Why Does the Vatican Want a Palestinian State?

Why Does the Vatican Want a Palestinian State?

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Its support is not what it seems.
From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Much of the world seems to want the Palestinians to have a state of their own. In September 2011, it looked like they had some momentum for their cause. Most of the international community expressed symbolic support for a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Of all the supporters, though, one stands out as being especially intriguing: the Roman Catholic Church.

In a statement last September, retired Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, together with representatives from various Christian communities in Israel, pledged “support for the diplomatic efforts being deployed to win international recognition for the State of Palestine.”

In his sermon on Christmas Day, the current Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, reiterated Catholic support for Palestinian statehood. “We want a just and comprehensive peace to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We adhere to the position taken by the Holy See, clearly acknowledging the two-state solution with security and internationally recognized borders,” he stated.

This position aligned with what the church has been saying for some time now. In December 2009, for example, Twal and other high-ranking Catholic officials released an overtly anti-Israel, anti-Jewish document detailing the “injustices” against Palestinians by Israel. In it, the Catholic officials implored the international community to “stand by the Palestinian people who have faced oppression, displacement, suffering and clear apartheid for more than six decades.” There was no recognition of the multiple suicide attacks on innocent Jews, or the thousands of missiles launched at Israeli schools, homes and hospitals.

The document also included a lengthy section reconciling Palestinian “resistance,” a polite term for violence or terrorism, with the biblical instruction to abstain from violence and war. “The aggression against the Palestinian people which is the Israeli occupation, is an evil that must be resisted,” the officials claimed. “It is an evil and a sin that must be resisted and removed.” In other words, no measure of Arab “resistance” is too extreme, or morally or spiritually wrong.

In another instance, Twal and his counterparts, who operate under Vatican direction, stated explicitly that they endorse the “establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds [Arabic for Jerusalem] as its capital.”

If you know your history, such effusive support of the Palestinian cause—to the point of ceding Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian nation—is more than a little odd.

Remember the Crusades?

Can you name a time in history when the Vatican sincerely endorsed Muslim control of Jerusalem? The fact is, history is loaded with examples of the Vatican opposing, often violently, Muslim control of the Holy Land.

Remember Pope Urban ii, the man who set off the Crusades in the Middle Ages? “The continued occupation of the holy places—and above all Jerusalem itself—by the infidel was, [Pope Urban ii] declared, an affront to Christendom,” wrote historian John Julius Norwich. Urban delivered his fateful speech Nov. 27, 1095, in the countryside just outside the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. “This royal city [Jerusalem] … situated at the center of the world, is now held captive by His enemies,” he lamented. “[It] is in subjection to those who do not know God, to the worship of the heathens. She seeks therefore and desires to be liberated, and does not cease to implore you to come to her aid.”

Inspired by Urban’s call to arms and intent on earning “salvation,” tens of thousands of Europeans set out for Jerusalem. In the First Crusade alone, Catholic crusaders slaughtered some 70,000 Jews and Arabs in pursuit of their goal to pry Jerusalem from the “infidel.” The First Crusade was followed a few decades later by another, then another, then another—each an attempt to purge the Holy Land of Muslims.

History is clear. The Vatican has never supported Muslim control of Jerusalem!

So why is it doing so now? The truth is, it is not!

There are two reasons the Catholic Church for now is making it appear it supports a Palestinian state and greater Muslim influence over Jerusalem.

First, this effort undermines Israel’s control over the city. When it comes to diminishing Israel’s grip on Jerusalem and its holy sites, Catholic officials are happy to let the Palestinians do the dirty work.

Second, the Vatican’s endorsement of Palestinian statehood provides ideal cover for its own ambition to wrest control of Jerusalem from the Jews.

Nobody Else Concerned for Jerusalem?

In an article in Arutz Sheva on December 15, Italian journalist Giulio Meotti explained how Catholic authorities in recent months have “increased their political initiatives for Catholic control over some sites in Jerusalem.”

In December, for example, the head of the Vatican’s Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, said that “peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem.” According to Tauran, it’s time that some of Jerusalem’s holy places, including the City of David, were put under Vatican charge. After all, “it’s practically just the Holy See who is concerned about [Jerusalem],” Tauran stated.

Don’t forget, Jerusalem is as important to the Vatican as it is to Jews and Muslims. For Catholics, Jerusalem is the birthplace of Christianity and the setting of many important biblical events. The Holy City, as Catholic dogma states, is its universal headquarters. Does anyone really think the Vatican is genuinely interested in ceding control of these sites to Muslims?

At the very least, the Vatican’s endorsement of Palestinian statehood is political chicanery. More than likely, it’s a calculated ruse, part of a Trojan horse strategy by which the Vatican seeks to gain the trust of the Palestinians and international community before more actively staking its claim to Jerusalem and its holy sites.

Whatever happens, don’t expect the Vatican to stand by and cheer as Muslims assume control of Christianity’s holy sites. That will never happen.

Watch Jerusalem

It’s important to keep an eye on Jerusalem, and especially on the Vatican’s involvement in the city. Bible prophecy tells us Jerusalem is the nucleus of end-time events, and that the Catholic Church will make a play for the Holy City in the final days before Christ’s return. The Trumpet has often pointed to the prophecy in Daniel 11:40, which describes a gigantic clash between Catholic Europe and Iran and its radical Islamic supporters.

In verse 41, we read that after Europe’s army defeats the Iranian-led “king of the south,” it will be invited into “the glorious land [Jerusalem], and many countries shall be overthrown.”

According to this prophecy, the climactic events that precede the return of Christ revolve around Jerusalem! This city, as our editor in chief has explained, is a thermometer for measuring the imminence of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

Stay tuned! The more the tension rises between Jews and Palestinians—and the more the Catholic Church interferes in Jerusalem—the closer we are to this awesome, history-altering event!

Keep Watching Europe!

Keep Watching Europe!

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Germany is on top, and Britain is on its way out. What will happen next on the Continent?
From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Two regions catapulted their way into our lives in 2011. The average man on the street suddenly became very aware—and very concerned—about such things as Arab balances of power, European bond issues and what side of the bed the Germans woke up on. In the European Union, Britain went from a counterweight to deadweight.

“Twenty years after the Maastricht Treaty, which was designed not just to integrate Europe but to contain the might of a united Germany, Berlin—and Mrs. Merkel—had effectively united Europe under its control, with Britain all but shut out.”

That remarkable quote recently appeared in the New York Times. It is doubly electrifying because it is something Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied of way back in 1956: “Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe. But Britain will be no part of it!”

Whether you read the Times in December or the Plain Truth 56 years ago, you are living in a new reality. Britain is on the fast track out of the EU, and Germany dominates Europe.

Meanwhile, the Iranians are intensifying their foreign-policy push against the Europeans. Some Middle Eastern states are tightening their orbits around Iran. But Germany and other key EU nations are taking a rapidly hardening stand. Even some key Gulf states are aligning with Europe, and especially Berlin.

Watch closely what happens next! These two regions are going to remain in the news more than all others. Many headlines will report how relations between the two are racing toward a clash.

Within this volatile mix, two high-profile personalities will gain influence and an unbelievable amount of power. Both of these men are from Europe.

The Man in Germany

In this crucial moment, a man we have been watching for several years is carefully preparing for his return to politics: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, baron of the Holy Roman Empire.

