Sodom in Prophecy

Sodom in Prophecy

Trumpet

Same-sex “marriage” shows a society without restraint.
From the October 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

When Californians voted to ban same-sex “marriage” in 2008, some Republicans held up the referendum as proof that America was conservative to the core. But as we wrote at the time, California and two other states voting against homosexual “marriage” did not mean America was in the midst of a moral revival. That it was even on the ballot perfectly illustrated how steep our slide into deviant behavior has been over the past generation.

Proposition 8 passed by a narrow 52-to-48 percent margin. “But with obnoxious protests and numerous legal challenges now set to inundate courtrooms,” we asked at the time, “how long will marriage remain defined in California as between a man and woman?”

Answer: Less than two years. In August, federal judge Vaughn Walker overturned California’s ban on same-sex unions.

Defenders of same-sex “marriage” often argue that whether homosexuals marry or not has absolutely no impact on traditional families—that is, the rest of society. But they miss the point—as do most opponents of same-sex “marriage”: The homosexual cause has already impacted our society. A debate over homosexual “marriage” would only be possible in a society that has already cast off moral restraint.

Our slide into deviance has been steep, and it’s only getting worse. Ten years ago, 62 percent of Californians were against same-sex “marriage.” Two years ago, with the passage of Proposition 8, it was 52 percent. Where will we be 10 years from now?

And remember—whether homosexuality is or is not morally right is not up for debate. That matter has already been mostly settled, with a host of laws prohibiting anything that might be construed as discrimination against homosexuals.

Fact is, while “conservative” media pour scorn on Judge Walker for overturning California’s ban on same-sex unions—for being anti-democratic, anti-intellectual, anti-law, anti-tradition—they are often quick to defend the rights of homosexuals in general. The horse has long bolted.

When society turns into Sodom and Gomorrah, ultimately, it does impact everyone. A biblical example is instructive in this area.

The word sodomy is derived from a Latin phrase meaning the “sin of Sodom,” vividly discussed in the biblical book of Genesis. Ancient Sodom, like its neighboring city Gomorrah, was well known for homosexuality. Jude 7 says that besides going after “strange flesh,” the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were “giving themselves over to fornication.” Ezekiel tells us that Sodom was a prosperous area, with an abundance of idleness. But it was also full of pride and abominations (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

In the Genesis 19 account, the men of Sodom wanted to sodomize two visitors, actually angels, who had come to see if the city should be spared God’s wrath. While these angels remained inside Lot’s home, an angry mob outside cried out for the new flesh. The angels gave Lot and his family clear, precise instructions: “Have you any one else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or any one you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it” (verses 12-13, Revised Standard Version).

Lot relayed this sobering message to the two young men who were to marry his daughters. These were decent men—heterosexuals who had not taken advantage of Lot’s daughters. They had probably even decried the evils and perversions of society with their future father-in-law. Yet without realizing it, much of that evil had rubbed off on them! They had unknowingly grown accustomed to living there—and actually enjoyed much of it.

How strong society’s pull must have been for these two men, at this most critical hour, to mock God’s warning.

Their ridicule even caused doubt to sprout in Lot’s mind. The next morning, even after the constant prodding from the two angels, Lot lingered, delaying his departure so long that the angels seized him and his wife and two daughters by the hands and forcibly led them out of the sinful city! The angels then shouted, Run for your lives! Don’t even stop to look back, lest you be consumed as well!

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (verses 24-25, rsv).

This is the road we are on. This is why, even as conservative commentators assure Americans that a moral revival is right around the corner, we tell you the truth.

The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah compares our peoples to those of Sodom and Gomorrah, describing us as being “sick” from head to toe. He prophesied of our eventual ruin and desolation as a result of our universal sin and rebellion against God’s laws. The Apostle Peter gave us grave warnings about Sodom and Gomorrah, saying that God turned those cities into ashes, “making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6). Jude speaks of them as suffering the “vengeance of eternal fire” and wrote that God set them forth as an example for our day.

Jesus Christ described our latter-day society as being exactly like Sodom and Gomorrah: abundantly prosperous, yet exceedingly wicked (Luke 17:28). They were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building—right up to the day God destroyed their cities (verse 29). “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (verse 30).

Even thus shall it be. History, in other words, is repeating itself. This is why Jesus warned, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).

The Rise and Fall of BP

British Petroleum’s fortunes metaphorically mirror those of Great Britain, which skyrocketed from insignificance to spectacular greatness and has plummeted back again.
From the September 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

The story of British Petroleum is that of empire. It is one of Britain’s few remaining—perhaps even the last—vestige of a time when Great Britain truly was great. But it also supplies a warning to a nation facing a collapse every bit as rapid as the downfall of its most strategic and historic energy company.

On April 19, BP was the fourth-largest company in the world—worth almost $200 billion. The next day, explosions rocked a Louisiana drilling platform, and one of the most promising oil discoveries in the Gulf turned into one of the greatest environmental disasters in history.

As the depth of the disaster sunk in, and as one fix after another failed, investor flight turned into investor stampede. As of August 2, BP saw nearly 40 percent of its value—$75 billion—wiped out. Toss in the $20 billion escrow money BP was forced to set aside for damages and all the lawsuits that will drag on forever, and visions of the end of BP become very real.

All it took was one well gone bad to wreck a 109-year-old company that produces oil from thousands of wells.

A National Disaster

Even if BP survives this disaster, its days are probably numbered.

