Charting the Future

Charting the Future

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Pay close attention to what German leaders said at two recent summits, and you know what to expect in Europe— and the world.
From the April 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

What a dramatic barnburner of a year 2010 was! What will this year bring? Important clues were dropped at two crucial summits that kick-started 2011 for world leaders—one in Davos, the other in Munich.

A close reading of the stance adopted by elites during these high-power conferences gives more than an inkling of what’s in store for Europe—and, thus, the rest of the globe—in the coming months.

You need to understand the far-reaching ramifications.

The annual World Economic Forum met in Davos, Switzerland, January 26 to 30. In past years, the focus has been specifically on trying to project an economic vision for the world for the year ahead. This year, however, the emphasis was patently geopolitical. This change, though not scheduled, was a natural outgrowth of the participants being deeply concerned about the state of the world. They see risks to global stability accelerating on three fronts—the failure to solve the ongoing financial crisis, the shift of growth and wealth to the emerging economies of the east and south, and revolutionary change in the Middle East.

That focus on geopolitical risks in a time of increasing global economic, political and social dislocation continued as many participants shuttled on to Munich for the annual Munich Security Conference. Here, an important reality became clear. It may well be that the emerging economies, led by China, are setting the pace economically at present. However, it is Europe, specifically Germany, that is charting a new direction for global politics.

The Importance of Munich

The Munich conference was born in 1962 of an idea of Ewald Heinrich von Kleist, son of a prominent military officer of the same name who rose to the status of field marshal under Hitler. Both father and son were involved in the plots to assassinate Hitler. After the war, while the elder von Kleist died in prison in Russia, the younger became a successful publisher. He established the Wehrkunde Conference.

The Wehrkunde brought together cabinet ministers, members of parliament, high-ranking representatives of the armed forces, scientists and representatives of the media from all over the world once a year to meet in Munich. There they convened to discuss matters involving international security.

By 1999, the Wehrkunde had changed its name to the Munich Security Conference, chaired by Horst Teltschik, former national security adviser to the German government. It had by then become the premier annual global security summit.

In 2009, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger was appointed chairman of the conference. Under his chairmanship, this year’s conference was its largest ever and—it could be argued, given the continuing global economic crisis and the destabilization of the Middle East—its most crucial.

At Munich, Bavaria, Germany now plays the host annually to the most high-profile gathering of world leaders involved in national and international security policy for the year ahead. It is in the corridors at Munich that alliances are considered and debated and global security strategy is refined.

Just a couple of months earlier, nato held its annual summit, during which it laid out the new transatlantic security model in a new strategic concept. Thus, participants at the Munich Security Conference—who also had just come from Davos—had a fair idea of the perceived direction that the West’s efforts at securing global security would take from the one, and a degree of vision as to the economic direction from the other.

This year, a landmark treaty, the start treaty, was officially implemented between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.

But, viewing the live streamed video from Munich, it soon became obvious that Germany was emerging as the most lucid and potently assertive voice effecting international policy economically and monetarily, as well as in matters related to the theme of the summit, security and defense.

Guttenberg Spotlighted

The Munich Security Conference opened with a speech by German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He revealed the new outward-looking perspective of a Germany quickly gaining confidence in its role as a global player.

“Security has a global dimension,” he said. He linked that global dimension with Germany’s recent moves to “launch the most fundamental changes to our military force since the founding of the Bundeswehr,” redesigning the German military to become “smaller, more capable, more efficient and more effective.” He noted that Germany is “joined in this effort by our partners in the [Atlantic] alliance.” These changes, Guttenberg indicated, were to “strike a balance between means and mission” with the overall aim of answering the question, “What do we want to achieve politically with the realignment of the Bundeswehr?”

Given Germany’s history, the answer to that question could have profound impact not only on the Atlantic alliance, but also on the rest of the world.

As if to partially answer it, Guttenberg continued, “We want to improve our strategic weight in the alliance. We want to make an adequate contribution and we want to influence the events.” In this context, Guttenberg does not restrict Germany’s contribution to the transatlantic context. Rather he sees German and nato cooperation providing a “worldwide network of security.”

Toward the end of his remarks, Guttenberg focused on the nation of Israel. He declared that “Israel needs neighbors who want to live with it in peace and which do not threaten its existence. Egypt and Jordan must honor their peace treaties with Israel. Europe has some clout in these countries, and we should use it.”

That latter statement bespeaks the imminent prospect of a regeneration of the Middle East peace process, with Germany taking a lead role—something this magazine has been predicting for two decades.

NATO’s Vision

Guttenberg’s speech was followed by that of nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who drew attention to the overarching theme of the Munich conference: “How to build security in an age of austerity.” He highlighted the danger of reducing defense budgets, declaring that “if the cuts are too deep we won’t be able to defend the security on which our democratic societies and prosperous economies depend.” He emphasized nato using the ongoing financial and economic crisis to “help nations to build greater security with fewer resources but more coordination and coherence” so as to “avoid the financial crisis from becoming a security crisis.”

Alluding to the need for flexibility and a globalist approach toward security in sync with Guttenberg’s stating the need for security to be viewed within a “global dimension,” the nato chief observed that “old certainties no longer hold, tectonic plates are shifting. … At stake is not just the world economy, but the world order” (emphasis mine throughout).

No doubt thinking of Washington’s stick-in-the-mud approach to the Atlantic alliance, Rasmussen stated, “We need a new approach: smart defense, ensuring greater security, for less money, by working together with more flexibility.” That one statement reveals how close Guttenberg’s approach to upgrading the Bundeswehr is to Rasmusson’s vision for nato. The two are of one mind in their strategy for upgrading each force and synchronizing with the other. Both seek a leaner, meaner, more proficient and reactive blending of German and nato military power.

The ongoing financial crisis is accelerating this process. As Rasmussen observed, “The crisis makes cooperation between nations no longer a choice. It is a necessity.” He held up the recent merging of British and French force capabilities as an example, applauding their “fundamental shift towards closer cooperation to develop and share critical defense capabilities” as a real “turning point.” He then praised Germany’s efforts, stating, “I particularly wish to commend Minister zu Guttenberg and the German government for undertaking the reform of the Bundeswehr, to make it leaner and more agile.”

Then the nato leader pointed to the true nature of what European elites are working toward militarily: “A strong, strategic nato-EU partnership would deliver many benefits, in political and operational terms, as well as financially. It makes sense for us in Europe. … I will continue to do all I can to make it happen.”

That statement rings with an air of prophecy. It will happen, but not because Anders Fogh Rasmussen will do all in his power to achieve that end. It will happen because Bible prophecies herald the dramatic rise of a northern European power, dominated by a nation the prophecies identify as being descended from the war men of ancient Assyria. (Proof of this can be found in our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

Realizing Dr. Funk’s Vision

Perhaps the most eye-opening session at Munich was a panel discussion titled “Implications of the Financial Crisis on Global Stability and Security.” In it, the vision of EU elites came into clear focus. Dr. Walther Funk, Hitler’s minister for economic affairs, would be beaming with national pride were he alive today hearing that vision portrayed by today’s EU centralists. For that vision reveals that Germany is about to fulfill his dream of advancing toward global monetary hegemony.