Germany’s most popular politician, Guttenberg resigned as defense minister in March of last year over a plagiarism scandal. Already, though, that embarrassment seems to be a distant memory.

In late 2011, Guttenberg made some negative observations on Germany’s political leadership, including his own party, the Christian Social Union. csu President Horst Seehofer responded by suggesting Guttenberg might not be considered a political prospect until 2013 or 2014 at the earliest. Just a few weeks later, Seehofer said he intended to invite the baron back to active party involvement to boost the csu’s waning support ahead of federal elections in 2013. He even suggested the prospect of him being given a ministerial post.

What happened to create such urgency for Guttenberg to be not only allowed but invited back to German politics?

Perhaps the csu’s 180-degree pirouette was prompted by Guttenberg suggesting he was interested in creating a new political party in Germany. The last thing Seehofer and the csu want in a time of great political division with an election looming next year is to see a mass exodus of pro-Guttenberg party members to a new populist political party!

However, fast becoming a consummate politician, in January Guttenberg suddenly conveyed an impression of humbly withdrawing from contention for a political comeback by 2013. In a carefully choreographed performance, no doubt designed to wrong-foot the establishment in Germany, Guttenberg declared that he was not yet ready to return. In a two-hour meeting with Seehofer, Guttenberg declined to return to active politics at this time, according to the csu party boss. It does not take two hours to make such a declaration. Obviously that amount of time allows for the possibility of a political deal to be tabled, considered, debated and brought to a conclusion. Any deal offered was obviously not acceptable to the baron.

This is brilliant political psychology. By those actions, Guttenberg has left the German electorate with a feeling of unrequited anticipation within an atmosphere where the public are increasingly showing marked disaffection for their current political leadership. Guttenberg’s present public stance will only increase the cries to invite him back to help fix Germany’s dislocated political process as further fissures develop in its ailing coalition government the closer the nation gets to the 2013 polls.

Guttenberg is a personality worth watching closely in the coming months.

The Man in the Vatican

So is Pope Benedict xvi. This year will see the world spotlight focused with greater intensity on this aging yet sharp-minded and smooth-talking pontiff as he engages in one of his busiest periods to date.

The pope is just coming off a success last year with the Vatican’s own Jesuit son, Mario Draghi, installed as the head of the European Central Bank (dubbed “Pope Mario” by the Economist). The Daily Telegraph recently compared Draghi to Kim Jong Il—saying Draghi was even more dangerous than the late dictator. “Mr. Draghi is accountable to essentially no one,” the Telegraph wrote, “but, like the late Kim Jong Il, he has an enormous amount of power to make our lives difficult” (Dec. 19, 2011; emphasis added throughout).

But the pope is gearing up for an even greater push. In a December address before the Roman Catholic clergy, Benedict said Europe’s economic crisis ultimately stems from a continent-wide ethical breakdown. “Even if such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbor and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial,” the pope said, “still the motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to practice renunciation and make sacrifices.”

Later, he asked, “Where is the force that draws the will upwards?” In other words, where is the spiritual, motivational and political force needed to correct this crisis in ethics?

The implication, of course, is that it’s in the Catholic Church!

This isn’t the first time the pope has pointed to Rome as the answer to Europe’s economic woes. Since 2009, Benedict has repeatedly called for a new global financial order. He believes there should be a universal political authority in which religion plays a key role.

Benedict scheduled a synod of bishops for February, concentrating on his crusading effort of the “new evangelization” of Europe. This will enhance the initiative commenced by his predecessor, John Paul ii, who called for Europe to return to its Roman Catholic roots after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Many ex-Soviet states of Eastern Europe are now embedded in the political economy of the European Union. Benedict is ramping up Rome’s efforts to draw its largely Roman Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox constituents back under the Vatican’s spiritual influence. EU elites know that this is the only binding force that will glue Europe’s awkward mix of iron and clay together to fulfill their imperial vision.

In January, the pope reinforced his bevy of cardinals by the appointment of 22 new cardinals who are right-wing conservatives. This will strengthen his army of red hats for the coming year-long crusade, the “Year of Faith,” beginning in October. Another feature of this year will be the declaration of a number of “saints.”

The Vatican is notoriously patient when pursuing what it regards as its natural role: global hegemony. During the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, Pope John Paul ii pushed an initiative to support the Polish labor movement Solidarity in order to drive a wedge under the Iron Curtain. Time magazine reported that a senior cia officer questioned a senior Vatican official, How come your intelligence was always ahead of ours? The Jesuit responded, Ah! But we have had 2,000 years’ practice at this!

Had the Vatican representative understood the true origins of Catholicism, he would have added another 2,000 years to that equation to get back to its origins in ancient Babylon (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:1-11; Revelation 17:1-6).

The Vatican’s chief enemy in the Cold War years, the Communist ussr, was successfully broken with the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1989. The next foreign-policy initiative of the Vatican State was to join its traditional protector, Germany, and initiate the Balkan wars of the 1990s (request our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans).

The resultant colonization of the Balkan Peninsula was finally completed with the 2011 takeover of the economy and the government of Greece under the direction of Berlin. The way is now clear for the Vatican to mount its 21st-century crusade to draw back its wandering European membership in key northern European states and hasten the return of its Eastern Orthodox daughters from ex-Soviet states to mother Rome.

Hence Pope Benedict’s current preparations for the highlight of the papal year 2012: the launching of his great European crusading initiative through his declared “Year of Faith.” This initiative is designed to renew the evangelizing missionary zeal of the church globally.

How to Know What Is Coming

Soon, everyone will be talking about Europe, and especially Germany and the Vatican.

You can know in advance what is coming. To discover what the Europe of 2013 and beyond will look like, go to the same source that showed Herbert Armstrong what the Europe of 2012 would look like: biblical prophecy.

The Bible tells us that the European combine will soon be cut down to a more efficient and powerful union of 10 kings. There will be 10 dictators that arise out of Europe. All of them will give their power to Germany.

This reshaping of Europe is already being considered. Reuters reported on Nov. 27, 2011, that Germany and France have discussed the possibility of a “core” Europe consisting of 8 to 10 nations. This year, we will see the EU combine further cement together after the new EU treaty due to be ratified in March comes into force. Designed to enforce budgetary and taxation discipline on all 17 eurozone nations, the treaty obligations will hurt a number of eurozone signatories. Thus, the prospect becomes even stronger of a core, first-tier Europe emerging at that point, consisting of its strongest economies.

The glue that will hold Europe’s unwieldy parts together will be the binding force of the religion of Rome. Revelation 17:12-13 reveal this will create a singular political-economic-military mindset among the final combine of 10 leading European nations soon to yield their power to the decree of one overarching political leader. With three Jesuit-trained men in key positions within today’s EU—Herman van Rompuy as president of the European Council, Mario Monti as prime minister of Italy, and Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank—one could wonder if Revelation 17 is already being fulfilled, with a woman (a church) riding a beast (economic, political and military power).

Iran’s taunting of the West—the German-led EU in particular—will soon test Germany’s patience to the limits. At that point, the German-led military forces of the 10-nation EU combine will wage blitzkrieg warfare and blow Iran’s nuclear-empowered aggression off the map. It will be a literal whirlwind of a war! (Daniel 11:40).

Germany will then fill the power vacuum created by Iran’s demise, supported by its Arabian allies, as depicted in the Psalm 83 alliance.

