Joe Baity, insisting that borders and boundaries are essential, claims that America's border problems pale into insignificance when compared to those of Europe, where Muslim Jihadi terrorists have flooded the landscape. More important than any national border is the hedge God has placed around His people on the condition that they trust and obey Him. Even as God promised protection to the remnant who remained in Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day if it would trust God rather than seek aid in Egypt, God has promised His called-out ones protection if they stay within the boundaries prescribed by His holy law. We must remember that our fight is spiritual and cannot be helped by anything in the physical realm. God controls everything but our will; we must exercise character by trusting Him for our protection.
John Ritenbaugh, ruminating on George Friedman's speculations on President Erdogan's campaign and Turkey's future role in world affairs, suggests that we may have to make a major change in perception on how we have heretofore sized up prophetic events. The real struggle on the world stage for millennia has been the competition for dominance between the secular and the religious forces, with the secular forces generally winning control, bifurcating private and public sections of society, at least in European and Israelitish cultures. Modern Turkey, committed to secularism since the days of Mustafa Atatürk, has been battling the rabid fundamentalist Islam forces along with Iran and Syria. Erdogan, realizing that Turkey has been moving toward an internal explosion between secularism and religion, has campaigned for increasing powers of the president to put down religious Islamic fundamentalism by military force. Wherever secularism has gained ascendancy in the world, it has not maintained neutrality between the private and the public, but has attempted to bully and harass the religious elements of society by the tyranny of political correctness—something both America and Europe have experienced over the past few decades. Instead of championing tolerance, secularism, with its militant and pathogenic political correctness, has promoted a more dangerous intolerance than the very worst aspects of the Inquisition. The whole world is writhing as the evil thought-police enforce their brutality with political and military might.
Germany is in a bind. It is an industrial powerhouse, the richest economy in Europe, but it must prop up several poor-performing economies throughout the rest of the European Union. Berlin cannot continue this practice lest they drag it down with them. David Grabbe warns that Germany's decisions on these matters could have far-reaching consequences for Europe and the rest of the world.
John Ritenbaugh, revisiting Herman Hoeh’s brilliantly reasoned, through highly speculative, doctrine about Church eras, takes a hard look at the biblical evidence and concludes that the notion of eras is based on some fundamental errors. Because Revelation 1:1 uses the adverb shortly (NKJV)—quickly and soon in other translation, describing the quickness of prophetic events, we cannot find a shred of evidence for lengthy, drawn-out eras. Christ’s promise to Peter in that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church refers more to our private battle against sin than a physical battle against a church organization. Jesus Christ has already defeated Satan. Our collective fellowship has speculated that seven eras of the church spanned the time since 95 AD to the present, in which a dominant attitude would prevail sequentially, corresponding to the commendations and charges of the letters delivered on the postal route between Ephesus and Laodicea in western Turkey. Even though the mail route was spatially sequential, the churches were contemporaneous. Like the many splinters in the greater Church of God, these churches had different strengths and different weaknesses. Jesus Christ, standing in the midst of these contemporaneous churches, comments on each one, indicating that He considers them all to be part of the His Body, The command to “hold fast,” issued five times, indicates that all seven of these attitudes (that is, strengths and weaknesses) will be extant at His Second Coming. Constantly, we should be wary about browbeating lukewarm Laodicea or dead Sardis because these are all attitudes every called-out one exhibits to one degree or another. Jesus Christ expects that all of us learn from all seven letters, applying the correction which applies to each of us individually.
As reactions to the Brexit vote run the gamut from applause to denunciation, one fact shines through clearly: The vote exposes just how divided this world has become. Joseph Baity describes the fragmentation occurring all over the world—a situation that can lead only to greater problems that this world is not designed to face, must less overcome.
Joe Baity reminds us that we live in a world divided, as seen in the impending implosions of the two major political parties, the fragmentation of the European ‘Union,’ fratricide among the Islamic factions, race wars, gender wars, class wars, and bitter vitriol, anger, and resentment rule the day. People are no longer hearing one another, but only their own amplified, distorted, and poisoned perceptions they carry of others. Babylon is blinded with bitterness. The Church of God has not escaped the poison of resentment and bitterness following the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, leading to the wholesale apostasy and diaspora which followed. Our ability to discern falsehood is directly related to our ability to recognize truth and act on it. Emotions such as pride, stubbornness, resentment, and envy (a root of bitterness influenced by the culture around them) have split congregations, dividing brethren more than doctrinal disputes. We are implored to seek and pursue peace with everyone. Resentment unresolved can make us physically and spiritual sick. Carrie Fisher contends that “Resentment is the poison you swallow hoping the other person will die.” When resentment goes underground, it raises havoc with our nervous system as well as jeopardizes our salvation. It is okay to get angry—just as long as we do not stay there. As God’s called-out ones, we must learn how to take the hit and turn the other shoulder.