Funk’s vision was to have the exchange rates of European nations controlled by Berlin. This would enable Germany to ensure it could sell its manufactured goods at increasingly favorable prices; this in turn would increase Germany’s wealth at the expense of lesser economies dependent upon it for custom and financial support in the form of expensive loans.

Germany has, in essence, achieved this effect today by ensuring that the European Central Bank sets interest rates for eurozone countries. This restricts the growth of many EU member nations so much that they are becoming increasingly indebted and prone to call for bailout by Europe’s central bankers, of which Germany is chief by far.

Hence the eurozone crisis.

That raises, once again, an important question: Was the euro crisis foreseen by German elites? Was the single-currency policy of the EU—a German idea—a deliberate strategy to make the individual national economies of Europe subservient to Berlin? That question seemed clearly answered by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, at the Munich conference.

During the first panel discussion, there was an interchange between financier George Soros, EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Olli Rehn, and Wolfgang Schäuble. Soros declared that the euro crisis “is about to be resolved.” And how? “There is now a determination to make up the missing element, which is a common fiscal policy or a common treasury.” He was referring to Germany’s forceful drive to establish EU fiscal regulation under a centralized economic government enacted and controlled by Berlin.

Divergence, Crisis and Success

But Soros went on to raise a particular concern: “I’m afraid that the structure that is being put together will also be flawed. It is clearly visible that it will create problems in the years to come because the euro, which was supposed to bring about convergence, has actually created a divergence within the performances of the various countries. The structure that is currently being discussed will cast this divergence in stone. That will have very serious consequences because you are creating a two-speed Europe between surplus countries surging ahead and indebted countries sinking under the weight of their debt.”

What was intriguing to note was Schäuble’s and Rehn’s response. Here are extracts from their discussion:

Soros: “The euro created a divergence in Europe’s economies. Germany plans a common treasury and a common fiscal policy for the EU. … This creates a two-speed Europe. … Debtor countries sink under the weight of debt while strong economies grow. … This will present a bad political situation allowing for the rise of extremist political groups.”

Schäuble: “The challenge is how to handle the financial crisis versus global security versus global governance.”

Rehn: “A new and enforced economic government is needed. We need a global government to allow the markets to stay close to equilibrium. We need a third way. A rules-based system similar to that which Ludwig Erhard implemented. The German example is the real EU model.”

Soros: “A rules-based system will be flawed due to human imperfection.”

Schäuble: “The global financial crisis happened due to too high demand and too little regulation. We need more regulation. The EU is the classic example of regional cooperation. The Chinese model is not for the rest of the world. The problem of 2008 was due to lack of rules. We need a rules-based system with competition and freedom. Rules and framework—look for these.”

Rehn: “The German approach is a very responsible policy.”

Schäuble: “The deeper the crisis, the better the chance for getting solutions!”

This interchange starkly reveals the anti-democratic stance of the EU’s real controllers, the elites who rule from the European heartland. These elites are determined to impose centralized economic governance on Europe. They are deliberately creating a crisis of divergence between the stronger and the weaker EU members—a crisis as pre-planned as the Greek economic crisis, in which German elites were equally culpable. (You can read more about this in our February 2009 article “Did the Holy Roman Empire Plan the Greek Crisis?”) And this crisis will end with the same results: control of the nations’ economies by centralized authority vested in Brussels, Berlin and Frankfurt.

A Single Government

Wolfgang Schäuble observed during the panel discussion that the founders of what is today’s European Union always wanted political union. The ultimate aim is a single European government. The means of achieving it is monetary union. As Sir Richard Body predicted fully 12 years ago in his book The Breakdown of Europe, “The objective of a single currency in the European Union … is to integrate formally and irrevocably all the economies of the member states. They will be merged together into a single economy under the control of a single authority that will be (de facto if not de jure) a government.”

That is exactly what Germany is proposing today.

The most influential thinkers at the Munich Security Conference spoke of the need for security to be global rather than national in extent and responsibility, administered under centralized rather than sovereign national control.

They spoke of economic and financial regulation that is imposed over sovereign national jurisdiction by a centralized authority. “Such thinking is infused with the utopian belief in ‘new order’ governed by an elite of administrators and planners,” wrote John Laughland of the mindset of EU elites.”[L]ike all socialist thought, such ‘new thinking’ is predicated on a radical rejection of humanity as it is now, and indeed of liberty” (The Tainted Source).

Ultimately, this shows a perceived need for a supreme global human authority to which all humanity would be subservient. But as Soros said, such a system would be flawed by human imperfection.

Berlin’s Economic Government

Using the logic put forward by Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany is now moving aggressively to gain full economic and political control of Europe using the economic crisis as the catalyst. Berlin wants all eurozone member states to acquiesce fully to what it calls its “competitiveness pact.” The trouble is, this is an obvious first step toward Berlin taking over the governance of Europe’s once sovereign economies.

German-Foreign-Policy.com wrote of this: “The mark of the German economic policy, aimed at massive salary reductions, general economic insecurity and aggressive export orientation, is unmistakably recognizable within the individual provisions of the ‘EU competitiveness pact.’ The pact, which is described as the nucleus of a future EU economic governing body, provides for the eurozone nations to introduce ‘debt limitations’ patterned on the German model” (February 14).

The proposed European economic policy “threatens sanctions against those countries that refuse to take these steps. The impending ‘European economic governing body’ will be implemented ‘completely along the lines of the German model’” (ibid.).

Ireland, Greece, Portugal and now Spain have been test cases for this “German model” of economic governance.

Joan Marc Simon, secretary general of the Union of European Federalists, gave an up-to-date observation of just how the process operates using Spain as an example: “The front page of today’s Spanish newspapers [February 4] joined the country’s main political actors in cheering the words of Merkel: ‘Spain is going in the right direction with the reforms.’ I almost fell off the chair: A foreign leader coming to Spain—a sovereign nation-state, at least on paper—and telling the democratically elected leaders what they have to do. And everybody finds it normal!”

Simon’s incredulity came from his observation of “the fact that a sovereign country is managing to force other sovereign countries to do what it thinks to be right. In the past this could be achieved only with the use of military force” (Europe’s World, February 7).

He’s right! Simply put, what Germany sought to achieve by military force in 1914 and 1939 it is now well advanced in gaining through implementing a clever, long-term grand strategy of economic and political control by regulation.

What started 50 years ago as a seemingly innocuous European Coal and Steel Community comprising just six nations has evolved over time into the European Union of 27 states today, being brought under one single government.

Simon observed, “[T]he events of [recent] months show that national fiscal sovereignty is gone … to Germany. Germany decides the measures and evaluates its implementation and, whether we like it or not, it didn’t ask for permission to do so.” He calls this “the biggest takeover of national sovereignty by a European member state since World War ii.

Once again, he’s so right.

But that’s really what Herbert Armstrong warned for decades was behind Germany’s efforts to unite Europe. He told us Germany had learned that to seek to take over Europe a third time by warfare was counterproductive. He clearly declared that it would set up an economic empire first, then suddenly militarize it at the appropriate time. He told us that it would then turn our own weapons upon us!

That is what the integration of the German, EU and nato military structure being touted by nato and Germany is all about!

Now that Germany is so far advanced toward economic and hence political control of Europe, the time is fast approaching for it to accelerate military control.

The Munich Security Conference exposed the German plan for what it is. The competitiveness pact is the instrument by which Europe’s governance will be centralized in Berlin. The concept of “network security” highlighted by Guttenberg is the strategy by which nato and EU military power will be progressively merged to enforce that government.

