The Snare of Debt

The Snare of Debt

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Debt is the Achilles heel in today’s high-flying American economy. Vast wealth is being accumulated on a crumbling foundation of massive debt. What will happen when the economy slows down? How will that debt be repaid?
From the March 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Mankind has just completed what can be justifiably called the “American century.” No other nation has impacted the world and history more by its military, economic, diplomatic and cultural power since the ancient days of Rome.

A January 14 article on the Internet’s CNNfn, “Party on Wall Street,” stated, “U.S. stocks rallied for the second straight session Friday, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a record high [11,716 points] after government data and words from the nation’s most powerful banker [Alan Greenspan] convinced investors that only a modest interest rate hike lies ahead.”

On that day when the Dow jumped to that record, Intel’s stock went up $12 per share, which increased Intel’s market value by an astounding $40 billion dollars in one day! Since March of 1991 when the present expansion began, U.S. stocks have risen an amazing $11 trillion in value! People are calling this the “virtuous cycle,” meaning strong growth with low inflation. And they say it will never end, and that we have overcome the problems which have in the past led to stock market crashes.

In the January 3 Wall Street Journal (wsj) a headline read, “Economists Are Euphoric About the Prospect for 2000.” The article stated (emphasis mine here and throughout), “Nearly all of the economists in the Wall Street Journal’s semiannual economic-forecasting survey believe that strong consumer spending, rising business productivity and tame inflation will keep the U.S. economy humming through the year 2000—shattering records for the longest economic expansion in U.S. history [nine years as of last February]…. ‘There is no end in sight to the expansion,’ said [Allen] Sinai [economist at Primark Corp.], who contends the U.S. economy is operating in a ‘new era’ in which a number of structural changes have made it possible for the economy to grow nonstop without triggering inflation—the culprit that has often led to economic downturns in the past.”

Mr. Sinai is saying we are experiencing a new economic era based on some structural changes which make this economy better. But we must ask, is this truly sustainable?

One of the greatest economists to ever live, John Kenneth Galbraith, wrote a book in 1954 titled The Great Crash 1929. On pages 194-195 he wrote that “the chances for a recurrence of a speculative orgy are rather good. No one can doubt that the American people remain susceptible to the speculative mood…. A rising market can still bring the reality of riches. This, in turn, can draw more and more people to participate. The government preventatives and controls are ready. In the hands of a determined government their [effectiveness] cannot be doubted. There are, however, a hundred reasons why a government will determine not to use them. In our democracy, an election is in the offing even on the day after an election. The avoidance of depression and the prevention of unemployment have become, for the politician, the most critical of all questions of public policy. Action to break up a boom must always be weighed against the chance that it will cause unemployment at a politically inopportune moment. Booms, it must be noted, are not stopped until after they have started. And after they have started, the action will always look, as it did to the frightened men in the Federal Reserve Board in February 1929, like a decision in favor of immediate as [opposed to] ultimate death. As we have seen, the immediate death not only has the disadvantage of being immediate, but of identifying the executioner.”

Mr. Galbraith is saying that if the Fed’s high interest rates kill the boom, then all fingers point at them (and the politicians in office). He continues, “The market will not go on a speculative rampage without some rationalization. But during the next boom, some newly rediscovered virtuosity of the free enterprise system will be cited [a “new era” due to “structural changes”]. It will be pointed out that people are justified in paying the present [high] prices—indeed, almost any price—to have an equity [or ownership] position in the system. Among the first to accept these rationalizations will be some of those responsible for invoking the controls. They will say firmly that controls are not needed. The newspapers, some of them, will agree and speak harshly of those who think action might be in order. They will be called men of little faith.”

Prophets of Doom

On page 73, Mr. Galbraith uses the term “prophets of doom” as society’s label for people who don’t jump on the bandwagon of euphoria during boom times. He says in the concluding paragraph of his book, “…inaction will be advocated in the present even though it means deep trouble in the future. Here, at least equally with communism, lies the threat to capitalism. It is what causes men who know that things are going quite wrong to say that things are fundamentally sound.” Mr. Galbraith’s last words in his book are a warning to not be deceived by lying men.

Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man.” And four verses later, it tells us why: “The heart [meaning the mind of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked [meaning incurably sick]…” (v. 9). We cannot trust men who say things are good when they are not!

An article in the Orlando Sentinel of September 29, 1998, gave a series of statements being made in 1929 about the promising year of 1930, despite the stock market crash in October 1929. “I believe that 1930 will be one of the most soundly prosperous years in American history,” said E.A. St. John, president of the National Surety Company. “There can be little that may indicate a serious or continued depression,” said the president of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. “A consensus showed that the new year [1930] will be more prosperous than for some time, with every indication of an excellent 12 months from a business and financial standpoint,” stated the sixth Federal Reserve District. And the New York Times reported, “Bankers say…that the full year [1930] will prove sound. Authorities in all branches of business and industry agree that already indications of improvement are seen.”

The article then stated, “As Harry Truman was fond of observing, the only surprises are the history you don’t know. So people who don’t know history don’t know…that all this talk of a ‘new era’ is actually more than 60 years old. It was all said on the eve of the Great Depression.”

The Great Crash 1929 says on page 77, “In March of 1929, [Paul M. Warburg of the International Acceptance Bank] called for a stronger Federal Reserve policy [meaning higher interest rates to slow the stock market] and argued that if the present orgy of ‘unrestrained speculation’ were not brought promptly to a halt there would ultimately be a disastrous collapse. This, he suggested, would be unfortunate not alone for the speculators. It would ‘bring about a general depression involving the entire country.’… As the market went up and up, his warnings were recalled only with contempt.”

The Trumpet knows this is not a popular message with most people, but there are other very cautious predictions being made based upon a clear-headed view of some very unsettling facts about America’s economy.

Just the Facts…

For one thing, the Federal Reserve Bank has been very slow about raising interest rates, just as Mr. Galbraith said they would be for very political reasons. By not raising interest rates, there is now a very great risk that today’s rising corporate and consumer debt levels may turn into tomorrow’s crash.

The January 3 wsj quoted earlier went on to say, “‘These are the best of economic times by any measure. The economy is growing rapidly, inflation is nonexistent, unemployment is the lowest it ever has been, and real median household income—probably the best measure of our standard of living—[has] never been higher,’ says Mark Zandi, chief economist at…an economic-consulting firm…. ‘When euphoria is running very high is when we should be most concerned.’

“Mr. Zandi worries that Americans are taking on too much risk on the mistaken assumption that the economy can expand forever. Investors are borrowing to buy stocks in hopes that the market will never decline.” That was one of the great mistakes before the 1929 crash, when only 1.5 million Americans, 1.2 percent of the population, were in the stock market. Today, 63 million Americans—24 percent—directly own stocks, much of it on borrowed money. In fact, margin debt (credit extended to buy stocks) jumped 46 percent in 1999 to a record high.

The wsj article continued, quoting Mr. Zandi: “Hubris is running pretty high. That’s when mistakes happen.” Hubris means “wanton insolence or arrogance resulting from excessive pride.” He is saying when you have that kind of arrogance and excessive pride, “mistakes happen.” Your Bible says the same thing in Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Hosea 5:5-6 says that pride is going to bring Israel down, because God has withdrawn His blessings due to Israel’s sins.

A Mountain of Debt

The nations of Israel (primarily the U.S. and former British Commonwealth nations) are all going to fall and fail together, and when that occurs, the huge amount of debt we have accumulated will roll over us like a mammoth steamroller.

U.S. corporations and individuals are on a borrowing binge of historic proportions, which is making them more vulnerable than at any time in history to a slowdown in the economy.

Because of relatively low interest rates, corporations are borrowing money and selling bonds like never before. Remember that bonds are simply loans to a corporation or government—selling bonds is just another form of borrowing money, because it must be paid back.

U.S. non-financial corporations had accumulated a record $4.2 trillion in outstanding debt by September of 1999. That is up 12 percent from the same time period in 1998 and is an increase of a staggering 60 percent in the last five years alone.

Corporations are not alone in this mountain of debt, because individuals are hugely in debt also. American consumer borrowing has risen almost 50 percent in the past five years, amounting to a record $6.3 trillion over that period—including $1.4 trillion of credit in 1999.

Debt is growing at a substantially faster rate than either individual income or corporate after-tax profits. But the level of debt is not as important as the ability of corporations and individuals to pay it back.

As long as the economy remains strong, debt payments are manageable for most. But what happens if there is an end to this booming economy?

That question is clearly answered by British economist Peter Warburton in his 1999 book Debt and Delusion, which says, “The kernel of the argument is that the [simultaneous] accumulation of debt and financial assets in a low inflation environment cannot continue indefinitely. There are many indications…that this departure from economic reality is destined to reach its [end] in the relatively near future. Whether it is emu [European Monetary Union] that pulls the trigger, or U.S. bonds, or the Japanese credit system…is impossible to know in advance; but when it happens, we will all know. How much time do the institutions, companies and citizens of prestigious Western nations have to change course? Until the end of 1999? Probably. Until the end of 2001? Possibly. Until the end of 2003? That would take a miracle” (pp. 244-245).

We at the Trumpet are not setting dates, but as this renowned economist indicates, it is very likely that we do not have very much time before a disastrous collapse of the American economy. The best thing we could recommend is that you get out of debt, such as credit card and other short-term debt, and get into a good cash position so that you can weather some of the early storms on the horizon.

A lot of people are going to be wiped out financially. When that occurred in 1929, many people jumped out of office building windows so that their families could at least start over with the life insurance money. And America is setting itself up for a repeat of this horrible history!

