Macron vs. Radical Islam

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Station F startup campus in Paris, on Oct. 9, 2018
LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images

Macron vs. Radical Islam

Another terror attack puts France in an ‘existential battle.’

“Islamic extremism must be crushed,” said Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Rally party (formerly known as the National Front), while running for president in 2017. “The hate preachers must be expelled. The Islamic mosques must be closed.”

Her rivals and the media attacked her at the time. She lost the election to Emmanuel Macron, who claimed to be the opposite of Le Pen’s xenophobia.

Three years later, Mr. Macron sounds a lot like Le Pen. His change in rhetoric and action is changing the way France deals with Islam.

Mr. Macron has already given police powers of search and seizure, with limited oversight from French courts. Police can also shut down “places of worship in which are disseminated the writings, ideas or theories that provoke violence, hatred and discrimination.”

But as attacks continue, Macron is doing more.

On October 16, France suffered another terror attack. Samuel Paty, a history teacher, was beheaded in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sante-Honorine. During a lecture on free speech, Paty had shown his class cartoons depicting Mohammed. Abdullakh Anzorov, an 18-year-old Chechnyan refugee, responded by beheading Paty in broad daylight.

The police arrived within minutes of the attack and shot Anzorov dead. Witnesses reported hearing him shouting, “Allahu akbar!” (“Allah is the greatest”).

Even before this attack, the rise of radical Islam had prompted President Macron to be bolder with his rhetoric and action.

Mr. Macron gave a landmark speech at the Paris suburb of Les Mureaux on October 2, proposing new laws to deal with Islamism. Mosques would be banned from importing imams from abroad. Homeschooling would be outlawed for French youth, with an exception for children with valid medical excuses. He pledged to ban the burkini, the nickname for a modest female swimsuit used by many Muslims. And he wanted more government oversight over Arabic-language classes and private schools in general.

President Macron said he wanted to use these measures to make French Islam “compatible with the values of the republic.”

Foreign states have a lot of influence in French mosques. Algeria, for example, sponsors the Grand Mosque of Paris, while Turkey—under its increasingly Islamist strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan—actively sponsors Muslim organizations in France. Just last month, police in Vienna reported a plot orchestrated by Erdoğan to assassinate an Austrian politician of Kurdish descent.

Already one mosque in the Paris region of Pantin has been ordered to close for six months.

Macron’s language was more surprising. He warned (Trumpet translation throughout):

Islam is a religion living through a crisis today, everywhere in the world. We don’t realize that in our country; it’s a profound crisis linked to tensions between fundamentalisms, projects fittingly religious and political, which, as we are seeing in all regions of the world, lead to a very strong intensification, including in the countries where Islam is the majority religion.

Saying Islam is in “crisis” is not politically correct. President Macron received a lot of backlash from the French Muslim community for saying it. But what can be inferred is that Macron sees Islam as a whole going down a path that is dangerous for France and cannot be ignored.

He also talked about “building an Islam in France which can be an Islam of the Enlightenment.” France, he says, must take the religion and mold it into something more French.

During a speech in the aftermath of the latest beheading, Macron stated, “It was no coincidence that the terrorist killed a teacher because he wanted to kill the republic and its values. … The battle is ours and is existential.”

Macron isn’t the only French politician giving a call to arms. His interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, has been even more aggressive against Islam—and not just the radical form. Darmanin is arresting suspected radicals en masse and promises to deport them. He is also dissolving 51 Muslim organizations, apparently with little more than the stroke of a pen, some at the personal request of the president. Darmanin called one organization, the Collective Against Islamophobia in France, an “enemy of the republic.”

It’s clear that beheadings on the streets of Paris are changing France’s attitude toward Islam. Where is this leading?

Macron said that Islam’s “crisis,” included “the countries where Islam is the majority religion.” He warned that Muslim-majority countries with Sharia law contribute to global terrorism.

France is boosting its military and diplomatic presence in the Islamic world. French troops played a big role in the coalition that defeated the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. French peacekeepers maintain a heavy presence in the West African nation of Mali. He pressured the Lebanese government to accept Paris-dictated reforms in exchange for an aid package in the aftermath of the August 4 Beirut blast. His popularity in Lebanon skyrocketed. Many Lebanese wished their country to return to French colonial rule. He also stood up to Turkey, sending warships to the eastern Mediterranean to counter Turkey’s intrusion into European Union-claimed waters in the search for fossil fuel deposits.

But soon France’s military presence in the Middle East will increase even more dramatically.

A prophecy in Daniel 11:40 describes two power blocs in the Middle East-Mediterranean region: a “king of the south” and a “king of the north.” The king of the south will “push” at the king of the north. Strong’s Concordance describes push as “to butt with the horns; figuratively to war against.” The king of the north will respond by coming “against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships.”

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in The King of the South, the Bible’s description of this pushy king of the south matches closely with radical Islam, led by Iran.

Iran has a network of political, military and terrorist organizations that it sponsors and directs around the world. Its blatant pushes against other governments in the form of terrorist attacks and other Islamist activities are practically declarations of war. And the world—including France under Macron—is getting fed up with Islamic provocations.

