The Last Crusade

Francesco Hayez

The Last Crusade

Most people think the crusades for Jerusalem are a thing of the past—over forever. They are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all! The exceedingly good news is this: The world will never again see a bloody crusade for Jerusalem. And nothing is more important than your understanding why!
From the January 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

The Crusades were a series of Roman Catholic “holy” wars to wrest control of the Holy Land from Muslims. They produced some of the bloodiest battles in history.

Did you ever wonder how the Catholics reconcile that “holy” slaughter with the Bible, which states, “Thou shalt not kill”? Or how they can read the Sermon on the Mount and still lead the religious world in spilling rivers of blood?

They are called the Christian Crusades. That label itself is a deception. They were primarily Catholic Crusades. Other Christian religions have their problems, but let’s not blame them for what the Catholics did—and will do.

This last crusade is not just about the evils of Catholicism; it’s also about evils of other nations and religions. Some background will help us understand.

Pope Urban II

In a.d. 614, Catholics fought and were defeated in a crusade against the Persians and the Jews. Some 60,000 Catholics were killed, and 35,000 enslaved. The fall of Jerusalem left the Catholic world shocked and mourning.

This war left Catholics bitter against the Jews for the role they played in the war. Much anti-Semitism began because of it.

Some historians consider this the First Crusade. But the Crusades we best remember came later, beginning in the 11th century.

Pope Urban ii unleashed a savage Catholic army and started these later Crusades. This “righteous” army marched 3,000 miles to conquer the Holy Land.

Here is an excerpt from the book Crusades, by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira, which became a bbc television series: “By summoning an army under the banner of the Cross, the pope was extending the church’s mantle over all Christendom. This was the idea at the very heart of the revolutionary papacy; in place of separate local churches at the center of discreet communities, there was to be one overarching church, ruled by one overarching pope. The Crusade was to be its expression and its instrument” (emphasis mine throughout).

They state that this thinking was at the heart of the papacy. The popes wanted to rule any church called Christian. Through the Holy Roman Empire, they also tried repeatedly to rule most of the world. They have succeeded six times and are about to succeed again, for the last time, according to Bible prophecy. (Request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

The Protestant churches are prophesied to be brought back into the Catholic Church (Isaiah 47). Mostly this will be done through bloodshed. Remember, this wish to rule all Christianity is at “the very heart of the revolutionary papacy.” That means this philosophy has motivated them for nearly 2,000 years. And they still believe violent and bloody crusades are righteous. Have they ever truly repented of this condemning history? The answer is no.

History proves the Catholic Church to be one of the most militant institutions ever. Catholic leaders do not believe in a democratic philosophy. They have often “converted” people by the sword. And yet, this world seems unwilling to hold them accountable for their war crimes.

Modern historians have shown how closely they worked with the Nazis. It was through the Catholic Church that most of the leading Nazis escaped after World War ii. We have shown in past articles how well documented that history is; no one should doubt it. (Read The Unholy Trinity by Mark Aarons and John Loftus, available at bookstores.)

Doesn’t that crime reveal that the Catholics were deeply involved with the Nazi war machine?

This subject is too important to let our emotions stand in the way, because the worst is yet to come!

The last crusade will be the supreme inquisition of all history. It is time we understood the bloody history of the Crusades and let it be a warning!

The world seems almost unaware of these monstrous crimes.

The Jones and Ereira book continues, “Urban’s army would also rescue Jerusalem, the spiritual (and therefore the physical) center of the universe. He hoped that the redeemed Jerusalem would be directly ruled by the church.

“Every man who enrolled for the struggle must mark himself out by wearing a cross and, most important, vow to continue on his way until he reached Jerusalem.

“Urban’s method of raising this army was completely original; as well as pay, he could offer paradise—anyone who took part had all their sins forgiven. ‘Whoever for devotion alone, not to gain honor or money, goes to Jerusalem to liberate the church of God can substitute this journey for all penance.’”

Any Bible student ought to know that only God can offer paradise and forgive sins. But that is the big problem with most Christians: They don’t believe and obey the Bible!

The whole world, including the religious world, is deceived (Revelation 12:9). Enormous problems like the Crusades will continue until we confront our own deception.

Jones and Ereira conclude, “By saying that carrying out a military/political enterprise would make you a better person, wiping out past sins, Urban had invented a way by which every person could internalize papal policy. Fighting in the pope’s cause was not only an obligation, it made you righteous. With that one idea, mass political action was launched. With that one idea, ideology was born. With that one idea, the Crusade was set in motion. Urban did not understand what he had done.”

This pope certainly did not know what he had done. What he began led to a number of indescribably brutal wars between Catholics and Muslims.

The real tragedy is that the world, like Pope Urban, still doesn’t understand what he did, and what the Catholic Church continues to do. Their real beliefs surface when they gain power. Today, they are building the greatest power they have ever had. If you understand their history, their future is very predictable—far more than most historians believe. Add Bible prophecy to that equation and you will see that this world faces a frightening specter.

Thankfully, all of that trouble is a sign tied directly to an imminent paradise that will unite all religious and secular movements forever! Our free literature will prove that statement to any person who wants to understand.

Fighting on Both Sides

The Crusades created rivers of blood. And it was all done in the name of God. Of course, the Muslims responded with massive slaughters against the Crusaders, also in the name of God. Does it make any sense for God to be fighting on both sides? Or are these warring factions just giving our God of love a bloody reputation?

Jerusalem is considered a holy place by both religions. It is indeed considered the “center of the universe” to Catholics. They believe conquering Jerusalem makes them righteous. That has been their ideology from the beginning. It is still true today. The fruits are there to prove it. The Bible says that “by their fruits you shall know them.” They believe in war as an instrument to achieve their religious goals.

“The following morning the Crusaders re-entered the al-Aqsa Mosque and slaughtered every Muslim sheltering there. No one knows how many died; the Muslim chronicler reports 70,000. One of the Crusaders reports picking his way through a mess of blood and bodies more than knee-deep” (ibid.). This is only one episode of many. People around the world have seen pictures of this very mosque.

How many Muslims still remember the history of this mosque being knee-deep in Arab blood? And all of this savagery supposedly made Catholics righteous! A warrior who burned Arab babies in the Crusade was considered worthy to gain glory for all eternity! Does this really make sense to a sound mind?

“But killing, the pope now declared, need not be a sin after all. It depended on who you killed. In fact, if you killed the enemies of Christ, killing did not require penance—it was the penance. Holy slaughter could be as effective a devotional activity as prayer, or fasting, or pilgrimage …” (ibid.).

The pope said, “Now we are proposing that you should fight wars which contain the glorious reward of martyrdom, in which you can gain the title of present and eternal glory ….”

“The pope had also pointed out the importance of rescuing Jerusalem from the infidel. He seems to have suggested that ‘rescue’ meant ‘seize and keep’” (ibid.).

The pope also said, “Take the road to the Holy Sepulcher, rescue that land from a dreadful race and rule over it yourselves.”

Muslim and Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem were slaughtered like pigs. And all of this was done by Catholics who presumably became more righteous in the process.

Were these killers true Christians? A true Christian is one who follows Christ. If we look in the Gospels, Christ tells us to love our enemies, even die for them—not kill them!

The memory of such horrendous massacres still lives in the minds of many Arabs.

Those memories have provoked Arabs and Jews to massacre Catholics throughout history in a similar manner—all in the name of religion.

King Peter’s Crusade

King Peter launched his crusade from the little Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which was captured by Catholic Crusaders during the Third Crusade. Here is what Steven Runciman wrote about King Peter’s Crusade in A History of the Crusades: “King Peter arrived at Rhodes early in the month, and on the 25th the whole Cypriot fleet sailed into the harbor, 108 vessels in all, galleys, transports, merchant ships and light skiffs. With the great galleys of the Venetians and those provided by the Hospital, the armada numbered 165 ships. They carried a full complement of men, with ample horses, provisions and arms. Not since the Third Crusade had a proportionate expedition set out for the Holy War ….

“During the Friday night there was a fierce Muslim counterattack through one of the southern gates, which the Christians in their excitement had burned down. It was beaten off; and by the Saturday afternoon, all Alexandria was in the Crusaders’ hands.

