What’s the Emir Doing in Berlin?

An Arab-German alliance is developing.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Why would the leader of tiny, Islamic Kuwait be visiting Germany and the Vatican?

The Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah toured Europe in late April and early May, concentrating on developing closer relations with Berlin and the Roman Catholic Church.

During his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German businessmen on April 28, he is reported to have discussed “a host of bilateral relations that would cement partnership between Kuwait and Berlin” (Kuwait Times, April 28). A Catholic official said his trip to the Vatican would enable the emir and the pope to “express their appreciation and friendship” and to strengthen the “good relations that exist between the Holy See and Kuwait.”

Amid the cacophony of more dramatic headlines, such an event is easily overlooked. But it carries intriguing prophetic significance.

What Does Kuwait Want From Europe?

A small but relatively rich state, courtesy of its healthy oil reserves and high prices for that commodity, Kuwait nestles at a vitally strategic point at the northern extremity of the Persian Gulf.

Rescued by U.S. intervention in 1991 from being overrun by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Kuwait has rebounded from the setback that war inflicted on its territory to weather the global economic storm comfortably. Last year it posted its 11th consecutive budget surplus. That year also saw an apparent marked improvement in relations between Kuwait and Iraq with the former appointing an ambassador to Baghdad.

However, the Kuwaiti regime recognizes that it has a need to hedge its bets when it comes to foreign policy. With the forecast drawdown of U.S. troops from Iraq, Kuwait is obviously concerned about the prospect of having a worse headache than old Saddam on its doorstep in the form of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Arabic nations are deeply concerned about the possibility of Iran quickly moving to fill any power vacuum created by a peremptory withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Recently Kuwait was given extra cause for concern when Iran conducted naval exercises in the Gulf, even detaining and boarding foreign ships in Gulf waters in the process. Analysts clearly saw this action as Iran sending the signal that, if it chose to do so, it could easily seal the Gulf off to shipping and send the shipment of oil via the Persian Gulf into a tailspin.

So it is that with an ongoing war in neighboring Afghanistan, instability in Iraq, threats from Iran to Kuwait’s Gulf coast, plus an increasingly reluctant protector in Washington, this tiny Arabic nation is rethinking its foreign policy.

The Kuwaitis are of Arabic, Ishmaelitish stock. Together with their brother Arabian nations, they stem from the 12 princes fathered by Ishmael, son of Abraham and brother of the Israelite patriarch Isaac (Genesis 25). Thus, in predicting their foreign policy for today based on biblical prophecy, we must look to a clearly delineated forecast embedded in Scripture that names them and identifies the alliances they will form in the time we are living through today.

Believe it or not, there is such a prophecy that clearly shows the reason why the emir of Kuwait would be holding foreign-policy discussions with Germany and the Vatican! Though penned 3,000 years ago during the time of King David’s reign over the kingdom of Israel, this prophecy is in the process of beginning to be fulfilled at this very moment!

“Crafty Counsel”

In Psalm 83 we read of a time just ahead when a confederation of Middle Eastern nations will join in an alliance in an attempt to wipe the nation of Israel out! “They have taken crafty counsel against thy people …. They have said, Come and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee. The tabernacles of Edom [Turkey], and the Ishmaelites [Arabians]; of Moab [Jordan], and the Hagarenes [Syria]; Gebal [Lebanon], and Ammon [Jordan], and Amalek [Turkey]; the Philistines [Palestinians] with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]” (Psalm 83:3-7).

Yet there is one other nation—a nation that today carries far more power economically and politically than any of these Arabic nations individually or collectively can project today—with which they join in confederation against Israel in the near future in an alliance that is even now beginning to form. In verse 8, we read, “Assur also is joined with them.”

To which nation today does the Bible ascribe the name of its patriarch Assur (Asher)? None other than Germany.

Which nation do the prophecies indicate will dominate in the north of the globe, as “the king of the north” (Daniel 11), in our time? The very nation that currently holds the world to ransom as it insists on attaching certain conditions to the Greek financial bailout—Germany.

Which great spiritual power do the prophecies indicate, despite the lurid headlines swirling around it today, will be in alliance with Germany leading a great united European empire against the Anglo-Saxon and Judaic peoples, even to the point of surrounding Jerusalem with armies just prior to Christ’s return? (Luke 21:20). The very spiritual power that can trace its roots back to ancient Babylon—the religion of Rome.

Kuwait going cap in hand to Rome and Berlin is a sign of the imminent formation of the Psalm 83 alliance of Middle Eastern nations that will join in confederacy against the Anglo-Saxon and Judaic peoples in an effort to “cut them off from being a nation”!

Request and read our free booklet The King of the South and face up to the reality toward which these events are leading. Truly, what is today developing in the Middle East and Europe is about to shake the nations! (Haggai 2:7). These events are destined to shake the very nation in which you live, right up to your own doorstep!

Outside the Stadium

The anguished state of World Cup host South Africa.
From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

More money has been spent preparing for the games than for any other sports event in Africa’s history. Over $2.5 billion built stadiums, accommodations, base camps, training facilities, security networks, media hubs, tourist centers, manicured parks, bus lines, light rail grids and a host of other supporting infrastructure.

Money can buy a lot. But it can hide a lot too—at least temporarily.

When World Cup 2010 play begins, hundreds of millions of people will tune in from around the world to watch the games. But what will they see?

Like China during the 2008 Olympics, the picture presented to those viewing from thousands of miles away will be very different than the reality in the townships. The South African government will work very hard to present a sanitized, meticulously managed image to the world.

You will hear of a nation that, following the end of apartheid, has purged racial discrimination and segregation. South Africa, you will be told, is a nation that has overthrown the yoke of colonialism to emerge as a bastion of economic freedom for blacks, whites, Indians, Asians and all mixes. Inequalities have been removed and wealth is being redistributed to those whose land was stolen hundreds of years ago.

Since the end of apartheid, South Africa’s leaders claim to have put the country on the road to both equality and prosperity. And for South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (anc), the World Cup is a chance to make sure the world believes that.

Yet, despite the hype around the games, not all is well in South Africa. The view on the street—the places the politically correct international cameras will not go—reveals a nation rife with poverty, disease and violent crime.

But above all, hidden South Africa is a nation bubbling over with racial tension—and some say secret genocide.

The “Mfecane”

The beginnings of South Africa’s simmering tension extend back more than 200 years, to a time when the nation was first being conquered—but not by white people.

Historians refer to this period in African history as the Mfecane. It is a word deeply associated with one of the most feared personalities in African history, if not the world. It still sends chills down the spines of those who understand its connotation. It is a Zulu expression that means “the crushing” and “the scattering.”

And unfortunately, once World Cup soccer is over, it is a word that may soon be back in South Africa.

The time of “the crushing”—or “the slaughter”—was one of the bloodiest in African history. Southern Africa was engulfed in tribal war. From south of what is now Lesotho and Durban on the eastern coast of South Africa, all the way up into Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the land was being systematically depopulated.

Shaka Zulu, the Zulu king, was sweeping away all who opposed him. He introduced new weapons and new methods of warfare, including terror and scorched earth destruction, which induced mass starvation. Rival tribes either submitted or were massacred. When a clan was overrun, the young men would be conscripted into the army, the young women taken for the harems, and the rest either slaughtered or sold as slaves.

In just four years, Shaka conquered an area larger than France. At the height of his power, Shaka could field over 50,000 trained warriors, many of whom could run 40 miles before fighting a battle. Over 100,000 warriors from related tribes also answered his call.

The ferocity of Shaka’s expansion set mass migrations in place as other tribes fled. This sparked even more warfare and conflict, which only weakened those who sought to oppose him.

An estimated 2 million Africans died from Shaka’s crushing and scattering. Then, what Shaka started, years of drought and food shortages finished.

It was into this atmosphere of panic, migration and depopulation that the Dutch and French Voortrekkers arrived.

“Kill the Wizards!”

One hundred and fifty years before, in 1652, the first Dutch settled in the Cape Town region. But by 1806, Britain had permanently seized the colony to keep it from falling to Napoleon. Unhappy with British rule, the Dutch and French farmers, known as Boers, began migrating east and north—right into the aftermath of the Zulu annihilation.

The Boers found something else during their migration: some of the most fertile agricultural land in the world. Because of the Zulus, much of it was unpopulated. To many of the religiously devout Boers, it was as if God had just bequeathed to them the richest agricultural inheritance possible. For a society of farmers technically under the British Empire’s authority, the vast open range and farmland seemed like the greatest of blessings.

In fact, it was an even greater blessing than they imagined. Decades later, the land was found to contain the richest gold, platinum, chromium and diamond deposits in the world. By the end of World War ii, South Africa was 100 percent self-sufficient. The land not only supplied the nation’s every need, but it also provided vast food and technology exports for other African nations.

The Zulus, however, saw the arrival of the Boers as a challenge to their dominance.

By 1832, after skirmishes with other tribes, the Boers came face to face with the Zulu kingdom. Three years earlier, Shaka Zulu—after committing terrible atrocities against his own people (like murdering 7,000 people who were thought not to be grief-stricken enough when his mother died, and executing all women who became pregnant during the year of mourning)—was murdered by two of his brothers, one of whom then took the throne.

The Boers offered a peace treaty to new King Dingane. In return for cattle, and for punishing another rival nation for defying the Zulus, the Boers were given permission to settle the largely depopulated areas of central and south Natal in eastern South Africa. Upon receiving payment and signing the treaty giving the Boers the land, the Zulu king threw a magnificent party for the 70 Dutch leaders who had come to his kraal. The Dutch leaders were asked to not bring any weapons.

