Angela Merkel’s Historic Holocaust Speech (But Does the Pope Agree?)

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Angela Merkel’s Historic Holocaust Speech (But Does the Pope Agree?)

From the May 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

Throughout its history, the Holy Roman Empire has been dominated mainly by Germany and the Vatican. Its most popular political leader was Charlemagne, who was crowned emperor in a.d. 800. Today, some European leaders believe it will take another Charlemagne for the European Union to finally take off as a world power.

Europe is moving very fast toward crowning this new Charlemagne—yet this trend is not getting the headlines it deserves.

Angela Merkel’s Brave Speech

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Knesset address on March 18 was, I believe, the most significant speech made by any German leader since World War ii. In speaking about the German atrocities committed against the Jews during the war, she made a statement that some people have been waiting to hear for over 60 years. In an apology to her Israeli audience, Merkel said, “The mass murder of 6 million Jews, carried out in the name of Germany, has brought indescribable suffering to the Jewish people, Europe and the entire world.” She said Germans were “filled with shame” over the Nazi Holocaust.

While in Israel, Merkel also visited Yad Vashem—Israel’s Holocaust museum. As it happens, I visited the same museum a month earlier. It was a stirring, emotionally draining experience.

The day after the German chancellor’s speech in the Knesset, Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote a column for the Jerusalem Post titled, “What Angela Merkel Couldn’t Say Out Loud.” He wrote, “Few in Israel realize that a majority of Germans probably disagree with several key statements she made here about her country’s past—including the mention of shame and guilt …” (emphasis mine throughout).

He brings up a good point. It’s one thing for Merkel to repent on behalf of the German people for their sins during World War ii, but are the German people truly sorry?

It was courageous for Angela Merkel to even make such a statement—even more so when it disagrees with most of her own people! The apology could greatly damage her political career. But isn’t that a hallmark of great leadership—leading your people the right way regardless of the political consequences?

This speech will have a negative impact on her political career and signals a dangerous turning point in the history of Germany.

And you need to understand why!

Considering Germany’s Nazi past, Angela Merkel’s speech should have grabbed world headlines! I personally have never heard such a repentant statement from a powerful world leader in my life!

Some historians fear that Germany could start another world war. Chancellor Merkel knows that and is working feverishly to avoid such an unparalleled calamity.

Shamefully, her history-making speech hardly made a ripple in world news.

The Vatican’s Stance

Angela Merkel’s speech was full of statements we might expect from a religious leader. Why, then, has the German Pope Benedict refused to issue a similar apology? If you have been following the pope’s speeches and interviews, you will know that his best-known comments are those that have criticized other groups—especially religions.

In September 2006, the pope quoted a Byzantine emperor who said that anything new Mohammed had contributed was evil and inhumane. He said the Islamic movement had converted people to its faith by the sword. Both comments triggered an outcry of protest from the world of Islam.

The pope has also been openly critical of Protestants, wondering how they could even have the title of “church” attributed to them.

He has removed restrictions on the use of an old form of the Latin mass that includes a call for the Jews to be converted to Catholicism. In February, he revised the “Good Friday Prayer for the Jews” to read: “Let us also pray for the Jews: That our God and Lord may illuminate their hearts, that they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men.” These alterations have angered many Jews.

Notice what Jason Burke wrote in the Observer last year: “The pope … sparked bewilderment when he made no mention of anti-Semitism, or the fact that the Nazis killed millions of people because they were Jewish, in a speech last year at Auschwitz. He also failed to acknowledge that there might be some degree of collective responsibility of the German people” (July 8, 2007).

It’s astounding to me that a German pope—speaking at Auschwitz, of all places—could not come up with something similar to the comments made by Angela Merkel. I believe he steered clear of the subject because, like many Germans, Pope Benedict xvi disagrees with many of the key statements Merkel made—including the mention of shame and guilt.

Gerstenfeld continued in his Jerusalem Post column, “In contemporary Germany there are significant expressions of anti-Semitism and racism. … At the same time, there are efforts in Germany to rewrite the past. Books by historian Jörg Friedrich, who compares the Allied actions to his nation’s atrocities during the war, are bestsellers.”

That message—that the Allies were just as guilty as Germany was—is popular among Germans! Gerstenfeld continued, “They promote Holocaust equivalence by using Nazi semantics to describe the Allied bombings of Germany during World War ii.”