Despite the earthshaking developments that are leading up to this astonishing world war, most people are still blinded to the prophetic reality of what is now happening in Europe. In fact, the Bible says that when this world finally wakes up to what’s happening—when it sees this astounding union between the Roman church and a German-dominated Europe—the Earth “shall wonder” (Revelation 17:8). The inhabitants of the Earth will stand aghast when they finally realize what has suddenly come upon them.

But you need not stand aghast as these prophesied events unfold! You can know what happens next if, as Jesus said, you are watching world events and praying always (Luke 21:36).

That’s one reason why we are here—to help you watch world events. That is why the Trumpet, and the Plain Truth before us, have been, since the 1940s, boldly proclaiming that Europe would unite under 10 kings, that Britain would be no part of it, that Germany would be the dominant political force—and that the Vatican would be the overarching spiritual guide straddling the union.

In June 1980, for example, Mr. Armstrong wrote that “world conditions may force European nations … to unite, bringing to pass the revived ‘Holy Roman Empire’ …. [European nations] have wanted to unite politically, with a common currency and common military force, for some time—but have been unable. It can be accomplished only through the Vatican.”

Most commentators, of course, scoff at the thought of this. In their minds, a powerful church-state combine could never form in Europe. They simply cannot imagine a secular Europe, the way they see it, ever coming under the seductive influence and overriding power of the Roman church.

But Bible prophecy assures us that a great false church will steer the 10-nation beast now rising in Europe.

And for those who have eyes to see, the formation of this astounding union of church and state is already well under way!

Watch Europe, and particularly those who seem destined to be the leaders of church and state. Look for the Vatican to settle into its prophesied role as the woman riding atop the scarlet-colored beast (Revelation 17:3). It is coming. God’s prophecies are certain to happen! And when it happens, remember where you heard it first.

The Quiet Space Race

The Quiet Space Race

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Far over your head, the heavens are becoming a battlefield.
From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Last century, airpower revolutionized warfare. Germany was the first to understand this. Using a combination of tanks and planes, Berlin won battles in days that would before have taken years. War would never be the same again.

In the last few decades, the world has undergone a similar revolution a little higher up.

America and its allies have gained a huge edge over their rival powers using space technology. Satellites provide maps and photos of battlefields and targets. American pilots, captains, tank drivers and even foot soldiers are guided by Global Positioning System (gps) technology. gps guides smart bombs and cruise missiles not just to general areas, but to buildings and even individuals with deadly accuracy. It protects soldiers from friendly fire and provides instantaneous communication around the world. President Obama watched Osama Bin Laden get killed in real time.

American unmanned aerial vehicles are notorious for striking down terrorists from above. Predator drones alone have already logged over a million hours of flight time, using high-tech positioning to take off, destroy an enemy, and come home again without a pilot ever leaving the ground. These drones—serving as invisible eyes in the sky, accurate bombers and expert air support units—seem destined to be the future of America’s air power.

America has depended on space technology to give powerful eyes and ears to the world’s dominant military.

But, if you think about it, Germany lost World War ii. Is it possible that other countries could close the yawning gap in space superiority?

In 2007, China spurred talk of a new space race—or, more accurately, a space arms race—by demonstrating that it could shoot down a satellite. Since then, though, its plans have appeared less dramatic; the wording of the white paper it produced at the end of 2011, for example, emphasized peace.

Europe is also developing its own space technology, but it too cloaks its program in peaceful research and talk of monitoring global warming.

These powers do not want a new space race—at least not a noisy one. They would lose by a mile. America is already far out in front, and they don’t want it to pick up the pace. They want the American space program to keep standing still, or even stumble backward, while they catch up.

They are getting their wish.

China: A Regional Space Power

“If China’s space plans come to fruition—and its track record over the last decade puts the odds in its favor—it will possess one of the world’s most robust and diverse space systems, many with military applications,” Matt Durnin wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “The technologies mentioned are only discussed in a civilian context, but several of these new capabilities have important consequences on the battlefield as well” (Dec. 30, 2011).

To take one example, China’s advances in its rockets mean it can push bigger and better reconnaissance satellites into orbit. And those satellites easily serve dual purposes. Lewis Page, a former Royal Navy officer and author on military matters, explained, “Sometimes this is for wholly scientific purposes, but generally such satellites can be very useful for espionage and military tasks—even if they are ostensibly scientific or commercial in nature, and are genuinely used as such much of the time” (Register, Dec. 30, 2011).

China’s satellite plans revolve around things like “radar satellites” for “environment and disaster monitoring,” but as Page pointed out, “People didn’t invent them for that. Back in Cold War times, in fact, the Soviets developed radar-ocean-reconnaissance birds for the purpose of locating and tracking U.S. warships at sea—and there can’t be much doubt that the modern-day Chinese military, frequently annoyed by U.S. carrier task forces lurking off its coast, would like to be able to do this too.”

America’s whole naval strategy is built around carrier strike groups, and the assumption that other nations, lacking comprehensive satellite surveillance, cannot find these groups while at sea.

This strategy could be in peril, though: China is building a competitor to gps. The Beidou satellite navigation system is already operational in China and its surrounding areas and aims to be operational globally by 2020.

In addition, China has kits that, according to Jane’s Defense Weekly, can be attached to ordinary bombs to turn them into smart bombs. This gives the Chinese a cheap alternative to America’s guided missiles. In theory, at least, China can match America’s precision-guided weapons in the Asia-Pacific area.

China’s spy satellite capabilities are even catching up to America’s. “Starting from almost no live surveillance capability 10 years ago, today the pla has likely equaled the U.S.’s ability to observe targets from space for some real-time operations,” wrote Eric Hagt and Matthew Durnin from the World Security Institute in the Journal of Strategic Studies last year.

Europe: Cloaking Military Involvement

Several commentators point to the military applications of China’s space program, but few hold Europe to the same standard. Make no mistake, though: The EU’s space program is militarily oriented.

The EU has been building its own version of gps—Galileo—for years, touting it as the civilian alternative to America’s military-built system. But once the rules for the system were presented to the European Parliament, it became clear that it would be no different than the American system: As with gps, the European Union will be able to turn off most of its satellite navigation service and leave just the military and emergency service version running.

German Member of the European Parliament Reinhard Bütikofer accused the European Commission of deliberately hiding how widespread the military uses for the project were. Until March 2011, documents “did not even hint at the extent of the military uses of the project,” he said.

Despite missed deadlines, cost overruns and Europe’s economic crisis, Galileo has kept going. There is a lot of will behind it. As a civilian project, it makes no sense. But without it, European armies, whose modern weapons rely on satellite navigation, cannot operate independently of the U.S. That makes it a major military priority, especially if you want to use your military for something the U.S. might not like.

The EU also has a major spy satellite program, called gmes—Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. The EU’s publications, like China’s, say this program will focus on climate and disaster monitoring. It says the project will “develop applications such as border or maritime surveillance.” But anything that can be used for “disaster monitoring” can also be used to spy. The EU even admits this is one of its purposes, though of course, that is not as highly publicized.

Included in the project is g-mosaic (gmes services for Management of Operations, Situation Awareness and Intelligence for Regional Crises), which will use the satellites for intelligence gathering. Its “preemptive intelligence” will monitor locations around the world. It will be able to help plan and provide detailed maps for “possible strategic military missions,” according to the EU’s brochure.

A more overt European military satellite project is musis (Multinational Space-Based Imagery System). Several EU nations have their own advanced spy satellites. musis aims to coordinate these systems so Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece and Belgium can share data. musis is not yet operational, but Germany and Italy already both have deals with France to share intelligence.