Then, during the farewell dance by a unit of Zulu warriors, King Dingane leaped to his feet and called for silence. He then uttered three words that changed the course of history. He began shouting, “Bambani laba Bathakathi!”—“Kill the wizards! Kill the wizards!”

The warriors jumped onto the shocked Boers, quickly overpowering and dragging them up a hill, where they clubbed and hacked them to death—one after the other so that the awaiting victims were forced to watch. The Zulu king then dispatched his army to attack the approaching unsuspecting settler wagons. Over 500 men, women and children were speared to death that night.

Thus, with the words “Kill the wizards!” a war began that would claim the lives of thousands.

A Broken Vow

The climax of the Zulu-Boer war came in 1838 at the Battle of Blood River. The Boers knew they would face vastly superior numbers. They knew they were marching into death. Their leaders, Pretorius and Cilliers, induced them to enter into a covenant with God.

The army of 470 men knelt in prayer and asked God to deliver the Zulu army into their hands. Should they be victorious, the Boers pledged that they and their descendants would annually dedicate the day to God’s glory and to thanksgiving, just as a Sabbath is spent, forever. As one of the Boer commandos later recounted, this would ensure that “the honor of His name shall thereby be glorified, and the glory and honor of the victory shall be given Him.”

On Dec. 16, 1838, those 470 Afrikaner farmer-soldiers circled their wagons and from morning to noon, fought for their lives against more than 10,000 Zulus—and triumphed. It was one of the greatest victories against overwhelming odds in military history.

Theories abound as to why the Boers gained such an astounding victory that day. Some say the Zulus attacked in waves instead of all at once. Some say there was confusion after two Zulu princes were killed. Others note that just when the Boer walls were about to be breached, the Zulus mysteriously retreated and regrouped.

But the one thing that none of the theories explain is how it was possible that during that morning of fierce fighting that left more than 3,000 Zulu warriors dead and countless thousands more wounded, not a single Boer perished. Not one! Further emphasizing the magnitude of the victory is the fact that 40 years later, a similar-size Zulu army wiped out a professional British army of 1,200—delivering Great Britain’s worst defeat by the hands of a native force.

Thus, following the miracle at Blood River, the Boer national celebration, later known as the Day of the Covenant, was adopted. And it was kept for 156 years.

In 1994, that all changed. The Republic of South Africa ceased memorializing the Day of the Vow and instead replaced it with a new holiday.

The promise was broken.

1994 was a turning point for South Africa in other ways as well. It marked the end of apartheid, at which the world erupted in cheers. After years of sanctions and international condemnation, the white population of South Africa peacefully turned over rule of the country to the black and mixed-race majority. Nelson Mandela and the anc took responsibility for the nation.

Sixteen years later, the world is about to come together to focus on South Africa once again. But will it look deep enough to find the truth? Has South Africa really entered the new age of justice and reconciliation that the rainbow revolution was supposed to bring? Or is it reverting to the law of the Serengeti—meaning there is no law?

Violence Multiplies

On April 3, Eugene Terre’Blanche, the former leader of the political militia movement that violently opposed the end of apartheid, was brutally hacked to death. His chopped remains were found scattered across his bed. The murder weapons—machete and wooden club—were left next to the bloody remains. According to reports, one of the accused said that Terre’Blanche had verbally abused him for years, and when Terre’Blanche refused to pay him his wages (reported to be about $41), he just couldn’t take it anymore.

According to most press reports, the murder was just a wage dispute gone wrong. But the manner in which he was mutilated suggested otherwise.

Terre’Blanche’s death came at a particularly embarrassing time for South Africa, for two reasons.

First, it was the latest in a long string of high-profile, racially motivated attacks against white farmers in South Africa. Just two weeks earlier, Nigel Ralfe was milking his cows on his farm when four men marched into the yard asking to buy milk. When he replied that he had none to sell, they shot him twice and pistol-whipped him. They then dragged him to his house, where his wife was bathing their three grandchildren. When his wife opened the door, they shot her three times point blank.

As the gang ripped apart the house, the bewildered children emerged from the bathroom to find their grandmother dying on her bed. The four men—after stealing an old pistol, a pair of binoculars and a phone—simply walked away.

More white farmers were murdered in South Africa during just 2009 than have been killed in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe came to power. Since the end of apartheid, over 3,000 white farmers have been murdered, according to the bbc. South Africa’s News24, on the other hand, says “only” 1,600 farmers have been killed in approximately 10,000 farm attacks since 1991. Even if that figure were true, it would still make farming in South Africa one of the most dangerous professions in the world. White farmers are more than twice as likely to be killed as police officers, and far more likely to be killed than miners.

Since 1994, the South African murder rate has risen from 5,100 to an astounding 43,000 per year. An average of 50 people are murdered every single day.

The rape and aids statistics are even more disheartening. According to the Medical Research Council, the latest survey of 1,738 households found that more than one in four South African men admitted to raping at least one woman in their lifetime. Forty-six percent of responders said they were between the ages of 15 and 19 when they committed their first rape.

Gang rape, or jackrolling as it is now called, is terrorizing the townships. It is a youth-cult initiation for thousands of armed gang members. Group rapes are seen as a form of bonding between the often feral, fatherless youth.

The newest estimates indicate that a shocking half million women each year are raped in South Africa, although the government says only 55,000 are officially reported. One quarter of all South African women can expect to be raped at least once in their lifetime, says human rights group Actionaid.

South Africa now also has the largest number of recorded child rapes in the world. Adriana Stuijtto, writing for the Digital Journal, says this is often due to a pervasive belief within South Africa—perpetuated by traditional witch doctors—that raping a virgin child cleanses a man of hiv/aids.

Close to 5.5 million South Africans reportedly now have hiv/aids. That is 12 percent of the population, making South Africa home to the world’s greatest concentration of the disease.

Statistics like these stand in stark contrast to South Africa’s chosen World Cup advertising motto: “It’s Time. Celebrate Africa’s Humanity.” The slogan was selected because, according to South Africa’s leaders, Africa’s “biggest asset by far is the warmth, friendliness, humility and humanity of its people.”

Kill the Boer

The second reason to note the timing of Terre’Blanche’s killing was that it came only a few days after Julius Malema—the radical and popular leader of the anc’s Youth League—whipped university students into a frenzy by repeatedly chanting “Kill the Boer, kill the Boer” in a song at a rally.

Though “Boer” is literally translated “farmer,” it is used to refer to white farmers.

The rest of the song includes the phrases “The cowards are scared,” “These dogs are raping,” and “Shoot, shoot … shoot the Boer.” At this rally, Malema also said that “whites are giving us problems at home. We are going to shoot them with ak47s.”

Remember: Malema is a member of the current ruling South African government.

South Africa’s white population is afraid. And they should be. The days of “Kill the wizards” appear to be returning.

Instead of censoring Malema for his hate speech, Jacob Zuma’s anc went to court to challenge an earlier court judgment that declared the lyrics unconstitutional and unlawful.

Imagine if any politician in America publicly sang songs calling African Americans dogs and cowards who robbed society, saying that they should be killed—and then shrugged off criticism by saying the lyrics were just part of America’s heritage and didn’t really mean anything.

Imagine if the president of the United States agreed. And he regularly stirred supporters by dancing and singing a song titled “Bring Me My Machine Gun.” And what if the president was acting like this at a time when black Americans across the country were being hunted down and murdered because of their race?

There would be an uproar—and rightly so. Human rights activists would be up in arms and the United Nations would condemn America for using hate speech to incite racial violence. There would be lawsuits, international arrest warrants, and very likely assassination attempts. America would be the pariah of the world.

These are the very words and sentiments espoused by President Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema, South Africa’s two most powerful politicians. And both are blatant and open about it. Meanwhile, the nation’s white farmers are being murdered at appalling rates.

Yet the world, and the UN—that supposed bastion of anti-discrimination—say little or nothing. Why? Because South Africa is supposed to be the poster nation for anti-racism and reconciliation. After all, the world came together in unity to oust the ruling white government in South Africa. So it is a bit embarrassing to find out that the oppressed have become the oppressors. In this politically correct world, racism only works one way.

But when the racial tension eventually explodes—and explode it will—who will be blamed?

And will the world come together again, this time to stop the killing? Not likely.

South Africa’s Hope

The biblical book of Ezekiel contains many end-time prophecies that apply to the modern nations of Israel. South Africa is among those nations.

Ezekiel 7:23-27 perfectly describe South Africa today: “Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses ….” The Bible prophesies that so many bloody, violent crimes will occur that they will be like links in a chain—one right after another. This passage even talks about people’s homes being taken away (the anc is following Zimbabwe’s lead by seizing white-owned farms and giving them to blacks) and conflict between nationalities.

Conditions will get so bad in South Africa that eventually, in desperation, people will begin searching for their forgotten God. They will cry out for Him to save them. But God says it will be futile because He is purposefully sending the punishment. (For more proof that this passage applies to South Africa, request a free copy of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

But there is hope for South Africa, and the whole world. Verse 27 also says that God is sending the punishment so that “they shall know that I am the Lord.”

God does not want people to suffer. He loves all races and nationalities. He wants people to be truly happy. But true peace and happiness can only come from obeying His laws and commandments. God wants the people of South Africa and the rest of the world to obey Him. If they would, blessings of peace and prosperity would result. A basic theme of the Bible is that obedience brings blessings and disobedience produces curses.

In fact, it was the obedience of one man that led to the multitude of blessings that South Africa once fully enjoyed.

South Africa’s considerable national blessings were the direct result of promises God made to the patriarch Abraham and his descendants. Among those promises was this: “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:17-18).

