Crisis in Europe: A Classic Whodunit

What caused Greece’s financial demise? Was it suicide? Accidental death? Neither. Media detectives are off the track. Something sinister is afoot. A master criminal is at work.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Is Greece about to collapse? Is the euro about to fall apart? Is this the end of the European Union? These questions seemed unthinkable a few months ago. Now they fill newspaper headlines.

Greece looks like it is about to disintegrate. On May 5, over 30,000 demonstrators overran the streets of Athens. They began their protest at the Field of Ares—named after the Greek god of war. Many were there to do battle—Molotov cocktails, gas masks and sticks their weapons of choice. “It’s not unusual in Greece for a small minority to cause trouble during a protest, but on Wednesday the rage ran deeper,” wrote Time. “It wasn’t just masked anarchists who charged police; men in polo shirts joined in too” (May 5).

The social unrest almost brought down Greece’s government.

And Greece is only the beginning. Within days, as news circulated that Portugal, Spain and Italy were in similar financial straits, global stock markets tanked and the euro plunged. Were it not for emergency meetings between eurozone states and other EU countries over the weekend of May 9-10—which concluded with the EU and the International Monetary Fund making $1 trillion available to fragile eurozone countries—the European Union and the euro would have been in jeopardy of disintegrating.

The question now on everyone’s mind is, how did Europe get it so wrong?

Many commentators—especially Euroskeptic ones—point out that the project seemed bound to fail from the start. What they miss is that this is literally true. The euro project really was bound to fail—or at least to come close to doing so. It was designed to do so. This may be a crisis, but it is a carefully planned one.

“Berlin has been planning for this crisis before it even adopted the euro. European elites knew it would eventually come. And they will soon present a solution,” wrote the Trumpet’s editor in chief Gerald Flurry last year (February 2009).

Like a master criminal, the Euro-federalists behind the crisis have made Greece’s financial demise seem like suicide or accidental death. But really, media detectives are looking at it the wrong way. This is more than a case of reckless spending. It’s a whodunit.

The Plot

Greece has been caught in a two-stage trap. First, by joining the euro, it was plunged into the world of low interest rates.

The interest rate is a tool governments use to manipulate the economy. Different interest rates are needed for different countries in different situations. In a way, it can be like alcohol. A burly bodybuilder might be able to knock back several pints of lager without it having any noticeable effect. But the same quantity could floor a ballerina.

Greece, along with a few other countries, just couldn’t handle the cheap credit. It was the ballerina. Actually, it’s a bit worse than that: Greece was an alcoholic ballerina—already heavily addicted to credit. Having lied about the amount of its government debt in order to get into the euro club, it was already headed for disaster. The euro just made the alcohol cheaper.

Usually, lenders would be cautious about lending to a country that seems dangerously drunk on debt already. But they kept giving cheap credit to Greece. They assumed that if anything went wrong, because Greece was in the euro, Germany would pick up the tab. Rather than having to pay more and more interest, as its position got worse, Greece was given cheap credit until lenders suddenly realized that Germany might not pay after all and hiked up their rates.

Greece is no innocent bystander in this debacle. But neither are the European central bankers. They knew that, given access to cheap credit, Greece and other similar nations would soon get inebriated. But perhaps even they were surprised by how quickly it happened.

This is when the second stage of the plot kicked in. Usually a nation with Greece’s problems would devalue its currency by printing more money. With more money in circulation, the debts become easier to pay. This is a painful process—and the creditors get cheated—but usually it’s the least painful option available.

But because it is in the euro, Greece cannot print more money: Its currency is controlled by the European Central Bank (ecb), which is controlled by Germany. By staying in the euro, Greece is denied the tools it needs to fix its problems, which has led to its current position, where it needs European help. And it looks like it will have to give up a lot to get it.

The Spirit of Charlemagne

Europe’s monetary endeavors have always been part of a plan to gain more political control. In discussions among European leaders, the legacy of Charlemagne comes up continually. It is one of the clearest hints of Europe’s true goal. Charlemagne forged Western Europe into a single Catholic military empire. He was also famous for his common currency; he minted standardized silver coins all over his empire. Not only did his coins help spur trade, more importantly they gave Europe a sense of unity.

“[H]is portrait coinage,” wrote one historian, “sent an impressive and influential message of imperial status and power throughout the Frankish world—and beyond” (Joanna Story, Charlemagne: Empire and Society). Indeed it did: Charlemagne’s coins were deliberately modeled after Roman coinage, bearing a portrait of the emperor for the first time since the fall of Rome. They replaced more crudely made local coins that bore the name of a local ruler.

When hashing out the details of the European Monetary System (a precursor to the euro), then French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt held a summit in Aachen—the main seat of Charlemagne’s authority. In his book The Rotten Heart of Europe, Bernard Connolly wrote, “The symbolism was heavily underlined in both France and Germany; the two leaders paid a special visit to the throne of Charlemagne and a special service was held in the cathedral; at the end of the summit, Giscard remarked that: ‘Perhaps when we discussed monetary problems, the spirit of Charlemagne brooded over us.’”

