Taliban Attacks Kabul

The Taliban launched a complex attack on foreign embassies in the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul. Afghan security forces finally overpowered the terrorists Monday morning, after 18 hours.

Authorities said one police officer and at least 17 terrorists were killed in the multi-prong attacks, which took place in three eastern cities as well as the capital. In addition to several foreign embassies, Taliban terrorists also targeted nato bases and the Afghan parliament using assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide bombers. A Taliban spokesman said that the complex assault is just the beginning of the group’s spring resurgence.

The violence shows that the Taliban is far from beaten as the United States and nato draw down their forces in Afghanistan. It is becoming more and more obvious that the U.S. has lost the war in Afghanistan.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry forecast that America’s war efforts would fail for a very specific reason. To learn more, read his 2003 article: “Why We Cannot Win the War Against Terrorism.”

Spain Clamps Down on Protesters as Nation Edges Toward a Bailout

Spain Clamps Down on Protesters as Nation Edges Toward a Bailout

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As the ECB turns off the money tap, the euro crisis rears back up.

The interest rates of 10-year Spanish government bonds reached 5.99 percent on April 10—the highest since December 12—close to the danger zone that has forced other nations to ask for a bailout.

For the past few months the European Central Bank (ecb) has been flooding the market with cheap credit through its long-term refinancing operations (ltro). This has dealt with some of the surface problems and kept the eurozone ticking over and out of the headlines. But now that the money spigot has been turned off, the euro’s troubles are emerging again.

“Spain and Italy could not live with today’s borrowing costs for long unless the outlook for their economies were to improve dramatically,” writes the Economist. “So they may have to look to outside help.”

“What’s happening in Spain is nothing short of a disaster—one that may, in time, come to rival that in Greece,” writes Daniel Knowles in the Telegraph. “Youth unemployment has climbed above 50 percent, while unemployment generally is at around 23 percent. The Bank of Spain expects gdp to fall by 1.5 percent this year, while the imf thinks that the country might have two more years of recession.”

Andrew Roberts, head of European rates strategy at the Royal Bank of Scotland, also called the situation a “disaster.”

“The banks are deeply underwater,” he said. “This is turning into a disaster for the eurozone periphery now that the liquidity tap has been turned off. But given the opposition in Germany, the ecb can’t easily do another ltro until there is a major crisis.”

With Spain headed for disaster with youth unemployment at over 50 percent, it is no wonder that Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz announced April 11 that street protests that “seriously disturb the public peace” will be outlawed. Anyone found guilty of provoking or taking part in violent acts of protest could be jailed for a minimum of two years.

His changes will make it “an offense to breach authority using mass active or passive resistance against security forces and to include as a crime of assault any threatening or intimidating behavior,” he said.

Opponents of these changes plan on protesting April 14, comparing these rules to General Franco’s dictatorship.

The Trumpet has been warning that this kind of social unrest will only get worse in Europe. “Social unrest and riots will eventually force Europeans to succumb to a strong united government of Europe, led ultimately not from Brussels, but from Berlin,” wrote editor in chief Gerald Flurry in 2008.

This crisis was designed to force eurozone nations to succumb to this kind of government. Faced with riots and bankruptcy, they’ll have no choice but to come under a German-led EU government.

For more information, see our article “Crisis in Europe: A Classic Whodunit.”

Israeli Vice Mayor Claimed ‘Our Time Needs Men Like Herbert W. Armstrong’

Israeli Vice Mayor Claimed ‘Our Time Needs Men Like Herbert W. Armstrong’

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Yitzhak Artzi honored the patriarch of peace on behalf of Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

Yitzhak Artzi was born in Romania and was involved in the Zionist underground during World War ii, helping save children from a concentration camp and transport Romanian Jews to Israel for resettlement. He also aided in establishing a settlement in Lower Galilee, working as a journalist before moving into politics and rising to the post of vice mayor of Tel Aviv from 1974 to ‘79 and deputy mayor in the Tel Aviv municipality from 1979 to ‘83. Furthermore, Artzi served as a member of the Knesset from 1984 to ‘88 before dying in 2003.