Those divine promises extended through Abraham’s grandson Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel) and to Jacob’s grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh and their descendants: “… he [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19). Beginning in the early 1800s, Manasseh quickly rose to become the greatest single nation on Earth, and Ephraim the greatest empire (company of nations) the world has ever seen.

Ephraim once comprised a mighty commonwealth and empire of nations upon which the sun never set. Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were the areas of prime settlement and governance of Ephraim. In South Africa’s case, it was settled not only by Ephraim, but also other Israelitish stock, such as Zebulun and Issachar (the Dutch), and Reuben (the French Huguenots). The United States became the inheritance of Manasseh. (This history also is proven in The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

For the descendants of Abraham to continue receiving God’s blessings, however, they had to follow the laws and principles outlined in the Bible. Because of their disobedience, God has now withdrawn those blessings from all those nations—including South Africa—and replaced them with curses.

God gets very specific in describing the curses to befall Abraham’s progeny because of their refusal to obey God: People will build homes, only to have them taken away. Diseases and plagues will run rampant. The fruit of the land will be eaten up by foreign people. “The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. … [H]e shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail” (Deuteronomy 28:43-44). You can read about the curses prophesied to befall South Africa in Deuteronomy 28.

Deuteronomy 28:33 even specifically prophesies a time of crushing.

Mfecane is coming to South Africa again.

So great will be the fall of South Africa and its sister Israelitish nations that God says they will become a scene of great astonishment around the world!

But remember, there is a purpose and great hope in the punishment, too.

In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Herbert W. Armstrong stated, “The prophecies do not stop with revealing the unprecedented multiplied intensity of punishment already beginning to descend upon America and Britain. The prophecies record also the result of that intensified punishment. The result will be a corrected people. The result will be an eye-opening realization of what we have done to ourselves. The supreme punishment will teach us, at last, our lesson! The punishment will break our spirit of rebellion! It will lift us up from the cesspool of rottenness and evil into which we have sunk. It will teach us the way to glorious peace, prosperity, abundant well-being!”

And therein also is the hope for South Africa and all people the world over.

God is correcting the nations of Israel so that, upon the soon return of Jesus Christ to this Earth, there will be humbled people willing to submit to His rule—a people that can be used to usher in a new way of life and prosperity to this whole Earth.

But even though times of trouble are upon the nations of Israel today, God promises protection to certain individuals. As Mr. Armstrong declared, “[U]nderstand this: Although the nations as a whole are to be put through this unprecedented punishment, yet those individuals who yield to accept God’s correction without the punishment shall be protected from it! No one need suffer this intense tribulation!” (ibid.).

God will protect, and prosper, all those who obey Him, even as South Africans brace for the Great Tribulation—an unhappy prelude to the great joy-filled Millennium beyond.

The Upside-Down World

The Upside-Down World

©iStock.com/The Trumpet

Good is evil, sin is virtue, left is right, war is peace. Has the world gone mad?
From the August 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Back in April, a street-corner preacher in Britain mentioned to a passing shopper that the Bible calls homosexuality a sin.

The comment got him thrown in jail.

An atheist homosexual policeman contended that since Dale McAlpine’s remark was loud enough to be overheard, he had broken the Public Order Act—a law passed in 1986 to control violent rioters and football hoodlums. Police carted McAlpine off, and he spent seven hours in a cell for causing “harassment, alarm or distress.”

It was quite the crackdown, considering what happened elsewhere on Britain’s streets at about the same time. After an Israeli official gave a lecture at the University of Manchester, she was attacked by pro-Palestinian protesters. Police responded to this provocation by escorting the official from the premises in a police car. The protesters climbed onto the hood of the vehicle and tried to break the windshield. They were not prosecuted. Apparently in Britain, this is “protected speech.”

Welcome to the Upside-Down World.

It’s a world where truth is trashed and lies are lauded. Where the honorable are despised and the depraved are empowered. Where sound morals and strong character are relentlessly mocked—while immorality is praised, paraded and protected.

“Self-evident common sense appears to have been turned on its head,” writes Melanie Phillips in her book The World Turned Upside Down. “[S]elf-designated ‘victim groups’ have turned right and wrong, victim and aggressor inside out. Their ‘right’ not to be insulted or discriminated against in any way has become the basis for discrimination and injustice against the representatives of majority values. …

“Nothing is really as it is said to be,” she writes. “Society seems to be in the grip of a mass derangement.”

Has the world gone mad?

There is a hidden cause for this bewildering trend that very few are willing to acknowledge. It is a remarkable reality that explains a whole array of seemingly paradoxical problems that bedevil our world.

Protect Muhammad, Mock Jesus

In this world, everything is twisted in knots. The solution to debt problems is increased spending. The antidote to government waste is more government. “Freedom of speech” is used as a shield for vulgarity and filth—and a bludgeon against godliness and virtue.

Comedy Central cartoons mock everything. They delight in committing sacrilege. Back in April, one poked fun at the furor over depictions of Muhammad, founder of Islam, by showing him dressed in a bear suit. A radical New York-based Islamic group didn’t like that one bit. On its website, RevolutionMuslim.com, it posted a warning along with a graphic photo of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker brutally murdered in 2004 by a Muslim; it warned that the show’s creators might suffer the same fate.

Comedy Central’s executives got the message. They censored the cartoon and removed all record of it online.

Then they turned around and proceeded with plans to create JC, a cartoon aimed squarely at garnering laughs at Christians’ expense. The show will depict God and Jesus Christ as regular guys who move to modern-day New York City, where Jesus adjusts to big city life while a deadbeat God sits home and plays video games.

These two seemingly incongruous decisions are hardly unusual. In fact, both follow a pattern increasingly playing out in America and Britain. In societies that value free speech, many decision-makers are shutting down even mild criticism of Islam. And though these same societies also value freedom of religion, public and even private expression of Bible-based Christianity is coming under fierce attack.

Leaders and officials kowtow to bullies and thugs on one hand, then become bullies and thugs on the other. They accommodate evil and vilify good.

A New Orthodoxy

The first words uttered when a baby is born are either “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” That is because sex is biological reality—and none too difficult to detect.

None too difficult, that is, except for intellectuals. In their Upside-Down thinking, nothing is either/or, black-or-white—not even male or female! Gender is a choice, a state of mind, a construct, and always open for reinterpretation. Using this warped logic, they exalt homosexuality, bisexuality and varying degrees of transsexuality including surgical “sex change.”

How brazen are intellectuals at rewriting reality? British law now mandates that transsexuals be allowed to receive a new birth certificate saying they were born the opposite sex. If this personbelieveshe was born female, thenhe was born female! And anyone who says differently is a bigot! is the message.

Proponents of such policies think they are creating a world free from oppression and hate, a world of tolerance and understanding, where everyone is accepted, where no one is condemned and no one’s feelings are ever hurt. In truth they are intolerantly imposing their Upside-Down reality, creating a nightmare world where discomfort with moral deviancy is punishable by law.

In this world, morality has been flipped on its head. Freedom of religion is being beaten to death by the “freedom” to practice aggressive homosexual activism. State and local laws criminalizing behavior deemed discriminatory against cross-dressers, bisexuals and homosexuals are forcing businesses, schools and publicly funded organizations to embrace perversion. Last December, a British registrar was forced to resign for refusing to conduct same-sex “weddings.” A pediatrician had to leave an adoption panel because he wouldn’t approve homosexual couples for adoption. In February 2009, a Scottish couple were denied their request to adopt their two grandchildren—so that the children, ages 4 and 5, could be adopted by a gay male couple; when the grandparents objected, the judge told them to hush up if they ever wanted to see the children again.

Such bullying is perpetrated in the name of “tolerance”—when in actuality it bears the hallmarks of history’s despotic regimes. Phillips argues that the religious tyrannies of the Middle Ages and the political tyrannies of the 20th century have been replaced by something just as pernicious: cultural totalitarianism. “Medieval Christianity—like contemporary Islamism—stamped out dissent by killing or conversion; Western liberals do it by social and professional ostracism and legal discrimination,” she writes.

“It is a kind of secular Inquisition. And the grand inquisitors are to be found within the intelligentsia—in the universities, the media, the law, the political and professional classes—who not only have systematically undermined the foundations of Western society but are heavily engaged in attempting to suppress any challenge or protest.”

In this world, “reason” supposedly reigns. The reality, however, is that false and empty values have become the new dogma—at the expense of reason. The most intellectual—those who purportedly believe in the unassailable omnipotence of rationality—have become shockingly irrational. Facts that don’t fit the party line, they discard or ridicule. Biblical orthodoxy has simply been replaced by a rabidly secularist orthodoxy.

Power to the Little People

Mountains of evidence show the benefits of traditional marriage to both husband and wife, as well as society at large—and the high costs associated with its dissolution. It proves the enormous advantages to children—in personal safety, academic performance, financial well-being, emotional stability, self-respect, and assimilation into law-abiding adult life, among other things—of growing up under the same roof with both biological parents, a living arrangement built upon a strong, stable relationship between a sperm-producing adult male and an egg-producing adult female.

But because this evidence contradicts the secularist agenda, it is routinely overlooked, ignored, dismissed and scorned. The Upside-Down World keeps cranking up the pressure to popularize deviant sexuality—while removing pressure on singles to marry, pressure on married people to remain together, pressure on parents to make sacrifices for their children, and pressure on children to view their parents as authorities. All history proves that strong societies begin with strong marriages and families, yet intellectuals continue heedlessly striking blows at the pillars of family life.

