The Last Crusade

The Last Crusade

Francesco Hayez

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.

Russia’s bloodless takeover of Ukraine

“Ukraine is being transformed into a Russian protectorate,” wrote Jeffrey Kuhner in the Washington Times on Thursday, warning that “Mr. Putin is erecting a Great Russian Empire.” He wrote,

Russia has become a rogue state. Mr. Putin’s aim is to make Moscow the center of an anti-American, anti-Western axis. Russia has waged a genocidal war in Chechnya. It has de facto annexed the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It has reduced Belarus to an economic vassal. It menaces the Baltic States. Moscow asserts a sphere of influence in Central Asia and the Caucasus. It has sold vital missile and nuclear technology to Iran’s mullahs. It has close ties with Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. Yet the Russian bear seeks an even bigger prize: Ukraine. … Mr. Putin understands that his imperial ambitions ultimately can be achieved only if Ukraine is subjugated.

Russia has feverishly worked to strengthen its influence over Ukraine in recent years, as the Trumpet has pointed out. The two nations have drawn closer with increased trade, an integrated transportation plan and talk of a merger between Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogas. In April, Russia extended the lease on its naval base in Sevastopol for another 25 years. And Russia has also sought to win over the hearts of Ukrainian people using the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church and popular culture, such as the $20 million film adaptation of the novel Taras Bulba.

In April 2008, the Kommersant newspaper reported on a nato meeting during which Mr. Putin told former U.S. President George W. Bush: “You don’t understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us.” Clearly Mr. Putin sees Ukraine as already a part of Russia and even openly refers to it as “Little Russia.”

Since the election of President Viktor Yanukovych, Mr. Putin has had an even easier time solidifying his influence over Ukraine. Kuhner called Yanukovych “a Russophile thug” and “Mr. Putin’s poodle.” Last year, the Trumpetpredicted, “If Yanukovych wins the elections, it would amount to a bloodless takeover by Russia.”

We are now watching that come to pass.

“Ukraine is a sovereign country in name only,” wrote Kuhner. He called on America to take action and not turn a blind eye to the situation. “Ukraine’s descent into Putinism would be a tragedy of historical proportions,” he wrote.

Unfortunately for Ukraine, the U.S. will not take action because, as we’ve written before, the pride of its power has been broken! World events clearly reveal that we have entered into the terrifying period known in the Bible as the “times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). Request our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy for more information.

Germany Attempts to Rein in Ireland

Ireland is on the precipice of financial insolvency. The future of the entire eurozone is at stake. Germany caused this crisis. What is Berlin trying to achieve?

The Week in Review

PT/Getty Images

Which country cares about Ireland’s tax rate, which country will benefit from Hungary’s EU presidency, which chancellor is declaring her country a major world power that need not be ashamed, and which history of Jewish persecution is about to repeat itself.

Middle East

Iran and Pakistan have agreed to boost security ties and strengthen regional cooperation, Iran’s Press tv reported Wednesday. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik, meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Islamabad, Mashallah Shakeri, on Tuesday, said, “Iran and Pakistan are two brother and Muslim countries which would never let insecurity and border problems damage solidarity among their nations.” The Iranian ambassador reportedly called for the two countries to exchange intelligence and carry out joint operations against drug traffickers. The same day, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also spoke of the need for regional cooperation to establish peace and security in the region, adding that foreign forces in the region do not have this goal. The Iranian official was meeting with Pakistan’s Minister of Population Welfare Firdous Ashiq Awan in Tehran. Iran’s Fars News Agency reports that Tehran has sent 5,300 tons of aid to Pakistan during recent months, in the wake of the massive floods that have affected more than 20 million Pakistanis. The Pakistani minister reportedly expressed appreciation to Iran for this assistance. These signs of increasing solidarity between Iran and Pakistan—based largely on a shared foundation of Muslim ideology and anti-Western sentiment—should be cause for concern for the West. An unstable, nuclear-armed state, with an increasingly radicalized population, allying with a terrorist-sponsoring, nuclear-aspiring state would make for a dangerous combination.