The victory was celebrated with unparalleled savagery. Two and a half centuries of holy warfare had taught the Crusaders nothing of humanity. The massacres were only equaled by those of Jerusalem in 1099 and Constantinople in 1204. The Muslims had not been so ferocious at Antioch or at Acre. Alexandria’s wealth had been phenomenal; and the victors were maddened at the sight of so much booty. They spared no one. The native Christians and the Jews suffered as much as the Muslims; and even the European merchants settled in the city saw their factories and storehouses ruthlessly looted. Mosques and tombs were raided and their ornaments stolen or destroyed; churches too were sacked, though a gallant crippled Coptic lady managed to save some of the treasures of her sect at the sacrifice of her private fortune. Houses were entered, and householders who did not immediately hand over all their possessions were slaughtered with their families. Some 5,000 prisoners, Christians and Jews as well as Muslims, were taken to be sold as slaves. A long line of horses, asses and camels carried the loot to the ships in the harbor and there having performed their task were killed. The whole city stank with the odor of human and animal corpses.”

This author said, “The Crusades were the pope’s work.” The Crusade philosophy has made Catholic popes the bloodiest religious leaders ever!

Still, most people try to hide from this frightening reality. That is the main reason why the worst Catholic crusade is yet to come. Mankind refuses to believe the truth and believe God.

The world so quickly forgets. And because they do, the massive bloodshed continues. The Catholics did these appalling, despicable deeds before the world. But has anyone heard them repent before the world?

There is good news: Over a hundred Bible prophecies tell us that Jesus Christ will personally stop the next crusade! Sadly, however, that will only occur after the worst suffering ever on this Earth (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21-22).

Cyprus

More than one crusade has been launched from Cyprus. Will we see the last crusade launched from there as well? Is history about to repeat itself?

Turkey, just north of Cyprus, has been a strong member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (nato) for many years. Yet, a German-led European Union has rejected it from joining the EU—even though it has been applying since 1963, when there were only six members! Twenty-one new countries have joined since then. But that number is about to be reduced dramatically.

Why has the EU consistently rejected Turkey? Is it because Turkey is predominantly Islamic?

The EU is prophesied to be ultimately comprised of 10 kings ruling 10 nations, or groups of nations, dominated by Catholicism. Already the EU is being called the Holy Roman Empire. It has traditionally been the enemy of the Muslims.

Cyprus is now a member of the EU. Are European leaders already thinking about Cyprus as a launching pad from which to protect their Jerusalem interests?

You can be certain that they are thinking about how to protect the holy places in and around Jerusalem. The Europeans have thought like this for almost 2,000 years!

There is a real crisis in Cyprus today. Some people fear a war between Greece and Turkey, who share the rule of this island. Greece became the 10th member state of the EU in 1981, and Russia has already sold missiles to Greece, whose intention is to bully Turkey with them.

At a conference in Cyprus in July 2001, Dr. Osman Metin Ozturk explained that while EU membership of Cyprus would support the interests of Greece and the EU, it would stall U.S. and nato interests.

Back in 1998, before Cyprus became an EU member, Christopher Lockwood, the Daily Telegraph’s diplomatic editor in Nicosia, wrote, “The EU has maneuvered itself into a position where it may soon have to take a bitterly divided island, with a propensity for violence and even war, into its bosom.

“It has poisoned relations with Turkey, a crucial nato ally; made a solution to the Cyprus problem harder to achieve than ever …” (March 30, 1998).

Today, Turkey is allying itself with Iran.

Why would Europe risk such serious problems, even warfare, over this tiny island?

Even the people building the EU don’t fully understand what is happening. There is a spirit and force behind these events that the world does not see. “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Revelation 13:3-5).

If people truly understood what is happening in Europe, they would be trembling in fear.

Is there a final crusade planned to be launched into the Middle East from Cyprus? Is that why the EU was willing to take a dangerously divided little island as a member? It would not be the first crusade launched from Cyprus!

According to biblical prophecy, the European beast power will hold power for 3½ years, and then Christ will destroy that evil empire forever! We are entering the worst times ever, but they will lead into the best news we could ever receive!

The King of the South

One of the main tourist attractions in Jordan is the Crusader castles. The Catholics built most of them to war against the Muslims and control Jerusalem. These castles are stark reminders of the bloody past—and a far bloodier future!

The Jews have Jerusalem now. But not for long. Both Muslims and Catholics have designs for Jerusalem. These two great powers are about to clash again—go head to head in the final crusade over Jerusalem!

In 1997, Iran conducted major war games code-named “Road to Jerusalem.” Between 150,000 and 500,000 soldiers participated. Iran pours vast resources into supporting the terrorist groups bordering the Jewish state. Hamas and Hezbollah strongholds to Israel’s west and north are awash in Iranian money and weapons. Israeli sources recently revealed that Egyptian efforts to prevent aid from reaching Hamas in the Gaza Strip have broken down, and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps has smuggled “record funds” to the radical Palestinian group. Iran and Syria have provided Hezbollah tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has stepped up its training of Hezbollah’s soldiers. It has built a set of underground tunnels and an underground telecommunications network for the terrorist group.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad personally visited southern Lebanon in October. He was welcomed like a superstar—“showered with rice and rose petals by tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters who lined the streets and waved Iranian flags as his motorcade made its way from the airport to the presidential palace,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported (Oct. 13, 2010). Speaking to a raucously supportive crowd just two miles from Israel’s border, he said, “The whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear. The occupying Zionists today have no choice but to accept reality and go back to their countries of origin.” He called Lebanon the “focus point of resistance” against the Jews and stressed Iran’s commitment to “full liberation of occupied territory in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.”

What could be more provocative? Iran is advertising its strategy to the world. It knows that conquering Jerusalem would help it unite the Arab world. Few people understand this Muslim passion for Jerusalem and its holy sites! These are the kind of passions that cause war!

Iran will lead what the Bible calls “the king of the south” (Daniel 11:40). This power will be comprised of the radical Islamic movement. Iran is working fiercely to lead this radically militant religion.

Iran has virtually destroyed the peace process single-handedly. But still, the world continues to talk about peace. Iran and radical Islam don’t want peace, and words won’t deter them.

This past September, one day after Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to resume talks on a U.S.-backed peace deal, Ahmadinejad urged Palestinians not to abandon their armed struggle against the Jews.

The occasion was Quds Day—or Jerusalem Day—Iran’s annual display of support for the Palestinian cause and the “liberation of Jerusalem.” Started in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, Jerusalem Day is an occasion for Iran and its supporters to denounce Israel and call for its destruction, praise terrorism and condemn the peace process.

This past year, Ahmadinejad emphasized the global significance of the festival. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported that “according to Ahmadinejad, the issue of Jerusalem is not limited to one geographic area; it is not just a Palestinian issue and it is, in fact, ‘even greater than the issue of Islam.’”

Joseph de Courcy once wrote in the Islamic Affairs Analyst, “Subscribers should be in absolutely no doubt about this. From Iran’s support for subversion in Bahrain, through its improving ties with Egypt, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Islamist revolutionaries in Khartoum, to its close strategic alliance with Moscow, everything has the same ultimate purpose: the liberation of Jerusalem from under the Zionist yoke.”

The U.S. has tried to isolate Iran. Almost no other nation supports America. This attempt has failed. The U.S. is fighting against Bible prophecy.

Iran is about to have nuclear bombs. Its leaders believe America can be neutralized by terrorism—perhaps nuclear terrorism.

“We know but one word: struggle, struggle. Jihad, jihad, jihad,” Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said in 1996. “When we stop our intifada, when we stop our revolution, we go to the greater jihad, the jihad of the independent Palestinian state with its capital Jerusalem.”

Jihad is the Arab cry for holy war. They will get their war. But it will not be holy. It will lead to the worst suffering this planet has ever experienced!

Final Crusade Prophesied

“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships [perhaps from Cyprus]; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40). This king of the south is the Iran-led radical Muslims. They are strong and are pushing others around in the Middle East.

Soon they will push at the king of the north, the so-called Holy Roman Empire—the same religious power that was behind the Crusades. And that push will surely revolve around Jerusalem.

Just 20 years ago, nobody could have even imagined two world powers coming out of the Middle East and Europe. But God knew exactly what would happen. Nobody but God could have inspired these prophecies. Everybody can see these two great powers today.

Just look at what is happening in Europe—and has been for years. Pope John Paul ii worked feverishly to revive the Holy Roman Empire. Twenty-nine years ago, in Spain, Nov. 9, 1981, he said this: “It can be said that the European identity is not understandable without Christianity and that it is precisely in Christianity that are found those common roots by which the Continent has seen its civilization mature: its culture, its dynamism, its activity, its capacity for constructive expansion in other continents as well; in a word, all that makes up its glory. …

“Find yourself again. Be yourself. Discover your origins, revive your roots. Return to those authentic values which made your history a glorious one and your presence so beneficent in the other continents.”