In the Upside-Down World, families are bottom-up: Children rule, and parents take orders. Legitimate efforts to safeguard children from abuses have been overwhelmed by hostile efforts to undermine parental authority and dismantle the family structure. All physical discipline—an indispensable tool that the Bible commands parents to use to correct bad behavior—is considered cruel and abusive.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child requires signatory countries to enact legislation to stamp out “all forms of physical or mental violence”—including spanking. But even beyond that, the convention emasculates parents by guaranteeing children the right of privacy, even within their own home, as well as “freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Yes, Upside-Down leaders in the world’s foremost international body are convinced that children thrive best when parents abdicate their duty to educate their children spiritually.

Like-minded authorities have stripped authority from professional educators as well. With teachers unable to discipline students, classrooms increasingly become hatcheries of churlishness and rebellion. Apparently the students’ right to misbehave in school is more important than their right to actually learn.

The ominous vision of the Prophet Isaiah is now reality: “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. … [T]he child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable” (Isaiah 3:4-5).

Yet, consider the irony. While Upside-Down legal minds work to empower children at their parents’ expense in many areas, there is one issue on which they stand firmly, even belligerently, with parents over their children: They passionately defend parents’ right to kill their own children before they are born.

Wage War to Help the Enemy

The routine murder of innocents may be protected in the clinic—but in the Upside-Down World, it is to be avoided at all costs on the battlefield. Even if it costs victory.

In the Afghanistan war—where the government and people are demonstrating sympathy for the Taliban—the top nato commander, Stanley McChrystal (before he resigned in June), was looking for ways to protect Afghan civilians. He considered a new military honor that recognizes soldiers who refrain from fighting: an award for “courageous restraint.”

Radical Muslim groups love it. They are far less concerned about civilian deaths; in fact, they invite them. They use a hodgepodge of vile, despicable tactics—purposefully embedding themselves among locals, even using schools and hospitals as staging grounds for rocket attacks—aimed specifically at provoking retribution that kills civilians (who, in many cases, actually sympathize with their cause), which they then broadly publicize for propaganda purposes. And the media and political classes eagerly trumpet that propaganda—even in cases where it is demonstrably false.

Clearly, Muslims aren’t the only ones who sympathize with terrorists; liberal intellectuals do as well.

Common sense says that someone trying to kill you and your family, someone trying to destroy your country, is an enemy. But such reasoning is far too barbaric for Western thinkers. Black-and-white morality has been replaced by a world of grays, of relativism, where even the most depraved behavior can be explained and excused. The Western mind has become deeply ambivalent about evil. Even words like evil and enemy are considered simplistic and backward.

A pillar liberal doctrine is that the perpetrators of evil acts are not responsible because they are actually victims of a far greater evil: Western ideals. Thus, “victim” groups are considered incapable of wrongdoing, while “privileged” classes are incapable of good. Muslims cannot be held responsible for terrorism—their Western targets must be the real cause.

As a result of such ridiculous moral reasoning, the very nature and purpose of warfare has been flipped topsy-turvy. War is now something a nation must do for its enemy. Humanitarian goals trump self-defense. All efforts to seek the nation’s own interests are branded immoral and shameful. An oxymoronic “humanitarian war” approach has embroiled America and its allies in absolutely impossible efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate those nations it defeats.

Success in warfare used to benefit the victorious nation; in the Upside-Down World, “victory” comes with inexhaustible, unachievable moral obligations. War can never be won.

Heroes and Villains

Hamas runs Gaza as a theocratic police state; it silences dissent; it allows no religious expression outside radical Islam; it uses terrorism to advance its foreign policy, which is to annihilate Jews. Israel, by contrast, is a liberal democracy; it has an independent judiciary and an independent press; it protects religious freedom, even for the 16 percent of its citizens who are Muslim.

Which of these two do you suppose Western elites increasingly view as a political partner—and which as a villain?

It is positively bizarre. What possesses apparently intelligent, reasonable people who value political freedoms and respect for human life to defend the terrorist cause? Why are they so willing to overlook the barbaric acts of misogyny and murder—so seemingly contrary to liberal ideals—that plague radical Islamist culture? And why, then, are they so unforgiving as Jews try to defend themselves against it?

There is no reasoned public debate over these questions. Throughout academia, the media and political circles, the supposed rightness of the Palestinian cause over that of Israel is considered irrefutable.

In Upside-Down downtown Manhattan, a retail store damaged by shrapnel from the 9/11 terrorist attacks was razed—in order to make room for a new 13-story mosque. “In the ruins of a building reduced to rubble in the name of Islam, a temple to Islam will arise,” commented author Mark Steyn.

The increasingly universal immunity to reason vividly showed this past May when authorities foiled a bombing attempt in New York City’s Times Square. As always happens when a Muslim commits or tries to commit a terrorist act, politicians and press in America and Britain disregarded facts, threw out the religion connection and searched for a cause within trivialities like the would-be bomber’s struggle to pay his mortgage. New York’s mayor speculated that he was probably a right-winger, “somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill.” Wrong. Turns out the perp was on orders from the Pakistani Taliban. The mayor responded to the news by praising his city’s Pakistanis and gravely stating, “We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

The rush to exhibit such multicultural sanctimony has become so predictable after such incidents. The more that Muslims attack, the louder we praise them. The same Upside-Down reaction was on parade five years ago, after Islamic suicide bombers killed 52 Londoners on their morning commute. British officials didn’t blame Islam—but Islamophobia. London’s mayor asserted that the true fault lay in “80 years of Western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of the Western need for oil.”

Reality is screaming in their faces, and they are closing their eyes, plugging their ears, and saying “La la la la la.”

Why are efforts to merely enforce existing immigration law in order to curb rising kidnapping and murder branded as racist? Why are illegal immigrants in Britain guaranteed welfare benefits by law? Why is it against the law to deport dodgy foreign terrorist suspects back to their home countries out of concern that their human rights might be violated there?

These are senseless, dangerous policies—yet intellectuals will rise up in full-throated indignation against any who dare question them.

Political correctness—a bramble bush of self-contradicting doctrines—has so ensnared the self-declared scholarly that even when facts are presented that expose the error in their thinking they will not budge.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah lamented. “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

He couldn’t possibly have described the Upside-Down World with more penetrating precision.

Science Meets Paganism

A few more examples get us closer to understanding the hidden cause that has flipped our world Upside-Down.

Remarkably, in our modern world supposedly dominated by reason, primitive religions and paganism are enjoying a renaissance. The fastest growing religious category in America is witchcraft and paganism. In Britain, where the Church of England is fading from significance, the 1990s saw a 20-fold increase in the number of practicing pagans. “Whereas paganism would once have been seen as inimical to religion, it is now viewed in Britain’s multicultural nirvana as just another faith,” writes Melanie Phillips in her book; she cites examples of hospitals, prisons and even the police making special provisions for the polytheists and nature worshipers in their ranks, such as getting leave for holidays like Halloween and the summer solstice.

One contributing factor to this trend is the rise in another cause célèbre of the intelligentsia: environmentalism. Run-of-the-mill proponents of “saving the Earth” have found their goals meshing nicely with those of pagan Earth worshipers. For example, one man said he was drawn into environmental campaigning during his studies at the University of Essex, which led him to paganism and later to witchcraft; he went on to found the Dragon organization, which practices “ecomagic”—which is “rituals and spells to oppose road-building programs and other projects with negative environmental impact.”

“God was dead, apparently; and yet secular progressives were seeking spiritual expression by going backwards in time to the paganism that had preceded the Hebrew Bible and Christianity—texts which they called reactionary,” Phillips writes. They rejected and attacked the “male God” revealed in Scripture in favor of “Mother Earth” and varying versions of female-dominated spiritualism.

“The pantheism or nature-worship that had characterized the most regressive movements of thought since the Enlightenment now resurfaced in an eruption of primitivism, which purported to be at the cutting edge of radical thought,” Phillips writes. Thus, in typical Upside-Down fashion, the archaic is considered avant-garde.

The nature-worship that feeds and informs the environmental movement goes far beyond the God-given command for mankind to exercise responsible stewardship of creation, “to dress it and to keep it.” At the root of such thinking, in fact, is the heretical notion that the greatest enemies of the planet are human beings.

Environmentalism’s most extreme proponents are not content with antipollution efforts, for example; they advocate a revolutionary return to hunter-gatherer primitivism. Some have compared humans to an infectious disease, a cancer on the planet. Valuing humans over other animals is branded as “speciesism,” a sin as unforgivable as racism or sexism, if not more so. Paul Watson, who founded Greenpeace and directs the Sierra Club, said that “earthworms are far more valuable than people,” and the “world will be a much nicer place without us.” Unsurprisingly, many of them are big believers in population-control methods like compulsory sterilization and abortion. Even John Holdren, adviser to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote a book in 1977 approving of these despotic policies.

As Phillips says, where Judaism and Christianity show man to be the center of creation, “the religion of ecology … aims to knock him off that perch by undoing civilization.”

Such self-sabotaging perversity begins to unmask the dark reality of Upside-Downness. At its heart is an assault on truth as defined in Scripture. If the Bible calls something evil, this world calls it good. If God explains something a certain way, this world is certain anything other than that is possible.

Little Green Men

The Apostle Paul recorded a scathing rebuke that has shown itself to be remarkably prophetic: He described scholars and academics “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25).

These are hallmarks of the Upside-Down World: truths changed to lies; material things exalted above the God who made them; plain, clear, scriptural understanding scorned and irrational human reasoning worshiped.

These traits represent a fundamental hostility to reason. Yet they are manifestly present in the supposedly irreproachable, objective realm of science: Consider the evidence-defying, data-manipulating commitment to the man-made global warming doctrine and the impassioned vilification of skeptics; or the blacklisting and excommunication of scientists who so much as acknowledge the possibility that the elegance and predictability of the material world suggests intelligent design. The scientific establishment brusquely closes the curtain on anything that challenges the ridiculous notion that there are no answers whatsoever beyond matter itself—what Democritus called “atoms and the void.”