The king of the north, or a European superpower to arise in our day, will confront this Islamist king of south. The Bible also forecasts that in this clash Europe will become a lot more religious.

That means some important changes for France. A 1905 secularism law outlaws the involvement of religion in politics and limits how involved the French state can be in religion. The law is one of the reasons France depends on foreign imams in French mosques. The state is legally barred from getting involved in the administration of religions like Islam. But Macron’s proposed law would override this principle.

The law specifically targets Islam, a minority religion. But this could set a precedent for the French government to go after other minority religions.

France has allowed radical Islam to grow within its borders by refusing to confront it. It is starting to address that problem. But aspects of the new law go further—pointing already to a new authoritarian direction for the country.

Take the homeschooling ban. This applies universally to France’s estimated 50,000 homeschooled children, who could be anything from Muslim to Catholic to atheist. Homeschooling is the only way a parent has to opt-out of any governmental propaganda being instituted in schools—which is why Adolf Hitler banned it. This is a major change to the French educational system, and the Islamist crisis is allowing it to be pushed through with very little debate.

France prides itself on being a secular nation. But tensions with the French Muslim community are causing many to reexamine what it means to be French. The responses to the 2019 fire at Notre Dame Cathedral were a good demonstration of this. President Macron lamented the burning of what he called “the epicenter of our lives.” A bbc reporter covering the events at the time stated, “No other site represents France quite like Notre Dame.”

Despite republicans’ best efforts, Catholicism remains at the heart of French culture. Avignon, a city in southern France, used to be the headquarters of the papacy in the Middle Ages. One of the major annual pilgrimages for Catholics is to travel to Paris to see the alleged crown of thorns displayed in Notre Dame Cathedral for Easter. Napoleon was crowned “emperor of the French” in the presence of the pope. The flag of the Free French army in World War ii featured the Cross of Lorraine, a historic symbol of France.

The Bible also predicts that France—with the rest of Europe—will return to its Catholic roots and stamp out religious dissenters.

The book of Revelation gives some details as to how the king of the north will behave, though it doesn’t describe this empire under that name. Chapter 13 describes a “beast,” a world superpower forming right now in Europe. Verse 7 says that “it was given unto him to make war with the saints [followers of the true God who dissent with the beast’s religion], and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

The same chapter from verse 11 onward describes another beast, a “false prophet” (as termed in Revelation 19:20) that has “two horns like a lamb” but speaks “as a dragon.” This beast directs public worship and has the authority to cause nonbelievers to be executed (Revelation 13:14-15) and imposes a “mark” on “all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond” (verse 16). This mark is an identifying sign, a sign enforced by a religious power, that excludes nonconformists from participating in society (verses 16-18).

And this “mark of the beast” has everything to do with what is going on in France right now.

France is already setting the stage for a public religion that outlaws some modes of worship.

The direction that France and Europe as a whole are going right now will change the course of world events in a dramatic way. It will directly impact the life of every person on the planet in the near future. For more understanding on this subject and how you can be prepared for what is coming, request our free booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast? by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Economic Virus

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U.S. Arrests Mexican Ex-Defense Chief on Drug Charges

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis welcomes Mexican Secretary of National Defense Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda to the Pentagon.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Arrests Mexican Ex-Defense Chief on Drug Charges

The arrest of Mexico’s drug ‘godfather’ makes U.S.-Mexican relations even more complicated.

Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Mexico’s former defense chief, was arrested October 15 by American law enforcement in Los Angeles International Airport as he was visiting the United States with his family. Cienfuegos was secretary of National Defense under the administration of former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. The charges against him include assisting in the trafficking of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine marijuana, as well as money laundering and accepting bribes.

According to U.S. prosecutors, Cienfuegos has been identified as El Padrino (“The Godfather”), a mysterious high-ranking figure in the Mexican drug underworld that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (dea) has been hunting for some time. The dea had suspected that El Padrino was somebody deep in the Mexican military establishment.

Cienfuegos is the highest-ranking member of the Mexican military arrested for drug charges. He is accused of assisting the H-2 Cartel—a splinter group of the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, itself splintering from the infamous Sinaloa Cartel in 2008—by turning a blind eye to H-2 operations while directing his anti-drug war on their competition.

The Beltran-Leyva brothers ran one of the most powerful and infamous cartels in Mexico, and had a heavy presence in the Mexican border state of Sonora. All four of the brothers have been arrested or killed over the years, including Hector Beltran-Leyva, the original “H.” A man working under him, Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez, nicknamed “H2,” took the lead of one of the cartel’s offshoot groups once “H” was arrested.

But while H2 was the leader of the cartel, American officials believed that El Padrino, whoever he was, was giving the group a lot of help from the shadows.

And now, it looks like Mexico’s drug “godfather” was the man in charge of combating the war on drugs in the first place.

In Mexico, unlike in other countries, it is the military rather than the civilian police in charge of combating drug groups. Considering the cartels are heavily armed and control entire sections of the country—more akin to autonomous militia groups than organized crime syndicates—one can’t really blame the Mexican government for relying on the armed forces.