In an effort to get the United Nations to declare it free of Lebanon border violations, Israel has agreed to withdraw Israeli forces from the northern part of a village that straddles the Israeli-Lebanese border. Israeli Security Cabinet officials voted on Wednesday to transfer the northern section of Ghajar, an Arab village, to UN control. At the conclusion of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, UN Resolution 1701 stipulated that Israel must withdraw from all Lebanese territory, including the northern part of Ghajar. Village residents are reportedly against the move, wanting the fate of the village to instead be linked with that of the Golan Heights. “We demand that the village remain whole and that the debate on it be part of a peace agreement with Syria stipulating the return of the Golan Heights,” said council spokesman Najib Khatib. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon will take over security for the northern part of the village, supposedly to prevent Hezbollah infiltration. While this may sound plausible in theory, unifil’s track record in southern Lebanon—where it has simply looked on while Hezbollah has rearmed and rebuilt to be stronger than ever—does not provide much assurance. In reality, this unilateral retreat by Israel is just one more concession by Israel that will weaken its security and only be met with more demands from its Arab enemies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to push for a one-time three-month freeze on “settlement construction” in a bid to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. The proposed freeze, negotiated by Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on November 11, has yet to be approved by the Israeli cabinet. The United States has offered a package of incentives, including military aid, if Israel implements the freeze. It is hoped that in three months, “enough progress could be made on exchanging settlement blocks for other land, as well as other significant issues, so that a settlement freeze would no longer be a Palestinian demand for moving forward” (New York Times, November 15). Even if the freeze comes into effect, it is a vain hope that any real progress toward peace will be made.

Europe

Ireland’s economy continues to be in serious trouble, once again creating headlines around the world discussing the euro’s demise. The Irish government is worried that the country’s banks may need another €20 million to stay afloat. Ireland is heavily indebted already. Including guarantees that it has made to its banks, Ireland’s budget deficit—the amount of money it cannot pay on just this year’s budget—is 32 percent of its gdp. Yet Ireland is adamantly refusing to go to Europe for a bailout. Ireland wants to protect its low corporate tax rate—12.5 percent. Ireland attracts a lot of investment this way, and so does much more business with the U.S. and UK than it does with Germany. This gives it a lot of independence from Germany. Naturally, Berlin wants to force Ireland to raise its corporate tax rate, and so become more reliant on Germany. As Stratfor writes, “Without that tax advantage, many of the reasons firms set up subsidiaries in Ireland would fall away, and Ireland would look a lot less exceptional and be a lot more vulnerable to Berlin’s desires” (November 17). The whole situation further exposes that Germany is trying to use the financial crisis to its own advantage.

The EU failed to agree on a budget for 2011, when a final attempt to negotiate a solution fell apart on November 15. Members of the European Parliament (meps) wanted new powers in future budget planning—such as being able to collect money through Europe’s “own resources”—i.e., Europe-wide taxes. They also wanted budget “flexibility”—the ability for the budget to expand when faced with unexpected expenses. On the other hand, Britain demanded that the budget rise by no more than 2.9 percent—less than half the increase that meps originally wanted. In the meantime, the EU will continue to use the 2010 budget on into 2011. Expect more of these kinds of confrontations—where Europe wants more power and some nations, led by Britain, refuse to budge—until Britain leaves the Union.

As Hungary prepares to take over the presidency of Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi vowed that his nation would use its new influence to support Germany. “A strong and successful Germany is vital for the strength of Europe,” Martonyi told the press, after meeting with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle in Berlin on November 4, according to Hungarian newswire service mti. As EU president, “we will support all that is important for Germany,” he said. The role of president of the European Council rotates among EU nations, with each nation taking the helm for six months. Hungary will hold the presidency for the first half of 2011, and then Poland will take it for the second half. Hungary also wants to use its stint in the presidency to push for a “Danube Strategy.” EUbusiness reports that such a strategy “aims at modernizing road, rail and river infrastructure, attracting more tourists, creating a regional energy market and reinforcing security, all while protecting the environment.” The Danube begins in Germany, and this kind of strategy will integrate all of the Danube nations more closely. It will make them more dependent on the industrial, export-oriented power upstream. Germany’s economic power already makes it the de facto leader of Europe. Germany will only continue to expand its power in Europe in 2011.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a powerful speech at the Christian Democratic Union (cdu) Conference on November 15, where she asserted Germany’s role as a major world power. Merkel also emphasized Germany’s role as a Christian nation. “Whoever wants to live here must learn German … (and) obey our laws,” she said. “It’s not that we have too much Islam, but rather that we have too little Christianity …. We speak too little of our Judeo-Christian heritage.” “The gist of the speech was that Germany was a European leader, it should not be ashamed of its German identity and it needed a modern army to defend its interests. However, its standing in the world was not guaranteed and the looming demographic crisis could very well threaten its preeminent position,” Stratfor wrote of Merkel’s comments. “Its politicians are beginning to speak of a German security and defense strategy in mature tones, without a prerequisite ‘we’re sorry’ attached to every policy statement. In short, Germany is ascending to what it feels is its rightful place as a global power, if not one of the world’s true superpowers.” The article concludes: “Current Cold War-era institutions that dominate Europe politically, economically and in terms of security—the European Union and nato—were not originally designed for a unified, assertive and unashamed Germany. The Germany that Merkel spoke to on Monday will either make these institutions work for Berlin or will leave them behind” (November 16). Merkel’s speech clearly demonstrates that Germany is no longer inhibited by its past, but is openly becoming an overtly self-interested nation once again.

