Europe—Dragon Comes Out Swinging

Europe—Dragon Comes Out Swinging

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The new president of the European Central Bank has lost no time making his mark.

Mario Draghi came out of the gate swinging a powerful punch during his first meeting with EU officials as the European Central Bank’s (ecb’s) new president. He immediately moved to enact a change in eurozone interest rates (something his predecessor, Claude Trichet, had refused to do), dropping the EU benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent, and also cutting marginal lending rates to 2 percent and the deposit rate to 0.5 percent.

This was the latest shocker in a volatile week for financial markets in Europe, the effects of which continue to ripple around the globe. But this time, after receiving a battering from confusing signals coming out of Greece, the markets reacted positively.

Such a strong start by the Jesuit-trained Italian banker indicates that he may well prove to be a more activist chief of Europe’s most influential bank than Frenchman Claude Trichet proved to be. With market experts of the opinion that only the ecb can now really help mend the euro crisis, Draghi is under the spotlight.

At a press conference called on the eve of the G-2O meeting in Cannes, Draghi reinforced the need for fiscal consolidation in Europe:

Turning to fiscal policies, all euro area governments need to show their inflexible determination to fully honor their own individual sovereign signature as a key element in ensuring financial stability in the euro area as a whole. The Governing Council takes note of the fiscal commitments expressed in the Euro Summit statement of Oct. 26, 2011, and urges all governments to implement fully and as quickly as possible the measures necessary to achieve fiscal consolidation …. The governments of countries under joint EU-imf adjustment programs and those of countries that are particularly vulnerable should stand ready to take any additional measures that become necessary.

There is more than a hint here that, under Draghi, the ecb will be putting its weight behind continuing to reduce the sovereignty of EU member nations by exerting more centralized control. The reference to measures for those “countries that are particularly vulnerable” appears to be a veiled threat of further intervention by EU technocrats in the budgets and taxation policies of Club Med nations.

Will the new ecb head live up to his name? As we have noted, Mario is a take on Mars, the pagan god of war. The name Draghi is simply a version of dragon. Will Mario Draghi prove to be a warlike dragon as Europe’s chief central banker?

Germany holds the whip hand as paymaster of Europe. The Vatican released its own plan for centralized global governance just a week before Draghi took office in Frankfurt. As the imperialist agenda of both Berlin and Rome takes on new impetus amid the present euro crisis, this committed Roman Catholic banker would seem well placed to play diplomatic financial games between the two.

We ought to note also that a prime beneficiary of Draghi’s interest rate cut is his own embattled Italy, head over heels in debt and facing extreme austerity measures by diktat from Berlin/Brussels.

There’s no doubt that with the ecb having now a direct line to Rome, we shall see the Vatican take on a role of increasing influence in the financial and economic affairs of Europe. Bible prophecy says so (Revelation 13).

Day by day now we see the acceleration of events leading to the strengthening of the power of Berlin and Rome in Europe. Things are playing out on the European continent exactly as portrayed in Bible prophecy, even as they have been since the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire gave way to the genesis of the seventh at the close of World War ii.

The only difference is the sheer pace of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy for our day. One now has to watch daily, even hourly, to keep up with it, for the evidence is that we are living through the last prophetic hour of the period which the Bible refers to as a time of “no more delay” (Revelation 10:6, Revised Standard Version).

In the context of that which is now happening so speedily in Europe, we ought not forget its origins (Revelation 13:2, 4). Mario Draghi’s name may have interesting connotations. Yet, in all reality, it’s a power greater than man that has influenced this resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire from its beginnings! And it will take a power far greater than that to finally destroy it, and bring the peace and stability to this world that it has always longed for.

Is This the Time of the End?

Is This the Time of the End?

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Doomsday prophets aren’t the only ones saying grave things about the world today.

Even to the casual observer, this world has withstood a series of profound crises in the last few years. At the end of 2004, just seven years ago, a devastating earthquake rocked the Indian Ocean, triggering a massive tsunami that wiped out 230,000 lives in Indonesia. Nearly a quarter of a million people were swept out to sea.

In July 2005, radical Islamists bombed the London underground rail system, killing 56 people; injuring 700. A month later, Hurricane Katrina plowed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people. It was the deadliest hurricane to strike America in more than 75 years.

