Current Events & Trends: January/February 2024

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MP3 Audio (11.91 MB)


Current Events & Trends: January/February 2024

MP3 Audio (11.91 MB)

Plans advanced for a European superstate

Late October saw European militaries for the first time operating under a single flag in conducting a joint drill. “They were welcomed by the head of the EU’s foreign policy wing Josep Borrell, who subsequently emphasised the need to accelerate the creation of an EU army in the face of geopolitical insecurity” (“‘EU Army’ Debuts During Spanish Naval Exercises,” The European Conservative, Oct. 24, 2023).

In November, a call to reform the European Union treaty agreements in convention narrowly passed by less than half the members of the European Parliament due to many abstentions (“The Little-Noticed Vote to Change the EU Treaties,” Euractiv, Nov. 23). This approved plans “to remove the national veto for EU member states in the latest attempted power grab by Brussels to wrestle control away from national governments” (“European Lawmakers Vote for Abolition of Member State Vetoes in Latest EU Power Grab,” Remix News, Nov. 22).

When the plan emerged from committee the month before, there were some dissenting voices. An MEP from Poland, one of the main negotiators for Poland’s EU membership, said the public was not supposed to notice that a silent putsch with communist roots was underway, warning that the European Union is being transformed into an undemocratic superstate (“A Superstate Is Being Created Without Any Consent of the People, Warns Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski,” Remix News, Oct. 27).

The plan reduces the role of member nations to that of regional states within a federal country. Subsequent treaties would be adopted by a 4/5 majority of member states, instead of requiring unanimity. And if you go through all the jurisdiction “the EU would get—environment, climate, forestry, public health, cross-border transport infrastructure, external border policy, foreign affairs, internal security affairs, defense affairs, civil defense, industry, education . . . there is not much left to the member states” (ibid.).

The co-chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists said this is “‘. . . living proof of how dangerous the EU has become.’ He warned that . . . the EU would have institutions that could impose moral and philosophical issues on its citizens, and will have instruments to punish those who have different views” (“EU Parliament to Vote on ‘Dystopian Superstate’ Proposal,” The European Conservative, Nov. 22, 2023). Indeed, that was already underway before this vote (“EU’s Draconian Social Media Censorship Laws Are Now Officially Enforceable,” ZeroHedge, Aug. 28).

In the words of the Polish MEP, “Do you want a superstate where a caste of Eurocrats will rule without control of the citizens?. . . The problem is that Europe has been hijacked, it has been stolen. Just as Zeus, in the form of a bull, abducted Europa . . .”

Bible prophecy reveals the rise of a tyrannical revival of the Roman Empire in the end time called the Beast—yet it is a union that will be partly brittle and partly strong. Further efforts toward European integration and centralization bring us closer to the appearance of this final Roman revival. To learn more, send for or download our free study guide The Final Superpower.



Europe looks to internationalize Gaza, while Vatican seeks that for Jerusalem

The fighting between Israel and Hamas could have far-reaching implications involving Europe. As reported at EUObserver: “Gaza might become an international protectorate after the war, the EU has said, adding that neither Palestinian group Hamas nor Israel should ever rule there again . . . Said European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen . . . ‘There can be no long-term Israeli security presence in Gaza. Gaza is an essential part of any future Palestinian state’” (“Neither Hamas Nor Israel Should Rule Gaza in Future, EU Says,” Nov. 6, 2023).

A few days before, Reuters reported: “Pope Francis said [Nov. 1] . . . a two-state solution was needed for Israel and Palestine in order to put an end to wars such as the current one and called for a special status for Jerusalem . . . Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in 1967 and in 1980 declared the entire city its ‘united and eternal capital.’ Palestinians see the eastern part of the city as the capital of an eventual future state. Israel has consistently rejected suggestions that the city, which is sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, could have a special, or international, status” (“Pope Says Two-State Solution Needed for Israel-Palestine,” Nov. 6, 2023).

Could the European position on the status of Gaza be a precursor to an eventual mandated international “peacekeeping force” to be in control of Jerusalem? That could lead into end-time events.

