New Zealand Legalizes Abortion

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New Zealand Legalizes Abortion

This is a real emergency that health and government officials should be quick to address.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered a key electoral campaign promise last week when lawmakers passed a bill decriminalizing abortion. The bill passed in Parliament on Wednesday, 68-to-51, and will become law after it is signed by the country’s governor general.

The new law is an amendment to the 1977 law that made abortion a crime in New Zealand except when two doctors agree that continuing the pregnancy would endanger the mother’s mental or physical health. Previously, an unlawful abortion could be punished with up to 14 years in prison.

The new law no longer requires any medical consent. A mother can self-refer in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy without even visiting a hospital. Abortion can still occur after 20 weeks, but only if two doctors agree that to continue the pregnancy would be harmful to the woman’s physical, mental or “overall well-being.” According to officials, New Zealand has moved abortion from a crime to a health issue.

In campaigning for abortion rights, National Member of Parliament Amy Adams told Parliament, “I have an absolutely innate view that Parliament needs to stay out of the medical and personal decisions of women’s lives. Women have an inalienable right to control their bodies and reproductive systems.”

But Adams does not realize that abortion is not about a woman’s right to her own body. New Zealand bishops were right when they called the bill “a travesty of human rights” that “ignores the reality that a genetically unique human life has begun which is neither that of the mother or the father.”

This is not merely a religious belief, it is a biological fact that an unborn child is a distinct and separate human being. Several studies have proved that a fetus can feel excruciating pain from very early in pregnancy.

This is a biological fact that theologian and educator Herbert W. Armstrong discussed in his landmark book Mystery of the Ages:

The human spirit enters the human embryo at conception. It is this spirit that may, upon adult conversion, be united with the Holy Spirit from the great Creator God, impregnating that human with God-life as a child of the living God, in a state of gestation, though as yet unborn. To destroy an embryo or a fetus in a mother’s uterus is to murder a potential future God being.

Therefore, abortion is murder.

Mr. Armstrong recognized the biological facts of abortion together with the greater spiritual dimension at play.

Legislators passing abortion bills do not recognize the unborn child’s incredible human potential. Abortion doctors don’t just kill another human being; they murder “a potential future God being.”

According to Worldometer, there have been more than 9.7 million abortions worldwide so far this year. That is more than 115,476 abortions every day since January 1. Every hour, nearly 5,000 babies are murdered—more than 80 every minute. That means more than one abortion is performed every second of every day worldwide.

If you think coronavirus is a pandemic, perhaps officials ought to turn their attention to the abortion rate.

This brutality represents the mentality God prophesied would be rampant in the end time. 2 Timothy 3:1-3 says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection ….” The natural affection of a mother toward her unborn child and mankind’s respect for human life is disappearing.

As Joel Hilliker wrote in “Why Do So Many People Want More Abortion?” these kinds of shocking statistics are the result of mankind’s rejection of God and refusal to see human life as more than just atoms. “This is what happens when we cast aside the revelation that God made us in His own image—that He endowed us with tremendous potential given to no other creation—and that every single human life matters.”

This tremendous potential fills the Bible. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them ….” In Genesis 1:26-27, God says that man was made in His image and likeness with a potential described in Hebrews 2:7-8: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.” The Moffatt version translates “all things” as “the universe.” God is preparing to give mankind the entire universe!

These are the scriptures that fill Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The Incredible Human Potential. Please read this book to understand the potential God has given every single human being—those living, who have died, and those yet to be born. This potential reveals why Satan is working so feverishly to legalize abortion around the world.

WorldWatch

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The Left’s Latest Unhinged Efforts to Take Down Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on March 8.
ODED BALILTY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Left’s Latest Unhinged Efforts to Take Down Netanyahu

If you are like me, you are probably largely confined to your home as our governments enact powerful decrees to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

Israel has closed its borders to all nonresidents, and every day, more rules get handed down to tell us how far and for what we can venture out. For my family, it’s not a particularly hard adjustment to make, as we have a park next door and I work mostly from home.

Nevertheless, as Stephen Flurry pointed out in today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, it’s stunning how democracies are increasingly looking like dictatorships as freedoms we have enjoyed are swept aside.

In Israel, along with the strong-armed coronavirus response, there is another attack on democratic norms taking place. But contrary to most in the media, I’m not talking about the actions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I’m talking about the undemocratic ploys at play to remove him.

In Israel, there is a powerful and unhinged effort to overturn the result of the election. It’s shocking. It’s real. And it’s becoming increasingly obvious to everyone.

You will recall that on March 2, Israel voted in its unprecedented third election within a year.

The vote was called to break the political deadlock and hopefully give either Prime Minister Netanyahu or rival Benny Gantz the needed 61-seat majority in the Knesset.

Even though Netanyahu’s Likud party won a record 36 seats in the vote, his right-wing religious coalition only garnered 58 seats collectively. Nevertheless, it was more than Gantz’s Blue and White party, which only grabbed 33 seats. Combined with his preelection coalition of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party and the left-wing parties, Gantz only had 46 seats total.

