London: Look Beyond the Olympic Lights

London: Look Beyond the Olympic Lights

Anthony Charlton/LOCOG via Getty Images

England’s majestic capital isn’t what it seems.
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

The eyes of the world are fixed on London.

In a normal year, London attracts 13 million overseas visitors, more than Paris or New York. An additional 260,000 are expected for the Olympics. It has the sixth-largest city economy in the world. Judging by appearances, it seems that London, as its mayor recently boasted, is “the greatest city on Earth!”

Of course, London is as comfortable in the spotlight as an Englishman operating a teapot. For centuries, this city was the heart of Western civilization, the magnificent centerpiece of the British Commonwealth, from which the British peoples shared with the world the best of English civilization: its language, literature, banking, trade and commerce, industry, justice, Common Law, representative government and Protestantism.

Joseph Conrad called the mighty Thames the “waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the Earth,” upon which floated the “dreams of men, the seed of commonwealths, the germs of empires.” Samuel Johnson said, “By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.”

To Johnson and many others, the capital of the British Empire was life. It was the center of the world, the essence of civilization, the core of intellectual and political life, the nucleus of global trade and commerce, and the acme of Western class, sophistication and culture. Though it certainly had its shadows—what city does not?—London was once, by virtually all measures, the world’s greatest city—a symbol of the greatest empire in human history.

Watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, it will seem as if nothing has changed. On television and within the athletes’ village and tourist spots, London will appear a vivacious city bursting with life and excitement. Symbols of its majestic history—Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace—stand tall, graceful and immovable against a 21st-century backdrop of dazzling wealth and modernity.

But the truth is, the aura of sophistication and class is a veneer. Look a little ways beyond the Olympic lights—take a 10-minute tube ride to one of London’s less-touristy, more “ethnic” boroughs, stroll the city streets late on a Friday night, visit virtually any of its schools—and it’s obvious the city isn’t what it seems.

London is indeed a symbol—a symbol of a dying empire.

The Enemy Within

London has always been a cosmopolitan city. During the height of British rule, thousands of boats from Africa, Asia, South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific and almost everywhere else docked on the banks of the Thames. Off stepped passengers of every race, color, culture and creed. Yet, despite the diversity, London remained culturally and ideologically homogenous, a distinctly English city.

Today, virtually the only testaments to London’s English heritage are its architecture, structures, statues and museums. In almost every other way—culturally, demographically, racially and politically—London feels increasingly foreign to the English. And of all the peoples filling its streets, including Eastern Europeans, Africans, Asians and others, one group has a particularly ubiquitous and forceful presence: Muslims.

Some London suburbs look, feel and smell more like Islamabad than an English city. Arabic signage. Women wearing burqas and headscarves. Mosques with towering minarets. Muslim leaders, not English police or city officials, are the ultimate authority. English law is suspended in favor of sharia law.

What is most alarming about London’s (and England’s) Muslim community, though, is that an enormous number are openly hostile to their host nation.

In her 2006 bestseller Londonistan, Melanie Phillips wrote that London had become “the epicenter of Islamic militancy in Europe. … Its large and fluid Muslim and Arab population fostered the growth of myriad radical Islamist publications spitting hatred of the West, and its banks were used for fund-raising accounts funneling money into extremist terrorist organizations. Terrorists wanted in other countries were given safe haven in the United Kingdom and left free to foment hatred against the West” (emphasis added throughout).

Outside of Muslim-dominated regions like Pakistan, few places offer better sanctuary to Islamic extremism than Britain, and especially the streets of London. Britain’s government works around the clock, spending millions and millions, seeking to thwart attacks being plotted by radical Muslims dwelling within their own borders, and in many instances, living on government money.

Law enforcement has not always been successful. In July 2005, Muslim terrorists attacked London’s transit system. These terrorists weren’t raised in Pakistan or Iran. They learned to hate on London’s streets. “[T]hese British boys, who loved cricket and helped disabled children, had somehow been so radicalized within the British society that had nurtured them that they were prepared to murder their fellow citizens in huge numbers and to turn themselves into human bombs to do so,” wrote Phillips.

The government’s main solution to Britain’s radical Islam problem is to pour money into “moderate” groups. But many of these defend or even actively support Islamic terrorism. While it’s true that only a small minority of Britain’s Muslims are terrorists, a much larger number have values and beliefs that are decidedly anti-British.

In the London borough of Tower Hamlets, radical Islam has all but taken over the local government. Mayor Lutfur Rahman won with the support of the Islamic Forum of Europe, an extremist group actively working to transform Britain into a Muslim state subject to sharia law.

London’s universities are famous worldwide for their problems with radical Islam. “For many years it has been clear that British university campuses are breeding grounds of Islamic extremism,” the Center for Social Cohesion, an independent think tank, wrote. Though the group has tried to warn UK leaders of campus radicalization, and though “public and press concern over this issue is growing, our warnings have been repeatedly ignored by political leaders, university heads and national student bodies,” it wrote. Its report lists 14 college or university colleges that have invited radical speakers to their campuses. All but two are in London.

It’s a terrifying reality: Beneath London’s veneer lies a ferocious, hate-filled enemy actively seeking to destroy its host.

Youth in Revolt

Last summer, thousands of English teenagers and young people ransacked London, smashing shop windows, looting stores, firebombing cars and fighting law enforcement.

This was a destructive manifestation of a moral and spiritual crisis besieging Britain’s young people. This moral rot remains, and is certain to explode in more chaos and violence. The chairman of the Riots Communities and Victims Panel said similar riots could “quite possibly” happen again. Last winter, the government trained hundreds of paratroopers to contain rioters, in case riots break out this summer.

The panel concluded that a root cause of the riots was hopelessness. “Most disturbing to us was a widespread feeling that some rioters had no hope and nothing to lose,” they said. Apparently the “greatest city on Earth” doesn’t offer a future to youth growing up in it.

This same hopelessness and despair is on display every weekend, when thousands of Londoners hit the clubs and pubs solely intent on getting blind drunk. Drunkenness and its many costly side effects have reached epidemic levels in London and throughout Britain. The country has a global reputation for drunken thuggery.

It’s so bad, London has “booze buses” to ferry drunk partygoers to the hospital. Before Christmas last year, the ambulance service put a temporary field hospital at a station in London. That’s right, a field hospital: the same thing soldiers set up near battlefields.