It’s all happening just as Herbert Armstrong said. Request our free booklet He Was Right and see just how far ahead Mr. Armstrong saw into the future we are living through today. It’s a remarkable account of the clear vision the Eternal God gave to him of the events leading up to Jesus Christ’s return. And it will show you just how close we are now to that grand event.

Keep watching Europe for events to accelerate toward the final exposure of what this European Union is all about: in reality, the prophesied seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!

The World’s Leading-Edge Laboratory

Where scientists go for inspiration (hint: It’s not NASA)
From the March 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

What kind of machine do you need to explore the surface of Mars?

It’s quite a puzzler for the scientists tasked with the job. In fact, the best minds in space exploration have found it easier to get a spacecraft to reach that distant planet than to build a robot that can successfully navigate the rugged Martian landscape—with anything near the agility of your common mountain goat.

On Earth, everything rolls on wheels. On Mars’s boulder-strewn, canyon-covered landscapes, wheels don’t work so well.

To address the problem, scientist Rodney Brooks took an alternative, yet eminently logical approach. From his earliest days of designing robots, Brooks began with the hypothesis that any successful system had to be grounded in the physical world. “I argue for simplicity,” he says. “I’m interested in building something that can’t fail to work.” So he built based on something that already worked.

In this case, he—perhaps unwitting-ly—followed the wisdom of a biblical proverb, and went to the ant. Anyone who has ever seen an ant crawl out of impossible-looking holes or up steep walls can understand why.

The more Brooks observed the tiny six-legged creatures, the more amazed he became. He could scarcely believe humble insects were capable of forming logical descriptions inside “that puny little head with 50,000 neurons.”

By watching high-speed videos of insects running, he noticed that “they fall all the time and hit their metaphorical chin.” But because they are so lightweight and their skeletal strength is so great, they can have missteps and still recover.

While other scientists were building massive, unwieldy, fragile robots, Brooks (in conjunction with another scientist and a high school student) designed a small, lightweight, six-legged, ant-like robot called Genghis. It was good enough to get the attention of Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (jpl) and nasa.

Brooks’s ant robot, built in the mid-1980s, represented an established trend in technology—one that has been exploding in popularity in recent years: When science reaches a limit, when it hits a wall, engineers, builders and inventors look to a fascinating source for inspiration.

They turn to the creation.

It only makes sense. Whether or not you believe in the existence of a Creator, the natural world is teeming with eye-popping, mind-stretching engineering and scientific feats that, well, work. Elegantly, beautifully, without fanfare.

Nature’s Drawing Board

Perhaps you are familiar with the seeds of the burdock plant? A bane to hunters and woodsmen for thousands of years, this little-known photosynthetic organism is now the poster child for the burgeoning field of biometrics (or as it is also known, biomimicry).

Even before the fateful day in 1941 when George de Mestral went for a hike in the Swiss Alps, came back covered in sticky burrs and had an epiphany—Velcro—scientists have been copying the methods and systems found in nature and adapting them to everyday problems. In fact, learning and applying the lessons of living things is at the forefront of some of the world’s most cutting-edge technology.

During the early years of jet engines, researchers encountered a perplexing design barrier. As planes got faster and faster, the engines persistently stalled out at certain speeds. The air, instead of flowing into the engine, would for some reason flow around it. Puzzled, researchers looked to nature’s fastest animal: a diving peregrine falcon. How could the bird still breathe, they wondered, while traveling at an incredible 200 miles per hour? Looking at the falcon’s nostrils, they found that a small cone protruding from the front slowed down the air, allowing orderly airflow into the nasal cavity. Fashioning a similar cone in front of the turbine air intake slowed the air enough to maintain proper airflow into the jet engine.

Flight engineers continue to scrutinize the natural world for solutions. For example, it has long been known that the wing shapes of different birds favor different types of flight. Some wings work well for rapid acceleration; others work much better for long-distance cruising: Think sparrow versus albatross. Additionally, birds have the remarkable ability to spread their feathers during the different stages of flight to maximize efficiency. Scientists from Penn State University want to exploit these advantages by building mechanical aircraft wings that can change form. With these next-generation wings, sliding scales cover a shape-shifting understructure that allows the wing to morph in mid-flight to enable faster, more efficient flying and conserve fuel.

Other scientists and planners are trying to boost flight efficiency by mimicking bird behavior. Some birds, like Canada geese, increase the distance they can fly by more than 70 percent by flying in V-formation. Scientists have discovered that when one bird flaps its wings, it creates a small updraft that lifts the bird behind, allowing it to glide more and expend less energy. A team at Stanford University says that passenger airlines could likewise benefit from V-shaped convoy flight. Models suggest that if, for example, groups of three or more jets from West Coast airports flew in formation en route to East Coast destinations, taking turns in front as birds do, the aircraft could use 15 percent less fuel compared to flying alone. Not a bad savings for doing something as simple as imitating bird behavior. In 2009, the Defense Department announced plans to pay Boeing to investigate the merits of formation flight.

Meanwhile, scientists at the University of Leeds in Britain are studying the defense mechanism of the bombardier beetle to see if the insect might help them learn how to reignite stalled gas-turbine aircraft engines in mid-flight. The beetle is known for a highly efficient discharge apparatus that enables it to spray predators with a high-pressure stream of boiling fluid a distance of 200 to 300 times the length of its combustor. Its exit nozzle system—with its incredibly short mass ejection time and long range of spray—may serve as a prototype to help aircraft more accurately squirt plasma into gas turbine combustion chambers during the reignition process.

Engineers at Airbus are also making high-tech, nature-inspired wing modifications. In order to smooth the flow of air over the wings of the aircraft, they are using a striated foil coating inspired by the shape and texture of sharkskin. Intriguingly, scientists have discovered that the rough texture of sharkskin actually helps channel the flow of water over its surface—reducing turbulence and thus drag. Sure enough, the same principle works with airflow. The result of their nature-inspired modifications? Planes creating 6 percent less friction and enjoying increased fuel efficiency.

The sharkskin discovery applied even more directly at the last summer Olympics in Beijing. Swimmer Michael Phelps won a record-breaking eight gold medals there. Training and aptitude were no doubt the biggest reasons for his success, but his swimsuit, fashioned with synthetic sharkskin fabric, definitely provided an edge. In fact, 89 percent of all medal winners at that competition wore sharkskin-model suits.

Similar sharkskin-type coatings are being applied to the hulls of ships as well because their bumpy, rivet-like contours inhibit the growth of barnacles, algae and other organisms that normally like to adhere themselves to boat bottoms.

Higher, Faster, Further—Cooler?

Inventors have designed fabrics that could be used to make clothing that adjusts to help keep you warmer or cooler depending on your body temperature. How? By studying the way pinecones open and close depending on humidity. One new smart textile is constructed with a layer of thin spikes of water-absorbent material that opens up when the wearer sweats. When the layer dries out, the spikes automatically close again. A second layer underneath would protect the wearer from the rain. These fabrics promise to reduce or eliminate the need to wear multiple layers of clothing.

