Germans Turn Against America

U.S. President Donald Trump sits next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of a bilateral discussion after the working session of the NATO summit.
Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

Germans Turn Against America

Germany’s view on the U.S. and China shifts, as was prophesied more than 2,700 years ago.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the already deteriorating reputation of the United States in Germany has suffered significantly. In a survey conducted by the Kantar Public polling institute on behalf of the Körber Foundation, 73 percent said they have a worse opinion of the U.S. today than before the crisis. Only 5 percent claim that their image of the U.S. has improved. This is a significant and dramatic shift.

Every third German (36 percent) now thinks that relations with China are more important than those with the U.S. Thirty-seven percent say relations with the U.S. are more important. In September, 50 percent favored the U.S., and only 24 percent favored China.

“Germans’ skepticism toward the United States is growing—a worrying trend that should make decision-makers on both sides of the Atlantic think,” said Nora Müller, Head of International Policy at the Körber Foundation (Trumpet translation throughout).

But most Americans are not even thinking twice about this shift in Germany’s worldview. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center and Germany’s Körber-Stiftung in April found that the American view has changed little over the past year. Forty-three percent of American respondents said that the relationship with Germany was more important than that with China, an increase of 2 percentage points.

“The coronavirus causing such mayhem around the world has mercifully left much of Germany relatively unscathed compared to the rest of Europe,” the South China Morning Post noted, “but the pandemic has nevertheless caused serious damage to the Continent’s leading nation in one vulnerable spot: its historically close ties to the United States.”

This trend is most significant, not only from a historical standpoint but also in light of what it means for the future. China and the U.S. are in a competition for the world’s superpower status. The nation with Germany at its side has a great advantage in that contest. “A pivotal nation in Europe between the United States and China, Germany is the world’s fourth-largest industrial nation with rapidly expanding commercial trade with China,” the South China Morning Post reported.

“The image of the United States has worsened dramatically in recent months—not just in Germany, but across Europe,” Thomas Jaeger, a political scientist at Cologne University, told South China Morning Post. “People are completely shocked by the way the United States has mishandled the crisis. They just can’t believe what they’re seeing. The one nation they thought they could always rely on for leadership and help isn’t even able to help itself. It’s a pitiful sight.”

By merely looking at the chronology of events, one would have expected a quite different result from the survey. The coronavirus originated in China. The government’s mishandling of the crisis caused it to spread globally, without warning. It even spread misinformation about the virus that caused countries around the world to panic. Some evidence also points to the novel coronavirus disease coming from a Chinese laboratory.

Germany’s media has regularly criticized China’s action. In “Did China Shamelessly Take Advantage of Our Good Faith?Bild.de wrote on May 4: “Beijing is said to have deliberately hushed the outbreak of the potentially life-threatening plague in order to buy up the required medical needs on the international markets!”

“China has to clean up. Whether it comes to infection numbers, the origin of the virus, or the hoarding of protective equipment: Doubts about the information from Beijing are growing everywhere,” said foreign expert Alexander Graf Lambsdorff of the Free Democrats.

There are legitimate concerns that China’s crisis management and propaganda have made the economic consequences of the pandemic far worse, even costing lives.

“In China, the pandemic started with a cover-up,” Faz.net wrote on March 24 in “China’s Vicious Irony,” “but President Xi presents himself as a crisis manager. In the worldwide fight against the virus, his country could become a global regulatory power.”

The coronavirus crisis has dramatically changed the world as we know it. “The United States has been the most important partner for Germany and Europe for so long,” Jaeger said. “We’re seeing a dramatic acceleration of the trend away from that. … The world can be so unfair at times. No one really believes China’s covid-19 data, but it nevertheless seems like they succeeded in containing it. Their government’s policies were effective, and they were quick to help Europe. They were especially good at spreading propaganda about that.”

Germans were quick to believe any positive news coming from China, and quick to dismiss any negative reporting. The reverse was true when it came to the U.S.

“There have been some surprising outbursts of anti-American sentiment from elected officials in Germany in recent weeks,” the South China Morning Post wrote. “The mayor of Berlin and his interior minister recently caustically criticized the United States, prematurely blaming the United States for commandeering a planeload of face masks that never mysteriously disappeared.”

Indication is that many in Germany have been waiting for an opportunity to cause a rift in relations with the U.S. Germany has its own ambitions of becoming the world’s next superpower. But under U.S. dominance, this dream will never come to fruition.

The U.S. leads the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and holds the global reserve currency. Allied with the U.S., Germany will only be able to play second fiddle. But by allying with China, Germany has a chance of challenging America’s superpower status.

On April 9, 2019, China and the European Union issued a joint statement on common concerns on the strategic level and issues concerning bilateral trade and investments. German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel wrote in “United Against the U.S. Wrecking Ball”: “If the result of a global shift of interests between the two sides is already surprising, a second aspect seems to be a downright radical change. Such an agreement would be virtually ruled out today between the traditional partners of the U.S.A. and Europe.”

The rift between Germany and the U.S. already began taking shape even before Donald Trump’s presidency and the outbreak of the coronavirus. But recent events have greatly accelerated these trends. Europe, led by Germany, is heading into close cooperation with China. European officials seem willing to overlook any discrepancies to make this partnership work. The recent crisis may bring its unique challenges to this cooperation, but the Bible reveals that the two will soon form a trade relationship.

Isaiah 23 prophesies of an alliance between Germany and China that excludes the U.S. Just a few years ago, such an alliance would have been unthinkable. Even though relations may cool for a short time, their shared animosity toward the U.S. will ultimately drive them together.

In Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, Trumpet editor in Chief Gerald Flurry explains that the Bible prophesies of “a brief alliance between the German-led [Europe] and certain Asian powers … possessing the key resources and strategic holdings of China.”