Foreign Capital Flight

This present economy is two to three times more debt-dependent than in the 1950s. A great deal of that debt is owed to foreign investors, and that is the real danger.

When investors take their money out of a country, it is called capital flight. Foreign capital flight is probably the greatest financial danger facing America today.

Deuteronomy 28:43-44 and 52 show that foreigners who own America’s assets and are financing its national debt and fueling its stock markets are going to buy our bonds to make astronomical loans to us—and then they will “besiege” and destroy us financially because of that debt condition!

It doesn’t matter that our money says “In God we trust.” It is the “almighty dollar” Americans truly trust, as Proverbs 18:11 and Ecclesiastes 7:12 clearly show. Americans put their trust in their money and wealth, and that is why America will be “besieged” financially!

If you paid any attention at all to the Asian financial meltdown of 1998 as it spread around the globe, one of the most striking facts was how quickly investors panicked and pulled their money out of Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela and so on.

A headline in the December 1, 1999, wsj trumpeted, “Dollar’s Fall Against Yen Raises Fears Investor Faith in U.S. [Dollar] May Waver.” The article said, “The dollar is down 17 percent from its 12-month high against the yen, a slide apparently precipitated by stirrings of recovery in the Japanese economy. But the dollar’s decline against the yen is now fueling worries that if it continues, it could turn investors’ focus to the huge U.S. trade deficit and shake their confidence in the dollar against other currencies.”

In 1997, America’s trade deficit was $104 billion, meaning Americans bought $104 billion more of imported foreign products than we exported, or sold to foreign countries. In 1998, that swelled to a deficit of $164 billion. And in 1999, it had ballooned to a staggering $271 billion!

Not only does a record-high trade deficit mean more debt on the backs of Americans because it has to be financed, a high trade deficit also masks inflation because foreign competition prevents U.S. manufacturers from raising prices until inflation explodes on the scene. So no matter what politicians say, the U.S. trade deficit is a major problem.

The wsj article continues, “…if the [dollar’s] slide against the yen turns into a general weakening of the dollar, that could put a damper on the…nine-year-long U.S. expansion, as international investors look elsewhere for places to park their money, and domestic interest rates are forced upward.”

Please don’t miss the significance of that statement! Foreign investment is what is keeping America alive right now.

On a national average, Americans are not saving anything—they are spending more than they make and borrowing the difference, and they have been doing that for seven years. That means the only significant place the federal government and U.S. corporations can get loans is from foreigners.

There are trillions of dollars which will need to be repaid if for any reason foreigners decide to sell their U.S. holdings. All it will take is a panic among investors.

A Future Crash

On page 174 of The Great Crash 1929 it says, “The collapse in the stock market in the autumn of 1929 was implicit in the speculation that went before [meaning, they knew a collapse would occur eventually]. The only question concerning that speculation was how long it would last. Sometime, sooner or later, confidence in the short-run reality of increasing common stock values [rising prices] would weaken. When this happened, some people would sell, and this would destroy the reality of increasing values. Holding for an increase would now become meaningless; the new reality would be falling prices. There would be a rush, pell-mell, to unload. This was the way past speculative orgies had ended. It was the way the end came in 1929. It is the way speculation will end in the future.” That is quite a prediction!

It is foolish to think America will be different from every other civilization in history. That is nothing but pride and vanity. And remember the warning that “Hubris [arrogance resulting from excessive pride] is running pretty high. That’s when mistakes happen.”

America is making a terrible mistake which will result in the greatest fall in all of mankind’s history! As soon as America is no longer a safe place for foreign money, that money will be gone. And once the foreign money is gone, it will leave us with a mountain of debt that we cannot repay.

Americans seem to be forgetting lessons we should have learned in Economics 101. What happens when we cannot pay our house payments or car payments? At a house-loan-closing meeting, a lender made it very simple. He said that all the loan paperwork which had just been signed simply meant, “If you pay, you stay; if you don’t, you won’t.”

Quite simply, what happens when we cannot pay is that the lenders repossess the cars and houses. That is exactly what will happen to this country! You can read about the repossession of Israel in Deuteronomy 28:43-52. They’re going to take all of this glory and power and wealth and comfort away from us!

Financial Rejection

So the question arises: Where will the foreign money go just before America’s collapse?

A Financial Times of London article on December 16, 1999, said, “In spite of its lackluster performance on the foreign exchange markets, the euro has proved the most popular currency in the international bond markets since its launch in January [1999]…. ‘The U.S. dollar has punched well above its weight in the financial markets over the last 30 years because it had no competitor,’ said David Knott, head of fixed-income research at Deutsche Bank, ‘but now borrowers can choose between two markets.”

Another Financial Times article quoted the head of Hong Kong’s monetary authority as saying, “I’m afraid more and more people are focusing on the vulnerability of the U.S. market and will start moving out” (Dec. 7, 1999).

Times are changing, and it is only a matter of time until America is toppled from its seat of power and replaced on the world scene—just as Britain was toppled and every other superpower nation which has dominated the world. That is the main lesson America is forgetting: America is no different than any other nation which has risen to power and then fallen from power.

Debt will play a major role in the unwinding of American power, and a rising Europe is just waiting for the opportunity to assume world dominance. America’s extremely vulnerable economic position has caused investor confidence to be squarely aimed at a German-led Europe—the new darling of the monetary world.

Haggai 1:5-6 describes America perfectly, because Americans have not saved anything! It’s like their money ran out of a hole in their moneybag. And soon, hyperinflation will cause the spending power of the dollar to vanish. Americans are spending themselves out of existence!

The U.S. dollar is going to fall from dominance, and people will only be able to buy or sell with the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-17). The beast power of Europe will totally control world economies and will look like a perfect place for investor money; therefore, trillions and trillions of dollars of investor money will flow out of America and into Europe!

An economist was quoted by the Associated Press recently as saying, “A day of reckoning doesn’t come until there is something to do with the money that is better than investing in the United States.” He is right, and it is just a matter of time.

Foreign capital flight is on the horizon for America, yet Americans, in all their haughtiness, refuse to see it coming. America will be blindsided and totally shocked when it is rejected by the investors of this world! In fact, foreign capital flight is probably the primary mechanism whereby America will be abandoned by its former financial “lovers” in fulfillment of God’s prophecies.

Jeremiah 4:30 says that no matter what Israel does, her lovers will despise her! America and the other nations of Israel will be hated by all nations. A time is coming soon when Israel will try to make itself appear financially attractive to investors of other nations, but all in vain.

Something soon will very likely cause what is known as a “bond shock,” which will cause a rapid rise in bond yields resulting in a dramatic increase in the costs of financing debt. A sudden jump in oil prices or commodities can cause a bond shock. The trigger could be an earthquake or volcanic eruption, or a major crop failure, war or political instability—any number of things. In such an event, the cost of financing debt becomes intolerably high and unsustainable.

Countries with low national savings rates and high foreign ownership of domestic public debt are the most vulnerable to a bond shock. That perfectly describes America. Foreign bond holders will immediately take their money back to their own countries when the bond markets become unstable. In such a scenario, there is no money to borrow, because the “locals” don’t have any savings and the foreign money has gone.

Prepare Yourself!

The concluding paragraphs of the book Debt and Delusion are quite eye-opening: “The story of the Western financial system since the early 1970s is one of debt addiction. In the Anglo-Saxon countries [Israel], access to affordable forms of borrowing has risen exponentially…. In other developed countries, conservative attitudes to personal borrowing have been negated by [spendthrift and wasteful] attitudes to public debt. Even as the agonies of Japan’s debt-induced calamity are being re-expressed in East Asia, Western governments insist that all is well. However, the absence of serious inflationary problems during the 1990s does not prove that the debt addiction has been broken. Rather, there is persuasive evidence that the problem has migrated elsewhere. Over-emphasis, to the point of obsession, on the inflation objective has blinded governments and their central banks to the risk of widespread debt default by borrowers. The unpreparedness of the Western world can be understood only in terms of ignorance. Most of those under 50 years of age hold only a small proportion of their assets in the form of cash and deposits. They do not appreciate how fragile the financial system has become, nor how easily the investment gains of many years could be forfeited. One day the mist will clear and the collective delusion of effortless wealth creation will be shattered. Until that day, we are living on borrowed time…. Prepare for an explosion that will rock the Western financial system to its foundations.”

That is why it is so important to get out of debt. God’s people need to get their short-term debt down and get into a good cash position so they can weather the waves of financial shocks that will be coming in the near future. Have a minimum of debt and the maximum cash possible—six-months’ income in savings, if possible, because there is nothing like cash to help you weather a crisis. We should all do this in order to protect our families and be able to continue financially supporting this work of the living God all the way to its conclusion.

We are told in I Timothy 6:6-10 that wrong financial dealings are a snare waiting to snap shut on the unwise, and that it will produce great sorrow. Right now, this wonderful nation of America is in a great deal of danger because of the snare of debt.

But in spite of the tremendous trouble and turmoil immediately ahead, you can be protected if you will keep God’s laws and His ways and help us finish this work of warning a dying world.

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole Earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36, nkjv).

We urge you to study your Bible and prove if we’re telling the truth. May God give you ears to hear and eyes to see.

Sidebar: Deeper Than Ever in Debt

You need to understand the extremely vulnerable position this nation is in today. Here’s a look at the nation’s debt by the numbers:

• $5.69 trillion The federal government’s debt as of February 7.

• $130 billion The increase in debt for 1999.

• $37 billion The increase in debt so far in fiscal year 2000 (since September 30, 1999). If America’s budget was actually balanced as they say, then the federal government’s debt would not be rising! The present U.S. administration’s “pie in the sky” budget projections for the next decade are just not going to happen!