Keeping cool is also a challenge for building engineers, especially when you want to avoid expensive air conditioning bills. To solve this problem, some designers have turned to the humble termite. As it turns out, termites are masters at managing the temperatures inside their termite towers. They do this by constantly opening and closing vents throughout the mound to bring in cooler air from lower levels and release hot air through chimneys. The new high-rise Eastgate Center building in Harare was inspired by these amazing insect mounds. It collects cool air at night and lets it settle to basement levels. Then this air is used to cool the structure throughout the day. The result is a modern building that uses only 10 percent of the energy required by a typical multistory shopping mall.

When engineering solutions are not enough to keep heating and cooling costs down, super-efficient wind turbines can help. For this, the creation is offering solutions too.

Ever wonder why humpback whales have odd bumpy protrusions on the front of their flippers? Despite traditional fluid dynamics that say this isn’t possible, it is because the scallops actually reduce drag and increase lift. This new science—which is actually as old as humpback whales—is revolutionizing wind turbine technology. New airfoils designed with humpback flipper-like bumps on the leading edge reduce stall angles and purportedly increase efficiency enough (almost a third) to make the wind power comparable, on a cost basis, to other, more traditional forms of power generation.

Changing to Survive

The wild Martian landscape is far from being the only challenge in space exploration. High-energy radiation bombards sensitive electronic equipment and extreme temperatures cause drastic mechanical wear and high rates of system failure. To get around these problems, scientists commonly include shielding. They hardwire spare parts, build in redundancy, and take other measures. But the drawbacks are formidable. Spare parts and insulation are heavy and costly. Plus, you can’t carry spare parts for everything, or—in the case of space travel—it might not fly.

Some scientists, however, are taking a radically different approach—one also grounded in the real world of the creation.

What if you could build a circuit board, a computer program or a robot that could adapt depending on conditions? Even better, since there is no post office to deliver spare parts on Jupiter, what if you could build a system that could repair itself? That is what scientists like Adrian Stoica at jpl are working on.

Consider humans. In some ways, we’re quite fragile. We are optimized to live in 70 degree climate, but we have learned to adapt to live in climates between minus-40 degrees in arctic tundra to 104 degrees or higher in warmer climates. We adapt to our environment by wearing clothes, eating high-energy food, drinking lots of fluids, and avoiding intense sunlight. Even a child learns to put on a pair of socks when his feet are cold. This makes us much more resilient.

Scientists like Stoica are developing circuits and even computer programs that adapt when they notice a change in the environment or when they fail at a task.

Working for jpl and nasa, Stoica’s job was to build electronics that could perform functions in extreme environments such as volcanoes or nuclear reactors, or even outer space. As opposed to the standard approach of shielding electronics from the environment, he thought of a second possibility: When the environment changes, why not just replace the broken parts by having the electronics reconfigure themselves?

Thus Stoica designed and built flexible circuits that actually self-adapt to find optimal functionality under radiation, temperature or other environmental changes.

“The human body offers a good analogy,” say Dennis Shasha and Cathy Lazere in their book Natural Computing. “Cuts normally … heal naturally in a few days, broken arms in a few weeks. But an amputated limb requires a prosthetic. If a spacecraft could be designed so that minor failures would be repaired locally and severe failures would be repaired by replacement with a spare part, then the spacecraft [or robot] might survive for [much longer].”

A spaceship that can fix itself might sound fanciful, but consider that the transportation industry is already developing products based on the same concept for use much closer to home. Self-repairing plastics for use in things like aircraft fuselages and automobiles are being tested with the hope that they can make vehicles lighter, more fuel-efficient and safer. When the hollow plastic fibers are stressed or broken, the microscopic tubes release an epoxy resin, creating a “scab” nearly as strong as the original material.

Other scientists are taking the concept of biological adaptation even further: working to produce machines that can not only mimic and adapt to change, but also make decisions and solve complex problems on their own.

“[T]he future,” say Shasha and Lazere, “is a synthesis with nature.” In other words, get ready for some mind-boggling advances.

The Correct Scientific Method

The discoveries—that is, rediscoveries—are coming faster and faster. Considering the vastness of the creation, the potential is virtually limitless.

Consider. Deep-sea sponges have inspired commercial optical fibers. Giant water-capturing fog nets in Chile and Peru were inspired by a Stenocara beetle. Bat-like sonar-emitting canes help blind people locate obstructions. Superhydrophobic paint that won’t collect dirt is coming to storerooms near you—and was inspired by the lotus plant (will you ever have to wash your car again?). Sea creatures related to sea urchins, called brittle stars, have led to improved optical lens designs. The gecko has taught us how to make tape without glue.

Who knows what discoveries the yeti crab or star-nosed mole might hold? How long before we are commercializing rope based upon super-strong spider silk? Or making glass out of dissolved silicon in seawater, like microscopic phytoplankton? What other technologies will the creatures living in deep-sea underwater volcanic vents stimulate?

As scientists know, success in an endeavor requires building on a sound foundation. Often, when scientists and builders get into trouble it is because they build on a faulty foundation. If you begin with an incorrect premise, you’ll end with an incorrect answer.

Creation-based science is proving to have a terrific premise. Why is that? If we are honest, we cannot attribute the supremely developed engineering behind the natural world to random chance. It reveals a mind of stunning intelligence and creativity.

As Herbert W. Armstrong once wrote, “I have said that the tools of modern science are observation, experimentation and reason. Are those tools wrong? Not at all! The error comes from rejection of revelation. For revelation is the true starting premise.”

If you want truth, if you want real answers, God must be your foundation. The Bible reveals that when God saw everything He had created, “it was very good.” God designed the material world with all its physical, chemical and biological laws to work well. The more you look at creation, the more you come to understand that even our most advanced man-made technologies look primitive by comparison.

Although scientists today don’t realize it, as they look to nature for solutions to problems, they come very close to the correct scientific method. Looking to the lessons of living things—which are designed by God, the Supergenius of cutting-edge technology—is about as close as this world comes to asking God for answers.

When God’s knowledge is the foundation of a project, it is inspiring to see what can be accomplished!

Shasha and Lazere say that the future “is a synthesis with nature.” In truth, the bright future scientists are working toward will come as a result of a “synthesis” not with nature—but with the Creatorof “nature”! The Bible prophesies of a time coming soon when all human endeavor will be based on the right premise, and grounded in a robust relationship with God. Under direct divine tutelage, the scientific barriers holding us back today will come tumbling down! Invention and technology will enter its true golden age!

A Chilling Peek at Our Abortion Culture

A Chilling Peek at Our Abortion Culture

©iStock.com/YsaL

From the April 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

In February of last year, federal agents raided a West Philadelphia abortion clinic on the suspicion it was distributing prescription drugs illegally. What started as a routine drug bust ended with a nauseating tour through a disgusting scene one might expect to find in a Third World country—but certainly not in Pennsylvania.

The facility was filthy. Flea-infested cats roamed the hallways. There was blood on the floor, animal excrement on stairwells. The stench of urine permeated the air. Medical instruments were left unsterile. Moaning, drugged-up patients were covered with blood-soaked blankets. And the remains of 45 fetuses were strewn all over the facility, stuffed in bags, jars, plastic jugs, juice cartons—even cat-food containers. Citing “an immediate and clear danger to the public health and safety,” federal authorities quickly moved to shut down the clinic and suspend Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s medical license.

In January, a grand jury finally charged Gosnell with eight counts of murder following the wrongful deaths of one woman and seven newborn babies.