Drunkenness is now part of the London lifestyle, a cultural practice that people of every age and class engage in. The London Ambulance service receives the highest concentration of calls from Westminster and Camden, two of London’s more affluent suburbs. Last Christmas, a journalist accompanied one “booze bus.” He wrote, “Distressingly, during our seven-hour shift, we saw horrifying scenes, including women rendered incoherent by booze lying in dark streets, being sick, with their underwear on show, and men collapsed among bags of rubbish with head injuries.” The reporter detailed the humiliating, even life-threatening, situations the ambulance staff rescued drunks from.

Like many nations, England has deeply serious economic crises—yet it spends billions dealing with drunks!

What a commentary on the moral and spiritual health of this once-great nation.

Many drunken patients are violent or abusive. “I’ve been spat on, punched, kicked, bitten, slapped … you name it,” one “booze bus” worker told the Guardian. “It was frightening at first, but it happens at least once every shift, and I’m used to it now. … The other night I gave a tissue to a girl who was crying and she bit my hand.”

“After midnight, it just goes ballistic,” said a paramedic. “From 1 a.m., Accident and Emergency will be choked up with people intoxicated with alcohol. There is no typical background. No class divide. It takes all sorts, from the 12-year-old drunk in the supermarket car park to the 55-year-old ceo of a West End company.”

And it’s not just alcohol. Drug abuse is mainstream throughout London. A psychiatrist in the accident and emergency department of one London hospital told the Telegraph: “What the older generation doesn’t understand is that combining drugs and alcohol is normal for young clubbers.”

It’s true that every city and every race has these problems. But in London, and in many other places throughout Britain, the lawlessness, the chaos and violence, the revelry and barbarism is epidemic. “The physical ugliness perpetuated almost everywhere has been fully matched by an ugliness of soul and society that is so obvious to visitors to our shores,” Theodore Dalrymple lamented (Real Clear World, June 7).

London, indeed England, used to be the epitome of class and culture. Today, more and more parts of this once-great metropolis—and the empire it represented—have transformed into dens of amoral behavior flooded with cesspools afloat with beer bottles and pills.

Fracturing Family

Did you know that London is the family breakdown capital of Britain?

This is a national trend too. An astonishing 9 in every 10 British couples live together before they marry. This adversely affects the stability of those couples—and the lives of the children they produce.

During last year’s riots, Dalrymple wrote, “British youth leads the Western world in almost all aspects of social pathology, from teenage pregnancy to drug taking, from drunkenness to violent criminality. … British children are much likelier to have a television in their bedroom than a father living at home. One third of them never eat a meal at a table with another member of their household—family is not the word for the social arrangements of the people in the areas from which the rioters mainly come” (Australian, Aug. 11, 2011).

The London Child Poverty Commission notes the link between London’s single parents and high child poverty. Two-parent families are eight times likelier to have an employed family member than single-parent families are. The problem is especially bad in London, where 55 percent of single parents are out of work, compared to 42 percent outside the city.

Millions of British children and youth are being raised by only one parent. In one London local authority, the figure is nearly 60 percent. Before the 1960s, births outside marriage were around 5 percent. They have since increased nine-fold. And for many children, it’s not just that they don’t have a stable family—it’s that they don’t even know what a traditional family entails. Without family, their social skills, their sense of place in society, their ability to interact with other humans, becomes warped. “They are therefore radically unsocialized and deeply egotistical. … By the time they grow up, they are destined not only for unemployment but unemployability,” observed Dalrymple (ibid).

“Family breakdown increases the chances of a young person living in poverty and reduces the chances of a young person escaping poverty as an adult,” notes the Center for Social Justice, a conservative think tank. The statistics prove it.

For many young people, education is non-existent. There was a time when London was considered one of the capitals of education and learning. English schools were once the global standard of education, and people from around the world would pay enormous sums of money to have their children live in London and go to school. Many of the great poets, writers and intellectuals were educated in London.

Looking at this history only intensifies the tragedy that is English education today.

London’s Future

When you look beneath the surface, the vision one gets of contemporary London—and the Britain it represents—is grim, seemingly hopeless. What is the solution to the radical Islamist enemy growing in its midst? How can the government ever inject enough hope and optimism into Britain’s youth to prevent them from getting drunk and ransacking city streets? How can traditional family virtues and morals ever be restored, now that it has come to this?

Is there really any hope for London, and for the once-great nation of England?

The answer to that question can be found in what seems like a most unlikely place: in London, and to be specific, in Buckingham Palace. Here’s what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his booklet The Key of David: “The solutions to Britain’s problems can be found within the knowledge of the true ancestry of the British throne.”

That’s a dramatic and powerful claim, but it’s rooted in the Bible!

Nearly 3,000 years ago, God made a promise to King David of Israel. You can read that promise in 2 Samuel 7:12. God told the king, “When thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” God is talking about David’s son Solomon. In verse 13, God says of Solomon, “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”

Have you ever marveled at the durability of Britain’s monarchy? These verses explain it. In verses 14-16, God explains His promise to David even more explicitly: “I will be his [Solomon’s] father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him … And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”

God reiterates this promise in 2 Chronicles 13:5, which says that “the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt.” Some translations read: “… by a perpetual covenant.” You see, beginning with his son Solomon, David would always have a descendant ruling as a monarch over Israel! That means forever, including 2012, and including the future!

If you have an objective mind and are prepared to do a little study, you can very easily prove that Britain’s royal family descended from King David!

Queen Elizabeth ii is a living fulfilment of God’s promise to King David.

Now, if you can believe that, then the next question is, why would God make this promise to King David? God has given us Britain’s royal monarchy as tangible evidence of a magnificent, hopeful vision. It’s a vision of peace and prosperity, a vision of a time when there will be law and order, when all nations will live in harmony, a vision of religious and ideological unity. It’s a vision of a time when London, and Britain—and every city and nation and people—will experience the heights of joy and peace and happiness.

God terms this glorious vision the key of David. It is a time when the ultimate ruler will sit on David’s throne—the same throne of Queen Elizabeth ii—and solve these terrible crises facing London today! God wants to share that vision with London, with Britain, with all of mankind.