• $41 million Amount the U.S. government pays per hour in interest on the debt—24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

• $3.3 trillion Amount of interest on its debt the U.S. government has paid in the last 11 years.

• $25 trillion The total national debt, not including what the government owes to the Social Security trust fund, government pensions and Medicare. This covers all U.S. debt: the sum of all recognized debt of federal, state, local governments; international debt; private household debt; business and domestic financial sectors’ debt.

• $100,000 The average share of the total national debt owed by every American man, woman and child.

Sidebar: The Perils of Minimum Payments

• If you charged $1000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 18 percent, the minimum payment would only be about $20 per month.

• If you only paid the minimum payment and did not charge anything else to the card, it would take eight years and four months to pay off the balance.

• If you added $50 to the minimum payment every month, however, the card would be paid off in one year and five months.

Is a World Dictator About to Appear?

His headline gripped the attention of a handful of readers of the first edition of the world’s newest current affairs magazine, way back in February 1934. Sixty-six years later, we review many of the predictions made by the Plain Truth magazine and its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, and find unerring accuracy in the forecasting of events leading to the rise to global dominance of the present European Union.
From the February 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Although the Trumpet covers many world events, social, economic and religious issues in our monthly editions, there is one core message in one key, unfolding world event that the Trumpet has continued to monitor from its inception. That is simply the same event headlined in the first issue of the Plain Truth in February 1934. In fact, it is a news story that commenced unfolding back in 31 b.c. with the rise of the Roman Empire.

In an allegory associating Rome’s seven hills with seven successive governments, or revivals of the Roman Empire, the book of Revelation states, “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Rev. 17:10).

Up to the early 1930s, when the Plain Truth was born, most remained blind as to the meaning of the words of this prophecy. Yet, when Herbert Armstrong began to publish this most extraordinary of newsmagazines, the meaning had become startlingly clear to him.

Herbert Armstrong knew that the biblical book of Revelation was given by its Author not to hide, but rather “to show…things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev. 1:1). So it was that this unique man, who in his latter years associated with kings, princes, prime ministers, presidents and leaders of nations all over the world, came to see that the five fallen “kings” mentioned in Revelation 17:10 showed that five revivals of the Roman Empire under the aegis of the Roman papacy had occurred up to that time. These “resurrections” of the Roman Empire were under the successive leadership of Justinian, enthroned as emperor in a.d. 554, Charlemagne (Karl the Great to the Germans), crowned in a.d. 800, Otto the Great in a.d. 962, Charles V (commencing the Habsburg dynasty) in 1530, and Napoleon who crowned himself emperor in 1804.

But the forecast in Revelation 17:10 referred to one revival of the Roman Empire being extant at the very time that the mysterious vision of the book of Revelation would first come to be understood: “and one is….” Thus it was that Herbert Armstrong came to see that the dictator Benito Mussolini was that one that is, at that time, in the 1930s, prior to and during the onset of World War II. In one of his final articles which appeared, following his death, in the Plain Truth magazine, he reflected: “In 1929 Mussolini arranged a Concordat with the papacy. Then about 1935 Mussolini, having united Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italian Somaliland to Italy, proclaimed it to be the reestablishment of the Roman Empire. I announced the news of this ninth restoration myself on radio at the time” (Plain Truth, March 1986).

Mr. Armstrong also referred to the “one” that “is” at the time of the prophecy as being Mussolini—or the Hitler-Mussolini axis (Plain Truth, Oct. 1962).

This weak sixth revival, in the sequence of the seven resurrections of the Roman Empire, within the context of the Apostle John’s vision, left one final revival to come: “…the other is not yet come.”

Now, keep in mind that Mr. Armstrong came to this understanding before hostilities commenced between the Axis powers and the Western Allies in 1939.

I quote from a letter that Mr. Armstrong wrote to readers of the Plain Truth magazine on July 24, 1983: “The very first issue of the Plain Truth magazine appeared February 1934—just 50 years ago lacking about six months. The article starting on the cover page warned of a coming sudden appearance of a resurrected ‘Holy Roman Empire’ in Europe—a union of ten nations in Europe under one government, with one united military force. For 50 years I have been crying out to the world the Bible prophecies of this coming ‘United States of Europe’—a new united superpower perhaps more powerful than either the Soviet Union or the United States!”

Time and time again, Herbert Armstrong and many of the writers that served on the staff of the Plain Truth magazine pointed to news events that were leading to the inevitable rise of a European fascist federation, under the spiritual influence of the Vatican, which would rival and even overtake the U.S. and Britain commercially, economically and, ultimately, militarily. Prior to World War II, Mr. Armstrong predicted this. During the heat of the Battle of Britain, he continued to forecast it. When Germany lay defeated, crushed to dust under the onslaught of the British Commonwealth and American forces, still he proclaimed the future resurrection of Germany to dominate a European combine that would be the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire.

Read the following extracts, taken verbatim from the Plain Truth magazine over its 52 years under the leadership of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. Read—and wonder. Wonder—and understand! This is living prophecy—unbreakable, unchangeable prophecy of inevitable events which are now coming to a sudden climax right before your eyes!

Out of the Ashes

Less than ten years following World War II, Mr. Armstrong was able to reinforce his pre-war claims of a German revival to lead to a united Europe. “In February, 1945—just a few months before the end of the war—President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill announced the joint American-British policy on Germany. This was the solemn policy and warning for the future. Listen.

“Quote: ‘It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to insure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces; break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism….’ And now, a short nine years later, behold the spectacle of Washington and London making every possible diplomatic effort, backed by American dollars, to do two things: Create a United States of Europe, and to rearm Germany” (Plain Truth, Nov./Dec. 1954).

With Europe almost rebuilt, through the massive aid of the U.S. Marshall Plan, but still disunited, Mr. Armstrong forecast, in the same edition of the Plain Truth, “Germany inevitably would emerge as the leader of a united Europe. It will require some spiritual binding force to inspire this confidence—to remove these fears—and that spiritual binding force must arise from inside Europe!

“All Europe is actually ready—just waiting for the confidence-inspiring leader—an international all-European Hitler, and it is on the way. That man is there somewhere” (ibid.).

These quotations taken from the Plain Truth magazine of 46 years ago contain the essence of one of the most powerful prophecies in the Bible—a prophecy in which Mr. Armstrong had supreme confidence of its inevitable fulfillment.

When the Berlin blockade was mounted by the Russians in an attempt to starve the population of that city and stymie their business, the Plain Truth continued to declare that Germany would revive to lead a united Europe to power. Mr. Armstrong continued to warn of the rising threat on the western side of the Iron Curtain: “It is this European Common Market that is fast winning the world trade war! It is being done in a way America doesn’t realize. The United States seems sound asleep to this danger” (Plain Truth, July 1961).

When Kruschev declared, in 1961, that Russia had the right to seize West Berlin, the Plain Truth continued with the same powerful message. “The United States (and Great Britain) face an irreconcilable situation. They must fight for Berlin or be intimidated and finally conquered by the Soviet system…. Yet if they fight for Berlin they face ultimate economic extinction at the hands of the already powerful ‘Third World Force’: Euromart…the coming United States of Europe!” (Oct. 1961).

The Berlin Wall

Even when the Berlin Wall went up in 1961, splitting Germany in two, Mr. Armstrong continued to declare that Europe would unite under German leadership!

“More than 27 years ago I proclaimed over the air, and wrote in the Plain Truth, the Bible prophecy that the old Roman Empire was going to come to life—in our time. I said it would come as a United States of Europe…. Americans and Britons do not seem to fathom that Germany is once again a power to be reckoned with! Make no mistake! Nuclear war will not come over the Berlin crisis! But out of it all—in a very short time—a United States of Europe will!” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1961).

The pages of the Plain Truth, under Mr. Armstrong’s inspired leadership, cried out that same message for decades throughout the cold-war era.

“…I have consistently proclaimed for 28 years that a politically and militarily united Europe is coming! And today, the economic phase of this eec [European Economic Community] is hardly mentioned. Today most of the newspaper talk is about political union—a united political Europe!

“The coming united military Europe is still hush-hush and little heard of. But that is the real goal!” (Oct. 1962).

As the Western world’s view of Europe was fixated on the Berlin Wall, Mr. Armstrong continued to look beyond it. “West Germans keep looking at that ugly wall!… They [Western Europe] would feel a lot safer if they themselves, by uniting, can become the strongest power—stronger than Russia—with their own nuclear deterrent! Fear of Russia, plus distrust of the United States, is driving them to this political-military union! And today it is coming fast!” (ibid.).

Continuing to predict, in the face of a Europe divided and separated by the Berlin Wall, the future uniting of Europe into a great union of nation-states, he wrote over nine years prior to the collapse of the wall: “This coming ‘United States of Europe’ is the dream of many leaders—not only within Europe, but in Britain and America. The Common Market is only its beginning.

“Every indication is that this advance news will be current news. And it will completely stun the world! Yet the Plain Truth has reported this news in advance for the past 46 years!” (Plain Truth, March 1980).

Mr. Armstrong commented on how religions do not understand the true import of Bible prophecy. He stated, “They conclude, the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 foretells a military invasion of the North American continent from the Soviet Union. But this is not what the prophecy says” (Plain Truth, May 1986).

With vision empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, he looked ahead, way past the rise and fall of the future Euro-superpower, to declare that the peoples of the U.S. and Britain would not face an invasion involving Russia “until after the Second Coming of Christ.”