“My comprehension of the English language can’t adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell,” said District Attorney Seth Williams during a news conference. According to the 260-page grand jury report, Gosnell was running a drug mill by day and abortion factory by night that netted him $1.8 million a year.

“Gosnell catered to the women who couldn’t get abortions elsewhere—because they were too pregnant,” the report charges. “Most doctors won’t perform late second-trimester abortions, from approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, because of the risks involved. And late-term abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy are flatly illegal. But for Dr. Gosnell, they were an opportunity. The bigger the baby, the more he charged” (emphasis mine throughout).

Gosnell’s preferred method of performing late-term abortions was to prescribe drugs to induce labor and delivery, which often resulted in the birth of live babies. He then murdered the newborns by severing their spinal cord with scissors—a process he referred to as “snipping.”

In one particularly gruesome case, he induced the labor of a 17-year-old girl who gave birth to a healthy, 18-inch-long, 6-pound baby boy. “This baby is big enough to … walk me to the bus stop,” Gosnell allegedly joked during the procedure. Gosnell then slit his throat and dumped the body into a shoebox.

Prosecutors say the “really big” abortions were generally scheduled for Sundays, when the clinic was closed and the regular employees were gone. On these days, Gosnell and his wife would take care of the “abortion” and then dispose of patient files in order to cover their tracks.

But in numerous cases, Gosnell’s assistants killed babies when the doctor was absent. In one, a nurse played with a newborn baby for several minutes before stabbing him in the neck as she had seen Gosnell do so many times before.

Evidently, this sort of thing happened hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the course of decades. And it’s not like there weren’t red flags along the way. The Philadelphia Inquirer said Dr. Gosnell became a lightning rod for controversy as early as 1972, when nine women experienced serious complications after he experimented with a plastic coil to induce abortions. “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not really attempting to do something,” he said at the time.

Gosnell opened his clinic in 1979; the Pennsylvania Department of Health didn’t inspect it until 10 years later, when it discovered numerous health violations at the facility—all of which Gosnell promised to fix. Inspections in 1992 and ‘93 also turned up various violations. But nothing was done—no investigations followed. After 1993, the grand jury report asserts, the Department of Health abruptly decided to stop site reviews due to “political reasons.” Such inspections, officials concluded, would be “putting a barrier up to women” seeking abortions.

It would be better for women, abortion lobbyists argued, to leave the clinics alone—to let them do as they please. And so, this monster in Philadelphia was able to murder hundreds, perhaps thousands, of babies who survived illegal abortion procedures. And who knows how many women have been abused or permanently damaged by Gosnell’s barbaric practices. He’s been sued 46 times since 1981. And we know of at least one woman who was drugged up so heavily under Gosnell’s care that she later died in his clinic.

What a priceto pay to make it easier for women to get an abortion. Since Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 million unborn babies have been killed in America. And yet our spiritual sickness is so grotesque, we want to make it easier to slaughter more innocent lives—even if it means turning a blind eye to the grisly acts of “doctors” like Gosnell.

The media blackout of Gosnell’s mass murder is even more despicable than the deeds themselves. abc News and msnbc completely ignored the Gosnell case. cbs Evening News and nbc’s Today only covered the story once. cnn and Fox News followed the story for a few days, but that’s pretty much it. Why the silence? Because of a widespread determination to cover up the ugly truth about our culture of infanticide.

Philadelphia’s “house of horrors” is not an isolated case; it’s the tip of the iceberg. And the news media deliberately downplayed it. As Jeffrey Kuhner wrote in the Washington Times, “Exposing what takes place in facilities run by the likes of Dr. Gosnell would shock voters into taking decisive action to make abortion illegal. This is why the killing of innocent unborn children is done largely away from public view. It is a creeping, hidden genocide that can continue only if the fiction of abortion being a ‘medical procedure’ is maintained.

“It isn’t. Abortion is the deliberate, systematic slaughter of babies in the womb. It is state-sanctioned infanticide” (January 20).

God prophesied that people in these latter days would be “without natural affection” (2 Timothy 3:3). Nowhere is this fulfilled prophecy more obviously evident than in our genocidal culture that makes it incredibly easy to snuff out human life by the millions.

Any means by which people cut off that human life demonstrates a pitiable ignorance—a lack of true education—about the purpose for human life and the incredible potential bound up within it. To learn more about God’s divine purpose for man, request a free copy of our book The Incredible Human Potential.

How to Make the Pope Furious

Radical Islam is pushing all the wrong buttons.
From the March 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

If Asia Bibi, a hard-working mother of five living in northern Pakistan, could have known the events that would unfold because of an incident at work on June 14, 2009, she never would have gotten out of bed that day.

On June 18, four days later, a mob of villagers snatched Asia from her home, stripped and beat her in the street, and then marched her to the local police station. Village officials feared the angry hordes (which included Muslim clerics), and without any investigation into the veracity of the claims against her, they arrested Asia and locked her away. On Nov. 8, 2010—after she had been held in isolation in prison for over 16 months—a local court sentenced her to death.

What heinous crime did Asia Bibi commit?

“She was picking berries with other women,” her husband explained, “when she was sent to get water. One of the women [a Muslim] refused to drink the water after my wife dipped her cup in the bucket. This woman said it was contaminated because it was touched by a Christian.” Before long a group of Muslim women had descended on Bibi, insulting her mother, children and religion. Asia tried to defend herself, her husband says, and simply responded by “repeat[ing] the same insults back to them.”

That was it. Four days later, Bibi was ripped from her home and family, viciously beaten, unfairly arrested and thrown in jail on the trumped-up charge that she blasphemed the prophet Mohammad.

Long story short, Asia Bibi is a victim of radical Islam’s intensifying war on Christianity!

Islam’s Hatred Explodes

This tale of religious intolerance, injustice and outright persecution and violence is important because it is not an anomaly. In recent months, radical Islam has intensified its attacks on Christians around the world, especially in Muslim nations, but in Western countries too.

Persecution of Christians by Muslims is now so pervasive and violent, wrote Jeffrey Kuhner in the Washington Times, that “Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the ancient lands of its birth.” Across the Mideast, he lamented, “a creeping religious genocide is taking place” (Dec. 23, 2010; emphasis mine throughout).

These days, there are hundreds, even thousands of Bibis being persecuted, tortured and murdered in a host of countries by radical Islamists.

On New Year’s Eve in Alexandria, Egypt, 21 Coptic Christians were killed and 79 were wounded when a bomb left outside the door of the Two Saints Coptic church exploded. Despite some ridiculous claims that the attack was conducted by the Mossad, Egyptian authorities and various intelligence agencies agree that the attack, the worst in Egypt since 2006, was carried out by Iraq-based Islamic terrorists.

In Russia the next day, radical Islamists used a grenade to set fire to a church in the Muslim-rich North Caucasus region. A week earlier in the Philippines, six people were wounded on the island of Jolo after a bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded inside a church during Christmas mass.

In Nigeria, at least 80 Christians were killed in a wave of attacks on Christmas Eve. In one instance, dozens of armed men attacked a church in Maiduguri, dragging the pastor from his home and executing him in the street. In another, more than 32 people were killed and 50 wounded in the central Nigerian city of Jos after a series of roadside bombs placed by radical Islamists exploded. In Nigeria alone, the number of Christians killed by Muslim terrorists numbered in the hundreds.

