‘Nationalist Fever’ Amplifies Calls for Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

Armed police officers and soldiers training in Chongzuo city, China.
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‘Nationalist Fever’ Amplifies Calls for Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

However, China is urging patience—and playing the long game.

Nationalist sentiment is rising in China. Social media commentator and retired military commanders are urging Beijing to reunify Taiwan with mainland China—by force if need be. According to the South China Morning Post, the sentiments is to strike while the iron is hot, taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by invading Taiwan.

The main argument is that now is the best time because the United States Navy is incapacitated. While America maintains a sizable presence in the Pacific, it is currently unable to exert any of its usual influence because all four of its deployed aircraft carriers have been affected by coronavirus.

Beihang University associate professor Tian Feilong is calling for the government to use force to gain control over Taiwan, arguing that the “one country, two systems model” has failed. These sentiments are echoed by several voices across social media, arguing that now is the time to bring about reunification.

Jin Canron, professor at Renmin University, said that he now believes that perhaps “the goal of the unification would be achieved ahead of” the 2050 mark given by President Xi Jinping. Chinese scholar Sima Nan wrote on Weibo, commonly referred to as the Chinese Twitter, “Our preparation work is more solid and more detailed than before. The U.S. side’s Taiwan separatists are asking for a military unification.”

The entire topic of forcefully seizing Taiwan has attracted about 750 million views on Chinese social media, according to the Times. After advocating for such an approach, one civilian account on Weibo gained over half a million followers.

One China

After the Chinese Communists won the civil war in 1949, they drove the opposing nationalists off the mainland to the island of Taiwan. The remaining Communists proclaimed the new country the People’s Republic of China, while the nationalists established Taiwan.

They both recognize that they are one people and are all Chinese. But they have separately run governments, ergo “one country, two systems.”

The People’s Republic of China, however, has the larger population, the greater economy and the vastly superior military force. It is no surprise, then, that the Chinese people appear to be clamoring for an invasion of Taiwan, and they recognize that China would be able to dispatch the Taiwanese forces quickly if it so wished.

But Beijing has argued through state media that while reunification with Taiwan is desired, now is not the right time. Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the state-run Global Times, wrote that it would be easy for China to conquer Taiwan, but not while America is still in the picture. Retired Maj. Gen. Qiao Liang warned that it would be “too costly and risky” because China would not be able to match the U.S. economically or militarily were it to decide to retaliate.

Indeed, America’s support of Taiwan over the last six decades is the main reason China hasn’t invaded the island already.

Official U.S. policy is that any use of “force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan” would require the U.S. to “make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain a sufficient self-defense capability.”

Presently, the U.S. is militarily and economically superior to China. Its backing of Taiwan makes the failure of a Chinese invasion a near certainty. Therefore, China is playing the long game, which seems to mean slowly but surely reducing those deficits to the United States. As Xijin argued, it would only be possible for China to take over Taiwan once it was the dominant naval power in the Pacific and had overtaken America as the world’s strongest economy.

Closing the Gap

On the economic front, China has been threatening to sell U.S. debt bonds, which would seriously jeopardize the U.S. dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency. Such an action “could trigger a crash in the U.S. dollar and financial markets by flooding the market with U.S. treasuries for sale, which would push down U.S. bond prices and cause yields to spike,” wrote the South China Morning Post.

In addition, China’s diligent nuclear strategy seems to be putting it on a path to ultimately overtake the U.S. and neutralize any advantage it currently holds. Paul Bracken wrote for the Hill:

China was “born” into a threatening nuclear world that it didn’t control. Beijing had to play in the nuclear big leagues with two superpowers when China was neither nuclear nor a superpower. It had no technology to deal with its immediate enemy, the United States. …

In the 1958 Taiwan crisis, China had to back down in the face of U.S. threats. [Today] China no longer is a rising power with around 20 icbms, a minimum deterrent. The days of looking at it as a “simple” missile exchange are long gone.

Over recent years, China’s military has developed, not necessarily to match America’s, but to neutralize it. Beijing is working to develop weapons that nullify America’s big guns, the means to disable all satellites and communications, and the will to challenge America on the global stage.

According to Christian Brose, former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, America is no longer as far ahead of China as it once was. And as China continues to work toward closing the gap, any confrontation between the two could potentially see U.S. forces essentially “rendered deaf, dumb and blind.”

While China is still unable to do this for now, its willful intent is clear for all to see. In recent months, it has been conducting more and more overt military drills near Taiwan, conducting illegal nuclear weapons tests, and making military advances in Southeast Asia under the cover of coronavirus.