As a result, the establishment must turn its back on a great many facts—and simultaneously embrace some ludicrous fictions. Befuddled by the majesty of life, and the impossible perfection of the Earth to support it, scientists have entered the realm of fantasy in order to sustain their belief in a godless universe. They have suggested, with nothing to offer as proof but their own ideologically driven imaginations, that perhaps there are an infinite number of universes—magically making statistical impossibilities possible. Famous atheist zoologist Richard Dawkins—who delights in ridiculing religious believers and calling faith “a virus of the mind”—says he believes life may have been deposited on Earth by beings from outer space.

That’s right. In the Upside-Down World, superintelligent little green men from some great beyond (whose origin also must require an explanation, we might add) are easier to believe in than God. “[F]or scientific triumphalists mere facts apparently cannot compete with the doctrines laid down by the scientific priesthood,” Phillips explains.

The Apostle Paul put it this way: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (verse 22).

Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin made this self-condemning admission in 1997: “We take the side of science [as opposed to the supernatural] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. … Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door” (emphasis mine).

That is the crux of it: God must be kept out. Why?

Deceived

These trends all contravene or undermine the truth as defined in Scripture. Yet it is this widely dismissed and disparaged Book that exposes and explains the cause for society’s violent departure from logic and sense.

It reveals the very real existence of a spirit realm, invisible to us. “[W]e wrestle not against flesh and blood,” wrote Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Yes, the Bible speaks of a benevolent and omnipotent God. But it also tells of a malevolent spiritual force that we must be on guard against.

As Paul worked to spread the truth of the gospel throughout hostile, Gentile cultures, he encountered resistance that he explained this way: “[I]f our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not …” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

The “god of this world” to which he referred was not the Creator. It was the same “god” the Apostle John described as “the great dragon … that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

Is it possible? The fact is, the volatile and deteriorating state of the world today—and the descent into ever more mad and crazy reasoning—cannot be fully comprehended without this understanding.

Read “Who Is the God of This World?” on page 28 for a scriptural explanation of how this “great dragon” came to have such a stranglehold on society. Herbert W. Armstrong described this biblically revealed reality as “the colossal kidnapping of all time”—in which the captives have been brainwashed into preferring and embracing the life and evil philosophy of the archkidnapper. “The willing victim … is the world that inhabits this planet Earth!” he wrote. “Yet this world has been so completely deceived that it cannot realize what actually has happened to it” (A World Held Captive).

The devil’s Upside-Down thinking is everywhere on display. He is a master at cloaking his motives, dressing up his destructive ambitions, making them appear noble and upright. “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light,” Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:14. But when his lies are compared against the right-side-up revelation in Scripture, the truth becomes clear.

The Upside-Down Mind

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” God wrote through Isaiah of this once-great angelic being who became the devil. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Satan believes he knows better than God. He has his own ideas about what is good, what is evil, how the universe should operate.

God created human beings in His own image and likeness, and placed them in dominion over the rest of the material creation on Earth (Genesis 1:26-30). He created them male and female and instituted marriage and family as a wonderful means of preparing them for life in His eternal Family. (These profound truths are thoroughly explained in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The Incredible Human Potential, which we will send you for free upon request.)

Satan hates human beings and is trying to destroy us. “He was a murderer from the beginning”; he is father of lies, Jesus explained (John 8:44). Satan inspired the notion that human beings are just like animals, less valuable than earthworms. He loves terrorism, violence and bloodshed. He promotes sterilization and abortion.

The Upside-Down attack on marriage and family is authored by this miserable being. He hates marriage and family because they are so central to God’s master plan for man! Angels were never offered that potential (e.g. Matthew 22:30; Hebrews 1:4-5). Satan has trampled on God’s laws about sex—laws against fornication and adultery, pornography, homosexuality, gender confusion and so on, all intended to safeguard the family—because angels cannot have sex, and sex produces more human beings.

This great dragon has flipped government within families Upside-Down because he hates authority and loves anarchy. God tells children to obey their parents and to honor old people—so Satan encourages them to rebel against their parents and mock the aged. The devil wants emotion-driven, unbalanced young people to dominate society so we lose our perspective, our heritage and our memory.

Satan pushes the impression that the whole of the mind-bogglingly impressive material creation exists by mere happenstance—that there is no order or purpose for any of it. He has befogged people’s understanding of evil because he is the epitome of evil and yet doesn’t believe it! He disagrees with God’s assessment of him.

In fact, that old serpent disagrees with everything God thinks, because he has allowed his thinking to become so twisted up with hate. Of all the Upside-Down reasoning he has fobbed off on this world, at the root of it all is that satanic idea: God is wrong—I am right.

As Paul expressed it, “For they [the self-professed scholarly, under the influence of satanic thinking] being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). As Lucifer said in his heart, I will exalt my throne—I will be like the most High.

This world is hoodwinked. So many of the people feverishly turning the world on its head are going about to establish what they think is right! “All are united by the common desire to bring about through human agency the perfection of the world,” Phillips writes, “an agenda which history teaches us leads invariably—and paradoxically—to tyranny, terror and crimes against humanity. Remarkably, all happen to be united also by a common and fundamental hostility to the central precepts of [biblical] religious belief …” (op. cit.).

The longer that people fail to submit themselves to the righteousness ofGod—who is the one and only true Lawgiver, who alone determines right from wrong—and the harder they work to establish their own righteousness, the more haywire this Upside-Down world will grow.

Thankfully, the sure Word of God promises that Jesus Christ will return and set this world right-side up. The Apostle Peter called this “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:19-21). Christ Himself called it “the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28). You can read more about thatwonderful Upside-Up World in the article on page 8.

Jesus instructed His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” As far as I’m concerned, it can’t get here fast enough.

A Heartfelt Request to the Leaders of Britain

Please start teaching the world about your divinely inspired heritage.
From the August 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Speaking at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies in June, Prince Charles of England declared: “The Islamic world is the custodian of one of the greatest treasures of accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge available to humanity.”

It was quite a statement, and from the future king of England, no less. Ironic too, considering radical Islam is working zealously to destroy the Western world, and of all nations, this process is noticeably well advanced in Britain.

For nearly an hour the prince invoked Islam as a moral and spiritual compass that ought to be teaching the Western world in its quest to save the environment. As the guardian of one of the largest pools of “accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge,” he stated, Islam possesses a “priceless gift to the rest of the world” (emphasis mine).

Talk about an upside-down world. Here’s the Prince of Wales—the future king of England and guardian of the Church of England, a born-and-bred son of Judeo-Christian Britain, one of the most advanced democracies in history—unashamedly endorsing Islam as one of the world’s foremost moral and spiritual authorities.

Of course, the Prince of Wales is not the only leader in Britain with a proclivity for endorsing foreign or non-traditional principles and ideologies. These days it is fashionable among all of Britain’s elite in politics, academia and the media to value and endorse multiculturalism and secularism—while ignoring or even trashing their nation’s own history.

Britain has one of the most enthralling and important histories in the world, yet British leaders today prefer to sing the praises of other nations, other races and other histories. Instead of focusing on Islam, Prince Charles and the rest of Britain’s leaders ought to be thinking on their own glorious heritage. As politically incorrect as it is to say it, it is the “accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge” embodied within British history, specifically the history of the British monarchy, that is truly a “priceless gift to the rest of the world.”

Here is a heartfelt plea to the political leaders and members of the royal establishment of Britain: Start teaching the world about your royal heritage. Share this history.

A Throne Founded on a Promise

Before England became a constitutional monarchy in the 17th century, it was ruled by kings and queens under a monarchial government. Historians generally agree that King Egbert, an Anglo-Saxon leader of the house of Wessex during the early ninth century, was England’s first king. But when it comes to tracking England’s monarchy prior to the ninth century, most history books go silent.

The world’s oldest and most reliable history book, however, does not. In the Holy Bible, we can learn the absolute truth about the royal house of Britain.

The chronicle of England’s royal family begins in Genesis, with the ancient patriarch Abraham. Many people will be surprised to learn how absolutely central Abraham is to world history, particularly the histories of America, Britain and England’s royal household. Let’s investigate this enthralling narrative. It begins with a vital promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12.

In verses 2-3, God said, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, which we will send you free upon request, Herbert Armstrong explains thoroughly how world history turns on this promise.

Notice how this is a twofold promise. First, God tells Abraham that He will “make of thee a great nation,” which, as Mr. Armstrong explained, is a “national, material promise that [Abraham’s] flesh-born children should become a great nation.” Second, God tells Abraham that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” This, as Mr. Armstrong explained, is a “spiritual promise of grace,” a promise that salvation would come to all men through Jesus Christ, who was a descendant of Abraham.

In Genesis 17, God confirms His promise to Abraham, especially the first part about national and material greatness. In this passage, God fleshes out the details, promising Abraham explicitly that “kings shall come out of thee” (verse 6).

The Bible clearly shows that God promised Abraham that he would be the patriarch of a royal line!

Established Forever

We now turn to the ancient Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, who fled Egypt and entered the Promised Land in the mid-15th century b.c. Roughly 400 years after that, God began to fulfill His promise to Abraham that “kings shall come out of thee.”

Saul, a descendant of Abraham, was the first human king to sit on the throne of Israel. Sadly, he proved to be a poor king. As the sun set on Saul’s dismal kingship, God began preparing a young lad from the tribe of Judah, another of Abraham’s descendants, to take his place.

Around 1000 b.c., God established David as Israel’s king. The kingdom of Israel thrived under the divinely guided, although imperfect leadership of King David. Through David, God subdued Israel’s enemies, expanded the boundaries of Israel’s territory and established the Jebusite city of Jerusalem as the seat of the kingdom.

