Man Has Lost Control of the Coronavirus; God Has Not

A police sanitation team spray disinfectant to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Bozhou, China.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

Man Has Lost Control of the Coronavirus; God Has Not

Humanity is in the grip of a global pandemic considerably more devastating than the coronavirus. This highly infectious flu has triggered a worldwide contagion of irrational fear and emotion. Man has lost his mind.

The ramifications of this universal abdication of reason are vast and unknown. Right now, the world is in total lockdown: Millions of people are in quarantine, a calamity for countless individuals and businesses; stock markets and economies are in free fall, even as federal governments are racking up unparalleled debt trying to save them; and many experts believe the world has entered recession. Meanwhile, national borders are closing, soldiers are being deployed to the streets in cities across the Earth, and some countries are enacting wartime laws and measures, equipping many federal governments with authoritarian power.

In aviation, when a pilot becomes disoriented and loses spatial awareness, he can panic and make decisions that send the aircraft into an out-of-control free fall, a fatal moment called the graveyard spiral. Has the panic over coronavirus plunged mankind into a graveyard spiral?

It has not. Let me tell you why.

Fulfilling God’s Will

From the moment the coronavirus crisis began, the Trumpet has explained that this disease is fulfilling Bible prophecy. Many biblical passages, such as Revelation 6 and Matthew 24, forecast disease pandemics in the time just before Jesus Christ returns. The truth is, as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry recently warned, we can “expect diseases like this new Wuhan coronavirus to get worse, and to eventually spread like medieval pandemics and kill millions of people!”

But it is crucial to remember: The prophesied death of millions from disease and pestilence does not happen arbitrarily. In fact, none of the biblical prophecies presently being fulfilled occur haphazardly or by chance. Yes, the Bible tells us that a lot of suffering is imminent and that multiple millions will perish. But the suffering, and death, occurs on God’s terms.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?” Jesus asked His disciples. “And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:29-30; Revised Standard Version). God knows every man on Earth. He knows you, right down to the number of hairs on your head.

But God is just as aware of humanity in general. In Psalm 33, King David wrote, “From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (verses 13-15; New International Version).

God pays close attention to world conditions and often intervenes to make certain events unfold according to His plan. “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (verses 8-11; niv).

This isn’t the way most people, even Christians, see God. To most people, God is distant and detached. He takes little interest in humanity. Even to most religious people, God is little more than an idea or concept, or perhaps a feeling generated through study or “prayer.” God simply isn’t a living, dynamic, active Being who takes a serious interest in human affairs and engages with men, both individually and collectively. Sadly, men are ignorant of God’s presence in world events, even though the Bible plainly says that He “sees all mankind” and “watches all who live on earth” and “foils the plans of the nations” and “thwarts the purposes of the peoples.”

So what is God doing now? And why hasn’t He saved mankind from coronavirus? We have answered the second question thoroughly in other material. God is allowing the coronavirus as correction for our sins. Mr. Flurry wrote in “Coronavirus and Other Modern Plagues in Prophecy,” “The Wuhan coronavirus and the other diseases breaking out today are only the beginning. [God] is going to let the world see where its evil ways are leading.”

God takes no pleasure in suffering. His desire is that such crises will generate some humility; that it will cause us to recognize our sins and change our behavior. The Apostle Peter wrote, “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Does this mean that God is disinterested in the coronavirus and the consequences for mankind? To the contrary, He is carefully monitoring this crisis and its impact on the world, at a national and global level, but also on a family and individual level. He is watching world events far more closely than most people know.

Measured Crises

In recent years, Mr. Flurry and the Trumpet have explained the prophecy in Amos 7. This prophecy outlines certain key developments to occur in America in the end time, including the emergence of a latter-day King Jeroboam ii (fulfilled by United States President Donald Trump). You can study what we have written about this prophecy in our free booklet Great Again.

For now, let’s consider Amos 7:7-8, which describe the moment God reveals this prophecy to Amos: “He showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass by them’” (rsv). God Himself is talking here, and He is focusing our attention on the plumb line in His hand.

A plumb line is a measuring device; it’s an instrument used to calculate measurements and guarantee accurate construction. These verses show that God is “measuring the destruction that is to come upon the nations of Israel,” Mr. Flurry writes in Great Again.This destruction is not random; God is measuring it carefully and precisely. And it will bring about the most wonderful results imaginable.”

Here in Amos 7, God specifically states that He measures the punishments that are to come upon the nations of Israel, predominately America, but Britain and the State of Israel, too. God delivers the punishment with divine precision.

What does this mean practically? It means that God takes a personal interest in the coronavirus and its impact on America and Britain. He is aware of the consequences for President Trump and his administration, and the toll this will take on America’s economy and the public in general. He sees that the radical left is using this crisis to attack the president. It’s impossible for me to say whether America’s resurgence is over, or if this disaster will puncture Mr. Trump’s hope of reelection. But thanks to Amos 7, I can tell you that God is paying close attention to this crisis and that it will fulfill His will.

I can also state: The coronavirus is not going to take down President Trump and neither is the radical left, which has played an instrumental role in manufacturing this crisis, as it uses it to further its agenda. As the market crashes and the shelves empty, remember this: God is monitoring this situation closely; it is unfolding exactly according to His plan. Amos 7 makes it clear that Mr. Trump will be brought down by God, on His time schedule, and on His terms.

What about the world in general? Is God measuring the coronavirus crisis as it rolls through China, Italy, Iran and all the other nations and peoples on this planet?

An enthralling and dramatic prophecy in Zechariah 6 answers: Absolutely! In The New Throne of David, Mr. Flurry writes: “The time frame of Zechariah 6 is very sobering. It is about the urgent period of preparation right before the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord!” The Tribulation and Day of the Lord precede the return of Jesus Christ and are described in Matthew 24, as well as the books of Joel, Zechariah and Malachi. The events described in Zechariah 6 begin shortly after the “Jeroboam end” begins, the time period in which the events of Amos 7 occur.

Zechariah 6 gives a dramatic account of God’s active and tangible presence in the world right now!

In verses 1-3, Zechariah records the vision: “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.”

Who are these chariots and what do they represent? Verse 5 says, “These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.” God often uses angels to accomplish His will on Earth. In Hebrews 1:14, Paul wrote that angels are “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister ….” In 2 Kings 6, God dispatched an entire army of angels to protect Elisha and Israel. God even opened the eyes of one young man so that he could actually see this angelic army, which was “full of horses and chariots of fire” (verse 17).