Queen of the World

Queen of the World

Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The spiritual reality behind Elizabeth II and her Diamond Jubilee.
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

One of the qualities I love the most about Britain’s royal family is its ability to inspire majestic hope.

If you have the time, go online and watch some YouTube clips of Queen Elizabeth ii’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. The four-day celebration of the Queen’s 60-year reign contained some deeply inspiring moments: the magnificent armada of boats on the Thames; the sea of Britons in red and blue, the fluttering Union Jacks filling the city streets; the fireworks; the guards (and others) dressed in elaborate, quintessentially English attire; the trumpets sounding through London’s cobbled lanes; the throngs of patriotic English shouting in unison, over and over: “God save the Queen.” It was all stirring.

But the real inspiration was in the way all the pomp and pageantry hinted at some deeper, larger, intangible reality.

There were moments when even Queen Elizabeth ii, an extraordinary, selfless lady worthy of respect and admiration, seemed more like a spectator—transfixed along with the masses on a larger reality—than the heroine at the center of it all.

I sensed it in the moment Queen Elizabeth graced the stage following the Diamond Jubilee concert. It wasn’t her words (she didn’t speak), nor was it the salutary words by Prince Charles. Rather, it was the sight of hundreds of thousands of British, with millions more watching from home, setting aside their disagreements, trials and tribulations, and joyfully, tearfully fixating for a fleeting moment on their queen. It was the picture of virtually an entire nation stopping what it was doing and singing, in splendid unity, with gusto and a spirit of patriotism many thought was dead, “God save the Queen! God save the Queen!”

When was the last time Britain experienced unity like that? No other person or institution in Britain could garner that kind of reaction.

To fully appreciate what I’m talking about, take a few moments to read 1 Kings 1. Here, King David, the famous king of Israel, is about to die. He orchestrates the coronation of his young son, Solomon, as his successor. The ceremony takes place beside the Gihon Spring, Jerusalem’s only water source and a symbol of God’s presence in Israel. Following young Solomon’s coronation, the people of Israel react with a magnificent display of loyalty and patriotism: “And they blew the trumpet; and all the peoples said, God save king Solomon” (verse 39).

Three thousand years after Solomon’s coronation, we still have a people shouting “God save the king” and “God save the queen.”

For me, the most stirring moment of the Jubilee concert occurred as the Queen placed a large, symbolic diamond in a cradle to light the last of 4,250 beacons that had been lit around the world to honor her reign. At first, there was an awkward silence as the crowd noise dwindled. Then emerged the distinct, gripping introduction of the greatest coronation anthem ever composed. It started off quiet, but soon got louder, and louder, and louder. Finally, perfectly timed fireworks began to explode over Buckingham Palace just as the orchestra and the choir thundered the famous refrain, “Zadok the Priest, and Nathan the Prophet anointed Solomon King.

I watched it a dozen times, and it brought a tear to my eye every time.

It wasn’t the music, the rapturous crowd, the fireworks. It was the words and vision. Composed by George Frideric Handel, this anthem has been sung at royal affairs ever since the coronation of King George ii in 1727. And where did Handel find those lyrics? 1 Kings 1. The Bible records King David relaying specific instructions about who God wanted to crown Solomon: “Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel” (verses 33-34). Shortly thereafter, “Zadok the priest [had] anointed Solomon” (verse 39).

It was as if the scene on that beautiful June night was plucked right from ancient Jerusalem!

During the Diamond Jubilee, the archbishop of Canterbury recalled Elizabeth’s coronation in June 1953. He remembered how the 27-year-old princess was “anointed by consecrated oil just as Old Testament kings had been …. That might seem odd. But return yet again to the coronation of Solomon beside the Gihon Spring. “And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.”

It’s pretty phenomenal, when you think about it. Britain unknowingly yet enthusiastically celebrated a scene that mirrored the coronation of King Solomon in ancient Jerusalem 3,000 years ago!

Is this coincidence? Or is Britain’s royal family descended from King David?

Consider the promise God made to King David in 2 Samuel 7: “[W]hen thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom” (verse 12). God is talking about Solomon. “He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (verse 13).

Have you ever noticed the durability of Britain’s monarchy? These verses explain it.

“I will be [Solomon’s] father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him … And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”

This is no minor biblical detail. God reiterated His promise in 2 Chronicles 13:5: “[T]he Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt.” Some translations read, “a perpetual covenant.”

God promised that, beginning with Solomon, David’s descendants would always rule as monarchs over Israel! Forever.

There is a reason why Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and her jubilee are filled with such rich and intriguing tradition and biblical symbolism. They are insights into the stunning royal heritage of Britain’s monarchy.

Ultimately, this is why grand, majestic events like the Diamond Jubilee and the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are so inspiring and hope-filled. They put the spotlight on the throne of David. They recall the history-altering promise God made to David—and the spectacular vision of the future that the British royal family has the privilege of being a part of!

Perhaps you were moved by the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, or the royal wedding. Perhaps the royal pomp and pageantry and the jubilation of the British people made you wonder if there isn’t something more to this.

Don’t just wonder. Prove for yourself whether or not there is a higher dimension, a divine purpose that is much greater than—yet intrinsically embedded in—Britain’s royal family.

Watch Jerusalem!

Watch Jerusalem!

Fred Froese/iStockphoto

If you follow just one major news trend, make sure it is what is unfolding in this pivotal city.
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

World events from today to the end of this age are going to revolve around Jerusalem. This city is going to be the very epicenter of all major events in the future.

We are living in the very end times. The Bible refers to this period hundreds of times. It also reveals that we are nearing the end of this age, which will culminate in the worst times of violence and suffering ever on Earth.

Everywhere you look, you see violence and war. Governments are toppling every month, it seems. And yet massive violence continues—even in nature and the weather. Why so much violence?

Jeremiah 33:5 says God has hid His face from Jerusalem. But God also says in Zechariah 1:17 that He “shall yet choose Jerusalem.” When He does, He is going to make this city the capital of the world and ultimately the capital of the entire universe!

To God, Jerusalem is the most important city in the world—by far. If it’s so important to God, shouldn’t it be important to those of us who follow and obey the Bible—whether the Torah or the New Testament?

Today, God has yet to choose Jerusalem. And I want to show you why you need to watch Jerusalem right now.