Isaiah 23 speaks of a “mart of nations” that includes Chittim (China), Tarshish (Japan) and Tyre (German-led Europe). Germany has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world; together with China’s growing economic dominance, the two powers are bound to dominate world trade. The Bible reveals this will be to the determinant of the U.S. Mr. Flurry writes:

With a German-led Europe (the king of the north) possessing great maritime power, North America will be surrounded on the east by Europe and the south by Latin America. The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged.

That is where China and the giants of Asia enter the picture. When the Holy Roman Empire attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia. In fact, considering that China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates (which, ironically, at one time were held by Britain and America), we believe there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east). Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations and enslave them.

This is why Isaiah’s prophecy of an end-time “mart of nations” that includes both European and Asian powers is so intriguing. And why the trend of collusion between these two great economic blocs is worth watching.

Considering Germany’s decades-long ties to the U.S., this prophecy seemed almost unfathomable at the time it was written in 1994. The mere fact that we are seeing hostilities toward the U.S. grow, while China rises in Germany’s favor, should cause us to heed the warning that these prophecies contain. To learn more about fulfilled Bible prophecy, request free copies of our booklets He Was Right and The Proof of the Bible. These prophecies also contain the wonderful outcome that will follow today’s dark news. To get the full picture, please request Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.

WorldWatch

Read More

Why Socialists in America Are Excited

iStock.com/haunl

Why Socialists in America Are Excited

Surveying the masses of self-quarantined needy, they don’t see calamity, but phenomenal opportunity.

Can you guess who is happy right now? The global health crisis wrought by covid-19 has been dramatically eclipsed by a global economic crisis wrought by our response to covid-19. Economic activity has cratered, businesses are failing, production has stopped. The United Nations predicts that even if the world rebounds financially over the rest of the year, extreme poverty will engulf as many as 132 million people, and those facing acute hunger will double to 265 million.

To most people, this is a catastrophe. But some few are actually excited about it.

For years the folks pushing for a “Green New Deal” have advocated slashing use of fossil fuels. They want gasoline-burning cars off the roads and jet-fueled airliners out of the sky. Suddenly, their dream is reality: People aren’t driving, and nobody is flying.

“This is what ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’ looks like,” tweeted climate activist Eric Holthaus. “We’re doing it. It’s possible!” Spanish scientist Martín López Corredoira wrote, “Neither Greenpeace, nor Greta Thunberg, nor any other individual or collective organization have achieved so much in favor of the health of the planet in such a short time. A miracle happened. … It is certainly not very good for the economy in general, but it is fantastic for the environment.”

Some of the wildest wishes of activists are being fulfilled by the coronavirus “miracle”—but not entirely. This global economic shutdown is projected to suppress carbon emissions by only 6 percent, and some analysts say an 8 percent drop is needed to beat climate change. So as difficult as these rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes have been, still greater sacrifices are needed, in their view. And of course, we must make these changes permanent.

The alignment of interests between environmentalists and lockdown advocates is compelling—and it is hardly incidental.

Government Is Everywhere

The land of the free market is suffering a flash drought of jobs. In March and April alone, a staggering 36 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. Millions of people who were taking care of themselves just fine, the government is now forcing to stay home and stop working because it declared their work “nonessential.” And this same government has passed unprecedentedly expensive legislation whereby it (insufficiently) pays people directly by increasing taxpayers’ debt. And it is mulling even more drastic measures.

Here again we see how lockdowns help realize a long-cherished goal of the left: to make more people more dependent on government largesse, hence increasing government control and power.

For decades, there has been a movement in America to abolish free markets in favor of collectivism and a command economy. In recent years millions have rallied to this flag behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, particularly young people who have been convinced that the solution to all problems is more government. They want free education, free health care, and guaranteed income whether they work or not.

These people see the chaos created by lockdowns and insist that it proves capitalism and free markets don’t work, and that the government needs more control. In their view, the fact that people can’t stay home from work and survive economically proves the need for guaranteed income. The fact that people lost health care when they lost their jobs proves that health care must be universal.

This past Sunday on abc’s This Week, Senator Sanders called this the “silver lining” of the lockdown chaos—the recognition “that maybe we start rethinking some fundamental tenets about the way our government and society works.” He gave the example of how covid-19 proves America needs single-payer health care.

“[T]he covid-19 pandemic has … expanded the spectrum of imaginable futures and political possibilities,” wrote Eric Levitz in New York Magazine. “And some of those possibilities have been a sight for sore socialists’ eyes.”

Surveying the masses of self-quarantined needy, they don’t see calamity, but phenomenal opportunity.

‘Crisis and Opportunity’

America’s largest officially socialist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (dsa), boasts only 50,000 members, but it is drawing more (especially young people) toward its ideals if not its membership rolls. Those ideals have deeply saturated the Democratic Party, which has 46 million official members and millions more who identify and vote Democrat. Democrat legislators Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are dsa members. They are Marxist, and though they call themselves “anti-fascist,” they lustily endorse stripping power from individuals and shifting it to the government—a key feature of fascism.

The national dsa director, Maria Svart, started a May 7 missive (“Crisis and Opportunity”) with a quote from “an enemy,” Milton Friedman: “Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change.” After accusing the “far right” of moving quickly “to take advantage of this crisis,” she promised that socialists can move even faster. She praised Bernie Sanders and “the multiracial working-class movement behind him” for mainstreaming democratic socialist ideas. Now, socialists need to press their advantage “to build a new world on the ashes of the old.” “If there is now a crisis of legitimacy of the old way of doing things, there is an opportunity to create permanent shifts,” she explained (emphasis added throughout).