Reaffirming what Merkel said about Germany’s Christian heritage, a row has erupted in Bavaria over a school’s decision to remove a cross in one of its classrooms. Every state school classroom in Bavaria has a crucifix, but, due to a court ruling, schools have to remove them if parents complain. The Suddeutsche Zeitung reported on November 17 that exactly this happened. The Christian Social Union (csu), ally of Merkel’s cdu, is demanding that the cross be returned. csu member Gerhard Weber said, “I have no understanding for one parent’s demand to take a cross out of a classroom if it defies the wishes of the majority of other parents.” Cases like this show what an influence the Catholic Church already has on parts of Germany. Expect that influence to grow.

Germany has been on a heightened terror alert, with German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière giving an urgent warning to the nation on November 17. The German government has been warning of the high risk of a terrorist attack for several weeks, but it was saying it had no concrete information. “The situation has changed,” said de Maizière. Now there are “concrete investigation leads.” Spiegel Online reports that “De Maizière’s warning to the German public is one of the most explicit warnings ever given in Germany.” The next day, German police reported that police in Namibia found a piece of suspicious luggage at the airport that was possibly meant for an Air Berlin flight to Munich. The luggage contained batteries, a detonator and a ticking clock. However, an Air Berlin spokesperson said there were no explosives in the device. Continue to watch Germany and the backlash against Islamists that could come.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams met Pope Benedict xvi on November 18 in Rome. They met after Williams visited the Vatican for a conference on Christian unity that marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. At the conference, the pope said that his top priority in unifying the church was dialogue with the “Orthodox churches and the ancient Eastern churches, with which bonds of the closest intimacy exist.” He said, “[W]e have reached a crucial point of confrontation and reflection: the role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of the church.” In other words, the Orthodox churches are close to coming under Rome’s authority. The union of churches generally is “a commitment that falls into what could be called political categories, in which negotiating ability or greater capacity to reach compromise come into play,” he said—i.e., other churches must obey Catholicism. Williams’s meeting with the pope came after five Anglican bishops announced they were leaving for Rome. The meeting was private, and neither party revealed the details of their conversation. However, on Vatican Radio, Williams said that he did not see the pope’s invitation to Anglicans as “an aggressive act.” He also stated that “Christians are drawn closer together than in any other circumstances when they face persecution.” Expect the Vatican to move on all sides to bring other churches into the fold. For more information, see our article “The Church That Swallowed a Church” from the January Trumpet.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is on the ropes once again. Being beset by scandals that would be unthinkable in a longstanding democracy such as the U.S. or Britain is common for Berlusconi. But this time his allies seem to be deserting him. The New York Times writes that Berlusconi’s “former loyalists, who did not abandon him when he lost power in 2006 but who sense political weakness the way a dog smells fear, have visibly begun repositioning themselves for the next chapter—when Mr. Berlusconi is unlikely to be the leading man.” On November 15, four ministers associated with Gianfranco Fini, who founded the People of Liberty party with Berlusconi, but later fell out with the prime minister, resigned. On November 13, Berlusconi’s government agreed to hold a confidence vote after the budget for 2011 has been approved. If he loses the vote, to be held on December 14, in either the upper or lower chambers of Italy’s parliament, then he will have to resign. On the same day, Italy’s Constitutional Court will decide if a law that grants the prime minister immunity from prosecution is constitutional. If it is not, he could face charges that he bribed a lawyer to give false testimony. And so Berlusconi’s allies are turning. Having said that, many have forecast Berlusconi’s demise before, only to be wrong time and time again. The real kingmaker in Italy is the Catholic Church. Ultimately, whether Berlusconi stays in power or not is up to the church.