In Zechariah 6, God dictates orders to four powerful, high-ranking angels, and then dispatches them to Earth. Each angel has a specific job description, and a detailed set of commands from God Himself. “God sends these chariots,” Mr. Flurry recently wrote. “He is preparing, giving specific commands about what these chariots are to do. It is a global effort. God has given these angels of Zechariah 6 instructions, and is dispatching spirits all over the globe, setting up and arranging for these catastrophic events that are already beginning to unfold before our eyes.”

Zechariah 6 makes it clear that humanity has not been left alone with the coronavirus. This chapter shows that God is not letting mankind accidently stumble into the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. These terrible times are coming, but they will arrive on God’s terms. Zechariah 6 shows that God Himself, through these four angels and their cohorts, is carefully orchestrating world events!

Some might think it preposterous to say that God monitors world conditions using angels. Some will find it hard to visualize angels crisscrossing the planet, keeping tabs on events to make sure they unfold according to Bible prophecy. A few months ago, many of these same people would have thought it preposterous that a disease epidemic would send the entire planet into lockdown. One of the great lessons of the coronavirus crisis is that we need to think the unthinkable more often.

Hitting the World’s Major Powers

What do these angels do once they have been given their orders? “The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth” (Zechariah 6:6-7).

God’s monitoring of the world right now is detailed and calculated; these four angels have specific territorial assignments. Through these angelic proxies, God is paying close attention to what his happening in the “north country,” which other biblical prophecies tell us refers to Europe. Meanwhile, another angel is operating in the south. Perhaps this includes the area controlled by the “king of the south,” or Iran and its radical Islamist allies, prophesied in Daniel 11:40.

What does this mean practically? It means that God is watching events in Europe and in Iran, as well as in China and the rest of the planet. Through these four angels, He is making sure the coronavirus crisis advances the prophecies in the Bible. This means that this crisis is going to help Europe unite and cause a powerful German strongman to rise and lead his nation and Europe. To men, it might look like the coronavirus could destroy Europe politically and financially, and end the notion of European unity. In fact, the angel stationed over the Continent has everything under control—this being is making sure that this crisis advances God’s prophecies for Europe. (It’s already happening, as Trumpet contributor Josué Michels explained yesterday.)

The same goes for Iran, another nation the Trumpet has monitored for many years and has delivered some strong, specific forecasts about. A few months ago, Iran was tormenting the region and the wider international community, and very obviously fulfilling the role of “the king of the south” prophesied in Daniel 11:40-44. Then the coronavirus struck. Since January, some of Iran’s top leaders have been killed, by either coronavirus or U.S. drones. The virus has wreaked havoc on the population and is thrashing Iran’s economy. Is Iran still the king of the south and capable of inciting war with Europe, as the Bible prophesies?

Do not doubt it! The angel stationed over this region and responsible for measuring Iran’s power and presence has it under control. Perhaps Iran was a little too powerful; perhaps Tehran was moving too quickly toward accomplishing its prophesied role, and God needed to slow it down to ensure prophecy is fulfilled on His time schedule.

Then there’s China, patient zero for the coronavirus and the nation that only a few months ago brandished colossal global influence and power. The Trumpet has long forecast that China would be an economic and military superpower that would rival the United States and would one day impose a devastating economic siege on America. Then the Wuhan coronavirus crisis hit, causing China to enter total lockdown, tanking the economy, and sending China’s leaders reeling. Is China a superpower capable of competing with America? Or has the coronavirus knocked China out? Was our prophecy wrong?

You know the answer: The angels of Zechariah 6 have it all under control! Thanks to Bible prophecy, we can know: The coronavirus and its devastating impact on China will advance the biblical prophecies about this nation. Again, we can already see this happening. Beijing’s relationship with America, which was already capricious, will be even more volatile. This virus also secures Russia as the lead nation in the prophesied Sino-Russian alliance. Economically, China might slow down, especially if there’s a global recession, but it still has the power to siege the U.S. Perhaps this crisis will reconfigure things economically, giving Beijing more freedom to decouple from the U.S.—creating the opportunity to be more openly hostile.

In The New Throne of David, Mr. Flurry writes that Zechariah 6 “shows how God is diligently preparing for the events of the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord—and for the majestic coronation that will follow immediately afterward.” We too need to be “diligently preparing” for Christ’s return!

How familiar are you with these prophecies in Amos 7 and Zechariah 6, among all the others? The more familiar we are with them, the more urgent we will be in our preparations. Amos 7 and Zechariah 6 show how urgently and intimately involved God is in world events!

A pandemic of irrational fear and illogical behavior seems to have taken root. Our leaders, doctors and scientists may have lost control of the coronavirus. It feels like humanity has entered a graveyard spiral. But be assured: God has not lost control. Like a loving father, He is judiciously measuring the curses descending on humanity.

In this fact, there is solace and peace. All we have to do is believe it.

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The Unseen Hand

God is much more active in the coronavirus crisis than most people know.

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Amidst Coronavirus: Europe Takes Dictatorial Measures

A policeman guards a passage of the Vienna Hofburg in Vienna, Austria, on March 15.
ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images

Amidst Coronavirus: Europe Takes Dictatorial Measures

In the fight against the ‘invisible enemy,’ the unprecedented is tolerated.

As coronavirus intensifies, European nations are shutting down. On March 16, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz drastically increased measures to reduce social contact to a bare minimum, in the form of the “Corona Act.”

These unprecedented measures give a glimpse into how Europe will respond to future crises.

With the Corona Act, Kurz has regulated that all businesses that are not absolutely necessary are to be closed. Family celebrations, Sunday church services, weddings, baptisms and other religious celebrations are prohibited. If an individual needs to leave the house, he must explain to police, who are patrolling the streets, why he must leave.

“No bustle in the streets, no crowds of tourists, no crowds in public transport—the curfews of the federal government are now being taken seriously in Vienna,” krone.at noted. “The police are already carrying out controls. ‘Everyone adheres to it,’ said police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer.”

Kurz has hailed his nation as “a pioneer in containing the coronavirus.” According to Die Welt, he said, “Many other European countries are now following us. The Germans are still debating.” Germany has reacted slower to the outbreak. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that such measures as prohibiting public gatherings “have never existed in our country. This is something that is unique, and that we have never had to do in 70 years in the Federal Republic—but have to do now” (Trumpet translation throughout).