Most big companies like BP find it difficult to discover enough oil each year to replace what they pump—so they are forced to continually purchase other smaller companies to replenish their reserves. To finance these acquisitions, the big companies often use their stock like cash.

BP’s stock, however, is now ruined. It is feared that the company is doomed to deflating oil reserves, or a share price inflated away through the stock printing presses. At the very least, the company is now vulnerable to a buyout or hostile takeover.

But BP’s troubles go far beyond its 80,000 employees.

Analysts estimate one out of every seven pension dollars in Britain came from BP—that is 14 percent of retiree paychecks. BP was considered one of the safest companies in the world to own, so virtually every pension fund in the country owned shares in the oil giant. The UK government receives more than a billion dollars each year from BP in taxes. In total, BP contributes tens of billions of dollars each year to the UK’s economy through direct cash injection—never mind the thousands of jobs.

A BP bankruptcy would be an economic disaster. It would be a national one too.

Corporate-State Partnership

Few remember the integral role BP played in saving the nation. BP’s roots go back to 1901. By 1908 it was on the verge of bankruptcy. After seven years of drilling and countless disappointments, it looked like the end of the road for the Anglo-Persian oil company—and not a barrel had been found. With creditors about to seize his home, William D’Arcy sent a final telegram to his representatives in Persia. He said simply: This is the last hole; drill to 1,600 feet and give up.

Just days later, a small miracle occurred: They struck oil. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company that would one day become BP was back in business. Within a few years, Anglo-Persian Oil had built the largest refinery in the world.

But it soon faced an unforeseen problem: It had too much oil and not enough buyers. 1914 changed all that. With war looming, Winston Churchill lobbied hard to convince politicians to abandon the old coal-powered warships in favor of new, faster, more powerful oil-driven dreadnoughts. But politicians were reluctant to switch from using coal, which Britain had plenty of, to oil, of which it had none.

Anglo-Persian Oil’s excess crude couldn’t have come at a better time. Parliament acceded to Churchill’s demands and the Navy began constructing diesel-powered ships. Six weeks later, Germany started World War i.

From that point until the late 1980s when Anglo-Persian oil (then British Petroleum) was privatized, the UK government and Anglo-Persian Oil worked hand in hand to become one of the most powerful corporate-state combinations in history.

Oil-powered battleships revolutionized warfare. And because Britain controlled the oil, and the Royal Navy controlled the sea lanes, British power expanded like never before.

By the end of World War ii, the British Empire stretched from India to Australia to Canada. In Africa, the empire ran contiguously from South Africa to Egypt. Countless British islands and territories dotted the globe. The sun truly never set on the empire. And it was the Anglo-Persian Oil Company that fueled the trade and commerce that made the empire possible.

It is this icon of empire—this most strategic of companies—that is now facing the same plight as the country that it helped make great.

Beyond for Britain

Just as the British Empire so quickly fell apart following the Second World War, so now may be the company that was so integral in preserving it during the wars.

Today, as BP has tried to distance itself from the oil industry’s dirty image, it has adopted the marketing slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” But what Britons really need to know is what is beyond for Britain. Will Britain ever be a world power again? Why is social tension on the rise? Why is family breakdown so rampant? Will Britain remain part of the European Union?

For the answers to these imperative questions and a whole lot more, read the book that more than 5 million readers have previously requested. Order a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s most popular work: The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Egypt’s Next Pharaoh

A change of leadership in Cairo will alter the entire Middle East, particularly Israel.
From the September 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Egypt could soon experience the most significant political development in three decades.

More than likely, the catalyst for this change will be the death of President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s “Pharaoh,” as he’s not-so-affectionately known, is reported to be suffering the advance stages of stomach cancer and is expected to have less than 12 months to live.

Naturally, rumors of Mubarak’s imminent demise are raising questions about his replacement, Egypt’s future, and the future of the entire Middle East. These are important questions, not just for Egyptians, but for citizens of Israel and, ultimately, for all of us.

The Rise of Islam

Although he hasn’t announced it officially, it is widely known that Mubarak has groomed his son Gamal to replace him as president. A smooth transition, however, is unlikely. Although Gamal has strong ties with Egypt’s business community, his relationship with the military—the instrument through which his father has maintained his 30-year vice-like grip on Egypt—is tenuous.

Mubarak’s death and the political chaos that will inevitably follow it will provide his many opponents a long-awaited opportunity. Without the military to silence dissenters, Gamal will face intense and unchecked opposition from his increasingly fearless enemies.

The group best positioned to gain from Mubarak’s death and the subsequent struggle for power is the Muslim Brotherhood. Banned from government in 1954, the MB is a thriving organization of Islamic conservatives who seek strict implementation of Islamic law in Egyptian politics and society. The Brotherhood helped give rise to Hamas and al Qaeda and has strong ties with Iran.

Although persecuted, the MB’s political footprint has grown, especially since parliamentary elections in 2005 in which it ran candidates as independents and won 20 percent of the seats in Egypt’s parliament.

The organization’s political popularity is peaking at the perfect time partly thanks to an added boost from Egyptian-born Mohamed ElBaradei, the internationally recognized Nobel laureate and former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. In February, after 12 years of living and working in sophisticated Europe, ElBaradei returned to Egypt. While traveling through the rundown cities and villages of his homeland, ElBaradei says he was “shaken by the backwardness of my country, deeply moved by the people’s palpable desire for change, overpowered by the sympathy and enthusiasm I was met with.”

