution and rapid economic growth, that created its insatiable appetite for raw materials for industry and luxury items. Overflowing with cash, English bankers went on a buying spree.

The colonized responded, often eagerly, working harder and faster—building, sowing, digging—to sell their wares and take their share of English wealth. As England’s demand for goods grew, so did the gush of money flowing into the colonies, and trade between the colonies and England. Between 1750 and 1914, the total value of global trade increased fivefold. During the 1800s, global shipping tonnage grew from 4 million to 30 million tons, thanks primarily to Britain’s promotion of free trade. When piracy became a problem, the British Navy stopped it. When new laws and policies were needed to promote free trade, British lawyers responded.

Critics say the explosion in world trade did not benefit the poorer nations, but actually resulted in their exploitation. Not true. Consider Zambia, an example cited by Harvard historian Niall Ferguson in his book Empire. Zambia’s gross domestic product per capita is currently 1/28th of Britain’s, meaning the average Zambian is 28 times poorer than the average Briton. In 1955, at the end of colonial rule, Zambia’s gdp per capita was one seventh of Britain’s. Since the British left, Zambia has become four times poorer compared to Britain. “The same is true of nearly all former colonies in sub-Saharan Africa,” Ferguson writes (emphasis added throughout).

During British imperial rule, London was the world’s central bank. Each year, tens of millions of pounds would flow from England to the rest of the world. Naturally, like any bank, the empire sought a return on its investment; hence the boatloads of merchandise that flooded in from its colonies. But the flow of goods into Britain is only half the story. The other half is the hundreds of millions of English pounds reaching foreign shores and filling the pockets of local farmers, tradesmen, shop owners and bankers, greasing the wheels of colonial economies.

In India, the jewel of the empire, agricultural production exploded under the British Raj. Between 1891 and 1938, the amount of irrigated land more than doubled. The British built 40,000 miles of railway track in India, as well as postal and telegraph systems. Millions were employed. British rule, writes Tirthankar Roy in his book The Economic History of India, “appears to have done far more than what its predecessor regimes and contemporary Indian regimes were able to do.”

The same occurred in British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. As the empire expanded, English bankers, engineers, architects and tradesmen invested time and money constructing vital infrastructure in Britain’s colonial lands. In India, Roy notes, “the railways, the ports, major irrigation systems, the telegraph, sanitation and medical care, the universities, the postal system, the courts of law, were assets India could not believably have acquired in such extent and quality had it not developed close political links with Britain.”

Beyond the vast material construction, the British in many instances created vital and revolutionary political, legislative and educational infrastructure for the colonized peoples. In many colonies, the rule of law was established, aiding economic growth and political and social stability. Britain’s superior legal system was also exported to the far corners of the Earth, where it often replaced brutal tribal laws and rituals with the more civilized and fair English system of justice.

Finally, the British Empire played the key role in protecting the world from tyrants. It’s no coincidence that the 19th century, when much of the world dwelt under Pax Britannia, was a century of relative peace. In the early 20th century, the British Empire emerged as the savior of the free world, almost single-handedly stopping the march of tyranny. During that period, writes Niall Ferguson, the British Empire “more than justified its own existence, for the alternatives to British rule represented by the German and Japanese empires were clearly far worse. And without its empire, it is inconceivable that Britain could have withstood them” (op cit).

Then there’s the issue of slavery. Revisionists love to recall Britain’s participation in the global slave trade. They neglect to mention that it was Britain that made the unilateral decision to ban slavery. Slavery had been practiced for thousands of years and was a key component of the economies of the colonial powers. The decision to be the first to eliminate the slave trade was brave and risky. Once made, it began to be enforced globally by British lawyers and guns!

When we measure British imperialism by its contribution to its colonies and the rest of the world, it has no parallel. Historian Andrew Roberts summarized: “The British Empire provided good government, uncorrupt public administration, inter-tribal peace, the rule of law, free trade, the abolition of slavery, famine relief, the abolition of barbaric customs …, huge infrastructural advances such as railways, roads plus irrigation projects, and in every colony nurtured its native peoples towards running their own countries once they were ripe for independence” (Frontpage interview, Feb. 26, 2007).

Not much to apologize for there!

“The fact remains,” writes Ferguson, “that no organization in history has done more to promote the free movement of goods, capital and labor than the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And no organization has done more to impose Western norms of law, order and governance around the world” (op cit).

In addition to the vast material, institutional and ideological blessings bestowed on human civilization through colonial Britain, there is an inspiring dimension to this empire we need to recognize—one that helps us put its history into proper perspective. The history of the British Empire introduces us to God.

England’s (and America’s) sudden emergence onto the world scene in the 19th century occurred because God was fulfilling a promise He had made nearly 4,000 years earlier to Abraham. You can read the original promise in Genesis 12. Here, God delivers a two-part promise, the first part of which He promises Abraham that his descendants will acquire terrific, unprecedented material wealth and prosperity.

When you understand it, this promise is at the heart of Western civilization.