China wants to reclaim Taiwan. For years, we have written at the Trumpet that it will do so. And while the nationalist fervor building in China shows increasing public support for the government’s ambition, Beijing’s cool response shows that it has a meticulous strategy to bring this about.

As China builds up its power, it is prophesied that America will be unable to use its own. God warned the nations of Israel—primarily the U.S. and Britain, today (for proof, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy)—that if they disobeyed His commandments, He would break the pride of their power (Leviticus 26:19). Historically an ally of Taiwan, the U.S. will not be able to defend it from China when it decides to launch that invasion.

In his 1998 article “Taiwan Betrayal,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “How could anyone fail to see that Taiwan is destined to become a part of mainland China?” This population of nearly 24 million people will “be forced into the Chinese mold; and it is going to happen for one reason: because of a pitifully weak-willed America.”

To fully understand what China is doing, and what the Bible has to say about it, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Taiwan Betrayal” and request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.

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No Substitute for Victory

General MacArthur returns to the Philippines.
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No Substitute for Victory

Sunday was commencement here at Herbert W. Armstrong College. Hundreds of people (socially distanced in every other row) came to Armstrong Auditorium to celebrate the achievements and the futures of 23 sophomores and 23 seniors. I was privileged to give the commencement address.

Today I thought I’d share with you what I shared with them: the material that makes a Christian soldier.

Douglas MacArthur was one of America’s greatest soldiers. How did he become great, and what can we learn from him?

As a young boy, MacArthur dreamed of following in the steps of his famous father, an army captain who won the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Civil War. His mother told him, “You must grow up to be a great man—like your father and Robert E. Lee.” When Douglas was 13, he overheard his father say to her, “I think there is the material of a soldier in that boy.” He never forgot that remark. William Manchester wrote, “No adolescent rebellion for him; all his life he would seek to be a man-at-arms in whom his father could have exulted.”

Douglas excelled at sports and academics, but when he graduated high school in 1897, he was denied entry to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He did not receive the presidential appointment he needed, and he also failed his preliminary physical examination due to curvature of the spine. But there was indeed material of a soldier in this young man: He moved with his mother to a district in Wisconsin where they knew the congressman and immediately set out to correct the spinal defect with the help of a specialist, whom he worked with an entire year! He was determined not to be denied West Point in 1899. The doctor said of him, “He was one of the quickest fellows to obey orders I have ever treated. He was tremendously interested in anatomy, biology, physiology and everything that concerned health and medical science.”

Meanwhile, Douglas also worked with his mother as well as a tutor to prepare for a contest in his congressional district, walking two miles every day to study. He said he never worked harder in his life. The night before the contest he had trouble sleeping. His mother told him that day: “Doug, you’ll win if you don’t lose your nerve. You must believe in yourself.”

When the results were announced, placing first—by far—out of the 13 applicants was Douglas MacArthur. “It was a lesson I never forgot,” he said. “Preparedness is the key to success and victory.” He was going to West Point—because he had absolutely out-worked the competition!

At West Point too, he outworked the competition, enduring hazing, meeting the rigors of his training, making the baseball team, rising from corporal to first sergeant to first captain, and graduating with one of the highest academic scores in the history of the institution.

But this was just his training. His graduation in 1903 marked the commencement of his life’s mission and work. He was then where our graduates are now. They have trained not just in academics, but in all the major aspects of personality, “whole man” training, like at West Point. But unlike West Point, they have trained to wage spiritual war. They have trained to seek and destroy the real enemy.

After graduation, MacArthur put his training into actual action: the Corps of Engineers, Office of the Chief of Staff, combat in Veracruz, first lieutenant, captain, major, brigadier general, the trenches of the Western Front, gassing, a Distinguished Service Medal, a Croixe de Guerre, Wound Chevrons, Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Silver Stars.

This is how MacArthur spent his years after college. Then after the Great War was over, it was superintendency of West Point, commands in the Philippines and stateside, Army chief of staff, major general, field marshal, even the presidency of the American Olympic Committee. In several of his posts, he was the youngest man ever to be appointed.

This is all before what he is most famous for: command of United States Army Forces in the Far East during World War ii.

Early on in the war, after a humiliating defeat in the Philippines, MacArthur made a daring escape to Australia. Before his escape, he famously vowed, “I shall return.”

Three years later, he returned triumphantly to liberate the Philippines and lead the Allies to victory. MacArthur presided over Japan’s surrender in 1945 and its reconstruction to a peaceful state.

At the start of the Korean War in 1950, the 70-year-old commander was chosen to lead coalition forces against the Communist-backed incursion on the Korean peninsula. MacArthur pushed for bold, aggressive action in order to stop the spread of communism.

