A Strong German Leader Is Imminent
1: A Strong German Leader Is Imminent
By Gerald Flurry
Strong leaders are rising on the world scene today in several nations, including Russia, China and Iran. But what about Europe? What about Germany?
Germany is one of the top exporters of military armaments in the world, and the third-largest exporter of goods. Its economy dominates the European Union. But Germany does not have a strong leader. Many critics have been voicing this view quite often lately.
However, there are several signs in world news that a strong leader is about to rise on the world scene. Also, a prophecy in Daniel 8 talks about a fiercely powerful king who will rise on the world scene in Europe and shock this world. It is one of the most astonishing prophecies in the Bible!
A strong German leader is imminent! When he comes to power, this world will be shocked as it has never been shocked before.
Yet if you look at the whole vision, it is tied to the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth. That may be hard for some people to believe, but it is clearly prophesied in your Bible! It is actually mentioned in about a hundred biblical prophecies.
A New Chamberlain
On February 6, 2015, the leaders of Germany and France traveled to Moscow. They had been invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. The leaders of these three nations forged some kind of a deal. Critics called it a terrible deal. They said it was so bad that they likened German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Neville Chamberlain.
Leading up to World War ii in 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich to inform Adolf Hitler that Britain and France had pressured Czechoslovakia to give up part of its country, the Sudetenland, to Nazi Germany. A peace treaty was signed to that effect. Winston Churchill called it the “Munich Surrender” and said it was a disgraceful, shameful act. He warned the Britons that it would lead to war, not peace.
Ms. Merkel doesn’t believe that lethal weapons should be given to the Ukrainians. She thinks that might cause the war to spread even more. Yet without help, the Ukrainians can offer little or no resistance to the Russians. That is why critics began to attack Chancellor Merkel for the deal she made with Russia. They say she is appeasing the Russians just like Chamberlain appeased Hitler and the Germans leading up to World War ii.
Upset Eastern Europeans voiced their displeasure on Twitter. Former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk tweeted, “Once again, appeasement encourages the aggressor to greater acts of violence. Time to step up our policy based on cold facts, not illusions.” Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, tweeted: “‘Sudetenland’ in 1938 was supposed to appease aggressor. We know the results. Why these thoughts arising in time of #Munich conference 2015?”
At the Munich Security Conference just days after the deal with Russia was made, the late United States Sen. John McCain made the comparison even more explicit. “History shows us that dictators will always take more if you let them,” he said. “They will not be dissuaded from their brutal behavior when you fly to meet them to Moscow—just as leaders once flew to this city.” That was a brazen comparison between the treaty over Ukraine and the one made with Hitler in 1938.
When Chamberlain returned from Munich after giving away a big chunk of Czechoslovakia, he held up a piece of paper and waved it around, saying, “Peace in our time!” The British people were almost hysterical with joy at the thought that they would have peace.
And in less than a year, they were at war. That treaty did not bring peace!
A Strong Sign
Toward the end of 2014, Garry Kasparov, the former chess grandmaster who has become an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, said: “My problem is today you have so many politicians lining up to become a new Chamberlain. Where are the Churchills?”
Churchill warned throughout the 1930s that Western Europe was going to have war with Germany if it didn’t stop the aggression of the Nazis. If only the nations of Western Europe had allied together, they could have easily stopped Adolf Hitler, but they were afraid to. They wanted to make peace instead, and look what happened: the worst war ever recorded in human history! But another war is coming that will be far worse!
Calling Ms. Merkel a Chamberlain-type leader is a severe criticism! This is how people are criticizing Merkel publicly, but what are they saying privately?
This is a strong sign of the present mood in Europe, especially in Germany.
It is also a sign that a strong ruler is about to come on the scene in Germany.
Routinely in German history, when Germans become anxious about world events, they call on a strongman to lead them! They have done so throughout history—and they will do so again.
To make matters worse, after Merkel made this peace pact, Mr. Putin broke it immediately! It didn’t even really go into effect!
Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of Merkel and the West. There is an enormous lack of leadership in Europe and the world today—and Putin sees it! He is marching through Ukraine, taking vast areas of land that don’t belong to him, just like Adolf Hitler did leading up to and during World War ii. History is repeating itself. We are giving away chunks of Ukraine just like we gave away chunks of Czechoslovakia. We did nothing when Hitler invaded Austria and took it over, and we are going the same way again.
Another sign that this will bring on a strong leader in Germany is that Britain and America, the victors of World Wars i and ii, were not even invited to that February 6 conference. That is quite a slap in the face to these countries. It shows how out of touch they are with what is going on, and how irrelevant they have become.
That is yet another sign that somebody will have to provide some leadership—or else Vladimir Putin will keep marching through Europe! Somebody has to provide some leadership and stand up to Putin.
And somebody is going to.
That is an amazing prophecy that you will be able to see occur before your eyes. It is going to come soon—probably within the next few years—and you will be able to watch it happen through your world news!
This isn’t new—we have been prophesying about this event for some 80 years! But it is something we need to comprehend and do something about!
King of Europe
Daniel 8 is one of the most astonishing prophecies in the Bible, and we need to understand it.
The last part of verse 17 says, “for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” It gets more specific in verse 19: “And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation ….” Not only is this about the end time, God wants us to realize the urgency of this. This is the last end—the end of the end time! Daniel was written only for the end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). God wants us to become urgent about this.
Notice this strong leader who will come on the world scene in Europe: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23).
God calls this leader “a king.”
Years ago, Herbert W. Armstrong met with Otto von Habsburg, the head of the 700-year-old house of Habsburg, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the dynasty prior to Napoleon. At that time, Habsburg was a member of the European Parliament. He said: “The [European] Community is living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, though the great majority of the people who live by it don’t know by what heritage they live.”