By the time the events recorded in Genesis 48 and 49 unfold, the original promise to Abraham had been conferred onto Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of whom are Britain and America today, respectively. In Genesis 49:22, Jacob uses a colorful analogy to describe the time when Ephraim and Manasseh would finally inherit the birthright promise.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough,” Jacob says, “a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall” (Revised Standard Version). In other words, when the moment came for God to fulfill His promise, the descendants of Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh would explode into a fruitful people, a colonizing people—a people whose presence, whose trade and commerce, whose culture and government, would extend far beyond their national borders.

There isn’t a more beautiful or apt description of the former British Empire. Do you find it intriguing how England—a tiny nation planted amid the seas, with no global aspirations—suddenly in the 19th century sprouted branches that quickly grew and began to reach into every continent, at one point covering a quarter of the Earth’s surface?

If you do, then you urgently need to request and read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This book not only tells the truth about that empire—and why the sun has since set on it—but also why this knowledge is vitally important to your personal future.

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Why You Should Watch India’s Military

Army Para commandos in action during the full-dress rehearsal for their forthcoming Army Day at Parade Ground, Delhi Cantonment, on January 13 in New Delhi, India.
Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Why You Should Watch India’s Military

This Asian giant is streamlining and overhauling its armed forces—just as Bible prophecy foretold.

India has started 2020 with a series of military tests. On January 1, Army Chief Bipin Rawat was announced as the new chief of Defense Staff (cds), a post the type of which hasn’t existed since India attained independence in 1947. Since January 1, India has test-fired a new submarine-launched missile and a new series of fighter jets. The Trumpet forecasts that India will play a significant role militarily in the end time. The way it has started 2020 supports this forecast.

Before Rawat’s promotion to cds, the role was split between three different chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, each battling for supremacy over the other. Rawat will now head a department of more than 60 people, directly under the defense minister, as well as have power and authority to unite the three military branches of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

This has all been orchestrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who enjoys the largest parliamentary majority since 1984. A perceived threat from China and Pakistan, has led Modi to reform India’s army.

The new cds will organize the armed forces based on the American model, which places all forces in a particular area under one officer. India’s military transformation isn’t just in its structural organization, but also in its weapons of war.

On January 19, India’s Defense Research and Development Organization test-fired a submarine-launched, nuclear-capable ballistic missile off the coast in southeastern India. These missiles are crafted to launch from a fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, which are expected to achieve long-range nuclear capability by 2021.

On January 20, India showcased its Tigershark fighter jet squadron, commissioned by General Rawat. The commissioning ceremony featured four fighters, but a complement of 18 fighters is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Most of the fighters will be capable of carrying a 2.5-ton, air-launched supersonic cruise missile, with 42 older models slated to receive the necessary upgrades to match.

While Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to revamp and streamline the Indian military are partly motivated by hostile neighbors, Bible prophecy reveals that India will be a part of an end-time Asian military alliance.

In our article “Is India in the Bible?”, Trumpet contributor Jeremiah Jacques wrote that India has a vast and young population, much younger than China’s, giving India, “which already has the world’s fastest growing major economy, considerably more economic potential.” He continued, “India also has the world’s fourth-most powerful military, including the second-largest standing military and an advanced array of nuclear weapons.”

With its recent military restructuring, development of advanced weapons, large population and powerful economy, India is primed to become an important part of a prophesied 200 million-man army (Revelation 9:16).

Ezekiel 38:5-6 say this army will include “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya … Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people ….” In our booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains that Russia will be at the head of this massive army. He writes (emphasis added):

Gomer refers to Japan, which wields some of the world’s most advanced weaponry and technology. Ethiopia and Libya should be translated “Cush” and “Phut.” Some of Cush and Phut migrated to African nations, but the rest settled in parts of India. The context of this passage shows that it refers to modern-day Indians (and perhaps Pakistanis) rather than Africans.

This is significant because India has a population of 1.2 billion people—plus an advanced nuclear arsenal! When you put India and Japan together with Russia and China, it is easy to see how an army of 200 million soldiers could be formed. With other Asian nations joining in, you quickly reach combined populations of 3.5 to 4 billion people! Under extreme circumstances like those described in these end-time prophecies, it is not hard to imagine 1 in 10 or 20 people going to war.

This prophesied army will be vast and powerful, and it will bring cataclysmic death and destruction to Earth, even “to slay the third part of men” (Revelation 9:15). This is why we should watch what is happening with India’s army. Jesus Christ admonished that it was only by watching and praying that we “may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass” in this end time (Luke 21:36).

It is only His return, in power and glory, that will stop the death and destruction that will soon engulf this Earth. He will establish the Kingdom of God and usher in an eternity of peace and happiness for all mankind.

To fully understand this coming Asian conglomerate and how it fits into Bible prophecy, read our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy, especially Chapter 4, “India: Asia’s Other Economic Powerhouse.”

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Why Is Germany Leading the Push for a Libyan Peace Process?

A family picture at the chancellery on January 19 in Berlin: (Front, from left) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres; (Back, from left) European Council President Charles Michel, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Emmanuele Contini/Getty Images

Why Is Germany Leading the Push for a Libyan Peace Process?

Europe’s attempt to bring peace to Libya is actually leading to war.