In Iran, a pastor is slated to be executed for converting to Christianity. In Pakistan, in February 2010, 150 armed Muslims invaded Pahar Ganj, a Christian neighborhood north of Karachi, and ransacked two churches, beat Christians, and torched shops and vehicles—all because a Christian lad touched a piece of fruit on a Muslim vendor’s cart. In Somalia, the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab, which controls much of central Somalia, routinely persecutes, even kills, Christians, and is seeking to eradicate Christianity.

Similar atrocities against Christians are becoming increasingly common in the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Lebanon—and the list goes on.

Then there’s Iraq, which in 2010 experienced the worst attack on Iraqi Christians on record. On October 31, as 140 parishioners prepared to take mass in Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church, the building was invaded by gunmen from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq terrorist group. When the church was later stormed by Iraq’s counterterrorism unit, the militants detonated suicide bomb vests, killing 58 men, women and children, including two priests, and wounding 80 more people. On New Year’s Eve, a cluster of 10 bombs was placed near the homes of 14 Catholic families in Baghdad, Iraq. Four of the bombs were defused; the others exploded, killing two and wounding 20. The victims were all Catholic. Since then, attacks on Christians have increased.

Over the past decade, Christian Iraqis have fled the country at a shocking pace: Before 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was about 1.5 million; today, barely 400,000 Christians remain!

Robert Fisk lamented in the Independent last fall that the exodus of Christians from the Middle East has reached “almost biblical proportions” (Oct. 26, 2010).

An Ancient Prophecy Fulfilled

Over the past 20 years, the Trumpet has put the spotlight on a prophecy in Daniel 11:40 that says that Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will be precipitated by a colossal clash of civilizations. The scripture reads, “And at the time of the end shall the king of the southpush at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

As we have explained, the “king of the south” mentioned here refers to radical Islam headed by Iran. The “king of the north” is the German-led superstate now being built in Europe that will operate under overarching influence of the Catholic Church. To prove this truth, request our free booklet The King of the South.

The operative word in Daniel 11:40 is push, which in Hebrew means to gore, thrust at or wage war. And notice, it’s the king of the south that pushes and provokes the king of the north.

Radical Islam’s growing campaign of violence against Christianity is living fulfillment of this prophecy!

Based on this scripture, we say with certainty that as Christians flee Iraq, as church members wipe the blood of their brethren from the walls of the Coptic church in Alexandria, as Asia Bibi sits in jail awaiting the noose, the plight of these individuals, and of the larger Catholic community, is not going unnoticed.

The truth is, radical Islam’s fierce hatred for Christianity—and the global campaign of violence and cruelty it has fueled—is infuriating an institution that has historically been Islam’s greatest enemy: the Roman Catholic Church!

Retribution

The day after Islamic terrorists attacked Catholics in Alexandria, Pope Benedict xvi said it was a “vile gesture of death” and that it “offends God and all of humanity.” In his speech, he appealed to Christians: “In the face of the threatening tensions of the moment, especially in the face of discrimination, of abuse of power and religious intolerance that today particularly strikes Christians, I again direct a pressing invitation not to yield to discouragement and resignation.”

That’s a polite way of saying, “We must not give in to the demands of radical Islam.”

If you study the pope’s recent speeches, there is no doubt he is rising to the occasion. He is refusing to be bullied. About the tone and structure of Benedict’s speech after the attacks on the Coptics in Egypt earlier this year, John Allen wrote that they confirm that “religious freedom, and especially the defense of embattled Christians, has become the Vatican’s supreme diplomatic priority” (National Catholic Reporter, January 10).

Over the last few months, radical Islam has gained momentum in its war on Christianity. Don’t expect it to let up on its assault. What we should expect, however, is for the Vatican to begin to respond. Fifteen hundred years of European history—including the Crusades, when tens of thousands of Catholic Europeans responded to Pope Urban’s war cry by slaughtering tens of thousands of Muslims in the Middle East—tell us that the Catholic Church will respond mightily, with force and vigor!

Don’t think for a moment that this world is too sophisticated to relive the Crusades!

In practical terms, two developments are likely.

First, the persecution of various Christian churches and Catholic sects (like the Coptics in Egypt) will drive these groups into the protective arms of the mother church, the Catholic Church. The more these daughter churches seek protection, the stronger the Vatican will become in defending its spiritual family. The more radical Islam encroaches, the more intense and popular Benedict’s campaign to re-evangelize the Catholic community, especially in Europe, will grow. Radical Islam’s assaults will unify Catholicism.

Second, expect the Vatican to increasingly employ its tried and tested strategy of forging a powerful axis with the most dominant European power, then exploiting that power as the instrument by which it can confront its enemy, in this case radical Islam. For the Vatican, the rise of militant Islam is an ideal discussion point with Europeans, millions of whom are alarmed by the encroachment of Islam on the Continent. With a little prodding, and with the support of European governments, the Vatican could begin to make life much tougher for Muslims in Europe—and ultimately for Muslims everywhere!

The mutual threat of radical Islam will strengthen the historic axis between the Vatican and Christian Europe!

Of course, the Trumpet does not claim to know the specific thoughts and designs of Pope Benedict and other Catholic leaders. But we do know what Daniel 11:40 and other biblical prophecies say—and we believe them. We can say with certainty that Pope Benedict xvi is looking at Asia Bibi, and the Catholic victims of the bombing in Alexandria, and the mass exodus of Catholics from Iraq, and is becoming enraged. Even now, he is likely hatching a strategy to confront this enemy.

That strategy, Bible prophecy says, will soon thrust the entire world into a time of unprecedented upheaval and violence!

China Moves to Secure Latin American Oil Reserves

China Moves to Secure Latin American Oil Reserves

Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

America is walking blindly into a situation where 10 percent of its oil imports could be redirected to Asia.

China is positioning itself to supply its ever growing oil thirst with Latin American oil—at the expense of the United States.

Already this year, the Chinese have secured an oil supply of nearly 600,000 barrels per day from Latin America and they are set to purchase far more in the near future. According to the Energy Tribune, the Chinese secured deals throughout Latin America in 2010 worth at least $65 billion in stakes of projects that could eventually produce over 1.3 million barrels of crude oil a day.

Most of China’s Latin American oil investments have been with Venezuela—a country that currently supplies the U.S. with 10 percent of its oil imports. “All the oil that China needs for the rest of this century is underneath Venezuelan soil,” stated Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez last December.

This statement is definitely an exaggeration, as China will require much more oil than Venezuela alone can produce. This, however, is all the more reason for U.S. citizens to be concerned. The anti-American Chávez has never been happy at the fact that he has to sell his oil to the U.S. in order to keep Venezuela’s economy afloat. He would be more than happy to redirect oil exports away from the U.S. and toward China if an opportunity presented itself.

The Chinese are currently planning a Venezuelan oil refinery with a 200,000-barrel-per-day capacity and have already rented a 5 million-barrel storage facility in the Caribbean. All that is left to do is for China to secure a way to economically ship Venezuelan oil across the Pacific to its own shores.

Venezuela has no coastline on the Pacific Ocean and a trans-oceanic oil barge is too large to fit through the Panama Canal. These two facts make it hard to economically ship Venezuelan crude to China.