Within four years of Herbert Armstrong’s death, the Berlin Wall crashed to the ground. Today, only a small remnant remains as a memorial to the 28 years it stood as the dividing line in the most intense years of cold war between East and West. Germany has united, its capital moved from Bonn to historic Berlin, the hub of Europe. The Soviet Union is shattered. Russia now struggles to limit the northward push of Islam at its southern border in the Caucasus and seeks to draw a line to limit any further westward moves by its old Soviet satellite countries.

Astoundingly, 55 years after the first edition of the Plain Truth forecast the reunion of Western Europe with its old Roman Empire sister countries in the East, the die was cast for that to happen with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Even now, ten of those former Eastern bloc countries await formal recognition by the EU as member countries of the resurrected Roman Empire.

Now, having reviewed and reflected on the constancy of the message of the Plain Truth magazine, under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership—on this core prophecy of a future United States of Europe, under one great dictatorial leader, influenced by a great religious body, surpassing the U.S. and Britain in the sheer power of its trade, industry, commerce and military force—let us compare these predictions with the current reality of world news!

Ten Kings

Let us first take Mr. Armstrong’s prediction from the inaugural edition of the Plain Truth and do a quantum leap of 66 years to measure that forecast against current events in Europe.

“It is commonly known today that Mussolini’s whole aim is to restore the ancient Roman Empire in all its former splendor, power and glory—and Rome ruled the world!” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1934).

One year later, Mussolini achieved his aim. Reflecting on this bit of history, Mr. Armstrong wrote, 46 years later, “Then Revelation 17:8 shows the partial revival of this empire under Mussolini—after he took Ethiopia, adding it to Italian Somaliland, Eritrea, Libya and Italy—officially naming it ‘the Roman Empire.’

“These prophecies depict detailed advance news of one more, last revival of this empire, yet to occur, by a union of ten nations in Europe” (Plain Truth, March 1980).

Referring to a ten-nation combine in Europe, Mr. Armstrong took his reference from verse 12 of the 17th chapter of Revelation, which states, “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”

There are presently 15 nations in the European Union. The Union’s enlargement policy is set to draft numerous Eastern European and Mediterranean countries into its ambit. So, why specify ten nations? We know that the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). So what is the explanation? We have thought that this may mean ten groups of nations, under ten separate leaders. It is distinctly possible that with the EU considering adding at least 12 more countries to the union, a system of administration may be developed grouping certain nation-states, each group coming under a senior European Commissioner. For instance, the Balkans could be administered again under one governor, as in Marshal Tito’s day. The EU is presently considering such a system.

“The powers of Romano Prodi, the European Commission President, should be increased greatly to allow an enlarged European Union to function effectively, says a report…published in Brussels today…. Under the new blueprint, each country, however small, would almost certainly retain one commissioner in the larger EU. But the president would be elevated above his expanding team and would be able to create senior and junior posts…. Eurocrats say that ending the system under which all commissioners are technically of equal status and unsackable will increase greatly the president’s power and is the only way to make the future executive manageable” (Daily Telegraph, Oct. 18, 1999; emphasis mine). As the Spectator had observed, already German representative Bodo Hombach is heading a virtual “supranational government” in the Balkans (Aug. 7, 1999).

Something else to contemplate here is the fact that European royalty is suddenly becoming more popular. Whereas the kings of Spain and Greece returned from exile decades ago, Italy is presently considering the prospect of its regent returning home. Yugoslavia’s king has raised the prospect recently of re-uniting Yugoslavia under the crown. The fashion for royalty has also hit Germany.

“The late royals of the House of Hohenzollern that ruled Germany for six centuries and united its fractious fiefdoms in 1871 are now experiencing a resurrection of respect and a more public profile in the freshly minted presentation of history in this newly restored capital [Berlin]” (The Times [London], Dec. 24, 1999).

We need to keep watching Europe to see just how this very precise prophecy of ten kings or governors of groups of nation-states in the federation of Europe, predicted in the Plain Truth for decades, comes to pass.

The Euro

The catalyst for political union—the removal of national sovereignty by the imposition of a common European currency—had been predicted in the pages of the Plain Truth 30 years prior to it becoming a reality. “At present no single European currency is strong enough to replace the dollar in international trade. But an emergency situation might drive Europe to speed up unification and adopt a common currency based on their combined gold reserves” (Oct. 1967).

When Germany took over the presidency of the European Union for its six-month term last year, a British newspaper reported, “Gerhard Schröder, the chancellor, and his team have left their partners in no doubt that Bonn aims to use its turn at the helm to assert German interests aggressively,

especially over EU finances…. Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister, said that the euro had just promoted the EU to the ‘world league’…. John Redwood, the Shadow Trade and Industry secretary, said…’The German minister has clearly stated that this single currency scheme is part of a much bigger package to bring about a federal Europe’” (Electronic Telegraph, Jan. 2, 1999).

German Dominance

“Even during World War II, while Allied bombers were busily pounding Germany to a shattered, bleak pile of rubble, Mr. Armstrong was warning his listeners and readers that Germany was going to rise again! They didn’t believe it.

“Look about you now!

“Were the warnings sound? Were they true? Have they happened?” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1957). Such were the challenging questions put by a Plain Truth writer 12 years after Germany’s defeat in World War II.

By the mid ’60s, when the most evident initiative of union in Europe was still in trade and commerce, the Plain Truth had already noted an increasing urge within the Common Market for political unity. “Yet if 300 million Europeans were united and could speak with one voice, this would excel any might in the world today…. One thing you can count on. In fact it is so sure you can bank on it: The cry of a political union in Europe will get louder and before long we will see the Common Market develop into a United States of Europe. You won’t have to wait long!” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1967).

One of the senior writers of the Plain Truth in the 1970s wrote, “For nearly 30 years the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow broadcast have been telling the world that Europe would unite—that a United States of Europe was as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun” (Feb. 1970).

Just last year, using that very same term, the Weekly Telegraph reported, “Germans drive towards United States of Europe: Germany’s new red-green leadership has been unveiling its blueprint for a federal Europe built on the back of the newly launched euro. The moves will fuel euro-skeptic fears that monetary merger was merely a step on the road to a United States of Europe. As holder of the EU presidency until July, Germany wants to capitalize on the momentum of the euro’s birth to set Europe firmly on the road to a federal future” (Weekly Telegraph, Jan. 20-26, 1999).

Although Germany is the prime mover in all these efforts, in order to dispel any idea that the country may have expansionist intentions, these initiatives have generally been made under the cloak of being for the common good of the European Union.

The Plain Truth had summed up this subterfuge years ago in these words: “This realization explains why West Germany has tried so hard for so long to bring about common community positions on one front after another. In addition, by always espousing the common European cause, she is less suspect of nationalistic motivations. After all, Word War II is not that far in the past” (Plain Truth, Oct. 1976).

But, since Germany’s first “baby boomer” chancellor came to power, all that is changing. Germany may have fresher-faced men in their 40s at the helm of government now, but German institutions have been manned at senior levels over the past 50 years of its massive post-war growth by the old guard which supported Hitler’s Third Reich!

“Where are the geopoliticians, the lawyers, the judges, the teachers, the magistrates, the policemen, the young businessmen, the members of the many branches of the armed forces, the former members of Hitler Youth, the party workers, the industrialists who supported Hitler to the hilt, the propagandists, the fifth column agents—and all the rest?

“Simple. They’re right back where they used to be! Today, for example, 60 percent of the lawyers, judges, civil service workers, Bürgermeisters (mayors) and magistrates in the one state of Bavaria are known former Nazis.

“Nearly ALL the top industrialists in the Ruhr are former Nazis. Members of the present government—including the cdu—are known, card-carrying, former Nazis” (Plain Truth, Dec. 1963).

The Christian Democratic Union (cdu) dominated post-war German politics for 33 years. It is the bastion of German corporatism and German-style conservatism. It is now revealed that the cdu was supported by a sophisticated system of illegal funding via contributions from Germany’s corporate and industrial moguls—many of them, no doubt, those same “card-carrying former Nazis.” Former Chancellor Kohl is now indicted on charges of having received over $5.5 million to support the cdu. His explanation?

“Perhaps the clue lies in a little phrase the 69-year-old former chancellor used as he quit. He said he had always tried to do his ‘duty.’… ‘It’s a very old-fashioned excuse,’ said Joachim Krauze, a political analyst. ‘People in this country have done terrible things and justified them by referring to duty’” (International Herald Tribune, Jan. 20, 2000).

No longer is a lone voice crying out a warning on the drastic and inevitable results of the foolishness of Britain and the U.S. in financing and promoting the rise of a united Europe. Some of the more astute politicians are now crying out that same warning: “Baroness Thatcher last night fiercely attacked plans for a European defense structure, saying it would threaten nato and could help to create a European superstate…. Taking the unusual step of attacking British government policy from abroad, she put the drive towards a separate European defense on the same level as the single European currency. Both were aimed at ‘the utopian venture of creating a single European superstate to rival America on the world stage’” (The Times [London], Dec. 8, 1999).

Now, 55 years down the track from disastrous defeat at the hands of the Allied forces, what is Europe’s view of Germany? “The publication…of a taboo-breaking French book, On the Next War with Germany, was hardly designed to soothe nerves. Its author, Philippe Delmas, a senior civil servant and former speech-writer for a French foreign minister, Roland Dumas, argues that ‘fear of Germany is back’ and is again ‘the greatest political force in Europe. Germany seems threatening, despite itself, and nowhere more so than in France!’… The spectacle of a reunited Germany is discomfiting. And the French now seem to acknowledge that Germany is politically the most influential, as well as economically the most powerful, country in Europe” (Economist, March 6-12, 1999).