The Hard Lesson From 1967

Outside of its current peril, May 1967 was Israel’s most desperate month. Egypt, Syria and Jordan were preparing to attack and telling the world they were going to destroy Israel. Other Arab nations were allying with them. Finally, on June 5, Israel launched a preemptive strike against the Arab nations and destroyed Egypt’s whole air force.

On June 5, 1967, many people thought Jerusalem was about to die. It miraculously survived.

Now, though, Israel faces an even greater problem than that.

Notice what Charles Krauthammer wrote in the Washington Post: “Forty-five years later in the middle of the night of May 7 and 8, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shocked his country by bringing the main opposition party, Kadima, into a national unity government. Shocking because just hours earlier the Knesset was expediting a bill to call early elections in September. Why did the high-flying Netanyahu call off elections he was sure to win? Because for Israelis today, it is May 1967” (May 10).

The Jews know their nation is again in danger of annihilation! Krauthammer went on to say, “The dread is not quite as acute. The mood is not despair, just foreboding. Time is running out, but not quite as fast. War is not four days away, but it looms.”

That might be too optimistic. But his summary assessment is dead-on: “Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence ….” Today, Israel faces the greatest threat to its existence as a nation! Greaterthan June 1967! The Israelis are again in fear of being wiped off the face of the Earth, as their enemies have again explicitly stated that they will do!

Israelis today face the greatest threat to their existence—“nuclear weapons in the hands of apocalyptic mullahs publicly pledged to Israel’s annihilation—since May ‘67. The world is again telling Israelis to do nothing as it looks for a way out. But if such a way is not found as in ‘67, Israelis know that they will once again have to defend themselves, by themselves. Such a fateful decision demands a national consensus” (ibid).

This is why Mr. Netanyahu was so urgent to form a unified government. Israel has now drawn together and has most of its political power backing its leader, so if he decides to try to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, he will have a united nation behind him—just as when it launched the attack in 1967. You need as much unity as you can get to be able to do something so bold, or you risk having your government toppled from within your own country. Such a strong move can’t be dismissed as “just a right-wing effort,” because there is a unity government.

In the last few years, the Jews have given away Gaza, Jericho, Bethlehem and other West Bank areas like Hebron. Hebron is where David ruled for the first seven years of his reign. Jericho is the land where God performed miracles through Joshua. Bethlehem is where Jesus Christ was born.

Gaza is in the vicinity of where Jonah fled from God’s commission and was swallowed by a great fish. In 2005, Israel evacuated 9,000 people from Gaza and withdrew its military. Almost immediately, terrorists came flooding into Gaza from Egypt, and they pose an increasingly deadly threat to Israel.

Mount Sinai, in the Sinai Peninsula, is where God Himself communed with Moses and ancient Israel. It is a place of unparalleled history. Israel won control of that region in 1967, but relinquished it 15 years later. Now that the Egyptians have deposed Hosni Mubarak, they are menacing Israel once again.

When the Jews talk about these areas, they talk about them as merely “territories.” They don’t talk about Mount Sinai and these other places that resonate with their rich history with God. But their prophets talked about those precious lands differently. They taught about them as places of mighty miracles and divine promises—places thatconnected them to God!

If you think about how the Jews are approaching this crisis today, you will realize that it is different. In the past, they thought about the Bible and about God, and looked to Him to a certain degree. Today they still talk about God and the Bible some, but the Bible doesn’t actually guide their lives as it used to. (The same attitude is in the United States and Britain.)

We can fantasize about being righteous and being a good nation ad nauseam, but we are not obeying what the Bible says. As a result, the miracles of the past have ceased!

Giving land that God gave you, in exchange for peace with anyone, is a grand delusion. The United States and Britain have helped pressure the Jews to give away that land for “peace.” It has never worked. The results have been more war and more violence. Israel’s enemies see that Israel is giving up land because it is weak, and they have contempt for that. They continue to threaten terrorism and war if Israel does not give up more land. Since the Jews won’t turn to the God who gave them miraculous victories in the past, they seem to have no other option.

What Is About to Happen to Jerusalem

Zechariah 12:3 says, “[A]ll that burden themselves with [Jerusalem] shall be cut in pieces.” God says anyone who takes on the responsibility to control His city that He will yet choose is going to be “cut in pieces”!

That is what happens to every government that tries to burden itself with Jerusalem: the United Kingdom, the United States, even the United Nations. God has a particular interest in Jerusalem. He is going to rule the Earth and the entire universe from there. And He warns everyone else not to interfere with His prerogative.

Notice another amazing prophecy about Jerusalem that you need to be aware of. It is in the context of the Day of the Lord, when the Messiah is going to return.

“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity” (Zechariah 14:1-2).

That’s the same half that the Arabs had until 1967, when the Jews conquered it. It is still inhabited mostly by Arabs. The Bible prophesied not only that the Jews would take East Jerusalem, but also that the Arabs are about to take it back.

In that prophecy, God says He will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle! Why is this all happening in Jerusalem? After half of Jerusalem falls to the Arabs, it will be like dominoes falling one after the other: one biblically prophesied event after another. This is all going to happen very fast and very violently, so you need to watch Jerusalem.

What Is About to Happen to the World

Notice what happens after half of Jerusalem falls: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:3-4).

Do you really believe God? These are monumental prophecies in your Bible.

Look at what is happening in Jerusalem! It is the focal point of world events! God prophesied millennia ago that this would happen. And going forward, Jerusalem is going to become even more important. It is about to explode—and catch the world on fire! Then maybe more people will believe what God says.

Matthew 24:15-16 also prophesy about Jerusalem’s immediate future: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place [Jerusalem], (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” The Bible defines that “abomination of desolation” as armies surrounding Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-22).

These will not be Arab armies. The Bible prophesies that they will be European armies. Daniel 11:40 gives more detail about these armies, which will be led by Germany. It refers to this power as the “king of the north” and prophesies that it will clash with the “king of the south,” which is Iran, the real power in the Middle East. The king of the north is going to win this war.

Notice that verse 41 says, “He shall enter also into the glorious land.” This northern power is going to enter Jerusalem. This is a strong indication that this clash is over control of the Holy City.

The Hebrew shows that when these armies enter the area, it won’t be by force. It appears they will be invited into that glorious land that has been so troubled in the past. The Jews are probably going to invite the Germans and Europe to come into the Holy Land to protect them. They looked to the U.S. and Britain. They looked to land-for-peace deals. Then they look to Germany. They never look to God!