As these powers drive forward to increase their mastery of space technology, America is doing little to keep its lead.

A Game Changer

One obstacle facing the U.S. in trying to retain its space dominance is the volatile nature of its political scene. Put simply, America’s space policy lacks the clear, consistent direction of China’s. “nasa’s direction tends to shift with every change of presidency,” wrote Edward Wong and Kenneth Chang in the New York Times. “President George W. Bush called on nasa to return to the moon by 2020. President Obama cancelled that program and now wants the agency to send astronauts to an asteroid” (Dec. 29, 2011).

China, on the other hand, doggedly follows its five-year plans.

The military component of America’s space program is not managed by nasa, but by the Department of Defense. But the Defense Department suffers from the same wastage and cancellations that cripple nasa.

Including space-related spending by Defense Department and nasa, the United States spends over $64 billion on space a year, dwarfing the defense spending of other nations. The EU, the European Space Agency and EU member states spend a little over $8 billion a year on space in total. But the law of diminishing returns still applies outside the Earth’s atmosphere. America may get better and better observation and communication satellites. But the extra benefit it derives from that spending isn’t even close to the benefit Europe and China would gain from no longer having to rely on America’s satellite navigation system once they have their own.

Right now, the EU’s military is welded to America’s because of its dependence on America’s space infrastructure. American gps guides their bombs, missiles and soldiers: Europe cannot act independently. But once it has completed its own satellite networks, Europe’s foreign policy will shift in a radically different direction.

Europe and Asia’s entry into space changes the world.

America’s Achilles’ Heel

In World War ii, when airpower was relatively new, Germany quickly gained the upper hand not by having the best equipment and technology, but because it figured out how to use what it had to its best advantage. By the time other nations caught on, Germany had already taken over a continent.

With more nations joining this current new battlefield, there is a greater chance of this kind of innovation.

Imagine going from being the only nation with airplanes to being one of several. Even if your air force is still the best, it is a huge shift.

In addition, a nation with space power is in a better position to deliberately target America’s space technology. America’s space power gives it a great advantage, but also creates dependence. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has pointed to America’s reliance on technology as the nation’s Achilles’ heel. Its heavy reliance on technology makes it vulnerable not only to a cyberattack, but also to a physical or electronic attack on its satellite or related systems.

One of China’s new launch rockets, according to Lewis Page, would be able to intercept satellites. As these other nations get more experienced with space systems, they will get better at countering them. A successful attack could mean no more smart bombs, guided missiles, satellite maps and photos or navigation.

For half a century, America was the world’s dominant superpower. But evidence abounds—in the nation’s foreign policy, its economy, its military, its scientific establishment and elsewhere—that this period of dominance is ending. The realm of space technology is yet another arena in which America’s decline has set in, and foreign nations are closing the gap.

This shift takes the world into dangerous new territory—but it is completely in line with trends the Trumpet has been forecasting for decades. For more information on the source of our forecasting, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

They Said the Islamists Had No Chance

They Said the Islamists Had No Chance

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Now those Islamists control 72 percent of Egypt’s parliament. You need plain truth, not liberal fantasies.
From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Dr. Seuss didn’t just write brilliant children’s books. During World War ii he supported America’s war effort through cartoons. One of his most memorable showed a line of eager businessmen lining up to buy their “ostrich bonnet”—the neck and head of an ostrich that fitted onto their heads—after which, the men knelt down and buried their new ostrich heads in the sand.

“Forget the terrible news you’ve read,” said a sign. “Your mind’s at ease in an ostrich head.”

Today, the mainstream media are selling ostrich heads: excuses to bury our heads in the sand.

Egypt has demonstrated this perhaps more quickly than anywhere else.

How Wrong Can You Be?

The press trotted out a host of experts to assure us that the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic parties were not all that popular in Egypt. Their thoughts got most of the space and the last word in the discussion.

Men like former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei were considered the foremost experts on the subject. “For years the West has bought Mr. Mubarak’s demonization of the Muslim Brotherhood lock, stock and barrel, the idea that the only alternative here are these demons called the Muslim Brotherhood who are the equivalent of al Qaeda,” he told the New York Times. “I am pretty sure that any freely and fairly elected government in Egypt will be a moderate one …” (Jan. 27, 2011).

As Hosni Mubarak was falling, McClatchy Newspapers informed its readers, “Political analysts say the [Muslim Brotherhood’s] support and influence is greatly exaggerated …” (Feb. 6, 2011).

On Feb. 3, 2011, a New York Times article with the title “Egypt’s bumbling Brotherhood” assured readers that “The street … manifests little support for the Brotherhood.” “There is little reason for the United States to fear a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood,” it said, arguing that the poor people who received charity from the organization would not bother to vote for it. It had a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance council, Essam El-Errian, write an op-ed for it, where he assured the world, “We do not intend to take a dominant role in the forthcoming political transition.”

As recently as December 11, Nicholas D. Kristof wrote in the Times: “Our fears often reflect our own mental hobgoblins. For a generation, we were terrified of secular Arab nationalists, like Gamal Abdel Nasser, who ruled Egypt in the ’60s. The fears of the secularists proved overblown, and I think the same is true of anxieties about Islamic parties in Egypt today.”

Even the usually solid Foreign Policy magazine got it wrong. “The main rationale for delaying elections comes from those who fear an Islamist-dominated transitional parliament,” wrote Dalia Mogahed on November 28. “This view, however, shared by many in the West, is likely exaggerated. While the Muslim Brotherhood enjoy support from a significant segment of Egyptian society, more Egyptians see a parliament in which the group holds a strong, influential position as bad for the country.”

The less solid Huffington Post published an interview with former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. “[T]he power of the Muslim Brotherhood has been exaggerated,” he said. “It’s a European obsession more than an Arab reality” (March 25, 2011).

Now the results are in, it turns out that all of the above had their heads in the sand. Hardline Islamist parties have won 72 percent of all available seats in the lower house of Egypt’s parliament.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won 47 percent of the seats. The even more hard-line Salafist Islamist al-Nour Party won 25 percent. A Muslim Brotherhood leader, Saad al-Katatni, was elected as the speaker of parliament.

Proved utterly wrong, the media immediately began looking for another way to bury their heads in the sand.

The New Lies

The new strategy is to argue that the Islamist parties aren’t so bad after all. During one of Egypt’s rounds of elections, cnn wrote, “The relatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won more than 4 million votes in the runoff for the second round of a three-part process” (emphasis added throughout).

The New York Times spun it this way: “Most races pit Islamists against Islamists, with the mainstream Muslim Brotherhood competing against the ultraconservatives known as Salafis.”

Here is the reality: The Muslim Brotherhood “has influenced many terrorist leaders—including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri—and many of its members have engaged in terrorist activities,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.

These news reports ignore such facts. They make no mention of the Muslim Brotherhood being the parent party of Hamas. cnn’s article doesn’t mention sharia law. There’s no mention of the Brotherhood’s link to Hamas. To cnn, this organization is “relatively moderate.”

In a way, the New York Times got it right, though. The Muslim Brotherhood is mainstream: Its political wing is the most popular party in Egypt.

cnn went on to describe the al-Nour Party as “conservative.” So is it an Egyptian version of the Republicans? Not exactly. It calls for sharia and strict punishments, including flogging and amputation. A member of its supreme committee, Shaaban Darwish, said, “We must obliterate the liberalism that was introduced by Sadat and Mubarak and reinstate the rule of Islam.”