But God did even more: Through David, He perpetuated His promise to Abraham of a royal line. Read 2 Samuel 7, where God clearly confers the promise He made to Abraham onto righteous King David. “[W]hen thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep [meaning die],” God told King David, “I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom” (verse 12).

Note that: God promised King David that He would perpetuate his royal “seed”—or progeny!

Truly, the explicit nature of God’s promise to David is inspiring. Beginning in verse 13, God continued: “He [David’s son Solomon] shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him ….And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever (verses 13-16).

What a promise! God told King David, a direct descendant of Abraham, that He would perpetuate his kingdom, his royal line, forever. Notice, this promise was absolutely unconditional. God promised explicitly that nothing—not even disobedience and rebellion—would cause Him to break His covenant with David!

Men break promises all the time. God does not! For going on 3,000 years, God has literally bent world history around His promise to Abraham and David. Governments have been overturned, armies have been destroyed, wars have been won and lost, leaders have been installed and removed—all so God could keep His promise to perpetuate David’s royal seed.

If you believe God keeps His word, then you must believe that the royal line of David is somewhere on Earth today. The question is, where?

Enter Britain

In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Mr. Armstrong employs a host of scriptures to explain in detail how God has fulfilled His promise to David (and Abraham) and has overseen the perpetuation of this royal heritage. Indeed, one of the most unique and riveting truths in that book is the truth about Britain’s royal family, and the fact that it is descended directly from the line of King David!

Of course, it’s intellectually unfashionable today to rely on the Bible (but not the Koran, apparently) as a source of knowledge. So let’s set aside the Bible for a moment and consider some of the secular evidence showing that the British royal family traces its lineage all the way back to King David.

First, consider the coronation of an English sovereign. A coronation is an event of international importance, a captivating occasion filled with pageantry and grand celebration. Beyond the pomp and circumstance, as the official website of the British monarchy admits, it is also a “solemn religious ceremony.” Each coronation is replete with fascinating detail and tradition, much of which “has remained essentially the same over a thousand years” (www.royal.gov.uk).

For example, before being crowned, the sovereign is seated on King Edward’s throne, where he is anointed with oil, then blessed and consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury. The monarch then receives the royal orb and scepters, then the royal crown, after which the audience bursts into enthusiastic shouts of “God save the King! Long live the King.” If you’ve wondered where these details originated, read the details surrounding the coronation of King David’s son Solomon in 1 Kings 1. Verse 39 reads, “[T]he priest took an horn of oil … and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the peoples said, God save king Solomon.”

British monarchs are crowned according to the tradition of Solomon!

One especially moving moment toward the end of the coronation ceremony of an English king or queen is the full-throated performance of Handel’s “Zadok the Priest.” Handel composed this masterpiece for the crowning of George ii in the 18th century. Who is this “Zadok” that Handel invoked? Verse 39 of 1 Kings 1 says that it was “Zadok the priest [who] took a horn of oil … and anointed Solomon.”

The signature choral performance during the coronation of a British monarch invokes the memory of the priest who ordained King Solomon of Israel!

Now consider the worn, oblong rock, often termed the Stone of Scone, which currently resides in Scotland. This rock enamors tens of thousands of people who visit Edinburgh Castle, where it currently resides. Why? Because of its history. For as long as historians can remember, this rock has been a central component of the coronation ceremony of British monarchs. It was under the throne when Elizabeth was crowned in 1953, just as it was under the throne when English, Scottish and even Irish sovereigns were crowned in centuries past.

Until recent years, this stone was widely known as “Jacob’s pillar stone.” Still today, in articles and discussions, and even on the official website of the British royal family, it is referred to as the “stone of destiny.” These are intriguing names, especially considering they are for a hunk of stone. What are the origins of this internationally renowned rock? What makes it so special? Why is it critical that it be under the throne at every royal coronation?

Again, we must venture back into the annals of ancient history. Jacob was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. In Genesis 27 you can read how God’s twofold promise to Abraham was conferred onto Jacob. Genesis 28 then recounts Jacob’s trek to the land of Haran to find a wife. On this journey Jacob had a remarkable dream in which God showed him how He would fulfill His promise to Abraham.

When Jacob woke the next morning, he was deeply moved by God’s presence in his dream. Notice how he responded: “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. … And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go … [then] this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house …” (Genesis 28:18-22).

It was a remarkable morning in the history of Israel: This was the moment Jacob’s pillar stone came into existence!

From this point forward, this stone became a renowned feature in Jacob’s family and in the history of ancient Israel. Notice, Jacob called this stone “God’s house.” It was a constant reminder that God was present in Jacob’s life and in the lives of his descendents. Jacob’s pillar stone became a major sign identifying God’s presence in the nation of Israel.

It also became an important feature in the coronation of monarchs! Consider the dramatic events surrounding the coronation of King Josiah, a direct descendant of David, in the seventh century B.C. 2 Kings 11:12 records Josiah being crowned king. Immediately afterward, the mother of the previous king came into the hall. Verse 14 describes what she saw: “And when she looked, behold, the king [Josiah] stood by a pillar,as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets.” Incidentally, verse 12 says that after Josiah was crowned, the audience sang, “God save the king.”

Bible commentaries agree that this was not your everyday pillar, or just a structural feature in the palace. It was, in fact, “the place or throne on which they were accustomed to put the kings when they proclaimed them,” Adam Clarke’s Commentary notes. Notice too, the king was crowned on the pillar, which was Jacob’s pillar stone, “as the manner was,” or as was customary.

Truly this is amazing. To this day, more than 2,500 years after Josiah’s coronation, it is still customary for English monarchs to be crowned over Jacob’s pillar stone!

Even those who discard the Bible ought to be struck by the similarities between the customs of the British monarchy and the ancient practices of David’s royal family. For the more open-minded, all this secular evidence, when considered in the context of God’s promise to Abraham and David, causes Britain’s royal heritage to take on a new, more thrilling dimension!

Based on what we have covered, it is logical that England’s royal family today is descended from King David, and is therefore the living embodiment of God’s promise to Abraham and David. Indeed, even the similarities in customs and traditions demonstrate this reality.

But questions may still remain. For example, how did David’s royal seed in the Middle East end up ruling over the throne of England? Also, how was it that the pillar stone in David’s palace in Jerusalem came to find itself, three millennia later, in Edinburgh, Scotland?

Did God Keep His Promise?

After King David died, his son Solomon became king of Israel. After Solomon’s death, the nation of Israel divided into two separate nations, which were both subsequently invaded and taken into captivity. Despite the wars and chaos that unfolded, God—holding fast to His promise to Abraham and David—ensured the continuation of David’s throne.

In Jeremiah 1, before the kingdom of Judah went into captivity at the end of the sixth century b.c., God gave Jeremiah the prophet an important commission: He essentially told Jeremiah to take a daughter of King Zedekiah, a king in the royal line of David, and travel to Ireland.

About Jeremiah’s diverse crew, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with [King Zedekiah’s daughter]. He married her shortly after 585—when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, an ark, and a wonderful stone called ‘lia-fail,’ or ‘stone of destiny’” (op. cit.).

Soon after their arrival in Ireland, this Irish king, his wife Tea Tephi (Zedekiah’s daughter, of the line of David) and their son set down permanent roots. Jeremiah did too, even establishing a renowned college that royalty from around Europe visited. As time passed, David’s descendants intermarried with Scottish and English royals. Eventually, as the genealogies of England, Scotland and Ireland’s monarchies show, the royal lineage of David was established in what became, in the 19th century, Great Britain.

As Mr. Armstrong explained, Jeremiah had in his possession the Stone of Scone, or Jacob’s pillar stone. After being transported to Ireland in the sixth century b.c., the stone of destiny for the next 2,500 years remained with David’s royal line. Over the centuries it made stops in various castles, but it remained in Britain and was nearly always under the throne at the coronation of an English or Scottish monarch.

Consider the significance of this history. If we can locate Jacob’s pillar stone today, and the royal line crowned on that stone, then we will have found the living descendants of King David!

Wait, It Gets Better

It is evident that the members of Britain’s royal family are descendants of King David. Now consider what other truths we uncover along with this discovery. By locating the royal household of King David (and Abraham), we have uncovered the history of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham, and King David!

That means Britain’s royal family is living proof of the existence of God!

That may be hard to fathom, particularly considering the jaded character and the antics of some in the royal household. Yet it’s the truth. Like all men, Britain’s monarchs are imperfect. History records that King David himself committed some terrible sins, though he repented deeply. Over the centuries, the monarchy has only grown more stained. Despite these sins and all the hurt those in the royal line have inflicted on God, the great Creator never blotted out the royal dynasty. He punished the royals at the hands of men, but He never broke His promise to David!

That God perpetuates Britain’s monarchy today—despite the Prince of Wales rejecting this history and virtually worshiping Islam—reveals His supreme commitment to keep His promises!

Why is God so committed to perpetuating the throne of David? The answer to that question is absolutely spectacular.

The Bible reveals why: It is because that throne is the very throne from which Jesus Christ will soon rule this Earth.

Believe it or not, the spectacular future of this throne actually far outshines its spectacular past!

Notice the prophecy of Christ’s return in Luke 1:31-33: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

There it is, clear as day: God’s promise of salvation through Christ, who at His Second Coming will inherit “the throne of his father David.”

This verse alone proves that the dynasty of David has to continue until the return of Christ!

Now consider a prophecy in Isaiah 9, which also speaks of Christ ruling from David’s throne: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (verses 6-7).

Could the future of the throne of David be any more spectacular?

