Germans want change. Having witnessed their partner America’s international blunders again and again, Germany is now steadily charting its own course into the future, independent of the United States. Analysts around the world wonder what will come next for the European nation. Will Germany keep relying on nato? Will it turn to France or focus on arming itself, making Germany a military powerhouse once again?
Actually, not everyone is wondering what will happen. One group is watching the news about Germany—and many other nations—with confidence in the future outcome, and that group is God’s Church.
News is not just for Pastor General Gerald Flurry and other ministers to watch. It’s not just for your parents or grandparents. News is something you can also benefit greatly from.
Let’s look at a few reasons why it’s so important for you to develop the habit of watching world events—and then we can examine a simple, practical way to get started.
The late Herbert W. Armstrong said that one third of the Bible is prophecy, and 90 percent of that prophecy is to be fulfilled in the end time—the time we are now living through. That means that of the 1,230 pages in my Cambridge Bible, around 410 consist of prophecy, and 370 of those pages contain prophecies that are being fulfilled in the headlines of today’s newspapers!
George Friedman, Melanie Phillips, Peter Zeihan, Ian Bremmer and others can see much of what is going on in the world today. Many of these experts have studied geopolitics and international relations for decades, traveling the world, analyzing events, studying human behavior, and observing how it plays out on the national level. As a result of their education, they can see and understand a great deal about the world around us.
But what they see is just a fraction of what we can see.
Even with the best of this world’s observers and analysts, Christ’s words in Matthew 13:14 ring true: “You will listen carefully yet will never understand, you will look closely yet will never comprehend” (New English Translation).
Christ continues, speaking about anothergroup with a different capacity to understand: “But your eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (verses 16-17; New English Translation).
We in God’s Church see and understand so much. Jeremiah the prophet said he had more understanding than all his teachers, even when he was young (Psalm 119:99). How could this be? Because his eyes were “blessed”! They were open to God’s truth.
Studying into the way nations deal with each other sometimes feels like peering into the night: Human eyeballs can see very little. But the Bible is a game-changing tool. It’s like slipping on a pair of night-vision goggles. Suddenly, there is a clear picture! The image doesn’t always have perfect detail because God only tells us what we need to know—but the shape is clear.
Our eyes are blessed because they see, and our ears are blessed because they hear. When we watch the news, we can understand it in a way that no Friedman, Phillips or Bremmer can. That’s because they don’t have access to the night-vision goggles! It is a high honor to be able to see through these coveted goggles, and it should help us fall in love with watching news.
This Is Not a Suggestion
Another reason to get serious about news-watching is that we are commanded to stay apprised of what’s going on in the world. It is crucial to our survival and success as God’s people.
In Luke 21:36, Christ told His disciples: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
Being able to understand the news and to know how events will unfold is an incredible blessing. But it is also a command, right alongside prayer.
This is not necessarily easy to do, especially at first; but we are told that we must watch and pray.
When I first came into the Philadelphia Church of God, I was far from being a news hawk. I struggled through some of my first issues of the Philadelphia Trumpets, wondering why it mattered whether the president of Russia was Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev or Jim Gaffigan. I would sometimes struggle, but I kept working to grasp it because I understood that we are commanded to watch and pray. And I learned that it gets easier with practice.
Our prayers get better when we’re watching prophecy be fulfilled, and our vision gets sharper when we’re talking to God about how sobered and excited we are to see prophecies coming to pass.
Another reason we should strive to become news hawks is that it enables us to “zoom out.”
Consider this nugget of wisdom from Eleanor Roosevelt: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
It is so easy for us, especially when we’re young, to have a narrow worldview. We may see our family and friends as planets orbiting around ourselves—the beautiful star at the center of the universe. It is very easy to be small-minded, self-centered and to get swept up in the he-said, she-said of this tiny solar system.
But becoming a news hawk enables us to zoom out! We can better see the larger world and the trends and ideas that matter. We can see that there’s a whole planet and universe out there, and it will broaden our view and help us to develop “great minds.”
How to Get Started
If you would like to improve in this area, there is a simple, powerful way to keep your finger on the pulse of the world. Are you ready? Here it is: Read each upcoming issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet from cover to cover.
The Philadelphia Trumpet is a special tool. Several of God’s ministers and other Church employees spend hours and hours each month sifting through the news, reading it, discussing it with each other, and researching what the Bible, Herbert W. Armstrong and Gerald Flurry have said about certain topics. Then they pray, study and spend hours writing about the most important news stories. They reach out to experts to learn more. They read books to help put it all in context. They write, edit, rewrite and bring it all to life with the help of a team of skilled artists, photo researchers and layout specialists. And all of the volumes’ worth of news from the month are finally condensed into 40 pages of the most prophetically significant material—10 times per year.
Remember that your eyes are blessed because they see! You can understand the basics of what will happen with Germany and so many other nations. Remember that as exciting as news-watching is, it’s also a command—like prayer. We must do it to survive and thrive spiritually. Also, remember that becoming a news hawk can help you expand your perspective to become a more broad-minded, balanced and interesting person.
What an awesome time we are living through! The events leading up to Christ’s return are in rapid motion. We can watch them happening every day in our daily news. So read the Philadelphia Trumpet from cover to cover each month, and learn to really fall in love with news-watching.