We also witnessed a change of power in the Vatican in 2005. The new pope, Benedict xvi (Joseph Ratzinger), was the man the Trumpet had correctly predicted.

In August 2006, Iran started the Second Lebanon War by orchestrating the kidnappings of Israeli soldiers.

In December 2006 we saw a radical turn in U.S. politics with the midterm elections. At the time, we wrote, “You don’t need deep biblical understanding to realize that something is dreadfully wrong in this country. America is being cursed!”

In September 2007, Israel bombed Syria’s nuclear facility. Some analysts said this nearly started World War iii! There was the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June of 2007. And then the National Intelligence Estimate of December 2007, which signified, as we wrote at the time, “a nation-destroying change in American foreign policy.”

In 2008, Russia invaded Georgia, Iran conquered Lebanon, Germany conquered Kosovo, the United States ran Musharraf out of office, adding to Pakistan’s instability, and the U.S. economy came within a few minutes of total financial meltdown.

In 2009, the new leadership in the United States spent the year courting its traditional enemies while at the same time sticking it in the eye of our allies. Israel went to war with Hamas in Gaza, Iran crushed a democratic uprising called the Green Revolution, and the Lisbon Treaty became Europe’s new constitution! That same year, Europe was rocked by a financial crisis, which opened the way for Germany to ride to the rescue.

In 2010, for all intents and purposes, Iraq fell to Iran—something we have been predicting for years. The U.S. dollar came under assault. America’s strong traditional ties with Israel unraveled. Britain surrendered its military sovereignty. And then there were the natural disasters: Last year, more human beings died in natural disasters than any other year on record! The Associated Press called 2010 “the year the Earth struck back.”

This year, Bible prophecy has accelerated in spectacular fashion—particularly in the Middle East and Europe.

These are not normal times! “Time was,” Herbert Armstrong wrote in Are We in the Last Days?, “when some wild-eyed freak shouting a ‘doomsday’ warning was ridiculed as ‘off his rocker.’ But today serious world leaders and scientists are saying grave things about the current drift in world conditions.”

In Matthew 24, the disciples asked Jesus Christ what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the world. Notice the first and most important warning Christ gave: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (verses 4-5).

This religious deception is the first horseman of the apocalypse! And this isn’t referring to deception coming from non-Christian religions. Jesus said many people would be deceived about His message—about what true Christianity really is.

Christ continued in verse 14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

The word end here is not the same as the Greek word used for the end of the age (see verse 3). Thayer’s Lexicon defines the word end in verse 14 this way: “In the Greek writing, always the end of some act or state, but not the end of a period of time. … What end is intended the reader must determine by the context.”

So what really ended? When the gospel was preached around the world as a witness, then that work ended. It was the end of the Philadelphia era and the beginning of the Laodicean era in God’s Church (Revelation 3:7-20). A man came and finished an end-time work (Zechariah 4:9). Then he was taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7). For more on this subject, study our free book Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today.

Never before has there been anything like this, nor will there ever be again, it says in verse 21 of Matthew 24. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (verse 22).

Notice what Mr. Armstrong wrote about this passage in the booklet mentioned above: “This is a prophecy, as it plainly states, for the last days. When I was a little boy, 90 years ago, those conditions were not true or escalating as they have been within the last 20 or 30 years. … The weapons have never existed in all history that could have laid all cities waste until the hydrogen bomb of some 30 years ago. How significant that this became possible only during the time while this gospel of the Kingdom was going from nation to nation into all the world for a witness to all nations.”

Numerous other Bible passages describe these frightful conditions, Mr. Armstrong went on to write. “Person is against person, even within a large proportion of families. Group is against group. Nation is against nation. Violence is escalating as never before in history. Terrorism is throwing fear and consternation into people all over the world.”

But all of this, Jesus plainly revealed, culminates in His literal return to this Earth: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (verse 30).

Jesus Christ returns the same way He left this Earth 2,000 years ago (Acts 1:11). Only this time He’s not coming to die for mankind. He’s coming to forcibly put an end to human suffering and sin and to set up the glorious Kingdom of the living God!

Iran: Ground paved for deeper ties between Cairo and Tehran

Iran’s official government news agency irnaon Thursday featured a report on improving relations between Iran and Egypt.

Ties between the two countries were severed following the 1978-79 Iranian revolution and the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. In recent years, as Iran’s clout has grown greater, relations between the two countries have begun to thaw. Since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak early this year, there has been a rapid progress in melting the ice that had frozen relations between Cairo and Tehran for three decades.