During the Inquisition, over 50 million innocent people were killed in the name of “Christianity”! That’s right—50 million! Was that history glorious? And you can add many millions more as victims of the Holy Roman Empire. “Discover your origins, revive your roots. Return to those authentic values which made your history a glorious one“? Those “origins” and “roots” and that “history” caused many millions of people to die!

In Revelation 17, God paints a vivid picture of a great church as a lavishly dressed harlot, holding sway over the nations. God sees things as they truly are! Let’s look at God’s view: “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration” (Revelation 17:6). God sees this lady “drunken” on the blood of the saints! Is killing God’s saints “glorious”?

The Holy Roman Empire will come at the king of the south like a whirlwind. Will there be a surprise attack from Cyprus? Will we see the final crusade launched from there? A whirlwind comes suddenly. So it doesn’t appear the attack will be launched from Western Europe.

We must understand the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades to understand the Catholics’ passion for Jerusalem. They have a long history of spilling rivers of blood over Jerusalem.

Notice what their first action is after they are victorious. “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Daniel 11:41). This army “enters” into the glorious land, or the Holy Land. The Hebrew indicates this is a peaceful entry—not forced.

The Jews appear to invite them in as peacekeepers. But this leads to a great double-cross, prophesied in Ezekiel chapter 23. (Request our free booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.)

The Jews should remember the history of the violence and bloodshed by the Crusaders. Then perhaps they would choose differently.

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:42-43). Many other countries are going to fall to this great power too.

Twice it mentions that Egypt will not escape. For over three decades, Egypt has been the most moderate nation in the Middle East. Iran has pushed Egypt toward its own radical camp. That is because Egypt fears terrorism and its own radical Muslims. We have seen that happen before our eyes, just as God prophesied it would!

The Good News

At that point in prophecy, the Holy Roman Empire will face disaster. “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many” (verse 44). The Russians and Chinese will prepare for war with Europe. The Europeans will see it happening and strike first. They will, however, be defeated.

“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him” (verse 45). Notice, the religious leader will move his headquarters to Jerusalem—and not just for protection. He could go to many other cities that would be safer. But this will be a religious act of faith. The Vatican considers Jerusalem to be its most holy place on Earth—the “center of the universe.” Still, he will come to a most ignominious end. Nobody will be there to help him.

There should be no chapter break between Daniel 11 and 12. The story flow continues, illustrating that this religious war will trigger a nuclear World War iii.

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). There has never before been trouble like this. God promises to protect His people physically. Otherwise, they would perish in a nuclear nightmare.

As bad as this news is, it leads to the best news this world has ever heard! “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (verse 11). The daily sacrifice is referring to God’s work. That work will be taken away—removed when God takes His people to a place of protection (Matthew 24:15-16; Luke 21:20-21). That must happen because the abomination of desolation, or the king of the north, is going to conquer America and Britain. But when that happens, you will be able to start counting days to the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 12:12). He will end these “holy wars” forever.

Any child should understand that the fruits of these “holy wars” have been diabolical! There is no excuse for America and Britain not knowing the truth. God has been sending His message in power for over 70 years! They have rejected it repeatedly. That is why they now must suffer so intensely. Finally, God will get their attention and lead them to peace, full joy and abundance.

History Tombstone.jpg

The Graveyard of Failed Geopolitical Forecasts

Predictions of future world events always fail—or do they?

Read More

Year in Review 2010

After looking back on the past 12 months, Joe Klein concluded in Time this week that “nothing much happened in 2010.”

“Oh, I know there was a lot of frothing and screaming,” he wrote. “There was outrage aplenty. There was an election. Wars were fought. Humongous pieces of legislation were passed.” But in time, he predicted, “2010 will be regarded by historians … as something of a neon hologram.”

It makes you wonder what planet Joe Klein has been living on for the past 12 months.

The following is a digest of the most pertinent world events of 2010. Considered in the context of Bible prophecy, it is impossible for a person to read about these events and conclude that “nothing much happened in 2010.”

Europe Remodeled

The financial crisis that began in Greece in 2009 overflowed to other eurozone states. Across the eurozone, but especially in the Mediterranean, contracting economies and extreme public and private debt pushed governments to their limit. In May, with riots erupting, Athens went to fellow eurozone states for a bailout. In November, it was Ireland. As 2010 came to a close, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Italy were lined up on the cusp. As the financial crisis worsened, it became clear that the existence not just of the eurozone, but also of the European Union itself, was at stake. Europe needed to be saved.

Germany Rides to the Rescue

As the financial crisis unfolded, Europe turned to Germany for the solution. Over the year, Berlin exploited the financial crisis to gain control of the euro, the eurozone, and the entire European Union. Stratfor analyst Peter Zeihan wrote that if “the euro is essentially gutting the European … economic base, then Germany is achieving by stealth what it failed to achieve in the past thousand years of intra-European struggles” (March 16; emphasis ours). Since March, Germany has continued to refashion Europe. Berlin agreed to give Greece and Ireland a bailout, and then imposed strict conditions. In December, Germany convinced EU counterparts of the need to create a permanent eurozone debt fund, which would require amending the Lisbon Treaty.

As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote at the end of the year, “What is happening in Europe is not merely a game-changer—it’s a world changer!” (emphasis his). “We are witnessing one of the most significant moments ever in the history of Europe,” he said. The collapse of European economies is handing Germany control of the taxing and spending policies of once-sovereign nations. The euro has turned out to be a tool for economic conquest by Germany. A German-led Europe is emerging from this financial crisis, and war is coming with it.

“Watch closely,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “Germany will use this crisis to force Europe to unite more tightly. In the process, some eurozone countries will be forced out of the union. When that happens, the pundits will say European unification is dead, that the European Union has failed. Don’t listen to them! Every country that leaves the EU puts us one step closer to seeing the German-led 10-nation European superstate!”

Germany Grows in Nationalism

At the grassroots level, the German populace grew increasingly frustrated with Muslims. In the summer, a prominent former board member of the country’s central bank, Thilo Sarrazin, showed the popular support in Germany for confronting Islam: His new book, Abolishing Germany—How We’re Putting Our Country in Jeopardy, details what he calls Germany’s “demise,” saying that with constant immigration and higher birth rates among immigrants, Germany is “turning Muslim.” An Allensbach Institute poll found that 60 percent of Germans believe Sarrazin said “many things that are correct.” A mere 13 percent disagree with him. Spiegel featured the author on its cover, calling him a “people’s hero.”

In October, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the multiculturalist approach in Germany “has failed, utterly failed.” Horst Seehofer, leader of Bavaria, said that the two parties are “committed to a dominant German culture and opposed to a multicultural one.” Stratfor analyst George Friedman remarked, “The statements were striking in their bluntness and their willingness to speak of a dominant German culture, a concept that for obvious reasons Germans have been sensitive about asserting since World War ii. The statement should be taken with utmost seriousness and considered for its social and geopolitical implications.”

He continued, “It must also be remembered that this is Germany, which previously addressed the problem of the German nation via the Holocaust. In the 65 years since the end of World War ii, the Germans have been extraordinarily careful to avoid discussions of this issue, and German leaders have not wanted to say things such as being committed to a dominant German culture. Simply put, Germany is returning to history.”

Germany is following a Europe-wide trend. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders’s anti-immigration Party for Freedom is working with the ruling coalition after winning 24 parliamentary seats out of 150 in elections on June 9. The far-right, anti-Semitic party Jobbik won 17 percent of the vote and 26 seats in Hungary in April. Switzerland banned the construction of new minarets after 57.5 percent of voters supported the measure in a national referendum. France and Belgium both passed laws against women wearing burkas.

Revival of Germany’s Economy and Industry

Of all countries on the planet, Germany is the one where everything seems to be going right! As the rest of the world suffers with high unemployment and massive debt, Germany is weathering the global financial crisis just fine. Economists are predicting annual economic growth of 3.5 percent in 2010; the German economy expanded in the second quarter at a phenomenal annual rate of 9 percent. Exports are soaring and factories are bustling, which has resulted in the unemployment rate falling to 7.5 percent, the lowest in 18 years. (Elsewhere in the eurozone, unemployment is above 10 percent. Real unemployment in America is nearing 20 percent.) Berlin has emerged in recent years, particularly through the financial crisis, as a regional and international powerhouse.