The president of Colombia, however, announced in early February that the Chinese plan on building a 138-mile-long railway across his country—from the Gulf of Uraba on the Atlantic coast to the port of Cupica on the Pacific coast. This new energy transportation thoroughfare will allow China to ship oil and coal from eastern Colombia—and Venezuela—to Pacific ports, where it can then be shipped across the ocean.

The completion of this railroad—already being hailed as a land-based Panama Canal—could transform the oil politics of Latin America overnight, making China a prime recipient of this oil.

Consider what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy:

Although all wealth comes from the ground, prosperity and affluence on a national scale always have come by industry and commerce. And commerce between nations has been transacted almost altogether by the sea-lanes of the world—by ships, and, within a continent, by railroads.

America is walking blindly into a situation where 10 percent of its oil imports could be redirected to Asia due to a lack of influence over the Panama Canal and Colombia’s railways. To see how this situation is prophetic, reference our article “Superpower Under Siege” and then carefully read Herbert Armstrong’s classic The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

What Happened to Egypt’s Pharaohs?

What Happened to Egypt’s Pharaohs?

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ancient Egypt was a magnificent civilization, until it suddenly vanished in the sixth century B.C.
From the April 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

The winds of revolution sweeping Egypt today aren’t the first that have ravaged that nation.

Most history textbooks open with a description of ancient Egypt as a towering civilization that, for more than a millennium, led mankind’s intellectual, political and cultural advancement. Each year, millions of visitors marvel at the pyramids jutting from Egypt’s dunes, at the mummified remains of the ancient pharaohs, and at Egypt’s mountains of other artifacts and relics—all testimony to the power the civilization once held.

But perhaps the most striking facet of Egyptian history is its precipitous fall.

Modern-day Egyptians, after all, are not descended from those ancient societies that constructed the Giza Pyramid Complex, the Great Sphinx, and other momentous structures. They have no connection to the early dynastic peoples that pioneered new frontiers in science, mathematics and art, and that once dominated the civilized world. Today’s Egypt is inhabited and ruled by Arabs; before that it was under British control; before that it was controlled by various Muslim peoples, including the Ottomans; before that it was the Romans; before that the Greeks; and before that the Persians.

Egypt has resurfaced intermittently in the past 2,500 years of world history, but always as the territory of a foreign nation or empire. What happened to ancient Egypt—the unique and independent civilization established by the pharaohs, the nation that once reigned over mankind? That Egypt has clearly vanished.

Don’t you wonder why?

Who Were Native Egyptians?

There is a great deal of confusion among historians about the race of native Egyptians. Archeological evidence, ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphics indicate the presence in ancient Egypt of both Semitic (Caucasian) people and Negroid peoples (including various shades of brown).

In the 19th and 20th centuries, when artifacts were uncovered indicating the presence of black pharaohs, prejudiced historians and scientists generally downplayed the notion that a great Nubian civilization had once existed in Egypt. Today, however, many Egyptologists recognize that the indigenous peoples of ancient Egypt originated from the same racial strain as their counterparts in Africa.

In February 2008, the National Geographic cover story spotlighted the substantial historical and archeological evidence indicating the presence of a predominantly black civilization in early Egypt: “Only in the past four decades have archaeologists resurrected their story—and come to recognize that the black pharaohs didn’t appear out of nowhere. They sprang from a robust African civilization that had flourished on the southern banks of the Nile for 2,500 years, going back at least as far as the first Egyptian dynasty” (emphasis mine throughout).

Moreover, scientists have also investigated the remains of the early Egyptians, including their dna, bone structure and teeth, and concluded that early Egyptians are of the same racial strain as the black people of Africa. Even the historical record indicates early Egypt was settled, at least partially, by people of black skin. Among the ancient historians who recognized this fact was Herodotus, the fifth-century Greek who referred to the ancient Egyptians as “melanchroes,” meaning black-skinned.

The science indicating the presence of a black civilization in Egypt supports the biblical account of the origins of the early Egyptians. In the book of Psalms, for example, mostly written around the 10th century b.c., the psalmists often recall the history of the Israelites in Egypt. In Psalm 105:23, for example, King David writes, “Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.” In Psalm 78, Asaph remembers God besieging the Egyptians with plagues, writing that God “smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham” (verse 51).

At the time of King David, Egypt was known as the “land of Ham.” The Bible clearly reveals Ham as Noah’s son, the husband of a black woman and the father of the black race. More specifically, the Bible indicates that the ancient Egyptians descend from Ham’s son Mizraim (Genesis 10:6). The Hebrew word everywhere used in the Old Testament for Egypt is Mizraim. In fact, the Revised Standard Version identifies “the sons of Ham” in Genesis 10:6 as “Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan.”

So when it comes to ancient Egypt, science and the Bible agree: Early Egypt, like the rest of Africa, was largely comprised of blacks, descended from Ham, father of the black race!

But what of the wealth of archeological evidence, especially art, that clearly reveals the presence in ancient Egypt of a Semitic people?

The White Egyptians

Once again we must turn to God for the answer. Any person who has read the first five books of the Bible will recall Egypt’s prominent role in the events surrounding the development of ancient Israel. Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jacob’s 12 sons and their descendants—the Bible reveals that all these men lived in Egypt at some point in their lives, and played a crucial role in early Egyptian history.

In other words, Abraham and his descendants—all Caucasian—had a decisive presence in and influence over ancient Egyptian civilization!

Consider Abraham. In Genesis 12, Abram relocates from Chaldea to Canaan. When a famine arises in Canaan, Abram is told to move to Egypt. During his stint in Egypt, which could have been a few years, Abram had extensive contact with the pharaoh and the upper echelon of Egypt. For example, verse 16 says that the pharaoh “entreated Abram well … and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.”

Hailing from the land of Chaldea, which was known for its advanced understanding of science and mathematics, Abraham—as Jewish historian Josephus recorded—was an exceptional scientist, mathematician and astronomer. He even shared this knowledge with his Egyptian friends. Josephus recorded, “For whereas the Egyptians were formerly addicted to different customs … Abram conferred with each of them …. [He] communicated to them arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy; for, before Abram came into Egypt, they were unacquainted with those parts of learning …” (Antiquities, I, viii, 2).

Abram had a powerful influence on Egypt. In fact, in the 20th century b.c., Abram was largely responsible for equipping ancient Egypt with the knowledge that resulted in Egypt’s emergence as the intellectual giant of the time!

A little more than two centuries later, Abraham’s great-grandson Joseph ended up living in Egypt. The Bible reveals that he too had a decisive influence on ancient Egyptian civilization. The fascinating story of Joseph’s journey from being thrown in a pit by his brothers and then sold into slavery to eventually become a prominent figure in Pharaoh’s household appears in Genesis 37 through 40.

In Genesis 41, Pharaoh rewards Joseph for interpreting his dream. He promises Joseph, “Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. … And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt” (verses 39-46).

Read the whole passage—it’s remarkable. Basically, the pharaoh gave Joseph, an Israelite, the keys to the Egyptian empire!

Joseph became part of the royal family of Egypt. And in the years following his promotion as vice president, it was Joseph’s leadership—particularly his economic policies—that made Egypt the wealthiest and most powerful empire on Earth.