Lebensraum

The expansionist policies of the Italian and German dictatorships of the 1930s and early ’40s were spurred to some degree by a lust for land, resources and cheap (slave) labor. Whereas Italy had seized holdings in Northern Africa, Germany first looked east on the continent of Europe for its expansion. Herbert Armstrong came to understand a pivotal biblical prophecy which forecast a repetition of this recent history.

“We are now looking for the tenth and last resurrection of the Roman Empire—the seventh head of this beast of the 17th chapter of Revelation (Rev. 17:12), which is also pictured by the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image of Daniel 2:40-44. Since these toes were on the two feet that represented Eastern and Western Europe, there is strong likelihood that this final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire will include Iron Curtain nations of Eastern Europe as well as nations in Western Europe” (Plain Truth, March 1986).

A startling news report appeared five months ago in a leading international newspaper, documenting the beginning fulfillment of this prophecy: “In a sign of Germany’s shifting center of gravity, the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has quietly embarked on an ambitious strategy toward Central and Eastern Europe that is designed to expand its influence and shore up stability on the nation’s most troublesome flank. With the seat of government now ensconced here in the heart of Europe [Berlin], Germany is striving to project its brand of ‘soft power’ across the continent….

“The new focus of Germany’s attention and resources is viewed suspiciously as a discreet crusade to expand the nation’s influence and penetration into new markets emerging as a potential ‘Teutonic Bloc’ from the remnants of the defunct Soviet empire….

“‘It’s only natural that the eastern part of the continent will become our preoccupation for years to come, because Germans see this as a matter of historical destiny,’ said Immo Stabreit, a former German ambassador to Paris. ‘The most fundamental priority we have is trying to integrate all of Europe” (International Herald Tribune, Sept. 11-12, 1999).

Balkan Powderkeg

Apart from the unification of Germany, the destabilization of the Balkan Peninsula was a key platform in the long-term scenario of those who have striven for Drang nach Osten, Germany’s eastward expansion, since the Nazis went underground at the close of World War II.

The Vatican and Germany deliberately moved to supply the spark to this destabilization in 1991, through the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as nation-states separate from greater Yugoslavia. Yet 20 years earlier, the Plain Truth forecast this very event: “There is strong feeling in Yugoslavia today for the need to integrate that country into a strong Europe in order to offset the Soviet threat.

“This is especially true in the northern republics of Croatia and Slovenia, Roman Catholic by religion…. There is certainly the likelihood that Yugoslavia could eventually become part of a powerful, united Europe, whose nucleus today is the European Common Market” (Plain Truth, Nov. 1971).

Reinforcing the prospect of an eastern and western division to the European Union, Herbert Armstrong wrote in a co-worker letter dated August 27, 1980: “Will Poland free itself from Soviet domination and join with Yugoslavia, Romania and possibly Czechoslovakia—and with Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Austria—in a resurrected medieval ‘Holy Roman Empire’ to dominate Europe and equal the USSR and the USA in world power?”

Plain Truth News Bureau director Gene Hogberg, referring to this letter, commented, “The original Roman Empire was broken into two ‘legs’—the eastern empire in Byzantium (later Constantinople, today Istanbul) and the empire in the West in Rome. Thus it is very possible that the restored end-time system will be composed of two distinct yet cooperative parts: the first comprising some of the present Common Market nations of Western Europe, the second from Central and Eastern Europe” (Plain Truth, Feb. 1981).

We can only now look back in amazement at the Plain Truth predicting, as it did, ten years before the event, the Vatican-inspired dislocation of Yugoslavia by the recognition of Croatia and Slovenia as separate nation states.

“What if Catholics throughout Eastern Europe, responding to the Soviet dilemma, rose up in a united revolt against Moscow?… The potential is there; witness Pope John Paul II’s electrifying visit to Poland last year.

“The Vatican’s renewed desire to unite the Roman Catholic with the Orthodox churches—even extending overtures to the Muslim world—in a united front against atheistic communism could have a particularly interesting application in Yugoslavia, given its religious makeup.

“Europe—both in its eastern and western halves—could be in for tumultuous change” (Plain Truth, April 1980).

That change has occurred! The total insensitivity in choosing to send the Luftwaffe in to bomb Yugoslav targets during the Kosovo War was summed up by the New York Times: “For the first time since the end of World War II, German fighter jets have gone to war, taking part in the attack on Yugoslavia as part of a nato force and marking this country’s definitive emancipation from the post-war pacifism…. Europe has changed and Germany has changed with it…. German participation in air raids on Yugoslavia is potentially explosive, for it will confirm every dark Serbian suspicion about the West. If there has been a single obsession in Serbian policy this century, it has been to prevent what Belgrade sees as German expansionism in the Balkans” (March 26, 1999).

That the chief winner in the recent Balkan wars has been Germany should be unquestioned. With sleight of hand, deft diplomacy and political and financial skullduggery, the German government has wormed its way into a position of leadership and influence in the coveted, strategic Balkan Peninsula.

“If one country has had her political authority strengthened by the conflict [in Kosovo], it is not Britain, but Germany…. The Germans have moved swiftly to cash in on the peace…. Even before the first cruise missile was launched, the German foreign minister was drawing up plans for uniting the entire Balkan area under one government. This plan, which eluded Stalin and Dimitrov in 1947, and which in different ways destroyed both the Austrian and the Ottoman empires, is now safely in the bag. It is called the European Union’s Stability Pact…. In reality, it imposes supranational government on the whole of southeastern Europe from the Black Sea to the Adriatic. Funnily enough, a German has been appointed to run it. Bodo Hombach…is the most powerful man in Chancellor Schröder’s government and the chief representative of German economic interests…. The Germans, moreover, have won the key posts in the new European Commission. They now control the two crucial policy areas for the next five years: the EU budget and the enlargement process” (Spectator, Aug. 7, 1999).

The Vatican-German influence in today’s European Union has almost completely disintegrated the old federation of Yugoslav states, softening it up for “reconstruction” in preparation for wholesale takeover by the EU.

The Scarlet Woman

The Plain Truth continually made reference to Europe forming a church-state union, under the auspices of the Vatican. Since the launching of the Trumpet, this has also been a subject of further incisive analysis and reporting by this magazine.

Bible prophecy pointed to the necessity of some power to glue the fractious nations of Europe together. After all, Daniel’s prophecy likened the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire to a brittle mix of iron and clay (Dan. 2:41-43). Matching Daniel 7 with Revelation 13 and 17, the Plain Truth understood that glue would be religion.

“When Europe is finally united under the leadership of ‘strong men,’ the pope will be able to come forth with his plan for world peace! This world union will, ‘by common consent,’ give its united strength to the hands of the leader approved by the pope! Read Revelation 17:13!” (Plain Truth, July 1962).

We have heard this present pope’s cry for Europe to return to its roots! We are witnessing, this year, the greatest crusade ever in the history of modern Catholicism to win the world over to the Vatican cause. This jubilee year the pope has pulled out all stops. Using public relations “spin doctors,” pop-rock artists performing at Vatican rock concerts, the buy-up of radio stations in the U.S. in particular by wealthy Catholic corporate moguls, the pomp and ceremony of papal visits to Israel and to the Palestinians, the “year of forgiveness,” with the Vatican seeking to be absolved of all its past atrocities—all this is destined to promote the image of the papacy in the eyes of the world as heading the chief of religions. The pope as peace-broker has been a favorite theme of the Vatican.

As the Plain Truth declared back in 1966, “Just as the Catholic Church once interposed her order on nations and peoples, she again is proposing to establish a ‘Christian order’ which alone is able to guarantee peace. To this goal the resources of the Church now are directed.’ So said the late Pope Pius in a Christmas broadcast on December 24, 1951” (Plain Truth, July 1966).

The Plain Truth also encouraged its readers to “Look for the Vatican to exert more influence in European affairs. Yugoslavia and the Vatican have resumed full diplomatic relations—a move that could lead to further ties between the Vatican and Eastern Europe…. The pope, encouraging European political unity, stated, ‘We note with pleasure that the German government contributes actively to the achievement of this aim.’ Vatican influence over European affairs is destined to grow in the months ahead” (Plain Truth, Aug./Sept. 1970).

Then, in June 1971, “Both sides have much to gain. The Vatican is pushing for more freedoms for Catholics behind the Iron Curtain and is hopeful for increased dialogue with the Communist nations generally on the issue of world peace and security.”

Perhaps the most impressive of predictions in relation to the Vatican’s impact on European union were the persistent forecasts of the pope’s influence in drawing the Eastern European nations out of the old Soviet Union and into mother Europe’s lap.

Consider: “…we need to understand that the one great, overall, ultimate goal is the reuniting of all Christianity into one cohesive unit under one head—the Roman pontiff—in an attempt to bring to the world the Catholic concept of peace. This plan envisions the full use of the new Europe!” (Plain Truth, Jan. 1963).

In respect of Eastern Europe, the Plain Truth declared that the papacy had its mind set on leading the diplomacy which would create the rapport between East and West Europe: “One of the biggest roles desired by the Vatican is that of mediator between East and West…. The Vatican, you can be sure, will continue to do its part in courting the Eastern European countries. Its Ostpolitik has been to bring them back into the ‘fold’ for a long time. And that is certainly the path it must continue to travel” (Feb. 1972).

Compare that observation with this Associated Press release: “Martial law had crushed the church-backed Solidarity labor movement, and Poland’s Communist rulers expected a chastened Pope John Paul II ready for compromise when he visited his homeland in 1983.