This is the spirit European leaders wish to revert to: one that used currency to unify and control a squabbling bunch of nations while it tried to increase its power abroad by forcibly converting others to Catholicism. Charlemagne spent decades murdering Saxons in an effort to force them to unify and accept Catholicism. This is the spirit of Charlemagne: a spirit that wants to resurrect the Roman Empire across Europe and will let nothing stand in its way. It is a spirit that thinks nothing of deliberately plunging a nation into economic catastrophe if necessary for the “greater good” of European unity.

The New Roman Empire

Charlemagne saw himself not as founding a new empire, but simply reviving the much older Roman Empire. Modern Europe’s movers and shakers view themselves the same way. They, like Hitler and Napoleon before them, hark back to Charlemagne, who looked back at Rome.

This succession of empires, all claiming the mantle of the Roman Empire, was precisely foretold in your Bible. Scripture forecasts a major empire that would appear to be dead, but will be resurrected repetitiously. (For more information on this, request a free copy of our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and read the third chapter.)

It is because of this understanding that the Trumpet has known from the start where the euro was leading. “Monetary union is but a means to an end—the fiscal means to achieving the goal of political union—a federation of European nation-states—in fact, a European empire,” we wrote in May 1998—before euro nations began converting to the new currency.

Nine years later, it became clearer exactly how this could happen. In the summer of 2007, amid America’s financial collapse, Bernard Connolly wrote, “[W]hatever mistakes Greenspan may have made, he just got it wrong: He didn’t deliberately set up this Greek tragedy.

“In contrast, the EU quite deliberately created the most dangerous credit bubble of all: emu [Economic Monetary Union]. And, whereas the mission of the Fed is to avoid a financial crisis, the mission of the ecb is to provoke one. The purpose of the crisis will be, as [Romano] Prodi, then Commission president, said in 2002, to allow the EU to take more power for itself. The sacrificial victims will be, in the first instance, families and firms (and banks and investors) in countries such as Ireland and Club Med. Subsequently, German savers (or British taxpayers) will bear the burden of bailouts that a newly empowered ‘EU economic government’ will ordain. …

The resulting carnage in the financial system of the whole euro area will make the present global financial crisis, serious though it is, seem almost insignificant” (Telegraph.co.uk, Aug. 20, 2007; emphasis mine throughout).

“Watch Germany,” wrote Mr. Flurry as the Greek crisis began to unfold in late 2008. “Watch for Germany to be at the helm in a restructuring not only of EU member nations’ economies, but of the entire European Union itself! That union will be united and then guided by the Vatican” (theTrumpet.com, Dec. 31, 2008).

And now what do we see? The entire Continent is looking to Germany to decide the future of Greece and the euro. Germany sits as Caesar, with the fallen gladiator before it. Thumbs up, and Greece is spared, thumbs down, and its economy is destroyed. Soon, it could be the euro itself squirming as it awaits Caesar’s verdict.

The Future

Already this crisis in Greece is propelling EU power to giddy heights. In order to receive the bailout it needs, Greece must implement a set of demanding terms and conditions. “[T]his is no ordinary piece of Euro-bureaucracy,” wrote Anne Applebaum in the Washington Post. “This is the kind of thing a surrendering field marshal signs in a railway car in the forest at the end of a bloody war” (May 11).

The document dictates that Greece “shall” implement several mandatory reforms. Europe is now dictating Greece’s tax rates, public sector retirement ages, health care service policy, civil service pay and even small business legislation. Applebaum wrote that “the council’s ‘decision’ does represent something new.

“Though the European Union has always required a partial surrender of sovereignty from its member states, Greece no longer has much sovereignty at all,” she continued. “I don’t believe anybody, least of all the Greeks, knew that the European Union had so much power over its member states.”

Did Europe reluctantly or accidentally end up with all this power over Greece? Neither: Everything is going according to plan. And if the financial crisis spreads further, as Applebaum noted, these conditions could be used as a blueprint for other countries forced to beg for help.

“Germany … Undisputed Master of Europe”

Not only does this financial crisis give Europe more power than it’s ever had before, it also raises Germany to its highest position yet. Bankers, politicians and bureaucrats alike all look to Germany. “The heads of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund made a joint pilgrimage to Berlin, pleading with lawmakers in the Bundestag to throw their full weight behind rescue efforts before the chain reaction spreads to Portugal and the rest of the emu periphery,” wrote the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “Their presence as supplicants in Berlin marks the symbolic moment when Germany appears the undisputed master of Europe” (April 28).

The Globe and Mail admitted that Germany is “linked to a circle of countries that have become economic colonies …. [T]he Greek crisis, and the mounting Portuguese and possibly Spanish and Italian crises, are, at their heart, and in their origin, German crises. … Through [the] constantly repeated cycle of exports, payments, surpluses and then loans to southern Europe, Berlin became an imperial center …” (May 1).

“If the aim of Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterrand at Maastricht was to tie down a ‘European Germany’ with the silken chords of emu, they failed,” Evans-Pritchard also wrote. “Monetary union has delivered a ‘German Europe’ after all. … What is undeniable is that Club Med and Ireland are being told to implement the same policies that crippled Europe in the early 1930s, that led … in different ways to Hitler …. Is that a good idea?” (Telegraph.co.uk, May 2).