“I regret that I can’t say in the ears of Mr. Armstrong what I wanted to say to him on behalf of our city, Tel Aviv-Jaffa,” stated Mr. Artzi. He was addressing a cadre of international ambassadors, diplomats, city officials, university directors, parliamentarians and journalists at a November 1974 banquet highlighting the work of Herbert W. Armstrong.

Mr. Artzi expressed his pleasure at Tel Aviv being chosen as host city for the special evening honoring the unofficial ambassador for world peace, who became ill moments before the event and was laid up in bed.

Mr. Artzi said, “I think that our time needs men like Mr. Armstrong and like this movement, a movement inspired by a spiritual message, looking for understanding between men and men, trying to build bridges” (Worldwide News, Dec. 23, 1974).

He noted the dinner conversation surrounding efforts between Arab nations and Israel toward building a peaceful “bridge of friendship” and went on to focus on Mr. Armstrong’s interest and activities in Israeli archeology.

Founded in 1909, this city which honored Mr. Armstrong is Israel’s second largest and is located along the coastline hugging the Mediterranean Sea. It is Israel’s financial center, housing a stock exchange, sea trade port and business houses, and acting as the nation’s primary performing arts hub.

“The links, the historic links between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, creates this specific situation of Jaffa, an old city mentioned in the Bible, mentioned in Greek mythology, mentioned by the Crusaders, Tel Aviv having this year its 65th anniversary. This combination maybe expresses this specific situation of Israel of synthesis between old and between the new” (ibid).

Regular readers would know that editor in chief Gerald Flurry is no stranger to Israel. He has visited its cities numerous times over the past two decades, including Tel Aviv and Jaffa. These ancient cities have featured in his many Trumpet articles and Key of David broadcasts, of which he has been presenter to the program’s worldwide audience since its genesis in January 1993.

As founder and chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College and chairman of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, he has labored to continue the “iron bridge” between these humanitarian institutions and counterparts in Israel. Uri Lupolianski, mayor of Jerusalem from 2003 to ‘08, extended a warm hand of friendship, meeting with Mr. Flurry to discuss foundation goals for the city.

There is good news for Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Jerusalem and all cities. Mr. Artzi’s call that “our time needs men like Herbert W. Armstrong” was not in vain. There is such a man in our time today, leading “a movement inspired by a spiritual message.” One continuing the legacy of the ambassador for peace, working to keep the bonded structure of the “iron bridge” intact by declaring to the cities of Judah the Prophet Isaiah’s message of chapter 40, verse 9: “Behold your God!”

Pope Benedict and Europe’s Search for a New Identity

Pope Benedict and Europe’s Search for a New Identity

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As the EU continues to fracture along certain monetary, political and cultural fault lines, the search for a new identity gains strength. Pope Benedict and certain German elites are playing a big part in this.

Bible prophecy for these times forecasts that a rising northern power—today easily recognizable as the German-dominated European Union—will ultimately comprise 10 kings, all yielding their power to one dominant leading entity. It is assumed that those 10 kings will lead 10 specific nations or regional blocs from within today’s European Union.

We do not yet know which EU entities will comprise those 10 nations or groups of nations. Bible prophecy is not that definitive. But it does indicate that half will comprise western European states and half those of Eastern Europe (Daniel 2:33, 41-42).

What is most apparent is that the European Union is today in the process of breaking up and reforming. European elites are searching for a new identity for this emerging northern superpower. Recent reports highlight this fact.

Reuters recently highlighted many of the challenges facing Europe:

[T]he EU must address its future if it is to maintain its integrity, according to Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, whose research laid the basis of the discussions in Copenhagen.”We should try to find common ground as much as possible,” said Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg in Copenhagen. …But if an overarching integration strategy emerges, it must also go beyond monetary and economic affairs.

That report also drew attention to the fact that “Many EU officials concede that things are getting unwieldy, even for experts who struggle to decipher the structures intended to unify the EU’s 500 million citizens. … Eurozone leaders will now hold at least two separate summits a year, only inviting the other signatories of the pact if issues that might concern them are to be discussed.