Understandably, in the early hours of March 3, Netanyahu declared victory.

While still three seats short of a majority, he was in a far better position than Gantz to somehow wrangle a few extra seats. It was assumed that Netanyahu would be appointed by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin the first opportunity to form a coalition.

But that’s not what happened.

Soon after Netanyahu’s victory speech, rival Gantz decided to break a campaign promise and welcomed the backing and support of the Joint List, a group of Arab parties who together received 15 seats in the election. Together with the Arabs, Gantz would have the 61 seats necessary to form a majority.

Of course, there is nothing wrong about welcoming an Arab into your government. Indeed, Likud and others have Arab representation inside their parties.

However, the Joint List is made up of anti-Zionist Arab leaders whose stated goal is to destroy Israel’s foundational status as a Jewish state.

Historically, the Joint List has been anathema to the major Jewish parties. No ruling government has included the party inside a coalition because of its extreme anti-Zionist views. Indeed, this is likely why Blue and White said repeatedly before the election that it would not join forces with the Joint List. More Israelis would have voted for Netanyahu if they knew Gantz was going to break his promise.

Nevertheless, facing a shortfall in votes, Gantz accepted the support of the anti-Zionist Arabs. And with the 61-seat majority, he was given the first opportunity to form a government.

In truth, though, Gantz is not planning on entering into a formal coalition with the Joint List. He is just planning on staying with them long enough to get rid of Netanyahu.

In an unprecedented act, Gantz plans to use the allotted six weeks he has to form a coalition to instead pass laws forbidding Netanyahu from forming a government in the future.

While Gantz’s moves are technically legal, he is upending decades of electoral and Knesset precedent in order to remove Netanyahu and gain power for himself.

According to Israeli law, the creation of new laws must be overseen by the speaker of the Knesset. Historically, the speaker belongs to the same party as the prime minister and, as such, is currently occupied by Likud’s Yuli Edelstein. But in order for Gantz to advance the anti-Netanyahu law, Blue and White has asked that there be a vote in the interim Knesset to replace the speaker of the House.

Such a move would be a first in Israel’s history. Edelstein initially said he would not conduct the unprecedented vote. However, on Tuesday, Israel’s Supreme Court intervened in an unprecedented fashion and dictated to Edelstein that the vote must go forward by Thursday.

If Edelstein is replaced by a Blue and White candidate, as seems likely, two bills will come before the Knesset for vote. The first would seek to impose a two-term limit on prime ministers, which would automatically exclude Netanyahu from taking office. The second will overturn an Israeli law that allows a prime minister to remain in office while under indictment until he is formally convicted. Netanyahu has been under indictment by the attorney general, and so this law is directly targeting his future rule.

In both cases, the laws are specifically against one man: Netanyahu.

On March 2, almost half of Israelis effectively voted for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue serving in that office, knowing full well that he was under indictment. This was about 500,000 more people than who voted for Gantz’s stated coalition.

For Gantz to then defy the will of half the nation in some legislative sleight of hand during a caretaker Knesset in order to remove the people’s choice is a power grab unprecedented in Israel’s history. It effectively tells half the nation that their vote didn’t count.

Israeli media is full of stories of how Netanyahu is destroying democracy in Israel. However, it is hard to think of a more undemocratic process than is being enacted by Gantz and his make-believe majority coalition.

Gantz is destroying the fundamental truism of the democratic process that the people decide who will lead the nation.

In democracies, you need to win at the ballot box. Gantz is attempting to change the rules after the vote and disqualify the leading vote getter.

Such a strategy is dangerous. If Gantz is unable to unseat Netanyahu through this process, he will likely be forgiven by Israel’s rabid left-wing media. But the voters won’t soon forget. If he is unsuccessful at removing Netanyahu and a fourth election ensues, it’s hard to see how the Blue and White party will survive.

The result would likely be a greater groundswell of support for Netanyahu.

If you think any of this sounds a little familiar, you aren’t wrong.

For over three years, the radical left in the United States has tried desperately to overturn an election result. And yet through the Russia collusion hoax, Ukraine hoax, impeachment and the current attempt to blame the president for his handling of coronavirus, U.S. President Donald Trump has emerged stronger than ever.

There is a parallel phenomenon taking place in Israel with attacks by the legislature, the media and the judiciary against the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu.

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written extensively, President Trump is overseeing a stunning resurgence in America, even as the radical left tries to unseat him.

As Mr. Flurry has revealed, this resurgence in the United States, as well as the attempt of the radical left to fundamentally change the nation, was prophesied in the biblical book of Kings. 2 Kings 14:27 states that at time when the nation of Israel was about to be blotted out, God saved the nation by the “hand of Jeroboam.”

