A Chilling Peek at Our Abortion Culture

A Chilling Peek at Our Abortion Culture

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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!

The End of the Dollar

From the March 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

In January, Chinese President Hu Jintao was wined and dined with a lavish state banquet at the White House and other official ceremonies usually reserved for America’s closest friends and allies. Why? One must be very polite when entertaining your banker—even if you don’t like him and he doesn’t like you.

Yet there is another more ominous but closely related reason.

For years, China has warned America that its support for the dollar was not unconditional. The warnings fell on deaf ears. Confident that China was virtually forced to lend money to America, Washington embraced a borrow-and-spend policy that would have destroyed any other currency.

Then last year, when it became clear that America could not borrow enough money to pay the bills—it crossed the Rubicon, declaring that the laws of paper money no longer applied to the mighty dollar: America would just print whatever money it needed to pay the bills. Federal Reserve Chairman Benjamin Bernanke declared he would start by conjuring $900 billion—75 percent of America’s borrowing needs—out of thin air.

The world was shocked that America would so abuse the world’s reserve currency. France, Germany, Russia and China were outraged. But Americans wagered that the world is too caught in the dollar trap to do anything about it.

So far, this strategy has worked out pretty well for America. With several European countries falling apart, the dollar has firmed up, and safe-haven money has continued to flow into America. But signs are, that is beginning to change.

Europe’s Sugar Daddy

As the Washington Post wrote, “[S]trange things are happening in Europe—none stranger than the emergence of China as the Continent’s sugar daddy” (January 16).

Wait—wasn’t China America’s “sugar daddy”? Well, just follow the yen. In July 2009, China held $939 billion worth of U.S. treasury debt. More than a year later China’s holdings have fallen to $895 billion. This is big news—and surely isn’t lost on Washington. For more than a year, America’s most important creditor has stopped lending new money to America. Instead, China is investing its money, and its confidence, in Europe.

Today, Europe matters more to China than any place in the world. With 400 million First World consumers and the world’s largest economy, the European Union is by far China’s biggest export market.

It is a reciprocal relationship, too. China now directly holds over $900 billion worth of eurozone national debt. In Greece, China is investing billions more as it attempts to build the Mediterranean port city of Piraeus into the “Rotterdam of the south,” and create a modern-day silk road linking Chinese factories with consumers across Europe and North Africa.

Most importantly, China has thrown its weight behind the euro.

In a recent trip to Europe, Vice Premier Li Keqiang did nothing less than transform Europe’s economic picture. Just as commentators were predicting the collapse of the eurozone, Li—a favorite to become China’s next prime minister—appeared to throw China’s $2.85 trillion worth of foreign exchange reserves into Europe’s breach, promising to be a committed and responsible long-term investor in Europe. icbc bank, China’s largest lender, quickly followed suit, announcing its intention to move full force into the eurozone. It will open its first-ever branches in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. It has already opened offices in Frankfurt and Luxembourg.

Li’s support is already paying dividends in Europe. With interest rates coming down from recent highs and successful debt auctions, Spain and Portugal got a welcome taste of what several billion euros’ worth of Chinese “sugar” can do.

Of course, it doesn’t come free. Li publicized China’s desire that the EU relax restrictions on high-tech exports to China and develop trade relations. In addition, China wants access to Europe’s defense companies.

Europe seems all too willing to do business. The EU’s Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton called for abolishing Europe’s arms embargo with China. Reportedly, American officials, who have to deal with a rapidly growing Chinese military presence in the Pacific, are furious.

What Will Replace the Dollar?

It was what Hu Jintao told the Wall Street Journal just prior to his arrival in Washington, however, that should have all Americans preparing for one massive sugar crash. He said the dollar should no longer be the world’s reserve currency. It is a “product of the past,” he said. It is time for a more fair and balanced system.

What does China think should replace the dollar? Hu himself said it wouldn’t be the yuan. What does that leave? Follow the sugar.