When the Mubarak regime took note of his swelling popularity and launched a smear campaign against him, ElBaradei says he realized he had no choice but to become “politically active.” Since then, he and his National Movement for Reform, which has fanned out and spread the word in villages and cities across the country, has grown increasingly popular.

In June, ElBaradei led roughly 4,000 people in a protest against the Mubarak regime’s strong-arm tactics. He has developed a robust presence on the Internet, out of the reach of Mubarak’s censors; he has tens of thousands of permanent users on his website and more than a quarter of a million followers for each of his Facebook pages.

Tellingly, ElBaradei has also forged a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. In a July interview with Der Spiegel, he confirmed having spoken with MB representatives about “the struggle against Mubarak.” His embrace of the anti-Israel, pro-Iran Brotherhood reveals much about his moral and political leanings.

More than that, it says a lot about the political weight and influence of the radical Islamic organization within Egyptian politics and society. ElBaradei would hardly hitch his wagon to the MB if it was political suicide to do so.

For the Brotherhood, gaining the support of an internationally recognized mainstream figure surely positions the Islamic party to make significant political gains in the event of Mubarak’s death.

Israel’s Nightmare

Keep a close eye on Egypt. The death of Hosni Mubarak and the emergence of a more radical Islamic administration in Cairo will have monumental implications for the Middle East. Most notably, it will be a tremendous victory for Iran. For Tehran, forming an axis with Cairo would do more than provide an ally: It would provide Iran and its terrorist proxies game-changing strategic and tactical advantages over the Jewish state.

Ever since the Camp David Accords in 1979, Israel’s safety—and the entire security equation of the Middle East—has hinged on Egypt’s willingness to maintain peaceful relations with Israel. As Stratfor ceo George Friedman observed, “The only thing that could threaten the survival of Israel, apart from a nuclear barrage, would be a shift in position of neighboring states. [And] the single most important neighbor Israel has is Egypt (June 19, 2007; emphasis mine).

Should Egypt sweep aside the Camp David Accords and align itself with Iran—which is certain if Islamic lawmakers in the MB gain power—Israel will face the nightmare scenario of having its southern border vulnerable to attack from Iranian-sponsored radical Islamic terrorists!

Ultimately, we must take note of the impending radical change in Egyptian politics because it will speed up the fulfillment of the biblically prophesied events to occur in the Middle East, and in Jerusalem specifically, immediately before Jesus Christ’s return. As the Trumpet’s editor in chief has written, Egypt is actually prophesied to align with Iran in this end time! Today’s events appear to be pointing in that direction in a dramatic way. To learn more about these prophecies, request our reprint article “Egypt in Prophecy” and our free booklet The King of the South.

The Collapsing ‘China Fantasy’

The Collapsing ‘China Fantasy’

Feng Li/Getty Images

As the smoke clears and the mirrors begin to crack, Westerners are forced to acknowledge the menacing reality of China’s rise.
From the October 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

More than two centuries ago, Napoleon Bonaparte nicknamed China the “Sleeping Dragon” and advised the Europeans of his day not to awaken it. Today, the dragon is wide awake, and the dynamic changes it has undergone are astounding.

Few international relations developments have been as epic and consequential as the exploding increase of China’s political power, military muscle, cultural influence and, towering above all, economic capacity. And all of the monumental growth began with the liberalization of China’s economy, when Beijing abandoned the Maoist economic planning model and transformed more than 100 million oppressed peasants from the “Great Leap Forward” into a colossal middle class.

Since China’s first steps toward this economic liberalization 35 years ago, Western political and commercial leaders have celebrated the trend. The assumption was that Beijing’s rapid integration into the global economy would lead China to replace its oppressive and authoritarian political ideologies with responsible international behavior, and that the nation’s burgeoning middle class would be granted greater political rights.

In short, the West believed that China’s rise would become a boon to the whole world. Based on this belief, Western nations pursued policies of engagement with Beijing and worked to facilitate China’s growth. James Mann’s 2008 book of the same name identified the pervasive Western optimism toward the Middle Kingdom as the “China Fantasy.”

But decades after Beijing’s first moves toward economic liberalization, the popular assumptions are coming under question. Westerners are beginning to grasp a truth that the Trumpet and its predecessor, the Plain Truth, have proclaimed for decades: China’s rise means trouble on the global stage, especially for Europe.

“When China wakes up,” Bonaparte said, “the world will shake.” Westerners are now beginning to sober up to the implications of China’s multiplying power.

China Then and Now

The China of the mid-20th century was unmistakably hostile to the West. Under Maoist rule, the proclaimed constitutional goal of the Chinese Communist Party (ccp) was to eradicate capitalism from the planet. But the country was in an ideological stupor. It was too mired in the fetid swamps of Maoism to pose a real threat or advance toward its goal.

A set of political and diplomatic events in the early 1970s prompted a reversal in the hostile international relations between China and its capitalist rivals, and moved Chinese leaders to launch an economic reform in 1978. Political leader Deng Xiaoping replaced the previous autarkic model with the opening-up strategy, and China’s export-oriented industries started to boom.

Since then, the growth rate has averaged a sizzling 9.8 percent per year. The number of citizens living in poverty has plummeted from 250 million to 14 million.