In Israel, we see a similar temporary resurgence taking place under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu. As theTrumpet.com managing editor Brad Macdonald wrote in “A Prophesied Resurgence in Israel?” Netanyahu has overseen a decade of stunning growth, economically and militarily, in Israel. But as with President Trump, we also see successive attempts to overturn his rule. This latest ploy by Blue and White to side with Arab parties that literally want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state clearly falls into this category.

Wherever the election process and Israel go from here, it is clear that something unprecedented and undemocratic is taking place to remove Netanyahu. For the moment, the prime minister and President Trump seem to be holding back those forces.

If you would like to understand more of this latter-day prophecy, as well as the motivating factor behind the unhinged attempts to take down Israel’s leaders, please read Mr. Flurry’s landmark article “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily.”

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Is God’s Church Divided?

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How Coronavirus Is Transforming Germany

The Potsdamer Platz square in Berlin is almost empty on March 24 amidst the new coronavirus covid-19 pandemic.
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images

How Coronavirus Is Transforming Germany

The coronavirus crisis is a prelude of a far greater crisis about to hit Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel referred to the coronavirus crisis as Germany’s greatest challenge since World War ii. Over the weekend, she announced a ban of public gatherings of more than two people. Most people are willingly complying with the new measures, and some are even calling for stricter laws.

Within a few days, the lives of millions in Germany have drastically changed. But the crisis is just a prelude of a transformation Germany is about to undergo. In many ways, the current crisis is laying the foundation for a much larger crisis to hit Europe.

On Sunday, Chancellor Merkel published a nine-point plan in the fight against coronavirus. After numerous debates, the federal and state governments finally agreed on a contact ban that is viewed as the last measure before confining people to their homes. According to the ard Germany trend, 95 percent of respondents support the contact ban, despite the economic consequences it will bring.

Other European countries have taken stricter measures, urging Germany to do the same.

The coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Europe. Ms. Merkel herself had to go into quarantine after having contact with an infected doctor. Merkel is still trying to display stability. However, her potential successors using the crisis to present themselves as crisis managers.

Germany’s comparatively moderate measures and the leadership crisis have caused many to look to neighboring governments for direction.

“States in which the virus started to spread only a few days earlier have already shut down or initiated it,” faz.net noted on March 16. “In addition to Italy, France, Spain and Austria have now closed all shops and completely frozen social life—Germany is lagging behind. This is extremely dangerous because we are accepting an unabated increase in the number of cases.”

In Austria, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has already enforced confinement measures, weeks prior to Germany. His clear orders have, for the most part, been diligently obeyed. Zeit Online noted that this may cause people to “accept restrictions on liberties sooner than before” and “the longing for the proverbial strongman, who will finally take action, will grow stronger.”

Kurz made decisions that applied to the whole nation equally. But Merkel has been forced to coordinate with the heads of respective German states to find a unified approach. The lost time in debates has been criticized abroad and at home. Some have even asked for changes to be made to the Basic Law that would grant the federal government more power.

Germans are looking to the leadership of French President Emmanuel Macron. In “Does General Macron Really Do a Better Job Than Merkel?Die Welt noted: “Unlike Merkel, Macron now acts as the nation’s commander in chief, who he de facto is.” Macron did not only call the crisis “a public-health war,” he also deployed the French Army and used war rhetoric and military metaphors to talk about the “invisible enemy.” In doing so, his approval rating rose.

“Emmanuel Macron presents himself as a warlord in the fight against coronavirus—and as a leader of Europe in the crisis,” Die Welt explained. Macron has made his fair share of mistakes, and the death rate of the virus is far greater in France than in Germany. Still his popularity is rising in France and throughout Europe. People long for strong leadership, even if the end result doesn’t match the promises.

“The yellow vest crisis and months of protests against pension reform seem to have been forgotten,” Die Welt continued. “According to the Ipsos Institute’s latest survey, 55 percent of citizens believe that the government is ‘fighting the virus effectively.’”

Germany’s reaction to the crisis seems rather moderate. At the time Merkel announced the nationwide contact ban, only around 90 people in Germany had died from the virus. In numbers, the crisis is comparatively small. But the people’s willingness to give up their freedom is unprecedented.

The German Army is only allowed to be deployed in a national emergency. Many have tried to change this law, but heavy protests have always resulted. But with coronavirus, the state of Bavaria declared a disaster situation with immediate effect, allowing for the Army to be drafted. The citizens seem to be accepting the measure as necessary. Then again, no one can join a demonstration when public gatherings are prohibited. Disobedience to government orders is subject to high fines.

Few seem to recall that a manufactured emergency in 1933 enabled Adolf Hitler to pass the Reichstag Fire Decree that paved the way for his dictatorial power grab. In times of crisis, dictators rise.

The recent crisis has already caused the German economy to face major setbacks. President of the German Federal Bank Jens Weidmann warned in an interview with Der Spiegel that “slipping into a pronounced recession cannot be prevented.”

The fact that many Germans are willing to give up their freedoms in a considerably minor crisis is an ominous sign. The late Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that Europe’s unification and the rise of a European strongman could be the result of a major economic crisis that “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power, larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” (co-worker letter, July 22, 1984).