“The euro will overcome the region’s deficit crisis,” assured Song Zhe, China’s ambassador to Europe, back in December. The cementing of the euro’s status will “promote the building of a diversified global currency system,” he said.

Remember: When anyone talks about “diversifying” the global currency system, by definition it means ditching the current system—which is the dollar.

And China isn’t alone in shifting support to the eurozone. Japan has also announced that it will step up its efforts to back Europe by purchasing eurozone debt. According to Reuters, Japan will purchase 20 percent of soon-to-be-issued Eurobonds. The Eurobonds would be jointly issued and backed by all members of the eurozone—creating a new debt market that will directly compete with U.S. treasuries. Where will Japan get the money? As America’s second most important lender, it has a whole stack of treasuries it would probably love to “diversify” out of.

If the world wants out of the U.S. dollar, there is only one viable paper alternative: Europe.

According to Li Daokui, an academic member of the Chinese central bank’s monetary policy committee, Americans only have months to prepare—while Europe works to get its act together. “For now, market attention is still on Europe and for the coming 6 to 12 months, it will not shift to the United States,” said Li on December 8. “But we should be clear in our minds that the fiscal situation in the United States is much worse than in Europe. In one or two years, when the European debt situation stabilizes, attention of financial markets will definitely shift to the United States. At that time, U.S. treasury bonds and the dollar will experience considerable declines.”

Strange things are happening in Europe. Now you know why. The international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944 is on the verge of breaking down, and the dollar will soon be fighting for its survival as the world’s reserve currency.

To Our Family in the United Church of God

From the March 2011 Trumpet Print Edition

This is the most urgent time in history, and God’s people have a big job to do!

For years, Herbert W. Armstrong proved to us from the Bible that the United States would fall, that Europe would unite, that Germany would rise, that the nations of Asia would come together.

Today we see everything he talked about happening before our eyes.

Read the headlines. The U.S. is a spent force. China is becoming a powerhouse and allying with a resurgent Russia. And look at Europe. There you see a consortium of nations building a single federal government, using a single currency, just as Mr. Armstrong said. Right now, it faces deep economic crisis. European leaders are contemplating radical measures to address it. And the strongest nation—the nation everyone is looking to for answers—is exactly who Mr. Armstrong and Bible prophecy said it would be: Germany.

For years, time and again Mr. Armstrong prophesied of a unified Germany leading a European alliance of 10 kings. Watch closely—because that is exactly what is about to emerge from the crisis in Europe! And as prophecy warns, that power is going to dominate the world during the worst time of suffering in history, the Great Tribulation.

This world needs this warning from God now more than ever. Now is the time God’s Church must be blasting that message!

That is exactly what the Philadelphia Church of God is doing, as vigorously as we possibly can.

But sadly, tragically, most of God’s people today are not supporting that effort.

The vast majority have lost their urgency just as it is needed most. They have lost their understanding of why the Church. As Mr. Armstrong repeatedly taught us, we are not here for our own salvation. God has called a select few today out of season expressly to do a work. That is our purpose.

You know that God blessed the work abundantly under Mr. Armstrong. Especially in Mr. Armstrong’s final years, when he was physically most frail, God used him powerfully, miraculously—and all of us who supported him—to loudly proclaim His message throughout the world: The Plain Truth circulation soared over 8 million; The World Tomorrow aired on over 400 stations; Mr. Armstrong delivered the gospel personally to audiences and leaders all over the world. The fruits show conclusively that the living Christ empowered him and the work.

Today, though, the vast majority of the people who once backed God’s apostle are divided, bickering, accusing, politicking. As the Apostle Paul once wrote, “It hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren … that there are contentions among you” (1 Corinthians 1:11). This was a problem in the first-century Church—and it is a massive problem today.

Is Christ divided? Paul demanded (verse 13).

Where is the work? The time of Christ’s return is closer than ever—and He is preparing! Those of His people who have remained faithful, Christ is actively leading to get readyto prepare for the marriage of the Lamb—and to warn this world!

Time is fast running out—and Christ earnestly, passionately wants you to be of that number! Will you zealously get behind the work Christ is doing today?