The Prince of Wales ought to dwell on this royal heritage. Christ is about to rule the universe with splendor and power from the throne of David—the very throne Prince Charles could soon inherit!

Outside of God’s true Church, no institution on Earth—no church, no university, no ideology, no religion—possesses knowledge so visionary, so saturated with hope, as Britain’s royal family. Forget Islam: It is Britain’s royal family—not by their own doing, but by heavenly design—that is the “priceless gift to the rest of the world.”

Again, our heart cries out to the leaders of Britain: Teach us the inspiring history and prophecy of Britain’s royal family!

Join 5 million others and request your free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This book will open your eyes to some of the most stunning truths you could ever discover.

Worldwatch

From the July 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Europe

Belgium has become the first Western European country to approve a national ban on the burka, with the lower house of the Belgian Parliament unanimously passing the measure April 29. This could open the way for similar bans in other countries. While the legislation still has to be ratified by the Senate, it is not expected to be blocked there. The burka is already banned in two dozen local districts in Belgium, including the capital, Brussels. The nationwide ban will make it illegal for the Islamic burka and the niqab to be worn in public places. Meanwhile, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, the head of Germany’s Free Democrats in the European Parliament, called for a Europe-wide ban in the wake of the Belgian vote because covering women, she said, “openly supports values that we do not share in Europe.” In Italy, a woman was fined €500 (us$650) for wearing a burka. The fine was imposed under a 1975 anti-terrorism law forbidding both men and women to cover their faces—apparently the first time the law was applied in this manner. Expect the backlash against Islam on the Continent to grow.

The German government is purchasing Britain’s biggest train and bus firm. The $2.44 billion deal will put 44,000 Arriva employees in multiple European countries under the control of Deutsche Bahn. It is the loss of yet another British crown jewel. Arriva is one of Europe’s leading transport services, with bus and train operations in the UK, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Arriva also has bus networks in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain, and operates rail services in Poland. Over 1 billion passengers each year ride Arriva’s extensive transport networks. It is rude irony that Deutsche Bahn—the successor company to Deutsche Reichsbahn, which operated the trains that ran to the World War II extermination camps—will now own British Rail, a company whose predecessors did so much to transport the war stores to those who opposed the Nazis. What the Nazis were not able to accomplish through war, Germany is now gaining through other means.

Germany’s defense minister has announced plans for a structural reform of the German military that would improve the effectiveness of the country’s armed forces. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg explained on April 12 that under the new framework, the Bundeswehr would be streamlined, and more German soldiers would be freed up for overseas missions. This is further evidence that Germany’s foreign policy is rapidly and dangerously transforming.

Mideast

On May 11, U.S. President Barack Obama phoned President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to congratulate him on the start of Israeli-Palestinian proximity talks. Abbas made his long-delayed decision to enter indirect talks with Israel on May 8. The history of such talks makes it abundantly apparent that any new round of talks will only succeed in wounding the Jewish state further, through additional concessions without any resultant peace.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority will invest in projects aimed at “Arabizing” Jerusalem, it was decided at a meeting May 3 between PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and his ministerial-level government members. “The Fayyad government is authorized by the new decision to relocate government offices and important institutions to what mass media refer to as eastern Jerusalem but actually includes northern and southern areas of the capital as well,” IsraelNationalNews.com reported. “The stated goal is to implant the sense among Jerusalem Arabs that the address for their issues is the PA” (May 5). The decision violates the Oslo Accord, which prohibits the PA from operating in Jerusalem. The PA government said it intends to Arabize the city, “setting facts on the ground” that would have to be taken into consideration in any future negotiations with Israel. The decision met no condemnation from Washington saying it would derail the peace process—in contrast to the Obama administration’s denunciation of Jewish housing plans in Jerusalem announced in March.

In April, a poll in Israel showed Israelis firmly behind Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and solidly against an imposed peace agreement and the division of Jerusalem. The poll, conducted by Brain Base for Independent Media Review Analysis, revealed that Israeli Jews oppose an imposed peace by a margin of 83 to 8 percent. “The results … pull out the rug from any possible intentions by the Obama administration to try to topple the Netanyahu government in favor of a Kadima-Labor coalition,” reported IsraelNationalNews.com (April 14). This is a further indication that the Arab-Jew impasse over Jerusalem will continue—until it reaches the point of violence.

On May 4, Iraq’s two main rival Shiite coalitions agreed to merge into a single parliamentary bloc. The two Shia blocs came second and third in Iraq’s March 7 elections. While the political wrangling is not over and a prime minister has yet to be chosen, this deal gives the pro-Iranian State of Law bloc and the Iranian-backed Islamist Iraqi National Alliance a strong chance of setting up the next government, thus cementing Iranian domination of Iraq. The same day, radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced—no doubt at the direction of his sponsor, Iranthe revival of his Mahdi Army militia and threatened to attack American troops if they didn’t stick to their Dec. 31, 2011, deadline to leave the country.

Meanwhile, violence in Iraq has increased as al Qaeda-connected Sunnis react to the attempt by Iran-aligned Shiites to form a government. A series of attacks across the country on May 10 killed over 100 people and injured more than 300, in the deadliest day so far this year.

Iran’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, held large-scale military exercise in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz in April. Iran’s Press tv said the four-day naval, air and ground exercises were held to demonstrate the country’s defense capabilities and its determination to maintain security in the region. A high-level military delegation from Qatar, an American ally, was present during the exercises. A large part of America’s strategy to contain Iran relies on the military deterrent provided by Persian Gulf countries. Those same countries’ cooperation with Iran clearly demonstrates the unreliable nature of America’s “moderate” Arab allies.

Just a week later, Iran held eight more days of military drills in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz to train Iranian troops and intimidate potential enemies.

The Obama administration is seeking to soften proposed sanctions against Iran. The White House is pushing Congress to provide exemptions for countries like China and Russia in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act.

A report released April 20 by the U.S. Defense Department claims that Iran’s Quds Force, the overseas operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has stepped up its presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela. The report on Iran’s current and future military strategy said the Quds Force “maintains operational capabilities around the world.” It “is well established in the Middle East and North Africa, and recent years [have] witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela,” the report said. “If U.S. involvement in conflicts in these regions deepens, contact with the [Quds Force], directly or through extremist groups it supports, will be more frequent and consequential.” Iran’s ability to retaliate against U.S. interests globally is part of the leverage Tehran holds over Washington.

Asia

Japan’s defense minister announced on April 11 that 10 Chinese military vessels had sailed between Japan’s Okinawa and Miyako islands in the preceding few days. Although China’s increasing naval presence in international waters do not violate any international laws, analysts say they showcase China’s growing naval capability and suggest that Beijing intends to prevent intervention by other naval forces. For decades, China has been engaged in territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea, and its rapidly growing international status has intensified Beijing’s claims in these areas. As China’s increasing economic might and expanding military power feed each other, expect Beijing’s global assertiveness to intensify.

On April 20, China confirmed the granting of two loans to Venezuela worth over $20 billion, and the signing of a series of energy agreements with Caracas. In the deals, Beijing secured Venezuelan oil to feed China’s thriving economy, while Caracas scored significant liquidity at a crucial time in its quest to harness energy resources. Also noteworthy is that one of the loans, worth $10.2 billion, is denominated in Chinese yuan, and will be a test for internationalizing the Chinese currency. As global confidence in the dollar falters, China and other countries will explore alternative options for international currencies.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev signed an agreement with his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, on April 21 extending the lease of a Russian naval base in Sevastopol for 25 years following its expiration in 2017. The deal followed a promise by Moscow to give Kiev significantly discounted prices for natural gas and other purchases. The agreement is another indication that Yanukovych is following through on his pre-election pledge to move Ukraine away from the pro-West stance of his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko, who had vowed to shut the Russian base down once the current deal expired.

On April 30, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed merging Russia’s energy giant Gazprom with Ukraine’s gas monopoly, Naftogaz. The surprise offer would bring the relationship between Moscow and Kiev closer than ever. Because 80 percent of Russian gas bound for Europe passes through Ukraine, Gazprom relies heavily on Kiev’s cooperation. Kiev in turn relies heavily on Russia’s natural gas.

Moscow enjoyed its biggest VE Day celebrations since the fall of the ussr on May 9. After the fall of the Soviet Union, these celebrations became quieter as Russians reflected on their nation’s loss of power and status. But not anymore. “This year the VE celebration fully takes back its former meaning, celebrating Russia as a real power once again,” wrote Stratfor. “Over the past few years—and especially in the past few months—Russia has pushed its influence back into most of its former Soviet states through military intervention, revolution, customs unions and pro-Russian governments” (May 7).

Not only did the crash of the Polish military plane on April 10 kill almost all of Poland’s government leaders, but it also gave Russia a bonanza of NATO secrets, according to a May 13 Washington Times article. Several of those flying carried computers and memory sticks containing secret NATO data. Russia may also have obtained the “ultra-secret” codes used by NATO to encrypt satellite communication. If the Russians are able to recover these codes from the wreckage, they will be able to decrypt months, if not years, of past NATO communications.

An estimated 90,000 Japanese citizens joined local politicians in the streets of Okinawa on April 25 to protest allowing the U.S. Futenma Marine Corps Airbase to remain in the Okinawa prefecture. Regardless of Tokyo’s decision on this matter, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Japan is not the reliable U.S. ally that it has appeared to be since the Second World War.

Africa/Latin America

A Russian warship hunted down and recaptured an oil tanker taken by Somali pirates on May 6. Special forces rappelled onto the ship, killing one pirate in a 22-minute gun battle that forced the pirates to surrender. The pirates were taken by surprise. “They did not expect such resolute measures from us,” said Capt. Ildar Akhmerov. Expect the hijacking of Russian ships to become less common—unlike that of countries that take less robust action.