“Instead, his voice rising, the pontiff lectured a surprised party chief, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, as the nation watched on television. History would be his judge, the pope warned, demanding that union rights be restored for the Soviet bloc’s first free trade union” (Associated Press, Jan. 9, 1998).

Result? Jaruzelski capitulated, the Vatican-funded Catholic Solidarity Movement triumphed, Poland broke the Communist yoke and then sought attachment to the European Union!

The power of this papal diplomacy was recognized in a news release by abc correspondent Bill Blakemore: “Consider it. Not only had John Paul II ignited a nonviolent revolution when he first returned as Pope in 1979, but by 1989 he had guided it with patient force till it won—the Polish Solidarity movement spread until the Berlin Wall came down and the Communists went away.

“Soviet Premier Gorbachev himself wrote later that John Paul’s philosophy and approach had ‘made a new kind of thinking possible for us all’” (abc News, June 18, 1999).

Over the past ten years, the Trumpet has well documented the continuing thrust of papal politics gradually cementing together the east and west legs of the rising United States of Europe.

Germany Rearmed

One of the most startling statements made by Mr. Armstrong in the Plain Truth 48 years ago was, “The United States is determined, now, to let nothing stand in the way of building up a re-armed, independent germany. This will be the heart and core of the united Europe that will revive the Roman Empire” (June 1952).

In October 1955, the Plain Truth observed Germany’s reactions in the early years of the cold war and commented, “The concern over being America’s cannon fodder in an anti-Communist war haunts many a German!… Now we [the U.S.] are applying economic pressure on Germany to force that country to rearm.”

Germany, encouraged by the U.S., did rearm. Forty-five years later, Germany’s post-war pacifist role was broken in Kosovo. “By scrambling just four Luftwaffe Tornado fighter-bombers, Germany has crept further out of the shadow of World War II into a new military era…. It was the first time German forces had taken part directly in offensive action since the war. Participation in such an attack would have been unthinkable only a few years ago…. ‘Germany’s special status is over. We have arrived in the European community of nations’ [wrote Die Welt]” (Reuter, March 25, 1999). Barely one year following its first post-war air-combat role, Germany is literally being encouraged by the U.S. to lead a new European standing army! Diplomacy has been thrown out the window in this latest effort of the U.S. and Britain to push Germany into a pro-active military role.

The extremes to which the U.S. is prepared to go to see a German-dominated Europe better armed are reflected in the following news clip: “The primary source of concern is Germany, which…is considered an indispensable pillar of the proposed Euroforce…. ‘We are all concerned about…German defense spending,’ said U.S. Ambassador to nato Alexander Vershbow at a December 17 conference in Berlin on the European defense plan. ‘The capabilities of the European Union will be seriously jeopardized if Germany doesn’t find a way to contribute more…’” (Washington Times, Jan. 9).

Back in October 1965, the Plain Truth’s own German-based correspondent warned, “Today’s Germany is strong. It has emerged complete with an army that will soon have atomic fire-power—and a nature that has not changed.”

The Plain Truth predicted that Germany would possess atomic firepower. That was 35 years ago. By 1968 they had revealed that “America has such a large proportion of its atomic arsenal on West German soil, that, reckoning by the amount of nuclear hardware stored on its territory, Germany can be classed as potentially the second-greatest atomic power on earth!

“The weapons remain, of course, under American supervision. But the big question is, for how long?” (Plain Truth, Aug. 1968).

Agence France Presse reported on November 29, 1999, that up to 200 nuclear weapons remained stockpiled in European countries. It is believed that the bulk of these are sited on German soil.

In reference to German industry’s desire to re-enter the weapons manufacturing and sales market, the Plain Truth declared in November 1968, “An ominous note out of West Germany: The House of Krupp, which renounced weapons production after World War II, has voiced a desire for a greater role in its nation’s manufacture of military items.”

Since then, Krupp has amalgamated with the giant German conglomerate Thyssen and aided Germany to become the second-largest exporter of military hardware next to the U.S! (See story, p. 14). Added to this, the recent merger of DaimlerChrysler has thrust this corporate combine to the fore as Europe’s largest manufacturer of mobile military equipment. Hard on the heels of this merger came the joining of France’s giant Aerospatiale Matra and the German company DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, effectively merging the German and French aerospace industries into one huge enterprise and thrusting the European Union to the forefront in aerospace technology for the development of military applications!

Space Wars

Recently the whole world saw the failure of a U.S. anti-ballistic missile experiment. A leading U.S. think tank observed, “Last week, the Pentagon’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization launched a missile from California into the Pacific in an attempt to shoot it down and prove that a limited national missile defense is possible. But the ongoing debate…is distracting the U.S. military from forging a space strategy that protects satellites, the keys to U.S. conventional military power” (Stratfor Global Intelligence Update, Jan. 24).

Consider the present diversion of the Pentagon in arguing over this matter (in full knowledge of their funding restrictions) in relation to the German-led drive in Europe to dominate a global defense and security strategy from outer space! In a series of blitzkrieg corporate mergers, the European Union has put together a massive conglomerate which will thrust it to the fore in military space strategy, leaving the U.S. far behind.

“The complex ownership structure proposed for the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (eads) created by the merger of France’s Aerospatiale-Matra, Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (dasa) and Spain’s casa…brings together…a group with 96,000 employees and a turn over of about 1 billion euros ($1 billion)…. Eads “is undoubtedly the driving force in Europe…and has the inner strength to become a global leader” (Jane’s Defense Weekly, Dec. 15, 1999).

Predicting future German-led European political, economic and military expansion, Herbert Armstrong, with visionary, prophetic insight, declared 20 years ago, “You may be sure the West European leaders are conferring hurriedly and secretly about how and how soon they may unite and provide a united European military force so they can defend themselves!… And who will they blame for their humiliation and their necessity now to have a united Europe, with a united government, a common currency and a common military force as great or greater than either the USSR or the U.S.? They will blame the United States!

“And when they are strong enough to assert themselves, Bible prophecy reveals a man will rise to take the helm in Europe and will first attack Britain for standing firm with the United States, and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!

“So says Almighty God in His word! They can unite only through the Vatican. It will be a church-state union. It won’t last long, but will create havoc unprecedented!” (Plain Truth, April 1980).

We should not, then, wonder, with the benefit of God-breathed prophecy expounded in the pages of the old Plain Truth magazine, when we read that Germany’s latest military intentions span the globe!

“Rudolf Scharping, Germany’s defense minister, in a significant step towards a common defense capability, has called for Europe to set up a joint air-transport command. The proposed transport command would be important for ensuring Europe’s ability to undertake military action around the world, reducing reliance on the U.S. ‘I hope it is in the interests of every European country…to drive forward European integration…’ he said in an interview with the Financial Times” (Financial Times, Nov. 1, 1999).

Current News

In this article we can only highlight some of the most astute predictions made by the Plain Truth over the years and match them with but a minute portion of the overwhelming proof that is now available from documented history and news reports regarding their fulfillment.

It is fitting that we close with a statement from that “Ambassador for World Peace,” Herbert Armstrong, which, though published the year before his death, 14 years ago, remains as up to date now as the day it was written: “These prophecies depict detailed advance news of one more, last revival of this empire, yet to occur, by a union of ten nations, or groups of nations, in Europe.

“This coming ‘United States of Europe’ is the dream of many leaders—not only within Europe, but in Britain and America. The Common Market is only its economic beginning.

“Every indication is that this advance news will be current news. And it will completely stun the world! Yet the Plain Truth has reported this news in advance for the past 51 years!” (Plain Truth, June 1985).

Truly that which was advance news then is today’s current news. It remains but for the final two leaders in Europe, the one political and the other spiritual, to rise to power to reveal the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire in all its future and final infamy.

Remember

Sixty-six years of accuracy in global forecasting
From the February 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Many of our readers, upon picking up their first copy of the Trumpet, exclaim how they recognize the same message the Plain Truth carried for 52 years under the direction of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. Subscribers even point to similarities between our style of writing and presentation compared to the Plain Truth in its heyday.

There is a reason for this—and it will be made plain in this, our tenth-anniversary issue of the Trumpet. This month, we look back at our roots. Some of our readers are familiar with this history—most are not.

But regardless of when you came on board, this issue will be a real eye-opener. The sheer number of prophetic statements made by Mr. Armstrong and his editorial team, and their accuracy, will astound you.

We began this project several weeks ago. A team of Trumpet staffers divided up all the Plain Truths on hand and began scouring every article, looking for bold predictions. When finished, we copied the highlighted pages and sorted them into four main subjects: Europe, the United States and Britain, the Middle East, Asia. Our News Bureau then helped us match the prophetic statements we found in the Plain Truth with what actually happened, or is now happening.

This anniversary issue is the fruit of that labor. Originally, we had planned to increase the size of this special edition by 16 pages. But two days before our deadline, we added another four just to fit everything in! This issue is by no means exhaustive. But it does pretty well encapsulate what the Plain Truth was about for more than 50 years.

Before we begin, however, let’s bring our newer readers up to speed. You might wonder what happened to the Plain Truth. One example, in particular, will explain.

For more than five decades under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership, year in and year out the Plain Truth had powerfully and consistently shouted a warning in print about the revival and unification of Germany. It proclaimed that Germany would be the dominant force behind a powerful union of European nation-states that would surpass the Russian bloc and even Britain and America in power and hegemony. Imagine predicting that when Germany lay in rubble after World War II. That’s what the Plain Truth did.

Mr. Armstrong did not live to see the Berlin Wall breached on November 9, 1989, or Germany unite on October 3 a year later. By that time, however, an amazing thing had occurred—those who took over publishing the Plain Truth after Mr. Armstrong’s death in 1986 had totally changed its editorial policy!