In Washington, President Harry Truman favored a much more limited war. This led to an epic clash between the commander in chief and America’s most decorated and beloved five-star general. Truman removed MacArthur from his command, but the larger-than-life general still returned home to a hero’s welcome.

Douglas MacArthur’s farewell address is truly one of the great orations in American history. His entire life—52 years of it serving his country in uniform—had been a preparation for this singular moment. As MacArthur spoke before the assembled Congress on April 19, 1951, an enthralled nation listened to his words with unconcealed emotion. Americans everywhere were gripped by the power, soundness and sincerity of his words.

During his address, MacArthur said that he had been accused of being a warmonger, which was not true at all. MacArthur hated war. Nothing, he said, is more revolting than war.

“But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision,” he said.

One of the great lessons in warfare, he said, is that appeasement begets new and bloodier war. And he uttered this unforgettable statement: “In war there is no substitute for victory.”

We are all in a spiritual war, against Satan, society and even sin inside ourselves.

There is no substitute for victory.

The Bible describes our present world as evil (Galatians 1:4). It says the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9) and that its god is actually Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). Ephesians 2:2 identifies him as “the prince of the power of the air.” He broadcasts into minds his propaganda: selfishness, vengefulness, impulsiveness, recklessness, negativity, deception, violence.

People have no realization of the tremendous power of this enemy! He seeks whom he may destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is the reason this world is the way it is. He is the reason this world is saturated in sin and suffering from all forms of physical and spiritual disease.

He is the real enemy.

God absolutely hates war. He is certainly not a warmonger. But in this present evil world, with Satan as its god, spiritual war is absolutely necessary! This is why the Bible describes true Christians as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:3). We are God’s army. Our Commander in Chief orders us to put on the whole armor of God, fight the good fight of faith, war a good warfare, conquer the adversary, forsake the ways of this world, crucify our carnal natures and destroy the body of sin (see Ephesians 6; 1 Timothy 6:12; 1:18; Romans 6:6).

This is the language of the New Testament! Christianity in today’s world is war. God has drafted our graduates and all true Christians to be good soldiers. And in this spiritual war, there is no substitute for victory.

Our graduates have a crucial post in this good fight. God has equipped them with all the instructions and training they need to be victorious in the battles ahead. He will lead them and will lead you to victory, if you trust not in yourself but in Him. You will conquer if you follow His command.

During that historic farewell address, MacArthur referred back to comments he had made in 1945, following the Japanese surrender on the battleship Missouri:

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. … Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our “Armageddon” will be at our door.

What a spiritual perspective! He never learned the depth of the Bible, as Armstrong “cadets” do, but he read from his Bible every day! He dealt with the problems, the welfare, the lives of hundreds, thousands, millions. He knew that there was something that human beings have to address that goes far beyond economics or politics or traditions or even religions. Although he didn’t really understand it, he glimpsed the spiritual war. He understood that unless the dangerous trend of world events was reversed, human civilization was headed for catastrophe!

The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all the material and cultural developments of the past 2,000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

Listen to one of America’s greatest warriors! We must change our very natures. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

He said we must devise a better system. Yet nearly 6,000 years of evidence all proves that we are totally incapable of effecting this necessary change in human nature.

This reality underscores the tremendous importance of God’s college in fulfilling God’s purpose!

Students here learn Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” They learn not to try to devise solutions themselves. They learn that the premise of modern education, that human nature is fundamentally sensible and good, is wrong.

True education is learning to see human nature for what it really is, irrecoverably weakened, compromised and infiltrated by the enemy! We must realize that our very nature is evil, or we will never solve our many problems.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (verses 7-8).

Those who trust in God bear fruit. They are like growing trees planted by the waters.

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:53). Victory, strength, success, purity comes from God alone. Immortality comes from God alone. Only He can change our vile, corruptible nature!

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (verse 54).

Wars fought by MacArthur and the other warriors of the ages have consumed innumerable lives. But when you understand true education, you understand that even death is not the final chapter in a person’s life. The unfolding drama in God’s plan actually ends not in death but in victory.

“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,” MacArthur quoted in his speech. Millions of his fellow Americans fought back tears as he said that he had tried to fulfill his duty before God.

God’s soldiers will never die. They won’t even fade away!

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (verses 55-57).

The strategy for defeating sin is not attempting to do away with God’s perfect law. The right strategy is to admit our weakness and evil, embrace that law, repent of our sins and go forward with God’s help to keep the law. That is the very definition of victory over sin.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (verse 58).

Be you steadfast, unmovable. What an encouraging conclusion! It is possible for true Christian soldiers to be rock solid! It is possible for us to always abound in the work of the Lord. That is clearly evident at God’s West Point. Herbert W. Armstrong College students who trust in God and war against sin abound in their experiences at Armstrong College: classes, work, service, social events, dating, friendship. And the key to it is abounding in the work of God, being profitable servants. A man who serves God will not rest on his past laurels.