Top-ranking officials from governments around the globe gathered in Berlin, Germany, on January 19 to discuss solutions to the civil war in Libya. The conference follows a January 16 visit by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Benghazi. These events mark what could be the beginning of an expanded German role in Libya.

Representatives arrived in Berlin from numerous nations: Algeria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, the Republic of the Congo, Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For Europe, the conference was a diplomatic embarrassment. Turkey and Russia agreed to a truce, but the European Union was most noticed for its indecisive approach. Meanwhile, hostility remained strong between the opposing Libyan leaders: Khalifa Haftar of the Libyan National Army and Fayez al-Sarraj of the Government of National Accord. The two refused to speak to one another or enter the same room.

The conference became another reason for the media to call for German intervention in Libya. German media have been critical of the entire event. German-Foreign-Policy.com highlighted comments from Wolfram Lacher of the Berlin-based swp think tank, who said anyone who thought the conference was a success was living in a “parallel realty.” Zeit lamented “the German disability,” which has made the country “dependent on stronger powers” for influence in such conflicts.

Although Germany and the EU so far appear paralyzed, Germany will get much more involved.

The EU’s chief diplomat, High Representative Josep Borrell, signaled a major shift in Operation Sophia during a press conference on January 20. Sophia started as a means to control migration. Europe will now “revive” and “refocus” the mission to cover enforcement of the Libyan arms embargo. Borrell said that his staff had been “analyzing the situation after the Berlin conference and how the EU can engage more forcefully.”

This is a major and overlooked change. It gives new life to the operation, which has not had any warships allocated to it for some months. Borrell also hinted that the mandate for Sophia would soon include Europe’s armies and air forces: “We also have to control the land and the air,” he stated.

Radical Islam in North Africa has become impossible to ignore. Borrell described Libya as “a sort of tumor, which has metastasized throughout the region and that unbalances all the countries around the Sahara.” He noted that Sahel nations lost 1,500 soldiers in 2019, the highest number since 2012. Including civilian deaths brings that total to roughly 4,000.

The crisis in Libya provides an opening for the EU to ramp up its military presence in this troubled strategic region.

As early as 2016, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry identified peacekeeping missions in Libya as an ideal cloak for German ambition. “The situation in Libya is a good pretext for the Europeans to move down to secure this area so critical to controlling the Mediterranean,” he wrote in”Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War III!

Fast-forward to today, and the same situation exists, only with greater urgency. Libya is a proxy-war battleground. Factions backed by Russia and Turkey, in addition to radical Islamic groups, have carved up the entire country. Amidst this, Europe is being encouraged to fill the void as a peacemaker.

Yet the solution being pondered by Europe’s leaders is not political, but military. Borrell said that “all assumptions are on the table.” Germany is likely to send troops in the future. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis have already made clear that they are ready to send soldiers on an EU mission, according to German-Foreign-Policy.com. France, Europe’s largest military power, is already involved in the neighboring Sahel region and would also likely contribute.

For the past six years, the world has focused on Europe’s struggle with migrants making their way through North Africa and navigating the treacherous Mediterranean Sea. If radical Islamic groups controlled Libya, European ships would be attacked and terrorism rates on the Continent would spike. But controlling Libya is about more than migrants. Libya is a major oil exporter, which Europe wants to keep in its orbit.

In World War ii, Germany and Italy under Field Marshall Erwin Rommel tried to control North Africa. Vast oil supplies vital to the war effort were a major reason. Another was the security that controlling Europe’s underbelly afforded, effectively turning the Mediterranean into a German lake. This failed: Malta held out against German bombing, and Rommel was driven back by stronger allied forces. But Germany learned its lesson.

Though it comes in as a peacemaker today, Germany is thinking strategically. It is preparing for war. Mr. Flurry wrote that such an arrangement is “[p]roviding the perfect cover for German ambition,” and in reality, “the European peacekeeping force will help Germany move closer to realizing Rommel’s goal of complete dominance of the Mediterranean!”

“Italy and Germany had a dream of a great African empire and world empire,” he said. “Though most might not even think about it, Germany and many Europeans still have that dream today!”

How could he make such bold and prescient statements about unstable Libya almost four years ago? The answer lies in a specific passage of biblical prophecy.

The Prophet Daniel described a time near the return of Jesus Christ when Europe, led by Germany, would clash with the forces of radical Islam, led by Iran (request our free booklet The King of the South to learn more). That prophesied clash is found in Daniel 11:40. Verse 44 mentions Libya and Ethiopia in the context of this war.

As we have written before, Germany is preparing a specific strategy to counteract radical Islam. Mr. Flurry writes about this “whirlwind” strategy, explaining, “Germany has expected to clash with Iran, and it has been working on a strategy for a decade or more. That strategy is almost complete. Germany has surrounded Iran.”

Radical Islam, sponsored and led by Iran, will try to seize territory along the Mediterranean. But Europe will not let this happen. Germany’s increasing role in Libya is leading to a confrontation, which will impact the entire world. It is leading to a war, which will encompass, not only the Middle East, but even the United States and Britain.

To read more about what to expect from Germany’s involvement in Libya, read “Mediterranean Battle Escalating Into World War III!” by Gerald Flurry.