Spain, Italy, Portugal—First of the Ten?

Spain, Italy, Portugal—First of the Ten?

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An interesting scenario is building in Europe involving Spain, Italy and Portugal. It could accelerate the rise of the prophesied 10-nation combine.

Students of Bible prophecy have watched for the fulfillment of a particular prophecy forecasting the separation of 10 “kings” in Europe all yielding up their power to one overarching authority.

The current euro crisis is providing a possible answer as to how this situation may occur.

Greece may well provide the test case for demonstrating the point.

This Greek Orthodox nation’s economy is virtually up for grabs for all takers. Yet the nation in the box seat for “winner take all” is Germany.

Consider the following.

Since the onset of the euro crisis, the European Union and the international community has pumped approximately $312 billion into the Grecian economy. At the same time, Berlin has imposed onerous austerity measures on Greece. Yet, given that Greece was in dire financial straits, Germany and France still held its feet to the fire and forced the nation to pay for military hardware that Greece had contracted to buy from them. The only way that Greece could fulfill this demand was to channel back to Germany and France an amount of the bailout funds that it had received, for debt relief, in full payment for those contracts. This was all done to the net gain of the German and French economies, and a net loss to the Greeks.

Germany followed this up with a demand that Greece begin selling off its state assets to offset its unpayable debt. In the wake of that demand, a team of German investors descended on Greece to look over the spoils and consider appropriate fire-sale prices to purchase that nation’s key infrastructural and industrial assets.

The washup to this nasty deal will be that Germany emerges virtually owning Greece lock, stock and barrel. This all flies in the face of a refusal by Germany to pay for multibillion euros’ worth of damage it wreaked during its World War ii occupation of that Balkan state.

It’s a murky business. Yet it’s one way to take over a most strategically placed Mediterranean nation without having to shed much Grecian blood, as Nazi Germany did when it plundered Greece 70 years ago. This time, by taking over the nation’s assets and preserving its population, Germany gains a very cheap labor force to continue to operate its newest Balkan acquisition.

Now, consider Spain, Italy and Portugal, three traditional Roman Catholic nations, and three of the most significant economies within the European Union.

Each of these nations, it is said, is in significant economic difficulty.

In all probability, given the nature of their respective histories, their culture, economies and religion, they stand to be integral to the prophesied 10-nation combine depicted in Revelation 17:12.

Of those 10, notice that the very next verse states: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Germany is recognized as the current paymaster of Europe. It is said that “he who pays the piper calls the tune.” The prophecy indicates that 10 kings are destined to dance to the tune of one power which is simply termed “the beast”—they “shall give their power and strength unto the beast.”

Why would not Germany, under appropriately assertive leadership, agree to “bail out” those slated as the next EU nations in line to fail economically—Spain, Italy and Portugal—in exchange for a takeover of national assets similar to that which they have imposed on Greece?

The 10 are destined to “give their power and strength unto the beast.” A nation’s power and strength is vested in its national assets—its raw materials, its industry, its military capability and its population. These all need to be sustained, their ongoing operation paid for.

Germany is Europe’s paymaster. While EU nations’ economies languish in crisis, Germany’s economy grows, even beyond expectations: “The German economy grew five times faster than expected in the first quarter of the year, jumping 0.5 percent. … The year-on-year increase was 1.7 percent, beating expectations of a 0.8 percent jump” (Financial Times, May 15).

Add to Germany’s continuing superb economic performance the tremendous bullion backing the nation possesses and you have the most powerful growth economy in the world, its imperialist elites salivating over the opportunity to commence doing deals to enable steady possession of whole national economies on the European continent.

As we have continually said, one major factor delaying this process is the dearth of strong leadership in German politics. It’s not so much that the personalities to successfully bring off such a scenario are non-existent. They definitely are there, but remain largely behind the scenes. It’s just that they have not yet taken the opportunity to arise. It’s all about very careful timing.

