This is not a story you are going to see on the nightly news. Yet it is a huge story of the moment that will soon dominate all news media.
Iran and the Vatican State—representing two great religious movements: pan-Islamism and Roman Catholicism—and the most powerful state in Europe, Germany, are gearing up for a titanic battle for the possession of the “city of peace”—Jerusalem.
Besides those two globally dominant religions claiming entitlement to that city, a third does as well: world Jewry.
This is an age-old battle. In modern times it has waged since World War ii, when Islam, under the Ottoman Turks, lost Jerusalem, and since Kaiser Wilhelm was denied its possession by British Imperial forces occupying Palestine, freeing the city from past Islamic dominance and the prospect of a Teutonic-Roman takeover.
The recapture of Jerusalem has burned as a fervent desire in Vatican hearts since the days of the great Crusades, initiated by Pope Urban ii in a.d. 1095.
Since the end of World War ii, and especially since the 1962 Vatican ii congress, Rome has worked toward this goal. Through diplomacy, primarily employing its excellent international intelligence network and by exercising more open dialogue with its wayward Protestant and Orthodox daughters, it has sought to achieve a bridgehead in the drive for the universal conversion of mankind with Jerusalem as its spiritual capital.
At the same time, since the Israelis withdrew from the territories they occupied in 1967, Islam has chosen the path of jihadist war through terrorism to achieve similar goals. Extremist Islamic movements intent on “holy war” have been blowing up airplanes, blowing up embassies, blowing up their enemies by blowing themselves up in their midst, in their efforts to achieve the universal salvation of mankind in the name of Allah and their prophet Mohammad. They take the future seizure of Jerusalem as a given.
Recently the pope upped the ante in his crusade via his coded anti-Islam verbal salvos. He received a swift, violent Muslim response: the slaughter of Roman Catholics celebrating mass in a cathedral in Baghdad.
Check the sequence of events.
First came Pope Benedict’s verbal outburst in his controversial speech at Regensburg, Bavaria, in September 2006. Careful analysis of that speech reveals that Benedict was accusing Islam of being an irrational faith. Indeed, he provoked great wrath from Islamic clerics by quoting a dialogue between a Byzantine Emperor Manuel ii Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam: “Show me just what Mohammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The stab at Islam was not lost on the religious and political leaders of modern Persia—Iran—nor on their terrorizing lackeys!
Pope Benedict is known for his brilliant intellect. This was a well-thought-out speech, prepared in advance, not off the cuff. The choice of Manuel ii’s statement was both deliberate and calculated—calculated to get a reaction!
And what a reaction it received! Public demonstrations broke out in Turkey, in Iran, in the Islamic communities in Britain and on the European continent. Effigies of the pope were burned in the streets. Al Qaeda called for the pope’s death.
Ever since, Islamic extremists have increasingly targeted Christians—mainly Roman Catholics—in the Middle East, especially within Iran’s western neighbor, Iraq. UN statistics show that, before the Iraq War began in 2003, Baghdad was home to 1.5 million Christians of various sects. Today that number is fewer than 500,000—mostly because of those who have fled religious persecution.
This past October, the pope called an extraordinary synod of archbishops together in Rome to consider the fate of the church in the Middle East. It was a watershed event in the pope’s program for evangelizing the world. For Benedict, the fulcrum around which his global project revolves is—as it has always been with the Vatican down through the ages—Jerusalem. To this end, the Vatican is ramping up its involvement in the Middle East peace process.
This synod was the platform the Vatican used to further emphasize its coded verbal crusade against Islam.
In his homily at the close of the synod on October 24, Pope Benedict recalled, “During the work of the synod what was often underlined was the need to offer the gospel anew to people who do not know it very well or who have even moved away from the church. What was often evoked was the need for a new evangelization for the Middle East as well.” To Islamic extremists, that statement would have to have been like waving a red flag in front of a bull!