Abounding in God’s work is the very reason the college exists!

Remember: To be a good soldier, there is no substitute for thorough preparation and disciplined training. And on the battlefield, never forget, there is no substitute for victory. War’s very object is victory. That is our goal. That’s the destination. However long, difficult, bumpy or narrow the campaign may be, the only option is victory. Victory at all costs! For without victory, as Winton Churchill said, there is no survival.

To the courageous class of 2020, and to all true Christians now on deployment: Onward to victory.

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Are Germany’s Nazi Crimes Exaggerated?

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Are Germany’s Nazi Crimes Exaggerated?

Similar sentiments to those in the 1930s are rising in Germany.

Germany commemorates the victims of the Nazi era in national memorials, museums, days of remembrance and various other ways. The government’s efforts are meant to help people remember their history and prevent them from repeating it. Many of the citizens eligible to vote find it appropriate how Germany deals with its past, according to a recent survey by the polling institute Civey, on behalf of T-online.de. But one third of Germans feel their country’s dealing with Nazi crimes is “exaggerated.”

“Under Adolf Hitler, National Socialism was a criminal regime in whose name numerous crimes were committed between 1933 and 1945,” T-online commented. “Millions of Jews were disenfranchised and murdered, Sinti and Roma, like numerous other groups, suffered from the racial madness of the Nazis.” Participants of the survey were asked how they “assess Germany’s dealings with crimes during the Nazi era today?”

Over the decades, German leaders have been hard-pressed to appropriately address the nation’s past crimes. How can the murder of millions of people, the greatest calamity in recent history, be appropriately condemned and remembered?

According to the Civey survey, 24.8 percent of Germans consider its efforts “inadequate,” believing Germany needs to do more; 38.2 percent see them as “appropriate.” But 33.5 percent believe that Germany’s dealing with Nazi crimes is “exaggerated.”

Among those who feel Germany exaggerates its commemoration of Nazi crimes are many supporters of the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). AfD supporters reject the German commemorative culture with an overwhelming majority of 74 percent. Also, many supporters of the Free Democrats (42 percent) and the Union (33 percent) consider the crimes to be exaggerated.

One of the AfD’s most influential leaders, Björn Höcke, caused a stir in January 2017 when he told a cheering crowd that Germany should be proud of its history and make a “180-degree reversal on the politics of remembrance.” “German history is handled as rotten and made to look ridiculous,” he said, lamenting that Germans are “the only people in the world to plant a monument of shame in the heart of its capital.” The crowd responded enthusiastically, shouting: “Deutschland! Deutschland!”

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler also expressed great dissatisfaction with how newspapers, the government and the educational system at the time spoke about German history. He lamented that its past was often portrayed as shameful and that its glorious achievements weren’t portrayed as they should have been. Many people at the time agreed with him.

Prior to World War ii, Germans grew to hate the way their history was being portrayed.

“How often have we heard that history repeats itself?” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry asked in “The Law of History.” “It does—time and time again. If we live the same lifestyles our forefathers did, we will attain virtually the same result—good or bad. History becomes prophecy. History prophesies the fate of nations, whether they will thrive or collapse! This is ‘a law of history.’ It is not about luck or happenstance. It is a law of history. If we break that law, the law breaks us!”

What does that mean for Germany’s future?

Many Germans today no longer want to focus on the failures of Germany’s past but rather focus on its positive achievements. But history warns that unless the nation truly learns from its past, it will repeat the same mistakes.

Our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire explains in detail many signs that Germany has not repented of its past. Mr. Flurry explained in “A Law of History”:

Most people in the 1930s were almost totally unaware of Adolf Hitler’s grand design. That is because they were ignorant of Hitler’s own history. He had laid out his master plan in his book, Mein Kampf.

Around 50 million people were killed in World War ii. How many lives could have been saved if we had read and heeded Mein Kampf and then used our power to stop Hitler before he could do so much damage?

The Bible sounds the alarm that history will repeat itself. Revelation 17:8 reads: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Using the symbol of a beast to represent an empire, the book of Revelation warns that a power more dreadful than Hitler’s Third Reich will rise. This prophecy is thoroughly explained in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire. Request your free copy to learn more about the Bible’s astonishing forecast and hope that follows.

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Tidings of a Russian Spy Scandal Trouble Germany

The website of the German Bundestag, with pictures of delegates displayed
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

Tidings of a Russian Spy Scandal Trouble Germany

German-Russian relations are marked by ups and downs. How will they end?