In April of 2009, China Reform Forum Chairman Li Jingtian gave the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace a startling collection of statistics illustrating his country’s meteoric growth between 1978 and 2008. During that period, China’s overall foreign trade blossomed from $20.6 billion to $2.56 trillion, its foreign exchange reserves skyrocketed from $167 million to $1.95 trillion, and foreign investment leaped to more than $100 billion. In 1978, only 52 Chinese students were studying abroad. By 2008, that number had risen to 1.36 million students matriculating in 109 countries.

This August, news of China dominated headlines when it was revealed that China’s economic output, for the first time, had overtaken that of Japan to become second only to the U.S. The World Bank and other analysts say that, even though its economy is presently only one third as large, China will overtake the U.S. in no more than a decade.

The deep economic impacts of the reform make it easy to see why China’s ascendancy as a world power was, until recently, a globally celebrated story of success. But China’s newfound economic clout has enabled it to act with a growing geopolitical assertiveness—a trend that is beginning to disillusion many observers, especially in the West.

A growing list of grievances has onlookers on both sides of the Atlantic reevaluating their stance on China’s rise: the ccp’s refusal to liberalize the nation’s political system; Beijing’s behavior at last year’s Copenhagen climate change summit; China’s tarnished human rights record; its heavy-handed political repression; Beijing’s support for tyrannical Third World regimes in a rapacious drive for resources; its obstinacy over Iran’s nuclear program; its military build-up; its soft power build-up; its increasingly belligerent claim to sovereignty over the entire South China Sea—and the list goes on.

The fantasy was that the budding economic freedoms would become a boon for the world economy. The reality is that, as China gains power, it only becomes more antagonistic toward the West, more oppressive, and more authoritarian.

Starry-eyed geopolitical forecasters have to come to terms with a sobering reality: China is an authoritarian economic behemoth with little in common with the West except an appetite for resources. It has always been oppressive and belligerent, but its insularity and weakness made it harmless. Pundits are beginning to understand that Beijing’s newfound power will enable it to project its same old communist and nationalistic ideologies with far greater force. China has not liberalized its society as the West had hoped, and it has not become a responsible member of the international community.

The fantasy is collapsing.

Feeding the Dragon

The speed at which China’s economy is growing is staggering and historically unprecedented. As it wakes up from its long slumber, China is bent on consumption, consumption and more consumption. On July 19, International Energy Agency (iea) chief economist Fatih Birol said, “In the year 2000, the U.S. consumed twice as much energy as China; now, China consumes more than the U.S.”

China is presently growing at five times the speed of the U.S. economy. Data released by the iea in July shows that, at some point in 2009, China overtook the U.S. to become the world’s largest energy consumer. To sustain explosive growth on such a mind-boggling scale, a country requires resources—vast expanses of resources.

In 2007, China was a net exporter of coal. This year it will import between 105 and 115 million tons of coal, putting it on track to overtake Japan as the world’s largest coal importer. In recent years, China has also become the world’s leading consumer of rice, meal, wheat, fertilizer, steel and cement. Twelve years ago, China was a net exporter of oil. Today, it is Saudi Arabia’s largest oil customer and the number-two global importer after the U.S.

Although the U.S. economy is “mature,” its energy consumption continues to increase. Despite China’s gargantuan size, it is a developing economy—an “economic toddler” that is growing rapidly. If China’s appetite for energy doubled in the past decade, how will it change in the next 10 years?

The projected 2015 Chinese middle class—600 million strong—will be twice the size of America’s current population. To meet the country’s skyrocketing demands, China’s leaders have launched an astounding global outreach program. They have laid myriad inroads throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, paying particular attention to nations with substantial reserves of oil and natural gas such as Nigeria, Venezuela and Kazakhstan. Beijing’s preference for resource-rich nations includes third-tier countries the West typically ignores. These developing countries have voting rights in international organizations, so Beijing cultivates relations with them, forgiving billions in loans and lavishing them with infrastructure projects, asking only for their voting support in return.

Unlike Berlin or Washington, Beijing does not entwine its development assistance to conditions of “good governance.” While Western powers sermonize and punish authoritarian actions by withholding aid or even effecting regime change, China constructs palaces for tyrants and builds summer villas for despots. It guarantees them territorial integrity regardless of any human rights violations they may be committing.

Decades ago, Chinese Marxist revolutionary Mao Tse Tung promised his people that “All that the West has, China will have.” China’s historically unprecedented growth—and the ethical low road it travels to sustain it—is evidence that Mao’s words still resonate clearly in the Chinese mindset.

China’s frenetic drive for resources is intensifying the global scramble for the planet’s wealth. As Europe and other powers watch China devour a rapidly increasing proportion of resources, they are provoked to tighten the grip on their own supply channels.

On June 15, the Inter Press Service reported on the 25th Africa-France summit held in Nice, writing that French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared it was time for Europe to fight to increase its influence in Africa before China devours the African pie. As China’s global footprint grows, other nations, especially in Europe, will assume a more combative stance in securing resources for themselves. When more than one power aggressively pursues the world’s wealth with such ferocity, intense competition results and eventually gives way to war.

War Between East and West

More than 2,500 years ago, the Prophet Daniel was inspired to write that in this modern age, “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble [German-led Europe].” The northern threat mentioned here is Russia, and the eastern power is China. (To understand the details of these astounding prophecies, request Russia and China in Prophecy and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

While Russian power has been formidable for centuries, China, until it industrialized, presented no genuine threat to the West. Sure, it was belligerent, but it was a belligerent grasshopper. Now, in the early stages of fulfilling Daniel’s prophecies, China is a belligerent dragon—a reality that has Europe on edge.