The United Kingdom's Brexit (British exit from the European Union) vote stunned the world, as many of the polls suggested the British would vote to remain in the EU. Joseph Baity presents the history of the UK's dealings with the EU since 1973, showing that a sizable slice of the British people, most of them average citizens, have always distrusted the EU's encroachment on British sovereignty.
Most people think the Cold War is over—in fact, won by the overwhelming power of the United States' economic and strategic might. But could it be on its way back to life? Richard Ritenbaugh argues that Vladimir Putin's leadership has brought Russia back into play as a world power, and nearby nations are once again bracing against its unwelcome aggression.
One of the winter's main news stories involved the unrest in Ukraine brought about by that nation's bipolar tendencies: One part of the country desires closer ties with Europe, while the other prefers Russia. Richard Ritenbaugh reviews the events of what is now called the Euromaidan protests, perceiving that, during them, Russia's Vladimir Putin played a shrewd game to increase his nation's power and geopolitical position.
For the last several generations, many of the most influential politicians in Europe have worked tirelessly toward the emergence of a united Continent. Their plans have been stalled, if not foiled, by the reality of the international economic system. David Grabbe writes that, for now, reality is stacked against full European integration.
A little-known town in Eastern Europe has given its name to a newly formed battle group consisting of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Richard Ritenbaugh wonders if this military alliance signifies increased instability for Europe and possibly the initial stages of the "feet and toes" of the final manifestation of Nebuchadnezzar's image.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was a bastion of Western democracy during the Cold War, but since then, it has lacked a clear purpose. David Grabbe argues that, having failed to keep the Russians out and the Germans down, NATO is struggling to remain relevant in a changing world.
December 1, 2009, saw the European Union become an official federal state, created by the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by the EU's 27 member states. David Grabbe analyzes the ramifications of an EU with the power and authority to act as a cohesive whole—if it indeed acts in a united fashion.
More than 65 years have passed since the end of World War II, yet the nations of Europe are still wary of a strong, unified Germany. Richard Ritenbaugh writes that, despite Germany's amicable relationships with its neighbors for two generations, signs of Berlin's growing influence are causing anxiety across Europe and around the world.
The news these days is all about the moribund economy of the United States, yet Europe—an economy just about as large as America's—is also in financial straits. David Grabbe shows that the nations of Europe are currently in no position to "take advantage" of the situation and become a world superpower.
The last few decades have seen the rise of globalism as a prime factor in international relations. The present economic crisis, along with the changing political scene, is making some nations rethink their globalist tendencies. Richard Ritenbaugh argues that the pendulum may be swinging back toward nationalism.
It only takes one nation to reject a European Union treaty, even one as significant as the recent Lisbon Treaty. Ireland's referendum stopped this latest attempt to create a European state in its tracks. David Grabbe considers how likely a federal Europe is in light of present political and demographic trends.
Revelation 17:1 speaks of the "judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters. ...
A perfect storm is a natural phenomena in which several storm fronts collide in a small area, causing dangerous—even deadly—conditions. The societal cycles of America, Europe, and Russia, says David Grabbe, are also converging, and the result could prove to be even more devastating.
The European Union (EU), now expanded to include 27 nations, has its genesis in French ambitions to dominate Europe. Yet now, as David Grabbe points out, the EU has reached a tipping point, where a Franco-German veto could be overridden by the other nations. Will this turn of events sour France on the EU?
Lines of conflict are forming across Europe between the native, Western populations and the immigrant, Islamic minorities. David Grabbe illustrates the cultural and political turbulence on the Continent with three news items from the past several weeks.
A major news item over the past month has been the riots over the publishing of cartoons depicting Islam's prophet, Mohammad. David Grabbe ponders the rather belated reaction of the Muslim street, asking, "Why all the sound and fury?"
The recent riots in the Paris suburbs draw attention to a Europe-wide problem: Two very different cultures are battling for supremacy. David Grabbe points out that the powers that be in Europe still do not want to confront this life-and-death issue.
Reflecting that most prophetic interpretations have not been correct, John Ritenbaugh warns that we must exercise caution when attempting to interpret prophecy. As we have erred regarding Israel's identity, Protestants have erred by assuming that the tiny nation of Israel is end-time Israel. The greater church of God does not have all the pieces about the identity of Israel, the nature of the Laodicean and Philadelphian churches, whether the Beast will rise from a feeble and decrepit Europe, who the King of the South is, etc. The apostle Paul urged that we get our focus more balanced, emphasizing love over prophetic correctness, not remaining indifferent to what Christ deemed important, and learning how to use our trials to persevere and grow. Christ warned His disciples as He ascended not to obsess over prophecy. Instead, we need to persevere, not becoming distracted, and diligently submit to the Word of God.