Look through history, and you will find six resurrections of that Holy Roman Empire. Today the seventh resurrection is staring us in the face—still, people don’t know what it is! That is amazing! Not even the people who live under it know it.
“We do possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations equally,” Mr. Habsburg said. “This is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne” (emphasis mine throughout). That crown is something this king in Europe will assume.
This soon-coming ruler could literally be called a king. Even if he is not, the Bible gives him that label. When the Bible talks about a king, in most cases it’s saying that this is not a democratic government. Even if he doesn’t have that title, he is going to lead like a king. This vision in Daniel shows that the European empire is about to become a lot more authoritative.
Daniel 11:21 prophesies that this strong leader will come into power “by flatteries”—probably not by votes, but through a coalition government of some kind. We need to watch Germany and Europe carefully. Although Bible prophecy gives us the outline of how it will unfold, we don’t know the details.
The Tradition of Charlemagne
What is “the tradition of Charlemagne” Mr. Habsburg referenced? Some powerful Europeans want to return to his kind of leadership in Europe. They praise the traditions of Charlemagne (Charles the Great). They encourage Europeans to “revive your roots.” Do people really know what that history is about?
The Franks were the first barbaric tribe to embrace Catholicism, but it was for political gain, not religious reasons. Mostly of Germanic origin, the Franks used the Catholic Church to support their expansionist policies, while the church relied on Frankish rulers for protection. It was a union based on politics alone.
The Frankish kingdom reached the pinnacle of its power during the rule of Charlemagne. Before Charlemagne’s emergence as world ruler, the political scene in Europe was greatly divided. Germany was sliced into many different tribes. Much of Italy was occupied by the Lombards. Byzantium was recognized as the successor to the eastern region of the old Roman Empire. Charlemagne, in conjunction with the papal throne, eventually changed all that—but not without much bloodshed.
Charlemagne was the second ruler of the “Holy” Roman Empire, after Justinian. As emperor, Charlemagne felt it his duty to defend the church. In a.d. 774, at the request of Pope Leo iii, he entered northern Italy and conquered the Lombard kingdom, uniting Italy for the first time in centuries. In a.d. 799, he again came to the aid of the pope, who was assaulted, brutally beaten, and thrown into prison by a band of conspirators. With the military backing of Charles and his Frankish troops, the pope was exonerated of all wrongdoing and reinstated to his ecclesiastic office.
The following year, in Rome, while Charlemagne was kneeling in prayer during a Christmas celebration inside old St. Peter’s Church, the pope placed a crown upon his head, pronouncing him “the 73rd emperor of the fourth world empire.”
At this point, we should note that throughout the Middle Ages, many scholars, theologians, even popes, knew the Roman Empire was the fourth world-ruling kingdom. Many of them even identified this fourth kingdom with the one Daniel spoke of in his prophecy (see Daniel 2:37-43). That’s why Europeans and Catholics kept trying to revive the empire! The Bible said there would only be four such empires. However, the fourth empire would have 10 resurrections, according to Bible prophecy. The last seven of those resurrections would be called Holy Roman Empires, because they were ruled by church and state.
As king of the Franks, Charlemagne was able to subjugate every single German tribe but one: the Saxons. The Saxons clung to their own faith and refused, even on pain of death, to submit to Roman Catholicism. Charlemagne determined to force his brand of Christianity on them with the sword. For years the Saxons obstinately resisted. At one point, out of sheer frustration, Charlemagne executed 4,500 Saxon prisoners. This barbarous act angered the Saxons even more.
It took 30 years for Charles to completely extinguish the “Saxon problem,” but not before multiple thousands had been executed for their religious beliefs. After more than 18 conquests against the Saxons, Charles finally prevailed. In the end, Saxons either subjected themselves to the rule of Charles, or their defiance ended in death.
The Holy Roman Empire has never been democratic. It could never be. Even Pope Pius xii said the church had twin enemies: the democracies and communism. He was pope at the peak of Communist power.
As emperor of the “Holy” Roman Empire, Charles felt it his duty to spread the Christian faith using whatever means necessary. The New Encyclopedia Britannica says, “The violent methods by which this missionary task was carried out had been unknown to the earlier Middle Ages, and the sanguinary [bloody] punishment meted out to those who broke canon law or continued to engage in pagan practices called forth criticism in Charles’s own circle” (“Charlemagne, Emperor”).
The violence Charlemagne used to enforce the Catholic religion on his subjects was simply unknown in earlier empires! He forced his brand of Christianity on everyone. His empire may have had distinct ties to the ancient Romans, but it was certainly not “holy”—even if there was a great church guiding it.
And yet, for centuries to come, the aim of succeeding emperors was to restore the tradition of Charlemagne in their quest to revive the Roman Empire!
Even today, Germany and a great church are working to restore the tradition of Charlemagne. They have almost completed the structure. Still, it is a mystery to most of the world’s inhabitants.
Let the world beware! That power structure is ready to burst on the world scene—again!
Charlemagne’s bloody conquests were the worst ever in the history of the previous empires. The conquests of the next Holy Roman Empire are going to be the worst suffering ever inflicted on human beings in the history of man! (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 12:1; Jeremiah 30:1-10).
It will all be done in the spirit of Charlemagne. Most people won’t awaken out of their stupor until it’s too late!
Charlemagne’s empire, one of the greatest ever to rule in Europe, did not even outlive his son and successor. After it dissolved, the peoples on the western side of his empire eventually became known as French. The German-speaking peoples between the Rhine and the Slavs in the east developed into Germany. The fact that he ruled over both peoples is why some dispute the national heritage of Charlemagne.