Iran announced on April 18 that it had appointed an ambassador to Egypt for the first time since the two nations halted diplomatic relations in 1978. Three weeks earlier, following a landmark meeting with a high-ranking Iranian diplomat, Egypt’s foreign minister declared that Egypt had “opened a new page” with Iran.

Now, prominent Iranian leaders are working for the establishment of “deep ties” with the new regime in Cairo. “There are broad potentials and capabilities that can be taken advantage of in establishment of deep ties and sustainable interactions between the Iranian and Egyptian nations,” said Hojjatoleslam Ahmad Moballeqi, the head of parliament’s Surveys and Research Center.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs also on Thursday said Iran was eager to promote diplomatic relations with Egypt. “Given the two sides’ willingness, it is natural that the level of diplomatic relations will be promoted as soon as possible,” Amir Abdollahian told Fars News Agency on Tuesday. He said that bilateral ties between the two countries were at good levels and had been enhanced since the collapse of President Mubarak’s regime.

On Jan. 3, 2006, Mr. Flurry wrote a letter to Philadelphia Church of God members and co-workers where he said: “Should the MB ever take control, there is no doubt that a strong alliance between Iran and Egypt will be built.” The Muslim Brotherhood is near to taking control of Egypt. Watch for that alliance between Iran and Egypt to be built.

In a March 2008 Trumpet article titled “Iran-Egypt Alliance Prophesied,” editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that “Egypt and Iran would become very close allies in this end time.”

For more on the prophesied radicalization of Egypt and its alliance with Iran, read “Prophecy Comes Alive in Egypt!

UNESCO grants Palestinians full membership

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco) accepted the Palestinians as a full member state on Monday, the first UN affiliate body to do so. Two thirds of the members of the UN cultural and scientific agency voted in favor of Palestinian membership—107 members in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstentions. unesco has a history of strong bias against Israel.

The Palestinians hope to build on this victory by seeking membership of other UN agencies. “We have gotten a precedent that might open the road for us to join other agencies,” said Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian envoy to the UN in Geneva.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas requested full membership in the UN on September 23, and a Security Council vote is tentatively scheduled for November 11.

Such moves serve to further isolate Israel, though the United States has promised to use its veto power in the Security Council and has cut funding to unesco.

“Seeking—and now gaining—admittance to various UN agencies is the first step in a wider diplomatic campaign by the PA to secure a UN Security Council vote on Palestinian statehood,” writes the Eurasia Review. “In fact, it appears to be a deliberate tactic to isolate those countries opposed to the statehood bid—chiefly, the U.S. and Israel” (November 3).

The unesco acceptance is a great diplomatic victory for the Palestinians.

“Admission to unesco represents a significant propaganda victory for the PA,” writes the Eurasia Review. “The overwhelming support the PA received for full membership admission to unesco will make it more difficult for countries to oppose Palestinian attempts to secure statehood recognition at the UN. Moreover, in future the PA could present any opposition to unesco recognition as an attempt to deny the Palestinian claim to a distinct and legitimate culture.”

The Eurasia Review comments further on the implications:

As a unesco member, the Palestinians can also now apply for World Heritage classification for their cultural sites in the [Palestinian] territories to legitimate and promote their cultural rights, which would be protected by the UN, and could also receive funding from unesco for preservation and restoration projects. These sites could include contested landmarks which Israel has officially declared part of its national heritage, such as Temple Mount in Jerusalem (where the Al-Aqsa mosque also stands), Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, both of which are in the West Bank. If Israel were to damage any unesco heritage site in a military campaign, it would be in violation of international law and unesco member states would be obliged to take action.

These unilateral moves by the Palestinians are largely symbolic but may have far-reaching implications on the ground by triggering further violence. Watch for Jerusalem to increasingly become a flash point for tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Europe—‘The Entire World Is on Edge’

Europe—‘The Entire World Is on Edge’

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The eyes of the press and mass media are locked on Europe more than at any time since World War II.

“Europe has the whole world on edge.” So declared financial markets commentator Carl Quintanilla during cnbc’s coverage of global stock markets Wednesday.