Until May this year, building up large-scale defense companies has been taboo in Germany. That month, two of Germany’s top military manufacturers, Rheinmetall and Mann Group, merged their military vehicle production. The resulting combine will produce a new national champion and leading supplier for wheeled military vehicles in Europe. MarketWatch columnist David Marsh said the German government “has been providing behind-the-scenes assistance to make sure industry goes in the right direction.” The new combine “meets the long-held German desire to build industrial companies with world scale in the defense field” (January 18).

Germany Remodels Military

Last August, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg presented plans designed to transform his nation’s military services. Military conscription will be suspended, and the Bundeswehr will be reduced from 250,000 to about 160,000 troops. Given a passing glance, Germany’s military power may appear to be diminishing. However, conscription was designed to ensure that the German army would be “immune to the kind of elitist force that dominated state affairs during the years of the Weimar Republic and before,” as the New York Times put it (August 30). When it comes to military reform, and specifically suspending conscription, Guttenberg is simply trimming the fat. His ultimate goal is to forge the German military into a trimmer, more efficient, more powerful fighting machine. Watch closely to see how Guttenberg chooses to use it. Considering Merkel’s plummeting popularity and Guttenberg’s meteoric rise, the man currently leading the German Defense Department may soon be leading the entire nation.

The Vatican Raises Its Voice

On November 11, Pope Benedict xvi released an “apostolic exhortation” Verbum Domini (“The Word of the Lord”) that was a direct attack on all who believe the inerrancy of the literal Scriptures as inspired by God. Pope Benedict “criticized ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘literalist’ interpretations and urged renewed appreciation for the symbolic and spiritual interpretation techniques used by the ancient fathers of the church” (cna/ewtn News, November 11). “An authentic interpretation of the Bible must always be in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church,” he said. The pope is restoring the kind of archaic and conservative theology that gives the Catholic hierarchy control over its subjects. The Vatican has also been bringing conservative church leaders to the fore as it establishes greater control over Catholicism around the world. And it has been progressing in bringing Anglicans back to Rome. The creation of an organization within the Catholic Church for disgruntled Anglicans will be complete next year.

A mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East continued. “Across the Middle East, it is the same story of despairing—sometimes frightened—Christian minorities, and of an exodus that reaches almost biblical proportions,” wrote the Independent’s Robert Fisk. “In short, a creeping religious genocide is taking place,” wrote Jeffrey T. Kuhner in the Washington Times. On October 31, in Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church, 10 gun-wielding terrorists detonated suicide bomb vests, killing 58 men, women and children, including two priests, and wounding 80 more people. These events are reminiscent of the 11th century, when the persecution of Christian pilgrims triggered the First Crusade. Once again, the Vatican is preparing itself as the West’s champion against Islam. “Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims—which is actually happening gradually,” said the outgoing archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, in an interview published January 6. “If Europe doesn’t change its relation to its own roots, it will be Islamized,” he said. In his homily at the close of a synod on the Middle East on October 24, Pope Benedict said that the synod showed “the need for a new evangelization for the Middle East.”

Russia Extends Global Reach

Last January, Russians made a world-changing move as they completed a new oil pipeline and port complex that sets their nation up to become a more powerful oil exporter than Saudi Arabia. The pipeline allows Russia to transport 250,000 barrels of central Siberian oil per day to the energy-hungry economies of China, Korea and Japan. By unlocking these central Siberian oil fields to Oriental markets, Russia is simultaneously binding Asia together and lighting a fire under Europe. Until now, Moscow has had to let its oil reserves sit dormant every time it had a pricing dispute with Europe. With this new oil pipeline and port complex, however, Moscow can turn off the tap to Europe and still pump in the profits by opening the pipe wide to its oil-thirsty Asian partners. This will hasten the development of an Asian alliance of Russia, China and Japan. Europe is sure to start looking for alternative sources of oil and natural gas in Africa and the Middle East.

In 2010, Russia reversed the Orange Revolution that swept Ukraine toward the West with the narrow victory of its puppet Viktor Yanukovych in national elections on February 14. With some almost certainly unconstitutional maneuvers, Yanukovych used his shaky victory to gain firm control over the nation. He quickly guaranteed that Russia could station its Black Sea fleet in the Crimea until 2042. Yanukovych then turned Ukraine’s intelligence services over to Russia. He took steps to bring Ukraine into Russia’s alternative to nato, the Collective Security Treaty Organization. All this amounts to a peaceful takeover of Ukraine by Russia.

China Gobbles Up World Resources

This past summer, the world woke up to the fact that China controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth minerals, which are essential for nearly every piece of advanced technology, from iPods to hard drives, guided missiles to smart bombs. China showed the power this control brings by forcing Japan into a humiliating climb-down in a spat over a disputed border. The rest of the world is scrambling to end China’s monopoly, but catching up to China will take years. China continued its policy of buying up raw materials, as well as port and transit facilities, worldwide. This year, China’s trade with Africa passed $100 billion for the first time.

China-Europe Axis Forms

China’s biggest trade partner is the EU. These two organizations are the world’s top two exporters. Today’s global power centers of manufacturing and trade have swung back to Europe and China. The most important and lucrative trade routes are once again between the old world’s East and West. The most recent example of this trend is China’s growing partnership with Greece. Encouraged by government incentives and rock-bottom prices, China is pumping hundreds of millions and on the road to billions of euros into Greece, even as Americans and other investors head for the exits. According to the Washington Post, the cornerstone of those plans is the “transformation of the Mediterranean port of Piraeus into the Rotterdam of the south” that will create a “modern gateway linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa” (June 9). Greece’s severe economic woes created an opportunity that China is exploiting. Strapped for cash, the Greek government is privatizing the economy in blitzkrieg fashion, which has opened the doors to rich Chinese investors. “The Chinese want a gateway into Europe,” noted Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos. Even Germany—which as a major economic exporter is increasingly in competition with China for market share—seems content to allow the Eastern merchant powerhouse more access to Europe. Angela Merkel came out in support of China being granted “market status” on October 8. During a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, she said, “Germany will continue to actively support the quick awarding of the market status to China from the EU. China will intensively continue to dialogue with the EU on this issue.” This coming year, control of the global economy will continue to shift away from the U.S. and toward the EU and China.

Iran, the Cancer of the Middle East

A cable dated April 28, 2009, released by WikiLeaks shows that Egypt views Iran as its top strategic threat. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he sees “Iranian influence spreading like a cancer from the gcc [Gulf Cooperation Council countries] to Morocco,” according to the cable. That trend certainly continued in 2010. Intelligence officials have warned that Iran is releasing al Qaeda terrorists from prison so they can fight nato in Afghanistan, according to the Times of London, December 24. The Iranians have been secretly pouring millions of dollars into the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. They have also become more assertive in bossing around Pakistan; Iran threatened Islamabad with unilateral action if it failed to hand over Islamic terrorists who had attacked Shiites in December. They continued to fund Hezbollah and Hamas and build them up as threats to Israel. On October 14 Iran was elected head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Iran’s nuclear program may have been set back by the Stuxnet computer virus, but its more important program of Middle East domination has continued unabated.

Iraq Falls to Iran

As the year closes, Iraq is in the process of cobbling together a government that will favor Iran. The coalition will be headed by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a man United Press International calls “Iran’s choice to rule in Baghdad.” The most important ministries, including the Oil Ministry, have been promised to Shiite and Kurdish parties—except the Finance Ministry, which has been given to the Sunni-supported Iraqiya bloc. Watch Iran’s takeover of Iraq to continue in the coming year.

World Assaults Dollar

This past year, the world’s leaders vented their anger on the dollar. Leaders from France, China, Germany, Russia, and elsewhere all took turns bagging on the greenback, blaming it for causing the world’s economic imbalances. The world needs a new global reserve currency, they said. But alas, with the eurozone locked in economic crisis, and Greece and Ireland on the brink of bankruptcy, the world lacked a credible paper alternative. At the end of the year, the volatile dollar eked out a 1.2 percent gain against the dollar index basket of currencies. But Americans should not rest easy. According to Li Daokui, an academic member of Chinese Central Bank’s monetary policy committee, the U.S. dollar will only remain a safe investment for so long. “For now, market attention is still on Europe and for the coming 6 to 12 months, it will not shift to the United States,” he said on December 8. “But we should be clear in our minds that the fiscal situation in the United States is much worse than in Europe. In one or two years, when the European debt situation stabilizes, attention of financial markets will definitely shift to the United States. At that time, U.S. treasury bonds and the dollar will experience considerable declines.” Against gold, silver, copper, oil, cotton, coffee, and pretty much every other commodity, the dollar has already slid by double digits over the past year. Over the long term, prepare for the dollar to resume its downtrend as the world looks for a new reserve currency.