When the United States inevitably succumbs to its weaknesses and fades off the grid, Europe will be the world’s only superpower—except for China. Absent America, Europe would stand alone as the world’s sole superpower, if not for this one menacing threat that has become a juggernaut in a spectacularly short span of time. China is the one powerful civilization on the planet most opposed to European values and modes of thinking. And, very soon, China alone will threaten EU hegemony. If the U.S. had decomposed two decades ago, there would have been no nation to counter Europe. Now, there’s an angry, menacing power to ally with Russia and fulfill that role.

As the “China Fantasy” collapses and disillusionment hits the West, more and more European voices are expressing concern about Beijing’s growing assertiveness. Sino-German relations veered into difficult terrain in 2007 when German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked China’s human rights record. In June 2010, Sarkozy admonished Europeans to fight to keep pace with China’s rapacious resource procurement in Africa. In a July 2010 meeting with Chinese President Wen Jiabao, two leading German industrialists attacked China’s business environment, which they said was disadvantageous to non-Chinese firms. Also in July, the German DerSpiegel published a scathing report on the threat to the West posed by China’s mushrooming soft power in Southeast Asia. An August 2010 Pentagon report warned that China is using its growing wealth to develop its military power.

Clearly, Western concern is amplifying and the rift between East and West is growing broader.

The Power of Prophecy

The geopolitical realities of the world have sharply shifted as a result of China’s rise as much as because of America’s decline. Because it is easier to discern than Europe’s rise, China’s ascendancy to juggernaut status is among the starkest prophetic trends of the last two decades. And it is a powerful, ongoing reminder of the accuracy and inevitability of Bible prophecies.

While the “China Fantasy” duped many Western political and commercial elites, those following Bible prophecy would have never been taken in by the illusion. Longtime Trumpet readers would not have been taken in by the delusion that China’s rise was good news for the world, even when the situation looked most promising. They would have known the true purpose of China’s rise all along: to check Europe.

Right now, it’s easy for the world to finally see what students of prophecy have long understood. When Herbert W. Armstrong identified China as one of the key pillars of the biblical “kings of the east,” it took faith to believe it. China was weak, backward, and too mired in domestic turmoil to pose a formidable threat to world powers. Reality seemed to contradict Mr. Armstrong’s prediction—for a time. But events have unfolded, time has marched on, and the early phases of these predictions have come to pass to reveal that Mr. Armstrong was right!

Nations of the West are correct to be sober about China’s mushrooming power. Bible prophecy reveals that the burgeoning hostility between China and Europe will culminate in the greatest military conflagration in mankind’s strife-ridden history. But just beyond the perilous times on the horizon is some amazingly good news. Jesus Christ will return to put an end to the conflict between East and West, and between all other peoples of the Earth! He will usher in an era of divine rulership that will effect peace and prosperity for all of mankind.

To understand more about China’s rise, and its prophetic connection to this most hope-filled future, request a free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.

The Key to Unlock Biblical Prophecy

How can you know which modern nations are referred to in ancient prophetic texts? Here is the first in a series of articles on the origins of modern peoples!
From the September 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

How can the Trumpet accurately forecast future world events? Any regular reader of this magazine should know the answer to this basic question.

The Bible is the foundation and source of all the forecasts in this magazine. It contains “the more sure word of prophecy” that guides our analysis of current world events (2 Peter 1:19).

Yet even if you believe the Bible is God’s unerring Word, a master key is still necessary to unlock these prophecies. Without that key, it is impossible to understand what the Bible prophesies will happen to the world’s nations in the near future.

Those who need to understand these prophecies the most—world leaders, news agencies, government policy makers and educational institutions—are all ignorant of them! They reject the divine revelation of the Bible, the only source revealing the significance and true meaning of today’s world news. They have also lost the vital master key needed to unlock biblical prophecy.

What is that key? The identity of Israel and the major world nations!

The Missing Key Revealed

The most important part of that key—the identity of the most powerful world powers in modern times, the United States and Britain—is explained in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This book’s author, Herbert W. Armstrong, founded three colleges as well as the Trumpet’s parent newsmagazine, the Plain Truth.

“Not knowing how and where these nations are specifically mentioned in basic and major prophecies, the educated of the world have been utterly blinded to the plain and simple meaning of prophecy,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in that book. “Due to this lost key more than anything else, the Bible has come to be discredited and rejected in this world’s educational system. The unproved and unprovable theory of evolution has been substituted as the foundational concept which became the supposed rational approach to knowledge.”

The main reason why the world and its educational institutions lack understanding of world events is that they don’t have this key!

Well, the Trumpet will give you this key.

To help you to understand future world events involving the world’s major powers, the Trumpet is beginning a series of articles explaining the origins of the world’s major powers. You can’t know the future of these great nations unless you know their past!

Knowledge of this key will demonstrate how accurate the biblical record and its prophecies are. It will also explain how man came to be and where civilization started, powerfully disproving evolution, that flawed premise of our education system.

A good starting point in understanding the origin of man’s present civilization—and disproving evolution—is the study of language.

Case Study: Language

“Language is mankind’s greatest invention—except, of course, that it was never invented,” writes Guy Deutscher in The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind’s Greatest Invention. There can be no nation, no civilization nor culture without language. Therefore the history of language and our civilizations are inextricably linked.