While Germany is moving slower, other nations have taken wartime measures.

Prisoner in One’s Own Country

“Starting today, very strict laws apply in Austria,” an Austrian citizen wrote the Trumpet on March 16. “There is an absolute ban on assemblies and only people who actually live together can be together. You can’t even visit parents or friends if you don’t live in the same house with them. We are currently prisoners in our own country. These quarantine laws are closely monitored by the police.”

Citizens in Austria were prisoners in their own country when ruled by a German dictatorship. An older gentleman told Krone that he is used to these coronavirus measures because of the war. But such measures are unheard of in peacetime. Perhaps, as French President Emmanuel Macron suggested, we are currently in wartime. In an address to French citizens, Macron declared war on the “invisible enemy.” He has even drafted the Army to aid in moving sick individuals.

“What the French president announced, after the sounds of [the French national anthem], in his television address, sounded like a general mobilization,” faz.net noted. “France is at war against an ‘invisible enemy,’ he told his compatriots. Just so no one would miss the message, he repeated the word war six times. … After Macron’s war speech, there was primarily applause. Even the left-wing populist Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who would like to overthrow Macron, spoke of ‘national unity’ and called for solidarity.”

But there is a danger in what is happening in Europe.

When the Unprecedented Becomes Normal

Zeit Online noted on March 16 in “That’s What Autocrats Dream Of”:

Austria has massively restricted the civil liberties due to the coronavirus. This is understandable in this situation, but it is also dangerous. …

Suddenly, measures that autocrats and dictators can only dream of are socially acceptable: curfews, abolition of freedom of assembly—the greatest possible control of public life. These days it is becoming clear that even in very democratic countries like Austria, special situations may require special measures. Decided democratically and communicated well, there may also be restrictions on the rights of freedom that previously seemed unthinkable.

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented rhetoric and measures.

But there is a danger in getting used to the unprecedented. This may cause people to “accept restrictions on liberties sooner than before,” Zeit Online wrote. “That the longing for the proverbial strongman, who will finally take action, will grow stronger. And that the critical view of government action is lost.”

Kurz has not given a date for when the measures in Austria will end. “They are valid for an indefinite period of time, and in a crisis like this—one we have never seen before—that is quite reasonable,” Zeit Online noted. But this “restriction of freedom must not become a normal political instrument—no matter what.”

Zeit Online makes a very good observation. The people of Europe are getting used to strong government action. They comply to dictatorial orders. They trust that their government can save them. It’s not a time for democratic decisions; it’s time for a strongman to act.

Jesus Christ warns that what we are experiencing today is only the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Far worse crises will plague this world. The Bible also reveals that these crises will lead to 10 kings, or strongmen, rising in Europe.

Revelation 17 prophesies of these 10 kings who will be of one mind and gain power at approximately the same time: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (verses 12-13).

The panic over coronavirus could hasten the rise of these kings and solidify their reign.

The Bible calls these leaders “kings,” not because of royal lineage necessarily, but because they act like kings and are admired for it. The late Herbert W. Armstrong taught that these “kings” will rule as dictators.

Europe flourishes on crises. In the economic crisis, the refugee crisis, and now in this coronavirus crisis, unpopular decisions have had to be made that likely would not have been approved by the majority of the people. But when charismatic leaders step forward and introduce unprecedented measures with reasonable explanations, people are willing to comply.

But as Zeit Online warned, there is a danger in how the Austrian government is handling this crisis. We are witnessing the rise of autocrats in Europe—and a population that is increasingly willing to follow their lead.

Europe hasn’t experienced its last crisis—even once the coronavirus is contained. As we watch Europe in the next few weeks and months, we need to do so in the light of Bible prophecy. In times of great uncertainty, only the Bible’s forecasts can help us see clearly where world events are heading. To learn specifically what is prophesied to happen in Europe, request your free copy of Daniel Unlocks Revelation, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

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Coronavirus: How Should You Respond?

The world is panicking and locking down in response to a virus. Some are asking, is God angry with mankind? The answer should dictate your response.

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Coronavirus: How Should You Respond?

Shoppers wait in a line, hundreds of people deep, to enter a Costco store in Novato, California, on March 14. Hoards of shoppers rushed to stock up on toilet paper, paper towels and cleaning supplies because of coronavirus.
JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus: How Should You Respond?

The world is panicking and locking down in response to a virus. Some are asking, is God angry with mankind? The answer should dictate your response.

Why is this happening? Coronavirus is grinding the world to a halt. Countries are locking down, closing borders and banning public gatherings. Sports, tourist attractions and major events are being canceled. Cities are eerily quiet. Masses of people are being forced to stay home. Hoarding is rampant. Store shelves are empty. Shoppers are panicking. Businesses are being destroyed. Stocks are plunging, and economies—national and global—are being ravaged.

Is God angry with mankind? Is this fulfilling Bible prophecy? What can we learn from this extraordinary event?

When we experience this kind of disruption and trial, we need to learn what we can from it. We don’t want to stumble through and hope everything ends as quickly as possible simply so we can return to life exactly as before.

You need to know what the Bible says. You need to know what a Christian’s response should be. You need to know how to react, physically and spiritually—because even more-serious crises are coming.

Prayer and Panic

United States President Donald Trump declared Sunday, March 15, a “National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for Our National Response Efforts.” In a White House statement, the president noted that though a lot of churches were closing, “in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost loved ones.” He asked for people “to pray for God’s healing hand to be placed on the people of our nation,” to “pray for the health and well-being of your fellow Americans, and to remember that no problem is too big for God to handle. … With God’s help, we will overcome this threat.”

It was a fairly tame proclamation. It said nothing about why God might be allowing this pandemic. It avoided talk of humbling ourselves before God or seeking to restore God’s favor. It didn’t mention repentance, or turning from sin. It merely recommended asking God for comfort, strength, protection, health and healing.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Still, many people reacted viscerally. They ridiculed prayer as being “anti-science.” One woman tweeted: “Wishful thinking isn’t going to make testing and care available to those who are sick. Wishful thinking isn’t going to feed people or pay their bills. It doesn’t keep us warm or safe from harm.” Rep. Rashida Tlaib issued a vulgar response scorning national prayer.