Germany holds all the cards—or rather, all the gold—and is in position to take even more power in the future.

As we wrote back in 2008, “[I]t is noteworthy that the German central bank holds the second-largest reserves of gold in the world. During the first quarter of 1999, at the same time the euro was launched, Germany bought up huge reserves of gold. Enough, according to the Economic Intelligence Review, to back an entire currency (March 2000). In addition, when the 11 nations joined the euro, they signed over their gold reserves to the European Central Bank, in Frankfurt, Germany” (theTrumpet.com, op. cit.).

Already, European states look to Germany as the leader of Europe by virtue of its large economy alone. No one is paying much attention to gold reserves right now. But in the end, when entire currencies start collapsing, gold will become important once again.

Germany is already the leader of Europe, and will attract more and more of the limelight as time goes on. But it will not be alone. Another institution has played a major role in shaping Europe, and it will come out on top.

The Spirit Behind Monetary Union

Connolly describes France’s early approach to the idea of the single currency as “mysticism, quasi-religiosity and something approaching Aryanism,” reflecting the deeply Roman Catholic—“Holy” Roman—spirit of its elites.

Connolly states that the Catholic Church has been a willing cheerleader of European integration, writing that “the attitude of … Catholic churches in many continental countries was influenced by a desire to see a shadow Holy Roman Empire recreated in Europe” (The Rotten Heart of Europe).

The Catholic Church had a powerful role in Charlemagne’s empire. It too has an interest in recreating those days of yore.

To understand the spirit that drives the “Holy” Roman imperial vision of the elites in Europe, one must comprehend their deeply entrenched mindset. It is a mindset rooted in Holy Roman Empire culture that sees the 19th- and 20th-century dominance of the Anglo-Saxon nations as but an uncomfortable interruption to the thread of Holy Roman destiny.

Connolly puts it this way: “Just as the French establishment has never forgiven the Anglo-Saxon world for liberating the homeland from the Nazi occupation their incompetence and decadence had permitted, so also the [German] Christian Democrats and Christian Socialist tradition in Europe has never forgiven the forces of nationalism and liberalism that in the 19th century seemed to have finally freed the church from the self-imposed chains of its pretensions to temporal power” (ibid.).

This is why both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been so quick to point the finger at the Anglo-Saxons as being the cause of today’s global financial crisis. This also explains the cry of the popes John Paul ii and Benedict xvi for Europe to return to its traditional, historic, pre-19th-century “Holy” Roman roots!

The Vatican may seem down and out after its abuse scandals. But don’t expect that to last. The Catholic Church has also been involved in the planning for the economic crisis—and as Germany uses this crisis to rise to the top, expect the church to rise with it.

Today, Europe is unquestionably dominated by Germany. Sensible journalists now acknowledge that. To the rapidly diminishing generation of those who experienced the bitter fruits of the last time that Germany dominated Europe, this is sobering news indeed.

The founder of the Trumpet’s predecessor, the Plain Truth, forecast this for years. “I believe that some event is going to happen suddenly, just like out of a blue sky, that is going to shock the whole world, and is going to cause the nations in Europe to realize they must unite!” Herbert W. Armstrong said July 7, 1984.

“I think I can see what may be the very event that is going to trigger it, and that is the economic situation in the world,” he said.

Years in advance, he said Germany would be Europe’s leader, stating, “Germany inevitably [will] emerge as the leader of a united Europe” (Plain Truth, November/December 1954). He foretold this more than half a century ago! At the same time, he also forecast the Vatican’s role: “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!” (ibid.).

Mr. Armstrong said that Germany would “be the heart and core of the united Europe that will revive the Roman Empire” (ibid., June 1952). We are seeing this happen right before our eyes, in Greece and across Europe. And it is no accident!


EconomyWatch

From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

States: Can’t Stop the Bleeding

Across America, states are being forced to slash spending. Government debt woes are growing too big to camouflage, and states are getting desperate.

Hawaii has instituted a four-day school week. New Hampshire got caught trying to appropriate $110 million from its medical malpractice insurance pool. Colorado is trying similar shenanigans. Things are so bad in Connecticut that the state tried to issue new accounting rules. If Rhode Island were a country, it would be verging on Greece.

California looks like it is trying to become Greece. In April, personal income tax month, revenues collapsed by nearly 30 percent—making previous budget predictions look comical. Somehow officials will need to find another $3 billion this year—just to get back to the estimated $20 billion shortfall. Where is the money going to come from?

To give you an idea of how bad California’s plight is: Voters will soon get a chance to vote on whether to decriminalize marijuana usage. The proposal is being billed as a cure for the state’s debt problems: The drug would be taxed like cigarettes and could potentially provide billions in state revenue.

Forty-eight out of 50 state governments are operating in the red—a sure sign something is dangerously wrong. Yet government analysts have the gall to say that America is supposedly in the midst of a recovery!

But here is why budget problems are going to get even worse.