Israel in Real Danger

According to this new myth, the Muslim Brotherhood will get on fine with Israel. The media reported that al-Nour said it wouldn’t end Egypt’s historic peace treaty with Israel. “Egyptian Islamists OK with Israeli peace treaty” was one headline on cbs News.

“The prevailing optimism in media reports concerning the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist party’s readiness to adhere to the peace treaty with Israel is based on general statements made by senior officials in both parties,” wrote Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi (Ret.) for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. “Yet a more rigorous examination of the two parties’ stances identifies a markedly different tendency. Both seek a way to cast off the Camp David agreement in a manner that will incur minimal diplomatic and economic damage to Egypt, and restore Egypt to its leading role in the circle of states confronting Israel” (Dec. 26, 2011).

He cited a number of leaders from both parties, including leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Mohammed Badie, saying the treaty should be abandoned or key points amended.

Last December, Badie met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Badie embraced Hamas as a role model for the Brotherhood, saying, “The Brotherhood center has always embraced issues of liberation, foremost the Palestinian issue.”

“The optimism regarding a radical change in the positions of these extreme Egyptian Islamic movements regarding Israel grasps at the straws of general statements that do not attest to an ideological reversal, but convey the tactics for obtaining the strategic objective: casting off the Camp David agreement and transforming Egypt into a prime regional force that will lead the diplomatic and military battle against Israel,” Halevi concluded.

Indeed, the Brotherhood’s deputy chairman, Rashad al-Bayumi, told the Italian newspaper L’Unita on January 2: “The Muslim Brotherhood … claim[s] the right to revise, wholly or in part, treaties such as the one with Israel. One thing is for certain: Parliament will have the last say, and, if necessary there will be a popular referendum.”

The Islamists are simply trying to have their cake and eat it too: They are looking for a way to end the peace treaty with Israel while maintaining for as long as possible the flow of money and arms they receive from America.

And meanwhile, they’re giving the American ostriches more excuses to keep their heads in the sand.

This puts Israel in deep danger. Geographically and geopolitically, Egypt is crucial to Israel’s security. The Israel-Egypt peace treaty has been the backbone of the Jewish state’s national security for nearly 30 years. Israeli leaders have heavily relied on the enmity that existed between Egypt and Israel’s number one enemy, Iran.

Now that enmity is gone. Israel is scrambling to respond to the threat of a radicalized Egypt. It knows that if Egypt joined up with Iran, then suddenly it would be caught in an Islamist vice-grip: Hezbollah in the north, Fatah in the east, and Hamas and Egypt in the south could launch a coordinated attack. The little nation is literally surrounded by radical Islam.

The Source of Accurate Forecasting

Are you going to trust the news outlets that made predictions just months ago that have already been proved wrong? Or will you heed the source that has been forecasting the Egyptian revolution for years?

In 1996, in the first edition of his booklet The King of the South,Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast that Egypt would eventually ally with Iran. “I believe … we are to see a radical change in Egyptian politics!” he wrote.

How could he have known? Mr. Flurry based his forecasts on biblical prophecy.

These prophecies, written thousands of years ago, are far more accurate than predictions by journalists written last year.

After quoting a pivotal prophecy in Daniel 11, Mr. Flurry asked, “Does that mean radical Islam will soon control or direct Egyptian politics?”

“In the past, Egyptian politics have been changed radically by Middle East assassinations and other violent acts directed by Iran,” he continued. “Such acts can rapidly change the minds of people. Revolutions often result. However it happens, Egypt will also become the enemy of the king of the north [Europe].”

Iran’s Fars News Agency even publicized some of these predictions. Plagiarizing one of our articles, it wrote in late 2007: “Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has predicted for over 13 years that Iran would be the king of the Middle East, and that we would witness an alliance take place between Iran and Egypt.”

Egypt is turning radical before our eyes. This development ties in to a host of prophecies the Trumpet has been drawing attention to for years. It puts Israel in great danger. Egypt’s control of the Suez Canal means radical Islam can hurt Europe more than it ever could before. As Islamism grows in Egypt, that nation will ally with Iran, radically increasing the power of this aggressive movement.

So whom will you trust? The liberal media with their heads in the sand—the same people who said the Islamists had no chance of winning an election in Egypt—who now say the Muslim Brotherhood will abandon radical Islam? Or the Bible, that prophesied this outcome millennia ago?

Mr. Flurry has additionally predicted, based on Daniel 11, that Libya and Ethiopia would also fall to radical Islam. If you need any further proof of the Bible’s accuracy, watch these nations!

These prophecies are described in detail in our free booklet The King of the South. Request this booklet that was originally written years ahead of its time. Avoid the deadly deceit of the mainstream media, and get the real scoop on what is happening in the Middle East!

Unleash Your Inner Da Vinci

Unleash Your Inner Da Vinci

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Have you ever wanted to be more creative? You can be!
From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

What does it mean to create? When most of us hear that word, we think of the name of some great artist, musician or writer. We think da Vinci, Mozart, or Shakespeare. We carelessly assume that only a privileged few men and women are capable of creating things. Most of us assume that we lack the talent or intelligence to create anything worthwhile.

A lot of deep-thinking people are beginning to challenge that assumption. Do you have a correct concept of talent?

The truth is, God never intended that only a few enjoy the pleasure and fulfillment that comes by the creative process. He wants every human being—every man, woman and child—to have an abundant, creative and successful life.

Yes, it is your God-given heritage to live the life of a creator! Bringing something into being from nothing is a huge part of what makes human life abundant and fulfilling.

Yet, how do you become a creator? Only a few have learned how. There is a reason why. Something is wrong with our education system.

Becoming a successful creator comes only by obtaining right education and performing hard work. Creating anything—art, literature, delicious meals, new products and processes, music—does not come easy. Yet, creating is not a mysterious gift reserved just for the few. You can live an exuberant life creating wonderful things if you really want to. You simply have to learn how.

The Truth About Talent

In his book Talent Is Overrated, Geoff Colvin writes, “A number of researchers now argue that giftedness or talent means nothing like what we think it means, if indeed it means anything at all. A few contend that the very existence of talent is not, as they carefully put it, supported by evidence.” That is a shocking statement. Is there a possibility that talent has little to do with great performance? The truth is, many have given up hope of creating anything because certain myths about talent have been promulgated for years.

One of these is the Mozart myth. There is no doubt that Mozart’s music is breathtaking. The Mozart myth purportedly explains how he created such great music: Some people are simply born with towering talent, which bestows on them supernatural ability to produce ethereal works of art like the “Clarinet Concerto in A.” Music like this just leaps into being directly from its creator’s mind. Some experts believed Mozart composed his symphonies in one sitting with little or no revision.

However, truthful investigation into Mozart’s life reveals a different history. Mozart’s father, Leopold, was a famous composer and performer. He was deeply interested in how music was taught to children. His book on violin instruction was considered the most authoritative work on the subject for decades. Leopold Mozart was also a demanding father who started teaching his son music composition and performance at age 3. So Wolfgang was receiving intense music instruction at a very young age. Unsurprisingly, then, Mozart was composing music at age 5 and giving public piano and violin performances by age 8. He had an incredible role model to imitate.