Others demanded separation of church and state, as if encouraging voluntary prayers is somehow enforcing a state religion. One woman tweeted: “This goes against everything the founding fathers stood for.” Apparently she is unaware that America’s founders were deeply religious and praised and thanked the Creator God in the nation’s Declaration of Independence. Among them were men like John Adams, who said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In the overall national conversation on the news, God is not being talked about. Instead, you are hearing from every doctor, scientist, celebrity and pundit regarding containment measures and projecting worst-case scenarios. You are hearing experts speculate that around two thirds of the world’s population could get the disease, and that tens of millions could die.

This is creating a lot of hysteria. Most of the shocks to stock markets have not come from problems already hitting, but from fear of problems that could hit. Shortages in groceries and general stores mostly aren’t resulting from problems with supply, manufacturing or distribution, but from fear, panic and hoarding. Plenty of food, toilet paper and other essentials still exist, but people are frantically grabbing more, looking after themselves and their own.

This is exposing some ugly truths about ourselves—truths certain to prove extremely relevant in the time ahead. We are getting a preview of how people react in crisis—and Bible prophecy says far more and far worse crises are coming.

We are getting a preview of how people react in crisis—and Bible prophecy says far more and far worse crises are coming.

What would happen if a more lethal disease or an environmental or financial disaster actually disrupts the supply chain? What if earthquakes or other natural phenomena destroy infrastructure or wipe out food production, or long-term economic depression hits, or currency values collapse, or we suffer an energy embargo, or terrorist strikes—perhaps nuclear, biological or chemical weapon attacks—occur in several cities? Such threats are very real.

Witness how people are behaving in this comparatively minor crisis. The world has never reacted to a pandemic as it is reacting today. Even if worst-case scenarios don’t materialize, this shows how quickly an unexpected disaster can arise from nowhere and utterly alter the global landscape.

Correction

This is a time we need national days of prayer. We need to be sincerely looking to God, not just for comfort, strength, protection, health and healing, but also for guidance and, yes, correction. We need to see this from His point of view. We must see how He is involved and what He is trying to teach us.

Yet the notion of God being involved in something like a disease pandemic is entirely foreign to people.

“For Christians, this terrible virus is not a punishment but a test of our faith and charity,” the Telegraph wrote on March 16. This author ridicules the idea of divine punishment, and explains how “Enlightenment” reasoning has overtaken “medieval” thinking. “Very few Christian leaders have blamed the coronavirus on sin (even if there is a lot of it about), and some clerics have been so keen to discourage us from going to church, lest we cough on the congregation, that one is left wondering what faith has to offer when nature goes mad.” The solution this author provides: Christians should look after other people.

Acts of charity toward those in need are certainly noble—but can we casually dismiss the idea that a crisis like this may be a curse from God?

Think about this for a moment. Suppose God did want to correct us. Suppose He does hate sin and hates how it harms us. Suppose He wants us to see how selfish, covetous, materialistic we are, how glutted on sports and entertainment. Suppose He does want us to change, to turn from sin, to turn to Him, and to live better lives.

What if He wanted to warn us that bigger trials are coming, and to give us a taste of those, a dose of reality, so we could examine ourselves to begin to see who we really are?

Suppose God wants to show us that modern conveniences and luxuries are dominating our lives and drawing us away from the spiritual. Suppose He wants to help us see how we trust ourselves too much and to realize how fragile the civilization we have built really is, how tenuous the social fabric.

Suppose God wants us to get a good look at our own selfish human nature and to help us see that we aren’t as good-hearted as we think. Most of us get along well enough as long as we are materially well off—but it’s when we experience hardship and deprivation that our true character begins to emerge. What if God wanted to show us how little hardship it takes to begin to expose our ugly tendencies like selfishness, tribalism, factionalism?

What if He wanted to warn us that bigger trials are coming, and to give us a taste of those, a dose of reality, so we could examine ourselves to begin to see who we really are? What if God wanted us to stop our sports worship, our entertainment addiction, if He wanted us to hit the pause button on all the movies—so we would slow down a moment, stay home with family, think, and consider our ways? What if God actually did want to correct His children for their sins, and to lead them to repentance?

Isn’t it possible He could use a disease pandemic to do it?

The Bible

God makes the answers to all these questions and more plain in His revelation to mankind, the Bible.

God’s Word tells us why events like this are happening. It explains in detail why God allows trials like this one—at times on a mass scale—to accomplish specific purposes. It also tells us what God expects of us: what God’s standards are and how to recognize when we are astray. It explains how to see the evil in our own hearts and to combat it.

The Bible is also full of examples of God correcting people through trial. There are biblical examples and many biblical prophecies of God specifically using health trials and diseases to correct people.

So the Bible is an invaluable resource to guide us through an event like this. It can tell us what to expect and how to successfully navigate these choppy waters.

First let’s see why God is allowing mankind to go through this ordeal.

God has a magnificent purpose for man. But that purpose requires that we have free choice; God will not force us to go His way. At the beginning of the book, our first parents, Adam and Eve, were given that choice. God spelled it out for them and let them choose between the tree of life and the tree of death. They chose death (Genesis 3).

God has a magnificent purpose for man. But that purpose requires that we have free choice; God will not force us to go His way.

The rest of that chapter shows that because of their decision, God pronounced certain curses on them. He banished them from the Garden of Eden and cut off their access to the tree of life.

Their decision cut mankind off from God, His truth, His knowledge and His guidance. Ever since, man has been building civilization apart from Him, trying to figure out how to make things work on our own. This is why the world is so rife with misery: because, with few exceptions, we are not submitting to God. We are living a way that is leading to our own destruction.

It’s a way God prophesied would actually end with our annihilating ourselves from off the planet—if He didn’t intervene! Jesus Christ Himself prophesied this about the time that would occur just before His Second Coming: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved …” (Matthew 24:21-22).

Repentance

God wants to restore to us the awesome human potential that Adam and Eve turned their backs on. He wants to convert the heart of every person in the world, to help us see our error in going the wrong way and instill in us a love for His way. “The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Repentance means comparing ourselves to God’s law of love to see where we are sinning and flawed, and then changing direction and obeying that law!