But, their time will come—and, according to all present indications, it is likely to come sooner rather than later. Conditions economically and socially are ripening in Europe for the rise of that particular demagogue who will enable final fulfillment of the major prophecies in your Bible leading to the grand-smash climax at the close of this morally torpid age, and the entry of the world into that thousand-year millennial reign of peace and plenty that the prophets of old forecast as inevitable.

Watch the fallout of the Greek crisis. Watch the domino effect in Spain, Portugal and Italy, plus the ongoing ripple effect all across Europe. The outcome is foreordained. Knowing this outcome beyond all doubt is why we at the Trumpet face the future with supreme confidence as to the end result, despite the intense global trauma that is prophesied to precede it.

If you really want to dig into this subject and learn more in preparation for that future, read and study our booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation.

Stimuli Addiction

Stimuli Addiction

Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty Images

The cost of keeping pace in a caffeinated culture

Modern life moves at mighty speed. Our food is fast, our Internet connections faster. We tweet, we e-mail, we upgrade. We work overtime to stay ahead of the competition. We are on the go. Even when we watch television, we watch CSI and Grey’s Anatomy—shows with people who are quick-witted, fast moving and stressed out.

The rat race has never been so brisk. But we adapt. We multitask, we power nap. We spend quality time with each other, in lieu of quantity. We take in loads of information in stride. We grow accustomed to motion blur.

That’s the way it has to be, isn’t it? Or—is it possible we’re making life too hard for ourselves?

Perhaps we live like we drive: Always pushing it 5 miles over the speed limit—when it’s 55 we go 60; if it was 95 we’d make it an even 100. Perhaps we’re simply becoming addicted to stimulation.

Consider life before television, radio, telephone, even telegraph (it wasn’t that long ago). News generally traveled by foot, or hoof. Intercontinental travel took days or weeks. The pace was slow and the world was huge.

Today, journalists are positioned in every nook of the planet, reporting continually. The nightly news promises the world in 22 minutes. For people who can’t wait for that, cable provides “headline news,” with multiple bits of information flashing and scrolling simultaneously; the Internet allows us to scan only the headlines. Twitter gives us everything we need in 140 characters. There is so much going on, we want only the essential, only the cream, only the surface. Speed is of the essence.

Are we able to take it all in? Can we make meaningful sense of it? Can we feel deeply about all of it? Perhaps. But only for a moment, and then we must move on—we have other important things to see.

With satellite tv, the Internet, mobile devices, tablets, laptops, dvds, iPods, radio, video games, there is always something to keep us stimulated. Television, our third-most time-consuming activity after work and sleep, gives us a hyper world of fast cuts, zooms and pans, noise and suddenness. Soon we crave the hyperstimulation. We can only take so much of plain old life, with its slow-paced continuity and conspicuous lack of special effects.

Is it any wonder we are rearing a hyper, adhd generation?

There may be a problem here, but we are moving too fast to pin it down.

Let’s slow down for a moment.

Think about it.

What price are we paying for our short attention spans, our compulsive hyperness?

Don’t answer too quickly—stop reading and think a while.

Let me interrupt you with one answer (you didn’t really stop reading, did you?). The price we pay is depth.

We give up depth in our relationships. Depth in our emotions, depth in our thoughts. We think we have wisdom when we merely have information. We think that living under the same roof is the same as being a family.

Consider the study on father-child interaction cited by Dr. James Dobson in What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women. Researchers first asked a group of middle-class fathers to estimate how much time they spent each day with their 1-year-old children. The average reply was 15 to 20 minutes. When the researchers used methods to determine the actual amount, they discovered that the average time was really 37 seconds—2.7 encounters each day, 10 to 15 seconds each.

Perhaps we shake our heads and wonder, how can they do that to those kids? But I know that if the fathers in the study read that statistic in the paper, they’d think the same thing: Yeah I should spend more time with my kids, but at least I’m getting in a good 15 to 20 minutes a day. That’s a whole lot better than those 37-second dads.

Then, after a moment’s musing on the matter, they would turn the page and move on. Just like we all do.