Here is what the publishers of the “new look” Plain Truth said about that earth-shattering event in 1989: “Following the spectacular news about the opening of the Berlin Wall, we unexpectedly received a call from a news station in Seattle. The news director was well aware of the World Tomorrow program and the fact that for more than 40 years the Church had been predicting the reunification of Europe in some form. He asked for on-air comments about whether the Church believed the opening of the wall was the commencement of end-time prophetic events.

“We responded that it was premature to make statements like that….

“The news director was disappointed that we would not proclaim this to be the absolute beginning of end-time events, but it was interesting that he did say that what the Church has predicted from the Bible was remarkably close to what appears to be happening” (Worldwide Church of God Pastor General’s Report, Nov. 21, 1989).

To long-time readers of the Plain Truth, such a weak assessment of the dramatic events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall was dumbfounding. The magazine had lost its vision, its reason for being! It was fast beginning to deny its editorial heritage of bold outspokenness based on the forecasting of events founded on “a more sure word of prophecy” (II Pet. 1:19). Readership dropped off quickly. Soon the publishers were facing a financial crisis as subscribers’ donations disappeared. Readers and supporters of Mr. Armstrong’s flagship magazine decamped in droves.

At one time, those readers had a vision—a vision of reality that gave them a confidence in the future. Millions of Plain Truth readers who saw the Berlin Wall tumbling down via television news combed the pages of the Plain Truth in vain, searching for a perspective on the next event that would hasten the rise of the Europower Mr. Armstrong had prophesied.

Many of those former Plain Truth readers are now among the quarter-million who receive this magazine.

Ten years ago, we started the Trumpet with a shoestring budget, a handful of subscribers and one objective: to pick up where Mr. Armstrong left off.

That’s what we have done.

What’s Next?

The Plain Truth’s most important prophecies were of the wonderful World Tomorrow
From the February 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

As this issue of the Trumpet has clearly shown, Herbert W. Armstrong was able to see and speak many prophecies because he was willing to submit to the authority of the Bible. We have highlighted only a few of those which concern major events now shaping the future of our existence.

One of the earliest prophecies of which he spoke, however—possibly the first and certainly the most important—has only been touched on in these articles. It is a coming event which will bring the final, peaceful end of all the prophecies spoken of. It is a prophecy which he began teaching back in the ’30s. It is the prophecy of the soon-coming government of God in the wonderful World Tomorrow.

Mr. Armstrong first determined to broadcast “the wonderful news of the World Tomorrow” in 1933. Later he wrote, “All I had in mind, as the World Tomorrow program was being planned late in 1933, was to serve God faithfully wherever He should lead” (Autobiography, vol. I).

Of that prophecy, he wrote, “You don’t have to believe it! It will happen, regardless. It is sure—the world’s only sure hope. This advance good news of tomorrow is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun. Humanity won’t bring it about—it is going to be done to us. Humanity is going to be forced to be happy—to enjoy world peace—to see universal abundance and joy fill the earth” (The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What it Will be Like, 1966). This advance good news was prophetic!

The familiar saying that “hindsight is 20/20” shows that it’s easy to see the truth after the fact. That kind of vision, however, is of limited value. What we really need is the ability to know what’s coming before it happens. This issue of the Trumpet has acquainted you with how you can have “20/20” vision of the future.

What we have done for you here is provided a look back at the prophetic knowledge of Herbert W. Armstrong and shown the fulfillment as it is happening so you, the reader, can plan your future.

Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Winston Churchill declared before the United States Congress: ‘He must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below of which we have the honor to be the faithful servants.’… It is true, though almost totally unrealized: Mankind was put on this earth for a purpose! And the Maker of mankind sent along with the human product of His making an Instruction Book to reveal that purpose and to guide man in happily, enjoyably fulfilling it” (United States and Britain in Prophecy).

As we have quoted in past articles, General Douglas MacArthur spoke the truth when he said, “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace…military alliances, balances of powers, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence, an improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2,000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

It’s all about vision. Dutch philosopher Erasmus said, “In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.” He was talking about vision—one man with vision in a land filled with those who refuse to see. Today, very few see the world as a “boiling pot” just about ready to boil over! Yet anyone with “half an eye” should have that discernment.

Herbert W. Armstrong warned of what is just ahead: “In this folly of educated ignorance, it has become fashionable today and intellectually titillating to ignore the great basic cause of all things; the fact of the purpose being worked out here below, and the master plan for its working out; the invisible but Supreme Power now soon to intervene and drastically alter the course of history—before mankind blasts itself out of existence” (United States and Britain in Prophecy). We have covered some of that news, in prophetic form, in this issue. Only the Trumpet magazine faithfully holds to the course set by God through Herbert W. Armstrong.

As Mr. Armstrong said, the greatest prophecy beyond it all is that mankind will not self-destruct! God is about to intervene to save humanity. That’s the good news! Herbert W. Armstrong saw it well before 1945.

Today, God’s warning message of the coming events, as well as the good news of the wonderful World Tomorrow—the work started through Herbert W. Armstrong—continues to be trumpeted around the world by this magazine as a witness!

You can escape the horror of the next few years by heeding that witness.

What choice will you make—blindness or vision? Hopefully, we will have the vision to look ahead—accept the revelation and guidance provided in the Bible, and reap the blessings that come with that decision.

Atlantic Rift

Why the U.S. and Europe can’t be friends forever
From the February 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

“Economic recovery masks deep divisions that must eventually rip asunder the Atlantic alliance.” This statement, published in the September 1983 Plain Truth, marks a prophecy which in recent months has greatly accelerated towards its fulfillment: an inevitable rift between the United States and Europe.

On the surface, America’s economic power may appear unstoppable. But its moral fiber, along with its determination to defend the right, with military means if necessary, has deteriorated drastically since the Second World War. The world has noticed, and America now finds itself in the incongruous position of having great economic power without the corresponding international respect which previously gave its policies political weight.

As was indicated at the beginning, America’s wealth today is masking very deep problems. The Plain Truth also alluded to this in February 1956: “America seems wedded to the idea that it can buy friends and allies around the world with ready American cash. We intend to hold friendly nations to us by generously supplying money and arms. But it isn’t working!”

This was written over 44 years ago, but it applies more today than ever! American money is being pumped into numerous causes internationally, but it is not buying support for American policies—it is not buying respect!

This fact becomes clear when looking at how the International Monetary Fund (imf) has dealt with Russia in the past three years. The Washington Times noted on December 19, 1999, “Russia received an imf loan in March 1996, shortly before presidential elections, and in July 1998, when Russia’s currency devaluation and debt default threatened the global economy. An April 1999 loan, during nato’s military campaign in Kosovo, was also conspicuously timely. In those cases, Russia’s failure to meet economic conditions certainly wasn’t a pressing concern…. In light of genocidal war on Chechnya, the imf-White House policy of appeasement appears to have been dangerously myopic.” The U.S.’s attempt to buy Russian cooperation through billions of dollars in imf loans has not worked. Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent revision of Russia’s national security doctrine, lowering the threshold for the first use of nuclear weapons, flies in the face of America’s insipid “economic pressure”!

It is an increasing disrespect for American leadership, brought about by repeated foreign policy debacles, most recently through virtually fruitless nato action in Kosovo, which has reduced the effectiveness of American foreign policy! The money is not talking in America’s diplomacy!

Although this has become more obvious in the past decade, this loss of respect for America—and its consequences—was prophesied years ago! The Plain Truth wrote about the G-7 Summit of Industrialized Nations in September 1983, “Viewing the activities of this annual ‘summit of summits’…one thing was evident: just how important confidence in America is to the stability of the entire Western world…. The lack of confidence in American leadership must ultimately lead to a parting of the ways between the United States and Western Europe….”

The fulfillment of this prediction can be easily seen in recent events. The European Union, as it realizes the magnitude of its newfound economic importance (a result of the monetary union of 11 countries), is strengthening its political voice, no longer willing to play second fiddle to the American giant.

Recent trade disputes between the U.S. and the EU have arisen over import regulations for bananas and beef, over EU agricultural policy, and over the “hush-kit ban”—an EU law banning the use of “noise mufflers” on airplanes. Disputes have flared over the (American-led) workings of the World Trade Organization (wto), whose glaringly ineffective meeting in Seattle recently struck another blow to American political leadership, and over future purchases of EU military equipment—these are just a few of the growing number of trade disputes presently straining trans-Atlantic relations. America’s political voice is getting weaker, the EU’s voice is getting stronger, and the gulf between them is widening!

Where is this leading? Read what was published in the Plain Truth over 25 years ago: “European antagonism toward the United States and its policies is now in the open. The next few years will bring forth more misunderstanding, conflicts of interest and, at times, outright hostility between the United States and Europe. Europe—including [then] West Germany—will have to build its own unified armed forces, including nuclear weapons. Religious as well as political forces will play a key role in the future” (March 1974). This is now happening!

A Toronto Star article, November 30, 1999, titled “Europe: One Market, One Currency, One Army” sums it up: “The new reality is that the Europeans have already established their independent European ‘identity’ in military aerospace and the allied defense industry.”

The International Herald Tribune reported on December 13, 1999, “By equipping itself with the ability to send as many as 60,000 troops to a crisis zone such as Bosnia or Kosovo, the 15-nation European Union will finally become a strategic player that the United States will have to reckon with, say French defense officials, who have long chafed under U.S. military and strategic dominance…. ‘If Europe takes on more responsibility by building up its military strength, that will contribute to the long-term equilibrium of the alliance,’ [French Defense Minister Alain Richard] said. ‘Now the European Union is stepping up its responsibilities and over the next few years will become a genuine actor on the world scene, one that didn’t exist before.’”