To top it off, Benedict promised that the theme for the next synod in 2012 would be “the new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.” He explained, “At any time and in any place—also in the Middle East today—the church is present and works to welcome each human being ….”
Those are crusading words—words that offer a powerful challenge to any competing religion that has its own missionary zeal to convert the world—which, very obviously, Islam does!
It was no coincidence that, on October 31, just one week later, masked Islamist gunmen burst through the doors of a Catholic cathedral in Baghdad and slaughtered 58 Roman Catholics attending Sunday evening mass. Days later, follow-up attacks occurred in Christian neighborhoods in Iraq.
The pope had his answer to his latest missionary challenge to Islam!
Compare these events with the spark that ignited Rome’s earliest crusade to capture Jerusalem. In a.d. 1077, the Seljuk Turks massed in Jerusalem and slaughtered around 3,000 Catholic pilgrims. The attacks continued on Catholics over the next decade and a half. In 1095, Pope Urban ii cried “enough” and challenged the knights of Europe at the Council of Clermont to a crusading battle to seize Jerusalem and wreak revenge on the Islamic hordes: “The Turks and Arabs have attacked our brethren in the East and have conquered the territory of Romania (the Greek Empire) as far as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont …. They have killed and captured many and have destroyed the churches and devastated the [Roman] Empire …. On this account I … persuade all people of whatever rank, foot soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians ….”
Thus was the First Crusade enkindled.
Nine centuries later, another Islamic horde pushes at the doors of Jerusalem and Rome, threatening to overtake much of Europe by mass migration from the Middle East and to push the tiny nation of Israel into the sea. Hidden among the émigrés are hundreds of extremist Islamists bent on crusading jihad warfare against Christendom. In the Middle East, once again, Islamists slaughter Roman Catholics.
When will the pope move beyond his war of words?
The Vatican may well be able to boast of a billion-plus adherents to the Roman Catholic faith—yet crusades are fought by bloodletting battles. It is to the Vatican’s traditional protector, Germany, that the popes have looked as Rome’s defender since the time of Charlemagne.
Believe it or not, your Bible prophesies that Rome will yet again look to Germany for support in one final crusade to eliminate the threat of Islam and recapture the real prize in the process—Jerusalem.
The Pope and the Baron
In the early Crusades, the Franks were at the forefront. It is interesting to note that a bright, charismatic young Frank, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s current defense minister, has become the driving force behind the effort to drastically upgrade the German armed forces. In the process he has made it clear that he seeks the amalgamation of nato with a combined European military force to produce a battle group of a size and with the nuclear power potential to match all comers!
This same young Frankish aristocrat traces his lineage back 900 years to the First Crusade! His family has been dedicated supporters of the popes down through the centuries.
Recently on a balmy Roman autumnal evening, the pope witnessed a stunning performance of Verdi’s Requiem Mass led by a fellow Bavarian, conductor Enoch zu Guttenberg, father of Germany’s minister of defense, at the Paul vi Hall in the Vatican.
Among the audience was an inveterate Vatican watcher, Dr. Robert Moynihan. He was moved by the uniqueness of the event to make an intriguing observation in respect of this particular performance. Referring to “the political overtones of the event,” Moynihan noted that “[t]he concert had perhaps unintentional political overtones because the son of the conductor, right now Germany’s minister of defense, Karl-Theodor Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg, 38, has just become, according to polls, the single most popular politician in Germany. This means the younger Guttenberg may have a real chance, and soon, to become the next chancellor of Germany after Angela Merkel” (Inside the Vatican, Oct. 19, 2010).
Meanwhile, across the Tyrolean border in neighboring Germany, it was as though the whole country was seized with Guttenberg fever. One German newspaper termed it “Guttenberg Hysteria.” Literally every leading German newspaper and magazine has carried a major story on the Guttenbergs since the end of summer. Germans are simply enraptured with the baron and his wife.