In 2015, a hacker paralyzed the German Bundestag for several days. Subsequent investigations identified the primary alleged culprit as a Russian agent named Dimitri Badin. According to information obtained by Spiegel Online, Badin works for the Russian military secret service gru. This highlights an important point: Germany and Russia are partners when they need each other, but signs indicate this relationship of convenience will be short-lived.

Information technology experts from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and German intelligence authorities “have gathered evidence showing that the attack was carried out by the hacker collective apt28, also known as Fancy Bear, working for the gru,” the Guardian explained.

In addition to paralyzing the Bundestag’s IT systems, the attackers were able to access the parliament’s e-mails, which were apparently sent by the United Nations.

IT experts estimate that 16 gigabytes of data were captured from the Bundestag in the attack, affecting computers from the Left Party and that of parliamentary members from the Social Democratic Party and the Christian Democratic Union, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office.

It is believed the attack was used to acquire sensitive data to destabilize the political system during the 2017 German federal election.

On May 13 of this year, during a Bundestag session, Ms. Merkel referred to the results of the attorney general’s investigation as “hard evidence” for Russian participation, and spoke of an “outrageous” process, adding that the hackers harmed efforts to build a trusting relationship with Moscow.

“The chancellor emphasized that she wanted to continue to strive for a good relationship with Russia,” Spiegel Online noted, but “a ‘trustful cooperation’ would be disturbed” (Trumpet translation throughout).

“I take it very seriously,” Ms. Merkel said. “I may very honestly say it pains me. On the one hand, I make an effort on a daily basis to have a better relationship with Russia. But when you see, on the other hand, that there is hard evidence that Russian powers are behaving in that way, then of course it’s an area of tension … that remains inside me. That is unpleasant.”

Though Moscow denied the allegations, Chancellor Merkel promised that Germany would closely observe Russia’s strategy of “hybrid warfare.”

Last summer, a former Chechen insurgent was murdered in Berlin’s Tiergarten park, with strong indications pointing to contract killing ordered by the Russian state. The recent revelations about the 2015 hacker have further strained Russia and Germany’s relationship.

Despite ongoing sanctions against Russia due to the conflict over Ukraine, Germany and Russia have continued their cooperation on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. This project is characteristic of their relationship.

Nord Stream 2 is planned to increase Russia’s direct gas supply to Germany through the Baltic Sea. The United States House of Representatives passed a defense bill last November that includes sanctions against the pipeline.

The U.S. claims that Germany will become increasingly dependent on Russia through the pipeline. What’s more, the U.S. fears that the project puts Ukraine’s security at risk and increases Russia’s leverage over Eastern Europe.

Germany brushed the allegations aside and continued the project. The recent revelations, however, show that Germany indeed needs to be wary against dependence on Russia.

Both Germany and Russia are rising as global powers on the European continent. They need each other to further their economic growth, but they are also fighting over resources, influence and partnerships in Eastern Europe.

Historically, Germany and Russia often cooperate in times of peace. But their history is predominately one of rivalry, with each side always seeking its own advantage. Both have sought dominance over Europe and even the world. The Bible reveals that Germany will win that race for dominance.

The book of Daniel contains prophecy for the “latter days” (Daniel 10:14). As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in his free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation, the Prophet Daniel wrote about a future German-led European empire, known as “the king of the north.”

Daniel 11 prophesies that this empire will extend its reach to the Middle East. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). These “tidings out of the east” are referring to a great eastern power bloc, with Russia at the head and China in a secondary position. Mr. Flurry writes in Daniel Unlocks Revelation:

There is some real tension between Russia and Germany over Ukraine. Its all about the eastern leg of the Holy Roman Empire taking shape.

The Russians understand the German mind much better than our nations do and they are becoming fearful of the EU. They see danger on the horizon.

They are holding back now because of their dependence on German money and business.

That tension will continue to build until Daniel 11:44 is fulfilled—when tidings from the northeast will trouble the EU, or the king of the north. Then, seeing Russia and China getting ready to attack, it will strike first.

We are already seeing the tensions between Russia and Germany building, just as the Bible prophesies. But this is just the beginning (Matthew 24:8-13). The books of Daniel and Matthew prophesy that today’s tension will lead into a calamity that will impact the entire world (see Matthew 24). The Bible’s prophecies stand sure. Request your free copy of Daniel Unlocks Revelation to learn where today’s events are leading and what hope the Bible gives in the midst of them.

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The Coronavirus Crisis Reveals Kurz’s ‘Authoritarian Tendencies’

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz looks on during a press conference on April 6 in Vienna, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
HELMUT FOHRINGER/APA/AFP via Getty Images

The Coronavirus Crisis Reveals Kurz’s ‘Authoritarian Tendencies’

The vast majority of Austrians have been unaffected by the coronavirus, but can they escape Kurz’s one-man rule?