This policing using the military started under the administration of President Felipe Calderón (2006–2012), who saw Mexico’s police force as inadequate to fight the cartels, if not in league with them outright. In 2008, Calderón and U.S. President George W. Bush agreed on the Merida Initiative, in which America would appropriate several billion dollars’ worth of funding to the Mexican government to combat the drug trade.

Since a law was passed in 2017 (when Cienfuegos was secretary of defense)—a law that constitutional scholar Dr. Alejandro Madrazo says “displaces the Constitution”—the Mexican military has acted with autonomy from the judiciary and congress to attack the cartels with little oversight apart from the defense secretary and president. This has led to human rights activists accusing Mexico’s military of “widespread human rights violations, including torture, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nevertheless, the fact that Mexico’s military is all that stands in the way of the cartels turning the country into complete anarchy means that the armed forces are extremely well respected by many Mexicans. Since the Mexican War on Drugs began in 2006, an estimated 150,000 to almost 300,000 Mexicans have died as a result of the conflict.

Last December, Genaro García Luna, the secretary of Public Security (Mexico’s equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation), was arrested in Texas for accepting millions of dollars’ worth of bribes to turn a blind eye to the operations of the Sinaloa Cartel, formerly led by the infamous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Both Cienfuegos and García were assigned to head the War on Drugs, and both were, in one way or another, assisting cartels even as America was setting aside billions of dollars for Mexico to fight the war on drugs. No wonder America wants both men in jail.

The National Center for Health Statistics reports that over 70,000 deaths were caused by drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2017. In the same year, according to an estimation by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, roughly 30.5 million people over the age of 12 used illegal drugs, with an estimated 2 million of those under age 18.

Over 90 percent of drugs that can potentially kill are brought into the U.S. through Mexico.

Should we really be surprised that corruption and drug money have made their way to some of the most influential leaders in Mexico when the drug industry is so lucrative? According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, drug cartels earned between $19 and $29 billion each year in America and send it back to Mexico. In 2016, Americans spent $150 billion on heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana alone.

As horrible as the actions of people like Cienfuegos and García are, where do you think the millions of dollars they were bribed with came from?

And what about the purchases that the cartels make in America? It isn’t as well known, but America isn’t just a lucrative market for the cartels—the cartels are also a lucrative market for Americans. One thing that the cartels have a high demand for are military-grade weapons. Trumpet editor Brad Macdonald wrote in his 2012 article “Beheading Mexico”:

The violence is all the worse because of the cartels’ weapons: tons of high-powered AK-47s, AR-15s and .50 caliber rifles. Oftentimes even the lowliest gangster has access to assault rifles, high-tech telescopes, infrared goggles, grenades, grenade launchers and high-caliber ammunition. According to stats released by both the U.S. and Mexican governments, 80 to 90 percent of the weapons used by Mexico’s drug cartels come from the U.S. Providing cartels with weapons is a multimillion-dollar racket, and U.S. residents are purchasing state-of-the-art weapons and selling them to the cartels, which then smuggle them into Mexico.

According to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as reported by Al Jazeera, even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sold weapons to cartels in order to trace them to the cartel bosses. While the dhs is doing this to capture mass murderers, one has to wonder how many people were mowed down by the same weapons—how many parents, wives and children were bereaved—before American law enforcement caught their “big fish.”

And the cartels are diversifying their operations in recent years: Human trafficking—much of it in the sex trade—has become the cartels’ third-biggest revenue generator, after drugs and weapons.

Some claim that the push in recent years to legalize recreational marijuana is the government’s way of combating the cartels. Marijuana is one of the major drugs the cartels export to Americans, and if the money is going into the coffers of the states rather than Sinaloa, the cartels are deprived of their funding.

But this actually has the opposite effect. With Canada, Washington, Colorado and others legalizing recreational marijuana, the cartels are losing revenue, so they’re increasing their production of hard drugs like heroin. The Council on Foreign Relations links this to the recent opioid epidemic cursing many American cities.

Mr. Macdonald continued in his article:

Meet Billy. He’s an American college student who likes to get together with his buddies and smoke a little weed, or on occasion, snort a little cocaine. Billy doesn’t go “overboard.” He never sells drugs, or steals cars, or robs the elderly to support his hobby. In his mind—and the minds of many Americans—his drug use is simple, cheap fun, and mostly harmless.

Truth is, Billy is an ignorant, selfish fool whose actions are killing people. Neither Billy nor the millions of Americans like him give any thought to the poor Mexican farmers forced at gunpoint to grow marijuana or poppy crops. Or the barbaric cartels that supply him with this dope. Or the wreckage these cartels are causing in Mexico: collapsed businesses, abandoned towns and cities, countless mothers who fear letting their children play in the front yard. Or the tens of thousands who have been killed, kidnapped or wounded in drug-related violence. Or the brave U.S. border agents doing battle with drug cartels.

Obsessed with his own gratification, Billy the American doesn’t realize he’s the cause of so many of Mexico’s dire problems.

This crisis exists because there are tens of millions of Billys in the U.S. About 119 million Americans have used an illicit substance at least once. That’s 47 percent of Americans over the age of 13. In its 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discovered that roughly 22 million Americans over the age of 12 were regular drug users, meaning they’d consumed an illicit drug in the previous month.