Music scholars now recognize that Mozart’s earliest compositions were those of a student. Some were heavily edited by his father. Other compositions followed the style of another of his teachers, Johann Christian Bach. “Regarding how he produced this music, however it’s evaluated, the New Yorker’s music critic, Alex Ross, sums up much of the recent scholarship on the Miracle of Salzburg: ‘Ambitious parents who are currently playing the Baby Mozart video for their toddlers may be disappointed to learn that Mozart became Mozart by working furiously hard’” (ibid).

Same Capability, Equal Ability

It is important that every educator, ceo and parent know that the guiding assumption about talent is causing trouble for many individuals.

Every human has the potential to become a creator. Think about that statement. This matter carries great significance to how we rear our children, how we educate them in our schools, and how people perform on their jobs. Gifted performance is not reserved for the elite few. It is a matter of disciplined training, which includes blood, sweat and tears.

Current assumptions on talent are based on the false theory of evolution. Colvin shows that before Darwin, it was believed that people were born with more or less the same capabilities, which were developed to varying degrees during life—in other words, that all people held approximately equal ability to develop skills. It was up to each individual to make of himself what he would. This belief, more than any other, led to the notion that the United States of America was the land of equal opportunity. History shows many who fully embraced that belief made great fortunes in America.

Can you imagine the creative good that would result if we applied this old way of thinking to every man, woman and child today? It would revolutionize the way we learn and work. Believing and acting upon such knowledge would virtually eliminate today’s tendency to single out only a few as gifted or talented. Parents would realize fully that their children’s abilities in art, dance, music, sport or writing begin with their effort to discipline, encourage, motivate and inspire their children to work hard to perfect the skills necessary to be great at what they do. Adults desiring more out of life would not give up learning or doing something new or different just because it was difficult. Workers would be much more productive and successful on the job.

So how do you begin to become a creator?

Change Your Thinking

Research into the lives of great artists and inventors—the da Vincis, the Edisons, the Einsteins—has uncovered that these individuals were not necessarily more intelligent or talented than others. They thought differently. Actually, they were taught to think differently.

One of the number one problems in our education system is: Our children are not taught to think—they are taught to memorize facts. They are then tested on how well they repeat what they memorized. Students who have the best recall are considered really smart. But are they?

Assuredly, the memorization of certain facts is good—the multiplication tables in math or dates of history, for example. Yet what happens when cultural assumptions are taught to be memorized as facts? You could end up believing that the sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo, a man who thought differently, challenged the current thinking of his day—that the sun revolved around the Earth—and was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for advocating such “heresy.”

Michael Michalko, in his book Cracking Creativity, states: “Typically, we think reproductively, on the basis of similar problems encountered in the past. When confronted with problems, we fixate on something in our past that has worked before. We ask, ‘What have I been taught in my life, education, or work that will solve this problem?’” Naturally, there is real risk in this kind of thinking. For starters, what we have been taught could be wrong. In addition, when we solve new problems based only on what we have done in the past, we can become narrow, rigid know-it-alls, assuming the correctness of our conclusions. This can close us off to new learning and new ways of doing things.

Creators think productively. Michalko explains, “When confronted with a problem, [productive thinkers] ask themselves how many different ways they can look [at] the problem, how they can rethink it, and how many different ways they can solve it, instead of asking how they have been taught to solve it.” Productive thinking opens the door for exploration. This kind of big thinking takes more work, yet yields more possibilities, adding significantly to the number of new ways to do things. Productive thinking is fundamental to becoming a creator.

How to Gain Creative Confidence

It is proven that human beings learn best by doing. If you want to become more creative or have your children learn to be creative, the best time to start is right now.

However, start small. If you want to become a painter, for example, don’t rush out to buy expensive brushes, canvases and oil paints. A box of crayons or colored pencils and a blank pad of newsprint paper will be enough to get you, or your child, started. Keep your expectations practical. Da Vinci didn’t create the Mona Lisa on his first attempt at painting.

The great creators in human history began their careers with learning the fundamentals of their art. William Shakespeare had to master meter and rhyme before writing Hamlet’s famous soliloquy. Einstein had to grasp the rudiments of math before he could develop the groundbreaking formula E=MC2. Any creating requires education in the basics. Wolfgang Mozart had to come to understand the basics of music composition before he ever wrote the music that so many consider a priceless treasure.

In his booklet The Seven Laws of Success, Herbert W. Armstrong described education, or preparation, as the second law of success. “[W]e have to learn—to study—to be educated—to be prepared for what we propose to do,” he wrote. “One of the first things we need to learn is that we need to learn.” (We will send you a free copy of this amazing booklet upon request.)

Often, very young children are naturally more creative than adults. Being new themselves, their world is full of wonder waiting to be explored. Curiosity opens wide the doors of investigation and experience. Children are quick to recognize that they don’t know something, but work quickly to fill the gap. In addition, young children tend not to fear failure. They are eager to try anything and everything. Safely introducing young children to a variety of experiences is the best way for parents to discover a child’s artistic or creative aptitude.

Sadly, as adults we tend to fall into the creativity-crushing mental rut of believing that we know everything. Intellectual arrogance can kill our curiosity, our desire to investigate, and our willingness to try new things. To become more creative, we must become more curious in our thinking—like a child. Michael Michalko writes: “Einstein once said that the ordinary person could learn all the physics he or she will ever need to learn if the person could learn to understand the mind of a child.” Jesus Christ taught that if we truly want to grow spiritually, we must become as little children (Matthew 18:3). The truly great creators never quit learning.

Insist on Discipline

How people encourage creativity today is more like sugar-coated rebellion than true creation. Some parents, not wanting to destroy a child’s creativity, will allow the child to color on walls in the home. Many municipalities have strict laws against such destructive activity, calling it what it truly is—property-damaging graffiti! Allowing a child to bang on a piano does not teach a child how to play music.

Discipline is a creator’s most important tool. Without it, no continuous creative work of any quality can be accomplished. The truly great writers know that quality literature is produced not by some mythological muse but by showing up at the keyboard at a specific time every day and then staying at that keyboard until real work is performed.

One famous British author was asked if he wrote by inspiration or schedule. His answer: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at 9 o’clock sharp.”

A lot of would-be creators talk much about their art, whether it be dance, music, painting, sculpting or writing. Generally that is where it stops—talk. Successful creators do. Yet, doing art is more than a dab of paint on a canvas when you feel like it or when inspiration hits. Doing art means concentration, focus, order, organization, personal sacrifice, scheduling and meeting standards—all elements of self-discipline.

All parents should make it their goal to teach their children the fundamentals of self-discipline. No child can succeed at anything without them.

One of the most important elements of self-discipline is drive. Creative accomplishment requires the creator to keep a prod on himself. The person who desires to be a great piano player must drive himself to practice until he gets his music right. Drive is not an external force—it comes from within a person. All the histories of the great creators hold one fact in common: All were driven to create. How else could they have become the masters of their fields? Herbert Armstrong wrote, “Without energy, drive, constant propulsion, a person need never expect to become truly successful” (op. cit.).

Create With Passion

In his book Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson skillfully and with colorful detail gives us a clear picture of a man driven by passion. He writes: “This is a book about the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing” (emphasis added throughout). Steve Jobs demanded much of himself and the people he employed, which delivered incredible results. Before hiring an employee, Jobs expected to see the fires of passion for Apple products burning bright inside the applicant. If there was no fire, there was no job.

