News and Prophecy—January 12, 2012
Guttenberg to Run for German Office in 2013? In September 2011, Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said he would leave Germany for the U.S. His decision stemmed from a plagiarism scandal that resulted in his resignation as German Defense Minister, and the stripping of his doctorate by his alma mater. His plan was to spend two years in the U.S. on a type of “sabbatical,” in order to “rethink his political career” (Der Spiegel, September 6, 2011). Now fast-forward just four months… Herr Guttenberg appeared on the scene in Germany two weeks ago related to a technology project. This week’s headlines ran, “Disgraced former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is taking his first steps towards a political come-back, less than a year after his plagiarised doctorate forced him to resign.” Guttenberg has now “agreed to meet [Christian Democratic Union] party officials in Bavaria to discuss his participation in the 2013 general election, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday” (The Daily, January 8, 2012). The Baron’s star was on the rise until his fiasco several months ago. At the time, the German press was calling him “Germany’s most popular and promising politician.” It appears that his star may be on the rise again, perhaps in the near future (2013), as he could once again become “Germany’s most popular and promising politician.” Bible prophecies reveal that a charismatic and influential leader will one day head a European, German-led Beast power (Daniel 9:27; 11:21-23; Revelation 13:1-10). We need to keep our eyes on this up-and-coming political force.
Doomsday Clock Ticks Forward. “A group of scientists that tracks the likelihood of a global cataclysm says the world is moving closer to doomsday. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday that it has moved its ‘Doomsday Clock’ to five minutes to midnight. The group says inadequate progress on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and continuing inaction on climate change are the reasons for the change. The clock had been set at six minutes to midnight for the past two years. It was previously set at five minutes to midnight from 2007-2010. The group says in a statement that two years ago, there was reason for optimism ‘that world leaders might address the truly global threats we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed’” (Associated Press, January 10, 2012). Although the predictions of men are not the accurate prophecies of God, it is not difficult to discern, given the global difficulties today, that the world is approaching a precipice. Jesus clearly taught that the signs of the end of the age would be relatively easy to read: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors” (Matthew 24:32-33). Doomsday Clock scientists are not far off. The end of the age and the triumphant return of Christ are approaching. For more on this important subject, review our exciting booklet, Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return
U.S. Kindness in Troubled Region. Iran and the U.S. are “rattling sabers” once again in the Persian Gulf. Tightened sanctions on Iran have resulted in military exercises and threats of retaliation if the U.S. brought its carrier group back to the gulf (which it now has). An Iranian general recently warned, “I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf… we are not in the habit of warning more than once” (National Post, January 6, 2012). Amid the escalating tensions, the U.S. carrier strike group received an SOS from an Iranian fishing boat that had been captured by pirates. U.S. forces mounted a rescue, saving 13 Iranian sailors held captive for the last 40-45 days. “They were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations,” observed a U.S. Navy investigator. The released Iranian hostages were deeply grateful to their U.S. rescuers. Despite threats and lack of Iranian cooperation, it is encouraging to see kindness and humanity demonstrated by U.S. military forces. God prophesied that through the descendants of Isaac, “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 26:4). One day soon, the god of this age will be removed as Christ’s righteous government fills the earth, and all human beings will be taught to practice godly ways that will ultimately lead to real peace!—Sue Bennett and Scott Winnail