It’s a rare time in history when the people and media demand stronger government action and are willing to sacrifice their freedoms.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is one European leader who is exploiting this crisis. He drafted an emergency bill that would grant him “sweeping powers to rule by decree,” the Guardian wrote. Under the new law, “Hungary faces a ‘transition to dictatorship,’” the Austrian Kurier warned. The bill is expected to pass in the second hearing.

It is becoming more evident that in crises, people are willing to accept the rise of strongmen. They yearn for unity and leadership.

A prophecy in Revelation 17 says that Europe will unite under one leader, possibly during a time of global crisis. “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 Bible indicates that the people of Europe will willingly accept the rise of this dictator. Revelation 13 describes how this leader will take drastic measures that cut deep into the freedoms of every citizen. No one will be able to buy or sell unless they follow the government’s dictatorial rules.

The coronavirus crisis shows how Europe responds in a crisis. Germany is at the economic heart of Europe. Its changing mood and willingness to accept stronger government action, and its longing for stability and unity, are strong indications that many biblical prophecies are on the verge of being fulfilled.

Order your free copy of A Strong German Leader Is Imminent and read “How the Global Financial Crisis Will Produce Europe’s 10 Kings,” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, to find out how quickly Germany and Europe will change in a prophesied crisis.

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Environmentalism Is the New Paganism

It is easier to confess to a houseplant than to ask God for forgiveness.

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Coronavirus Hastens Lebanon’s Impending Economic Collapse

Lebanese Army soldiers patrol in the market of the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra, south of Beirut, as measures are taken to shut down all shops in a bid to limit the spread of covid-19.
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus Hastens Lebanon’s Impending Economic Collapse

Lebanese government shuts down an already devastated economy amid global fear.

The Lebanese government declared a state of emergency on March 15, putting its economy on virtual lockdown over fears of the Wuhan coronavirus spreading throughout the crowded nation.

The government ordered the closure of most of the nation’s public facilities and private companies. According to Reuters, Lebanon also closed its borders, ports and airport from March 18 to March 29 and told its citizens to stay home except for matters of “extreme necessity.” Police intervened to close down several shops in Beirut, which remained open despite the government’s orders.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are less than 200 confirmed coronavirus cases in Lebanon, a nation with 5.4 million people. Nevertheless, like many nations, Lebanon has been swept along by the current of worldwide fear. The drastic measures being undertaken by Lebanon’s government will only exacerbate its crashing economy.

The Lebanese pound has lost about 40 percent of its value since October. Food imports have been slashed by 30 percent to 40 percent, and industries are struggling to obtain raw materials as prices rise and sales plunge. At least 785 restaurants, cafes and clubs in Lebanon have shut down in the last six months.

More than 220,000 jobs in the private sector have been shed since mid-October, when protests fueled by worsening economic conditions erupted against the political elite,” reported Haaretz.

Many, like Ramzi El Hafez, a private business owner, are calling this “catastrophe” the “heaviest one-shot drop” since the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990). To Lebanon’s citizens, “There is no end in sight.”

“Almost all the work has come to a halt. We’re unable to do anything,” said Mohammed Sukkar, an owner of a contracting company in Lebanon.

According to Ali al-Shareef, head of the Sidon trade association, 120 of Sidon’s 600 shops have closed since October. With the new economic shutdown, Shareef expects the number to more than double in the next few months, resulting in the closure of about half of the city’s shops.

As coronavirus exacerbates Lebanon’s economic crisis, Shareef warned, “We’re headed toward a bigger and bigger collapse.”

Widespread Poverty

While the coronavirus shutdown is hastening Lebanon’s economic collapse, the country was already in a desperate situation before the introduction of the new virus.

According to World Bank statistics, about 27 percent of Lebanese lived below the poverty line in 2011–2012. By 2018, that number reached about a third of Lebanon’s population. On Nov. 6, 2019, World Bank Director Saroj Kumar Jha said that poverty in Lebanon could rise to 50 percent if the economic situation continued to worsen (which it has).

Reuters reported last year that economic growth in Lebanon, which was usually around 1 percent to 2 percent, fell to zero and the national debt reached 150 percent of gross domestic product. Water and power cuts in Lebanon occurred almost daily, sewage and trash were building up in the streets, and new taxes were enforced on messaging apps, such as WhatsApp. The people had finally had enough.

Beginning on Oct. 17, 2019, over a million Lebanese, nearly a fourth of the nation’s population, came out in protest against the poor economic conditions and government corruption, accusing the political elite of exploiting the state’s resources.

While the coronavirus has exacerbated the crisis, the real virus in Lebanon is Hezbollah.

The Iran-backed terrorist group and political wing has a stranglehold on Lebanon’s government. After the nation’s first elections in nearly a decade, Hezbollah won a small majority in the parliament and now controls the government’s Health Ministry and other smaller government offices, which it has used to siphon off government funds to pay for its militiamen and military equipment, to the detriment of the nation’s economy.