President Barack Obama’s stimulus money is beginning to run out. Stimulus funds helped plug up to 40 percent of budget shortfalls over the past two years. But the Recovery Act money will only be sufficient to cover 20 percent or less of deficits this coming fiscal year, and by 2012, it will be almost entirely gone.

And all the easy fat has been trimmed. Each cut going forward is going to be progressively more painful.

The bills are coming due. Expect more taxes—and one more cut and layoff after another—until the pain is numbing.

America’s Housing Crash Double Dip

If you think home prices have hit bottom and are now headed back up for good, think again. According to Lender Processing Services, as of the end of March over 9 percent of outstanding mortgages in America are delinquent. Add in homes that are in some stage of foreclosure, and the rate for non-current mortgages rises to an astounding 12.4 percent—that is one in eight mortgages.

As bad as these numbers are, they are actually a slight improvement over February’s figures. However, the improvement may prove temporary and will have little effect on falling house prices.

Meanwhile, a more immediate cause of depreciating home sale prices is intensifying.

In April, banks repossessed 92,432 properties—a new record and up 45 percent from a year earlier. These houses will soon hit the listings. And bank-owned properties typically sell for steep discounts.

According to Mike Whitney, writing for the Market Oracle, “banks have been withholding supply to keep prices artificially high” (April 18). During the banking panic in 2008 and 2009, banks did not want to foreclose on homes because it would have pushed prices lower, and that would have affected the value of banks’ mortgage-backed security bonds—causing the banks more trouble at a time when many big banks were collapsing. The government also wanted to stop foreclosures for political reasons, so a moratorium on foreclosures was adopted.

That moratorium ended on March 31. “So,” noted Whitney, “the dumping of backlog homes has begun.”

And the house dumping could turn into an economic downpour. In the run-up to peak housing in 2007, upward of 40 percent of all job creation within the U.S. economy was related to the housing market (builders, suppliers, real-estate agents, brokers, bankers, etc.). Those jobs are now gone, and unless housing prices not only stop falling but start rising, the jobs won’t be coming back.

Looming Pension Crisis

One of the world’s largest pension funds has issued a wake-up call for the world. Politicians have overpromised and financial planners have under-delivered. The money that many retirees are counting on for retirement just isn’t there. Social disorder is on the way.

On May 18, California’s Public Employees Retirement System pension fund (Calpers) asked the state for a massive $600 million bailout—the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

According to fund officials, the development is driven largely by huge investment losses, but also because people are living longer and retiring earlier than their models anticipated.

Last year alone, the fund lost $55.2 billion, or a quarter of its value. According to Alan Milligan, interim chief actuary, “There’s more to come” as the fund reports on more recent performance.

Although this is not much consolation, Calpers is not alone. A study released in April by Stanford University found that public pension funds across California are underfunded by as much as a half trillion dollars—more than the state’s entire yearly budget.

If accurate, California may soon be officially bankrupt. And California isn’t the only state. Some estimates say states have underfunded pension funds by a collective $3 trillion.

David Crane, an economic adviser to California’s governor and former California public employee pension plan board member, said the state’s pension funds have been underreporting the gap between revenue and obligations for years.

The consequences are clear: California needs a lot more money, or it must offer a lot fewer benefits and services.

California is a case study in the failure of democracy. Politicians are great at promising benefits and programs, but notoriously loath to pay for them through tax increases.

Expect the budget debacles to continue.

“Teach Them Diligently”

From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

God wants us to instruct our children from Scripture—but where do we start? Here are some ideas. Tailor your instruction to your own children: Some of these paragraphs may have material enough for two or three family studies. We hope these spark many of your own ideas for family Bible studies. Enjoy! Joel Hilliker

Learn About God

Why is God called “the Eternal”? Exodus 3:13-15. When God introduced Himself to Moses, He revealed His name to be “I Am That I Am.” That means God has always existed and always will! Psalm 90:1-2. God was here for an eternity before anything else existed. Verse 4. Can you imagine a thousand years going by like one day? God definitely sees time differently than we do. Isaiah 57:15. God “inhabits eternity”—He isn’t bound by time. It’s hard to even imagine that, because we are physical and live only a short time. We are all like little children compared to the Eternal, and need to be humble before Him! Revelation 1:8.

How God made the Earth. Job 38:1, 4. God put our planet in the perfect place in the universe so we’re comfortable and safe. Verse 5. He made Earth the perfect size, and measured out just the right amount of things like water, rocks, air and so on—so we could live here. Verse 6. He anchored us perfectly so we know the sun will rise every morning and set each night, and we have four beautiful seasons each year! Psalm 104:5-9. God commands the huge oceans—and He makes sure they don’t drown all the land. Psalm 33:7-9.

Something God will never do. Numbers 23:19. God does not lie! When He says something, it is true. When He makes a promise, He always keeps it! Titus 1:1-2. That is why we can trust everything that is written in the Bible. Hebrews 6:17-19. What God says is so sure, it can be like an anchor in our lives, keeping us steady and giving us hope. That’s why we can base our whole lives on what God says in the Bible. Luke 21:33. God’s words are more dependable than the whole physical creation. Nothing God has said will ever fail! Isaiah 55:10-11.