France’s Constitutional Court will decide whether same-sex “marriage” will be legal in France, it was announced on November 16. It will rule on whether or not a rule making same-sex “marriage” illegal is constitutional. It will take up to three months to decide. As these kinds of court cases push Europe leftward, expect the Vatican to respond. For more information, see last week’s column by Brad Macdonald, “Will the Vatican Retaliate?”

Asia

China’s state-controlled telecommunications firm hijacked 15 percent of all Web traffic for 18 minutes in April of this year according to a November 17 report to the U.S. Congress. The massive amount of data redirected by China included e-mail exchanges from the U.S. Department of Defense, Senate, Department of Commerce and nasa. The incident has raised concerns that the Chinese may have decrypted messages, manipulated data, or harvested sensitive information from re-routed e-mails. Some cybersecurity community members suspect that the incident is proof that China tested a cyberweapon that targets Internet traffic from foreign servers. Although Chinese officials have rejected U.S. claims that the re-routing was intentional, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s report says it could have been “malicious.” Vice chairwoman of the commission Carolyn Bartholomew said China’s efforts to penetrate U.S. networks “appear to be more sophisticated than techniques used in the past. The massive scale and the extensive intelligence and reconnaissance components of recent high-profile, China-based computer exploitations suggest that there continues to be some level of state support for these activities.”

Foreign ministers from China, India and Russia have vowed to boost cooperation in the areas of energy, aerospace, high-tech sectors, innovation, trade, cultural exchanges and geopolitical affairs. They made the pledges on Monday after two days of meetings in Wuhan, China. At the meetings, Chinese officials also emphasized the need for Russia, Japan and Singapore to ally themselves with China economically in order to capitalize on the massive influence they collectively wield within the international monetary system. Expect economic and political cooperation between these Eastern powers to increase, and for that camaraderie to pave the way for military alliance.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin left Bulgaria last weekend with an agreement for Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom to work with Bulgarian Energy Holding to build and run the Bulgarian section of the South Stream pipeline. The pipeline is planned to transport Russian gas through the Black Sea, and over Bulgaria to arrive in Europe’s Balkan region. The agreement, Moscow’s most recent victory in a rapid expansion of Kremlin-operated energy firms into the EU, means that Bulgaria has followed Poland’s example of teaming up with Russia to circumvent the EU’s anti-monopoly legislation. European energy officials have expressed concern over the Russian-Bulgarian deal because of its failure to comply with EU legislation, and because the EU views South Stream as a rival to Europe’s ongoing Nabucco project. Nabucco is aimed at breaking Russia’s grip on the European energy sector by linking Iraq and Caspian Sea reserves to Europe via Turkey, which would bypass Russia altogether. Some analysts believe that a primary aim of South Stream is to hinder the progress of Nabucco. Expect the Kremlin to intensify efforts to expand influence into Eastern Europe and other former Eastern bloc territories. Watch for tensions between Russia and the EU to build in this area as each tries to expand its territory and power, even if for now these tensions largely simmer under the surface.

Latin America/Africa

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez seems to have rescued himself from a very tricky position. In August, one of the world’s most wanted drug smugglers, Walid Makled, was arrested in Colombia. He is rumored to have recordings of all of his dealings—including those with high-ranking members of the Venezuelan government. If released, that information would be catastrophic—and could even bring down Chávez’s government. Key government members could faces charges of money laundering, drug trafficking and even terrorism. But on November 16, Colombia agreed to extradite Makled to Venezuela, not to the U.S. In exchange, a desperate Chávez is giving a lot to Colombia. On November 18, Venezuela announced it would extradite at least four members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (farc) and National Liberation Army—rebel groups that Chávez usually protects—to Colombia. Over the past couple of months, Venezuela has been closing down camps belonging to these two groups. They have started paying back the hundreds of millions they owe to Colombian firms. However, Venezuela will not get its hands on Makled quite yet. Colombia said the extradition would need approval from its Supreme Court, and that the process could take 6 to 18 months. In the meantime, the U.S. may be able to get plenty of information from Makled. Venezuela’s desperation may, at least in the short term, make a U.S. enemy a bit less belligerent to its neighbor. The Trumpet has long watched for Latin American nations to draw closer together as part of a trade bloc that will eventually align with Europe. A quieter Chávez (for now at least) may help the U.S., but it also could allow the whole continent to draw closer together. For more on this trend, see the chapter “Europe’s Latin Assault” in our He Was Right booklet.