Rewriting history in order to glorify, or at least excuse, Nazi atrocities is obscene and deadly dangerous reasoning!

Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of Britain, once said that the problem with Europe today is that it has been anchored to Germany, instead of the other way around. Germany is already leading the European superpower economically. Soon the Germans will lead them militarily. So we can surely see how the German people think is supremely critical!

Remember, Germany has started two world wars—60 million people were killed!

Now we have a famous historian, Jörg Friedrich, helping to revive the same Nazi spirit of World War ii. He says America and Britain were just as evil as the Germans were in World War ii—as we defended ourselves from Nazi extermination!

The Nazi spirit is very much alive in Germany. It’s time we woke up. Our leaders are asleep and virtually unaware of the deadliest danger in this world!

How concerned should we be about what’s going on in Europe? As I said, I think Angela Merkel’s address in the Knesset was a moment of greatness for her. But her view will not prevail in Europe. I know that because of Bible prophecy. (To understand more, request your free copy of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.) God says a much different view will prevail.

It will culminate in Europe’s new Charlemagne.

The Pope’s Standoff With Islam

Another recent development in the Vatican highlights the escalating tension between Catholicism and Islam. At his Easter vigil service on March 22, Pope Benedict baptized Magdi Allam, a former Muslim. Allam is a deputy editor of one of Italy’s most powerful newspapers, and he’s also a bestselling author.

Stratfor wrote this about the much-publicized baptism: “Allam is an Egyptian-born convert from Islam to Christianity, and is a prominent outspoken critic of radical Islamism” (March 24). The timing of the baptism was especially significant, as Stratfor went on to point out: “Only days before, on March 19, an Internet posting of an audio message purporting to be from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden accused the pope specifically of fomenting a ‘new crusade’ against Islam.”

In fact, a new crusade will happen.

Stratfor wrote, “The papacy is a unique geopolitical entity. It was once literally a kingmaker, crowning the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire.” And it’s going to crown another one, who will be the last one.

Soon after that, Jesus Christ will return and establish God’s government over all the Earth. God will save mankind from itself, but He will do it His way and according to His timetable. Today, your Bible says, the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9). But when Christ returns, He will remove that veil of deception and lead the world in the right way to live.

Before that, however, God prophesies in Daniel 11:40 of a great end-time clash between the king of the north (the EU dominated by Germany and the Vatican) and the king of the south (radical Islam). Even now, we are seeing this spectacular clash in its preliminary stages. (For more on this, request our free booklet The King of the South.) Prophecy is being fulfilled. You can know where all of these events are leading!

Stratfor continued, “In attempting to galvanize and energize 1 billion Catholics, Benedict might also further alienate 1 billion Muslims.” A superpower is rising in Europe. It will soon impact this world and shed blood as no church-state combine ever has. “[I]t could very well move the Vatican onto center stage in radical Islamism’s conflict with the West. And that can have profound geopolitical implications” (ibid.). Yes, indeed!

Now to prophecy. Revelation 17:10 says, “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.” The “one is” emerged during World War ii as the Hitler-led Axis power. God says one more resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is coming.

It will be led by the new Charlemagne.

After that, the Messiah will return! Jesus Christ has to return. He said in Matthew 24 that if He didn’t, there would be no flesh saved alive! He must return to save us from ourselves! In this evil world, we love to exterminate people, it seems. God will put a stop to that forever.

The events we see today in Europe are tied directly to the return of Jesus Christ. This new Charlemagne will come on the scene and this will ultimately lead to the most wonderful, exciting, thrilling event that has ever happened on Earth!

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America Denies the Islamic Roots of Jihadi Terrorism

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America Denies the Islamic Roots of Jihadi Terrorism

Will altering the vocabulary we use to refer to Islamic terrorists help us win the war on terrorism?

The United States government has launched a new front in its war on terrorism. It’s not a military attack on another nation or organization—it’s a battle against terminology. Federal agencies—including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Counterterrorism Center—are instructing their personnel to shun any jargon that could infer a link between Islam and terrorist activities conducted by Muslims.

According to a National Counterterrorism Center report, terms such as “jihadist” and “Islamo-fascism” may offend moderate Muslims or confer legitimacy upon extremist Muslims and should therefore be abandoned in favor of euphemisms like “violent extremist” and “terrorist.” This same report also recommends people use descriptive terms like “South Asian youth” or “Arab opinion leaders” to describe those involved in specific terrorism cases, instead of labeling groups as “Muslims” or “Islamist.”