Proverbs

What you should never say about yourself. Proverbs 27:2. It is rude to boast about your own achievements or abilities. What do you think when you hear others praising themselves? If anyone talks about you that way, let it be other people. What should you do if you find yourself praising yourself? Proverbs 30:32.

How to look wise. Proverbs 17:28. Many people think that in order to look smart, they have to talk a lot. The opposite is true. Keeping quiet helps you listen and learn. When you talk, be someone whose word can be trusted. Know what you’re talking about. Proverbs 10:19.

Take care of your things. Proverbs 24:30-34. Look at the areas you have to take care of: your bedroom, your closet, your locker or workspace—perhaps other areas of the house or yard. Are they messy, uncared-for, broken down? Or do you keep them clean, orderly and maintained? The answer reveals a lot about your character—to other people and to God. Ecclesiastes 10:18. Build a habit of being a good steward, or caretaker, of your property. Proverbs 27:23-24.

Sound Advice

How to make the most of your youth. Ecclesiastes 12:1. The best time to establish a relationship with God is now. Good habits of prayer and study will last your whole life! Never think you are “too young” to build that friendship with your heavenly Father. Proverbs 8:17.

If you hear yourself whining … Philippians 2:14. “Murmurings” means grumbling or complaining. God doesn’t want us whining and moaning. He got angry with the Israelites for doing so! Numbers 14:27-29; 1 Corinthians 10:10. Be content with what you have. And if you have a request, make it politely.

What comes out of your mouth? James 3:8-12. Do you say nice things to some people—and mean things to others? That’s not right! Matthew 12:34-35. What you say reveals what is in your heart. If evil things come out, it shows that there is evil in your heart that you need to get rid of. James 3:13-16. Do you fight and argue? That doesn’t come from God! Learn to recognize whether what you’re saying is wrong and evil, or right and good. Verses 17-18.

The Law

How to treat older people. Leviticus 19:32. Hoary head means gray-haired people, or old people. God wants older people to receive honor from younger people. One way to do that is to stand when they enter the room. They have lived long and learned much. Proverbs 20:29. God considers their white hair beautiful! Treating older people with respect teaches us to treat God with respect. Proverbs 16:31.

Why hatred is so dangerous. Exodus 20:13. Obviously, we are not to murder—but this law even forbids hating someone. Matthew 5:21-22. Jesus taught that hatred is the spirit of murder; it breaks God’s law! Leviticus 19:17. God doesn’t care only about what we do, but also about what we think, and the attitudes in our heart. He wants us to learn to love people. 1 John 3:15-16. That means going out of our way to help others, giving of our time, our things, and ourselves.

Always be thankful. Deuteronomy 6:10-12. The Promised Land was a wonderful, prosperous place. God warned the Israelites not to let nice physical things pull their hearts away from Him. Deuteronomy 8:10. We too have so many blessings! It’s important to always remember where they come from, and to thank God. Verses 11-16. Never take blessings for granted, and don’t take credit for them ourselves. Verses 17-18.

Britain’s Choice

The shaky new government can’t ignore it much longer.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Two of the most powerful nations in the last two centuries are currently laboring under patently unworkable governments.

On the one hand, Germany wobbles under a coalition government that has recently lost its majority in the nation’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat. Its chancellor faces pressure from the public and her fellow politicians due to a poor showing leading the country since Germany’s last federal election in September 2009.

On the other, Britain—for so long the nation that juggled the balance of power in pre-World War i Europe, and which has been a balancer of types till recently even in the European Union—has cobbled together what appears at first sight to be a most dysfunctional coalition between the conservative Tories and center-left Liberal Democrats.

Both nations are caught in the midst of crises. Germany sits at the very center of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis. Britain faces a national debt of horrendous proportions, and teeters on the brink of being classed among the piigs countries—Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain—in terms of the risk to its financial standing in the global community.

At present, Britain is part of a European Union dominated by Germany. Even its own newspapers admit that Germany is once again master of Europe.

Among the staggering challenges facing Britain’s newly appointed government—not the least being its overwhelming debt—it will soon have to face up to one great, overarching political decision: Will the government continue to resist the will of the people by retaining membership of the European Union? Or will it yield to the rising tide of anti-EU sentiment and leave?

Who Will Help Britain?

An intriguing prophecy in the book of Hosea describes an aging Britain (biblical Ephraim) as a multiethnic society whose national energy is sapped by the foreigners that live within its island borders: “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth it not” (Hosea 7:8-9).

The prophecy declares that when Britain finally wakes up to its problems, it will go cap in hand to, of all peoples, its old, traditional enemy: Germany! “When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian … yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound” (Hosea 5:13).

In this context, it is interesting to note that certain voices within the EU have already warned the British government to not consider help from that quarter in its hour of financial need. “Officials from both euro and non-euro countries said Britain should not ask for help if it runs into trouble because it had not signed up to a €378 billion support fund,” the Telegraph reported.

“French, Swedish and many Brussels officials have predicted that it is only a matter of time before sterling is hit by the same market turbulence that came close to destroying the euro at the weekend.