In Madagascar, a group of army officers announced that they had launched a coup after a referendum on November 17. The group of 21 officers claims that all state institutions have been suspended. However, signs from the country indicate that a successful coup has not taken place, and that the old regime remains in power.

Anglo-America

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a strong stand for the State of Israel on November 8. Speaking at a conference on anti-Semitism, Harper warned that persecuting Jews was being dressed up as a “human rights” agenda, and that a new holocaust is not impossible. “I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of ‘honest broker,’” Harper said on Parliament Hill, referencing Canada’s lost bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. “There are, after all, a lot more votes—a lot more—in being anti-Israel than in taking a stand.” The prime minister went on to say that taking a stand for the Jews was more than just the right thing. Citing history, Harper said, “[T]hose who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are a threat to all of us.”

A Pew Research poll released Thursday found that approximately 40 percent of Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete. Marriage is declining among all groups, especially the less-advantaged, the study found. In 1960, more than two thirds of American 20-somethings were married, compared to about one in four in 2008. The survey also found that the meaning of the word “family” is becoming increasingly “expansive.”

On Tuesday, an F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced plane, crashed in Alaska. Air Force statistics reveal that in its short history, the Raptor has had seven Class-A accidents, each of which caused more than $1 million in damage.

In other military news, the military is warning pilots and soldiers not to use certain smartphone applications when they are in the field. The Air Force stated that “careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating … security and privacy implications.” If just one soldier accidentally accesses a popular application such as Foursquare of Facebook Places, terrorists or other enemies would simply have to log on to the service to know where he is located, which could lead to security breaches.

Idaho State University geologists have found a new 40-mile fault line in the Rocky Mountains. The fault line is capable of unleashing earthquakes of up to 7.5 magnitude. “There’s a chance in the next few decades that there will be an earthquake on this fault, and if it does happen, it will be a rather large earthquake,” Glenn Thackray, chairman of the university’s geosciences department, said.

Get Ready for Oil War

Hostility between Iran and Europe will erupt in a gusher.
From the January 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

The world’s greatest terrorist-sponsoring nation now presides over the world’s most powerful oil cartel. What will this mean for oil prices, and for the world? One Russian analyst says an international oil dispute is sure to erupt—but this time, it is not America’s fight: It is Europe’s.

On October 14, Iran was unanimously elected president of opec, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. The move says a lot about America’s waning global influence. This grouping of nations, some of which are American “allies,” clearly intended the vote as a slap to America’s face. Not only did it ignore Washington’s outreach to many of them—which included the U.S. propping up the Iraqi government and selling Saudi Arabia $60 billion worth of upgraded F-15 fighters—but it also undermined U.S.-led efforts to enforce sanctions on Iran for continuing to pursue nuclear weapons.

Making the slap sting all the more is the fact that Iran’s oil minister, Seyed Masoud Mirkazemi, holds the opec presidency. Mirkazemi is a senior-level commander within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist organization. So opec is now chaired by a terrorist representing a terrorist-sponsoring nation.

Clearly the Arabs dread offending Iran far more than they do America.

Iran vs. Europe

Fear of Iran infects the Persian Gulf. And the Arabs should be afraid. America has begun withdrawing from Iraq and will begin pulling out of Afghanistan soon. The Arabs will be left to deal with—perhaps submit to—Iran.

Iran is acutely aware that America is an exiting superpower. But what exactly is Iran’s agenda?

Iran will certainly work to increase oil prices, and will likely succeed, says Russian Center for Public Policy Research director Vladimir Yevseyev. But Iran is gearing up for a far bigger battle, he says: one against Europe.

As head of opec, Iran will leverage its position to counter the policy of the European Union.