Mainstream news sources across Europe are starting to worry that Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz may be bringing authoritarian-style rule into the heart of Europe. “Under his leadership, Austria got through the first phase of the pandemic very well,” the conservative-liberal Swiss paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (nzz) wrote on May 9. “But at the same time, the authoritarian features of the young chancellor became apparent” (Trumpet translation throughout).

Kurz is the world’s youngest head of state; but in the coronavirus crisis, he presented himself as the most experienced leader. While other heads of state around the world pulled a team of experts to their side, Kurz acted as Austria’s sole authority. He did not coordinate his actions with other leaders in the European Union. He instead marketed himself as the leader the rest of Europe followed.

“The first into [the lockdown] and the first out of it—this is what the coronavirus managers’ directorial book looks like at Vienna’s Ballhausplatz, where the Austrian chancellor is in office,” nzz noted. “Sebastian Kurz and his conservative green government want to steer their country through the pandemic faster, better, smarter than the others in Europe.”

Kurz: Austria’s Sole Ruler

On March 10, Kurz announced border closures and a far-reaching curfew; other European countries quickly followed suit. Four weeks later, the Austrians were among the first to carefully open stores again. The total death count didn’t reach the anticipated tens of thousands; instead the number currently stands at 615 with 1,290 sick. As nzz noted, “The feared mass extinction had failed to materialize.” It continued:

But the management of the coronavirus crisis also revealed some of the characteristics of the 33-year-old politician, and confirmed others. Epidemiological figures are one thing, political style and decisions are another. The Austrians have been largely spared from the lung disease for the time being. But they also became minor roles in the staging of their skillful young chancellor.

In the crisis, Sebastian Kurz revealed more of his nature. “Look at you, look at me” was the government’s motto, to persuade the citizens to keep their distance and to refrain from leaving the house; to fit the chancellor, the motto was: “Look at me, I’m the boss.”

Everything in the coronavirus crisis started to revolve around one man: Austria’s chancellor. nzz called Kurz “the crisis lover,” adding that as the nation fought “against the spread of the virus, the chancellor pulled out the stops of his media skills. … The search for a chief virologist, a national coronavirus doctor at his side, who would explain to the citizens how the epidemic is now proceeding and how it should be contained, was unsuccessful. Kurz is the sole crisis manager, and fear was his preferred disciplinary tool.”

Kurz has never been a team player. He skillfully manipulated his rise to power in an early election in 2017, based on his personal popularity. In the beginning of the year the Social Democratic Party of Austria (spö) was leading the nation in a grand coalition with the Austrian People’s Party (övp). Christian Kern was Austria’s chancellor and Reinhold Mitterlehner was the leader of the övp. At the time, Kurz was only a junior member of the övp. Mitterlehner was forced to resign in an internal power struggle. Kurz took the leadership of the övp, who had to accept him with additional powers, and then demanded new elections.

Before Kurz’s ascent to power in 2017, the övp polled below 20 percent and was fading into insignificance. The polls showed the party far behind the spö and the far-right Freedom Party (fpö), which was nearing 30 percent.

Kurz ended his party’s crisis and led it to an election victory. Ever since, the övp has been a one-man show. Then Kurz entered into a controversial coalition with the fpö.

After a scandal video involving the fpö’s top leadership was published in 2019, Kurz took quick action, ending the coalition, forming a minority government, and calling for new elections. Though parliament passed a bill of no-confidence against him, Kurz was reelected after a short break with an astonishing 37.5 percent support.

But the coronavirus crisis put Kurz’s prior success to the pale; the “success of Kurz’s övp is historical,” nzz noted. “The People’s Party has risen to 45 percent; [the party] last won that much in elections in 1970. The position of the övp is now more dominant than ever, because no other party is within its reach.” Kurz forms Austrian politics with little regard to his coalition partners. As nzz said, the “Greens are pressed against the wall.”

Within three years, the övp has changed dramatically to the sole credit of Sebastian Kurz.

“Austria has massively restricted civil liberties due to coronavirus,” Zeit Online wrote. “This is understandable in this situation, but it is also dangerous” (March 16). Such one-man rule in Austria has been unheard of since World War ii. In fact, today’s democratic system was set up to prevent its occurrence.

What if this trend is reversed?

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler explained why he thought Austria’s democracy prior to World War ii was a failure. He believed that neither the people, brainwashed by the press, nor the politicians, selected by an under-educated citizenship, knew what was good for their country. Hitler believed that at times only very few knew what would be best for the country. In some cases, he believed, only one person knows what is best for everyone. Democracy hinders great politicians from acting decisively, in his opinion.