Prophecy reveals the terrifying consequence of their faithlessness: The king of the north is going to commit a tremendous double cross! Once this European power enters that precious Holy Land, it will fill it with a river of blood. That will mark the beginning of World War iii.

Verse 45 is a prophecy that this European power will not only fight a war for Jerusalem, but it will move its headquarters there! Why would a European superpower set up a new headquarters in Jerusalem? Because this union is based not only on political power, but also on religious power! It is dominated by one of the three religions that have fought over Jerusalem for centuries.

Verse 44 speaks of ominous “tidings out of the east.” Jerusalem has exploded. Iran and its allies have pushed against the European superpower, and that king of the north has smashed Iran. It has entered into Jerusalem and committed a horrific double cross. World War iii is raging. But Russia and China will not be sitting on the sidelines the whole time. They are going to enter into this bloodbath. And they too are going to head for Jerusalem!

Revelation 9:16 prophesies of an army of 200 million soldiers! Who could assemble such a huge army? Only the combined strength of Russia and China, along with their allies. This Asiatic superpower is already beginning to form—and the Bible says it will march against Europe and against Jerusalem!

The Bible specifies that the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers will dry up and these nations will march right into the Middle East. These massive armies will gather to battle at Megiddo—Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). But they’re not going to fight there!

Joel 3:1-2 show that these armies will come to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, right at the edge of Jerusalem. All these end-time events continue to revolve aroundJerusalem!

The battle in the Valley of Jehoshaphat will be so gory that the blood will be as deep as horses’ bridles for a distance of about 200 miles! (Revelation 14:19-20). God Himself will fight these armies, and He will have to do it that way because it’s the only way He can get their attention! It’s the only way He can make these carnal, bloodthirsty men believe Him!

Like so many other crucial events, this great and terrible, final war of the ages will happen right there in Jerusalem.

What Lies Beyond the War

But in spite of all the war, in spite of all the death and horrific suffering, Jerusalem is also a symbol of good news. I will yet choose Jerusalem, God says!

In 1 Kings 11:13, God says He has chosen Jerusalem to be the world capital. He will still make Jerusalem the capital of the world—then the capital of the universe!

God wants you to realize that much of the Bible revolves around Jerusalem. He says if you take heed to this, then He will reward you, and you will be able to rule with Jesus Christ on His throne in Jerusalem—forever!

God promises to put a stop to all the bloodshed in Jerusalem and around the world. He prophesies of a Millennium in which Jesus Christ and His saints will rule the Earth! Then, throughout all eternity, Jerusalem will rule the whole universe! The “very elect” will reside at that headquarters city with Christ forever (Revelation 3:12).

Abraham looked for a city whose foundations were built by God. He saw beyond the Millennium to a time when God the Father will bring new Jerusalem down to this Earth and rule the God Family Himself. The Son and His bride will rule under the Father, all right there in Jerusalem.

At that point, everyone will have become spirit beings, and what starts on this Earth, at Jerusalem, will go out to rule and bring life to the universe!

Bath Salts Do Not Turn People Into Flesh-Eating Zombies

Bath Salts Do Not Turn People Into Flesh-Eating Zombies

©iStock.com/inhauscreative

Do you recognize demon possession when you see it?
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

What possesses a human being to do something so ghoulish, so barbaric—so inhuman? The recent spate of bizarre cannibalistic crimes sounds like a script from a shock B-grade horror film—but it’s actually happening.

A homosexual pornographic actor in Canada apparently taped himself hacking his partner to death and eating him, then mailed his victim’s dismembered feet and hands to the nation’s main political parties. A naked Miami man ate almost the entire face off a homeless person. A Louisiana man was working in his yard when a stranger came and bit off a chunk of his face. A college student in Maryland carved up his roommate with a knife and devoured his heart and part of his brain.

The mind reels. And all this happened within a couple weeks at the end of spring.

Much media coverage centered on a potent drug known as “bath salts” that a couple of these attackers might have taken. Its ingredients are now banned. Okay, but are we really going to pretend that this combination of chemicals is the real cause of these horror stories? No drug turns people into crazed, violent beasts.

These are clearly crimes influenced—or perhaps even committed—by demons.

That’s right. Most people laugh or scoff or ignore it. But there is a spiritual dimension to these macabre events. Demons are very real, and they are very active in the world today.

Be honest: A drug does not make a man—whose girlfriend says was happy and with whom she “felt safe”—get out of his car in broad daylight, strip off his clothes, find a napping homeless man, savagely attack him and gnaw away at his face in full view of passing motorists and cyclists for nearly 20 minutes, then respond to multiple threats by police to shoot him by snarling at them incoherently.

However, a drug could weaken a mind enough to open the door to a demon. Subsequent inquiry found that this man hadn’t even used “bath salts.” The only drug in his system was “harmless” marijuana.

This kind of behavior is unmistakable evidence of the power of the spirit world, which has a very evil side.

The Canadian cannibal knew all about it. “There is such things as Monsters, Demons and Ghosts,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”

In this man—who, it was later discovered, appears to have committed other unspeakably grotesque murders in the past—they clearly did win. The macabre and violent nature of these acts is a measure of the demons’ extreme hatred for human beings—a hatred that has a remarkable explanation.

How much do you understand about evil spirits? Being ignorant means being vulnerable to these powerful beings.

Matthew 12:43-45 and many other passages reveal that demons crave to possess someone or some living thing. However, not all demonic activity is so obvious. Our world suffers from far more satanic influence than most people realize.

Read Revelation 12. It describes a stunning spiritual reality. It names the supreme evil spirit being as “the great dragon … that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” The whole world is cloaked in deception about this being. He often obscures his identity—even, at times, disguising himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

Do you recognize evil spirit influence in the world around you? Popular culture today is saturated in it. Fascinated by and addicted to increasingly overt forms of evil and perversion, millions are soaking their minds in books, television, movies, music, video games and websites that are explicitly demonic. Demons are influencing and even possessing many of those who produce that entertainment. Yet we naively believe we can handle it.

Add to these influences mind-altering drugs; mental imbalances; loss of emotional control; accepted perversions; and open blasphemy and hostility to God. Our society is opening door after door to sinister spiritual influences, creating a playground for evil spirits to have their way.