We at the Trumpet have written a lot about the moral decline of Americans, and drug addiction is a huge part of the problem. But never mind how the drugs are harming American society; America’s addiction is sending billions of dollars to fund a never-ending war in a country on the verge of becoming a failed state.

To learn more about America’s moral decline and what it means for us today and in the near future, please request our free booklet by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, Character in Crisis. This is one offer you can’t afford to refuse.

Economic Virus

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The China-Australia Trade War

TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP via Getty Images

The China-Australia Trade War

China tightens its economic squeeze on Australia, foreshadowing its global agenda.

After targeting Australian barley, beef, wine and coal in recent weeks, China is now also “discouraging” Chinese companies from buying Australian cotton the South China Morning Post reported on October 16. This wave of tariffs and embargoes might seem sudden, but developments over the last nine months, and indeed years, provide some insight on China’s ire.

China has steadily increased investment and trade with Australia over the last few years. Sixty percent of Australia’s trade worldwide is with Asia. As of 2019, China accounted for 40 percent of that total, and at $165 billion, China is Australia’s most important trade partner. China accounts for about a third of Australia’s export earnings; it has invested almost $50 billion in Australia over the last six years, funding over a dozen Australian universities and think tanks; and over 10 percent of all Australian university places are held by Chinese international students.

Australia’s future looked inseparable from China. Then covid-19 happened.

Australian Foreign Secretary Marise Payne called for an independent inquiry into the pandemic’s outbreak. Prime Minister Scott Morrison went a step further, suggesting that the China-controlled World Health Organization needed tougher powers to investigate what caused the outbreak.

The calls led to an immediate backlash as China retorted with criticisms of Australia resorting to “politically motivated suspicion and accusation.” The Chinese Embassy in Australia accused politicians of being keen to “parrot what those Americans have asserted and simply follow them in staging political attacks on China.”

In truth, the Australian public was unmoved by the prospect of an acrimonious relationship with China. According to a new Pew Survey, the number of Australians with a favorable view of China has plummeted from 64 percent to just 15 percent in the last three years. Eighty-one percent of Australians view China unfavorably, despite how interlinked their economies have been in recent years.

China recognizes this and has invested less and less in Australia over recent months. But Australia’s outright castigation of Beijing was significant. It was a show of opposition that rankled Beijing, hence the economic squeeze to suffocate Australian industry and business.

Now, Australia’s $750 million cotton trade with China is threatened. This is in addition to the duties imposed on Australian barley, an import ban on four Australian red meat abattoirs, as well as the targeting of Australian coal. China has even launched an investigation into imports of Australian wine.

China has effectively launched a no-holds-barred assault on Australian trade. Its willingness to besiege the Australian economy gives valuable insight into China’s current proclivity for economic combativeness. Bible prophecy shows us how this approach will broaden in the near future.

Mart of Nations

The Bible tells of a special relationship between God and the nations of Israel. In Leviticus 26, God outlines the parameters of His covenant with Israel, primarily the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia today. (For proof of this fact, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.) God promises blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.

About these modern-day descendants, Mr. Armstrong wrote:

The most remarkable fulfillment of biblical prophecy in modern times was the sudden sprouting forth of the two mightiest world powers—one, a commonwealth of nations forming the greatest world empire of all time; the other, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth today. These birthright peoples came, with incredible suddenness, into possession of more than two thirds—nearly three fourths—of the cultivated wealth and resources of the whole world! This sensational spurt from virtual obscurity in so short a time gives incontrovertible proof of divine inspiration. Never, in all history, did anything like it occur.

Australia was a part of that great world empire. It was a recipient of those wonderful blessings. But today, it has turned away from God, forgetting that wonderful relationship and the way of life that brings blessings. And there are consequences.

The Prophet Isaiah wrote about a powerful, multinational trade conglomerate, a “mart of nations,” to arise in this age (Isaiah 23:3). One of the key players in this trade is identified as “Chittim.”

In his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains: “This biblical name refers to both the island of Cyprus and to the nation of China, whose progenitors first populated Cyprus and gave it its name. … Their territory stretched from what is now Korea to eastern Kazakhstan, including Beijing, the seat of government in China today.”

Kittim, also referring to modern-day China, is prophesied to head up a powerful trade alliance, one that will include Tyre (modern-day Europe), Meshech (Russia) and Tarshish (Japan) (Isaiah 23:1; Ezekiel 38:2, 13). However, Israel is not prophesied to be part of this alliance. This is because the alliance will exist for the purpose of shutting modern-day Israel out of world trade as it is “literally besieged—economically frozen out of world trade.”

China is doing to Australia today what, as a leading member of this prophesied mart of nations, it will do to all modern-day nations of Israel. This is no simple dispute to be solved through diplomacy, which Australia is now hoping to do. Even if Australia and China do make amends, this spat has revealed China’s willingness to lay siege on the economies of its enemies. This siege will broaden once Europe and other Asian nations join this mart of nations.

An all-out trade war is on the horizon, one that will completely destroy the nations of Israel. History has proved that economic turmoil often precipitates war. More significantly, the Bible prophesies that war is coming. At the Trumpet, we report on world events through the lens of the Bible, showing what is to come but also the way to escape it. Request our free magazine and a free copy of Isaiah’s End-Time Vision to gain the full understanding of the meaning behind world events and to learn what you can do about it.