“Jean-Pierre Jouyet, a former French Europe minister and the current chairman of France’s financial services authority, yesterday predicted only ‘God would help’ a rudderless Britain after it snubbed its eurozone neighbors.

“‘There is not a two-speed Europe but a three-speed Europe. You have Europe of the euro, Europe of the countries that understand the euro … and you have the English,’ he said.

“‘The English are very certainly going to be targeted given the political difficulties they have. Help yourself and heaven will help you. If you don’t want to show solidarity to the eurozone, then let’s see what happens to the United Kingdom’” (May 11).

Will God and heaven help Britain in its hour of need?

How could that even be remotely expected when even the level of honor bestowed on God by those who prayed for victory over Nazi Germany 70 years ago has been sacrificed on the altar of the EU in Britain’s own iconic bastion of its traditional religion?

On Sunday, May 6, a service was held in Westminster Abbey to mark the 60th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, the founding instrument of today’s European Union, a document based on the corporatist ideal of Nazi Germany. Prayers were offered in support of all EU institutions in a manner that paid obeisance to the EU over and above that owed by the British peoples to their sovereign and any normally due acknowledgment that was once paid to its once-sovereign British institutions. The European flag was the dominant symbol of the day—displacing the once-time-honored Union Jack, with all of its wonderful symbolism of the Britons’ true national heritage.

Had it been possible, the rumble from the heroes of Britain turning in their graves at Westminster would surely have shaken the entire cathedral to its very foundations!

Help from God, help from heaven in Britain’s hour of need? Not until the true God of the British and of all mankind witnesses a great national repentance from the British peoples!

The good news is, that day will come! But until that day dawns, God is going to hide His face from a sin-sick, morally deficient and rebellious people who, having lost their true national identity, have trashed their incredible national potential! They are a nation that has turned its back on the very God who once had blessed it more than any single nation on Earth!

So what is God’s response? “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (verse 15).

OH! Once-Great Britain, PRAY for that day—for time is short! It is later than you think!

For greater insight into the UK’s future, request a free copy of our booklet Hosea—Reaping the Whirlwind.

California: Is an Earthquake Imminent?

California: Is an Earthquake Imminent?

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Both science and Bible prophecy agree that a large earthquake in California is inevitable.

Heidi Koontz, the public affairs specialist at the United States Geological Service, says that one of the most popular questions being asked of the usgs is: Is this the end of the world?

This is not surprising. Open Drudge on any given day and you’re almost certain to learn of a decent-size earthquake rattling buildings and nerves somewhere in the world. Yesterday, a 6.0-magnitude temblor shook southern Mexico, causing people to evacuate buildings as far north as Mexico City. On Saturday, residents in the Solomon Islands experienced one of the largest earthquakes in a decade. Three days prior, a quake measuring 5.0 surprised millions when it rumbled southern Ontario, Quebec and a large swathe of America’s eastern seaboard.

In recent weeks, other large quakes have struck along the Pacific Ring of Fire, including Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, Alaska and western Canada. On June 14 in Southern California, two dozen quakes, the largest measuring 5.7, rattled the region, spilling merchandise in stores and temporarily delaying a Major League baseball game. Experts say the quakes were aftershocks of the Easter Sunday (April 4) temblor, which at 7.2-magnitude was referred to as “the biggest shock to the region in decades.”

No wonder people are growing a little nervous.

Recalling a recent conversation, Koontz stated: “I received a call from a psychiatrist who is getting an influx of patients who are really concerned about the end of days and he wanted us to pinpoint science and provide him with links to science that would help allay the fears of some of his patients. He needed some hard facts, and he said that that actually helped.”

Naturally, usgs scientists—being scientists—gladly downplay the notion that we might be in the last days and that there is no more to these rumblings than the routine clashing and creaking of tectonic plates. “Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes,” the usgs assures us, “earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.” This is all pretty normal, seismologist Harley Benz told Fox News: “You can expect earthquakes in locations where we are known to have earthquakes.”

Perhaps Benz and the usgs are right —geologically these earthquakes might be routine and are not anomalous. (Although what is historically anomalous is the death of nearly a quarter of a million people from earthquakes in 2010 alone.) According to Koontz, when people heard the “hard facts” delivered by scientists, their concerns that we might be in the biblically prophesied “last days” were allayed.

Mine aren’t—not in the least. According to the usgs, in any given year one can expect 15 major quakes (7.0 on the Richter scale or higher) plus one great quake (8.0 or higher). We are six months into 2010 and already we’ve had one great quake and nine major quakes. Remarking on the frequency of quakes in 2010, the San Francisco Chronicle observed March 1: “As of this writing, there’s no documentation of such a frequency of quakes as the one the world has seen this year, with so many large quakes in a two-month period” (emphasis mine).

Perhaps science confirms that earthquakes are routine. But it also confirms that larger earthquakes are becoming more common—and that’s not very comforting!

Consider also: If science confirms that large earthquakes occur randomly and often, doesn’t this mean that a massive quake will inevitably occur in one of the seismically active regions of America? Perhaps California?