Eventually, Hitler used propaganda to get elected. But he governed by one-man rule. Hitler repeatedly made decisions against the counsel of advisers because he believed only he knew what was best. For a long time, Hitler was celebrated for his governance in Germany, Austria and across Europe. But his authoritarian rule eventually turned bloody, as is often the case.

People today know this history, as does Kurz. But he is evidently not a fan of separation of power, which is in place to keep history from repeating itself. Certainly Kurz hasn’t committed the crimes Hitler did, but the dangers of one-man rule, when they remain unrestrained, are the same.

It is even more alarming when one understands how Kurz actively works to shape public opinion.

Fear—a Political Tool

“Did Kurz Scare Austria?” n-tv.de asked on April 28. “Sebastian Kurz and his people have their Machiavelli on the shelf, said someone who would know, namely his Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler. The Italian philosopher Machiavelli is still famous for his essay ‘The Prince’ about the qualities of rulers. One of the core sentences: ‘The end justifies the means.’”

Kurz said at the beginning of April that without the exit restrictions from mid-March, Austria would have had 100,000 deaths. “Soon each of us will know someone who died of coronavirus,” he claimed. Many experts have been proved wrong in the coronavirus crisis, but in the case of Kurz’s warning, it is not even clear if experts presented the estimation. The referenced study has only been made public in summary.

“Revelations raise uncomfortable questions,” n-TV wrote. “Did the government deliberately stir up fear among the population in order to discipline them? Did it intentionally leave people in the dark about what is allowed and what is not?”

The orf radio station Ö1 reported on a protocol reflecting a meeting of the coronavirus task force at the Health Ministry on March 12. The transcript reveals that Kurz was aware the population was not very concerned about the virus at that time. Kurz didn’t like this fact. The protocol literally read: “Kurz clarifies that people should be afraid of infection or afraid that parents/grandparents will die.”

Following the meeting, his government made sure the population was afraid. Consequently, Austrians followed Kurz’s new measures.

“But the protocol is not the only indication that the government has relied on a strategy of fear in recent weeks,” n-TV noted. “Time and again different rules were communicated than the regulations provided. When Chancellor Kurz announced the lockdown on March 13, he only gave three reasons to leave the house: work, urgent errands, assistance for third parties. Everyone naturally thought that any reason outside these were strictly forbidden.

“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.”

Days later, media reports clarified that walking and sports were also allowed. But it wasn’t until weeks later, on day 43 of the exit restrictions, that citizens were allowed to visit relatives and friends.

Kurz’s government knew exactly what it was doing. It knew that enforcing a lockdown the way it did was impossible according to Austrian law. Thus it deceived the public.

Perhaps by doing so, Kurz saved a handful of lives; but he also restricted the private lives of millions in a very dubious manner.

Kurz showed similar tendencies in his previous term, but the coronavirus crisis has made them more clear than ever. For the sake of saving lives, the opposition dared not oppose Kurz, and the media also endorsed his actions, perhaps partly because tabloids and private broadcasters receive the greatest portion of aid during the crisis, totaling €32 million.

For a long time, the only opposition to Kurz’s draconian measures came from lawyers. The Constitutional Court (VfGH) has filed 30 complaints against the coronavirus measures, the Standard noted at the end of April. Some of them complained about the carelessness in the regulations. Allegations that Kurz nonchalantly brushed aside at the beginning of April as “legal subtleties.”

Kurz hurried through more than 140 ordinances and decrees, curtailing the freedom of citizens. State lawyers criticized “both the extensive encroachment on fundamental rights and the confused provisions,” nzz remarked. “The chancellor knocked these objections back.”

Kurz promised that “the Constitutional Court will decide” whether everything he ordered was lawful. But by then, he added, the measures will no longer be in force anyway. Strict adherence to constitutional law is obviously not a priority; he will have no great regrets if parts of his laws are struck down.

Toward the end of the lockdown, opposition against Kurz grew. But he acted quickly and is leading Austria out of the lockdown faster than any other European country. Given the small number of deaths and the easing of the restrictions, all the criticism against him seems to no longer matter.

But what about the next crisis? Barriers have already been broken down.

Dictators Are Prophesied to Rise

“The Bible says 10 kings will rise in Europe in this end time, led by one overarching strongman. These kings will form the Holy Roman Empire,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the July 2020 Trumpet magazine. “The coronavirus pandemic is helping usher in these 10 kings!”

Mr. Flurry was referring to the prophecy found in Revelation 17: “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).