Svart continued by listing what she considered positive developments: “We see this already where low-wage workers receive unemployment checks higher than old poverty wages, and where millions of people lost employer-based health care overnight and are now adrift in a pandemic and looking to Medicare for All.” Note that: Socialists like Svart view direct payments from the government to workers it has banned from working as good. People getting a fatter check from the government for sitting on their cans than from working a job—great! People having to use government health care rather than private—terrific! If you’re used to freedom and accountability, then someone getting more cash for not working than they can by working is a serious problem. But not to socialists.

“Between seeing that workers really are essential for human survival yet the bosses still see us as expendable, it has become clear that we have nothing to lose but our chains,” Svart continued, quoting directly from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto. She said the people standing in the way of Medicare for All, universal rent control and “living wages” are “the owning class.” Thus, “We must organize ourselves and fight.”

They call themselves “socialist,” but this is unabashed communism. And this type of thinking increasingly animates what the Democrats (and the mainstream media) are doing—most noticeably in their response to coronavirus.

Power Grab

Whether the issue is air travel, freedom to work, ventilator distribution—or pollution or homosexuality or anything else—all the Democrats’ policies get back to the same thing: Take more power from the people and give it to the government. Take more money from people and redistribute it. That is the principle underlying health care for all, university education for all, government checks for all, the Green New Deal, and virtually every other major progressive initiative.

The covid-19 crisis is a chance to do capitalism differently,” Mariana Mazzucato, professor of economics at University College London, wrote in the Guardian. This crisis exposed the “lack of a safety net and protection for working people in societies with rising inequality. … But we now have an opportunity to use this crisis as a way to understand how to do capitalism differently. This requires a rethink of what governments are for: rather than simply fixing market failures when they arise, they should move towards actively shaping and creating markets that deliver sustainable and inclusive growth.”

Progressives mistrust the private sector’s ability to “actively shape and create markets.” They endlessly criticize the “1 percent” for wielding wealth and power in a way that excludes the rest of society. The reality is that the private sector and free markets have created an explosion of wealth that has smashed global poverty, particularly in the most recent decades. Reducing government control and allowing people to decide for themselves how and when to buy and sell has brought unparalleled prosperity to millions of people. Even the “poor” enjoy living standards far higher than the great majority living in more-controlled economies.

Yet socialists believe government officials can somehow “actively shape and create markets” with no negative side effects. They have unfailing faith that the “1 percent” within the bureaucratic ruling class are incorruptible.

Mazzucato talks about how the government can “ensure prices are fair, patents are not abused, medicine supply is safeguarded, and profits are reinvested back into innovation, rather than siphoned out to shareholders.” In other words, individuals investing their money is somehow immoral—but government officials taking those individuals’ money and investing it is moral because government is inherently unselfish.

Remember, the money that governments spend comes from the people. The power the government wields comes at the expense of average people. Socialism takes decision-making away from private individuals and concentrates it in the ruling class.

The ideas are always couched in altruistic language—“opportunity,” “safety net,” “social protection,” “sustainable and inclusive growth”—but they promote a fundamental idea that has impoverished, enslaved and even killed hundreds of millions of people throughout history, particularly over the last century.

“As companies, from airlines to retail, come asking for bailouts and other types of assistance, it is important to resist simply handing out money,” Mazzucato wrote. “Conditions can be attached to make sure that bailouts are structured in ways that transform the sectors they’re saving so that they become part of a new economy—one that is focused on the green new deal strategy of lowering carbon emissions while also investing in workers, and making sure they can adapt to new technologies. It must be done now, while government has the upper hand.Let’s not let this crisis go to waste.”

In other words, amid the haste to do something—while even conservative lawmakers are being pressured into signing obscene spending bills—let’s push through every progressive measure we possibly can.

They are not letting the crisis go to waste.

More to Come

Last week, Democrats unveiled a new $3 trillion relief package. The $2 trillion bill Congress passed in March was the largest relief bill in human history—and barely a month later they are ready to enact another that would surpass that by half again. Euphemistically called the Heroes Act, it would give $1 trillion to state and local governments, about $200 billion to workers who face heightened health risks, $175 billion to people for rent, mortgage and utilities, $75 billion for covid-19 testing and contact tracing, and up to $6,000 more in cash payments to each household in the country. It also extends payments and benefits to people who lose employer-sponsored health coverage.

Socialists want the government to provide “economic security” for everyone—even people who can’t work or don’t want to work. They too can consider coronavirus a “miracle”: Suddenly, the number of people who can’t work has skyrocketed into the millions! This is the perfect opportunity to put tens of millions on government payrolls, under more government control, and into a transition to a socialist state.

No wonder they are so forcible and uncompromising in promoting the strictest of quarantines. Stay home. Don’t take the risk of going to work. Let the government take care of you. Socialists want to make it so people aren’t allowed to take care of themselves—they must rely on the government to provide for them.

Once you give up your accountability for your own life (and the freedom that comes with it), you fall into a pattern of dependency that is extremely difficult to break.

A Solution That Works

The most widespread of the catastrophic effects hitting the world today are not coming from a virus, but from governmental response. The millions of people now unable to provide for their families, the millions slipping into extreme poverty, the millions facing acute hunger, are not suffering from a viral pandemic, but from political policy that is myopic at best, ideologically vainglorious at worst.

This is a spectacular example of a fundamental flaw with human beings. So often, the results of our “solutions” are worse than the problems. Far too often, we misperceive a malady, we incorrectly diagnose, and we then apply remedies with ruinous side effects. Today we are seeing this on an epic scale.

Why do these “solutions” fail? Why do they create more problems than they solve?

There is a specific, fundamental reason: It is because they ignore God. They ignore God’s law.