Again, take a look at the science. Last year, scientists from the University of California–Irvine published new research on the San Andreas fault, the tectonic boundary between the Pacific plate and the North American plate, which runs beneath the heavily populated Los Angeles basin. The scientists discovered that over the past 700 years a large earthquake (larger than 8.0) had occurred on the fault about every 137 years. (Prior to these findings scientists believed a major quake occurred roughly every 200 years.) The last major quake in the San Andreas fault system was the Fort Tejon temblor of 1857.

The math is simple: 1857 + 137 = 1994!

So, according to scientific research, the San Andreas fault is roughly 15 years overdue for a large earthquake. (Note, the 1994 Northridge quake did not directly involve the San Andreas fault system.)

The 2009 report by UC Irvine scientists confirms the warnings of many seismologists who for years, even decades, have forecast the “big one” in California. “It’s been long enough since 1857 that we should be concerned about another great earthquake that ruptures through this part of the fault,” said Ken Hudnut, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey.

When it hits, experts say this quake will be at least as big as the 1994 Northridge quake, which killed more than 70 people, injured 9,000 and inflicted $20 billion in damage. “The big one is going to be on the San Andreas fault of around magnitude 8.0,” warned Dr. Nancy King, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “We can’t predict earthquakes,” she warned, “but someday there will be another big one on the San Andreas … which will be a real disaster. So people need to be ready.”

As King admitted, it’s impossible for anyone to predict the specific time of arrival of California’s next great quake. But looking at the intense seismic activity, particularly around the Pacific Ring of Fire, it’s impossible not to wonder if it may not be soon—really soon. Remarking on the recent spate of quakes near the California-Mexico border, and specifically the seismic activity on the fault on which the temblors occurred, Thomas Jordan, director of the Southern California Center at usc, recently stated: “It’s been especially rich at the north end [which juts into Southern California] of the fault.”

Is bustling Southern California about to be struck by a massive earthquake?

In Matthew 24, Christ’s disciples asked what signs would precede His Second Coming and the end of this present age. Jesus responded by delivering the most pivotal prophecy of His earthly ministry, the Olivet prophecy. It is clear that Christ was speaking about the time we are living in right now. In verses 21-22, for example, He said that He would return at a time when all human flesh would risk being destroyed. This can only be talking about today’s nuclear age.

Now notice verses 6-7: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers [different] places” (verses 6-7).

Jesus told His disciples that terrible natural disasters would precede His Second Coming, and He warned specifically that there would be earthquakes in different places. Of course, as the scientists are quick to tell us, earthquakes routinely occur “in different places.” Christ, however, was warning that not only would there be an uptick in the number of earthquakes, but that these quakes would inflict greater damage on mankind.

He was prophesying that large, devastating earthquakes would increasingly rumble through densely populated areas. Already in 2010 we’ve witnessed this occur in Haiti, and to a lesser extent in Chile. For Americans, these devastating quakes are really a chilling sign: Both science and Bible prophecy warn that a massive earthquake is inevitable in California!

If you rank among those surveying this trembling planet and quietly wondering if something more significant is happening (or about to happen), check out our recent article “Why Have Natural Disasters Increased?

Is Washington After Israel’s Nukes?

Forget Iran—the Obama administration appears more worried about Israel’s nuclear program.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

It appears the next phase in the standoff over Iran’s apocalypse-inducing nuclear weapons program is beginning to come into focus.

In the months ahead, don’t be surprised if the efforts of the Obama administration to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions become predicated on the nuclear disarmament of the Jewish state. Why is this likely? Simple: Such a mandate is the inevitable outgrowth of the foolish yet increasingly pervasive tendency to consider as equals the nuclear ambitions of Israel and Iran.

Iran’s Lecture on Nuclear Proliferation

This false moral equivalence between the nuclear programs of Iran and the Jewish state was on display in New York in May, at the month-long Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (npt). The conference was supposed to focus on revising and updating the npt, of which Israel has never been a signatory. But when the conference opened, it quickly became evident that UN member states had set their sights on what Asia Times described as a “predictable target.”

That would be Israel.

In one of the first addresses of the conference, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa spoke on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest single coalition within the United Nations (118 of the 192 UN countries are members). According to Asia Times, Natalegawa noted specifically that it was Israel’s refusal to sign the npt that had “resulted in the continued exposure of non-nuclear-weapon states of the [Middle East] to nuclear threats by the only country possessing these weapons of mass destruction” (May 5).

Forget Iran’s fearless scramble for nukes—most UN member states apparently believe the greatest nuclear threat in the Middle East comes from Israel’s refusal to sign the npt.

After Natalegawa’s address, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the only head of state who personally attended the conference, took the podium. Following his requisite praises of Allah and ominous invocation for the speedy arrival of the Mahdi, Ahmadinejad waxed eloquent for 35 minutes on how the npt can be improved, and how the United States and the “Zionist regime” are the central cause of nuclear proliferation.

“Regrettably, the government of the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran,” Ahmadinejad “righteously” lamented. That’s not all, according to Iran’s president. The “Zionist regime” has “stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads,” and with support and sustenance from America, has “waged many wars in the region and continues to threaten the people and nations of the region with terror and invasion.”

Seriously, can you think of the last time Israel engaged in a conflict that was not strictly defensive?