You need to protect yourself from demons, which the Apostle Paul called “the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:12). He instructed believers to “have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Compromising with that world of darkness is far more dangerous than people realize.

That passage in Revelation 12 reveals the lightning-bolt truth: The violent ruler of the evil spirits, who at one time actually inhabited heaven, has been cast down: “he was cast out into the earth, and his angels [the demons] were cast out with him.” The devil and his countless demons are now roving the Earth, spreading their evil. “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!” the scripture warns: “for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

This scripture prophesies of a period when bizarre, violent demonic activity will intensify because the devil’s resentment is growing worse. Resentment over what? That’s the inspiring hope in all of this. Demons are in a frenzy because time is so short before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ! At that time, He will lock up those evil spirits (see Revelation 19:11 through 20:10).

You are living in this intense time right now. Watch. Expect more of these horrifying headlines in the time ahead!

In Praise of the Slow Read

In Praise of the Slow Read

Dreamstime

In an age of tweets, texts and shortened attention spans, here’s how to bring focus and depth back into your reading.
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

A friend recently lent me a book, and three pages in, I realized that the author tackled momentous topics with concrete analysis and brilliant language. So I closed the book and returned it.

I didn’t abandon the book because I didn’t want to read it, but because I wanted to slow read it. I wanted to pore over it for months, scribbling questions and mini-essays into its margins, dog-earing its pages, and letting tears crinkle the paper under its most insightful paragraphs.

I knew my friend wouldn’t want his book returned to him sometime next winter looking like the Dead Sea Scrolls, so I returned his copy and bought my own.

Recent studies show that the desire and ability to undertake a slow, thorough reading are rapidly going the way of the dodo. Rather than reading books at length and thinking deeply, we erratically sample our knowledge morsels from a vast array of fast-food factoid buffets. For the sake of connectivity, we sacrifice our capacities to reflect and synthesize these facts into a coherent bigger picture.

But, even in the throes of this information revolution, you can learn the necessary and rewarding craft of slow reading.

Slow Reading = Writing

Reading is a complex activity consisting of “a large number of separate acts, all of which must be performed in a good reading,” Mortimer Adler says in the critically acclaimed How to Read a Book.

Adler says slow reading is “a more active kind of reading than you have done before, entailing not only more varied activity but also much more skill in the performance of the various acts required. … It is a major exertion.”

Great focus and effort is required to ingest a book in such a way that will allow your gray matter to absorb its subject matter. This exertion takes more than reading. It takes writing.

A person cannot truly own a book—intellectually or spiritually—until he has marked it up. This means underlining impressive sentences, writing important page numbers inside of front covers, and jotting notes into margins. The practice of marking up books ensures that the reader is not just passively reading, but instead swimming around in the text, collaborating with it and interacting with its author.

Seasoned slow readers will develop personalized systems of circles, asterisks, lines and so on to mark intra- and extratextual references. Some of the margins of their favorite books may be filled with full-blown essays—sideways, diagonal and upside-down. Several of my books are essentially destroyed by the sheer logorrheic power of my enthusiasm for (or disagreement with) their content.

But where the pages are battered, the memories are sturdy.

New York Times magazine critic Sam Anderson is an avid practitioner of “marginalia,” marking up a text. “Today I rarely read anything—book, magazine, newspaper—without a writing instrument in hand,” he said. “Books have become my journals, my critical notebooks, my creative outlets. … [M]arginalia is—no exaggeration—possibly the most pleasurable thing I do on a daily basis.”

This slow, focused reading is pleasurable because it is effective.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Slow Read

Slow reading is not just feverishly spraying graffiti on a book’s pages. The process varies, but there are some tried and true methods that every serious reader should use.

Adler says the first of these is discovering and stating the unity, theme or main point of the whole book in a single sentence—or a few sentences, if necessary. A reader cannot settle for a mere feeling of this unity. He must nail it down, definitively and concisely. There is only one sure way to know if you’ve succeeded in this: Write it down.

In some cases, the author may have already completed this first step in the book’s title. For example, a fairly complete self-description lies in the title of F. Kaid Benfield’s Once There Were Greenfields: How Urban Sprawl Is Undermining America’s Environment, Economy, and Social Fabric. In non-fiction books, the theme may also be spelled out in a preface or introduction. A wise reader is neither too proud to consider the author’s help if he offers it, nor so naive as to blindly accept every book as being exactly what the author claims it is.

In most cases—especially with fiction—the reader will have to construct the unity sentence from scratch by reading the text itself. After my second reading of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, I wrote this in my copy: “The story of three generations of the Trask and Hamilton families, exploring the theme of good versus evil, and relying heavily on the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Steinbeck ascribes great significance to his translation of the Hebrew word timshel (‘thou mayest’) in the Cain/Abel account, arguing that it proves that human beings have free will, and can choose to do good or evil.”

For most books, this unity sentence will be quite difficult to create, and may be possible only after wading deep into the text, or even finishing it completely (unless outside sources are consulted). The inside of a book’s front cover is a suitable place to write it, but realize you may need room to expand or otherwise modify it as you become better acquainted with the book.

The Skeleton Beneath the Skin and Muscle

The next rule of slow reading is to draw up an outline of the text. Creating an outline is tedious business, but it provides the slow reader with a quick reference and helps to ensure that he has followed the author’s thread from beginning to end.

I find the inside of a book’s back cover to be a suitable place to sketch the outline. Some readers prefer to use a separate notebook or sheet of paper.

An effective reader, according to Adler, will take the time to define and write out the problem(s) the author is addressing. After completing the book, the reader must determine which of these he solved and which he didn’t. Then the reader should note which of the unsolved problems the author knew he failed to solve.

Adler spends several chapters encouraging readers to avoid contentiousness, and to be informed and fair in criticism of books. “You must be able to say, with reasonable certainty ‘I understand,’ before you can say any one of the following things: ‘I agree,’ ‘I disagree,’ or ‘I suspend judgment,’” he says. “You can be just as wrong in agreeing as in disagreeing. To agree without understanding is inane. To disagree without understanding is impudent.”

Slow reading means devoting yourself earnestly to books, stopping to look up any word or reference you don’t understand. It means consulting helps and commentaries, and writing down your questions, thoughts and reactions.