God has an economic system that benefits everyone. It is built around private property ownership, responsible stewardship, and stable families. It minimizes governmental imposition in order to maximize freedom. He has a system for helping the poor. It is based on individual responsibility and private charity.

God created the family to encourage industry and to ensure that everyone’s needs are taken care of. Many of His laws protect and promote family, but for those few who fall outside that structure, God even has a limited system of centrally run welfare to ensure they are not neglected. You can read about it in our article “A New World Economy.”

Whenever and however we deviate from God’s system and implement charitable initiatives apart from God’s design, our efforts are doomed to fail. We rob people of personal dignity, we cause economic distortions, and we empower and expand government in ways that encourage corruption.

God’s solutions work. Human solutions create more problems than they solve, and the further they are from God’s law, the more spectacularly they fail (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). In all history, socialism has repeatedly proven itself to be among the chief of these erroneous “solutions.”

Learn the lesson! Stop insisting—on the human level, on the national level or on the personal level—that we don’t need God. In our health, in our ideologies, in our politics, in our economics, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. … It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Proverbs 3:5-10).

20200519-Church- copy.jpg

Is God’s Church Divided?

Many people believe there are true Christians scattered in various churches. What does the Bible say?

Read More

Locusts—the World’s Other Epidemic

A swarm of desert locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya.
Getty Images

Locusts—the World’s Other Epidemic

These insects not only harm farmers, they also bring down politicians.

Compared to coronavirus and the oil crash, the recent surge in locust swarms has received little attention. But it could easily prove transformative for Africa and, eventually, the world.

Kenya is experiencing its worst wave of locusts in 70 years, reported the United Nations Food and Agriculture Association (fao) on January 20. Ethiopia and Somalia are also severely affected. The continent is experiencing what the fao calls an “upsurge.” This denotes a crisis one level below what the UN would officially label as a plague.

The UN classifies the locust situation in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya as “dangerous,” its highest threat level. The outbreak will also be dangerous in a geopolitical sense. If the crisis continues, it could add to the troubles already plaguing Africa, and terrorist groups could exploit people’s anger and frustration to grow their influence.

The outbreak is now spreading across East Africa and threatens to move west and overwhelm the Sahel. Eventually, North Africa could be infested. What began last year as a relatively controlled outbreak is rapidly becoming a threat to Africa’s political stability.

Uniquely Destructive

How harmful can locusts be? One adult can eat the equivalent of its own body weight in vegetation each day. Swarms can grow to the size of New York City, and some are now as big as London. They can ruin 300 million pounds of crops in a single day. The fao estimates that a “modest” gathering amounts to roughly 40 million locusts, but they have been known to travel in swarms of 70 million. In one day, a swarm can eat the same volume of vegetables as 35,000 average humans.

Initially, farmers had hoped that the outbreak would decrease in the summer when drier weather arrived. So far, that hasn’t happened. “Recently, conditions for procreation and migration have been not just favorable—but ideal,” wrote National Geographic. Desert locusts are able to multiply by a factor of 20 every three months.

The timing of this infestation is also noteworthy. Whereas last year’s outbreak came after most crops were harvested, this year’s has come at the worst possible time—the primary growing season starts in mid-March. “When [locusts] feed on the germinating leaves, the crop cannot grow,” Anastasia Mbatia, the technical manager at an African agricultural charity, told National Geographic. “Farmers would need to sow seeds again.” For many, it may already be too late.

The fao estimates that as many as 25 million East Africans will suffer from food shortages later this year. Roughly 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea already suffer from severe food insecurity, and in some places, food may already have run out.

Locusts and Geopolitics

Almost 70 percent of East Africans work in agriculture, and 48 percent of all Africans rely on it to earn a living, according to the United Nations. Half of all those entering the African workforce turn to agriculture. This is unusual in a world where most countries are shifting toward urban life.

Many are now seeing their livelihoods eaten before their eyes. This will bring social and political instability to many African nations.

Kelvin Dalrymple, vice president of Moody’s Corp., told cnbc, “Rising food prices from a prolonged shortage of key crops fuels the potential for social unrest across East Africa, a region where we already assess political risks as elevated and the ingredients for potential social unrest prevalent.”

Moody’s said this will “test existing food storage in fragile Horn of Africa countries” and that “low per-capita incomes in East Africa, coupled with high income inequality and high poverty levels, make these countries vulnerable and less able to absorb shocks.”

Somalia has battled Islamic extremism for decades. More recently, the main threat has been al-Shabaab. In 2017, this group was responsible for killing 500 people in one bombing in central Mogadishu. The country has suffered civil war between rival Islamic groups since 1991. From then until 2010, Somalia saw 14 different administrations, with continual fighting between rival armed factions. Though some stability has been restored by outside military help, al-Shabaab still controls large areas of the country.

Ethiopia shares a thousand-mile-long border with Somalia and is also heavily affected by locusts. Currently, around half the country is a breeding ground for the insects. Swarms have been reported throughout the east and south, and some are migrating north.

Breeding is forecast to continue beyond mid-June and spread beyond the country. The UN warns that by early-to-mid-June large parts of the Sahel could be infested. These countries are already destabilized by rising terrorism.

The last thing Ethiopia needs is more instability. Terrorists from Somalia often cross the border to carry out attacks. The country is divided by 80 separate and sometimes hostile ethnic groups in nine different regions. These regions are partly independent and often clash with the government over political issues. A food shortage and loss of profit on crops could give radical Islamic groups an opening to gain followers and topple the moderate government.

So far, 2020 has been a year of instability in Africa. Not yet halfway through the year, the continent has suffered from increasing terrorism in the Sahel, the spread of coronavirus, a sharp decline in oil revenues, and now destruction of sorely needed crops.