That may well prove to be the understatement of the year. But what is particularly noticeable to us is the rank failure to admit it of so many who witnessed Herbert Armstrong declare this prospect as a future reality for decades throughout his long life as a broadcaster and writer of international repute. Those of us who have followed the Bible prophecies over many years anticipating world events reaching this current outcome just know how prescient Herbert Armstrong was.

Toward the end of his life he foresaw that the failure of the global financial system would have the very result that, to the clearest eyed observers, it is very obviously having. It is resulting in one single nation calling the tune on the whole world economy. And the upshot is, as telejournalist Quintanilla stated yesterday, “Europe has the whole world on the edge.”

But it’s one European nation in particular, Germany, that remains the most important player in the global economic morass as the Group of 20 prepare to meet at the end of this week in Cannes.

Germany, with lackey France in tow, created the single currency regime in Europe. Germany largely crafted the rules and regulations governing the eurozone. It is to Germany that eurozone nations now look as their paymaster. Germany dictates the conditions applying to bailouts by the European Financial Stability Facility. And, very importantly at this very moment, Germany dictates Greece’s future and the future of the Mediterranean region. This is the final outcome of the German-instigated Balkan wars of the1990s. Next stop Jerusalem! (Daniel 8:9).

Personally, having talked into the wee small hours of the morning decades ago with many friends who anticipated today’s events in Europe dominating the world, and having so few of them in touch at this very point in history where these prophecies are leaping into daily reality, I just have to shake my head. How blind are the blinded indeed (Revelation 3:17).

Yet, even that great blindness was prophesied, as was the outcome for the blinded who once had minds open to biblical revelation, which now seem so closed, right at the very time that so much Bible prophecy for our day, as broadcast and published by Herbert Armstrong for nigh on 60 years, is so patently and most obviously coming to fruition.

Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to “watch and pray” so that when they saw these prophesied events happening as daily current world events, they might look up and take hope amid the confusion. As He declared, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

Yes, Europe has the world on the edge, and that won’t change now till Jesus Christ’s great prophecy of hope is fulfilled!

Read our booklet The Rising Beast for a clear-sighted vision of both the history and the outcome of today’s events in Europe.

In Defense of Britain’s Royal Family

In Defense of Britain’s Royal Family

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Why the world needs the British monarchy, now more than ever.

Imagine you were given a priceless 3,000-year-old heirloom. While this ancient heirloom had played a central role in some pretty remarkable history, it was also incredibly important to the present. Embodied within it was a message of hope and enlightenment, and of what the future holds for mankind.

Most people would hold such an important possession in high regard. They’d work hard to guarantee its preservation, to ensure it was never damaged. The sound-minded individual would handle such an artifact with tremendous care, respect and admiration.

Not British Prime Minister David Cameron.

In Perth, Western Australia, last week, Mr. Cameron was at the vanguard of a full-frontal assault on a 3,000-year-old English heirloom, an enduring institution that has defined British history, and that even today beams a message of hope to the world. Speaking at a conference of Commonwealth states, Cameron laid out a plan to destroy the British monarchy as we know it. He wants to do this by changing the centuries-old laws governing the succession to the English throne, particularly those regarding females inheriting the throne and English royals marrying Catholics.

Mr. Cameron’s aim, as Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser wrote Monday, is essentially the destruction of the British monarchy.

Were it to happen, this would be a catastrophe—not only for Britain, but even for the world!

England’s monarchy has been the backbone of the nation and the unfailing institution on which all other elements of national power and character have depended. For centuries it has been the glue binding together the United Kingdom and its many dominions. The monarchy embodied the greatest attributes of the British Empire, the indomitable English spirit, the wealth and splendor of the Commonwealth, the class, culture and quality of English civilization.

For hundreds of years, the royal family was the face of Britain.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, England’s royal family presided over Britain’s growth into the largest empire this world has ever known. That globe-girding empire was a blessing to the rest of humanity, revolutionizing everything from commerce and banking to infrastructure, agriculture and medicine. Indeed, much of the world, from America to Australia, India to South Africa, has at one time or another been branded with the mark of the British royal family.

British royals have helped transform international politics and law. Be it King John and the Magna Carta, Henry viii and the Act of Supremacy, or William of Orange and the Bill of Rights, the monarchy has been at the forefront of Britain’s and the world’s judicial and political evolution. The Magna Carta, a revolutionary legal charter signed and sanctioned by England’s King John in 1215 to provide a framework for relations between king and country, has inspired nearly all modern democracies and their constitutions, including America’s Declaration of Independence.