A slow reader’s goal is not to finish a text as quickly as possible, but to understand it as fully as possible. A book or article that a reader tackles following these slow-reading guidelines has the potential to influence that reader deeply.

Life Is Too Short to Read Good Books

But we are finite beings with serious constraints on our schedules, and the slow-read process requires time and effort. So you must cautiously determine which texts are worth your precious slow-reading time.

In this information age, a staggering amount of reading material is available. In fact, even before Twitter, the Internet or even the printing press came along, King Solomon wrote, “Of making many books, there is no end, and much study is a weariness to the flesh.”

In The Art of Thinking, Ernest Dimnet offers this sage advice: “Don’t read good books—life is too short for that—only read the best. … If you want to be vitalized into the power of thinking real thoughts resolutely leave out whatever is not of the best …. Those 20 or 30 volumes will be your library, that is to say, your fountain of thought, your delight.”

Dimnet understood that human beings possess limited learning capacities. He knew that to read through a meaty book only once, especially quickly, does little for our long-term education. So he said we should slow read only the very best books, and that we should not be afraid to read these gems over and over again.

That’s not to say that other materials should be avoided, but only that we must differentiate between texts we read for our information, and those we read for our formation. As English statesman Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Try it. Shut out the distractions, settle in, pick up a great book—and do some chewing and digesting. Savor the slow read.

The Glory of Empire

The Glory of Empire

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Britain is ashamed of its imperial past. It shouldn’t be. The right kind of empire has a noble and powerful impact on this world!
From the August 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Imagine if Winston Churchill visited London today—perhaps to watch the Olympics, or to speak before Parliament. What would he think?

Churchill was the greatest figure of the 20th century, and perhaps the most towering personality to come out of Britain in the last few centuries. Though Churchill had and still has some critics and detractors, few ever questioned his love for his country.

Churchill is still widely considered a great man. He was a fearless warrior and masterful military tactician and leader. He was a brilliant statesman and a quick-witted politician. He was also an exceptional historian, an eloquent orator, a gifted painter, and one of history’s most underrated philosophers. Excelling in any one of these fields is enough to qualify a man as great, yet Churchill excelled in each of these areas.

But what motivated Winston Churchill? What motivated him to devote virtually every minute of his life to fighting for his nation? What motivated him to master military tactics and strategy? What motivated him to work so hard to become a great public speaker? What motivated him to endure the hard slog of politics? What motivated him, even in the twilight years of his life, to churn out articles, columns and books?

What was it that motivated Winston Churchill to become a great man?

Child of the Empire

Winston Churchill was born in November 1874. Queen Victoria was on England’s royal throne at the time, and the British Empire was near the apex of its global might and majesty.

During the reign of Victoria, the British Empire’s holdings around the globe expanded until it had become the largest empire in history. Though Great Britain was a small island nation, by the end of the 19th century it was said that the sun never set on its territory. With its colonies, protectorates and territories, the empire included over 14 million square miles of land and 450 million people—more than a quarter of the global population. With supremacy at sea, Britain took on the role of global policeman, and came to dominate world politics.

The vast tracts of lands it possessed to harvest natural resources brought great wealth into the empire. Owning such a large amount of the planet gave Britain unparalleled power in world trade, and granted it significant influence over the economies of countries like China, Siam (Thailand) and Argentina. In Britain’s ports, ships arrived from all over the globe carrying goods and raw materials that fueled the local economy. The wealth supported an age of scientific, industrial, cultural and military advancement within the United Kingdom.

It was within this environment of imperial greatness that Winston Churchill grew up. In his book Churchill and His Generals, Raymond Callahan explains the impact the British Empire had on Churchill’s mental, intellectual and moral maturation: “Churchill’s hostility toward Bolshevism abroad and socialism at home had its parallel in his reaction to nationalism in the empire. He had grown up with the late Victorian surge of empire building. He was 8 when Britain occupied Egypt, 11 when Gordon fell at Khartoum, and present when Gordon was avenged at Omdurman in 1898. The empire he had known as a young man always would seem to him part of the natural order of things …” (emphasis mine throughout).

Churchill passionately loved the British Empire, more than anything else in his life. He wanted the empire to be part of the natural order of things. Callahan continues: It was “beneficent and an indispensable prop of British power and greatness. Yet his entire political career would be played out in an era of challenge and dissolution for imperial rule.” Every minute of Churchill’s life, every decision and tactic, every new bill, every column and book, stemmed from his devotion to the British Empire!

It is easy to oversimplify Winston Churchill’s love of the empire. He didn’t love it simply because it was English, or powerful and wealthy, or because it ruled over tens of millions of people. Churchill’s writings show that his love for empire went much, much deeper. There was a selfless, altruistic, noble dimension to his devotion.

Winston Churchill wanted to share the British Empire with the rest of mankind.

Empire With a Purpose

Churchill believed the British Empire had a larger purpose. During World War ii, he once stated, “Whatever may happen on the Continent, we cannot doubt our duty, and we shall certainly use all our power to defend the island, the empire and our cause.” Perhaps most of his countrymen were fighting only for England, or for the British Commonwealth. But Winston Churchill was fighting for humanity!

Historians have noted how Churchill would speak of England’s special destiny. Merriam-Webster defines destiny as “something to which a person or thing is destined; a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.” Churchill was never an overly religious man. But he did, especially as he got older, believe in the presence of a Higher Power, and that there was a grand strategy being worked out on Earth.

On one occasion Churchill announced, “I have not become the king’s first minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.” Here’s what Lord Moran, Churchill’s doctor and close confidante from 1940 till 1965, said about that statement: “It was not just bravado. He was affirming a faith for which he was prepared to give his life, and he proved it throughout his life.”

Dr. Moran then stated, “If Winston has believed in anything at all in the course of his long life, it has been in the British Empire and all that it stands for.’”

Churchill’s ambitions were larger and nobler because he filled his mind with empire thinking. This expanded his ability to give selflessly and tirelessly, to sacrifice and do whatever was necessary to grow and preserve that empire.

Author and historian Kirk Emmert explored Churchill’s devotion in his excellent book Winston S. Churchill on Empire. He wrote, “The word ‘empire’ in the title is to be taken on many levels. The glory of the British Empire was its service to a cause that transcended Britain, that transcended history, that transcended time itself.”