America: On the Road to Bankruptcy

Want to know the future? Look to Detroit. It is a ruined, decaying, post-industrial, almost post-apocalyptic ghost town. And if the 2010 trend continues, it won’t be long before America is Detroit. Over the past year, the ranks of the unemployed have risen, and if truth be told, probably stand in excess of 20 percent. In Detroit, unemployment is over 50 percent.

Yet, on a national scale, America embraced more of the same policies that destroyed one of its formerly most prosperous cities: namely, expanding the social welfare state. As the year progressed, the “official” national debt grew by an astounding $1.5 trillion, taking the nation to European crisis levels. Forty-three million Americans now receive food stamps. Unemployment insurance was extended again, and legislation mandating that Americans sign up for health insurance (government-run or otherwise) was passed. The biggest difference between America as a whole and Detroit is that Detroit actually raised taxes to try to pay its bills. In 2010, the federal government embraced an alternative policy: debt monetization—simply printing money. Over the coming year, “quantitative easing” will cover approximately 75 percent of America’s projected deficit with funny money. It might work for a while, but history shows it will not end well. The Federal Reserve risks destroying the dollar to cover the social state, which means that ultimately America won’t just resemble Detroit, but Zimbabwe.

America’s Weakness Exposed

America’s weakness and lack of will became all the more obvious in 2010. A massive dump of intelligence by WikiLeaks broadcast this weakness, as Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer noted, by demonstrating “the helplessness of a superpower that not only cannot protect its own secrets but shows the world that if you violate its secrets—massively, wantonly and maliciously—there are no consequences” (December 3).

America’s broken will was also on display in its dealings with other nations. Take North Korea. It torpedoed a South Korean ship. The U.S. responded with delay and dithering. North Korea then shelled a South Korean island. The U.S. finally got around to holding joint military actions with the South. North Korea displayed stunning advances in nuclear technology to the world. The U.S. quickly forgot about it. These events made clearer than ever just how staunch is America’s refusal to confront North Korea, or its patron, China.

America’s collapse in will is directly connected to its moral slide, which was also clear to see. The U.S. struck down its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, a liberal procedure that allows homosexuals to serve in the military as long as they don’t identify themselves as such. President Barack Obama said that his next target was the Defense of Marriage Act, a step toward making same-sex “marriage” legal across the country.

U.S.-Israel Ties Deteriorate

The historic alliance between the United States and Israel was rocked by diplomatic crisis this past year, and by all indications it will never be the same. In March, during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joseph Biden, Israel’s interior minister announced that construction of 1,600 housing units in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem had been approved. The timing was awkward, but the Obama administration took the opportunity to launch a diplomatic assault against Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. The president ordered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to upbraid Netanyahu, which she did during a much-publicized, 43-minute phone call. Later, a Clinton spokesman publicly questioned Israel’s seriousness with respect to the peace process. Netanyahu visited the U.S. later in the month to try to mend the diplomatic breach between the two countries. The trip, however, only further highlighted just how strained relations between the U.S. and Israel have become. The Israeli prime minister maintained his stance on the issue of “settlements,” getting a cold reception from Washington that included no photo ops and no official statements. The bond that once joined America and Israel has been shredded. Watch this relationship—and take note of who Israel turns to for help instead of the U.S.

Britain Surrenders Military Sovereignty

Britain announced drastic cuts to its military this year. The British military will shed 17,000 personnel; the army will lose 7,000 soldiers; 40 percent of its tanks and 35 percent of its artillery. The navy’s fleet of destroyers and frigates will shrink to 19. (In World War i Britain had over 300 destroyers alone, out of a fleet of nearly 600. After these cuts, the fleet will be smaller than it has been since the days of Henry viii.) The first of two new aircraft carriers, currently under construction, will be mothballed or even sold as soon as it is built. The Royal Navy’s 80-strong fleet of Harrier jump jets have been scrapped. This means the aircraft carriers will have—of all things—no jets to carry. New fighters won’t be available until 2020. Thus, these floating airbases will only be able to serve as helicopter pads and assist with humanitarian missions.

The drastic cuts means that Britain now has to look to other nations for its defense. On November 2, France and Britain signed up to share aircraft carriers; collaborate on technology for nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and nuclear submarines; work together on cyberwarfare; and commit troops to a joint rapid reaction unit, among other things. So Britain now trusts its defense to France, which in recent times has been, at best, an unreliable ally. In the next year it will only get worse. Like everything else happening in Europe, Anglo-French military cooperation is certain to become prey to the encroachment of EU regulation and bureaucratization, and eventually subsumed wholly into the common European defense. The Bible prophesies that Britain will be double-crossed by its European “allies.” By putting its defense in Europe’s hands, Britain is setting itself up for a nasty defeat.

Spotlight on South Africa

South Africa spent over $2.5 million in preparation for August’s World Cup. It sought to present a clean, positive image to the world. But the truth is ugly. Since the end of the apartheid regime in 1994, the South African murder rate has skyrocketed from 5,100 to an astounding 43,000 people per year. More white farmers were murdered in South Africa in 2009 than have been killed in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe came to power. According to human rights group Actionaid, one quarter of South African women can expect to be raped at least once in their lifetime. Twelve percent of South Africa’s population has been diagnosed with aids, making the country home to the world’s greatest concentration of the disease. South Africa’s leaders are only exacerbating these problems by encouraging further violence. Last March, Julius Malema, the radical leader of the African National Congress Youth League, whipped up black university students into a frenzy by repeatedly chanting, “Kill the Boer, kill the Boer” in a song at a rally. South Africa has become a nation ruled by the law of the Serengeti—meaning there is no law.

Weather Strikes Back

As 2010 winds down, eastern Australia drowns under floodwaters, millions are fleeing floods and landslides in Colombia and Venezuela, Europe shivers in a “big freeze,” and a “monster blizzard” has shut down America’s East Coast. A fitting conclusion to a wild year of deadly natural disasters. More than a quarter million people perished in earthquakes, heat waves, floods and other such events. “This was the year the Earth struck back,” wrote the Associated Press. AP noted that natural disasters claimed more lives in 2010 than terrorism has in the last 40 years combined. The vast majority of deaths came in the devastating Haiti earthquake last January. Deadly quakes also hit China, Indonesia, Chile and Turkey. A typical year sees 16 earthquakes of at least magnitude 7.0. This year—one of the most seismically violent in decades—saw 22. A weather system this summer swept through Asia that brought a killer heat wave to Russia and caused epic flooding in Pakistan. All told, that system claimed nearly 17,000 lives. Floods killed over 6,300 people in 59 nations, according to World Health Organization statistics through September. The world’s biggest reinsurer, Swiss Re, estimates that worldwide, such disasters cost three times more than in 2009, totaling nearly a quarter trillion dollars. After the deadliest year of disasters in a generation, scientists are looking for lessons, and some say it’s man’s fault. The Bible agrees—but for much different reasons. It’s not poor urban planning or carbon emissions that are most to blame. It is the fact that we have angered the being who has power over these destructive phenomena. Not until we learn that lesson can we expect the disasters to subside, and the Earth to be at peace.

After Midnight

Of course, these aren’t the only major events of the year. Mexico experienced its deadliest year yet in its war on drugs, with over 11,000 killed. That’s still not as many as the number of violent deaths in Venezuela in 2009: 20,000 according to a human rights group. By comparison, there were 4,644 civilian violent deaths in Iraq in 2009. In Congo, the UN’s largest peacekeeping force failed to prevent 500 rapes in July and August.

The events of 2010 have made the world a more dangerous place. Germany is reverting back to the warlike nature that has characterized its history. Iran is growing stronger and more belligerent. Russia and China are increasing in power. And the U.S. and UK are becoming much weaker.

On the clock measuring this age of man, midnight is drawing near. Yet, though it may not seem like it, this is a blessing. Because that clock has to strike midnight before the world can move into the warmth and light of a new day.

The events of this year have brought us closer to an all-out nuclear war—a war that will come frighteningly close to destroying every human on the planet. But there is hope after midnight.

After midnight, mankind will have finally learned that we cannot solve our problems without help from our Creator.

After midnight, Jesus Christ will return. With the world under His loving guidance, there will be no more drug wars, or wars of any kind. There will be no more homicides and no more rapes. There will be no more nuclear weapons—or even swords.