Top-level officials like U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seem to be taking this advice to heart. Rice, who used to refer to “jihad” frequently, hasn’t publicly used the word since September except when referring to the name of a specific terrorist group.

The stated purpose of this new rhetorical strategy is to rob Islamic extremists of legitimacy in the eyes of moderate Muslims by denying these extremists any link with the ideology they purport to uphold. In actuality, however, this strategy is only showing the Islamic world how confused U.S. leadership is concerning the true theological motivation driving jihadis to seek to destroy Western civilization.

The Middle East Timesreports:

The Bush administration has decided that calling the enemy by his name is too risky, too politically incorrect, or oddly, somehow too laudatory.And so, henceforth federal agencies of the United States government are to refrain from identifying the Islamic jihad with words that in any way convey genuine understanding about the links between terrorism and religion in the war that has been launched against Western liberal democratic civilization. …That the U.S. administration could even suppose that its choice of vocabulary might influence the jihadi enemy betrays a woeful lack of understanding about what actually motivates him. …What motivates the international Islamic jihad movement is a literal textual interpretation of doctrinal Islam as laid out in the Koran, hadith, and Sunna plus centuries of Islamic scholarship and consensus on the concept of just war. Within this construct, it is true that words such as jihad, mujahedin and Caliphate carry intensely positive and honorable connotations–-for the Muslim jihadis–-but hardly for the rest of us, their intended targets for subjugation within the totalitarian system that sharia would impose ….What Americans need to understand is that Islamic jihadis, whether part of a formal terrorist organization such as al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood, or merely ideologically driven by the actions and proclamations of such groups, are internally motivated by what they believe is a divine mandate to fight and kill until the entire world comes under the sway of Dar al-Islam (where sharia law prevails).

The jihadi enemy is waging an ideological as well as a literal war against the United States. The root ideological aspect of this war is summed up well by the philosophy of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” Altering the vocabulary used to refer to these Islamic extremists is not going to change their mission and it is not going to lessen the support they receive from Arab and Muslim audiences around the world.

Actually, the mere fact that U.S. leaders are willing to put forward such a strategy shows they are already losing in the war of ideas. The only way to win any war or confrontation involves an accurate assessment of the enemy’s capacities, scope of operations, intentions and, above all, motivations.

For more information on the true ideology driving jihadi terrorists, read “Why We Cannot Win the War Against Terrorism” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

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If God Could Vote …

If God Could Vote …

A view of American democracy from higher up

The longer the two Democratic presidential contenders lock horns, the more ugly revelations about them surface. Meanwhile, Republicans have ended up with a candidate reviled by many prominent conservatives. By the time the election rolls around in November, about a billion dollars will have been spent to empower an individual whose flaws and dirty laundry will have been the subject of public scrutiny for months—an individual whom roughly half of the electorate deeply opposes.

Power to the people.

This is the approximate system of government, by the way, that we propose to export to some of the most ideologically hateful and violent nations on Earth in order to solve the problems of the world.

Have you ever asked what God thinks of all this?

Does God believe in “power of the people”? Does He influence the outcomes of elections? Does He even care who assumes big governmental offices?

Most people would not even presume to guess. But the answers to these questions do exist. They are plainly revealed in Scripture—it’s just a matter of whether we are willing to accept them.

God Is Supreme

The Bible makes clear an important truth—something the average independently minded voter would be loath to accept.

Who really chooses world leaders? Is the ballot truly the ultimate authority in American democracy? According to God’s Word, the answer is no.

The ultimate authority over all governments, worldwide, is God. Every election, every appointment, every coronation, every revolution, coup and political mutiny—in every country and throughout history—God has allowed, or influenced, or orchestrated to the detail.

The Prophet Daniel explained as much, codified as part of inspired Scripture, in this statement he made to the most powerful of world leaders in his day, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon: “[T]he most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:17).

The Apostle Paul supported the same doctrine in the New Testament, in a letter to church members in Rome—the epicenter of the mighty Roman Empire, even the world, at the time: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).

In other words, there is no world leader that doesn’t owe deference to God as the source of his power.

How many heads of nations, not to mention the masses that elect them or otherwise pay them homage, understand this point of truth?

Read yourself what the Prophet Isaiah quotes this great God Himself as saying: “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. … I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 40:25; 46:9).