Additionally, with the imposition of United States sanctions in the last two years and the inability to determine whether a company is supporting Hezbollah, many private companies are steering clear of investing in Lebanon for fear of suffering secondary sanctions from the U.S.

These two factors combine to make Lebanon’s economy extremely weak. Many of its citizens are beginning to realize this fact and have increasingly come out in protest against Hezbollah.

But despite months of demonstrations that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the dissolution of his cabinet, Hezbollah remains firmly entrenched in the government.

On December 19, Hassan Diab was tasked to form the next government after Hezbollah and its allies nominated him in parliament. “A government like this will be perceived as Hezbollah’s government,” Sami Nader, the director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, told Al Jazeera. “This will isolate Lebanon from donors and expose it to sanctions at a very critical point in time where it badly needs the international community to help deal with the collapse.”

This is exactly what has happened. The Lebanese people are struggling to buy food, water, clothing, and shelter and to simply survive.

As the economy continues to worsen amid the coronavirus-induced nationwide shutdown, deep-seated frustration is brewing throughout the population.

Civil War

Lebanon is practically controlled by Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran. However, we at the Trumpet are watching for a dramatic shift to occur in this region: Lebanon will be peeled from Iran’s grasp.

This could happen by Hezbollah breaking from Iran or it losing power. Given Hezbollah’s current military and political power in the nation, the only way Lebanon could join an anti-Iran alliance is if it had Hezbollah’s support or if it wrested control of southern Lebanon from Hezbollah.

In “Why You Need to Watch Lebanon,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about a coming second Lebanese civil war:

For the past decade, Hezbollah has developed a reputation for being moderate and friendly to the Lebanese by funding schools, hospitals, clinics and other social programs within southern Lebanon. … However, Hezbollah’s contributions to the war in Syria are changing people’s view. …

Hezbollah is losing all credibility in the eyes of the majority of the Lebanese. The division between these two sides is threatening to turn violent.

If Lebanon is to be free from an Iran-influenced Hezbollah, it will need foreign support. The Bible reveals where this support will come from.

A prophecy in Psalm 83 indicates that Lebanon will be removed from Iran’s influence. The prophecy lists several Arab nations that are allied in a sort of anti-Iranian coalition. The Anchor Bible states, “History transmits no record” of these events in Psalm 83. That means that this psalm is a prophecy for the future, not the description of the historical past.

This passage in Psalm 83 seems to acknowledge the separation of Hezbollah from the rest of Lebanon. Among the nations listed in verses 6-8 are Gebal, which refers to the modern nation of Lebanon, and the inhabitants of Tyre, referring to southern Lebanon, home of Hezbollah. According to Psalm 83, both parts are included in this prophetic alliance.

While the Bible does not say exactly how this alliance will be formed, it does tell us where Lebanon will find its foreign support. Verse 8 says, “Assur also is joined with them.” Assur is another biblical name for Assyria.

The cruel, warlike Assyrians are recorded in the Bible living in Mesopotamia beginning in the 16th century b.c. In the sixth century b.c., they migrated to the southern shores of the Black Sea, then up into Scythia, then across into Central and Western Europe by about the third century b.c. When the Romans encountered them around this time, they referred to them as Germani, meaning “war men.” Thus, the ancient, warlike Assyrians became the people of the modern-day nation of Germany.

This prophecy in Psalm 83 says that Lebanon will soon align itself with Germany.

After the U.S., Germany is the second-largest financial supporter of Lebanon. However, the U.S. wants to pass on its responsibility in the region. On January 8, the U.S. called on nato, which is primarily made up of European Union countries, including Germany, to take over the Middle East. Since then, we have seen a sharp rise in German activity in the Middle East, from supporting an anti-Iran naval mission to training Saudi military forces to hosting a diplomatic conference to resolve the Libyan civil war. America is on the way out, and a German superpower is emerging to take its place.

“Continue to watch as Lebanon descends into another civil war,” Mr. Flurry wrote, and “watch to see whether [Germany] decides to send its soldiers into Lebanon.” With economic collapse staring the nation in the face and growing frustrations leading to civil war, Lebanon will soon experience a dramatic change.

For more information, read “Why You Need to Watch Lebanon,” by Mr. Flurry.

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Will Coronavirus Kill the Global Economy?

Liverpool Street railway station quiet, and almost deserted despite it being East End markets day when it is normally very busy on 22nd March 2020 in London, England, United Kingdom.
Getty Images

Will Coronavirus Kill the Global Economy?

The final death toll of coronavirus is unknown. But it’s already clear it will have a massive economic toll.

The globe has essentially shut down. Travel has ceased. Restaurants, cinemas, amusement parks—anywhere people gather in public—are closed. Retail sales are plummeting as no one ventures out.

With no money coming in, firms are at risk of going bust. Millions of people could soon be unemployed.