But what will be most intriguing to readers of the Trumpet is the following statement made by Dr. Moynihan: “The fact is that this concert for the German pope was conducted by the father of the man who may soon head the German government.
“This at least suggests a strengthened connection between Berlin and Rome, or between the two men, should they come into contact in the future as world leaders” (ibid., emphasis mine throughout).
For decades we have been looking out for two dominant leaders to come to the fore in Europe: one, a powerful political leader from Germany; the other, an influential religious leader from Rome. This power pair is prophesied to dominate the final rise of a European-based empire, a reincarnation of the old Holy Roman Empire.
Watch for further developments that may suddenly propel this duo into the spotlight! The fact that one of the most astute watchers of Vatican politics is prepared to suggest a future linkage between Pope Benedict xvi and fellow Bavarian Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a Frankish baron of the Holy Roman Empire, is most intriguing indeed.
Another Target of the Vatican
One other dramatic episode emanated from that recent synod in Rome. What was most profound in relation to the “peace” spoken of there was the stance the Vatican took on the tiny, embattled, fighting-for-its-own-survival, Judaic nation of Israel.
Reuters reported that, in their concluding statement, the bishops declared that “Israel cannot use the biblical concept of a Promised Land or a chosen people to justify … territorial claims …” (Oct. 23, 2010). When Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros was asked about this passage at a news conference, he responded, “We Christians cannot speak about the Promised Land for the Jewish people. There is no longer a chosen people. All men and women of all countries have become the chosen people. The concept of the Promised Land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel …. The justification of Israel’s occupation of the land of Palestine cannot be based on sacred scriptures.”
In the synod’s concluding message, the Vatican reiterated a call it has made before: that Jerusalem come to have a special status that “respects its particular character” as a city sacred not only to Jews, but also to Christians and Muslims. Though it briefly acknowledged the Jews’ need to enjoy peace within internationally recognized borders, the document spent far more words on the Palestinians’ plight. It bemoaned their “suffering the consequences of the Israeli occupation: the lack of freedom of movement, the wall of separation and the military checkpoints, the political prisoners, the demolition of homes, the disturbance of socio-economic life and the thousands of refugees.” The imbalance of the Vatican’s perspective on the situation of Jerusalem, the Jews and Palestinians was obvious.
Peel aside the sophistry, and the truth is plain: The Vatican is clearly biased against the Jews and Israel’s birthright claim to the city of Jerusalem and the biblical land of Israel, which were gifted by God to the nation of Israel in perpetuity. This, from a religion that claims to speak for all Christendom—indeed, claiming, albeit falsely, that its own religious roots lie in the birth of the land of Israel.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said it all in a recent speech at an Anti-Defamation League dinner, the text of which was printed in Commentary magazine under the headline, “The Aim Is to Make Israel a Pariah”: “Now the war has entered a new phase. This is the soft war that seeks to isolate Israel by delegitimizing it. The battleground is everywhere: the media … multinational organizations … ngos. In this war, the aim is to make Israel a pariah.
“The result is the curious situation we have today: Israel becomes increasingly ostracized, while Iran—a nation that has made no secret of wishing Israel’s destruction—pursues nuclear weapons loudly, proudly, and without apparent fear of rebuke.”
War Against the Jews
Murdoch, who received an award from Pope John Paul ii for his contributions to the media, made no reference to the Vatican’s stance on the nation of Israel, his statement coming before this latest startling declaration of the Vatican Synod on the Church in the Middle East.
But he did condemn the European Union for its blatant bias against Israel, a bias that is feeding the rising anti-Zionism across the Continent: “We saw a recent outbreak when a European commissioner trade minister declared that peace in the Middle East is impossible because of the Jewish lobby in America. Here’s how he put it: ‘There is indeed a belief—it’s difficult to describe it otherwise—among most Jews that they are right. And it’s not so much whether these are religious Jews or not. Lay Jews also share the same belief that they are right. So it is not easy to have, even with moderate Jews, a rational discussion about what is actually happening in the Middle East.’