All of this hastens the fulfillment of a forecast the Trumpet has been making for years.

Africa’s Future

In the April 2011 Trumpet, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about the Bible’s forecast that the predominantly Christian country of Ethiopia would one day experience a dramatic shift and align with radical Islam. That seemed impossible at the time; some readers from that country expressed doubt that such a transformation could ever occur.

However, events have since proved this forecast correct. “Ethiopia does have the advantage of an effective and tough security apparatus that can probably counter any challenge posed by a Muslim splinter group,” wrote author and Horn of Africa expert David Shinn in 2014. “Broad disaffection in Ethiopia’s large Muslim community is, however, another matter.”

Ethiopia has seen increasing tensions between its Christian and Muslim populations. Churches and mosques have both been attacked with increasing frequency, and with deaths on both sides. If discontent among the Muslim minority is harnessed, it could transform the country.

How was Mr. Flurry able to make such direct and prescient statements before these trends were apparent?

The Bible prophesies food shortages and famines in the time leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. It also has a lot to say about large swathes of Africa falling to forces of radical Islam.

Daniel 11:40 describes a military clash involving a major power called “the king of the south.” It states: “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.”

Mr. Flurry explains in his free booklet The King of the South that this power is radical Islam led by Iran. Why the clash? Because the forces of terrorism “push” against another power, “the king of the north,” which our booklet proves to be a German-led Europe. This provokes a whirlwind response.

This prophecy says that “the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps,” or conquered by the king of the north (verse 43).

The countries Europe is prophesied to target in its whirlwind response must first fall into the hands of radical Islam. Neighboring countries such as Somalia, which already have problems with terrorism, may also be included.

Locust plagues may seem like a problem far removed from the average North American or European, but these crop-ravaging insects point to a Bible prophecy that is nearing fulfillment.

When this clash happens, it will plunge the world into war. But this clash will be followed by Christ’s return, when war and starvation will be replaced by peace and plenty—for Ethiopia, Africa and the entire Earth.

For more on the future of Ethiopia and how events in Africa will directly impact you, read our free booklet Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.

20200519-Church- copy.jpg

Is God’s Church Divided?

Many people believe there are true Christians scattered in various churches. What does the Bible say?

Read More

Iranian Cyberattack Endangers Israeli Water Supply

iStock.com/rkafoto

Iranian Cyberattack Endangers Israeli Water Supply

Israel’s tech-reliance is its Achilles’ heel.

Over the weekend of April 24 and 25, according to Fox News, several of Israel’s Water Authority facilities were targeted in a suspected Iranian cyberattack. As Israel has one of the most technology-dependent water systems in the world, this cyberattack strikes right at the heart of Israel’s survival.

Daniel Lacker, head of the Water Authority’s security department, said in the internal report, “We have received a number of reports regarding a cyberattack on the … systems. No damage was reported during the incident.” According to Ynetnews, all personnel were ordered to immediately change the passwords to the facility’s systems and the “chlorine control in particular.” If passwords could not be changed, it was recommended to take the system offline, disconnecting it from the Internet.

“The recent cyberattack on water supply and treatment facilities in Israel, and consequential advice to either change passwords or take systems offline, demonstrates just how disruptive an attack on critical national infrastructure can be,” vice president at Nominet Cyber Solutions, Stuart Reed, wrote in an e-mail. “In a world where industrial infrastructure is increasingly linked and managed through the Internet, taking services offline is significant.”

An attack like this by Iran is not without precedent. Last year, Iran gained command and control of some of the systems of Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authorities. The Wall Street Journal called the 2019 cyberattack a “test run” of Iran’s capabilities—possibly in preparation for Iran’s attack on Israel’s water system last month.

Israeli Ingenuity

Anciently, Israel relied heavily on natural springs, the Jordan River and rain water collection. During good times, there was enough water to go around. But in times of drought, the Israelites’ survival hung in the balance. Now, as a result of the modern state of Israel’s ingenuity, Israel 21c news site said, “Israel has solved its water crisis!

Israel is one of the most resource-conservative nations in the world. Incredibly, the nation reuses 87 percent of its water. The wastewater is purified by pumping it through sand dunes, which act as a natural filter, directing the water to a nearby aquifer. The entire process takes about six months to a year. As a result, nearly half of the water used for agriculture in the nation is recycled. Israel is the undisputed world leader in this field. The next closest nation, Spain, recycles only 20 percent of its wastewater.

Israel is one of the most innovative nations in the world. This is particularly true about its water system. Desalination has become one of its primary water sources. Just south of Tel Aviv is the world’s largest seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant, Sorek, which has been operational since 2013.

Sorek alone produces 624,000 cubic meters (137 million gallons) of water, accounting for 20 percent of Israel’s domestic water consumption. At Sorek, it costs about 55 cents per cubic meter (0.25 cents per gallon) to desalinate, approximately what one Israeli uses in a single week. By comparison, in other countries it can cost as much as $3 per cubic meter (1.4 cents per gallon). Desalination normally uses chemicals; however, Israel uses chemical-free biological filters and processes to remove algae, bacteria and silt.

Depending on the season, an astounding 60 percent to 80 percent of Israel’s municipal water demands flows from the large coastal desalination plants in Sorek, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Hadera and Palmachim.

Israel21c wrote, “The North’s waterways are no longer an abundant trickle-down source for much of the country; the Sea of Galilee is approaching its lowest-ever level.”

The Sea of Galilee, called the Kinneret in Hebrew, supplies 50 million cubic meters (13 trillion gallons) of water each to Israel and Jordan. This consumption, combined with a lack of rainwater, has caused the water levels to recede. In response, Yossi Yaacoby, chief of staff to the ceo of Mekorot, Israel’s national water carrier, said that by 2030 Israel plans “to take desalinated water from the new plants to enrich the Sea of Galilee.”