That is the great hope we can see in the events of 2010. The closer we come to midnight, the closer we come to the morning of a glorious new day.

GettyImages-1197377655 EDITED.jpg

Brexit Was Prophesied!

The UK leaving the European Union was foretold in the Bible! What does this source of advance news say will follow?

Read More

The Week in Review

More goals crossed off on the Palestinian agenda; German elections, technology and currency in 2011; British law’s decay on display; and preparing for war “in every direction.”

Middle East

Palestinian leaders have rejected Israel’s suggestion of an “interim peace agreement” after the failure of direct talks between the two sides. In an interview on Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time publicly suggested an interim deal that would not have to include the most divisive core issues such as the sovereignty of Jerusalem. An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made it clear that such an interim agreement was not an option. “Jerusalem is a red line as it is to be the capital of a future Palestinian state,” he said.

At the same time, Israel is trying to fight the growing effort in the West to “delegitimize” the Jewish state, the Telegraph reports. The Israeli Defense Ministry on Tuesday designated the Palestinian Return Center, a campaign group based in London, as a front organization for the terrorist group Hamas. “[T]he center is involved in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while delegitimizing Israel’s status as a nation among the European community,” a statement said. “Among other terror-affiliated activities, the center organizes many conferences in various European countries for Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood activists from all around the world ….”

Dissent among Palestinians against Palestinian National Authority policies is not tolerated and is often met with repression and brutal force, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim journalist writing for the Hudson Institute (December 24). The Palestinian Authority has been held up by the international liberal media as the antithesis of the supposedly brutal Israeli security forces. The truth, however, is that the PA is conducting a campaign using violence and intimidation to silence critics and opposition figures—and journalists who would report objectively. Only a quarter of Palestinians in the West Bank believe they can criticize the Palestinian Authority, a recent public opinion poll found. There is also a lack of media freedom in the West Bank, evidenced by the fact that the three major newspapers are controlled by the Palestinian government.

A Commentary article this week reports that over the past six months Tehran has been working hard on one way of undermining America’s ability to conduct military strikes against Iran’s nuclear program: “denying us our use of regional military bases for the attack.” The article outlines how Tehran used an intimidation campaign to push Bahrain into announcing in August that it would not allow its territory to be used as a base for offensive operations. With Qatar and Oman, Iran has sought bilateral defense-cooperation agreements, Commentary says. Last week, Qatar hosted an unprecedented visit by three Iranian warships and a military delegation, with the Persian Gulf state announcing its readiness to conduct joint military exercises with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In August, Oman signed a defense-cooperation agreement with Iran, which was ratified by the Iranian Parliament this month. Washington’s “latitude to ‘calibrate’ force against Iran is effectively gone,” writes Commentary. The United States finds itself in this position today because—due to its lack of national will—it failed to deal with the “head of the snake” early on.

Europe

With seven out of Germany’s 16 states holding elections in 2011, next year could see some dramatic changes in the German government. The public appears to be against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (cdu); opinion polls suggest only 37 percent of Germans support her government. “The March 27 election in Baden-Württemberg is the most important of the 2011 elections,” according to Spiegel Online. “It is a traditional cdu bastion, having been ruled continuously by the party since 1953. … Opinion polls suggest that the center-left Social Democrats (spd) and the Greens have a realistic chance of ousting the cdu in Baden-Württemberg in what would be nothing less than a political earthquake” (December 28). It looks even worse for the cdu’s coalition partner, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (fdp). After winning 14.6 percent of the vote in the last elections, the fdp’s approval rating has shrunk to only 3 percent. The fdp’s leader Guido Westerwelle could lose his post. “Chancellor Merkel is deeply concerned that immigration, or more specifically Islam, is becoming a major issue in Germany,” writes the Telegraph’s Bruno Waterfield. “She fears that a German Geert Wilders could spring from within her Christian Democrat ranks to challenge her by emulating the popular and successful Dutch anti-Muslim politician” (December 24). Indeed, there is a void in Germany that a charismatic anti-immigration politician could fill, rising to great popularity. Watch this void closely in 2011.

Germany will develop a “National Cyber-Defense Center” in 2011, Interior Ministry spokesman Stefan Paris said on December 27. “It will work by bundling existing know-how in the area of cyberdefense,” he said. “There has been a sharp rise in so-called electronic attacks on the networks of German government and local authorities,” he told a regular government briefing. “Germany is a very high-tech country with considerable experience and know-how, so of course others will naturally try to get hold of this knowledge—China is playing a large role in this.” The U.S. has already created a Cyber Command Center, and the UK is working to improve in this field. As Trumpet editor in Chief Gerald Flurry has often pointed out, the U.S. is especially vulnerable in the area of cybersecurity.

Five people were arrested for plotting to attack newspaper offices in Copenhagen on December 29. The group planned to enter an office block that housed several papers including Jyllands-Posten—the paper that published cartoons of Muhammad in 2005—and “kill as many as possible of those around,” according to Danish pet security police. “On the basis of the investigation, it is the pet’s assessment that the detainees were preparing a terror attack against a newspaper, which according to the pet’s information was Jyllands-Posten,” they said. “It is likewise the pet’s view that the attack was due to be carried out in the coming days.” Continue to watch for terrorist plots to rouse Europe to act more strongly against the Islamic threat.

Forty-nine percent of Germans want the deutsche mark back, according to a survey recently published by the German Bild newspaper. Only 41 percent said they’d rather stick with the euro. The poll of 1,068 Germans, conducted by YouGov, found that 77 percent of Germans said they had not profited from the euro. If Germany were not already part of the eurozone, only 30 percent would vote to join, and 60 percent would oppose. Sixty-seven percent said they were not sure the euro could survive times of crisis. Fifty-six percent said they feared inflation. A survey conducted earlier in December by Infratest dimap found that 57 percent said they’d have been better off keeping the mark. Continue to watch German attitudes toward the euro.

Italy’s cost of servicing its debt rose to the highest point since 2008 this week. Yields on its 10-year bonds rose to 4.83 percent on December 29. “The poor auction in Rome may be a warning sign that EU leaders offered too little to restore confidence at their Brussels summit two weeks ago,” writes the Telegraph’s international business editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “Italy avoided the sort of property bubble seen in Spain or Ireland and has kept a tight rein on public spending under Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti. However, the rise in yields looks ominously like the pattern seen in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain when they first began to lose easy access to the capital markets.” Watch for the euro crisis to continue into 2011.

A bomb exploded outside two court buildings in Athens on December 30. The explosion damaged cars and blew out windows, including those in nearby shops, but no one was hurt. Authorities believe that a far-left or anarchist group is behind the attacks.

Asia

China is gearing up for military conflict “in every direction,” Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie said in an interview published on Wednesday. “In the coming five years, our military will push forward preparations for military conflict in every strategic direction,” Liang said. “We may be living in peaceful times, but we can never forget war, never send the horses south or put the bayonets and guns away.” China’s party line is that its rise is peaceful, but the scope of its military buildup has many of its neighbors worried, including Japan, which, earlier this month, called China’s expanding military might a “global concern.” Also this month, Beijing announced that it will be launching its first aircraft carrier next year, which is a year earlier than U.S. analysts had forecast. China is also close to unveiling “carrier-killing” missiles which could sink American aircraft carriers from far off. This development will effectively reorder the balance of power in Southeast Asia, which has been dominated by the U.S. since World War ii’s end. We can expect China to make good on Liang’s claims, and to emerge as the dominant player in the region as the U.S. continues its decline.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian former oil tycoon who was imprisoned in 2003 for defying then Russian President Vladimir Putin, was sentenced on Thursday to six more years of jail time. The ruling is viewed as a jab at the credibility of Russia’s current President Dmitry Medvedev, who has vowed to bolster the independence of the nation’s judicial system. Khodorkovsky, who is in the final year of what was originally an eight-year prison sentence, was originally convicted in 2003 for stealing from his own oil company, Yukos. The ruling led to Yukos’s bankruptcy and a dramatic increase in the Putin administration’s control over Russian oil, which greatly boosted Putin’s global influence. Shortly after Khodorkovsky’s arrest, Jane’s intelligence firm said, “[I]t is becoming clear that Russia is undergoing a profound political convulsion. This amounts to nothing less than the birth of the Second Russian Republic …. But it will be a country in which President Vladimir Putin controls both the political and economic levers of power” (Nov. 5, 2003). Putin has repeatedly called Khodorkovsky a violent criminal and said that he deserves to be imprisoned for many years. But Khodorkovsky’s supporters claim he is being punished for saying that the Kremlin uses its power to manipulate Russia’s judicial system. The latest sentence is widely seen as an indication of Putin’s unwavering power over Russia ahead of 2012’s presidential elections, which he is expected to run in. Putin will not risk the possibility that a liberated Khodorkovsky could help rally his political opponents. The ruling reveals that little has changed under Medvedev’s reign despite his pledges to fortify the independence of Russia’s courts. We can expect Putin to continue ruling and manipulating Russia from behind the scenes until his leadership is official once again.