Deutscher, who holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Cambridge and was a professor at the University of Leiden in Holland, wrote his book from an evolutionary standpoint, trying to demonstrate how language can evolve from basic grunts into the complex languages used today.

However, as he admits, there is one problem: No evolutionist can determine the beginning of language.

Let’s follow the evolutionists’ story and see how they try to reconcile their research and observations with their false premise to overcome this admitted paradox.

Before we start their story, we must acquire a penchant for the fantasy genre—“for how can anyone presume to know what went on in prehistoric times without indulging in make-believe?” asks Deutscher. Any evolutionist must possess a richer imagination than J.K. Rowling and be a greater master of fiction than J.R.R. Tolkien, or else what we are about to read would not sell.

Monkey See Monkey Speak?

The beginning of this erroneous story is set in a time long, long ago when mankind was evolving from apes. For this world to be constructed, apes must be able to learn language. Yet research conducted at Georgia State University concluded that this is impossible.

“[D]espite popular myth, not even chimpanzees can learn a human language,” Deutscher writes. Using the example of an advanced chimp named Kanzi, he concludes, “[E]ven Kanzi cannot string symbols together in anything resembling the complexity of a human language. The human brain is unique in having the necessary hardware for mastering a human language—that much is uncontroversial.”

The only indisputable thing in an evolutionist’s study of language is the insurmountable gap between human speech and animal communication!

The evolutionist must now ignore the research or pretend that even Kanzi, the genius hero of the chimp world, would be a fool compared to his predecessors, which, if evolutionists were to be believed, must also somehow be less evolved than Kanzi.

When we turn the page, we don’t see a chapter two filled with the linguistic exploits of Kanzi’s ancestors. Instead we skip toward the end of the story!

Deutscher starts his explanation of the evolution of language late in its development, assuming several important aspects were already formed: “[W]e must take as given … its symbolic nature: the use of arbitrary signs, which can mean something only by agreed convention …. We also have to assume that these arbiter signs were conveyed vocally … but which derive their sense from being joined up into words. … And finally, we have to take it as given that these words were used essentially for the same purposes that motivate us today ….” He is starting off with three very advanced assumptions to make his theory work because, as he admits, earlier scenarios “don’t really have a leg to stand on.”

Our evolutionist author finds it pointless to fill in the missing chapters, because it is too fictional, even for readers who were sold on chapter one. Yet his story continues on the assumption that some future author will backfill the blank chapters with some missing research.

Clueless

Deutscher often uses words like “assume” and “a given,” which are fancy ways of saying that he has to speculate and guess.

He even must speculate as to the time in man’s history when this already advanced language would have evolved, because, “Unfortunately, no one has any idea (or more accurately, too many people have too many ideas) about when exactly this point should be located in time: 40,000 years ago, 100,000 years, or even much earlier than that?”

This is how history books read when it comes to origins of man. You will come across a profusion of words like seem, likely, may and probably. No evolutionist can decide on when man first made an appearance. Just as the scientific method starts with a hypothesis, so does the historical method, with each historian, anthropologist and archeologist choosing and interpreting the facts in a way that appears to substantiate his own theory, trying to turn fiction into nonfiction and oftentimes disagreeing with conclusions put forward by others in the process.

Linguists Ignore Two Basic Facts

Let’s step away from the realm of fiction and make-believe and into the rational, observable world. When studying today’s languages, evolutionists ignore two concrete facts.

First, they ignore that older languages tend to be of a higher order and complexity than modern languages. Deutscher writes, “[I]t seemed that the deeper linguists dug into history, the more impressive was the make-up of words they encountered, but when they followed the movement of languages through time, the only processes that could be discerned were disintegration and collapse.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been any developments since that time, but the general trend is degeneration. Instead of languages getting more complex, they have grown simpler! Compare Old English with modern English, Latin with modern Romance languages, and ancient Hebrew with modern Hebrew. In every case, the trend directly contradicts the concept of evolution, that of ever increasing sophistication and complexity.

Second, evolutionists ignore how far back in time we find language. “The available written records of any language extend at most 5,000 years into the past,” Deutscher writes, “and the languages around by that time already have pretty much the full repertoire of complex features found in today’s languages.”

Instead of seeing written records that show some kind of evolution of a primitive language, we see a sudden arrival, around 5,000 years ago, of already complex languages. There are no “missing links.”

Is it a coincidence that the origins of language can only be traced back about 5,000 years, about when the dendrochronological record ends? (sidebar, page 16). Is there an account that explains this similarity in dates and explains why languages have gone through a trend of degeneration?

Yes there is—IF we accept divine revelation!

Linguists can’t figure out how language was invented because it wasn’t invented by man! That is the conclusion to which all the facts logically lead.

If we take the Bible as the foundational historical document that it is, there is an explanation—not an assumption, theory or guess, but an absolutely true description—of facts that fly in the face of evolution.

Interestingly, even Deutscher admits the biblical account confirms the research. Yet though the Bible perfectly explains the sudden arrival of multiple languages each equipped with powerful complexities and irregularities, he simply discards its accounts. “Taken literally, however, neither invention by divine fiat nor dispersal as a punishment for human folly seems at all likely today. But has anyone ever come up with a more convincing explanation?”

The answer to his question is no! And there can be no other explanation that fits all the facts. Though the biblical record is brief, it contains no missing chapters. The real story starts about 6,000 years ago.