Hitler and the Crown Jewels
Look again at what Otto von Habsburg said about the crown jewels: “We do possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations equally; this is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.”
Adolf Hitler was the leader of the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. He knew all about the crown of Charlemagne and the crown jewels.
Much of the world looks upon the Jews as God’s chosen people. In Vienna, Hitler came to believe that God had replaced the Jews with the Germans and the Holy Roman Empire. He believed the Germans were God’s chosen people. This is why the crown jewels of that empire meant so much to him.
In 1938, at a rally in Nuremberg, “Hitler had brought from Vienna, after 140 years, the insignia of the First Reich [Charlemagne]—the imperial crown, the orb of empire, the scepter and the imperial sword. At the presentation of these symbols of imperialism he solemnly vowed that they would remain in Nuremberg forever” (John Toland, Adolf Hitler).
That was a strong statement. He “solemnly vowed” that the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire were to “remain in Nuremberg forever.” This is like a death-defying commitment to the Holy Roman Empire and his god! He made a vow forever!
Of course, Hitler lost, and that didn’t happen. Those relics are back in Austria, but they are awaiting the next ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.
Historians call Charlemagne’s rule the First Reich. Adolf Hitler’s rule was known as the Third Reich. Hitler knew the crown jewels would be a powerful symbol of Charlemagne’s First Reich.
Hitler came in the tradition of Charlemagne! He, like Charlemagne, savagely and brutally destroyed people as no empire before him!
Many scoffed at what Margaret Thatcher said in 1995: “You have not anchored Germany to Europe; you have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.”
Mrs. Thatcher knew it would have a bad ending. She knew it “could be ghastly,” as Bernard Connolly said. It will be ghastlier than you can even imagine!
We have forgotten our own recent history. Hitler started World War ii. About 50 million people were killed.
The next leader of the Holy Roman Empire is going to commit crimes against humanity even more monstrous! It will all be done in the tradition of Charlemagne! It’s time for this world to wake up to what is happening in Europe!
At the conclusion of the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt signed a document to prevent Germany from ever coming in the tradition of Charlemagne again. They said, “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world.”
That country had started the War of 1870, World War i and World War ii. It has a history of starting wars. Churchill and Roosevelt understood Germany’s history of warfare. The Allies virtually made a vow that they would never allow that to happen again.
Yet here we are over 70 years later, and Germany is leading Europe again! America and Britain have forgotten that recent history. And as a result, we are allowing it to repeat itself! That lapse of memory will be the costliest ever for both nations. (Request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)
Historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote in the National Review about how the 1930s are happening again. “World War ii could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany,” he explained (Feb. 19, 2015). But they didn’t—they were afraid to take on Hitler—and disaster resulted. Three times in this article, Hanson said we should have learned from that deadly error: “the 1930s should have taught,” “the 1930s should have demonstrated,” “the 1930s should have reminded us.”
What did we learn from World War ii? I’m telling you, history is repeating itself! We must see what is happening. America, Britain and many Western nations are retreating from every part of the world. Our countries have broken wills when it comes to their foreign policy—and that doesn’t lead to peace! It leads to war! You can’t negotiate peace when people on the other side want war! History teaches that lesson from beginning to end!
What is interesting is that in making this historical comparison, Mr. Hanson was specifically referring to how the aggressors this time around are Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State, and Iran. And he is right—the West is showing shameful weakness in dealing with these modern threats.
But there is a great irony here. The weakness being demonstrated by the West is exposing the crying need for stronger leadership. And whether or not people want to believe it, that leadership is going to arise in Germany.
Soon, in a dramatic way, the threat from Germany is going to eclipse that of the Islamic State and Iran, and for a short time, even that of today’s Russia—many times over!
Today, Europeans are looking for another ruler like Charlemagne! The Holy Roman Empire is facing us again. It is rising again on the world and people don’t even know it. Even the people who live under it don’t realize they are living by the guidelines and rules of the Holy Roman Empire. That is astounding!
Daniel 8:24 prophesies about this coming king: “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he … shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” That is a terrifying statement!
Prophecy says the European empire will be pared down from its current configuration of 28 nations to 10 nations, and it will wreak havoc on this world!
Nobody wants to talk about it, but there is an explosive tendency in the Germans’ history. When the right leader comes to power, watch out! We don’t like to admit it, but we must face the truth. Germany is about to start World War iii—according to your Bible. It will be the deadliest war ever on Earth.
How This Leads to Peace
Despite horrifying news in the short term, the prophecy of this coming European strongman actually has a wonderful, hope-filled conclusion.
Daniel 8:25 reads, “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many ….” This man will talk about peace. He will be like Vladimir Putin, saying, Come to Moscow and let’s talk about peace—yet as soon as the talks are over, he attacks even more fiercely! That is the kind of “peace” this strongman wants, and he will use deceit to get it.
However, look at the end of verse 25: “[H]e shall also stand up against the Prince of princes [Jesus Christ]; but he shall be broken without hand.” This man and the empire he rules will be broken—not with physical hands or a physical army, but by Jesus Christ Himself!
Christ is about to return to this Earth and stop all of this horror. He says in Matthew 24:21-22 that if He didn’t return, no flesh would be saved alive! Man cannot stop what’s coming. He created this monster of nuclear power, and like a Frankenstein monster, he can’t control it! It is out of hand!
We live in a dangerous world! These are not ordinary times. Isaiah 33:7 prophesies that the ambassadors of peace are going to weep bitterly because they’re not going to have peace. Isaiah 59:8 says, “The way of peace they know not ….”