Africa/Latin America

At least 86 people were killed and over a hundred hospitalized in attacks and fighting between Muslim and Christian youths in Nigeria on December 24. A radical Islamic group Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombings. The name has previously been used by the radical Islamic group Boko Haram. The group fought government forces last year as it tried to establish sharia law in the nation.

Venezuela’s national assembly used its last few days in office to grant more powers to President Hugo Chávez. They approved Chávez’s request for the power to pass laws by decree for the next year and a half. They passed a law banning nongovernment organizations such as human rights groups, and political parties from receiving money from outside the country. Another law labels anyone who switches political party a “fraud” and puts him at risk of being disqualified from public office. This law makes it harder for anyone to defect from Chávez’s coalition. Posting a message online that aims to “incite or promote disobedience of the current legal order” or “refuse the legitimately constituted authority” could now land you with a fine or see your website taken down. Television station owners must now be in Venezuela when their station re-applies for a broadcast license. This law appears to be targeted at one of the few news networks in the country critical of Chávez: Globovisión. Its owners are in exile in the U.S. “One has to say it clearly: A new dictatorial model is being imposed in Venezuela,” said Ismael García, a former ally of Chávez who now works with the opposition.

Anglo-America

The U.S. government built up more debt during 2010’s Congress than in the first 100 congresses put together, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury this week. The current Congress, America’s 111th, accumulated $3.22 trillion of debt—$10,439.64 for every American. cns news reports that “the 111th Congress not only has set the record as the most debt-accumulating Congress in U.S. history, but also has outstripped its nearest competitor, the 110th, by an astounding $1.262 trillion in new debt.” Each congress lasts for two years. America continues to jeopardize its future by getting in more debt than it could ever hope to pay back.

Over a quarter of teens and children in the U.S. regularly take prescription drugs, according to the nation’s biggest pharmacy-benefit manager, Medco Health Solutions Inc. Almost 7 percent take two sets of prescription drugs. “Doctors and parents warn that prescribing medications to children can be problematic,” warns the Wall Street Journal. “There is limited research available about many drugs’ effects in kids. And health-care providers and families need to be vigilant to assess the medicines’ impact, both intended and not. Although the effects of some medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, have been extensively researched in adults, the consequences of using such drugs for the bulk of a patient’s lifespan are little understood.”

A study commissioned by the Fabian Society found that 45 percent of Britons say that EU membership has been bad for Britain. Only 22 percent said it has been good. The study, conducted by YouGov, will be released next year, though preliminary results are already available. Forty-nine percent said EU nations should loosen the ties between them. Twenty-one percent said they should cooperate more closely, and 9 percent said they have the balance just right. British attitudes continue to harden against Europe. Expect the nation to leave or be kicked out soon.

A senior bishop in the Church of England warned on December 25 that the British legal system now discriminates against Christians. The judiciary, said Michael Scott-Joynt, the bishop of Winchester, goes out of its way to protect sexual minorities at the expense of Christians. He gave the example of a relationship councilor sacked by the charity Relate for refusing to give therapy to a homosexual couple. Also in Britain, two Christians are being sued for not allowing two homosexuals to share a room at their bed and breakfast. The owners do not allow any unmarried couples to share a room. The British government is forcing adoption agencies that won’t place children with same-sex couples to shut down. Britain’s moral slide is becoming more and more obvious.

Sixteen-to-twenty-five-year-olds in the UK without a role model of their gender are 67 percent more likely to be unemployed than their peers, according to a report conducted by YouGov and published by the Princes Trust on December 30. Young people in this position are more likely to commit suicide. Almost one in five without a father figure or role model said they used illegal drugs. Only one in 10 with a male role model said they had. Tragically, one third of the men and almost a quarter of the women said they had no position role models in their lives to look up to. The report highlights the importance of a loving family that provides young people with the support and example of their parents.

GettyImages-1022899372_2.jpg

American Bolsheviks

Could an event as violent as the Russian Civil War ever happen in the United States of America?

Read More

The United Church of God and the Evils of 300-Man Rule

iStockphoto

The United Church of God and the Evils of 300-Man Rule

One thing we know about collaborative government—it sure produces lots of division and strife.

Over the past year, the largest offshoot of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, ironically named the United Church of God, has been rocked by internal division and contentious strife—much of it brought on by disgruntled ministers who are unhappy with the way the church is governed. It is also ironic that the church appears to be falling apart after the same manner it first broke away from the wcg in 1995—following a series of secret meetings and mass resignations.

The ucg’s first ministerial conference in May 1995 attracted 150 former elders of the Worldwide Church of God—a veritable who’s who of the wcg hierarchy. Former members of the wcg, fed up with Tkachism, fled for United in droves. Within weeks of its coordinated kickoff, the United Church of God became the largest splinter group to ever break away from the wcg. Approximately 6,000 members attended its first Sabbath service in 1995. By the end of 1996, its worldwide membership had swelled to about 20,000 people. Within seven years of its inception, the church had more than 200 congregations worldwide and well over 300 elders.

From the outset, ucg ministers made no secret of their intent to try out a new approach to government—a bottom-up format where the general assembly of ministers would regularly vote for a council of elders. They even went so far as to use the term home office when referring to the church’s office complex in Arcadia, California, rather than headquarters, which sounds too hierarchical.

The interim council set up in 1995 chose David Hulme, a well-known wcg evangelist and presenter on the World Tomorrow television program, to serve as the church’s first president. After his appointment, Hulme made these candid remarks about the ucg’s “new” government format: “It’s not a hierarchical structure anymore. It’s a collaborative process, and it should be seen as that” (In Transition, May 5, 1995; emphasis mine throughout). He admitted this was a radically different approach to what Mr. Armstrong used, but was convinced that “God’s hand” was behind the establishment of the ucg. The brethren, he said, just needed to give the new government a chance—“give it time,” he said.

As it turns out, Hulme gave it less than three years. After a contentious and protracted struggle with the council of elders, he was removed from office in early 1998 and left the church soon after. “I could no longer support a governance structure that I believe has failed,” Hulme wrote to those who followed him out of the ucg. “I have had to admit that Herbert W. Armstrong was right in Mystery of the Ages, especially Chapter Six, where he describes a proven form of government for the Church.”

It took 20 years of service as a minister in the Worldwide Church of God and three years as president of the United Church of God for Hulme to finally conclude that Mr. Armstrong was right. But instead of searching for a worldwide work that was backed by God’s family government, Hulme opted to start another church—an offshoot of the offshoot.

Rod Meredith is another prominent wcg evangelist who got burned by the “collaborative” scheme. When he broke free from the wcg in 1993 to form the Global Church of God, he claimed to be following in the footsteps of Mr. Armstrong. Yet the very first doctrine he changed was the principle of God’s government that Mr. Armstrong used throughout his ministry.

“If we look into the New Testament with an open mind, we find a totally different approach to government than what has developed in the Church,” Meredith wrote in Church Government and Church Unity. On the most important matter of all, in other words, Mr. Armstrong had it all wrong. The right kind of government, Meredith later wrote in his 1993 booklet, should be “collegial” in form. It should include “a broad representation of all the elders” in the church, he believed.

Five years later, after the church’s board of directors terminated Meredith’s employment at the Global Church of God, he quickly changed his tune on the subject of church governance. After starting another offshoot of the offshoot, Meredith handpicked his board of directors and charged them with the responsibility of advising the president, rather than ruling the church.

It took Mr. Meredith 40 years of service as an evangelist in the Worldwide Church of God and five years as president of Global to figure out that Mr. Armstrong got it right on the principle formation of God’s government in the Church.

Given these much-publicized, embarrassing failures, you would think these men would wonder, Where was God during the three years I served as president of United? Or, Where was God when I founded Global?

Prior to the first ucg conference in 1995, David Hulme said he was “skeptical” that a large group of ministers could ever reach a consensus on church governance. After he came out on top, however, he was convinced that “God’s hand” was behind it.