There is a vicious cycle at work: Stimuli addiction is both a cause of our shallowness and a symptom of it. It is hard to break free of something so enthralling, so easy, so everywhere. Depth is too hard. Depth is discovering one great book and sitting down with it, getting to know it, really studying it, letting it soak into your life. Instead we load up the bookshelf with books we only skim.

Is this really a problem? Consider.

Stimulation overdose eventually creates numbness. That is, nothing stands out in the cacophony for longer than a moment. Too much noise becomes white noise, like static on an empty television channel.

How then can God—the epitome of depth, of substance, of balance, of quiet meditation, of timelessness, of moral perfection, of everything opposite our shallowness—reach our minds in a lasting way? Even tragedies on the scale of 9/11 and the Japanese tsunami can shrink to insignificance amid the bustle. Our minds quickly absorb events and we’ve moved on. After the devastation of September 11, church attendance spiked, but was back to pre-9/11 levels within three weeks.

Read Matthew 13:1-23, a parable showing what happens when God sows His Word. Some of it is snatched up by the devil; some, people are too shallow to receive; some, people are too addicted to the world to hold on to. The parable has special poignancy in a world jacked up on caffeinated culture.

God is a voice “crying in the wilderness” today (i.e. Luke 3:4). Is your life quiet enough for you to hear Him?

Don’t answer too quickly—stop reading and think a while.

German Government Knew Euro Would Fail

German Government Knew Euro Would Fail

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Newly released papers show the German government knew the euro would fail and lied to the Constitutional Court about it.

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was warned that the euro was doomed to fail, according to secret documents obtained by Spiegel.

“Documents from the Kohl administration, kept confidential until now, indicate that the euro’s founding fathers were well aware of its deficits,” it wrote May 8.

The Trumpet has long warned that European leaders knew exactly what they were doing when they created the euro. The current crisis is not a mistake. They knew that, as Spiegel writes, “a common currency cannot survive on the long term if it is not backed by a political union.” They pushed ahead because they believed a common currency would force the unwilling European people to form a political union.

The documents released to Spiegel give yet more evidence of this.

Italy was allowed to join the euro after some deceptive accounting meant it fulfilled the entrance criteria. “However, the Kohl administration cannot plead ignorance,” writes Spiegel. “In fact, the documents show that it was extremely well informed about the state of Italy’s finances.”

Not only did Kohl ignore warnings that Italy’s debt was way too high, but “the documents that have now been released suggest that the Kohl administration misled both the public and Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court,” it writes.

Kohl’s government told the court that Italy’s breaking of the euro’s financial rules was “neither recognizable nor to be expected.” Meanwhile, the government’s economic advisers were saying that Italy’s “high debt levels” carried “enormous risks.”

Kohl’s government lied to the equivalent of Germany’s supreme court to make sure the euro went ahead. He knew that then Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi was fiddling the books to make Italy look ready for the euro.

JP Morgan Asset Management calculated last week that the eurozone was one of the worst possible common currency zones. The economies involved are too different. In fact, it found that a currency zone made up of countries whose names start with the letter M would make a better currency union than the euro.

As former EU civil servant and author of The Rotten Heart of Europe Bernard Connolly warned in 2007: “And, whereas the mission of the Fed is to avoid a financial crisis, the mission of the ecb [European Central Bank] is to provoke one. The purpose of the crisis will be, as Prodi, then Commission president, said in 2002, to allow the EU to take more power for itself.”

The key leaders knew the euro wasn’t an optimal currency zone. They knew the only way it would work would be to centralize even more power in Brussels. But they couldn’t get voters to agree to this.

Now, as Spiegel observes, all possible solutions to the crisis “boil down to individual countries relinquishing more authority and the central government in Brussels acquiring more in return.”

This is exactly what the euro’s founders wanted.

Jim Rogers on the occupation with the brightest future

World-renowned investor Jim Rogers says the profession of the future is no longer in finance and banking. If you work on Wall Street, prepare for more government regulation, persecution and scapegoating, he says.

There is, however, one occupation that Rogers says will prosper—and it is not a profession generally associated with Harvard or most other Ivy League types. What is this mysterious job opportunity?