“This minister did not suggest the problem was any specific Israeli policy. The problem, as he defined it, is the nature of the Jews.”
This is the same argument that former German central banker and politician Thilo Sarrazin makes in his bestselling book Germany Does Away With Itself to underpin his thesis that Jews are unsuitable for residence in Germany.
Murdoch also hit out at the anti-Zionism prevalent in Islamic communities in Europe, and the degree of tolerance that Islamic-inspired anti-Zionist attacks are given by European authorities: “In Europe today, some of the most egregious attacks on Jewish people, Jewish symbols and Jewish houses of worship have come from the Muslim population.
“Unfortunately, far from making clear that such behavior will not be tolerated, too often the official response [suggests] Jews and Israel were partly to blame themselves.
“When Europe’s political leaders do not stand up to the thugs, they lend credence to the idea that Israel is the source of all the world’s problems—and they guarantee more ugliness. If that is not anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is.
“The world of 2010 is not the world of the 1930s. The threats Jews face today are different. But these threats are real. These threats are soaked in an ugly language familiar to anyone old enough to remember World War ii. And these threats cannot be addressed until we see them for what they are: part of an ongoing war against the Jews.”
The reality is that this “war against the Jews” is just one part of an insidiously spreading anti-Semitic mindset—one that extends out against the Anglo-Saxons. For unbeknown to the greater part of society is the fact that the Promised Land was gifted to the nations of Israel—plural! For proof of just who these nations are, request our eye-opening book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The Promised Land
The Eternal Creator of humankind promised the territory from the Nile River to the Euphrates to the descendants of Abraham, through his son Isaac and, in turn, the descendants of Jacob (Genesis 15:18-21; 28:13; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:8). These are the true Israelites. Believe it or not, they include 11 other nations in addition to the Jewish people.
Since the Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35)—despite what Archbishop Cyrille Salim Bustros falsely maintains—and the Eternal God never changes (Malachi 3:6), His promise of the perpetual inheritance of that piece of Middle Eastern real estate by Israel is binding to this day and beyond.
It is certainly not conditional on the utterances of the Vatican. In fact, Israel is least accountable to that particular Babylonish institution, of all institutions.
Those who seek to refute the claim on the Promised Land by Israel will one day have to swallow their own words. Jerusalem is destined to be the capital of a new society, a whole new civilization to be established by the very King of Salem, the King of kings, Jesus Christ Himself (Hebrews 7:2; 1 Timothy 6:15). It will remain the capital of that globe-girdling kingdom for over a thousand years. Then it will become the very site of the eternal throne of Almighty God Himself! (Revelation 21:1-3).
Those who falsely claim that “there is no longer a chosen people” are refuted by Scripture! The very “peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9) chosen by God to do so will soon claim their rightful inheritance of the Promised Land—and, not long after, the whole world will learn to truly rejoice in the reality of that inheritance!
It’s time to more closely watch Iran as it continues to aggressively push its jihadist foreign-policy agenda against Rome, against a German-led Europe and against the embattled Judaic nation of Israel.
It’s time to more closely watch Germany’s growing exertion of its national power, especially in militaristic terms, and to watch for its coming blitzkrieg response to this push from the biblical “king of the south,” Iran!
And it’s time to watch, ever more closely, the city of Jerusalem. This “city of peace” has endured centuries of warfare, and yet again it faces being torn apart by two great competing religions in a great new crusade for its possession, propelled by the resurrected power of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
But more, as you watch, watch in hope for what is prophesied to follow: the establishment of a new city of Jerusalem that will last for over a thousand years—then the ultimate vision of hope, the new Jerusalem! That city will be one of universal peace, the future capital of the universe! It will last forever, on into an eternal future of scintillating peace, joy and happiness under the supreme rule of the eternal Father of all mankind! •