God’s law, for example, commands that you love God with all your heart, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37). Repenting of not doing this means striving to change. God’s law forbids putting anything before the true God (Exodus 20:2-3). Repentance means searching your life for areas where you are prioritizing other interests, people or things before God. God’s law says you shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:27-28). That means turning away from all forms of sex outside of marriage, including fornication, pornography and all lust and perversion (as God defines it, not as society does).

God’s law is perfect and it is liberating (James 1:25). It is a law of love (Romans 13:10). God’s law defines how He thinks, how He lives, and who He is. It is the way that Jesus Christ lived. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).

Our own thinking, reasoning and ways are fatally flawed. The unstable, unjust, unhappy world we have built is abundant proof of that. God wants each of us to see reality, “the plague of his own heart” (1 Kings 8:38). He wants us to avoid the suffering that comes from each of us relying on ourselves and comparing ourselves to others. He wants us instead to live by His law because that is what is best for each one of us, and for the world we inhabit.

God has an amazing future for all those who will be willing to come to repentance.

This is a tremendous ambition for God to have, because each human heart is terribly plagued by weakness and evil (Jeremiah 17:9). God is not yet trying to turn people to repentance on a mass scale—but His master plan does eventually include everyone. God has an amazing future for all those who will be willing to come to repentance.

True repentance bridges the gap between an individual and God. Thus, the very first step toward real, lasting happiness is a genuine, deep, complete repentance.

Have you ever repented before God? Very, very few people have. But nobody will ever begin to walk the path toward true happiness and fulfillment before doing so. We must recognize our own helplessness and inadequacy apart from God. That is the most fundamental lesson any of us can learn.

This is what was missing from President Trump’s declaration for a National Day of Prayer. As 1 John 3:22 explains, “Whatsoever we ask [in prayer], we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” Prayer alone isn’t enough: We must also turn to Him in repentance and obedience. His ears are open to the prayers of the righteous, “but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). That is a major reason so many prayers go unanswered—because people simply have not surrendered themselves wholly to God. They are still living in rebellion against Him. (You can learn more about this in our free book How to Pray.)

Blessings and Curses

Once you understand that God is trying to bring us to repentance, then many of the prophecies of the Bible make sense.

Consider Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, known as the “blessings and curses” chapters. They list the blessings God will give, even on the national level, to those who obey Him—and the curses that will come to those who do not. These chapters are specifically directed at the Israelites and their descendants, which today include the United States and Britain. But the principle applies to us all, even individually.

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. … The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do … because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee” (Deuteronomy 28:15-16, 20-21). The word pestilence describes various types of destruction and death; it could even be violence we commit against each other.

Italian medical staff transfer a coronavirus patient under intensive care.
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images

God then gets more specific, even discussing disease: “The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption [chronic degenerative diseases], and with a fever, and with an inflammation [speaking of communicable diseases like influenzas—coronavirus would be included], and with an extreme burning …” (verse 22).

To have God, who has total power, cursing you is terrifying! Few take this warning seriously, but this is just one of many biblical passages showing how God corrects His children when we go astray. He is like any father who loves his children: He will step in when he sees them hurting themselves.

Throughout Deuteronomy 28, God repeatedly says how these curses are aimed at turning us back to Him! If we would turn—and as soon as we turn—the curses would stop! Only because we refuse to repent will they grow worse and worse.

Isolation and Idolatry

Amid this current crisis, how many people are seeking God? How many are examining themselves according to God’s Word? How many are concerned about the sins of our peoples that are bringing these curses upon us?

Instead we see people hoarding, fighting over goods in stores, panic selling, and looking for entertainments to lose themselves in.

“With great swathes of the world population physically distancing themselves from the rest of society, travel restricted, and schools and workplaces shutting down, we can expect a massive increase in ‘screen time,’” the Telegraph reported. “Last week, Telecom Italia reported a 70 percent increase in Internet traffic, much of it due to online games such as Fortnite. … The coming age of self-isolation means experiencing live events, social interactions and learning through a device. Parts of life that were once analogue will now become temporarily, or perhaps permanently, digital” (March 16).

So many of the things society loves are actually idols: sports, concerts, bars, comforts and luxuries, money and materialism, our work, our investment portfolios. Not that any of those things is evil of itself—but many people put those things ahead of God, which is a form of idolatry. Now, suddenly, many of these “gods” are being forcibly stripped from us.

Use this opportunity to direct your attention to the more important things in life that are too often neglected amid the hurly-burly of everyday responsibilities and distractions.

Perhaps you are among the many people who cannot go to work. You have extra time on your hands. Use this opportunity to direct your attention to the more important things in life that are too often neglected amid the hurly-burly of everyday responsibilities and distractions.

God wants us all to see the error of our ways and turn our hearts to Him! He wants mankind to recognize just how failed and flawed the civilization we have built apart from Him is. He can use a crisis like this to try to drive people in that direction. But if people don’t respond, what more can a loving God do?

If you look from God’s perspective at the way people are reacting, you can see why these problems are virtually certain to intensify. God wants to bring about repentance—so He can make the magnificent future He has for mankind possible. Thus, He is going to allow this world to endure even greater suffering.

Why Pandemics

The Bible includes some grim prophecies about disease pandemics in the end time. Even secular news sources have been quoting some of them.

In that Matthew 24 prophecy, Jesus was forecasting the conditions that would precede His Second Coming. He said, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in [different] places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (verses 6-8).

Perhaps the most vivid forecast on this point is in Revelation, the Bible’s most detailed book of end-time prophecy. Here is where you find the imagery of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The fourth of these is described in Revelation 6:8: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Among the weapons this horseman has, there are disease epidemics. Along with these other three horsemen, this anemic-looking horseman on a haunting, pallid horse will slay “the fourth part of the earth.” With today’s population of 7.7 billion, that means nearly 2 billion people!

Coronavirus is definitely a problem—but compared to the scale of the pestilence that is coming, it is barely significant. God prophesies of tens of millions of people killed by pestilence!

But do not lose sight of the reason. God is not destroying indiscriminately: He is punishing the world in love and in measure—to help mankind ultimately turn from the paths of destruction to the way of truth and peace! God will allow coronavirus and other afflictions to affect mankind to precisely the degree needed to help people repent—no more, no less. For most people, this will come when God resurrects them again to life in a world that He governs. (To understand this truth, read “The Three Resurrections.”)

Do not lose sight of the reason. God is not destroying indiscriminately: He is punishing the world in love and in measure—to help mankind ultimately turn from the paths of destruction to the way of truth and peace.