Presidents, prime ministers and kings contrive great plans and frame elaborate policies, convinced of their own preeminence. Here is how the supreme Creator God describes their schemes: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord …” (Psalm 2:1-2). And how does God then respond? “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. … [God] shalt break them with a rod of iron; [He] shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (verses 4, 9-11).

What does God think of American democracy? The best answer is that He looks down upon any government or leader who refuses to acknowledge His supremacy. God would shower favor and blessings upon a democracy or other nation that truly recognized its indebtedness to Him and set its heart to obey Him. But when it doesn’t, His judgment is justly severe.

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. … All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity” (Isaiah 40:15, 17).

God “bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. … [He] shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble” (verses 23-24). The authorities of this world would be well advised to heed the warnings of this mighty Being, who claims indisputable superiority over the greatest of superpowers.

Do you believe these scriptures?

What does this mean for the kingdoms of this world? Will God one day fulfill these threats—or is this mere bluster?

The True Gospel

You probably don’t realize it, but the gospel message of Jesus Christ was, at its heart, about this very subject. Christ announced the soon-coming destruction of all human, imperfect, ill-devised governments, to be superseded by one world-ruling kingdom under God the Father.

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).

The leaders of Christ’s day didn’t pass His declaration off as bluster: They took it very seriously. In fact, they perceived it as a threat against them—a direct challenge to their cherished positions of authority—and they killed Christ for it!

Yes, soon God will strip all power away from the kingdoms of this world. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever (Daniel 2:44). “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

The Kingdom of God will rule the Earth—the very territory now controlled by a teeming multitude of assorted governments. This divinely ruled kingdom will have all the characteristics of kingdoms today: leaders, administrative bodies, judges, citizens, laws.

So, what sort of system of government will God establish? Will He govern through “power of the people”?

No. God alone will decide who fulfills the offices in His Kingdom. He will choose those individuals for their obedience to His perfect law, which will be the absolute standard of conduct taught throughout the kingdom and expected of everyone (Isaiah 2:2-3). He will ensure that they are deeply humble people, so He can trust that even with great authority they will always serve the citizens before themselves (Matthew 20:25-27). He will choose those skilled in administering judgment with mercy. They will have rock-solid character and a proven readiness to handle power graciously.

These fundamental, premier qualities of leadership cannot be categorically determined by any of the methods of choosing leaders currently employed. Only God can evaluate with perfect discernment based on perfect criteria.

That is the government that is about to rule this world, as prophesied in your Bible. It will eradicate the myriad of problems rampant today, leading eventually to this beautiful result: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

There is a perfect government—the government of God!

If you want to know more about this coming government—and your potential part in it—request our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. Understand and set your heart on the true hope of the gospel—the gospel of the Kingdom of God!

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The European Union may tell Britain that it cannot lend money to its own banks, despite the worsening housing and banking crisis.

According to the Times, “The centerpiece of the government’s plan to unclog Britain’s money markets could be disrupted by the European regulators because it falls foul of state-aid rules.”

It seems that if the Bank of England wants to give aid to British banks, it would also have to give similar amounts of aid to all other European banks on the Continent—otherwise British banks would have an unfair advantage and European Commission competition rules may be breached.

Britain, it seems, is supposed to stand idly by and let its economy and financial system collapse.

If the British people’s own central bank can’t act to aid their own banking system, then is Britain truly independent? Or is it already just one of 27 vassal European provinces?

The controversy comes at a poor time for the British government, which is trying to push through the new EU constitution without allowing voters a chance to decide the future of British autonomy.

The truth is, the Lisbon Treaty—which is just a cloaked European Constitution—will solidify British subservience to the European Union. Sadly, as this latest banking row with the European Commission shows, much of Britain’s sovereignty is already gone. When will Britain say enough is enough?

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Germany Plays Hardball in Africa

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Germany Plays Hardball in Africa

To counter rising Chinese hegemony in Africa, Germany looks to establish military relations with one of the continent’s most controversial military regimes.

German ambition is not confined to Europe. In fact, Berlin is looking far afield to extend its interests. On April 22, German President Horst Köhler received Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Berlin with military honors. Kagame’s trip, his fourth official visit to Germany, came only two months after Köhler visited Rwanda.

What was Kagame doing in Berlin? He had two main objectives: first, to woo German businesses to invest in Rwanda; second, to meet with German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung and other officials to discuss establishing military relations.