The EU is growing more independent of the U.S. and is strengthening its position as a world power. This was prophesied in the Plain Truth years ago. It is only a matter of time before the growing rift between the U.S. and the EU tips the power balance decisively in Europe’s favor, allowing the EU bloc to act on the world scene without any regard for American opinion.

The Secret Nazis

Even before the end of the war, I revealed to you the Nazi plans for a Nazi underground movement, to go underground as a secret organization the very moment they lost the war….” —Herbert W. Armstrong, 1948
From the February 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

“The keynote of what lies in the German mind today was voiced in 1950. At that time, according to T.H. Teten’s book Germany Plots With the Kremlin, Dr. Konrad Adenauer, then chancellor of Germany, caused much embarrassment by leading a German crowd in singing ‘Deutschland über Alles’—‘Germany above all others’—in the presence of Allied representatives” (Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, lesson 3, 1955).

Quite a sentiment, because at that time the German nation lay in rubble. Prior to the D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, many in the German high command knew that their defeat was only a matter of time. German destiny, however, would not be thwarted. A plan was already in place that out of defeat would rise a new nation.

Herbert W. Armstrong revealed that plan to the world—before Germany was destroyed—believe it or not!

Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Even before the end of this war, I revealed to you the Nazi plans for a Nazi underground movement, to go underground as a secret organization the very moment they lost the war—to lay low a few years during Allied and Russian military occupation, then to come forth when least expected, restore Germany to power, and go on to finally accomplish their aims in a World War III” (Plain Truth, Sept. 1948).

He also wrote, “… as certainly as we restore Western Europe to economic prosperity, and then to military power, a successor to Hitler will emerge, gain control of this power through a ‘United States of Europe,’ which we [the United States] also are encouraging, and we shall then wake up, too late, to realize we shall have restored our fascist enemy to power to destroy us!” (Plain Truth, Nov. 1948).

Notice, he made four specific statements, three of which were: Nazi Germany would go underground; Germany would emerge after Allied and Russian occupation; and they would rise again to military power. These events have now all happened—and in that order.

Did anyone else perceive what future events would bring? No, not even the Germans themselves. Notice a speech given by German General von Stuelpnagel in 1944: “No defeat is final. Defeats are simply lessons to be learned in preparation for the next and greater attack.” He went on to say, “In the next world war, which should take place within 25 years, the same mistake should not be made” (Correspondence Course, lesson 3).

“Within 25 years” would have put their hoped-for reappearance in the year 1969. According to him, the German underground was focused on the time period of 1969-1972. Why could that not happen? Because of Mr. Armstrong’s statement that this movement would “come forth when least expected” after Allied and Russian occupation had ended. When did that end? Not in 1969, or 1972, but in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the removal of Russian occupying forces!

Victim Pensions

By August of 1944, Nazi Party officials knew that the war was lost. At that time the provisional plan for the rebirth of Germany, conceived in the early days of the war, began to be put into action. That plan included the well-documented rush to secret destinations by surviving supporters of the Third Reich. The Nazis went underground, just as Mr. Armstrong said they would.

Following the surrender of Germany, attempts were made to locate escaped Nazis who had now been shuttled to other parts of the world. By the spring of 1946, only 85,000 of 200,000 industrial and Gestapo leaders had been arrested. Further, the search for Nazi looted gold—gold transferred through the Bank of International Settlements—began in earnest.

In his book Nazi Gold, Tom Bower writes, “In early January 1945, as new intercepts revealed that Swiss banks, especially Crédit Suisse, were regularly transferring German loot and gold to Argentina, new drafts of the Safehaven program outlined the crusaders’ intention to surround, intimidate and virtually invade neutral countries—especially Switzerland—to root out the [underground] Germans and their loot” (p. 67).

Where did the Nazis go? That secret is known. According to an amazing bit of legislation, many of them can be traced. We can trace them through their “victim” pensions. “Billions of [Deutsche] marks from German taxpayers [have been] paid to Nazi war criminals and are called ‘victim’ pensions. A spokesman for the German Ministry of Labor confirmed that additional assistance money is being spent on war criminals but claimed that nothing could be changed because of constitutional reasons” (The Panorama Report, ard German television network, Jan. 30, 1997).

The report continues, “The Nazi war criminals receive, in addition to their regular pensions, ‘victim’ pensions, according to the German ‘Social Compensation and Assistance to War Victims’ law (bvg). Last year alone, from Federal and Lander budgets, almost 13 billion marks were currently paid to over 1.1 million ‘victim’ pensioners. To qualify for the ‘victim’ pension, one must have been injured as a result of war service. Because no one is excluded from the bvg, each war criminal who applies is granted a ‘victim’ pension if they can simply prove a war injury.

“Panorama found out that worldwide, numerous Nazi war criminals today receive monthly payments

between 100 and several thousand marks from German taxpayers. The well-respected German military historian Gerhard Schreiber estimates the number of war criminals receiving these extra payments from the German government at 50,000.” News sources claim those 50,000 are former members of Hitler’s elite SS.

Follow the Money

How the underground movement was funded is another story fresh in today’s news. It was funded primarily by the gold stolen during Nazi Germany’s conquests.

Following the surrender of Germany, according to author Charles Higham, “Senior Nazi Party officials…urged that the new strategy was to survive and win the peace. Large sums of money should be sent abroad in secret in the care of sympathetic bankers and industrialists. Among the named Swiss banks were the Basler Handelsbank and Credit Suisse. Eventually, according to the plan, that money would be used to finance the Nazi Party’s attempt to build a new empire….

“On a bright May morning in 1944, while young Americans were dying on the Italian beachheads, [the] president of the Nazi-controlled Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, arrived at his office to preside over the fourth annual meeting in time of war. This polished American gentleman sat down with his German, Japanese, Italian, British and American executive staff to discuss such important matters as the $378 million in gold which had been sent to the bank by the Nazi government after Pearl Harbor for use by its leaders after the war” (Trading With the Enemy; emphasis mine).

That gold had been looted from the national banks of Austria, Holland, Belgium and Czechoslovakia, or melted down from the Reichsbank holdings of the teeth fillings, spectacle frames, cigarette cases and lighters of murdered Jews.

What areas of the world constitute the “underground”? We only have to follow the money trail to answer that question. “Estimated numbers of former Nazis getting pensions are: 601 in Australia, 1115 in Austria, 128 in Argentina, 324 in Belgium, 196 in Brazil, 1882 in Canada, 1010 in Croatia, 459 in England, 810 in France, 152 in Italy, 1014 in Romania, 2,380 in Slovenia, 152 in South Africa, 3,377 in the U.S.” (The Panorama Report).

That’s just over a third of the estimated 50,000 war criminals receiving payments.

The fact is, a man under the inspiration of God saw those events coming decades ago, and told the world. How could Herbert W. Armstrong reveal events which would come to pass in the future? Did he possess Allied classified information? Was it merely an unusual “grasp” of world affairs? No, it was not. The military and political systems of the world did not possess this knowledge. The truth is, he simply believed that Almighty God meant what He said, that the Bible was His word. He understood that the prophecies in the Bible were for our peoples today, and that they would come to pass.

The Phoenix

In the opera Parsifal, Richard Wagner wrote, “By the power of that stone the phoenix burns to ashes, but the ashes give him life again. Thus does the phoenix molt and change its plumage, which afterward is bright and shining and as lovely as before.” Just as that mythological bird, the Germany once in ashes has reappeared and is heading the powerful consortium of nations called the European Union.

Now only the fourth statement Mr. Armstrong made is still waiting to happen. That statement was, “a successor to Hitler will emerge, [and] gain control of this power….” That man is probably somewhere on the political scene right now!

General Stuelpnagel stated, “In the next world war…the same mistake should not be made. The principal adversary will be the United States, and the entire effort must be concentrated against this country from the beginning…. Our defeat in the present war need not be considered except as an incident in the triumphal march of Germany toward conquest of the world”—Deutschland über alles! (Correspondence Course, lesson 3).

That march has begun. On May 26, 1998, German officer cadets took part in unprecedented training exercises with the Israeli army. Writing about this historic event, bbc Middle East correspondent Lyse Doucet said, “For the German soldiers these exercises are a valuable opportunity for a peace-time army to train with a force engaged in war.”

In the same bbc report, Christian Muth, of the German Army, was reported as saying, “The point of coming here is not to overcome the past, because you can’t overcome something that’s already happened. The point of coming here is to show that we are a new generation—that we are fully aware of the past and will prevent it from happening again.”

The German Army does not fully realize its future role in world affairs at this time. But we will soon learn that when its fighting forces say, “We are fully aware of the past and will prevent it from happening again,” it means they remember the defeat of past wars, and why. They will not be defeated next time!

Hitler revealed the carefully laid German military plan to rule the world in his thesis Mein Kampf. He said Germany must first defeat the West in order to have a free hand for the Drang nach Osten—the march toward the East.

As God revealed to Mr. Armstrong, after losing World War II the Nazis went underground. The fall of the Berlin Wall has allowed Germany to reappear even stronger than before. It will continue to grow into the most powerful economic and military

machine this world has ever seen—the last revival of the Holy Roman Empire. A successor to Hitler is about to appear. Then, linked with a future false prophet, this power, composed of ten nations—referred to in Scripture as “the beast”—will plunge this world into the most horrific global genocide ever witnessed by mankind.

Then the world will know that a prophet has been among them.