The Real History of Nations and Language

At that time, Earth was renewed in one week from complete desolation and emptiness. On the sixth day, the first man, Adam, was created and given language—a fully formed, complete language! This explains the conclusion of modern research that only man’s brain can master language: That brain was formed and designed for a specific purpose by a Creator!

It is no coincidence that one of the names for God is the Word. Neither is it a coincidence that divine authority declares that the Word was there “in the beginning”!

Names have meaning, and God’s own name shows who invented man’s language. It is only fitting that God would have this name. Just think how powerful language is: Without it, nothing can be done! When the Word spoke, the entire universe was created! (John 1:1-5). That is the power of this Supreme Being who gave us language.

About 2,000 years after the creation of Adam, mankind became so evil that God flooded the Earth and saved only one righteous man, Noah, and his family. Surviving the Flood with Noah was his wife and his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, each with their wives.

As Noah began to separate and colonize the growing families throughout the Earth, a rebellious people led by Cush and his son Nimrod decided to stay where they were and unite the families. The details are brief, but found in Genesis 10 and 11. “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. … Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (Genesis 11:5-6, 9).

This event begins the history of the nations. Here God divided the people into nations by creating multiple languages. God gave several unique languages to the people, probably one to each of the main families listed in Genesis 10.

These parent languages would have then been changed and simplified over time into all the languages we have today, much like Latin gave rise to Spanish, French and Italian.

Our ancestors would have had no real choice but to migrate and dwell with the people with whom they could communicate, developing their own unique cultures and civilizations through their independent languages.

This account in Genesis explains everything! It is in complete agreement with all the established facts and observations—not just of the history of language, but of the history of our nations and even the provable elements of dating “science”!

Ancient Records Too!

But the account of Babylon is not just in the Bible. The building of the tower is also recorded in the ancient writings of Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Greece and Media. The most complete secular account is found in the Akkadian Creation Epic, reproduced in James B. Pritchard’s Ancient Near Eastern Texts, which even speaks of a father and son leading the project.

The Chinese, Hindus, Irish, Native Americans and Persians also tell us of the divisions of speech by a supreme God. In fact, thanks to Chinese and Egyptian record keeping, we can trace the date of the tower of Babel to approximately 2200 b.c. That is roughly the time period that these ancient manuscripts mark as the beginning of the origins of their civilization.

That is within the same time frame as linguists can demonstrate when our complex languages started!

Yet modern scholars and educational institutions reject all of this. They not only reject the Bible, but they also relegate ancient manuscripts, which they spent years deciphering and trying to understand, to nothing but fantasy! These manuscripts do contain a large amount of myth, but they also carefully preserve annals of and references to their patriarchs.

The rejection of these sources is a fairly recent phenomenon. It wasn’t until German rationalism became the rage within academia in the 19th century that the knowledge of the Bible and divine intervention was removed from education and the ancient manuscripts taken as pure myth. That is why today’s linguists are trying to prove how language evolved using godless evolutionary methods.

Men are using human reasoning to explain something that was divinely ordained at the spiritual level—a level clear above human flesh, which divine authority created! Hence the confusion (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Scholars theorize by attempting to create a prehistoric time period for evolution—yet in the literal sense there is no such thing as prehistoric man. Man was given language from the beginning, which was also used to pass on mankind’s history, through oral traditions and written records! That is how Moses was able to write Genesis. The first language appeared with the first man, and there is no history of men before the written word existed!

The first recorded conversation was between God and man (Genesis 1:28-30; 2:16-17). The first conversation between two human beings is recorded in Genesis 2:23. The first attempt by man to reason without a foundation of divine revelation is recorded in Genesis 3:1-6, and its detrimental results in the remainder of that chapter.

Then What Is Prehistoric Man?

What about the artifacts and bones of “prehistoric” man? The remains of thousands of bones, rudimentary tools and weapons lie embedded in all the continents. How do these fossils and remains fit in if there is no such thing as prehistoric?

First, realize that today’s scholars don’t even know how these artifacts fit in their theory of evolution. Anthropologists and archeologists segment history into ages—such as the Stone Age for prehistoric times—yet this is useless for determining a chronological history because, as they admit, these ages may not be sequential, but actually contemporary!

There is no concrete time period for the start and end of each age, nor is there agreement on how many ages exist. The ages only represent developmental periods in various cultures that occur at different times for different people. It’s not a sequential order of time at all!

According to The Encyclopedia of World History by Peter Stearns, the term Stone Age “has little more than technological significance” and “has no chronological significance.” In this age of space exploration, the Internet, and nuclear power, we still have people in a primitive “stone age” culture in places like tropical rainforests.

Stearns says the archeological theories on prehistory are intensely controversial even as highly “sophisticated” evolutionary theories are still being developed.

How sad that these theories are labeled sophisticated when in reality they are deliberately made complex in order to attempt to keep the evolution theory from completely falling apart! If scientists would only look to the Bible, all their theories could be explained in one simple passage!

Job 30:1-8 contains the truth about the stone cultures we see today and in ancient history: “But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. They were driven forth from among men … To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.”

Scripture actually speaks of men living in caves and under bushes. They descended from civilized people of low birth and degenerate habits—yet more proof not of evolution but of degeneration! These degenerate, primitive people were driven out of civilization into remote parts such as tropical forests—places where we can yet find them today!