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An Astonishing Archaeological Discovery Is Imminent!

Over the last three decades, the legacy of King David has been resurrected through several archaeological discoveries. But the greatest discovery is still to come.

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America Has the Fewest Police Officers Per Person Since 1993

Demonstrators confront police officers during a protest near the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AFP/Getty Images

America Has the Fewest Police Officers Per Person Since 1993

Expect crime to increase as radicals tear down our last line of defense.

As rioters throw Molotov cocktails at police cars and politicians move to defund police departments, at least 118 officers have quit the Seattle Police Department this year. That is according to Seattle Police Officer Guild president Mike Solan, who was interviewed on the Jason Rantz Show on October 15. Seattle now has 1,200 officers on its force—the lowest number in a decade. And Seattle is not the only city with a shrinking police force.

The New York Police Department has also shrunk to its smallest size in 10 years. More than 2,385 New York police officers filed for retirement this year, compared to only 1,300 last year. “No one wants to come to work every day and be demoralized and vilified as they risk their lives to protect people,” nypd detective union head Paul DiGiacomo told cnn in July. “We are losing people who love this city, love the people of the city, love this agency.”

Reports of police officers quitting en masse have hit Asheville, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and many other cities. And this wave of resignations is just the intensification of an already existing trend.

According to figures from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll, there are fewer police officers per person in the United States than at any point since 1993. There were roughly 214 police officers per 100,000 Americans in 2019, compared to 237 police officers per 100,000 Americans in 2008 when police numbers last peaked.

A large body of evidence finds that police have a substantial impact on crime rates, so the continued erosion of the police force could herald a new era of high crime. America was plagued by high crime in the 1980s and 1990s until Congress passed a crime bill in 1994 that approved federal funds for local police. This bill helped local police departments hire more officers, contributing to a reduction in violent crime across the nation. But now the number of police officers per person in America has fallen back to 1994 levels, and radical politicians are still calling for police departments to be defunded. These radical politicians are tearing down America’s last line of defense.

Once this last line of defense is gone, cities will burn.

In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong explained how modern Britain and America descended from ancient Israel. The Bible records that in the time just before Jesus Christ’s return, sinful behavior among Israelites will lead to a violent revolution so devastating that no one will want to even try to solve the problems.

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand: In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people. For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory” (Isaiah 3:4-8).

This passage describes a time in America when everyone is oppressed by his neighbor and youth rebel. The chapter describes a complete lack of leadership. God says He takes away “[t]he mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator” (verses 2-3). Leadership is lacking at all levels of society. People look for a leader to solve the problems, but no one wants the job.

You see the spirit of this verse in the police. No one is willing to take a stand for law and order.

The Trump administration is attempting to fight back against the radical left’s lawless agenda. But President Donald Trump’s efforts to restore law and order to America will help for only so long before the nation has to address the root cause of the current crisis. Sinful behavior and upside-down families are creating anarchy. Isaiah 3 tells us this—much of the chapter addresses upside-down families. America’s current temporary revival is a chance to repent of the sins that have allowed so much corruption to seep into the nation’s government. But this window of time will not stay open long! Unless we use this time to address the causes of these problems, they will overwhelm us.

To understand what God wants Americans to learn from the protests and riots engulfing the nation, please read “Race Riots Were Prophesied!”, by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

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The Radical Left’s Ongoing Coup

This is not just a contested election.

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How Does the Pope Want You to Vote?

Pope Francis gives a speech during an International Prayer Meeting for Peace on October 20 at the Roman Basilica of Aracoeli.
Vatican Pool/Getty Images

How Does the Pope Want You to Vote?

The pope published one of his longest and most important letters on politics this month, and it is being seen as a direct intervention in the United States election.

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne Jr. called it “the pope’s unexpected election message.” “We are not accustomed to a hearing from a pope, a month before Election Day, who criticizes ‘myopic, extremist, resentful and aggressive nationalism,’ and castigates those who, through their actions, cast immigrants as ‘less worthy, less important, less human,’” he wrote.

Former Tablet editor Catherine Pepinster wrote in the Guardian that the encyclical’s “message means the pope has waded right into some of the key issues dominating the U.S. presidential election.”

She noted that “the Democrats may well be cheered” by much of what the pope wrote. “This clarion call from across the Atlantic could well be an election clincher,” she concluded.

Fratelli Tutti doesn’t mention U.S. politics. It’s the pope’s discussion on how all men can be brothers. Nevertheless, the document makes clear what he thinks about President Donald Trump—and even attacks the foundations of America’s political and economic systems.

Further evidence of the Pope’s views comes from the way he has treated both sides of the campaign. In September, when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wanted to meet with the pope, he was denied. The Vatican said the pope wanted to avoid giving the impression he supported any particular candidate before the election. Yet he is apparently fine with publishing a document that strongly implies he supports the Democrats.

The encyclical’s political undertones have made some right-wing Catholics its biggest critics.