On the battlefield, English royals—be they in the form of bold military geniuses, skillful statesmen or a fortress of inspiration and hope for a downtrodden nation—have played a critical role in all of Britain’s major military conflicts. During the Hundred Years’ War, it was King Henry v’s military genius and courageous leadership that proved decisive at Agincourt. When the Second World War erupted in 1939, King George vi refused to escape to Canada; instead the king remained in England where, together with his wife and two young children, he was a bulwark of faith and inspiration to a nation under attack.

The day after King George died, Winston Churchill praised his old friend in a moving remembrance speech. The king’s dignified and courageous conduct, said Churchill, “may well be a model and a guide to constitutional sovereigns throughout the world today and also in future generations.” If Churchill had his way, the English monarchy would have been the model monarchy.

If Mr. Cameron gets his way, England’s monarchy will be extinguished.

David Cameron believes the English monarchy is biased against females. Perhaps he should read his history. Has he forgotten the legacy of Elizabeth i, the matriarch of Elizabethan England? It was Elizabeth, a woman with terrific political acumen and strong personal character, who in the early 17th century put England on the path to becoming a global economic and political power. As queen, Elizabeth confronted the Roman Catholic influence in England and stoked English nationalism (associated closely with the Protestant movement).

This lady, as the Encyclopedia Britannica stated, was “the glittering symbol of the nation’s destiny.”

Then there’s Queen Victoria, Britain’s longest-ruling monarch. Of all the impressive feats of English royals over the centuries, few compare to those of Victoria. As queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the empress of India, Victoria sat on the throne at the height of Britain’s imperial grandeur. She was queen of more than a nation; she ruled a staggeringly expansive, unspeakably wealthy empire. Under Queen Victoria, wrote Churchill in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, the “sovereign [became] the symbol of empire.”

Under Victoria, the royal crown became the glue binding the vast and diverse British Empire together. The monarchy inspired loyalty and hope in Englishmen around the world. “High devotion to her royal task, domestic virtues, evident sincerity of nature, a piercing and sometimes disconcerting truthfulness—all of these qualities of the queen’s had long impressed themselves upon the minds of her subjects,” wrote Churchill. Even politicians who opposed Victoria and her policies respected “the watchful sense of duty that always moved her.”

Note the word duty, an attribute rarely attached to leaders today. Queen Victoria, like so many English monarchs down through the ages, had a driving sense of duty to England, to the empire, and in many instances, to humanity.

In the closing years of his life, Winston Churchill watched as liberal, anti-royalist sentiment crept into Britain’s political establishment. Ever the Victorian, Churchill continued to seek solace in the history of his nation under the monarchy. “There is no doubt that of all the institutions which have grown up among us over the centuries, or sprung into being in our lifetime, the constitutional monarchy is the most deeply founded and dearly cherished by the whole association of our peoples,” he wrote.

That’s quite a statement—one much more deeply rooted in history and reality than the recent statements about the monarchy from Britain’s current prime minister.

As much as Churchill valued Britain’s monarchy, and understood the pivotal role it played in English history, there was a dimension of the monarchy that even he never grasped. He never realized that God had a hand in the establishment and perpetuation of the British monarchy,and that God created that royal dynasty for a specific reason!

If you’ve got a Bible, you need to take it out and prove this for yourself. In short, God promised Judah’s King David 3,000 years ago that He would establish a royal dynasty beginning with his son Solomon, and that that royal lineage would continue ruling on a throne until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Believe it or not, Britain’s royals are descendants of King David—and therefore living manifestations of God’s promise!

Study our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This book is the key that unlocks Bible prophecy, especially end-time prophecies about Britain and America, as well as the history and prophecy of England’s monarchy. If you’ve already got that book, then request The Key of David. Together, these books will open your mind to some of the most interesting, inspiring and important truth you could ever learn.

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, be it England, the Commonwealth, the U.S., or someplace in Africa, Asia or South America, you have a vested interest in the preservation of the British monarchy. Not because of its historic role as the enduring institution at the heart of Britain. Rather, because embodied within this priceless heirloom are great spiritual truths, truths that will stir your imagination and arouse hope, and truths God wants you to have.

Truths that this gloomy, unpredictable world needs more than ever.