God is trumpeting His end-time warning message to this world through this work, literally fulfilling His prophecy in Isaiah 58:1: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.” But if God cannot bring us to repentance through words, then He will try to do so through trials, afflictions and disasters.

When trouble comes, some will finally cry out to God for His intervention in their lives. But physically, they may be too late. We must seek God “while he may be found” (Isaiah 55:6).

Must you suffer alongside this world? No. The same God who controls world events is perfectly capable of protecting individuals. Act while the warning is still going out, not only after calamity grows worse. Heed God’s words and turn to God now, and you will receive relief from His curses. He promises to forgive and then to protect each person who repents. Why wait until the Great Tribulation, the worst suffering mankind has ever experienced, to respond?

Take Action

God wants us to change our behavior so we obey Him and seek His will, not ours. The Bible is filled with examples of individual repentance and individual protection. If we repent, God can protect us just as surely as He protected Daniel from the jaws of the lions. Not one hair was singed when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were cast into the fiery furnace. Other ancient prophets survived multiple disasters and intense persecution. God’s true Church received divine protection throughout the centuries when His people remained faithful to Him. God can bless us and be a shield in our individual lives just as He was for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and so many others.

The Apostle Peter wrote that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9; Revised Standard Version). This lesson permeates the Bible: God protects righteous, obedient people who seek His protection.

God has power over diseases. He says in Exodus 15:26 that if we diligently hear Him and keep His laws, “I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”

God promises to heal upon repentance: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3). This does not mean you will never get sick. In fact, God’s promise of healing wouldn’t apply to someone who never came down with a sickness or disease. Some of God’s people may even get coronavirus. God may allow that as a test of our faith.

But we need not panic during times like these. The world is panicking and fearful. People are so terrified of death, that panic is drawing them into ugly behavior and unnecessarily costly policy decisions. But those who put their trust in God are at peace. They are full of faith, hope and comfort. God promises these things.

Those who put their trust in God are at peace. They are full of faith, hope and comfort. God promises these things.

He also absolutely promises healing. Yet sometimes God allows His people to get sick—even to die in faith, not yet having received the promise of healing in this lifetime (Hebrews 11:35-39). Healing is a sure promise, and many who claim that promise are healed, even immediately! But for some, it will take place in the resurrection. (If you want more information on this inspiring biblical doctrine, request our free booklet The Plain Truth About Healing.)

God does not promise that you will never die in this physical life. Actually, God promises that you will experience trials! But with Christ in you, you’ll be able to battle those with faith. That makes all the difference—whether you live or die. God’s faithful people are not afraid of death.

God guarantees peace of mind during the worst of crises. He is in control, and He promises in Romans 8:28 that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We may experience some of the same troubles that descend on the world. Yet we have a solid hope in the future God has promised as an “anchor of the soul” to keep us stable even in times of trouble.

Are you ready for crises to come? Start preparing by repenting before God. That is what God seeks above all. And to those who turn to Him with supple hearts, He offers individual protection—escape—from the worst of the coming storms (e.g. Luke 21:36). That is the only sure place to invest your faith.

If you want guidance on how to repent and to act on what you’re reading, we can help. We produce a lot of material aimed at helping you make God’s way of life your way of life! A good place to start is by reading our editor in chief’s booklet How to Be an Overcomer, starting with Chapter 1, “Repentance Toward God.” Sign up for our weekly PCG Signposts e-mail; it gives vital, practical Christian-living instruction to help you make real changes in your life. You can also find helpful, relevant education on our sister website, pcg.church. And if you want to speak with a Philadelphia Church of God minister, e-mail us at visitrequests@pcog.org.

Book Club: Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years | Meeting Five

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New York Times Admits Error in 1619 Project

New York Times headquarters
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

New York Times Admits Error in 1619 Project

More proof that America’s media is embracing a dangerous new agenda

Nikole Hannah-Jones, head of the New York Times’ flagship 1619 Project, has acknowledged that she was mistaken in saying that “one of the primary reasons” the colonists revolted against England was to preserve the institution of slavery.

She has altered her original statement, which claimed all the colonists revolted against Britain to preserve the practice of slavery. It now says that only “some” of the colonists rebelled to preserve slavery.

Her change strikes at the heart of the New York Times’ radical attempt to rewrite American history.

The New York Times published a series of essays called the 1619 Project in August 2019. These essays claimed that the true foundation of the United States did not lie in the Declaration of Independence. Instead, the nation’s origins come from 1619—the date the first slave arrived in America. America’s history was reinterpreted in light of slavery. It claimed that every facet of capitalist, democratic American society was built on slavery.

In being forced to admit that slavery was not “one of the primary reasons” the colonists revolted against England, Hannah-Jones has undermined the whole project.

In an editorial note published March 11, Hannah-Jones backtracked on what she’d originally written. She clarified that she meant “some” colonists revolted against slavery, instead of all of them. “In attempting to summarize and streamline, journalists can sometimes lose important context and nuance. I did that here,” she tweeted on March 12.

Her admission comes seven months after the essays were published, and after historians leveled myriad criticisms at her project, all of which she previously denied.

Criticism from journalist Leslie Harris, who worked as a fact checker on the 1619 Project, likely precipitated this admission. Writing for Politico, Harris said she made a vigorous argument against the slavery statement but was ignored by Hannah-Jones.

The New York Times stood by the main point of the project. The editorial note claimed it was based on “scholarship into the origins and character of the Revolution that has marked the past 40 years or so of early American historiography.” Revisionist history, such as Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and other anti-American works, fall into this category of “scholarship.”

Recognized, credible historians of high standing have weighed in on the lack of factual truth found in the 1619 Project. In a letter published in the Dec. 29, 2019, issue of the New York Times, they demanded “prominent corrections of all the errors and distortions presented in the 1619 Project.”

The errors, combined with a response of denial rather than willingness to admit mistakes, “suggest a displacement of historical understanding by ideology. Dismissal of objections on racial grounds—that they are the objections of only ‘white historians’—has affirmed that displacement” (ibid).

What is causing one of America’s biggest news sources to push a factually incorrect and racially incendiary narrative of the nation’s history?