Into the breach steps government. Every major government has unveiled a massive spending plan. Right now, the United States government is working on a $2 trillion spending package. The United Kingdom has unveiled a $413 billion plan. That’s over 40 percent of typical annual government spending—all poured out on just one crisis.

This response could make a real difference in people’s lives and stop a lot of the immediate economic pain this virus could cause. But it could also fatally damage our economies, preparing the way for a future collapse.

Government, Help Us!

In past crises, people looked to their own resources. It wouldn’t have even occurred to Britons or Americans 100 years ago to expect the government to save them.

But now we’re used to the government taking care of us. They pay us when we’re unemployed, provide our health care, and bail out banks to keep the economy afloat.

In return, we pay heavy taxes. In the United Kingdom, over 40 percent of the national income goes to taxation. In the United States, it’s 30 percent. All that taxation makes it hard to save up for a rainy day—and makes us feel entitled to government handouts when our livelihoods are threatened.

In many cases governments are the ones forcing people to stay home. If the governments are destroying our livelihoods, it seems only fair that they help rebuild them.

The trouble is, our governments—even with their colossal levels of income—cannot afford to provide those handouts.

To survive the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S., UK and many other governments borrowed heavily. Prior to that, America’s national debt was 65 percent of its annual economic output. By 2011, it had jumped to 95 percent as it buoyed its economy by borrowing at the fastest rate since World War ii. Since then, instead of paying the debt off, America has continued to borrow. U.S. debt is now about 105 percent of its gross domestic product.

Harvard economics professors Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have concluded that any debt above 90 percent of annual economic output is dangerous.

The unprecedented response to the 2008 crisis broke more than the budget. It also broke a major taboo. Major government intervention became expected in any economic crisis. Imagine the public outcry if, when the coronavirus crisis hit, the government refused to help: You spent trillions bailing out the banks, what about ordinary Americans? You’ll help rich bankers, but not us?! With its extravagant response in 2008, the government effectively committed itself to similar measures in any subsequent crisis.

And that is exactly what it is doing in response to the coronavirus. America’s $2.2 trillion bailout package will have to be financed by debt; it alone will add another 10.5 percent to the national debt. By the time this ends, the U.S. will have taken a giant leap toward equaling its highest-ever level of debt: 121.7 percent, reached during World War ii.

The U.S. is talking about giving $1,000 a month to every adult. Japan is considering a smaller amount of $100 per citizen.

But borrowing will not be enough to meet these crises. If America borrows too much, creditors could become worried about the government’s ability to repay the debt. That fear could destroy the economy. So the government is looking at another source of income: the printing press.

Printing to the Rescue

The 2008 financial crisis began a great experiment with a new tool for central banks: quantitative easing. With this tool, central banks create money from nothing.

There is, rightly, a huge taboo on governments printing money and spending it. This type of money printing can be catastrophic, leading to hyperinflation that renders a currency basically worthless.

So central banks trod carefully on their quantitative easing experiment. They didn’t hand the newly created money directly to the government; instead, it bought government debt and other assets from banks. And central banks pledged to “wind down” this printing in the future: to sell the government bonds they had bought and then destroy the money they had created.

Twelve years later, it looks like the quantitative easing experiment worked. The extra money kept the financial system going. The central banks bought up government debt and kept interest rates on that debt at record lows, enabling governments to spend record amounts. But most central banks have destroyed only a fraction of the new money they had created. Yet the sky hasn’t fallen in. You don’t have to bring your money in a wheelbarrow to buy a loaf of bread.

So in reaction to the coronavirus, central banks are running the printing presses faster than ever.

The U.S. Federal Reserve announced today unlimited quantitative easing. After the 2008 crisis, the Fed has never done anything like this; instead, it announced quantitative easing within a huge, though specified, limit. The first round, from December 2008 to March 2010, for example, was capped at $1.5 trillion.

Previously the Fed also announced that it would inject $1.5 trillion into the repo market, essentially where banks go to get cash. “It is effectively underwriting U.S. Treasury bonds and ‘printing’ money for direct fiscal measures,” wrote the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. The Bank of England also announced $236 billion in quantitative easing.

The central banks may also drop many more of the restrictions that were placed on quantitative easing in 2008. The thinking is: It worked, they got away with it, and so less caution is required this time.

Even right-wing economists are now talking about “helicopter money”—creating money using quantitative easing and more or less raining it down from the sky on ordinary citizens. We created money and gave it to the banks in 2008, the thinking goes, so why not create the money and give it to ordinary people?

“[W]e are certainly going to see some form of ‘helicopter money,’ the mechanism by which the state, via the central bank, simply prints money and hands it out to people,” wrote finance journalist Matthew Lynn in the Spectator.

According to the Telegraph, Neil MacKinnon of vtb Capital said the “next logical step in the chain of unconventional monetary policy is helicopter money, and that is a direct liquidity injection into the heart of the real economy.”

These are just two of a great number of similar statements. Helicopter money used to be a fringe idea, something only crazies or socialists talked about. Now, your freshly printed money may reach you before our next Trumpet issue does.