A Nuclear-Free Middle East?

This moral equivalence on display at the UN came amid reports that Egypt too is preparing to step up pressure on Israel regarding its nuclear arsenal.

“Egypt is … declaring that the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East cannot be tied solely to Iran’s nuclear ambitions but must also address the region’s only existing nuclear power: Israel,” the Christian Science Monitor reported (May 4; emphasis mine). Speaking in New York, Egypt’s ambassador to the UN stated, “We refuse the existence of any nuclear weapons in the [Middle East], whether it is in Iran or whether it is in Israel.”

Think on that: These people behave as though there’s no difference between Israel having nukes and Iran having nukes!

Not surprisingly, Egypt’s renewed efforts to focus on Israel’s nuclear weapons caught the attention of the Obama administration. Reports emerged that it has begun negotiating with Egypt over a proposal to make the Middle East—which would have to include Israel—a region free of nuclear weapons. Although it has apparently assured Israel that it’s not about to impose a nuclear-free zone on the Middle East, clearly this White House is prepared to tackle the issue of Israel’s nukes more directly than previous administrations.

“We’ve made a proposal to them [Egypt] that goes beyond what the U.S. has been willing to do before,” a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal (May 1).

Clearly, this Cairo-Washington collaboration does not bode well for Israel. “As far as Israel is concerned this is very problematic,” stated Dr. Eytan Gilboa, a senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. “The fact that the U.S. is pushing this along with Egypt could threaten our vital national security at a time when relations with the U.S. are tense and the threat from Iran is becoming more and more serious every day.”

The notion that Israel’s nuclear weapons destabilize the Middle East is simply absurd. Even more absurd, though, is that such a notion was openly and widely entertained at a UN conference on the npt, which America’s president has said is the “cornerstone of the world’s efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons” (statement, March 5).

As Bret Stephens wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “Iran, in connivance with the usual Middle Eastern suspects (and their useful idiots in the West), is trying to use the npt as a cudgel to force Israel to disarm” (May 4).

America and the West are unlikely to begin immediately to explicitly and forcefully demand that Israel sign the npt and start discarding its nuclear weapons. Inevitably, however, this conference and the Washington-Cairo agreement will foster a false moral equivalence between Israel’s nuclear program and Iran’s. The more the nuclear ambitions of Israel and Iran are discussed in the same conversation, the more ingrained and mainstream the moral equivalence will become.

Expect it to become widely accepted that curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is contingent upon addressing the issue of Israel’s nukes!

A Big, Big Difference

American leaders’ growing failure to discern between the foreign-policy objectives of nations like Israel and Iran is a sign of the moral decay besieging Washington.

It is no secret that Israel developed nuclear weapons during the heat of the Cold War as a defensive measure. Or that Israel has possessed nukes for roughly four decades and has never come close to exploding a single bomb—not even during the heat of its many wars. Or that Israel never officially discusses its nuclear cache and never parades them about.

It is no secret that Israel, for decades, has been a stable and responsible proprietor of nuclear weapons!

Yet to Mr. Obama, there appears to be little distinction between Israel’s nukes and the nuclear aspirations of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—even though Iran exists today as the number-one state sponsor of terrorism—even though Tehran bankrolls the activities of terrorist proxies in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and further afield—even though Iranian mullahs and government leaders alike boast publicly about America’s annihilation and the Jewish state’s demise—and even though Iran’s president prays openly for the return of the Mahdi and is actively working to precipitate the planet-engulfing chaos and violence that he says will precede it.

The same week that Ahmadinejad was swooning before the UN, news broke that on his way to New York he had stopped by Zimbabwe. Apparently a deal had been struck with Robert Mugabe the previous month that will allow Iran to swap oil for uranium. President Obama ignores the fact that Tehran is developing an advanced ballistic missile program and putting satellites into space, all in preparation for the moment—which many believe is now imminent—when it can bolt a nuclear payload to a missile and fire it into Israel, or Europe, or even the United States.

Any serious effort by Washington to deal with Iran’s nuclear program by pressuring Israel to reduce or transform its nuclear equation plays into Tehran’s hand. It gives Tehran more time in its quest for nukes. To whatever degree Washington accepts a moral equivalence between the nuclear programs of Iran and Israel, it legitimizes this ridiculous argument as it is used by Ahmadinejad and Iran’s mullahs. In the hands of the global anti-Israel media, this false moral equivalence would quickly become mainstream.

Such muddled thinking also seriously undermines the crucial U.S.-Israeli relationship. Biblical history testifies to the familial bond between Manasseh (America) and Judah (the Jewish people). (To fully understand this relationship, request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Bible prophecy says that in the end time this brotherhood would be severed. In Zechariah 11:14, God said He would “break the brotherhood between Judah [modern-day Israel] and Israel,” primarily the United States and Britain. The more the Obama administration treats Iran and Israel as equals, the more it irreparably damages America’s relationship with the Jewish state.

Bible prophecy informs us that Israel—abandoned by America and unwilling to turn to God for help—will run to Assyria (Germany) for assistance. To learn how Germany will respond, and about the future of the Middle East, request our free booklet The King of the South.