But Christ is going to return. Only Jesus Christ can bring us peace, joy and happiness forever. That is what these prophecies are ultimately all about! So this is the best possible news you could ever hear!
Thankfully, the seventh and last head of the Holy Roman Empire will usher in the coming of the Messiah. No nation will ever again be ruled in the tradition of Charlemagne.
This is the conclusion to the same vision about this strong leader coming on the world scene, this king that’s going to rule Europe!
What that king and Holy Roman Empire brings on this world will stagger people’s minds because it’s so horrendous! But the good news is that it is going to be stopped. We are viewing the last resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Thank God for that!
2: Who Will Be the Next Charlemagne?
By Gerald Flurry
According to Bible prophecy, the Holy Roman Empire has seven heads. This empire has risen six times in Europe. Each time, it has soaked the Continent in blood. The first head began in a.d. 554 and was ruled by Justinian. The sixth head ended at the conclusion of World War ii in 1945. It was ruled by madman Adolf Hitler, one of the bloodiest tyrants in the history of man.
The seventh head is now on the scene. Its past strongly indicates what it will do in the future. Its history alone should make people tremble with fear today!
According to your Bible, the seventh head will be the bloodiest one of all—by far! The world is about to be bludgeoned into this reality.
In 1983, Pope John Paul ii was in Vienna—300 years after the city was attacked by the “barbarian Turks” and the Polish king rallied the European kings and drove out the barbarians. John Paul was saying, back in 1983, that Europe needed to get back to its Christian roots. He was referring to the “Christian roots” of the bloody Holy Roman Empire. The current pope will rally Europe into making this a reality.
The Vatican leaders understand their history—unlike most of the world. This is why many millions of people are so easily deceived.
The next Charlemagne will be much more sophisticated than Hitler—much more cultured. But he is going to fight Christ at His Second Coming!
Soon the world will know who the modern Charlemagne is to be. You can be sure he will have Germany’s stamp of approval. His actions will shock the world far more than the original Charlemagne. He will lead the world into the greatest “sea of blood” that humanity has ever seen or even dreamed about!
The Bible prophesies of this European strongman. We have been watching for this individual to emerge.
Because of the urgency of the time, I have strongly felt that this prophesied leader will come onto the scene shortly.
Who Is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg?
An impressive man appeared in the front line of German politics when he was appointed as Germany’s minister of economics in February 2009. Angela Merkel rocketed his political stature overnight later that year by giving him the senior portfolio of defense minister in her coalition cabinet.
His name is Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
The Defense Ministry was Guttenberg’s portfolio of choice. “Following the success of the Merkel-led conservative political bloc at last month’s election, Baron Guttenberg has made little secret of his desire to switch from the Economics Ministry to the defense portfolio” (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Oct. 23, 2009).
Guttenberg quickly passed Chancellor Merkel in favor as the most popular politician in Germany.
Guttenberg was a bright young leader of the young set in Bavarian politics during Edmund Stoiber’s long reign as Bavaria’s prime minister. The two carry a mutual respect for each other’s political achievements. Guttenberg strongly endorsed Stoiber’s efforts to cut European Union red tape to the tune of multiple billions of euros in savings.
This aristocratic Guttenberg is particularly interesting because of his family and political connections. His early development in political life was guided by Stoiber. He was appointed secretary general of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, Stoiber’s political party, when Stoiber was considered a prime candidate for the German chancellorship before he was just barely beaten by Angela Merkel in a national election. Stoiber’s political mentor was the Bavarian prime minister whom he succeeded, Franz Josef Strauss, who was known in his time as “the strongman of Europe.”
Guttenberg is also connected through part of his family line to the house of Habsburg. Strauss and Otto von Habsburg shared a common dream of a united Catholic Europe. Both personally shared details of that vision with Herbert W. Armstrong during visits they made to the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. To Otto von Habsburg, the dream was of a revived Holy Roman Empire. To Herbert Armstrong, that dream would become the reality of the biblically prophesied seventh resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
Herbert Armstrong foresaw, and prophesied, that the European Union would fulfill that prophecy under German Roman Catholic dominion.
Take Guttenberg’s impeccable Frankish-Bavarian Roman Catholic connections into mind and add them to the thread of political thought that has pervaded Bavarian politics for decades under Strauss and Stoiber—the dream of a united Catholic Europe under German leadership. Then add to it something that neither Strauss nor Stoiber ever possessed—a striking family title that cements all of these connections together—and we have a man to watch in the shaky coalition of Chancellor Merkel’s government.
What is that family title?
‘Baron of the Holy Roman Empire’
The current Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s official title was granted to his forebears during the 18th century. His correct title is Reichsfreiherr, the English translation being, “Baron of the Holy Roman Empire.”
A fascinating title when you consider what is happening in Europe!
Notice what Ulrich Rippert wrote about Guttenberg on the World Socialist Web Site, November 7, 2009: “The appointment of the new defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg (Christian Social Union, csu), unleashed a storm of enthusiasm in the German officer corps, according to Spiegel Online. …
“Guttenberg was welcomed by the assembled military as one of their own. His noble title and his aristocratic family’s 800-year-old tradition played a not insignificant role in their response.
“There is hardly another country in the world in which the influence of the aristocratic caste in the army—as well as in other areas of society—has remained as strong as in Germany. …
“The aristocratic elite has played a devastating role in German history. It dominated both the officer corps of the Reichswehr (Imperial Army) and the Wehrmacht. In the Weimar Republic, the Reichswehr formed a state within the state, having rejected the democratic foundations of the constitution and being implicated in numerous coup attempts. In Hitler’s Wehrmacht, it was the aristocratic generals who organized the war of extermination and conquest.