As Mr. Flurry explained, this prophecy is for our time, and we are in the process of seeing its fulfillment. Verses 1-2 show that these kings will be in an alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, symbolized by a woman. Notice who Kurz’s main supporter in the recent crisis was, as explained by Mr. Flurry:

Austria was the first European country to go into coronavirus lockdown. For doing so, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz received much praise from the Roman Catholic Church, Europe’s oldest institution. “I am very grateful that the government is wise and is taking steps to create trust,” said the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, in a zib 2 special. Catholic leaders backed each severe step Kurz took.

Kurz applauded the church for its support. “Especially in times of crisis,” he said, “the church offers people support and provides important help.”

Chancellor Kurz seeks regular counsel from the Catholic Church, which guides his politics. If you understand history, you will find this troubling. This is exactly what the Holy Roman Empire is: an authoritarian state-church combine.

We are seeing these 10 kings rise in Europe today. If you want to understand where world events are leading, I encourage you to read Mr. Flurry’s article “Coronavirus and the Holy Roman Empire.

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French Riots Expose a Divided Society

French police officers stand ready during clashes in Villeneuve-la-Garenne, in the northern suburbs of Paris, on April 20.
GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images

French Riots Expose a Divided Society

How will Paris defuse the tensions plaguing its suburbs?

Five days of riots, starting April 18, after a road accident between a police car and a motorcyclist, shook France. The clashes demonstrated the divide between the country’s police and immigrant population. As social unrest continues during the coronavirus lockdown, how will France respond?

The motorcycle rider had been speeding through the city of Villeneuve-la-Garenne without a license plate or a helmet. He stopped at a red light, not realizing he had pulled up beside an unmarked police car. The police claim they stepped out of their vehicle and asked for his license, at which point he attempted to flee, but instead hit the car’s door and was hurled off his motorcycle. He suffered a fractured leg.

A video of the incident circulated on social media. It was revealed that the man had a criminal record for drug possession and extortion—and that he was a Muslim. Many denounced the police for making a “blunder” that led to the man having to undergo at least two operations in the hospital.

The following five nights saw destructive riots, which spread from Villeneuve-la-Garenne to neighboring suburbs. Protesters burned a police station in Strasbourg and a school in Gennevilliers. Many cars, garbage dumpsters and other property were also burned or vandalized. The fireworks seen on those nights were not from any celebration—they were used as projectiles. Between April 21 and 23, police arrested nine people.

Villeneuve-la-Garenne is a northern suburb of Paris. These suburbs are known for being the location of riots in the past, including the three-week-long clashes in 2005. These also predominantly involved those of African and Middle Eastern descent.

To understand the current division between France’s police and its immigrant population, it is important to understand the country’s long history with Islam.

France once possessed colonies in West Africa, the location of modern Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger and Senegal. Many citizens of these nations immigrated into France during the 20th century. The migrant population has grown greatly since 2014, but French law prohibits making any official census based on race or religious belief; therefore, it is difficult to determine exactly what percentage of the population are practicing Muslims. Surveys by independent agencies such as Pew Research have found that France, along with Germany, is now home to the highest population of Muslims in Europe. France is also one of the most secular nations in Europe.

Leaders have been ignoring the recent increase of those with radical Islamic beliefs entering the country since the migrant crisis began. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner declined to label the five days of violence as riots, instead telling French media outlet bfmtv that they were “sporadic tensions” (April 23).

France is ignoring its Muslim problem. There are problems on both sides—police can be heavy-handed, and immigrants fail to integrate. But nobody is confronting the situation. Police are still taking the approach of nonintervention instead of taking action to end the riots and restore order. The country is noticing. Soon, French citizens will choose a leader who addresses their concerns directly.

Tensions simmering right now are pushing politics in France closer to what the Trumpet has forecast for Europe.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation, “We need to watch the European Union for a man stepping in and seizing control of that entity through flatteries. He is going to hijack the EU. … Politics in Europe are going to shift dramatically to the right.” He wrote that in 2005, when riots in France were less common, and well before the migrant crisis began in 2014. What did he base his forecast on?

The Bible describes how European sentiment will turn sharply against Islam. A prophecy in Daniel 11:40 speaks of Europe as “the king of the north.” It says, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” This describes Europe attacking radical Islam militarily (as our free booklet The King of the South explains). Radical Islam will also be rooted out of Europe domestically. A strong German leader will unify the Continent under Christianity. This leader will be called a “king,” according to Daniel 8:23. As Mr. Flurry explains in A Strong German Leader Is Imminent, this means he will not be a democratic ruler.

Tensions are building on the streets of France. As they continue, watch for discontent with Islam in France to grow, and these prophecies of a stronger Europe clashing with Islam to be fulfilled.

A strongman-dominated Europe will change your world. Read our free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent to understand how.