Farming. Yes, farming. Rogers says:

I have told you before, become a farmer. Stop all this financial stuff. Become a farmer. Drive a tractor. Get a tractor. Get rid of the Mercedes and get a tractor? … There are many vast opportunities in agriculture and farming.

And why does Rogers say farming is the way to go? Is it because of increasing demand for food from Asia? Are degraded soils restricting food production? Are unpredictable weather patterns pushing up food prices?

All those things may be true, but according to Rogers, there is another ominous trend set to decimate global food production.

Farmers of the bread basket nations are dying. The world is literally running out of farmers. Rogers explains:

The average age of farmers in America is 58. In Asia, 66. In Australia, 58. In ten years American farmers will be 68 if they are still alive.

Where is all the expertise to run farms going to come from? Farming was barely profitable for so long that few children stand ready to take over the family farm. They have gone to the cities instead, to chase higher-paying careers. Running a modern farm is a highly technical and intensive science—not something that you can pick up as you go.

Rogers’s advice: Forget banking and finance and become a farmer. But America’s going to be in a lot of trouble if it is to rely on Wall Street types to produce its food.

Half of Americans Support Homosexual ‘Marriage’

Half of Americans Support Homosexual ‘Marriage’

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Half of Americans believe that homosexual “marriages” should be made legal, with the same rights as traditional marriages, a recent Gallup Poll shows.

Although this number is down slightly from 53 percent last year, it is only the second time in Gallup’s history of tracking this issue that at least a majority of Americans support homosexual “marriage.” In 1996, when the Defense of Marriage Act was signed, only 27 percent of Americans supported such marriages.

In this recent poll, 48 percent said such marriages should not be legal.

The poll was conducted just before President Obama publicly declared his support of homosexual “marriage.”

At this same time, North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman. In doing so, the state shut the door on the legalization of homosexual “marriages.” North Carolina is the 30th state to pass such an amendment.

The issue of homosexual marriage sharply divides the American public along political and religious lines. In the political arena, Democrats and independents largely favor it while Republicans oppose it, reports Gallup. The Catholic Church officially opposes it, while “significantly less than half of Protestants approve.” The people who do not identify with any religion “overwhelmingly approve.”

As reported by Associated Press, a voter in support of the North Carolina amendment stated, “I know that some people may argue that the Bible may not necessarily be applicable, or it should not be applicable, on such policy matters. But even looking at nature itself, procreation is impossible without a man and a woman. And because of those things, I think it is important that the state of North Carolina’s laws are compatible with the laws of nature but, more importantly, with the laws of God.”

For more information on the subject of homosexual “marriage” see the article, “Would Jesus Flip-Flop on Same-Sex ‘Marriage’?

Palestinians Clash With Israeli Soldiers on Nakba Day

Thousands of Palestinians rallied around Jerusalem on Tuesday to observe “Catastrophe Day.” The protesters, many of whom clashed with Israeli troops, were commemorating the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians after the state of Israel was established in 1948. Palestinians refer to the event as their “Nakba,” or catastrophe.

The friction between protesters and Israeli soldiers at this year’s rally erupted outside Ofer Prison, at the Qalandia checkpoint and in neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Soldiers responded to dozens of stone-throwers at these locations with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The rowdy 64th anniversary of the Palestinians’ “Nakba” comes after nearly two decades of failed efforts to negotiate the terms of a Palestinian state with Israel.

For years, the Trumpet has shown that Bible prophecy says half of Jerusalem will fall violently to Israel’s enemies. In March 2006, editor in chief Gerald Flurry said that the Palestinians want Jerusalem, with the Temple Mount as their capital, and that they will obtain it by violence. Bible prophecy shows that this dividing of Jerusalem will be the match that ignites a series of explosive end-time events. This year’s Nakba rally shows that Palestinians remain unsatisfied with the status quo, and that the fulfillment of this landmark “trigger” prophecy could be very near.

To understand more, read “Jerusalem Is About to Be Cut in Half.”