Embracing Socialism

The response to coronavirus has led even people on the right to embrace socialism. “Boris Must Embrace Socialism Immediately to Save the Liberal Free Market,” blared a headline in the usually right-wing Telegraph. “Coronavirus Panic Buying Is Turning Tories Into Socialists,” declared the Spectator.

On March 20, the British government unveiled a radical new program that turns most Brits into government employees. If people are unable to work due to coronavirus, the government will pay 80 percent of their wages—up to a cap of £2,500 (us$2,900) a month.

In making this commitment, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak admitted that he had no idea what it would cost. “It is the most extensive intervention in the economy ever made by a supposedly free-market government anywhere in the world,” wrote the Spectator. “In effect, we will all soon be working for the government.”

The massive increase in spending globally is pushing all countries in the direction of socialism. Companies of all sizes are banging on the U.S. government’s door asking for a bailout. Government money could soon be flowing into more sectors of the U.S. economy than ever before.

The trouble is, it’s very hard to reverse on the road to socialism. With each new government intervention, voters expect more from their governments the next time. Once they receive handouts, they expect to keep receiving them. Anyone who tries to roll back the clock is taking something of theirs away. And once a government takes power over something, the bureaucracy and politicians are very reluctant to give it back.

“When the UK economy last went onto a war footing in 1939, we didn’t really shake it off until Mrs. Thatcher’s reforms of the 1980s,” wrote the Spectator. “It might take just as long this time. [I]t is a huge gamble—and it will be easier to start this rescue than to stop it.”

Even if we succeed and take a step back from socialism, what happens when the next crisis hits? The 2008 crisis broke taboos, but 2020 has smashed them beyond all repair. Once again, there will be massive borrowing. Once again, the printing presses will be fired up—with even fewer rules than before. How long before government finances, the currency and our whole economic system collapses entirely?

We’re not just on the road to socialism, but to economic ruin.

Preparing for Armageddon

This unprecedented response may stave off an immediate crisis, as it did in 2008, but what next? We never managed to pay off the debt or destroy the newly created money from that crisis. We may stave off the crisis for now, but we are setting ourselves up for catastrophe.

Britain, America and our whole financial system are in a tough position. Refusing to take these kinds of measures would mean a lot of immediate pain for a lot of people. But adopting them simply pushes the pain into the future, and guarantees that when it hits, it will be worse.

The problem isn’t the bailout. This isn’t about one bad decision destroying everything. It’s the whole system. We have built an entire economic system on a foundation of debt. The government manages the economy by encouraging people to borrow. When a crisis hits, it lowers interest rates, so people borrow more and spend more. With little savings, people cannot look after themselves in times of crisis and have to turn to the government. But the government can’t help without borrowing more. It’s a cycle that builds up more and more debt.

In the long run, it is unsustainable. Step by step, choice by choice, we are creating conditions that are guaranteed to produce an unprecedented, world-altering crash.

This is a crash we have warned about for years. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in 1984 that a banking collapse in the United States would have major consequences abroad, as well as at home. It “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power, larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.,” he wrote (co-worker letter, July 22, 1984).

The book of Revelation prophesies of a sudden revival of a power in Europe that is hostile to the U.S. Revelation 18 describes the vast wealth its merchants acquire as they take over the global trading system. The implosion of America’s financial system could easily usher in this economic revolution.

The Bible also confirms that our financial practices are unstainable. Psalm 37:21 says, “The wicked borrows, and cannot pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives” (Revised Standard Version). Borrowing money like this is “wicked” behavior—and it never ends well.

A New System

The Bible also forecasts a real solution. It’s not just a tweaking of interest rates or a different way of printing money. The smartest men in finance have been unable to devise a working solution within our current system. We need an entirely new system. Soon, God will establish a fair, stable, prosperous financial system on Earth.

Micah 4:4 prophesies of this future: “[T]hey shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” There will be universal property ownership—not communism, nor indebted mortgage payers. God talks about the ground producing so many crops they cannot be gathered fast enough (Amos 9:13). Jeremiah 31:12 paints a picture of this prosperity: “Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.”

3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” God wants the world to have prosperity, and He has a plan to provide it.

The coming financial crisis will help bring us to the point where we are willing to listen to what God says on finance and much more—where we’ll finally be willing to choose the way that leads to prosperity.

Request our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, by Herbert W. Armstrong. It is filled with scriptures to help you build this hope for a better world on a sure biblical foundation. In a world full of financial miseries and other suffering, this hope is essential for everyone.

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Surging Suicide Rate Among Young Americans

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Surging Suicide Rate Among Young Americans

Prior to 2007, the suicide rate among young Americans had been declining for two decades. But between 2007 and 2017, suicides among 10-to-24-year-olds jumped 56 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the same time period, teen depression spiked 63 percent. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among young Americans.

These tragic statistics should be a clarion call to action, yet nothing has changed. Every year the latest statistics come out, the numbers are worse than ever. Why?