Creators love what they do. If you do not deeply love what you are doing, you will never be very good at it. Music composer Robert Fritz, in his book Creating, states: “Love is what creating is about …. In the creative process, love is generative rather than simply responsive …. [A] creator is able to love something that does not yet exist—even in the imagination—and bring it into existence.” The word generative basically means the power to originate or produce something.

Fritz further explains that generative love focuses not on the creator, but on what is created. Creation is a selfless, not a selfish, process. In reality this is a deeply spiritual concept.

The Bible shows us that God is both the great Creator and Lover (Genesis 1:1; 1 John 4:16). As a Creator, He is passionate about what He is doing. He is creating an incredible family to finish the creation of the universe (Romans 8:19-21). Look at God’s investment of love in His creative actions. God is so passionate about His plans that He gave up, or invested, what He valued most—His Son—to further His creation (John 3:16). And that Son, also God and a Creator, sacrificed His own life to unleash more power into God’s creative work (John 1:12). That is the highest form of generative love.

All those desiring to become creators will need to imitate and put into practice this kind of love. What a wonderful opportunity to be able to learn how to create. That education opens up new vistas to understanding God and deepens our relationship with Him.

It is crucial that parents help their children discover what they can be truly passionate about. Half-hearted interest produces half-hearted results. Every child has ability and aptitude to excel at some skillful enterprise. Yet there must be passion. Careful observation of your child as he experiences new things will unveil to you what your child will love doing.

Hard Work Works

Being a very good creator is very hard work. There is no way around it. Most people stop creating because they meet some obstacle along the way. That obstacle could come in the form of criticism or rejection. Most of the time, though, people give up when the act of creating gets hard. Painting a masterpiece is hard work. Composing unforgettable music is hard work. Writing poetry that lasts forever is hard work! Creation requires sacrifice and a lot of time.

One of the great weaknesses in today’s Western society is the inability to delay gratification. We want what we want—now! When we set out to do something, we expect to see immediate results. Most often, when we don’t get immediate results, we give up. Creating requires patience and longsuffering.

Scriptwriter Steven Pressfield describes the creative process as the war of art. What does he mean by that? A former marine, Pressfield experienced the difficulties, exhaustion and personal trials that afflict soldiers. He believes that to create art requires the toughness of a soldier. The major battle that creators face is with their own self. So, when the creating gets tough, you must push through the toughness.

Geoff Colvin encourages us: “There is a path leading from the state of our own abilities to that of the greats. The path is extremely long and demanding, and only a few will follow it all the way to its end.” Never giving up is a vital key to successful creating. Recent research on Mozart has uncovered that he continually revised his compositions. This is what made his music such a great treasure. Mozart’s compositions did not magically appear on a music sheet.

Herbert Armstrong explained in The Seven Laws of Success that a person seeking any achievement must use resourcefulness and perseverance when the work gets difficult. The truly great creators knew how to use these two building blocks of work effectively.

Human beings are creators by nature. Challenge yourself to embark on a creative journey that will add a new and exciting dimension to your life. You will be pleasantly surprised when you open up your own dazzling creative possibilities.

Despite High Unemployment—Here’s How to Find a Good Job!

Despite High Unemployment—Here’s How to Find a Good Job!

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From the March 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

There is a type of man who never goes without work for long.

“Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village—in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: He is needed, and needed badly ….”

At the turn of the last century, Elbert Hubbard described this man in “A Message to Garcia,” an essay that was printed and reprinted around the world and even given to every enlisted man in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps during both world wars.

This man is resourceful. He is industrious. He has initiative. He listens to what his boss tells him to do and then does it.

But in today’s abnormal global economic climate, even a man of this quality may still find himself without work, laid off with thousands of others. What can he do then?

If you find yourself in this situation, you need a strategy. Here are seven practical steps to take if you’re looking for work.

1. Assess your spending

If you’ve just lost your job, or the end of your present job is in sight (and by the way, today’s labor market is tough, so don’t ever quit unless you have another job lined up), then stop and take stock of your financial situation immediately.

Depending on how much money (if any) you have in savings, you may have to curtail or sharply cut your monthly expenses. Take a long, hard look at your spending habits. Don’t hesitate to drastically reduce your standard of living. You may need to get rid of some or all of your non-essential bills and discretionary spending in order to survive. For example, you may need to cancel such things as your cable tv, gym membership and magazine subscriptions, and curtail dining out and entertainment.

In some cases, it may be advisable to quickly pay down—or pay off—as many short-term debts as you can. You might consider refinancing your home mortgage or auto loan to a lower interest rate in order to further reduce monthly debt payments.

At the same time, you will need to work out a new, realistic budget. Get help from a public credit counseling service if you can’t work out a budget on your own.

Resist the temptation to use credit and dig yourself into a hole that you might not get out of for a long time.

When it is time for you to go job hunting, first calculate how much income you will need to earn in order to make ends meet. The classic career guide What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Bolles lists these expenses to consider when determining your “minimal survival salary”: Housing; cleaning, maintenance, repairs; food; clothing; automobile/transportation; insurance; medical expenses; support for other family members; charity giving/tithes; school/learning; pet care; bills and debts; taxes; savings; retirement fund; amusement/discretionary spending.

2. Prepare for the long haul

Getting yourself back into the working sector requires a lot of confidence and enthusiasm. But don’t pin your hopes on unrealistic expectations of landing another job easily and immediately, or your hopes may soon fade. It could take time—perhaps a year or so—to find the right job, so you also have to have steely determination.

This is why it is important to diligently reduce your debt load and get into a good cash position when you are employed. If you currently have a job, set aside funds for unexpected expenses. Each pay period, you should budget about 5 percent of your net earnings until you have accumulated enough emergency savings to pay your essential expenses for six months. Then, when an emergency occurs—like the loss of a job—that reduces your reserve, build it back up with the same diligence as before.

3. Assess your skills

Analyze your main interests in life in order to find the job that is right for you—not just one that pays a high salary. You usually enjoy the activities at which you excel. Think slowly and carefully over your entire life and write down a list of areas in which you excel, including school activities, handicrafts, hobbies, and all of your past jobs. Do you enjoy working on cars? Are you a fast painter? Do you like tinkering with computers? Fascinated by nature and biology?

Also note any specialized vocational training you received in school, the armed forces, or elsewhere. For an even deeper look at your aptitudes, consider taking a vocational guidance test from a college, university, employment agency or other institute.

Such lists will probably reveal a pattern. You will begin to see the type of job that would make use of your talents and in which you can excel, and also the type of job in which you would be a miserable misfit.

Bolles says self-assessment “involves sitting down and doing some inventory on what are called your functional or transferable skills. Your education and previous experience don’t lock you into only finding a job in a particular sector of the economy or in a particular job title. You have to take the blinders off and think, ‘I’m a person who’ and fill in the blank. Not, ‘I’m a human resources executive,’ for instance. Rather, think ‘I’m a person who’s good at analyzing things’ or ‘I’m a person who’s good at organizing things.’ Then you look for an organization that needs these skills and interests” (ibid). Perhaps your skills can be adapted to a job other than what you have previously done.

Your jobless situation can be a time not only for self-analysis, but also for education in new skills. There are many training courses and seminars offered by vendors, local schools and government-sponsored institutions. If you are Internet savvy, consider taking an online course or “webinar” to enhance your skills or learn new ones.