Yaacoby explained that Israel only receives a handful of torrential rains during its October-to-March rainy season. Most of this precious water is lost to runoff. “This is why we can’t depend on rain,” he said. “Even in winter we need to irrigate.”

“In 2014, we thought we had enough [desalinated water] capacity, 600 million cubic meters, that it didn’t matter how much [rain] God will supply in the winter,” he said. “That was a mistake. We are lacking 100 million to 200 million cubic meters of water per year in Israel these days.” To cover this need, Israel began constructing two new desalination plants. Yaacoby expects that after these plants are completed, by 2025 Israel will be producing 1.1. billion cubic meters (242 trillion gallons) of desalinated water per year.

As a result of this incredible ingenuity, Israel’s reliance on technology for its municipal water needs has also become a great weakness. The more Israel relies on water from these desalination plants and the less it relies on the natural water supply, the more susceptible it becomes to cyberattacks. Israel’s tech-reliance has become a sort of Achilles’ heel, offering it both strength and weakness.

Achilles’ Heel

From 2013 to 2018, Israel experienced what many believed to be its worst drought in almost 100 years. But the effect of this drought was significantly reduced because of the nation’s desalination plants. The more advancements Israel makes in this field, the more it removes the inconsistency of rain and the severe cost of drought. But what if that same technology, which is key to Israel’s survival, were to stop functioning or be hacked and controlled by a foreign power?

Iran attacks Israel on a daily basis,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared at the 2019 CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv. “We monitor these attacks, see the attacks, and thwart the attacks. In the last 24 hours, Iran said it will destroy us and target our cities with missiles. They don’t impress us, because we know our power on defense and offense.”

These daily attacks against Israel will only increase in frequency and severity as Iran become more powerful and more aggressive.

Since the 1990s, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has forecast that Iran will use state-sponsored terrorism to eventually dominate the Middle East. In a May 2005 article, he wrote:

I believe one key end-time Bible prophecy could well be fulfilled through … cyberterrorism: … “they have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14). The trumpet of war is to be blown in Israel. … It seems everybody is expecting our people to go into battle, but the greatest tragedy imaginable occurs! Nobody goes to battle—even though the trumpet is blown! Will it be because of computer terrorism?

Keep in mind, Mr. Flurry wrote this in 2005, two years before the first iPhone was even released. Technology has advanced much further and become much more relied upon since he warned about computer terrorism. Today, nearly everything is maintained, monitored or operated with computers. Whether defensive systems or water systems, this cyber vulnerability could be one of Israel’s greatest threats.

If Iran managed to contaminate the water supply with chlorine or shut down, break or even destroy Israel’s desalination plants, Israel would find itself severely lacking enough clean drinking water.

While Iran’s attack last month may or may not have actually gained control of the system, it does show that Iran is aware of this vulnerability and will do whatever it can to exploit it. Next time, it could do far greater damage to Israel.

For more information on this subject, please read Mr. Flurry’s 2005 article “America’s Achilles’ Heel—and Germany.”

20200519-Church- copy.jpg

Is God’s Church Divided?

Many people believe there are true Christians scattered in various churches. What does the Bible say?

Read More

Coronavirus Reveals New Age of Internet Censorship

Moha El-Jaw

Coronavirus Reveals New Age of Internet Censorship

You may be surprised who’s writing the new rules for online speech.

Try to send the “wrong” type of videos to your friends, and you may bump up against the new Internet censors.

For years, YouTube, Facebook and other sites have downplayed content they disapprove of—that’s old news. But now the censorship is becoming more aggressive.

YouTube has spent the coronavirus period playing whack-a-mole: It smacks down videos that present any kind of dissenting view on the crisis, only to see the same video reposted again and again. Some of these videos are by obvious quacks, but many are not. Some are even by mainstream experts. But if they question the lockdown or suggest fighting coronavirus by boosting your immune system and eating more vitamin C, down they come.

Other platforms are joining in. Simply smacking down videos and public posts hasn’t worked. People have still spread the forbidden information via private messaging apps—until now. Try sharing one of these problematic videos privately with a few friends on WhatsApp, and you’ll find yourself blocked. The Facebook-owned service limits how widely you can share these videos. In some cases, it will only allow you to pass the video on to one person at a time in a bid to stop it going viral.

One such video is from Sky News Australia of an interview with Swedish chief epidemiologist Johan Giesecke. It’s a mainstream news source interviewing a mainstream expert. Yet WhatsApp will block you from passing it on to more than one person.

“[W]hen an algorithm such as this ends up flagging a mainstream media clip featuring a dissenting yet extremely credible voice, just because it says something critical about Western responses to the virus, it’s clear we may have gone way too far the other way in our battle against fake news,” warned Izabella Kaminska, editor of the Financial Times’ Alphville blog.

The Financial Times is far from being some libertarian anarchist site. Yet even this center-left publication is concerned about the direction we’re heading.

“What matters is that criticism by a leading scientist in his field, who still holds sway over decision-making in a country deemed a close friend and ally—not a rogue state by any stretch—should somehow be thrown into the same net that catches David Icke conspiracy theories about 5G,” Kaminska continued. “You can dislike Giesecke’s views. But you shouldn’t suppress them. Dissent is essential in a democracy, as is criticism of national policy via respected peers. What are we supposed to do? Pretend Sweden suddenly doesn’t exist?”

Kaminska coined the term “censortech” to describe what is happening.

“Censortech, as we would like to coin it, is the skilful art of deploying algorithms to suppress ‘fake news,’” she wrote. “Could it be we are at the stage that this tech is becoming the modern-day equivalent of book burning?”