Leaders from the bric countries—or the world’s top four emerging markets: Brazil, Russia, India and China—met in Brasilia in April. These four countries contain 40 percent of the world’s population, and consistently seek to have a larger say in world affairs.

Venezuela’s electricity supply is on the brink of collapse. Water levels at the Guri dam—which supplies power to 70 percent of the nation—are so low that officials may be forced to shut down a large part of the dam. A fire at a key thermoelectric plant for northwestern Venezuela on April 4 only made the situation worse.

Anglo-America

For the first time since World War II, the United Kingdom had a coalition government sit in Parliament May 18. New Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron sat on the front bench next to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, the new deputy vice president. They, along with many other members of the 650-seat chamber, are new faces in new positions after the May 6 general election. Resignations over previous months due to expense account scandals meant that 226 of the members of Parliament present were fresh faces. As the unwieldy government works to hold itself together, it may prove vulnerable to being manhandled by other countries and the EU.

The Bank of England said on May 12 that Britain and the United States have some of the same fiscal problems as Greece when it comes to public finances. The assessment came from bank governor Mervyn King, who is regarded as among the most guarded central bankers. A week earlier, reports surfaced that the European Commission had forecast that the UK’s budget deficit would hit 12 percent of gross domestic product—the highest in the EU.

On May 3, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted that America’s crucial naval dominance is being threatened. The Navy, which relies heavily on expensive aircraft carriers and submarines, is becoming more vulnerable as potential enemies like Iran and China improve “asymmetrical” weapons such as anti-ship missiles. “Anti-access” weapons could potentially render America’s mighty, expensive carrier groups obsolete, Gates warned.

U.S. food prices are rising, with overall prices jumping 2.4 percent in March alone. As compared to one year previous, fresh and dry vegetables were up 56 percent and fresh fruits and melons up 29 percent. Eggs rose 34 percent, and beef, veal and dairy all rose by roughly 10 percent.

Two Illinois politicians requested military intervention in Chicago in April, where the murder rate matches the number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The politicians said National Guard soldiers were needed to “stabilize” Chicago communities just as they are doing in those two conflicts.

In Britain, the Office of National Statistics reveals that the proportion of births to unmarried mothers across the nation will rise above half over the next five years. The figure rose from 37 percent in 1997 to 45 percent in 2008.

Two lesbians have obtained the first official birth certificate in Britain that leaves the father off the official record, thanks to a 2008 act of Parliament. Rather than listing the mother and father, the certificate states a “mother” and a “parent.”

England is one of Europe’s “least patriotic” countries, an April survey found. One in five English respondents said they lacked patriotism due to a broken society, although half said they had been patriotic in the past. On a questionnaire, respondents judged their overall level of patriotism to be 5.8 out of 10, the lowest of the nine nations surveyed. More than a quarter said they feared they would be called racist if they flew the English flag.

Who Is the God of This World?

Who Is the God of This World?

Amana

And how will his rule come to an end?
From the August 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Why should there be so much ignorance about Satan the devil? Many people scoff at the thought of his existence. Others, while they accept his existence, grossly underestimate the devil’s awesome power. They assume that his deceptive influence over the world is limited and easy to detect. On the other hand, there are those who think God and Satan are engaged in a tug-of-war over the “souls” of men. In this scenario—judging by the sheer number of people who have lived and died without ever having accepted Jesus as their Savior—Satan is clearly depicted as being stronger than God.

The reason for this ignorance is because Satan, as the god of this world, has blinded the minds of men from the truth about his existence, his rule on Earth and his fate in God’s master plan.

Lucifer’s Rebellion

Let us go back, even before the beginning of man, to the time when Lucifer was being trained at the very throne of God. Notice Ezekiel 28:14: “Thou [Lucifer] art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”

“Lucifer was the supreme masterpiece of God’s creative power, as an individually created being,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. God made His masterpiece and then “set” him as an anointed cherub over His heavenly throne. This is where Lucifer was trained in the administration of God’s law.

Lucifer’s first field assignment was to take what he had learned at God’s throne and apply it to this Earth, where he would be given charge over one third of the angels. Besides administering the government of God, Lucifer was responsible for maintaining and beautifying God’s material creation on Earth.

God’s purpose for His angelic creation was derailed the moment Lucifer turned against God’s law to the way of lawlessness and rebellion. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12). Yes, how could something like this ever happen?

The prophet answers: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (verse 13). This important verse reveals that Lucifer’s sin began in his heart. It started with a corrupt attitude that came to violently rebel against God’s authority.

In the course of this rebellion, Lucifer even attempted to raise his earthly throne—yes, he has a throne—above his own Maker’s! “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High,” he said (verse 14). But God, in a literal sense, brought Lucifer back down to Earth. He changed his name to Satan, which means adversary. And the angels who rebelled with Lucifer became demons.

In all of this, however, God did not remove Satan from the throne of this Earth. This is why, when Satan offered Jesus Christ “all the kingdoms of the world” in Matthew 4, Jesus did not deny that Satan was now ruling over the nations of men. This is why Scripture refers to the devil as prince of the world (John 12:31; 14:30). And this is why, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is referred to as this world’s god.

Satan Is a Broadcaster

If Satan is the god of this world and the whole world is deceived, as it says in Revelation 12:9, let us now consider how Satan maintains his deceptive influence over the minds of men.

In Ephesians 2:2, the Apostle Paul wrote that the course of this world flows in the direction of Satan, who is the “prince of the powerof the air.”

Satan, in other words, is a broadcaster. He transmits his signal imperceptibly through the air, much like a radio or television signal is transmitted invisibly across the airwaves. “He does not broadcast in words or pictures,” Mr. Armstrong explained, “but in attitudes of self-centeredness, of vanity, lust and greed, of jealousy and envy, of competition, strife and violence, of hate, resentment, bitterness, of rebellion and resentment against authority. We call it human nature but it is actually Satan nature” (Good News, Aug. 28, 1978).

Human beings acquire this satanic nature soon after birth because the human spirit is automatically tuned into Satan’s wavelength (see Job 32:8; 1 Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:7). This satanic influence explains why man, even though equipped with a mind that is vastly superior to the animal brain, is utterly incapable of solving even the simplest of problems.

From the beginning, God intended for man’s mind to combine with His mind—the Holy Spirit—thus completing man’s spiritual creation. He offered man the Holy Spirit through the tree of life. But Adam and Eve rejected that way of life and instead took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And so, as it says at the end of Genesis 3, God “drove out the man” and “sent him forth” from the Garden of Eden.

Ever since, man has been cut off from God and His Spirit. He has been held captive to the evil influences and deceptive sway of the prince of the power of the air.

This is why the world is upside-down.

God’s Government to Be Restored

Against this backdrop, isn’t it now clear why Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God? (See Mark 1:14-15.) Jesus was a messenger with good news about a world-ruling government to be set up on Earth—one that would replace the administration currently occupied by Satan and his demons.

Yet Christ did not set up that Kingdom immediately at the time of His first coming. He plainly told Pilate in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate then asked Him in verse 37, “Art thou a king then?” Jesus responded, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world ….” Jesus Christ was born to be the King (Luke 1:30-33). But His coronation won’t happen until He returns to this Earth.

In the first century, because the Jews misunderstood Christ’s gospel message, they failed to grasp the vital purpose for which Christ came in their day. “The Pharisees knew Jesus was the Messiah!” Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. “They were familiar with Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 53. The Pharisees knew Jesus was the prophesied Messiah. But they understood only one Messianic appearance. So they supposed he was planning to overthrow the Roman Empire then!” They didn’t want a conquering King to overthrow Rome because they rather liked the petty positions of governance the Romans allowed them to maintain in Palestine. And so, because they misunderstood the purpose of Christ’s first coming, they fought against Him every step of the way.

Even Christ’s own disciples thought He intended to establish God’s Kingdom at His first coming, which is why Christ set them straight in Luke 19: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return” (verse 12). The nobleman here refers to Christ. He went away to a far country, heaven, to receive for Himself a Kingdom—“and to return,” which hasn’t yet happened.

Why not? Because God hasn’t yet finished preparing the saints for their positions in the Kingdom of God.

This is where the Church comes in. In order for the chaotic problems of this world to finally end, there must be a completely new government established by Christ as the supreme Ruler—but with many other servants ruling under Him, fulfilling other governmental responsibilities. Christ is coming as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Scripture plainly reveals that there will be many other kings and lords serving under Him.

So, after Christ qualified to replace Satan on the throne of this Earth, and after He offered Himself as a Lamb sacrifice for the world, He then ascended to heaven and received “all power” from the Father (Matthew 28:18). At His return, those servants who have been called out of this evil world will be commanded to come before Christ to learn where they will be serving in the Kingdom of God on Earth (read the rest of the parable in Luke 19).

The Bible refers to this as a time of refreshing—of regeneration. Notice Acts 3:20-21: “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (verses 20-21). The word restitution means a time of restoring something that had been taken away. Gesenius’ Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon defines it as a “restoration of true theocracy.” God’s theocratic form of government was once here on Earth until Lucifer abolished it when he became Satan! But God’s government will soon be restored to this planet. Jesus Christ is preparing to lead that Earth-wide restoration. When He does, He will see to it that Satan is banished and his malevolent broadcasting into human minds is stopped (Revelation 20:1-3, 10).

Isaiah prophesied of that soon-coming King who would restore God’s government. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The government is placed on His shoulder because He is King! After Christ turns this world right side up, that government and peace, it says in verse 7, will continue to grow—even out into the universe!