“In another division, only 23 of the 27 countries agreed last year to a Franco-German strategy aimed at improving competitiveness in European economies, the Euro Plus Pact.”

Reuters also reported Margrethe Vestager, the economy minister for non-euro member Denmark, as stating that “In addition to the EU of the 27 and the eurozone of 17, we now have the Europe of the 23 with the Euro Plus Pact, and the Europe of 25, the fiscal compact. We need to make sure that these formats don’t split us apart.”

In a separate report under the headline “We need to invest in a European identity,” EU Observer recently commented: “The European Parliament is trying to cultivate a ‘European identity,’ with top officials saying that it is the only way to ensure a lasting union between member states” (March 30).

This report further noted that Klaus Welle, the secretary general of the European Parliament, told an audience at the think tank Center for European Policy Studies on March 29: “If we want to build a lasting union of solidarity we also need to invest in European identity. We need to understand history as European history and not just as compilation of national histories.”

Welle used a few key words that hint at the direction from which that fresh identity will come—particularly the terms “solidarity” and “European history.” To the most astute observers of the history of the EU’s development, these terms immediately trigger a connection with Rome.

The “history of Europe” is essentially the history of the Holy Roman Empire. The term “solidarity” is deeply embedded in the social chapter of Vatican teaching. It was the mantra of the very movement created by Rome under Pope John Paul ii to promote insurrection in Poland in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The resultant resistance of the Catholic masses in Poland to the tyranny of Soviet rule became the wedge that eventually broke the hold of Russia over Eastern and Southern Europe. This led to the drawing back to mother Rome of millions of adherents to Roman Catholicism from ex-Soviet territory.

What the Roman Catholic Klaus Welle is promoting is actually a return of Europe to its historic Holy Roman identity. He is not alone in this. Influential Catholic elites in Europe, particularly in Germany, have intently promoted the unifying power of Rome as the one force that will unify the disparate members of the European Union.

One reason that German voices are calling for such a European identity was recently highlighted by an observer’s statement published in the Guardian newspaper that “‘a European identity is more comfortable than a German identity,’, given the bloody history” (March 16).

That fresh identity for Europe, reflecting its Holy Roman history, will soon come into vogue. Bible prophecy guarantees it.

Referring to this prophesied phenomenon for our times, Herbert Armstrong declared over 30 years ago (Good News, August 1978):

The Europeans are far more disturbed about their safety in relying on United States military power to protect them than Americans realize! The United States is not loved in Europe. European confidence in U.S. protection … has been lessening and lessening.Europeans want their own united military power! They know that a political union of Europe would produce a third major world power ….They have made a real effort toward union in the Common Market. It has made them economically strong. United they could become stronger economically than the United States ….But they well know there is but one possibility of union in Europe—and that is through the Vatican.

Perceiving the rapid decline of American power that has taken place over the past few years, the motivation of European elites to obtain genuine, workable union within the EU is more tangible than ever.

The very pope who was to give the rallying cry for Europe to return to its Holy Roman roots, and place Rome’s weight behind the promotion of the Solidarity movement in his native Poland, was about to be elected at the time Herbert Armstrong wrote these words (ibid):

What kind of pope will the College of Cardinals elect now? (This is written prior to that election.) Some cardinals and bishops are saying they hope it will be another middle-of-the-roader like Paul—but then it seems agreement on that is not likely.What does seem more likely to me, as an observer and one who understands what is prophesied, is that in the privacy of the locked-in Sistine Chapel there will be sharp contention—a heated power struggle from both liberal and conservative camps. It will threaten to split the church right down the middle. Neither side will, in the first few days, give ground.Then what seems prophetically likely is that a strong conservative leader will suggest a solution to save the church. Let the Vatican take the lead in uniting the nations of Europe into a political union.

Such a pope was elected, John Paul ii!