As much as it frustrates and wounds you to see the church you have been a part of splintering—as much as it pains all of us to see bitter division among God’s people—it grieves God far more.

God wants His people deeply, beautifully unified. David sang, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). Paul wrote that all of God’s people should remain “in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). Christ prayed that we would all be “one, even as we [Father and Son] are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be madeperfect in one” (John 17:22-23).

That is the only way the great work of God can be accomplished by a “little flock” that humanly has “little strength” (Luke 12:32; Revelation 3:8). That is a Spirit-led unity that is only possible among God’s people! That is the unity Christ and His wife will enjoy forever!

If we are not building and living that unity with God and with each othertoday,we must repent quickly—or we will not be part of that unified God Family forever!

Looking at the Church as a whole today, how much of that unity do you see? The fact that there is such precious little should be a source of deep concern and shame to God’s people. God’s work today would be a hundred or a thousand times more powerful if all of God’s people were energetically fulfilling their exalted calling as God’s firstfruits and Christ’s bride!

Do you know why there is so much division among the body of believers that once did such a powerful work for God?

When Paul encountered division among God’s people, he dealt with it forcefully. “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak thesame thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10).

When Mr. Armstrong was on the scene, and he encountered division, he too used the authority God gave him to confront it! And we can all thank God that he did. You might remember the liberalization of the Church in the 1970s. It was an ominous preview of what would happen after Mr. Armstrong died. But in that instance, Mr. Armstrong was still around to set things right. He submitted to Christ, the Head of the Church, and Christ used him to get the Church back on track. And look at the results: The Church enjoyed several years of the most explosive growth in its history.

A lot of God’s people today can recognize what a disaster happened once Mr. Armstrong was gone. But far too many have drawn a completely erroneous conclusion. Surely you have heard, if not come to believe, that the problem was the one-man government structure of the Church. That is a diabolical lie. That government structure was a beautiful, wonderful blessing—for as long as that one man submitted to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church! (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18). Christ never could have solved the problems of the 1970s without that government. The government of God produces good and pleasant unity—it produces a people of one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel—it produces spiritual growth in every last person who embraces it!

The problems that seized the Church after Mr. Armstrong died came not because of one-man rule, but because the leader did not follow Christ (Colossians 2:19). Failure to submit to God’s government always produces oppression and conflict. The continued fracturing among and within all the churches of God that have splintered off the Worldwide Church of God is proof that any government without Christ at the Head is doomed to fail.

The ministers who formed your organization wanted to be “United.” But because they rejected God’s government and established a worldly form of government, they wrote that organization’s epitaph before it even started.

The tragedies within God’s Church over these past 25 years have spiritually wounded all of us. Many—bruised, exhausted, disillusioned—have decided to turn their back on their calling, and have given up.

But God has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

Every single Church member who has received the Holy Spirit, God has intense, yearning love for. We can be “confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). God finishes what He starts. Even when we fail Him, He does not give up on us. He chastens us when we need it—in a concerned effort to turn us around (Hebrews 12:5-11). Thank God for that chastening!

Even the Tribulation is loving correction from God—for the world and even for those of His people who are lukewarm. Read Revelation 3:14-22 for the message God has for the last era of His Church before Christ’s return. It is clear from this and other passages that many of God’s people will not be protected in a place of safety during the Tribulation—and even in the context of that nightmarish reality God reminds us: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:be zealous therefore, andrepent” (verse 19).

Do you realize that God’s rebuke, spoken of in this verse, is coming now—before the Tribulation? God loves His people and is pleading for repentance now. Anyone who is zealous and repents today will not need the chastening of the Tribulation—and God will protect him or her from it. That is our earnest prayer for you.

Remember, judgment is on the house of God today (1 Peter 4:17). For those who possess God’s Spirit, everything is at stake. Eternal life hangs in the balance. That is why God is so deeply concerned.

God is the father in Luke 15, searching the horizon for any sign of his son. “[W]hen [the son] was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. … [And] the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”