It strongly supports migrants, condemning “[c]ertain populist political regimes, as well as certain liberal economic approaches” that “maintain that an influx of migrants is to be prevented at all costs.” He singles out Latino immigration into the U.S. for praise, saying these people bring “values and possibilities that can greatly enrich the United States.”

The pope’s biggest criticism is of those who want to build walls. He warned that “those who raise walls will end up as slaves within the very walls they have built.”

But his criticisms go beyond Mr. Trump. They target the foundation of the American republic.

“Certain economically prosperous countries tend to be proposed as cultural models for less-developed countries,” writes the pope. It’s pretty clear which country he’s talking about. For other countries to copy the United States, he writes, would be a “shallow and pathetic desire to imitate others,” which “leads to copying and consuming in place of creating, and fosters low national self-esteem.”

Chapter 3 of the letter doesn’t specifically mention the U.S. Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But it’s clearly a criticism of the foundations of American politics. It’s lengthy, and my summary will just hit the high spots—but it mirrors many criticisms raised by the American left.

Equality, the pope writes, is not “achieved by an abstract proclamation that ‘all men and women are equal.’” To proclaim that all are free, yet stand back and allow individuals to pursue happiness in their own way, is not enough, says the pope. This leads to “radical individualism,” which is “a virus that is extremely difficult to eliminate.”

“Some people are born into economically stable families, receive a fine education, grow up well nourished, or naturally possess great talent,” he writes. “They will certainly not need a proactive state; they need only claim their freedom.” Everyone else, though, needs something more “proactive.” How similar to former President Barack Obama’s complaint that the US Constitution “says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.”

The pope says a society cannot be built on the foundation of individual rights. The rights of the individual must instead be “harmoniously ordered to the greater good.” “Words like freedom, democracy or fraternity prove meaningless” unless “our economic and social system no longer produces even a single victim, a single person cast aside.”

To achieve this goal, the world must think about property differently. One of the pope’s subheads is “Re-envisaging the Social Role of Property.” Here he says that “the Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property. … The principle of the common use of created goods is the ‘first principle of the whole ethical and social order’” (here the pope is quoting from himself—as he does in much of this letter). He quotes various Catholic figures arguing that we do not own our property—it belongs to the poor.

My aim here is not to refute what the pope is saying; this idea that equal rights requires a “proactive” government to redistribute wealth has been refuted by British and American thinkers often over the last 200 or 300 years. And if you want to read what the Bible says about caring for the poor, you can read our article “The Welfare System That Works.” Instead, I want to point out the pope is preaching as doctrine a political and economic system completely at odds with America’s Constitution. The American way, he argues, is immoral. The world needs something else.

He is also critical of America’s role in the world. He talks about how the Holocaust must not be forgotten. Then in the next paragraph, he says, “Nor must we forget the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” implying that America’s use of atomic weapons to end that war was a crime as evil as Nazi Germany’s murder of 6 million Jews.

The world needs a new political and economic system, the pope says. He calls for the reform of “the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.” He repeats his earlier calls for a new global economy “more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices.”

In the last presidential election, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry asked in the Trumpet magazine, “Why Is the Pope Meddling in American Politics?” That year, the pope visited the U.S.-Mexico border and declared, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

“This pope is very politically minded, and he says so himself,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “Even as he spoke about Trump, the pope called himself a ‘political animal.’ Back in 2013, he said, ‘A good Catholic meddles in politics.’ He sees it as part of his religious duty.” He intervened against President Trump then, and he is doing so again.

The pope has called free-market capitalism “a new tyranny” and “the dung of the devil.” Mr. Flurry wrote that “this pope has made clear that he is staunchly opposed to some of America’s foundational ideals.” In this latest letter, Pope Francis made this clearer than ever.

Revelation 17:2 describes a woman “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication.” This is clearly speaking in symbolism. A woman is a type of a church (which you can also see in Ephesians 5 and Revelation 12). Revelation 17 describes a great and powerful false church, with political influence, involved with kings, presidents and elections. Mr. Flurry wrote:

Other biblical prophecies reveal that the United States is in grave danger! Believe it or not, Satan the devil is unleashing a multipronged attack on what has until recently been the most powerful single nation in history. He is working within the population by encouraging sin and perversion. He is turning factions within our people against one another, stirring hatred and violence that are tearing us apart. He is working from within the nation through leaders that are destroying America’s values and embracing lawlessness and corruption. At the same time, he is fomenting hatred among America’s enemies, empowering them to aggressively work against the nation’s interests.

In this encyclical, Pope Francis has revealed himself, more than ever before, as one of these enemies. The leader of the world’s largest organized religion has clearly set himself in opposition to the world’s greatest superpower—in the same way that the Catholic Church earlier worked against the Soviet Union.

His views are not shared by many U.S. Catholics. Polls suggest American Catholics favor President Trump over Joe Biden. I’m sure many other Catholics around the world also disagree with Pope Francis.

Nevertheless, the pope wields huge power, and the Bible says he will soon get even more. Revelation 17 says this woman leads and dominates a “beast”—a symbol in Bible prophecy of a major empire.

Already the pope is steering the world against America. Revelation 18 goes on to describe this beast power dominating the world’s economic system. The pope is one of the greatest critics of the current system—and events are leading to the time when that system will be replaced.