Reporting on these statistics, the New York Times ignores the cause behind these surging numbers and focuses on treating the effect, writing, “We know that various psychotherapies and medication are highly effective in treating depression.” This is why the suicide rate continues to rise. Instead of trying to find the cause for these tragedies, they wait until a child exhibits mental health problems and then they treat them with psychotherapies and medication. If this is as effective as they claim, then why are we still losing so many young Americans to suicide every year?

The New York Times asks this exact question. “How is it possible that so many of our young people are suffering from depression and killing themselves when we know perfectly well how to treat this illness?” And the solution it gives is more education, more funding, more resources and greater awareness. But mental health awareness and acceptance has never been more widespread.

How much more money do we need to throw into this before the scholars admit that they do not have the solution? Every day in America, 16 young people die from suicide. Worldwide, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. How many more lives will be lost unnecessarily before we admit that we do not have the answer?

Trumpet contributor Dennis Leap wrote in his 2013 article “The Truth About Suicide”:

Pouring money into suicide education and prevention programs will not stop this tragedy. Expensive prevention programs have not stopped alcoholism, drug abuse, child abuse, crime, illiteracy, poverty, spousal abuse or violence. Even with our intellectual and creative abilities, we have proved incapable of solving our really tough problems. We need the truth.

This is the great paradox that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about in the introduction to his book Mystery of the Ages. The 20th century witnessed incredible advancement, yet simultaneously it saw a dramatic rise in world evils and conditions. That has continued in this 21st century. “Why cannot the minds that develop spacecraft, computers and marvels of science, technology and industry solve the problems that demonstrate human helplessness?” Mr. Armstrong asked. “The modern scientific concept denies the invisible and the spiritual as having existence. Yet all our seemingly unsolvable problems and the evils in this world are spiritual in nature.”

The same is true of suicide.

Mr. Leap wrote, “The truth is this: Suicide is a spiritual problem. To eradicate suicide, we must confront it spiritually.”

Why do people become depressed and suicidal? Because they have no hope. True and lasting hope can only come from the great Creator God. And the Bible is full of passages that can fill us with this hope and get us through any trial or tragedy.

In The Incredible Human Potential, Mr. Armstrong wrote that the most necessary of all knowledge is “the knowledge of what man is; the knowledge of why he is—the purpose for which humanity was put on Earth; the knowledge of the way to achieve that purpose—of the way to world peace, peace between individuals, groups and nations; the knowledge of the cause of all the world’s troubles and evils; the knowledge of the solution to all these problems; the knowledge of the true values—what is important and what is worthless. That is the missing dimension in knowledge.”

If people knew the truth about their incredible human potential, such horrific self-harm, mental illness and suicide rates would not exist. We cannot ignore the rising numbers. But there is hope and a way out of the void.

In Romans 8:18, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Paul suffered incredibly. He was persecuted, imprisoned, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, beaten, left for the wild beasts, among other things. Yet he believed that despite all this suffering, it was nothing compared to what God was offering him. How was he filled with so much hope? Because he had a clear vision of his incredible human potential.

“When we know God’s purpose for us, we become willing to work through anything life throws at us,” Mr. Leap wrote,

So what is God preparing for man?

In Psalm 8, King David asked, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” God gives the astounding answer in Hebrews 2:7-8: “Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his [man’s] feet. For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he [God] left nothing that is not put under him [man]. But now we see not yet all things put under him.”

Here God says all things, nothing excluded, will be put under man’s feet in the world to come. The Moffatt Bible translates “all things” as “the universe”!

Man’s destiny is to inherit the universe!

Romans 8 reveals even more about our potential. Verse 29 says that Christ is “the firstborn among many brethren.” Christ is only the first to be born into the Family of God, which means there are more to come. God is offering you a place in His Family!

Other verses in Romans 8 verify this: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. … The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (verses 14, 16-18).

Continuing verses 19-23 in the Revised Standard Version:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation [all the suns, planets, stars, moons] was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves [we Spirit-begotten humans], who have the first fruits of the Spirit [the very few now being called to salvation—the ‘firstfruits’], groan inwardly as we wait for [the birth] as sons ….

Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Incredible Human Potential:

Put together all these scriptures … and you begin to grasp the incredible human potential. Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe! What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this Earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity! Revelation 21 and 22 show there will then be no pain, no suffering, no evil, because we shall have learned to choose God’s way of good. It will be an eternal life of accomplishment, constantly looking forward in super-joyous anticipation to new creative projects, and still looking back also on accomplishments with happiness and joy over what shall have been already accomplished. We shall never grow tired and weary. Always alive—full of joyous energy, vitality, exuberant life and strength and power! What a potential!

Understanding this potential shows us why suicide is so evil.

Knowing your incredible potential should fill your life with meaning, happiness and hope. This is the way to finding the strength to get through life’s tough times. There is so much to look forward to. To learn more about your future, read Mr. Armstrong’s free book The Incredible Human Potential.