There is no question that the New York Times is pursuing a political message that threatens the increasingly fragile unity of the U.S. Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry explained the deadly risk it poses to America’s fragile peace in his article “The New York Times’ Dangerous New Agenda.” He wrote:

These journalists and politicians are hastening the fulfillment of the terrifying prophecy of Isaiah 1: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers [Gentiles] devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (verse 7). This is about race wars destroying our cities. And God is allowing this destruction because of America’s sins—because the nation is “laden with iniquity” (verse 4).

The Times is fomenting racial hatred that will end in death and suffering and the burning of America’s cities. Abraham Lincoln was right when he quoted Jesus Christ: A house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25). The nation’s only hope is to look to the same God Lincoln did and seek the Eternal while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6).

The Bible foretells that division and hatred will rip American society apart prior to Jesus Christ’s return. But you can escape. As this time of suffering approaches, you can discover and turn toward the way that brings true peace for every race.

For more on the political agenda behind the 1619 Project, read “The New York Times’ Dangerous New Agenda,” by Stephen Flurry.

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American Bolsheviks

Could an event as violent as the Russian Civil War ever happen in the United States of America?

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Coronavirus Conceals Iran’s Push in Iraq

An impact crater resulting from U.S. military air strikes at a militarized zone in the Jurf al-Sakhr area in Iraq’s Babylon province controlled by Kataib Hezbollah
-/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus Conceals Iran’s Push in Iraq

Mass panic provides a veil for the U.S. to begin its retreat from Iraq.

The United States is in “national emergency” mode. Since President Donald Trump declared a state of national emergency on March 13, shelves have emptied, schools have closed, and flights have been canceled. Meanwhile, perilous events occurring on the geopolitical scene are being superseded by fears of coronavirus.

As America turns inward to focus on combating the Wuhan coronavirus, Iran’s renewed push to drive the U.S. out of Iraq has found itself buried by the media-inflicted mass panic.

On March 11, the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia fired a barrage of 15 Katyusha rockets at the Taji military base a few miles north of Baghdad. Two Americans and one British soldier died and several others were injured in the attack. But the media’s preoccupation with coronavirus and the mass panic of the American people caused this crossed “redline” to be become lost in the news. Quite contrary to parallel events in December and January when an American contractor was killed in a Kataib Hezbollah missile attack, these deaths have gone largely unnoticed and unreported by the media. Instead, the focus remains on coronavirus.

The next day, U.S. retaliatory air strikes struck five Kataib Hezbollah sites. Instead of being temporarily chastened, Iranian militias actually struck back at America.

On March 14, Kataib Hezbollah launched another barrage of 33 Katyusha missiles at the same base they attacked just three days earlier. According to Reuters, the Pentagon and the Iraqi military claimed that several Iraqi servicemen were “critically wounded” and two of the three injured American troops were “seriously injured” and undergoing treatment in Baghdad.

The retaliatory strikes were meant to deter militia from staging any more rocket attacks,” explained Reuters. But the strikes failed “to stem more attacks on the U.S.-led coalition …. The Iraqi military said on Saturday that [Iraq] should instead hasten to implement a parliamentary resolution expelling them [U.S. forces].”

This “parliamentary resolution” to expel U.S. forces has already been passed. However, since the Iraqi parliament does not have the political authority to kick out the U.S., the resolution was symbolic of the direction the Iraqi government is shifting.

Several Iraqis have come out condemning the U.S. air strike launched in response to Iran’s earlier attack. The Iraqi military claimed the strikes killed six Iraqis—three members of the Iraqi security forces, two policemen and a civilian—and injured four soldiers, two policemen, a civilian and five militiamen. Iraqi religious authorities claimed that the two civilians killed in the strikes were construction workers at an airport building site in Karbala, a Shiite holy city. Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned such attacks, claiming that they could push Iraq over the edge to become a failed state and cause a revival of the Islamic State. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry announced plans to bring a complaint to the United Nations.

Notice the quick political backlash the U.S. received from the Iraqi government. There is a deep hatred and mistrust of America brewing in Iraq. While some Iraqis still support the U.S. and desire its help in freeing them from the Iranian-influenced regime, that faith in America has been slowly eroding over the past 18 years of conflict—especially this last year as Iraq has found itself in the crossfire between Iran’s proxies and U.S. forces.

This public Iraqi outcry is partly because Iran heavily influences Iraq’s military and parliament.

A decree by former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called for the Iran-backed—and in many cases, Iran-aligned—Shiite militias to merge with the Iraqi security forces. This move gave the militias access to advanced training and weaponry and gave them virtual invulnerability, because attacking the militia became attacking the Iraqi state (as we now see playing out in last week’s air strikes). In the May 2018 elections, the pro-Iran Fatah Alliance coalition—partly composed of Iran-backed, U.S.-designated terrorists who became politicians—won the second-highest number of seats in the Iraqi parliament. Ever since, they have called for the ousting of U.S. forces.

The terrorists’ dream may soon become a reality.

According to nbc News, three U.S. defense officials said that the U.S. military is planning to consolidate hundreds of troops in Iraq, including withdrawing troops from joint bases at al-Qaim near the Syrian border, Qayyarah Airfield West near Mosul, and possibly Al Taqaddum Air Base west of Baghdad and K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk (where the U.S. contractor was killed in December).

Additionally, the military is also considering reducing the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve from a three-star to a two-star command, putting the operation under a major general instead of a lieutenant general. This means the U.S. wants to put less focus on and be less involved in the Iraqi theater.

A U.S. defense official reportedly said that the recent decision to consolidate troops in Iraq was not a result of the rocket attacks on Taji last week, but has been in the works for several months. While this may or may not be true, the timing of the consolidation—or partial withdrawal—is interesting considering the recent attacks and the media’s preoccupation with coronavirus. The hysteria and fear surrounding the new disease has provided a cover for both Iran’s rise and America’s retreat.

Journalist Lee Smith wrote in the New York Post on January 7 that Qassem Suleimani’s assassination was “an opportunity” to implement “the immediate and complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.”

In the March Trumpet issue, we gave five trends to watch in the post-Suleimani Middle East, one of which was “The United States will exit Iraq.”

In the January 2018 Trumpet feature article “America’s Greatest Defeat—Iran’s Victory,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “America may have helped drive the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria—but now America is about to be driven out of Iraq and Syria by Iran! We are about to see a vicious turnaround. In many ways, it has already started.”