“The field marshals of the Nazi period were nearly all of noble birth. …
“Karl-Theodor—we will dispense with his eight other first names—Baron von und zu Guttenberg is part of this aristocratic caste and maintains its elitist habits. He lives in Burg (castle) Guttenberg near Kulmbach in Franken, which has been the family headquarters since 1482. Since February 2000, he has been married to Stephanie Countess von Bismarck-Schonhausen, who is directly descended from Otto von Bismarck, the iron chancellor. …
“Before taking his ministerial post, for several years Guttenberg led the csu executive committee’s Special Committee on Foreign Policy. …
“Guttenberg left no doubt that it was necessary to counter the widespread antiwar sentiments of the general public. …
“Guttenberg stressed, ‘There is no alternative to the German commitment in Afghanistan.’ … He justified the establishment of a special department for Afghanistan in the chancellery with these concluding words, ‘This measure could contribute crucially to optimizing Germany’s overall deployment in Afghanistan and to heightening acceptance of our [military] commitment within the population.’ …
“Under these conditions, Defense Minister zu Guttenberg has gone on the offensive. Just a few days after taking office, he stressed that it is indeed war that is being waged in Afghanistan. Under these conditions, he said, it would be wrong to use ‘euphemisms’ regarding the Bundeswehr’s mission. In a discussion with Bild Zeitung, he explained that it is a combat mission. Although international law was clear that wars could only take place between states, he did not believe that a soldier could relate to such ‘necessary legal, academic or semantic sensitivities’” (emphasis mine throughout).
Baron Guttenberg calls war and terrorism what they really are—not vague or deceptive “euphemisms.” That makes the German military ecstatic. At the same time, he is swinging the German population into a military mind-set. That has to be extremely disturbing to those people who understand Germany’s history. The end result is going to be horrifying!
It also signals a dangerous turn in Germany’s foreign policy! And the whole world is going to be greatly impacted by that new direction.
Watch Baron Guttenberg!
A Great Prophecy Becomes History
“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Revelation 17:10).
Revelation 17:10 is one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible. Contained within this one verse is the heart of prophecy for these latter days. Just during the period when “one is,” it encapsulates the fulfillment of several other major prophecies: Matthew 17:10-11, which talks about the end-time type of Elijah restoring all things; Malachi 3:1, which discusses an end-time messenger preparing the world for Christ’s return; and Matthew 24:14, which describes the gospel being preached around the world. Those prophecies were at the heart of the Philadelphia era work under Herbert W. Armstrong. He prophesied during the time when “one is”—when Hitler ruled over the sixth head of the Holy Roman Empire. (This is explained thoroughly in our free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation.)
After the “one is” era, there’s just a short space left for “the other [that] is not yet come.” This statement is the most acute kind of emphasis for the seventh head. We are now witnessing the seventh head. It will continue a short time—and then we can forget about the beast! Wars, terrorism, weather disasters—these will all be gone forever! When “the other” comes and finishes its work, Christ is going to come and rule forever! That’s what we need to get excited about most of all, not some titillating prophecy about the beast.
We must remember not to blame the Holy Roman Empire for inflicting evil upon the nations of Israel. (If you don’t know who the nations of Israel are, request our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) “For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (Revelation 17:17). God has put it in the heart of this empire to fulfill His will. We are being punished because of “all our abominations.”
God is calling upon so-called Christians in this world to repent. That is the only solution to our problems.
The sixth head has come and gone. Now the seventh head has come. Both of these electrifying prophecies have become history! This last head is destined to be the most infamous one of all. It is prophesied to wreak unparalleled destruction on this world.
This last head of the Holy Roman Empire is going to fight Jesus Christ at His Second Coming! Then the world will see how unholy the Holy Roman Empire is.
How can we not be moved and stirred intensely by this universe-shaking prophecy?
What an exciting time to be alive! Not because we understand the Holy Roman Empire, but because we understand the omnipotent God who revealed this prophecy to us!
The Best News Ever
The Plain Truth of September 1979 said this about Franz Josef Strauss: “In April 1970, on one of his many trips to the United States, Strauss visited the campus of Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. During his two-day visit, he addressed the student body (he speaks fluent English and French) and was interviewed for the World Tomorrow television program. He was the honored dinner guest of Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong in Mr. Armstrong’s home. (Mr. Armstrong later said of Dr. Strauss’s visit: ‘At the close of the first day, he commented that he had just spent the happiest day of his life. The peace and happiness here are contagious. Dr. Strauss drank it in. Herr Strauss said, “We need an Ambassador College in Germany.”‘)”
Soon God’s colleges are going to fill this Earth.
What an amazing statement for a powerful world leader like Franz Josef Strauss to make—that he had just spent the happiest day of his life!
The inspiring truth is, he had just gotten an insight into the wonderful World Tomorrow. Mr. Armstrong and his supporters worked extremely hard to obey every word of the Bible. Ambassador College was like a beautiful Garden of Eden on Earth. It won the most beautiful campus in America award three different years. Soon the whole Earth is going to look like that! And people will be happy as never before. That time is almost here!
If Adam, Eve and the whole world had obeyed God, the Earth would look like Ambassador College did and be filled with happiness today.
The way of happiness has been rejected by mankind throughout history. They must suffer until they are willing to obey God—and be happy the way God is happy.
Winston Churchill said that men occasionally stumble onto the truth, but they quickly pick themselves up and hurry along.
How much suffering is it going to take to wake men up? Will it take the worst suffering ever before they finally turn to God?
“Three years later, on May 8, 1973, Dr. Strauss again emphasized before the World Tomorrow television cameras (this time in Germany) the same theme: ‘We must achieve, we must bring about and we must realize West European unity before the Soviet vision of the Europe of tomorrow comes into reality’” (ibid).