Go to your local library or bookstore and read up on the career fields that are on the rise. In addition to What Color Is Your Parachute?, you might find one of these titles very helpful: Guide for Occupational Exploration, The Pathfinder, and The UnCollege Alternative.

If you’re considering going back to school to get a degree in some “hot” field, be aware that a college degree does not guarantee you a job. While in some cases a degree can help you find work, according to Danielle Wood’s book The UnCollege Alternative, the majority—about 70 percent—of all jobs in the United States only require alternative education and on-the-job training.

4. Make a job out of finding a job

Too many go on the job hunt halfheartedly. It’s no wonder so many can’t find work and/or are living on public welfare.

Being jobless is not an extended holiday. If you don’t have a job, now is the time to work “overtime” every workday looking for a job. Stay in a regular work routine every day. Resist the temptation to aimlessly surf the Internet or watch tv. Don’t view your seemingly endless “free” time as something to fritter away on hobbies and backyard projects. Force yourself to get up and get going each day.

Be zealous in your quest for a job. Get up early in the morning—every morning—and start researching for openings, applying for jobs, arranging interviews and pounding the pavement—before lunchtime! Don’t quit until you’ve put in a full eight- or nine- or ten-hour day’s work looking for work. Keep at it for at least 40 hours a week. Be resourceful and persistent. Job researchers insist a job hunter who is looking for a nonexecutive job should be able to submit 40 applications a week. Set a goal of a certain number of applications a day until you land your job.

Besides your traditional job search—sifting through job websites like CareerBuilder and Monster, looking in classified ads, reading trade journals and professional publications, and checking out employment agencies—try networking. Get out and talk with your friends, neighbors, relatives and business acquaintances. Word-of-mouth referrals are often much more effective at gaining job interviews than merely answering want ads. In fact, some employment experts say that the majority of jobs available on any given date aren’t publicized. Bolles says that “80 percent of all vacancies that are filled are never advertised. They use their own grapevines within the company. … [N]etworking is the single most important way of going job hunting” (Business Week, March 22, 2004).

With this in mind, you may also want to use the Yellow Pages (www.YP.com) to look up potential employers. Call them and ask if they are hiring for the kind of position you are interested in applying for. According to Bolles, this method has a 69 percent success rate.

If possible, ask to speak with the director, the department manager, the foreman or whoever has decision-making authority. If you have good qualifications, the director may hire you even if there is no opening at the moment, because he is looking ahead to future needs.

Too many job hunters rely on the Internet alone. This approach has a low success rate. “The Internet has obviously increased the ability of people to locate jobs. But sending your résumé out unsolicited and using the Internet doesn’t really work even during a good economy. These strategies are miserable failures when you have a sour economy. Forrester Research has found that 10 percent at best and 4 percent at worst find a job through the Internet” (ibid).

5. Knock on some doors

One of the best ways to try to find a job, says Bolles, is to “[knock] on the door of any employer, factory or office that interests you, whether they are known to have a vacancy or not” (op. cit.). This tactic may seem outmoded; however, Bolles states this method has a 47 percent success rate.

Before you go knocking on doors, develop a plan. Avoid trudging up and down the streets at random in hopes that some company out there will have a position available. First take the effort to find out the exact name and location of businesses that hire people who have your abilities and skills.

After targeting a business or employer you are interested in working for, try to get in to see the hiring manager. If you can, avoid going through the Personnel Office, because its job is usually to screen out job seekers. Strive to make a good first impression. Dress appropriately, be clean, and present yourself with poise and enthusiasm. Put your best foot forward. And, with each manager you meet, leave a neatly prepared résumé and cover letter briefly detailing your education, work experience and personal information (see our February issue).

In big cities, and especially within big corporations, it may be difficult to get past security to talk to someone “in charge” without an appointment. Even so, Bolles says, “It’s uncanny how many people will say ‘Sure’ or ‘I’ll see if there’s someone who you can talk to ….’ It’s perfectly true that these monoliths that have 38 floors don’t pay off so well. But smaller companies are filled with people who are very interested in taking the time to talk to you” (op. cit.). Concentrate on organizations with 50 or less employees, he says. “When you approach companies like that—and when you know enough about interviewing—you often come as the answer to their prayers.”

6. Be flexible

The average person changes jobs at least eight times in a lifetime. Sometimes job changes involve career changes. Accept the possibility that you may need to switch careers. This involves thinking big: You may have to consider changing from a white-collar job to a blue-collar job—or vice versa. You may need to adjust to a lower pay scale. You may have to take a temporary or part-time job—or maybe two of them—in order to get by. You might be required to commute long-distance or even relocate.

Be open-minded about seeking a new job or career. Ideally, though, you should try to find a job where you can use many of your abilities and talents.

In any case, be adaptable. Don’t become overly anxious about the transitions you may have to go through along the way to becoming gainfully employed again. Excessive worry can hurt your health; it is nonproductive and can even be counterproductive.

7. Seek guidance

If you are unemployed or are thinking of changing jobs, be sure to seek advice and counsel. As Proverbs 11:14 states, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”

Talk to a career counselor. Visit job sites and ask for personal interviews with experienced people in a variety of careers. Especially ask for help from close friends and relatives—those who know you best—since they may be able to see your strengths and weaknesses more objectively than you can and aid you in considering a career path or job right for you.

Above all, don’t forget to seek counsel from above—heavenly guidance from God. Many turn to God only out of desperation as a last resort. But the power of prayer can work, and has worked, miracles in the lives of many who have experienced unemployment woes in the past. Use this vital tool throughout the job-seeking—and job-keeping—process!

God knows your needs even before you ask. However, He won’t necessarily supply what you don’t ask for (Matthew 6:8; James 4:2). Be sure to seek His help diligently. Be persistent and wholehearted. James 5:16 states that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” If you expect God to hear, you must pray fervently, earnestly, zealously and without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Pray, and then wait, with patient faith—doing your part all the while—to see the amazing results. God will never fail you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), so long as you put Him first in everything. Know that He can, most definitely, guide you to success in finding the job you need.

Many nations are heading into the worst economic times since the Great Depression. The struggle to find—and keep—a good job will only intensify. But if you do your part and follow God’s laws, God will bless you and provide for all your needs. As Jesus said, “[S]eek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these [material] things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

Pray for favor. Stay positive. Realize that if Almighty God is with you, you will eventually succeed. Have faith: “Unemployment may reach 50 percent or more, but there is no reason that you cannot be one of the 50 percent with a job” (Solve Your Money Troubles!; request your free copy). In today’s global economic climate, finding a job can be tricky, but with God’s help it is possible.

Sidebar: More Americans out of work than reported

The state of the U.S. economy is shaping up to be a major issue in the 2012 presidential election. No presidential incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt has been reelected in a year when the national unemployment exceeded 7.2 percent. Perhaps this is why the current administration is trying so hard to downplay America’s joblessness. Most news media outlets made a big deal over the fact that the U.S. Labor Department announced that the U-3 unemployment rate fell from 9 percent to 8.6 percent during the month of November. Trouble is, the government-reported U-3 unemployment rate does not reflect how many people are actually out of work, but rather how many unemployed people are actively applying for government benefits. Further examination of the data shows that 315,000 people stopped looking for work during November, dropping out of the job market. The situation looks even worse when you consider the government-reported U-6 under-employment rate, which includes those who are currently working part-time until they can find a full-time job. The overall under-employment rate in America is currently at 15.6 percent.