In a most prescient observation, Herbert Armstrong continued:

Two popes have failed to achieve ecumenical religious union. Why not now turn to lead in political union, on condition that the resurrected Holy Roman Empire be a union of church and state!A political union, with a common monetary currency … with a common military force to protect not only political Europe but also Catholicism against encroaching communism! Communism is perhaps a bigger threat to Catholicism than to political Europe.But also, this political union will put the Catholic Church right back in the saddle as it was from 554 to 1814—with the power of police and military to enforce its decrees!At one bold stroke, this would solidify the Roman Catholic Church and its strife from within, protect it from Communist encroachment and elevate it to a position of pinnacle power, heading what may well become the greatest political and military power on Earth!

Pope John Paul set the scene for the Vatican to promote the unifying force of the religion of Rome as the singular influence that has any possibility of uniting Europe to achieve the EU’s full power potential.

John Paul’s successor, Benedict xvi, has continued tenaciously along that path, now leading the program of “new evangelization” in Europe, mounting a powerful drive to garner Europeans back to their Holy Roman roots!

Rome is currently gearing to accelerate this program of “new evangelization” most aggressively toward the end of the current year and on into 2013, the year of federal elections in Pope Benedict’s home country, Germany.

In the meantime, German elder statesman Edmund Stoiber and his wife, Karen, were invited to attend yet another private audience with Pope Benedict. This will be followed by a delegation of German representatives headed by Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehoffer on the occasion of the pope’s 85th birthday this week.

Such meetings are but a harbinger of increasingly closer ties between Berlin and Rome.

Watch for such ties between Rome and Germany to be strongly promoted by Pope Benedict and influential elites in Germany such as Stoiber. Watch for influential Catholic elites such as Klaus Welle in EU institutions such as the European Parliament to succeed in promoting the religion of Rome as the foundation and binding force for a Holy Roman “European identity.”

Greece Bails Out Its Political Parties

Greece Bails Out Its Political Parties

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More undemocratic shenanigans in the EU’s favor ahead of Greece’s election

Not only is Greece hopelessly in debt, but its political parties are too. The two biggest parties, the center-right New Democracy party and the center-left pasok, hold nearly 80 percent of parliament seats and owe €240 million to banks. Some of their staff say they haven’t been paid in months.

To stay afloat, these two parties voted on April 9 to give themselves €29 million of government money. That money was scheduled to be released to fund Greece’s parties—some of the most generously funded political parties in the European Union—after the May 6 election. By bringing it forward, the established parties voted themselves a huge advantage over their rivals.

This creates a huge conflict of interest. Greece only has that money because of the EU bailout. So Greece’s two main parties owe their continuing existence to EU bailouts. That hardly makes them the impartial representatives of Greece’s people.

But the EU also benefits from this arrangement. These two main parties have, to varying degrees, supported the bailout and the EU’s interference in their country. As a result, they have seen their popularity plummet. Last election, these two parties received 77 percent of the vote. This time, polls put their combined vote at less than 40 percent. Small parties, opposing the EU’s bailout, are thriving.

Greece could emerge from the election with a more euroskeptic government, or a fractious coalition incapable of implementing the EU’s diktats.

So far, the European Commission has not commented on whether it approved this payment. If it did, it means it is using money that, ultimately, came from EU bailouts to Greece in order to sponsor its preferred political parties. The Commission would be attempting to buy an election.

Greece is under the control of the German-led EU. Watch for the EU to try to retain this control, no matter what the election results are.

Spend Your Time Wisely

Spend Your Time Wisely

Dreamstime

It’s the most precious commodity there is.

When Paul encountered the scholars at Athens, he said they “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). They wasted away their time on human reasoning. God’s truth, to them, was a curiosity. It certainly wasn’t something to be taken seriously. It wasn’t important enough to actually change the way they spent their time!

In Romans 13, Paul admonishes us to awake out of sleep—because we know the time! Time today is much shorter than it was two or three years ago—or two or three months ago. Whether we are alive and remain when Christ returns from heaven, or we die a few years before that, in either case, our salvation is nearer than what we once thought. Because we know the time, Paul says, we must strive to live as Christ lived in these urgent days (verses 12-14).