Of course, the British Empire wasn’t even close to being perfect; there were plenty of mistakes and injustices. But it emphatically was not the cruel, evil and inhumane force that many today think it was.

Emmert wrote that in Churchill’s view, the British Empire acted to “lift human life away from barbarism and savagery towards civilization and human excellence.” In many instances, that is exactly what it did. It was, as Churchill believed, a powerful civilizing force that benefited all of humanity!

Empire the World Needs

Historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson explains in detail the good work of the British Empire in his book Empire. Despite the wide criticism leveled at the British Empire today, he writes, “the fact remains that no organization in history has done more to promote the free movement of goods, capital and labor than the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And no organization has done more to impose Western norms of law, order and governance around the world.”

Ferguson does a very good job making the case that “the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain’s age of empire.” He documents Britain’s towering contributions to the lands it colonized, and to humanity in general—contributions that included the English language and literature; English forms of land ownership; Scottish and English banking; Common Law; team sports; representative assemblies; and modern notions of freedom and liberty.

All these things were rooted in Judeo-Christian values, which the British shared with mankind during their global rule.

Isn’t an empire that leads the world away from savagery toward human excellence a good thing? This worldneedsthat kind of empire!

Even America’s forefathers, despite their hostility to many facets of British rule, recognized Britain’s enormous contributions to the moral view of man. In June 1783, George Washington wrote, “The foundation of our empire was not laid in the gloomy age of ignorance and superstition, but at an [epoch] when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period ….”

On July 10, 1833, Lord Macaulay stated in a speech before British Parliament, “There is an empire exempt from all natural causes of decay. That empire is the imperishable empire of our arts and our morals and our literature and our laws.” When Churchill entered the scene a few decades later, his view was essentially the same. These men believed Britain had a unique and special system of law, values and morals, and wanted to share those with the rest of mankind.

Contrast that ideal with what you see today, when Britain’s greatest export is lawless, amoral, drunken thuggery! Just laws and upright morals should be exported around the world. But Britain instead spreads deep corruption and a plague of evil, as does America. That is a terrible shame.

Emmert explained that Churchill believed that the “fostering of civilization [is] the highest purpose of empire.” It was Churchill’s hope and belief that the British Empire, grounded on a strong system of law and morality, would improve the character of both Britain’s leaders and its subjects. It never did this perfectly, but it did so more than any other people or empire!

True imperialism … develops manhood,” Churchill said. That is politically incorrect today—but it is still very accurate! True imperialism—the expansion of an empire rooted in law and morality—does create quality men—and women. Churchill was a masculine man, a courageous, selfless individual. It was largely the British Empire that made him a real leader, one of the greatest in our time.

‘Little Englanders’

Churchill always had his detractors. He often called them “little Englanders.” These people wanted to do away with the empire—to renounce it and live an inward life. Churchill believed that such a retreat from the world would have terrible consequences.

“In his opposition to both little Englanders and to unbridled imperialists, he defended what he viewed as a modern, essentially political understanding of empire,” wrote Emmert. “Contrary to current critics of imperialism, Churchill argued that a properly constituted, imperial rule was civilizing in that it improved both rulers and ruled, preparing the ruled for self-government.”

Churchill warned “little Englanders” that their desire to retreat and live in seclusion was a dream—and that such thinking would inevitably bring conflict!

Read these words from Churchill during the battle of Dunkirk: “We shall fight in France, and we shall fight on the seas and the oceans. … Then our empire beyond the oceans, armed and guarded by the British fleet, will carry on the struggle until, in God’s good time, the new world with all its power and might sets forth to the rescue and liberation of the old.”

Churchill didn’t view the British Empire as a conquering force. He viewed it as a force for freedom, justice and civilization—and it was!

That strong belief in empire did great things for mankind!

Where do you find that spirit today in Great Britain? If Churchill visited Britain today, I think he would be horrified, and deeply saddened and ashamed, at the state of the nation he dedicated his life to serving.

In fact, he would barely recognize it!

God’s View of Empire

Human history has certainly produced some very evil empires. Rather than civilizing the world, some empires have made it more barbaric and violent. According to biblical prophecy, the most savage empire of all is going to rise just before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming—and we can see it emerging before our eyes in Europe today! At present, it is disguised with sophistication, but soon it will revert to its historical brutality.

That ugly history has contributed to the evil view that many people today have of empire in general, especially among intellectuals and scholars in the West. However, the existence of these barbarizing empires doesn’t change the good that a civilizing empire can do. And the scholars’ cynical portrayal of the British Empire is very deceptive and dishonest.

At its core, is it immoral to have an empire? No. There isn’t anything wrong with an empire if it brings good. Truly, the right kind of imperialism can accomplish great things!

In fact, if you understand the gospel that Jesus Christ brought to this Earth—advance news from God the Father of the soon-coming Kingdom of God—it was at its heart an imperialistic message!

The Kingdom of God could very accurately be called the God Family Empire!

God has a plan to lift human life away from barbarism and savagery toward civilization and excellence. He has a strategy to spread just laws and right morals. He intends to fulfill the noble purpose of fostering the right kind of civilization for the benefit of the whole world!

God is laying the foundation of that future empire today. He is preparing a people—His Church—that will be ready when the time comes that Jesus Christ is crowned King of kings and Lord of lords.

Are you one whom God could use for that noble purpose? Would you devote your life to this greatest of all causes?

Think on this statement from James Anthony Froude, which he wrote in his book Oceana: “A man … who is more than himself, who is part of an institution, who has devoted himself to a cause—or is a citizen of an imperial power—expands to the scope and fullness of the larger organism; and the grander the organization, the larger and more important the unit that knows that he belongs to it. His thoughts are wider, his interests less selfish, his ambitions ampler and nobler. … A great nation makes great men, a small nation makes little men.”

Froude was talking about the British Empire. Churchill and many others were living proof of that statement. That great empire ennobled them and set their imaginations on fire.

But Froude’s observation is infinitely truer of the empire that God Himself is establishing! This empire improves both rulers and ruled. The more we understand it and commit our passions to it, the less selfish our interests, the wider our thoughts, the ampler and nobler our ambitions become!

After all, this is God’s empire! It is the greatest, most wonderful and inspiring endeavor that will ever be. No nation or kingdom on Earth will ever produce greater men and women than God’s Kingdom—and you can join forces with it even today!