Many of the senior leaders of Big Tech are ideologically committed to it. YouTube ceo Susan Wojcicki admitted on the May 7 New York Times’ Rabbit Hole podcast that her strategy of promoting mainstream sources and downplaying others wasn’t working. They push the mainstream videos, but people don’t watch them. “The users don’t wanna actually see it,” YouTube’s engineers told her, according to the podcast. But she didn’t care.

And so the leaders have responded to coronavirus with more censorship. Search for information about coronavirus on Google, and you’re taken to a special part of the site that links only to mainstream sources. Encourage people to protest lockdown orders on Twitter, and you’ll see your account suspended.

Kevin Roose, who hosts the Rabbit Hole podcast, said that YouTube’s response is “actually like a fundamental shift in the YouTube universe.” It used to be the site where anyone could have a voice. But now, on certain subjects, only mainstream authorities are allowed.

I can see a case for restricting manifestly dangerous information, such as drink bleach to cure coronavirus. I can understand YouTube et al not wanting to promote videos that say things like coronavirus is a conspiracy caused by the Jews. But what is happening here goes far beyond that.

European governments want censorship to go further. Last Wednesday, France adopted a new law against online hate speech. If content is ranked as hate speech, Google, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook must remove it in 24 hours. Terrorist propaganda or child pornography must come down within one hour. Failure to do so can result in fines of €1.25 million (us$1.4 million). And if a regulator board decides the company is not meeting the requirements, it could fine them up to 4 percent of annual global revenue. For Google, that figure would be $6.5 billion. And the police can force Internet service providers to block a non-compliant site everywhere in France.

“We can no longer rely on the platforms’ goodwill,” said Digital Affairs Junior Minister Cédric O. This, he said, “is the first brick of this new platform regulation paradigm.”

The law makes anything that is illegal offline, illegal online.

A lot of this law is laudable—especially the part about child pornography. The trouble is, “hate speech” and “terrorist propaganda” are pretty flexible terms, and the government gets to make the decisions. La Quadrature, a digital rights nonprofit, warned that, in French law, the definition of terrorism is broad enough that it could be used to shut down protesters. European courts have previously counted even academic criticism of Islam as “hate speech.” Germany last week decided that burning flags was hate speech. So burning an EU flag in protest of the European Union is now illegal.

One of La Quadrature’s spokesmen told cnn that this could give the government “a new tool to abuse their power and censor the Internet for political ends.”

“One of the dangers of this law is that it could turn against journalists, activists and researchers whom it claims to defend,” he said. “No one knows exactly what content should be considered ‘manifestly illegal’ online.”

The law could soon allow politicians to dictate what you can and can’t say online.

The worry is that Internet platforms will err on the side of deleting. Why risk a fine over a tweet? Social media sites could soon block or delete content that comes anywhere remotely close to being problematic.

“This new liability for illegal speech in France will get some nasty material off the Internet, but at the price of removing some content, perhaps a lot of content, that, on a close call, might be perfectly legitimate speech,” writes Forbes. “European lawmakers seem increasingly comfortable with that trade-off, as they move their Internet policy toward greater content regulation.”

Germany had exactly this experience. When it introduced a similar law in 2018, its own justice minister, Heiko Maas, found his tweets deleted after they were flagged as “hate speech.” The EU is currently working on a directive that would force the whole bloc to adopt a similar standard.

Too bad for France and Germany, you may be thinking. Good thing I don’t live in Europe. But this affects you too.

Even if you live in the United States, websites you use regularly already follow EU law.

“More often than not, it is the European Union that sets the rules by which multinational tech companies operate,” wrote Columbia Law School Prof. Anu Bradford last month. In 2018, for example, the EU implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (gdpr), which regulates how Internet firms use your personal data. Facebook, Microsoft and Google have all applied this policy globally.

“Similarly, EU rules influence the types of speech that Internet companies will allow on their platforms,” wrote Bradford. “Instead of being guided by America’s First Amendment free-speech protections, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube follow the EU’s definition of hate speech worldwide when deciding which content to remove from their platforms.”

Many of these companies have already signed up to a voluntary EU code on hate speech—under threat of much tougher regulation if they did not. These regulations have been incorporated to the firms’ official terms of service, even in the United States. When YouTube takes a video down because it violates its standards, what it’s not telling you is that those standards include rules foisted upon it by the EU.

Last year, the European Court of Justice (ecj) ruled that a judge in an EU country can order content taken off social media worldwide. An American can write a Facebook post aimed at Americans in America—but the ecj awarded European courts the power to order it taken down. The ecj noted that policing speech worldwide was a drastic step. Thus, courts must “adopt an approach of self-limitation” (emphasis added throughout). In other words, there is no check on these courts’ powers—no one can restrain them.

The past month has shown these American tech companies are not reluctant to censor. The EU is not behind the coronavirus censorship. In fact, social media is being pushed to do more. When the New York Times’ Kevin Roose interviewed Wojcicki, he praised YouTube’s censoring of information. “Just personally, I’ve been impressed by how hard it’s been to find misinformation about the coronavirus on YouTube,” he said. “And I guess I’m wondering, Why isn’t it always like this? What is preventing YouTube from taking this approach all the time to every subject?”

Even if the EU did nothing, a lot of this censorship would still be going on. The Big Tech ceos overwhelmingly support Democrats. But it still matters that the EU writes the rules. It has drawn up the borders of acceptable speech, and European judges patrol them. They’re already pushing Facebook and Google toward more censorship than the tech giants would have otherwise implemented.

In her book The Brussel’s Effect, Bradford argues that “the EU remains an influential superpower that shapes the world in its image.”