Because of the time, we must focus on what really matters—and then maintain that focus. Satan understands well that we cannot serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24)—and that a friend of the world cannot be a friend of God (James 4:4). He wants us to get so caught up in the things of this world that we never have time for God. He’s filled this world with a glittering array of alluring, sensually appealing diversions and materialistic things—all of which, if we lack self-control, will devour our time.

The entire book of Ecclesiastes was recorded to teach us not to waste our time on material pleasures, and to teach us that the purpose for our physical existence—which is nothing more than a short span of time—is to build godly character.

Therefore, most of our time (when we are not sleeping or working) should be spent with God in prayer and Bible study and with our families in the home, which is where we best learn how to practically apply the laws of God.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” To spend your time wisely, the very first law to remember is that God must come first in our lives! We must give God the very best time that we have! Seek Him first—seek His righteousness—and then He’ll be involved in how the rest of our time is spent.

To do this, we must organize our time around God. Every day, we need to carefully budget how much time we spend on various activities. Every hour of every day is made up of decisions about what we are going to do with the time that we have left that particular day.

In The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, author Tony Schwartz cites a recent study in which participants were asked to complete just 20 minutes of exercise at any time within the following week. Incredibly, only 29 percent of the people took the time to perform the task.

A second group was challenged to do the same assignment and was given additional instruction about how exercise reduced the risk of heart disease. In that group, 39 percent of the participants found the time to exercise.

But in a third group, in which participants were asked to exercise on a specific day, at a specific time and at a specific location, 91 percent of the people completed the assignment.

Schwartz writes,

By defining precisely when we’re going to undertake a behavior, we reduce the amount of energy we have to expend to get it done. Often, when we make a commitment to a new behavior such as exercising, we fail to recognize that unless we set aside a specific time to do it, it’s unlikely we will. In part, that’s because there is another behavior we’re more accustomed to doing, out of habit, or because there is something easier and more pleasurable we could do. Each time we have to think about whether or not to do an activity—in the face of other temptations and potential distractions—we deplete our limited reservoir of will and discipline. If you have to consciously think for very long about doing something, it’s unlikely you’ll end up doing it for very long. …The more challenging the ritual—physically, mentally, or emotionally—the greater the need to be precise in implementing it.

This same principle holds true for our spiritual rituals. The more challenging it is to carve out time for our daily spiritual needs, the more precise we must be in locking it into our schedules.

God created each one of us with the capacity to take full advantage of every opportunity that comes our way. He didn’t intend for us to waste away our lives in frivolous pursuits. He wants us to use every moment we have today to prepare for our future!

The Apostle Paul charged us to use this life to “present our bodies a living sacrifice” unto God (Romans 12:1). In the Old Testament, there were no living sacrifices. They were all dead. To be a living sacrifice, we must first put to death the lusts of the flesh and, by sacrificing the self, keep them dead (see Romans 6). Secondly, we must lay down our lives in the time, energy and effort needed to support God’s work and purpose.

Not only does what we do in this life impact the progress of God’s work, it also prepares us for what we will be doing in God’s Kingdom. We must overcome the way Jesus Christ overcame because we have been called to rule with Christ (Revelation 3:21).

Just like us, Jesus only had 24 hours to work with every day. The Scriptures tell us that it was His custom to rise up a “great while before day” to get in His prayer (Mark 1:35). He studied God’s Word, He trained His disciples, He fulfilled God’s will—always doing those things that pleased the Father.

Now God says to us, You follow those steps—you organize your lives the way Jesus Christ did (1 Peter 2:21). And if you overcome like He did, you’ll rule with Him on His throne when the Kingdom of God is set up on Earth (Revelation 2:26).

God has called each one of us to be world leaders! Maybe you’ve never thought about it quite like that before. But in the World Tomorrow, when Jesus Christ sets up God’s government on this Earth, He will need qualified leaders to assist Him in ruling the nations. (See also Daniel 7 and Luke 19.)

Jesus Christ is offering positions of authority to those who have learned to carefully budget their time in this physical life. How we use—or misuse—our time, will determine how God can use us in His Kingdom (Luke 16:10-11).

Think about it: Eternity is an unlimited amount of time. How could God entrust us with power and authority for all eternity unless we first learn to spend our time wisely in this life?