Great Britain has a history of playing the balance-of-power game to keep any Continental state or empire from becoming strong enough to threaten Britain. Richard Ritenbaugh argues that Britain is the victor once again—this time, in determining the direction of the European Union.
Recently, analysts have been ready to file the European Union's obituary, as Europe's demographics, Constitution, and economy have languished. What does this mean in terms of Bible prophecy, particularly the rise of the Beast power?
David C. Grabbe: For decades, we have been watching and waiting for Europe to unite under a fierce dictator to form the last revival of the Holy Roman Empire. ...
Jacob's prophetic blessing of the sons of Joseph in Genesis 48 promises that Manasseh will be a great nation. Charles Whitaker provides evidence that points to one nation in today's world being the unmistakable fulfillment of this remarkable end-time prophecy.
World news, events, and trends highlighting biblical prophecy for March-April 2005: "Franco-German Divergence"
Many of the problems of present-day Europe have their source in the governments' tolerant, multicultural policies regarding immigration. David Grabbe, seeing parallels between immigration and a Christian's entry into God's Kingdom, shows that, unlike Europe, God ensures that all His potential citizens will conform to His culture.
The Europe of the past few decades has honestly earned the label of "that vast plain of irreligion." What caused its secularization? David Grabbe shows that religion is to blame.
World news, events, and trends from the standpoint of biblical prophecy for November 2004: "Ich Bin Heide"
News, events, and trends according to a prophetic perspective for November 2004: "Europe: Ripe for Change"; "Protestantism's Decline"
The Great Harlot of Revelation 17 has intrigued Bible students for centuries. John Ritenbaugh explains her peculiar characteristics and tackles the questions, "Is she a church?" and "What does it mean that she is a 'mother of harlots'?"
After showing that today's Europe is far from "Beastly," John Ritenbaugh speculates on the identity of the Woman depicted in Revelation 12. Is she, as the church has dogmatically taught in the past, the church itself—or is she another prophetic entity that we can see active in the world today?
Currently, Europe is not looking very Beastly. John Ritenbaugh continues his look at history and current events to show that Babylon is the world's anti-God system and that Roman institutions inspire Israelite culture even today.
Currently, some of the more important prophetic events we have been trained to watch for are just not happening. John Ritenbaugh explains, for instance, that Europe is not uniting as we once thought it would. How does this affect our interpretation of the prophecies?
Why has anti-Semitism remained a part of this world's way of thinking? Charles Whitaker shows from recent history that anti-Semitism has merely morphed into new expressions of the old evil.
Events, news, and trends from a prophetic perspective for January 2004. "European Disunity"; "Western-Mediterranean Agreement (Tunis Declaration)"; "U.S. Immigration"
Though secularists tried to use immigration policy to force Christianity out of the American mainstream, it backfired. Charles Whitaker explains how God has used their scheme to accomplish His own end-time purposes.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, most thought the world would come together, but that has not been the case. In fact, America and Europe have been steadily moving away from each other politically, economically, and culturally. What impact will this have on our understanding of biblical prophecy?
Immigration is not just a problem in America. The nations of Europe have seen millions of migrants, mostly Muslims, stream into their nations over the past decade—to the point that it has become a primary topic politically. What will Europe do? Richard Ritenbaugh suggests this migration dilemma may presage the fateful "push" from the King of the South.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh: It has been interesting to observe the reaction of Western European governments and politicians to the saber rattling of the George W. ...
With the birth of the International Criminal Court (ICC), America is caught in a dilemma. The U.S. desires a global economy but shies away from global government in all its forms. Charles Whitaker illustrates why America should continue to shun the ICC and anything like it.
Most people think globalism is the same everywhere, but Charles Whitaker says, "Not so!" The European form is quite different from its American cousin. The difference lies in the roots of traditional European religion and government. Also contains the inset article, "European Government 101."
Many who believe Germany to be modern Assyria have waited a long time for Germany to rise again. Signs in Europe and on the world scene point in that direction.
The church has predicted a united Europe for decades, but it seems just as far off as ever. Richard Ritenbaugh explains that humanly, Europe will never unite—it will take "a strong hand from someplace"!
This article, the last in the series, explores the fourth world-ruling empire of Daniel 2. Explained further in Daniel 7 as a terrifying beast, this empire and its "horns" play a role down to the return of Christ!
The waning days of 1992 saw circumstances in Europe in a precarious state. Even now, Europe is ripe for a leader who can bring all the disparate parties and ideologies together. What will it take to bring the Beast to power?
The European Union stepped closer to fielding a common army when it revitalized the Western European Union to protect its interests.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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