Mr. Strauss had a vision of the Holy Roman Empire. He passed that on to his protégé, Edmund Stoiber. And now Stoiber has mentored Baron Guttenberg to nurture the same vision.
That vision has been alive for 1,500 years. But it always ends in catastrophe, even when it begins with good intentions.
The wrong people have hijacked the powerful European Union. That empire is about to clash with Jesus Christ Himself. Take a good look at this Holy Roman Empire; it’s going to be the last one you will ever see—forever!
That is the best news this world has ever heard. And you can prove it from your own Bible.
3: The Brilliance of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
By Brad Macdonald
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is a man we have watched for several years and repeatedly identified as a likely candidate to become the prophesied strongman of Europe.
In early 2011, Mr. Guttenberg, serving as Germany’s defense minister, was the most popular politician in the nation by a wide margin. He and his glamorous, articulate wife, Stephanie, were hailed as Germany’s power couple. The media within Germany and beyond viewed Guttenberg as “chancellor in reserve,” the man who would inevitably replace Angela Merkel at Germany’s helm.
But in March 2011, Guttenberg resigned from the Bundestag and as defense minister after it was discovered that he had plagiarized his doctoral thesis. The media bashed Guttenberg for months, even long after his title had been removed and he’d been exiled from politics. Although his crime was serious, the ferocity of the attack on the aristocratic superstar seemed especially intense and bizarre.
Guttenberg moved his family to Connecticut, where he joined the think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies under the title “distinguished statesman.” He also became an adviser to Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission, on the issue of Internet freedom. It’s a lightweight job that doesn’t seem to have consumed too much time. Many German pundits felt Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s career as a major politician in Germany was over.
But could there be another way of looking at this? Was Guttenberg’s untimely departure from Germany’s political scene a blessing in disguise?
Guttenberg Vs. Merkel
The contrast between Karl-Theodore zu Guttenberg and Angela Merkel is marked. He is a devoted Roman Catholic; she a somewhat diffident Protestant. He hails from the Bavarian rightist Christian Socialist Union; she from the more centrist Christian Democrats. He is a titled aristocrat; she hails from the working classes of East Germany. He is known for his decisiveness, for taking a position and not backing down easily; she has employed a leadership style which, in the words of Times journalist Roger Boyes, “waited for issues to cluster, tribal rows to reach critical proportions and only then would she intervene.” Added to this is what Boyes terms “a certain furtiveness” in her dealings. Such an approach does not give the impression of strength in times of crisis. Rather, it gives “the impression of weakness” as she has always appeared “slow to deliver an opinion or enter a debate.”
Shelter From the Storm
Guttenberg left public office just as Greece’s debt crisis was peaking and at the point of forcing Germany and Europe into some divisive, deeply personal discussions. He left before unemployment in Europe became the time bomb it is today, and before the financial crises that now besiege Spain, Italy, France and other European states really set in. He was gone before the war on Libya, before the Syrian crisis, and before the 2013 German election. No politician in Germany or Europe has come through all this tumult unscathed, reputation intact, political career secure and bright. There’s no doubt the plagiarism scandal hurt Guttenberg, but it also probably saved him from being wounded, perhaps fatally, in the crossfire of the past eight years.
The plagiarism scandal is now a memory, and Guttenberg has occupied his “downtime” brilliantly. His supreme goal likely remains to become chancellor or obtain a high-level position in Berlin or Brussels that sets him on that path. It appears that in pursuit of this goal, he has employed a three-pronged strategy.
A Triple Play
First, Mr. Guttenberg is refusing every opportunity to play a major official role in German or EU politics—at least for now. Under the right circumstances this could change, but currently he is happy to sit on the bench. That seems counterintuitive, but in politics—especially for an ambitious young politician—you have to play the long game. If you’re watching politics in Europe and Germany, you readily see that the place is a minefield.
Europe’s debt crisis, in particular, is a career killer that is still taking casualties. Name a German or European politician right now who is genuinely liked by the public. Angela Merkel isn’t genuinely liked. Merkel might have the most important job in Europe, but it’s also the most dangerous. The Continent is experiencing a complex and historic crisis—one that threatens the financial and political underpinnings of the EU and postwar Europe—one that increasingly pits the German public (anti-German intervention) against the rest of Europe (desperate for German intervention)—and one that will get much worse before it gets better. Angela Merkel has the impossible task of fixing Europe, and in a way that satisfies everyone. Guttenberg probably ultimately wants that position, just not right now.
Second, though he’s avoiding public office, Guttenberg is maintaining a public image. Not in an obnoxious, gratuitous way. He is avoiding silly antics and superficial attention. He promotes his personality and politics widely but subtly, through diligent effort, meaningful projects and quality works.
This means writing thoughtful, articulate articles on key issues, articles that expose the weaknesses of opponents and sell himself as an intelligent politician with serious solutions. Guttenberg has also weighed in on such issues as Germany’s national elections, the Syrian crisis, the need for greater German leadership in the world, and U.S.-German relations. In every case, his thoughts are insightful, original and infused with strength of opinion and leadership rare in today’s world.
Maintaining his public image also means making the evening news and the pages of Bild and other papers, but only occasionally and only in narratives that build the Guttenberg brand. It means attending major conferences, giving lectures and delivering public speeches. Not on frivolous subjects, but on important subjects that Germans care about or ought to care about: German politics, the war in Afghanistan, German foreign policy, Europe’s financial crises. His goal is to be seen, but only as the solution and never as the problem.