Rod Meredith was equally sure that God was behind his “collegial” experiment back in 1993. He claimed to be “faithfully preaching” everything Mr. Armstrong taught—assuming, of course, that everything does not include his radically different approach to church government and his rejection of Mr. Armstrong as the end-time type of Elijah (Matthew 17:11).

Today, both Meredith and Hulme head up two spin-offs of wcg offshoots. All totaled, there must be at least 100 offshoots of what once was the Worldwide Church of God.

It makes you wonder: How many failed experiments with collaborative government will it take for former members of the Worldwide Church of God to wake up and figure out where God is working today?

Since firing David Hulme in 1998, the United Church of God has tried out four other presidents. Les McCullough agreed to fill the post for three years after Hulme was ousted. After McCullough’s three-year term expired in 2002, he asked the board for another three years. Instead, it gave him one additional year and then voted to replace him with Roy Holladay in 2002. Three years after that, in 2005, council members gave Holladay the boot and selected Clyde Kilough as his replacement.

Last year, amid swirling controversies about a proposal to move the “home office,” complaints of politicized bloc voting within the general conference of elders and charges of unethical behavior and financial mismanagement aimed at board members, Kilough decided to give up his chair on the council, but continue on serving as president.

Against this backdrop, the council distributed an eight-page heart-to-heart letter to all the elders in the church. In it, board members maintained that God was still leading United, but that the ucg ministry had become deeply divided and the atmosphere in the church had become toxic.

The council wrote, “Due to this negative spiritual incursion into our fellowship, for more than two years we have been forced to focus our church’s time, energy and resources inwardly ….” Later, board members expressed grave concern about the “preservation” of the United Church of God.

The church, we now know, was teetering on the brink of total collapse.

We predicted this would happen way back at the start, when the former wcg ministers gathered themselves together to experiment with a new government format. On May 6, 1995, for example, my father said this about the newly-established United Church: “It absolutely will fail because it’s a new form of government, and not the one that Herbert Armstrong taught us, inspired by God.”

He issued the very same warning in response to Meredith’s collegial experiment in 1993: “You can’t do God’s work without God’s government. Mr. Meredith will have that proved to him by God—since he has shamefully failed to learn that most important lesson of all while he ‘sat at the feet’ of Mr. Armstrong!” (Trumpet, April 1993).

It’s so simple—if you’re submitted to God’s family government. If not, then—as we have seen—history simply repeats itself.

Earlier this year, on April 9, the ucg council of elders terminated Clyde Kilough’s presidency and outlined a new process for selecting a president whereby the general conference of elders would submit nominations to the council. The council would then determine which nominee should be president.

Toward the end of June, the ucg council settled on Dennis Luker as the church’s fifth different president in just 15 years.

Over the past six months, Luker has been desperately working to keep the sinking ucg ship afloat. The worst of it started about the same time Luker was voted in as president. That same week, the council terminated the employment of Leon Walker, who had served as regional coordinator for Latin America. Firing Walker triggered a mass exodus of Spanish-speaking brethren and ministers from the ucg and resulted in the establishment of another offshoot—the Church of God, Latin America.

Incredibly, when responding to the crisis, President Luker pinned the blame for the split on hierarchical government, rather than the collaborative form that has repeatedly failed inside his own church! Walker’s rebellion, Luker wrote in a letter to ucg members,

represents the very reason that hundreds of ministers collectively chose some 15 years ago to embrace and refine the administrative structure that we now have. We have seen the destructive outcomes that “one man rule” in a Church of God organization can wreak, and this current experience in Latin America underscores the reason we changed our model of governance 15 years ago to include safeguards from this happening again.

In looking at the fruits, one would think he would at least acknowledge how destructive 300-man rule has been over the past 15 years. In the six months since the ucg council relieved Mr. Walker of his ministerial duties, at least 100 moreucg elders have either resigned or been removed from the ministry.

That can only mean that many more offshoots are on the way.

Meanwhile, the one organization that actually started the right way—as a tiny mustard seed planted in 1989, without any of the best-known former ministers of the wcg or their many thousands of supporters, but with God’s government—continues to grow and prosper as it fulfills its God-given commission to prophesy again before all the world and to raise up the ruins of a work God established and built through His servant Herbert W. Armstrong.

Next week, we will examine the fruit borne of God’s work on Earth and compare it to the works of the many offshoots. This is the surest way to find the correct answer to the one question every former member of the Worldwide Church of God ought to be asking right now: Where is God?

For as Jesus said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

GettyImages-1022899372_2.jpg

American Bolsheviks

Could an event as violent as the Russian Civil War ever happen in the United States of America?

Read More

The First and Great Commandment

Why God must have first priority in our lives.

Book Club: Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years | Meeting Five

Read More

Two-Parent Homes a Rarity in Washington

Dreamstime

Two-Parent Homes a Rarity in Washington

America’s capital is leading the nation—in family breakdown.

The traditional family is the building block of a strong nation. Sadly, America’s capital provides a grim snapshot of a country suffering from a plague of family breakdown.

In a recent article in the Washington Examiner, Liz Farmer reported on the extreme number of single-parent homes in Washington, d.c. In one area of d.c., for example, 65 percent of households are run by women and 9 percent are run by men. Shockingly, only one quarter of homes in the area are run by married couples. That region of d.c. is not an anomaly. As Farmer observes, “More than half of family households in parts of the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County are run by single parents” (emphasis mine throughout).

Farmer quotes Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who notes that minority groups, particularly black and Hispanic families, make up most of the single-parent homes. “About 70 percent of black kids are born outside marriage, and then you have those born in a marriage, about half of them end in divorce,” Haskins states. “And first-generation Hispanics have a relatively low divorce rate … but once you get into the second generation that disappears.”

How tragic. Eighty-five percent of black children in this area grow up not receiving the benefits of having both their father and mother together in the home. Lacking the guidance and example of both parents and a strong marriage, children from single-parent homes, as Farmer wrote, are apt to “follow in the same footsteps.” In other words, children raised by single parents often end up being single parents themselves, perpetuating the problem, and the host of associated problems. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Something more disturbing than these statistics is a statement Mr. Haskins makes regarding the factors contributing to the wave of single-parent homes in d.c., and across the country. “The bottom line,” he said, “is I don’t think anyone really understands why.” Talk about discouraging. Family breakdown is spiraling out of control, and the experts are at a loss as to the cause of the problem. And if the experts can’t identify what is causing the problem, how can they ever find solutions?

Sadly, Washington, d.c., is far from the only place inflicted with family breakdown. Truth is, divorce and single-parent homes hurt every suburb in America and much of the English-speaking world. The divorce rate in America is nearly 50 percent. Single parenthood carries no stigma and has become commonplace. The result? Failing grades, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, child crime, depression, and the list goes on.

Worse still, the so-called experts, the child psychologists, the doctors, the politicians, are studying America’s shattered lives and shattered families and cannot figure out exactly why it’s happening or how to put these marriages and families back together. With ignorance of the cause of family dissolution prevailing, the problem grows worse, with more marriages and families fragmenting by the day.

The Brookings Institution admits that it cannot tell us why there are so many single-parent homes in America and why the problem is so severe. But the Trumpet can and does. Not because we’re smarter, or wiser, than the experts. The Trumpet has answers because we are prepared to consult the true Authority on marriage and family—because we seek direction on this issue from the Being who created marriage, and patterned the institution of family after His own existence.

The reality is, traditional marriage and family is under heated assault daily—from the media, from politicians and intellectuals, and from an increasingly secular culture in which truth and morality are entirely subjective. The more intense this assault becomes, the more desperate becomes our need to understand the purpose of marriage and family. For it is only when a person truly understand this purpose that he will be motivated to fight for its existence.

The Bible clearly reveals that our benevolent Creator designed the family relationship for an important reason. It reveals that it is through the God-ordained roles within the family that we can better understand who God is and what His plan for mankind entails. God did not give us think tanks to offer us help with our family relationships. He gave us the Holy Bible as a guide book to building strong marriages, strong families and a strong nation.

Our booklet Conspiracy Against Fatherhood exposes the ongoing war on family, specifically the role of the father, and how you can withstand the assault. In Why Marriage!—Soon Obsolete? the late Herbert Armstrong explains why God created the marriage relationship and provides practical instruction on how we can build stronger, happier marriages. Lastly, for an inspiring overview of God’s plan for mankind, and how He has already set in motion a strategy to invite all mankind into His Family, request Mystery of the Ages.

When it comes to making marriage and family work, the parents and children of Washington, d.c., and the whole country, desperately need this truth.