“The pope is making an extremely dangerous foray into American politics,” concluded Mr. Flurry in 2016. “Bible prophecy shows us how dangerous this institution is. When it makes a power play like this, we must sit up and pay attention, and recognize the seriousness of the times!”

The pope is making that foray once again. You need to understand what Bible prophecy says about it. Our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy will help prove to you what the Bible says about this organization. It will also show how this church fits into God’s overall plan for mankind—He is in control, and has been throughout history. So much of the what the Bible prophesies about this organization has already been fulfilled. This history also proves the reliability of the Bible and can boost your confidence that its hope-filled forecasts for the future are sure.

Battle for God’s Truth

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China Wants Germany

Chinese and German flags fly in Beijing on January 31, 2012.
Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

China Wants Germany

How Germany fits into China’s grand strategy—and vice versa

A report released by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (fdd) on October 14 analyzes Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” (mic2025) plan first announced in 2015. The report sheds light on the details of China’s strategy to economically take over Europe. And the linchpin of China’s plan for a European economic empire is Germany.

Emily de la Bruyere, the report’s author, said that China sees Europe as the “battlefield for what they diagnose to be a third world war.”

“China sees Germany as the linchpin in that battle,” she said. “If China can win Germany, it can win Europe. It can win the world.”

mic2025 is the first stage in a three-part economic project intended to turn China into a “manufacturing great power.” As the second-largest economy in the world, China already is a leader in global manufacturing. But for the Chinese government, like the athletes going to Beijing’s Winter Olympics in a couple of years, second place isn’t good enough.

The Chinese intend on gaining an advantage not necessarily through direct competition with other countries but rather through cooperation. This involves undertaking joint ventures with foreign corporations in order to increase foreign nations’ dependencies on the Chinese economy, coerce the international community to adopt Chinese standards in trade and technology, and catch up technologically with other countries both through forcing them to give up their trade secrets and through intellectual property theft.

But both America and Japan, the world’s first- and third-largest economies respectively, aren’t on the best terms with China. Both economic behemoths have interests in the Chinese economy but also distrust Beijing severely and have been trying to disengage from the Chinese economy in recent years.

So that leaves China with the fourth-largest economy in the world: Germany.

The fdd report states:

In its bid to gain power and global influence, the Chinese Communist Party (ccp) seeks not only to acquire foreign technology, but also to secure industrial control. Cooperation with German industry lies at the heart of this strategy. … Germany is, in fact, a template for the ccp strategy to dominate the 21st-century economy and set the rules for the modern world.

What are the specific methods China uses to achieve this end? “mic2025 targets Germany first as a source of technology, second as a partner through which to export standards favorable to China, and third as a competitor for the lead in the current industrial revolution.”

The Sino-German economic partnership is not a new one. Volkswagen formed an arrangement with Shanghai Automotive (today saic Motor) in 1984, the first international joint-venture in the automotive industry allowed by the Chinese government. Siemens entered the People’s Republic of China a year later (though it had been doing business in China since the days of the kaisers).

Today, China and Germany have a robust economic relationship. 2017 saw China directly invest more into Germany than any other country in Europe; in 2018, Germany was second only to Luxembourg. This investing targets some of Germany’s most profitable and established corporations. In 2018, Siemens and Shanghai Electric entered a partnership where Siemens agreed to supply Shanghai Electric with the technology and training related to constructing gas turbines; once Shanghai Electric had its gas turbine industry up and running, it abruptly terminated its agreement with Siemens, leaving the German company out in the cold.

That same year, the Chinese automotive company Geely purchased just under 10 percent of Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz), a small enough amount to fly under the radar of Germany’s investment-review mechanism, normally triggered by ownership stakes 10 percent and above.

Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, relocated its European headquarters from the United Kingdom to Germany in 2007 and quickly entered a partnership with Deutsche Telekom. Huawei in 2015 pledged to invest €400 million (us$474 million) into Germany, was approved to create a 5G base station in 2018, and entered a partnership with the municipality of Duisburg to create the first “European smart city project.” Duisburg, the biggest inland port in the world, has agreed to use Huawei technologies to develop the “Rhine Cloud,” a digital server meant to amplify Duisburg with “smart government, smart port logistics, smart education, smart infrastructure, 5G and broadband, smart homes and urban loT.”

Huawei has come under United States sanctions for allegedly using its technologies to spy on foreign nationals. While Great Britain and France have publicly condemned the company and are phasing Huawei out of their 5G systems, Germany has been reluctant to do so.

China is investing so heavily into Germany partly because Germany, with its massive economy and population, is seen as the unofficial leader of the European Union. China knows that little gets done in Brussels without Germany giving its consent. If Germany can get economically entangled in a Chinese web, then Beijing can hold the reins of the entire EU.

China also knows that Germany, being the economic dynamo it is, is an important competitor and is anxious to make sure that Germany does not overtake its economic influence. Both China and Germany are well known for weaponizing their economies against economically weaker states: Consider how China trapped Sri Lanka and how Germany trapped Greece.