Third, he maintains intimate relations with political friends and allies in Germany and abroad. This means keeping abreast of all the major issues, keeping his finger on the pulse of German politics, and injecting himself into all the major conversations in Berlin. It means regular meetings, dinners and weekends with politicians, statesmen, journalists and businessmen from Berlin, Brussels and other world capitals.
One notable example of this third tactic was his meeting in Berlin in November 2013 with Angela Merkel. The meeting was unofficial and off the books; even the chancellor’s closest allies were kept in the dark. It was an hour long—an eternity with someone of Merkel’s stature—and its agenda was never formally disclosed. Although the talking points of this meeting remain secret, it showed that Guttenberg was no longer in Germany’s political doghouse. In a way, it marked the return of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to Germany’s political fold.
By pursuing these three tactics, Guttenberg could be positioning himself to assume power when conditions are right. What will conditions have to be like for him to return? It’s hard to say. It’s not that the debt crisis would have to be over and Europe fixed. He would just have to see a clear and safe path toward his ultimate goal. So, whatever position he might accept, it would have to be significant, a guaranteed springboard into higher office, with minimal risk of tarnishing his reputation and handicapping his political aspirations.
But here’s what may be the most brilliant part of his strategy: Executed right, it could even result in his being invited into a position of leadership!
Present conditions may be conducive to a major shift in Germany’s public opinion on Guttenberg. Germans could see the man as repentant, having done penance for his mistakes and deserving of a second chance. Moreover, the need for his style of leadership is intensifying. Europe’s domestic problems are growing. Vladimir Putin is ratcheting up efforts to revive the Russian empire. The Continent is demanding leadership from Merkel that she just doesn’t have. Inside Germany, Merkel is seen to be holding the line, keeping problems at bay, but not actually solving the issues.
Political, financial and social conditions in Germany and Europe are creating a sharp demand for a strong, capable, inspiring, decisive dignitary who will actually lead Germany, and Europe, to a brighter, more hopeful place. Merkel’s weaknesses are being increasingly exposed, which intensifies the calls for a leader of Guttenberg’s heritage and caliber.
The Bible prophesies that in the end time, immediately before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, a German-led, Catholic-inspired European superpower is going to appear. In Isaiah 10:5, for example, we read that God brandishes Germany as an instrument of correction upon the nations of Israel. “O Assyrian [modern-day Germany], the rod of mine anger,” God says. Habakkuk also describes end-time events and specifically the resurrection of the “Chaldeans,” a prophetic reference to the Holy Roman Empire. “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs” (Habakkuk 1:6).
Daniel 7 and 8 provide further insight into this seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. In fact, these chapters describe specifically the appearance of an end-time antitype of Antiochus Epiphanes—the cunning, calloused Greek dictator responsible for inflicting terrible destruction on the Jews and Jerusalem in the second century b.c. Notice how the Bible describes this end-time Antiochus: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise …. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many …” (Daniel 8:23-25).
This man is discussed again in Daniel 11:21: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
Notice how this man is characterized. He has a “fierce countenance,” meaning he’s mighty, powerful and cruel. He has an “understanding [of] dark sentences.” As Clarke’s Commentary says, he’s “very learned and skillful in all things relating to government and its intrigues”—a skilled politician. He inherits the throne of Europe “peaceably,” obtaining his kingdom by “flatteries.” He’s crafty and sly, with an engaging, attractive personality. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says “the nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, ‘flattering.’” In other words, a deceived public, or a group of European leaders, likely invites this man into power.
We believe Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg could be this prophesied end-time leader!
This man is young, highly intelligent, politically experienced, and a powerful orator with a movie-star appearance. He comes from Bavaria, a staunchly Catholic region, where he’s long been an active and important member of the conservative Christian Social Union, sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. He and his wife have an intriguing and captivating family heritage. He belongs to a wealthy, aristocratic family whose bloodlines have been traced as far back as 1158. In 1700, Guttenberg’s forefathers were conferred the title Baron of the Holy Roman Empire. Guttenberg is also related to the Habsburgs, another prominent royal dynasty that has a rich history with the Holy Roman Empire. Even today, he owns an impressive castle that sits high on a hill overlooking the village of Guttenberg, Bavaria. The lineage of his wife is equally impressive. Stephanie Gräfin von Bismarck-Schönhausen is the great-great-granddaughter of Otto von Bismarck, father of the modern German state and the first chancellor of modern Germany.
Continue to watch this man. Mr. Guttenberg might have been exiled from public office, but he hasn’t frittered away his time since then, and hasn’t left the public eye or escaped the public’s curiosity. And don’t assume his absence from German politics means his political star is waning. To the contrary, it’s possible Guttenberg has employed a brilliant strategy that could well have put him in an ideal position for a political comeback.
4: Guttenberg vs. Putin: A Battle of the Titans
By Brad Macdonald
A strongman from Europe, Germany to be precise, has responded with eloquence and force to the dramatic and belligerent antics of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s strongman and a king of the east. Although the well-crafted riposte, delivered in the form of a January 2014 opinion article at Time (“Putin Is Basking in an ‘Astonishing Leadership Vacuum’”), was polite and prudent, it was also uncompromising, candid and forceful. There was also an undeniable spirit of confrontation.
Time will tell, but this article could mark the opening bell of a dramatic—and prophetically significant—battle between two heavyweight world leaders.
Regular readers of our Trumpet newsmagazine won’t be the slightest bit surprised to learn the author was Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Germany’s former defense minister is an individual we have long eyed and repeatedly identified as a likely candidate to be the prophesied strongman of Europe.
(It’s not insignificant that Guttenberg teamed up with Russian Garry Kasparov, a chess grandmaster and the former world chess champion, and an active critic and political opponent of Vladimir Putin. Sharing the byline with one of Putin’s most outspoken enemies was a symbolic gesture and gives the message added zing.)