Daniel 11:40 prophesies of an end-time power bloc called “the king of the south” that is extremely aggressive. In his booklet The King of the South, Mr. Flurry identifies this Middle Eastern power bloc as radical Islamic extremism, led by Iran. Daniel 11 also says that Iran will “push” the world toward war. In the last month, Iran has attacked U.S. troops, announced it has enough uranium required to build a bomb, and worked with the Houthi militia in targeting international trade through the Bab el-Mandeb strait and the Red Sea. Yet these significant geopolitical events have gone largely unnoticed by the media.

Iran’s rise as the king of the south is partially being concealed under a veil of media-induced coronavirus panic. While the coronavirus is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed, the recent obsession over the disease has, in some ways, been a large distraction from world-shaking geopolitical events.

As the U.S. and the world as a whole focuses on coronavirus, events in Iraq and the Middle East are speeding toward the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

For more information, read “America’s Greatest Defeat—Iran’s Victory,” by Gerald Flurry.

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The Graveyard of Failed Geopolitical Forecasts

Predictions of future world events always fail—or do they?

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Britain’s Un-Conservative Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poses outside No.11 Downing Street before delivering the first post-Brexit budget in London on March 11.
Kate Green/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Britain’s Un-Conservative Budget

Is debt a smart way to escape the economic impact of coronavirus?

Newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced Britain’s budget for the coming year on March 11. In it, he unveiled massive spending and borrowing on a scale not seen for decades. Many now question whether the Conservative party is embracing outright socialism.

His budget totals £928 billion (us$1.12 trillion), compared to a total of £821 billion last fiscal year. It will run a deficit of 2 percent to 3 percent gross domestic product.

Everyone expected an increase in spending. But many were still surprised by the sheer amount of money Sunak threw at the economy for the coming year.

“Is This Government Socialist?” asked a headline in the Telegraph. Many commentators expressed surprise at how un-conservative the budget was.

Sunak hailed his budget as “the largest sustained fiscal boost for 30 years.” The Times called it “the biggest such capital-spending splurge since 1955.”

“This was less a Conservative budget than ‘the people’s budget,’” stated a prominent website that supports the Conservative party. The “people’s budget” was proposed by Lloyd George in 1909 and aimed to radically increase funding for social welfare programs.

“It’s safe to say that the Tory party is operating with a brand new economic tool kit,” said the Spectator. Others labeled Sunak a more radical version of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was known for high spending when he was chancellor of the Exchequer in the mid-2000s.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson campaigned on a platform of tax cuts. However, the budget raises revenues from taxes by £5.5 billion ($7 billion) a year. Where will the funding go?

The largest portion, £30 billion ($37.6 billion) goes to a broad stimulus package aimed at combating the adverse effects of coronavirus on trade and business.

Keynesian economics, the school of thought that informs most politicians, says a government should run large deficits when the economy slows down. The government injects money to encourage consumer and business spending, stimulating the economy to make up for lost productivity.

But Sunak’s splurge goes further than offsetting the effects of coronavirus. It provoked strong reactions from those who oppose strong government intervention. “Some infrastructure and public services spending, as well as supporting individuals and businesses during covid-19, is necessary,” wrote the Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based economic think tank. “But in the longer-run, spending like a drunken sailor will not create a thriving entrepreneurial economy.”

Asked to defend his decisions, Sunak pointed to interest rates, currently low because of coronavirus. But assuming that conditions will stay this way is dangerous.

“The national debt is already roughly double where it should be for peacetime, and one thing is for sure, financing conditions are not going to remain as favorable as they are now for ever,” wrote the Telegraph. Britain’s debt-to-gdp ratio is already unprecedented outside of wartime, and another fast change could put it in dangerous economic territory. Forecasting interest rates has always proved difficult. And government spending programs are not always the answer. “[T]he plans the chancellor unveiled betray an extraordinary faith in the power of government to make a success of every project.”

An all-out spending spree is worrying. But so is the fact that it happened under a conservative government.

Since it began, the Conservative party has stood for reductions in the size of government. In contrast to the Labour party, it has sought to cut taxes and curb major government spending. Margaret Thatcher was one of the most notable examples of this approach.

The Conservatives have shown Britain that they are drifting to the left. And it’s not just Sunak who espouses a radical belief in high spending.

“[O]ur sense is that this was not a budget drawn up by the chancellor. Rather, it was masterminded jointly in Downing Street, to which the top of the Treasury, in the form of Sunak, has been yoked,” wrote political commentator Paul Goodman.

Socialism is becoming fashionable in both of Britain’s major parties. The Conservative budget is liberal. Yet it’s only a fraction of the extreme spending that would have occurred under a Labour government.

Promoted as a cure-all for the economic ailments of coronavirus, many recognize Sunak’s budget will be dangerous for Britain in the long run.

What Britain is doing is nothing new. United States President Donald Trump is the self-proclaimed “king of debt.” Britain is following the same risky path.

Historically, the Conservative party has not been keen on keeping ultra-high levels of debt, but this is changing. Much of this is because of a society that endorses instant gratification and promotes debt as a healthy way of life.

Few today stop to ask where the material wealth came from that enabled Britain to be so prosperous for such a long time. That answer, which almost nobody understands, is found in the pages of the Bible.

Our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong, explains that both Britain and the United States descended from the ancient nation of Israel. The Bible prophesied that these nations would be blessed with wealth above that of the rest of the world. History proves that this happened. Britain once had a global empire. It was the strongest commonwealth of nations in the world. The U.S. was the greatest single nation.

What has Britain done with those economic blessings?

“When God lavished on our peoples such wealth and power and economic possession as no peoples have ever before enjoyed, did we appreciate what we had or feel the commensurate sense of responsibility for its wise and proper use?” asked Mr. Armstrong. Have we been responsible? Debt is the way of life for politicians and ordinary people alike.

God warned that we would lose this tremendous wealth as a result of disobedience to His law. Deuteronomy 28:44 describes a time when our people are forced to borrow and unable to lend. This is happening. Britain has the world’s second-largest national debt, after the United States.

An economic crisis that weakens the U.S. and Britain will set the stage for a European superpower to rise. Mr. Armstrong wrote in a July 22, 1984, co-worker letter that a major banking crisis in the U.S. “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power, larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.”

As the United Kingdom follows the U.S. down this dangerous path, how can you prepare for the future? Read our free booklet Solve Your Money Troubles! to learn the answer.