However, the Sino-German economic relationship isn’t one-sided. In 2019, the value of goods Germany exported to China was almost €100 billion ($118.6 billion). This makes Germany—just one country among 27, which includes economically influential countries like France and Italy—responsible for over half of the money the EU gets from trading with China. China has been Germany’s largest trade partner for several years now.

Germany knows that China’s intentions in investing into Germany aren’t altruistic. A German intelligence report in 2018 stated that China was attempting to “influence every level of German government, society, and business,” according to Axios. However, an unnamed German government official tried to keep the report secret so that business ties with China weren’t damaged.

According to the Axios article, German Chancellor Angela Merkel did have access to the report; she must have been fine with the cover-up, as she let the report stay a secret to the rest of her government.

Then there is also the question of China’s human rights abuses. Germany has come under a lot of pressure to cut back its trade with China due to the genocide of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province and the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. In an interview with Politico, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: “I have always been convinced and I still believe that change can be achieved through trade,” regarding the idea that by continuing to trade with China, Germany is letting the Chinese government get away with its nefarious activities.

Altmaier claims that opening up China to Western markets would keep its relations with the West amicable and therefore encourage it to be peaceable. But while Germany has no problem with sanctioning other dictatorships like Russia and Belarus—states with far weaker economies—China somehow gets a free pass.

Somehow, the EU—with Germany arguably its most influential member state—cannot come together on trade deals with America and post-Brexit Britain (democracies and nato allies), but Germany can claim that it is encouraging a genocidal dictatorship to change its behavior by doing business with it while the rest of the world condemns China’s actions.

Germany has always had an interesting relationship with the Communist world. Imperial Germany was the first country to recognize the legitimacy of the Bolshevik takeover in Russia when it signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with representatives of Vladimir Lenin’s government in 1917 during World War i. The 1922 Treaty of Rapallo was officially about Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union renouncing territorial claims on each other. But it included secret provisions allowing Germany to train its military, a military that was nominally under the shackles of the Treaty of Versailles, deep in Soviet territory, where Britain and France couldn’t watch. In 1939, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin agreed to divide Eastern Europe between themselves in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Nazi and Soviet armies cooperated with each other in the invasion of Poland.

After World War ii, West Germany became more hostile to the Communist world once the Soviets installed a Communist satellite state in East Germany. But now that a divided Germany is history, Berlin need not be so unfriendly.

In fact, both China and Germany have a lot to gain from strengthening economic ties with each other, even if both have reasons to be suspicious of a relationship.

The reason for that is because both want to overtake the world’s number one economy: the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been quite vocal about the unfair trade relationships between America and both China and Germany. Both countries are being marginalized by the current administration in Washington. Both are tired of playing America’s game and want to play by their own rules.

And both want America to knuckle under these new rules.

Bible prophecy tells us that these two economic behemoths will come together against the United States in the very near future.

The book of Isaiah was written primarily for the “last days,” or the time just prior to the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 2:1; 30:8). A prophecy in Isaiah 23 is all about what is happening in China and Germany today: “The burden of Tyre … from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them. Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations” (verses 1-3).

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains this prophecy in his free book Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. He writes:

The spiritual center of the Holy Roman Empire [a world-conquering resurrection of the Roman Empire that has risen and fallen throughout history, and is forming one last time in Europe, centered in Germany] is called Babylon in your Bible (Revelation 17:5; 18:1-3). But here in Isaiah, the Bible refers to Tyre (and its allies Zidon, etc) as the commercial center of this European power. By understanding the spiritual and the commercial powers, you can understand what a colossus is rising in Europe. …

Chittim (verse 1; biblical Kittim—Genesis 10:4) gave birth to the land of Chaldee, or southern China. China and Japan were prophesied to be powerful nations in this end time …. They are trading mightily with the Holy Roman Empire ….

[We] believe there may be a brief alliance between the Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east).

(Please read the section “Who Is Chittim?” in Isaiah’s End-Time Vision for proof regarding China’s prophetic identity. For more information regarding the Holy Roman Empire and how it is forming in Europe today, please read our free book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.)

This alliance won’t end well for America. Deuteronomy 28 details God’s covenant with the ancient Israelites, specifically the blessings He would bring to the nation if it obeyed Him and the curses if it disobeyed Him. Like Isaiah 23, Deuteronomy 28 is for our time today; specifically, for the descendants of those ancient Israelites, the American and British peoples (to prove this, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong).

Verse 52 states that Israel’s enemy will “besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

Mr. Flurry writes about this verse in his book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet:

For many years, Mr. Armstrong said the siege prophesied in verse 52 symbolized America’s economy being battered by foreign competition …. The Holy Roman Empire, along with the kings of the east (the Asian nations), will cause economic problems and bring on destruction in many ways …. “In all thy gates” refers to a trade war. …

[T]his emperor [will be] cooperating with the Russians and the Chinese to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations economically.

Many feel that this global economy is too interconnected for America, Germany and China to turn on each other in a meaningful way. But America was at war with both within living memory. And America is going to have both of them as enemies one more time, as economic enemies, and then the German-led Holy Roman Empire as a full-on military invader. To learn more about this coming mammoth trade bloc and what it means for America, please order our free booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision; Chapter 7 is especially relevant. Also request our free reprint article “The Great ‘Mart of Nations.’