In Genesis 44 though 47, we read of how Joseph’s 12 brothers and his father, Israel, relocated to Egypt and settled in its most fertile region, the land of Goshen. Under Pharaoh’s protection and living on the Nile delta, these families expanded rapidly. As the Israelites’ numbers quickly rose, they made vital contributions to Egyptian civilization, with some, thanks to Joseph’s good word, even taking up positions within Egypt’s government. Evidence suggests the Israelites helped Egypt with some of its largest building projects. In fact, some research compellingly suggests that Job (Khufu in Egyptian, Cheops in Greek), an Israelite, was the mastermind behind the construction of the Great Pyramid.

In the 15th century b.c., when it came time for the Israelites to depart Egypt, it is estimated that they numbered between 2 and 3 million. Truly, Israel at this point was a nation living within a nation, a people within a people. This explains why Egyptian historical records show the existence of both white and black people in the nation.

Truly, the history of ancient Egypt is phenomenal. Thanks largely to God’s presence in its history—from the knowledge originally taught the Egyptians by Abraham, to the financial prowess and quality leadership of Joseph, to the labor, organization and farming practices of the Israelites—ancient Egypt emerged as the magnificent civilization we know it to have been.

So then—what happened?

Egypt’s Sudden Disappearance

The 10 plagues and the annihilation of the Egyptian army during the Exodus of the Israelites in the 15th century b.c. left Egypt demoralized and debilitated, politically and culturally. It did, however, recover much of its former glory; the dynasties of the pharaohs were perpetuated, and Egypt reemerged as a regional force and a civilization rich in culture and material possessions.

It wasn’t until the sixth century b.c. that Egypt fell from the heights of global prominence—never to return. Its demise began early in that century when it tangled with the Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. Within a few decades, Egypt was being attacked by the Persians—the inheritors of the Babylonian Empire—and had fallen completely. When Pharaoh Psamatik iii died after battling the Persians in the battle of Pelusium in 525 b.c., wrote George Rawlinson, “thus perished … the last of the long line of pharaohs, which commencing with Menes … had ruled Egypt, as a great independent monarchy, for not less than 20 centuries” (History of Ancient Egypt).

Despite periodic insurrections by native Egyptians, the ancient Egyptian civilization never fully recovered from the Persian invasion. Beginning in the sixth century b.c., tides of foreigners began to settle in Egypt: Seafaring Greeks sailed in from the Aegean, Jews came from Jerusalem, and Syrians from the northern Levant. Within a couple of centuries, Egypt was a cauldron of races. In the fourth century b.c., Persia’s grip on Egypt slipped, and the reins passed from Persia to Greece, first to Alexander the Great, then Ptolemy and the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

Around 30 b.c., Egypt fell under the control of the Romans, where it remained until the early seventh century, when the Muslim conquest of Egypt began. Between the 7th and 19th centuries, Egypt was ruled by various Muslim governments, including the Ottoman Turks. By the end of the 19th century, Egypt was controlled by Britain, which in the early 20th century turned it over to the Arabs.

As this survey of Egypt’s history shows, Egypt never fully recovered from the Babylonian and Persian invasions of the sixth century b.c. It never again existed as an independent, world-ruling power!

A Base Nation

The key to understanding events in Egypt in the sixth century b.c.—and to understanding Egypt’s disastrous fall from global prominence—is found in the book of Ezekiel.

In chapters 29 and 30, we read of God sending the Prophet Ezekiel to deliver a crucial message to Egypt. “Set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt,” God instructs Ezekiel, “and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt” (Ezekiel 29:2). The biblical record shows that Ezekiel was dispatched to Egypt in the early sixth century, and that he delivered his message to Pharaoh Apries (Hophra in Hebrew), the fourth king of the 26th dynasty of Egypt.

Under the rule of Apries, Egypt was a powerful, influential civilization. In fact, Egypt’s presence was so impressive, Apries, like his forefathers, thought himself king of the world, as powerful as God Himself. Pharaoh Apries considered the Nile River, the source of Egypt’s material greatness, to be his own creation, and he declared himself the god of the Nile.

Drunk on arrogance, Apries had lost sight of Egypt’s history with God and the Israelites. So God dispatched Ezekiel to warn Apries of where his egotism was leading and to tell him that God would expose and destroy him, and that in Egypt’s devastation the world would learn the ultimate source of Egypt’s power. In verse 3, God tells Ezekiel: “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.”

God was going to show Pharaoh Apries exactly who created the Nile and gave Egypt all its power. In verse 4, God tells the pharaoh, “I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.” God said He would expose Pharaoh Apries as a fraud—much like He had exposed the gods of Egypt during the 10 plagues nearly a thousand years earlier!

God continues His warning in verses 8-10: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.”

In verse 19, Ezekiel even reveals to Apries that he would be attacked by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In scripture after scripture of chapters 29 and 30, God warns the pharaoh that Egypt’s destruction at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians would be so disastrous that it would never fully recover!

Then, in verse 15, God makes a prophecy that would change Egypt forever. Regarding Egypt’s future after the destruction, He says explicitly: “It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.”

God couldn’t have been clearer: He promised that after the sixth century b.c., Egypt would never again be a major ruling power!

Prince of Egypt

In addition to Ezekiel 29:15, another scripture is key to understanding Egypt’s sudden demise in the sixth century, specifically the sudden disappearance of Egypt’s ruling dynasty of native pharaohs.

Although Egypt would eventually recover from the damage inflicted by the Babylonians and the Persians, God says in Ezekiel 30:13 that “there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt ….”

This, as Bible commentaries explain and historical records confirm, is an explicit prophecy that after its destruction in the sixth century b.c., Egypt would never again be governed by a native prince!

This astounding scripture explains the sudden disappearance of Egypt’s ancient pharaohs!

In the early sixth century, Pharaoh Amiries was overthrown by Amesis, a commoner who was not from the line of the pharaohs. After Amesis, Egypt was ruled by Pharaoh Pamaitic iii. After the defeat of the Egyptian armies in the battle of Pelusium in 525 b.c. and the death of Pamaitic iii, the Egyptian monarchy became Persian. After the Persian conquest, the Greeks dominated Egypt beginning with Alexander the Great in the fourth century b.c. When Alexander died, Egypt was ruled by Ptolemy, who established a Greek dynasty of pharaohs. That dynasty ended in 30 b.c., when Egypt fell into Rome’s orbit. Truly, from the sixth century b.c., a native Egyptian has never—not once—ruled over Egypt!

Stunning Prophecies

Take a moment and think on these stunning prophecies.

For nearly 2,000 years before the sixth century b.c., Egypt was not only a regional force, but a pulsating civilization. Culturally and intellectually, ancient Egyptian mathematicians, scientists and astronomers were on the vanguard of innovation; agriculturally, ancient Egypt exported grains throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean; the ancient Egyptians constructed edifices that 4,000 years later still dazzle engineers. Politically, Egypt’s ruling class was the most enduring and impressive monarchy in the world.

Then, all of a sudden in the sixth centuryb.c., Egypt vanished as a world power—and never reclaimed its position! Why? Because, as we discovered in Ezekiel 29 and 30, God said that after the sixth century b.c., Egypt would remain the “basest of kingdoms,” a nation still alive, yet incapable of “exalt[ing] itself any more above the nations.”

Today, each of these prophecies has been fulfilled, and we have 2,500 years of recorded history to prove it.

Truly, Egypt has played a pivotal role in human history—as a living testament to the existence of God!