Europe, in addition to participating in certain embargoes that complicate Iranian oil sales, has recently begun taking further steps to restrict trade and foreign investment in Iran due to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weaponry. On September 30, four of Europe’s largest oil companies (Shell, Total, Statoil and Eni) announced they had committed to stopping business with Iran.

The situation is getting touchy. Iran has now retaliated by giving ultimatums to other European oil firms: Either commit to business in Iran or prepare to have your assets seized.

Iran has other weapons too. Europe depends on imports for the vast majority of its oil. Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy import almost all of their oil. Nearly half of Europe’s imported oil comes from the Middle East. And most of that comes through the Persian Gulf—which is half Iranian coastal waters.

“Security of energy without Iran has no meaning,” opec’s new president warned on October 14. The international community and Europe in general should take close note, he said.

It wouldn’t take much to send the cost of crude oil soaring. Global estimates suggest that due to depletion, over the next 5 to 10 years the Middle East is going to become the world’s most valuable source of oil. Iran is predicted to be one of the few countries with excess oil supplies.

“[T]he political risks are rising,” says Russia’s Yevseyev. “I do not see the way how this situation could change, as I do not see grounds for a rapprochement between Iran and Europe. … Europe looks at Iran’s presidency of opec as a problem with which it will fight, but not as the possibility of rapprochement with Iran” (emphasis mine).

Yevseyev is right. Rapprochement is out of the question.

The Push

The Middle East has the oil. Europe needs it. Iran wants to use it as a tool to push Europe. Europe wants to stop Iran from getting the bomb. America just wants out. Both Iran and Europe want in. The rest of opec balances on nitroglycerine—not wanting to offend Iran, and enjoying higher oil prices—but also looking with apprehension at a withdrawing America and with interest at emerging European aggressiveness.

In an oil-constrained world, Iran believes its position is impregnable. As opecs second-largest producer, it has the oil, and it is now leveraging its position within opec to push its agenda and try to attain nuclear capability. Yet a nuclear-armed dominant Iran is not something Europe wants to live with either. This is not a recipe for peace in the Middle East.

Tensions are escalating even faster than the price of oil, if that is possible. But where is it all headed?

The Bible says a clash between Iran and Europe is inevitable. Daniel 11 prophesies that an Iranian-led Middle Eastern power (referred to as “the king of the south”) will push at a European power (“the king of the north”) and provoke a war. The Trumpet’s editor in chief has written that oil would likely be a big part of this push—specifically the tightening of Europe’s oil supply.

Iran’s taking control of opec is a sign of its power and confidence growing. Expect it to use its new position to continue to push at Europe until it eventually provokes a far bigger response than anticipated.

You can read more about this prophecy in our booklets The King of the South and History and Prophecy of the Middle East.

Marriage—Soon Obsolete?

Marriage—Soon Obsolete?

Trumpet

A recent survey shows that an increasing number believe that marriage is becoming obsolete.

Is marriage on the way out? Is adultery still wrong? Is the institution of the home, with its family life, to disappear from society? How and when did the institution of marriage originate? Does it, after all, serve any necessary purpose?

Herbert Armstrong asked those questions well over 40 years ago in a booklet that he produced titled Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete?

The title of that booklet flashed before my eyes when I read a headline from Thursday’s Washington Post using the exact same terms!

In a piece headlined “Four in 10 saymarriage is becoming obsolete,” the Post stated, “As families gather for Thanksgiving this year, nearly one in three American children is living with a parent who is divorced, separated or never-married. More people are accepting the view that wedding bells aren’t needed to have a family” (emphasis mine).

Well, happy Thanksgiving, America! As the Virginia Slims ad used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”—I think NOT!

I think not because I know the negative statistics surrounding the families that are not embedded in the tradition of monogamous marriage. And I have, over the years, worked with people who have shattered their lives as a result.

I know and have studied for years the figures surrounding the devastation caused by single-parent, broken families, families produced by couples not having the courage nor the sense of responsibility to make a lifetime binding commitment to a married partner. Not to mention the terrible psychological damage done to those who deign to establish a “family” within a homosexual relationship.

But more, I know, from an adult lifetime’s experience, the very opposite—the unspeakable blessings, the peace, the happiness and the security that come from being bound in marriage to one wife for almost half a century, and the tremendous stability such a relationship produces in a second and on to a third generation!

I know because I’ve simply lived it!