If in our advanced time we still have these primitive people, then it is easy to believe that in ancient times, before and after the Flood, degenerate people were driven out into caves and forests. Their remains are the prehistoric fossils and artifacts scholars find, which, with the unreliable carbon dating method, are postulated to be tens of thousands of years old! In reality they can’t be older than 6,000 years!

Your Only Option!

So what will you believe? The account from the written Word of God that explains all the facts and is corroborated by ancient secular manuscripts and modern research?

Or will you reject divine revelation and the truth that God intervenes in history so that you can blindly believe in evolution, whose supporters must ignore and discard facts, even accepting unreliable data that must first jump through hoops to match their theory?

Where will you put your faith?

If you want to know the origins of the major powers and understand the soon-coming earth-shattering events that these nations will participate in, believe what the Bible says. It must have come from another Source, the One who designed the human brain so man alone is able to master language!

Boys Don’t Automatically Become Men!

From the September 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Ambitious, confident boys have become a vanishing breed.

Our society is certainly producing a lot of assertive, self-assured young women. Throughout the English-speaking world, they are storming college campuses and flooding the workforce. More and more, they are leaving boys in their dust.

This trend emerges early: in the female-dominated world of elementary school. There, 90 percent of the teachers are women; many schools are staffed completely by women. Governments acknowledge that boys lag in reading and writing—in New Zealand, for example, two times more 10-to-12-year-old boys than girls require remedial reading help—but efforts to narrow the gap haven’t worked.

By secondary school, grades, test scores and graduation rates all show girls outperforming boys by noticeable margins. In the U.S., nearly twice as many boys as girls repeat a grade. Only two out of three boys finish high school.

Women also dominate higher education. They outnumber men on America’s college campuses almost three to two. Last spring in America, women earned almost 149 degrees for every 100 degrees men earned. They dominate men at every level, from associate’s (167 for every 100 men) to doctoral degrees (107 for every 100 men).

College enrollment officers are scratching their heads, trying to puzzle out how to attract a greater number of qualified men. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has launched a probe to scrutinize whether colleges are actually discriminating against women by lowering male admissions standards. “In some circles, it still is not cool to be smart for boys,” laments one enrollment official at Rutgers.

For 28 years running, more women have received college degrees than men, and the gap has widened every year. This year’s U.S. Census figures revealed that all told, more American women than men now hold undergraduate degrees. Women have also pulled even with men in advanced degrees, and could pass them this year.

These numbers represent a cultural sea change. The education system is society’s incubator. Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers, spouses, parents. And the educational disparity between the sexes is fueling a revolution in traditional sex roles.

As the Prophet Isaiah foretold, strong men, wise men, honorable men are all gone! And society is ruled by women and children (Isaiah 3:4-5, 12). Increasing numbers of boys have no clue how to be men.

It is common to see grown boys who have cultivated no drive or ambition, no moral conviction, no ability or even desire to lead, and no bodily strength. They have few salable skills and a poor work ethic. They haven’t been taught any sense of honor toward women or responsibility toward children, nor of duty to provide for or protect them.

Meanwhile, more and more successful women are struggling to find men who are “at their level” educationally and financially. Surveying the singles scene, they’re having to ask themselves, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “Am I willing to ‘marry down’?” Some women lament that men feel threatened by their achievements and simply won’t enter a relationship. This has contributed to an increasing number (a 145 percent rise in the last 30 years in the U.S.) of unmarried births among college-educated women, some of whom have simply grown impatient with looking for Mr. Right.

The education gap has also helped to flip the traditional family of a breadwinning father and homemaking mother on its head. Only one in five American families with children has a working dad and stay-at-home mom. The majority of America’s workforce is now female. In fact, nearly 40 percent of moms are their family’s primary breadwinner. “Now the standard working woman is a married woman with children,” says UCLA women’s history professor Ellen DuBois.

In the UK, almost half of women earn as much or more than the men in their lives. More than 600,000 British fathers are “homedads” whose wives or girlfriends bring home the bacon. The trend looks nearly identical in Canada and Australia. In general, today’s men spend over twice as much time on housework as their fathers did.

“How do you manage not to emasculate your husband?” a Telegraph reporter asked a friend who out-earns her husband. “I don’t manage,” was the answer. “If we disagree about how money is spent, I decide because it’s my money, and he hates it.”

This tendency has been aggravated by the global economic crisis, which has particularly rocked male-dominated industries. In America, of the 8 million jobs lost since September 2008, somewhere north of three fourths were held by men. Where unemployment among women is 7.8 percent, the figure for men is 9.9 percent.

Statistics suggest, however, that men are settling into their diminished role as providers. “The idea that men see themselves as breadwinners is collapsing,” says Rob Williams of the UK’s Fatherhood Institute. One short generation ago, 72 percent of men believed a man should provide his family’s primary income and a woman should be the family’s primary caretaker and homemaker. Today only 42 percent of men believe that.

It’s a shame. Because those traditional roles were not arbitrarily concocted by a primitive society. They were assigned by the Being who created human beings and made them male and female. We ignore proper, God-given sex roles at our peril. An understanding and wholehearted embracing of the God-ordained roles for men and women is a vital key to success.

A man’s divinely ordained responsibilities include leading, protecting, providing for and loving his family. By failing to educate our boys to embrace these duties as men, we are dooming them to perpetual adolescence and depriving them of the genuine satisfaction that comes from fulfilling their potential. Worse, we are striking a mortal blow to the stability of our families and our society.