“Today, few Americans are aware that the EU regulations determine the default privacy settings on their iPhones or the type of speech that Twitter will delete as unacceptable,” she writes.

And who is the undisputed leader of Europe—as well as the first European country to adopt online hate-speech laws? Germany. Behind the EU’s global regulations, Germany is controlling what goes online.

Germany’s ambitions for the Internet should concern everyone, even those who don’t have a computer,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. “The EU’s behavior on this issue exposes the dictatorial nature of this German-dominated entity. Really, we are witnessing the manifestation of the spirit of the Holy Roman Empire in the tech world. The biblically prophesied seventh and final resurrection of this empire wants to control the Internet!”

“We must put this issue in the context of Bible prophecy and history,” he continued. “The German-led EU is behaving the way the Holy Roman Empire has always behaved. Germany is once again seeking to impose its will on the world. This is a difficult message to accept, and many people will disagree with it, but it is the truth!”

The Internet is changing before your eyes. It was once a free-for-all. Now the vast majority of traffic is funneled through a handful of gatekeepers, which will only allow you to see certain things. And it is the German-led European Union that is determining exactly what you can and can’t see.

This new power is already making itself felt, and it wants to control what you read and say. This is exactly the kind of power forecast in the Bible—and one we’ve been forecasting for decades.

Revelation 17 describes a power that repeatedly rises in Europe. What is rising today is an extension of what has gone before. Revelation 17:8 calls this power “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” There’s a power with a similar, censorious character that comes and goes on the European scene—the Holy Roman Empire. The next chapter shows this power dominating global trade and commerce. We see this building in the EU’s regulatory “superpower.” Other chapters describe this power regulating religious belief, trying to control what people think and say.

This power, rising in Europe, is already making itself felt around the world. A crucial part of end-time events is already affecting your life. To learn more about it and where it is leading read Mr. Flurry’s article “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.”

200423-Mother Earth-GettyImages-1204300027.jpg

Environmentalism Is the New Paganism

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

Read More

Germany and a Brave New Drone World

Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer next to a Globe uav defibrillator-carrying drone during a press conference at the Federal Transport Ministry
Getty Images

Germany and a Brave New Drone World

Drones could soon drastically change the everyday life of citizens and soldiers.

“Germany Is to Become a Pioneer in the Use of Drones,” declared a n-tv.de headline on May 13 (Trumpet translation throughout). According to Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, drones should become part of everyday life. At the same time, Germany’s Ministry of Defense is launching a debate to make armed drones acceptable in the military. The nation’s civil and military industries could change completely within a few years.

Scheuer wants Germany’s future to be marked by drones. In his action plan, the minister showed air taxis flying over traffic jams in the future and parcel drones relieving delivery traffic.

That could soon be a reality,” wrote n-tv.de. “In any case, the federal government has high hopes for ‘unmanned aviation systems’ as new modes of transport. With an action plan, [Scheuer] wants to drive forward the development for everyday use. Germany should become a pioneer internationally.” Scheuer has spoken of a “departure into the third dimension.”

At the presentation in the Defense Ministry’s garden in Berlin, Scheuer displayed a drone that tests medical air freight and aims to reduce transport times, according to Sabrina John, managing director of the Society for Aviation Informatics.

Scheuer intends to promote a transition “from the laboratories into the air.” The action plan focuses on creating more research funding, a new legal framework for the operation of drones, and an increased acceptance of drones among the population. The measures will be incorporated into a revision of the German air traffic regulations.

The government’s aerospace coordinator, Thomas Jarzombek, emphasized that drones “have long been much more than a vague vision of the future or a gadget for amateur pilots.” The industry is a “growth driver” and creates high-quality jobs.

These technologies would not only change everyday life; however, they would also change modern warfare.

Even as Scheuer published the action plan, the Defense Ministry is trying to spark a broad debate about the use of armed drones. But the left-wing party Die Linke called the debate a “farce” because the drones acquisition and use have long been prepared.

“Germany has shown interest in using drone swarms controlled by AI [artificial intelligence] to support combat vehicles and future battle tanks,” c4isrnet noted on December 13. Israeli company Rafael and European information company Atos have teamed up to create a so-called glass battlefield, at the request of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support. The real-time 3-D picture of the battlefield allows unmanned aerial systems and combat vehicles to operate more efficiently and in greater unity.

The German Army already has more than 630 unarmed drones. In its foreign missions, Germany deploys the Israeli long-endurance drones Heron 1. According to a report by the Defense Ministry in response to a parliamentarian question, Rheinmetall Defense Electronics has also been involved in military drone projects by the German government in recent years.

Germany and France are already working together on a new generation of battle tanks and fighter jets, as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry highlighted in his article “France Rejects America—and Empowers Germany!” Together with the drones, they could completely change the battlefield of the future.

Although you don’t hear about it in the media, Germany has been preparing for modern warfare—the type of warfare that is prophesied in your Bible. What is being simulated on computer screens today may be exactly what the Bible describes in Revelation 9:7-9.

Revelation 9 describes a swarm of military aircraft. The January 2011 Trumpet magazine states that the Apostle John used “the symbolic term of locusts to describe the terrifying war machines that would be invented by scientists and used by the military in this final world conflict! Notice that these symbolic locusts, or grasshoppers, are driven by men and are able to fly (verses 7, 9). They will make a tremendous noise and are protected by armored plating.”

Few pay little attention to Germany’s military developments. The Bible, however, reveals that this nation will suddenly transform from a military dwarf into a military giant.

Germany is the world’s fourth-largest industrial power and third-largest exporter. In cooperation with other European countries, it could suddenly invest its economic might into its military industry. “Forging a Superpower,” from the April 2019 Trumpet, explains in detail how suddenly Germany could become a military superpower and why the Bible warns about this reality.