I’ve heard every argument over the years from the feminists, the leftists, the so-called swingers of the ’70s, and the morally deprived generations produced from the beatnik to the rap generation. Most all had an argument against marriage as the ideal state for the establishment of family relationships upon which a healthy society is built. And with most all, the argument they held to was used to justify their own chosen immoral lifestyle, just as the Bloomsbury set of another era had done so, using godless Freudianism, Marxism and Darwinism as their justification to overthrow the eternal absolutes of truth.

Well, I’m thankful that amid the search for the absolutes as a young seeker after truth crossing the threshold from teens into young adulthood, I came across one who preached the truth, no holds barred, and who challenged his listeners to prove he was right!

I took the challenge and proved it!

As a young married parent of two at the time, I read Herbert Armstrong’s booklet prophesying of a coming generation which would see marriage as largely obsolete. That was 42 years ago. Yesterday I read the headline that spoke of the fulfillment of that prophecy.

As we have declared on occasion in this magazine, the sure thing about prophecy, despite the gainsayers, is that all you have to do is wait, and one day it will be fulfilled. It’s as sure as the rising sun tomorrow.

“About 29 percent of children under 18 now live with a parent or parents who are unwed or no longer married, a fivefold increase from 1960, according to the Pew report being released Thursday. Broken down further, about 15 percent have parents who are divorced or separated and 14 percent who were never married. Within those two groups, a sizable chunk—6 percent—have parents who are live-in couples who opted to raise kids together without getting married” (ibid.).

When I attended elementary school from the mid-1940s to early 1950s, I did not know the meaning of the term “divorce.” I was the only child in my class from a single-parent home. My mother was widowed. I consciously felt my status diminished by not having a father like all my peers.

Of my peers at high school I cannot remember one that came from a single-parent family.

By the time my eldest son reached high school, half his peers came from either single-parent homes, or homes that had suffered the identity trauma of divorce and remarriage.

Oh! We pride ourselves on just how we have “matured” as a highly developed, politically correct society. But in reality, our society is rapidly devolving back to the pre-Flood Noatian era. Back to a time akin to that of Noah, when all moral standards and absolutes had been trashed to the point that all types of perverse human relationships were being tolerated and encouraged. The result was the almost total annihilation of civilization!

Well, believe it or not, your Bible prophesies of those times repeating themselves today. Prophesies of times that would become identical with the morally bankrupt pre-Flood era (Matthew 24:37-38), times of mass carousing, times when the God-given laws of marriage would be trashed as obsolete!

The prophecies for our time forecast a prevailing era when rampant lewdness would take hold of a society that would eat, drink and generally consume to excess. An era knowing no moral bounds, with rising health problems akin to those of the ancient diseased society of Egypt. An era when society would suffer diseases that waste away the human body as a result of self-inflicted illness stemming from perverted diet, perverted interracial breeding practices and perverse sexual relationships (Deuteronomy 28:60; Leviticus 26:14-16).

It is such a society that now prevails within the Anglo-Saxon nations in particular. And we are about to reap the whirlwind as a result!

“Indeed, about 39 percent of Americans said marriage was becoming obsolete. And that sentiment follows U.S. census data released in September that showed marriages hit an all-time low of 52 percent for adults 18 and over.

“In 1978, just 28 percent believed marriage was becoming obsolete” (ibid.).

But the deepest concern surely ought to be for the extent to which society has lost the vision of the meaning of the term marriage as it is revealed in the Scriptures as applying alone to the monogamous relationship between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24).

“When asked what constitutes a family … four of five surveyed pointed … to an unmarried, opposite-sex couple with children or a single parent. Three of five people said a same-sex couple with children was a family” (ibid.).

Should the trend continue exponentially, then within another lifetime, two thirds of society would believe that marriage was obsolete—if in fact the marriage institution itself was able to survive as an entity till then. The reality is that if marriage as an institution does not survive, then civilization as we know it will literally collapse!

Thank the Eternal Creator of man and woman, the Creator of the institutions of marriage and family, that we will never reach that stage! For the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, has declared when we see society degenerating back to its pre-Flood condition, that is a potent sign of the imminence of the Creator’s intervention in the affairs of man. The direct intervention of the Creator to put a defining stop to humankind’s rebellious, anti-God ways, and usher in the establishment of His very own government on Earth!

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man …. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:36-37).