Russia’s president has gotten the message, no doubt about it.
We’ll catch the highlights of Guttenberg’s article in a moment, but first, consider a few statements from Gerald Flurry, the Trumpet’s editor in chief. Mr. Flurry has watched Putin for years, and has delivered some powerful and important forecasts about Russia’s president. In particular, Mr. Flurry has warned specifically that Putin’s behavior—especially in Ukraine—would arrest Europe’s attention, compel Europe to integrate, and result in the prophesied emergence of a strongman on the Continent.
In December 2013, Mr. Flurry wrote that Putin’s behavior in Ukraine “rattled some European leaders to their core.” “America is sleeping through the Ukraine crisis. But Europe is deeply alarmed by what happened to this country that is right in its own neighborhood! The changes this crisis provokes in Germany and Europe will shake the nations! The Ukraine debacle has taken us a giant step closer to World War iii!” In the conclusion to that article, Mr. Flurry warned: “We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. I believe he is almost certain to be the ‘prince of Rosh’ that God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago! We need to watch what is happening in Russia and how Europe responds to it. Daniel 11:44 talks about ‘tidings out of the east’ troubling Europe. Mr. Putin’s tactics in Ukraine, Georgia, the Middle East and elsewhere are already deeply troubling to Europe. If you study Moscow’s foreign policy under Putin’s leadership, it is plain that the ultimate goal is to eventually conquer the whole world. Europe is certainly aware of this goal and is closely watching its neighbor to the east.”
This forecast was consistent with what Mr. Flurry and the Trumpet have stated for years: That the belligerence of Vladimir Putin and Russia would act as a catalyst for the unification of Europe and the emergence of a strongman in Europe!
With these words in mind, consider some of the statements from Mr. Guttenberg.
Since Vladimir Putin’s official return to power in 2012, the Russian president seems to have set his mind on teaching the rest of the world a few simple lessons. First, that he shall not be underestimated on the international stage; second, that Moscow will keep reasserting control over what it considers to be its legitimate sphere of influence for Russia; and finally, that he shall do whatever he pleases at home. To convey his message, Putin has supported a murderous dictator, lectured the United States about multilateralism, blackmailed his neighbors into accepting Moscow’s ironfisted embrace, inflamed anti-American and anti-homosexual sentiments, and brutally cracked down on dissidents.
You have to admire Guttenberg’s candor and fearlessness. Unlike so many others, this man sees reality, accepts it, and isn’t afraid to talk about it openly and honestly. He understands human nature and the nature of geopolitics. Unlike America’s leaders, he also understands Russia and Vladimir Putin. His honesty has a refreshing appeal. “When it comes to the honorable title of Bully of the Year, the Russian president surely triumphed in 2013,” he wrote in his January 2014 Time article.
Guttenberg explained the central cause of Putin’s jingoism. “The primary reason for Putin’s self-aggrandizing behavior is the astonishing leadership vacuum in the world,” he wrote.
That is a direct criticism of America, the unambiguous world leader since 1989—and he is 100 percent right!
Guttenberg continued: “Washington’s recent preference to let other nations, including Russia, lead on international affairs has eroded the U.S.’s authority.” Russia’s return as an imperialist power is a direct and immediate function of America’s immoral and toothless foreign policy.
Guttenberg’s most profound—and telling—remarks concerned Germany and Europe, and how the Continent needs to (and is) responding to Putin’s behavior. “A somewhat overlooked aspect of the contest over Ukraine is the role Berlin has played in it. Germany is the country that has often emphasized the importance of building bridges to Russia, and has come up with policies like ‘change through rapprochement.’ But by now, Putin’s zero-sum game mentality and hard power push have provoked even the otherwise not-so-confrontational German chancellor to take action” (emphasis added throughout). He then noted a few practical ways in which Berlin has responded to the Kremlin’s incursion into Ukraine.
But notice the language and tense: Putin has already “provoked” a response from Germany!
Guttenberg continued: “While scoring a probably Pyrrhic victory, Putin has alienated an important partner. Ironically, he also achieved what no pleas from the U.S. president or fellow European leaders could do: Germany finally assumed leadership on a difficult foreign-policy issue.”
Guttenberg’s invocation of the term “Pyrrhic victory” is interesting. A Pyrrhic victory is a triumph that comes with devastating cost, a victory in which the victor is injured so badly it ultimately ends with his defeat. Guttenberg, it seems, believes there will be fatal consequences for Putin and Russia. When you read between the lines of that statement, one might conclude Guttenberg was actually delivering a warning to Putin. Something akin to “Your actions will come with a heavy price.” You can be sure that statement won’t be lost on Putin!
“As for Europe,” he wrote, “it finally seems to recognize that it needs to be capable of taking care of its own neighborhood. The frozen conflicts in the post-Soviet space have been ignored for far too long. Why did it take a war in Georgia to realize that Tbilisi required more assistance from Europe?” Europe, according to Guttenberg, is now awake to the threat posed by Russia. Get this: “Russia’s behavior toward Ukraine might hand Europe an opportunity to become more united and effective in its foreign policy.”
This is exactly what Bible prophecy says will happen!
Mr. Guttenberg concluded his article with a question: “How will the EU and the U.S. react to the—probably inevitable—rise of the Russian people? Let us hope they are not too meek to stand up for the universal values on which they were founded.” It was classic Guttenberg: eloquent, polite and diplomatic, seemingly nonconfrontational and free of drama. But read between the lines; think on the message. Those are fighting words. It’s essentially a battle cry to America and Europe to “stand up” and confront Vladimir Putin. Bible prophecy says America won’t listen. But Europe will!