Germany already provides financial backing and military manpower to African Union peacekeeping forces in Darfur, a large portion of which are Rwandan. But the deal under consideration would bypass the African Union to establish a bilateral security policy directly between Germany and Rwanda.

So why is Germany seeking closer ties with Rwanda, of all nations?

It has to do with strategy and resources.

In addition to fighting the Sudanese government in Darfur, Rwandan troops have also invaded the Democratic Republic of the Congo twice in the past decade. Both of these enemies of Rwanda are allies of China.

Beijing has a strong interest in Africa’s natural resources. Berlin is looking to counter that.

China invests in African nations in return for African resources—and makes it a point to avoid meddling in its clients’ internal affairs and human rights abuses. This gives China a trade advantage over European countries, which supposedly confine their trade relations to African nations that meet certain human rights standards. But Germany is starting to play dirty. By increasing its investment and military support for Rwanda, Berlin is empowering a traditional enemy of a China-aligned nation and is looking to stake its own claim in the region.

In doing so, Germany finds itself aiding one of Africa’s most controversial military regimes.

During his stay in Berlin, Kagame praised Germany as one of the first nations to reopen its Rwandan embassies after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which up to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militia using clubs and machetes over the course of 100 days. In addition to this history, according to Amnesty International, Rwandan officials have detained thousands of their own people without trial over long periods of time under “extremely harsh” conditions tantamount to “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” Several government critics have disappeared without a trace, and human rights groups accuse officials of torture and extra-judicial executions. On paper, the European Union may criticize China for engaging in a “trade only, no politics” approach to Africa, but in practice, Germany, at least, is willing to support brutal African regimes that engage in horrendous human rights abuses if it means gaining a foothold against China.

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Iran Looks East

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Iran Looks East

American allies turn to America’s enemy.

Iran’s regional influence steps up a notch this week as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes a quick trip to Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Here, Iran will increase its political, economic and cultural ties with the United States’ most important allies in the region.

The biggest item on the agenda is the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. This $7.5 billion program would transport Iranian gas through Pakistan and into India. China is also looking to join the project.

Pakistani and Indian energy ministers signed an agreement over the pipeline last week, and a final agreement is expected to be signed soon.

All this cooperation comes amid strong U.S. opposition. Nevertheless, India and Pakistan—American allies—are expected to sign the deal with Iran, a U.S. enemy.

In Pakistan, Ahmadinejad met with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday. It is his first-ever visit to Pakistan. As well as discussing the pipeline, Iran agreed to provide Pakistan with 1,100 megawatts of electricity to help it overcome a power shortage.

Ahmadinejad’s visit to India on Tuesday comes during a week-long festival of Iranian culture, highlighting the historical ties between the two nations. According to the Times of India,

During the five-hour visit, India’s focus will be on the business side of the relationship with Iran. India will ask for more energy business with Iran, while keeping politics to a bare minimum in the discussions. India will also ask for more energy investment in Iran, mining and exploration as well as downstream production possibilities.

Iran also signed memorandums of understanding on Monday promising to invest heavily in Sri Lanka, pledging to finance a dam project and a hydroelectric power plant, and develop the production capacity of its only oil refinery, a total investment of $1.5 billion. Tehran plans to expand its ties with Sri Lanka through “expanding tourism, educational assistance, an employee exchange program, supplying vessels for Sri Lanka’s shipping industry, among others,” according to Asia Times.

“It is hoped that today’s visit would open a new chapter in the relations between Sri Lanka and Iran which already goes back deep in history into the time of the Persian kingdom, and underline the solidarity between the two nations,” wrote one of Sri Lanka’s national newspapers.

Sri Lanka is a great strategic gateway—a crossroad guarding the sea traffic flowing from Europe through Suez, from the oil-rich Middle East to Southeast Asia.

These visits show just how little influence the U.S. has on its “allies.” They have no problem welcoming one of America’s worst enemies as a close partner and strengthening Iran’s clout in the area. The U.S. certainly cannot count on Pakistan, India or Sri Lanka to help contain Iran.

The U.S. faces similar problems in Afghanistan. It cannot hope to begin to control it without the help of at least one if not two of Afghanistan’s most powerful neighbors. Here, especially, the U.S. needs Pakistan as an ally, but already that alliance is slipping away. A Pakistan working with Iran, however, would be even worse than a Pakistan that merely refuses to work with the United States.

For the Trumpet’s cutting-edge forecast on Iran’s rise and where it is leading, read The King of the South by editor in chief Gerald Flurry.