Mark 13:37 | “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
A strategic white paper published by Germany’s defense minister and the inspector general of the Bundeswehr highlights the increasing threat to Europe that Russia represents (German Foreign Policy, February 15, 2021). It also highlights China’s rise as a military superpower and the need for Germany to balance that rise.
The paper calls for more than just military defense; it calls for a drastic increase and advancement in offensive military capabilities. “The Bundeswehr ‘urgently’ needs hi-tech capabilities and innovations. ‘Critical’ sectors, such as a ‘comprehensive and modern air defense’ and the capability for ‘rapid deployment of fully operational forces must be prioritized.’” The paper also calls for national defense to become a “whole of government” effort that is embraced by the entire nation, not just the meager military defense budget. The paper also proposes that Germany become both the military leader in Europe and the military logistical hub of central Europe.
German ambition, organization, and industrial capabilities are known throughout the world, and Germany’s capacity to quickly create a powerful military industrial complex is illustrated in its national history. The nation is on the rise and its leaders have ambitions for the future—just as God long ago declared would take place in our day.
Recently in South Africa, criminals strapped an explosive device to an ATM technician and forced him to open the machines he was hauling so that they could steal the money (Institute for Security Studies, February 18, 2021). Thankfully, the victim was released after the ordeal. Methods like this are being used with increasing frequency by cartels and gangs around the world.
Experts say that such tactics demonstrate the extreme lengths to which crime syndicates are willing to go. For all the measures taken to defend against them—by law enforcement agencies and the financial industry—criminal organizations continue to display a dangerous willingness to raise the stakes themselves, even by using stolen explosives.
God warned that at the end of the age, especially in Israelite-descended nations like South Africa, terrorist acts should be expected (Leviticus 26:16). Biblical prophecies have also warned that the social and moral fabric of these nations would begin to decay rapidly: “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isaiah 59:14–15). Individuals and organizations that do not follow these evil ways will stand out and invite attacks because they are trying to act morally.
Followers of the God of the Bible ought to “sigh and cry” over the abominations they see in the land (Ezekiel 9:4)—and pray more fervently, “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). Jesus Christ promised that He will return (John 14:1–3), and His return will bring peace and justice to this earth.
Quantum computers have been discussed for years, and many companies and nations are working to make the proposed technology a reality. Many believe that the first nation to master this technology will have a powerful advantage over other nations, leading to what some call a “quantum apocalypse.” As the Jerusalem Post reports, “The implications could be no less than to remake who are the world’s military, economic and technological powers and redefine industries as diverse as communications, health, finance and energy” (January 29, 2021).
Quantum computers will have the ability to process data at an astonishingly greater rate than the fastest computers today. Problems that would take decades or longer to solve with today’s technology would be solvable in minutes with such supercomputers. Nations without scruples could crack encryption codes and steal the secrets of their rivals and vast sums of money from foreign banks. This advanced technology could feasibly be used to advance technologies in many other fields at a rate of progress never before seen. Quantum computing holds the promise of being a “game changer” for civilization as we know it.
When God divided the languages of humanity at the ancient city of Babel, He inspired a record of His motivations: “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them” (Genesis 11:6). Language differences have slowed innovation, to be sure, but they are posing less and less of a barrier in a world in which knowledge is now shared readily and globally, and this may soon bring serious consequences.
According to Roman Catholic bishops in the European Union, “Synchronised free time should be a priority in the EU social-policy agenda” (Vatican News, March 4, 2021). This is a message the bishops are sending to EU leaders, and the day on which most European nations traditionally observe this “free time” is Sunday. In their written statement, the bishops also cited the pressures brought about by COVID-19 as evidence for the importance of this “free time.”
During the pandemic, many more people than usual are working from home, and people need a weekly rest. A joint statement with the European Sunday Alliance notes that the erosion of boundaries between life and work creates a great deal of stress for workers, “affects their work-life balance,” and “compromises the health and wellbeing of workers, making them not only sick in the long run but also causing increasingly more often their absence from work due to psychosocial illness for sustained periods of time.” The group urged EU leadership to make this day of rest a high priority, citing the Council of Europe’s Social Charter, which already recommends that a weekly day of rest from work “coincide with the day recognised by tradition or custom in the country or region concerned as a day of rest.”
Tomorrow’s World readers understand that the coming European “beast” power will eventually mandate Sunday worship for its citizens and even those who trade with it (Revelation 13:16–17). A “free time” law or mandate may help set the stage for the fulfillment of other end-time prophecies concerning Europe and the coming “beast.”
The United Nations expects that by 2050 nearly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities—up from 55 percent today (UN.org, May 16, 2018). Cities put stress on aquifers, naturally occurring underground water reservoirs. As droughts continue and aquifers empty, the structure of the clay and sand in the aquifers changes and begins to collapse. Once underground aquifers collapse and are restructured, they can never again hold the volume of water they once did—reducing the water available to the growing cities.
These collapsed aquifers also result in sinking ground above. From 1900 to 1970, California’s central valley sank roughly 28 feet (about nine meters). In some areas of Jakarta, Indonesia, land is sinking at a rate of ten inches per year (about a meter every four years). Sinking land also impacts infrastructure such as pipes, bridges, and building foundations. Lower areas are more prone to flooding, especially in areas near the coast. It remains to be seen how the current “megadrought” in the United States will impact cities, water supplies, aquifers, and infrastructure (BBC, April 16, 2020).
God warned Israelite-descended nations that, because of their spiritual rebellion, “I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze” (Leviticus 26:19), and “your land shall be desolate and your cities waste” (v. 33). Mankind has failed to be a wise steward of the creation over which God gave us dominion (Genesis 1:26–28), and we are beginning to reap the consequences. Yet the time is coming when these destructive activities will end and the earth and its people will again be blessed by God.