Putting together various prophecies in the Bible, it is evident that the leader of a power to the north of the Holy Land (a European revival of the Roman Empire) and his forces will occupy much of the Middle East, later entering the Holy Land, even moving his seat of government there (see Daniel 11:40-45).  Jesus mentioned Jerusalem being surrounded by armies and the defiling of the holy place as signs to watch for of a coming time of great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:20-24). In conjunction with that, the apostle Paul also foretold the coming of an apostate religious leader who would seat himself at the temple before being destroyed at Christ’s return (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9).

For more on where events are ultimately headed, read our free study guide The Middle East in Bible Prophecy.



Sense of purpose promotes brain function amid aging and difficulty

According to recent research published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research  & Therapy, having a stronger sense of purpose in life may promote “the capacity of the brain to cope with stressors, injuries and pathology, and resist the development of symptoms or disabilities” as people age—with “one specific brain network, the dorsal Default Mode Network, showing greater functional connections within its components and with other brain areas,” correlating with cognitive performance (“Study Suggests Strong Sense of Purpose in Life Promotes Cognitive Resilience Among Middle-Aged Adults,” April 19, 2023).

Harvard neurologist Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, memory health center director at Hebrew SeniorLife, concludes, “What is also exciting is that each of us, with appropriate guidance and support, can develop and sustain a robust sense of purpose and thus contribute to our brain health and well-being” (ibid.).

Of course, the ultimate support and guidance come from our Creator, Almighty God, through His Word, the Bible. And it’s here that we find the ultimate purpose for our lives—the greatest purpose one could ever imagine. To help you see that purpose spelled out in the Bible, be sure to download or request our free study guide Why Were You Born? It will help to arm your mind with the greatest protection against the confusions and troubles of this world, giving liberty and strength to live a more fruitful and fulfilling life.



Shock finding: Nearly half of Israeli Jews no longer believe in a coming Messiah

According to a recent survey designed by two U.S. Jewish professors and conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group, “nearly half of all Israeli Jews have given up believing that the Messiah is real and coming at any time in the future. When asked by researchers, ‘Do you believe the Messiah is coming?,’ . . . a mere 54.9% of Israeli Jews say ‘yes.’ Fully 45.1% say ‘no.’ No one [in the survey group] said, ‘I don’t know’” (Joel Rosenberg, “Giving Up on Messiah? Shocking New Survey Finds Nearly Half of Israeli Jews Don’t Believe Messiah Will Ever Really Come to Earth,” All Israel News, May 21, 2023).

There is a huge chasm between right and left-wing voters on the matter. Among supporters of Orthodox political parties, 93.8 percent still believe the Messiah will come. Yet among those voting for left-wing parties, only 15 percent accept a coming Messiah. Of those voting for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, 54.9 percent believe in a coming Messiah—mirroring the overall view of the country.

The survey didn’t ask why belief in a Messiah has plummeted. But the sad fact is that “large numbers of Israelis have stopped reading the Jewish scriptures. They might have grown up hearing the Bible read in the synagogue. But they are not reading the Torah or the prophets for themselves. So, they’re not focusing on the specific prophecies that describe who the coming Messiah will be, much less taking those prophecies to heart” (ibid).

Of course we recognize that the Messiah, the divine King of the line of David who will deliver the Jews and the whole world, has already come. His name was Jesus—Yeshua in Hebrew, as He was a Jew. Many Jews became His followers—along with people of other nations. But the vast majority of the Jewish people did not—and they have sorely missed out on so many blessings in that regard for now.

Sadly, the waywardness of the Jewish people in turning from even what they have known of God will bring terrible judgment in the calamities soon to come upon the world world, as other nations will also experience. But beyond that, the same Messiah who has already come will come again—and this time He will be revealed to the Jewish people, who will deeply repent and receive Him at last, along with all the Israelite peoples and the world at large (see Zechariah 12:7–13:1; Romans 11:25-27). May God speed that wonderful day.



Shocking reactions to Israel-Hamas conflict, rising antisemitism

Here are some surprising statistics and developments in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7, 2023 terror attacks on Israel and Israel’s military response.

“A public opinion poll published on November 14 showed that 75% of Palestinians support Hamas’s murder spree, including rape and beheadings, as opposed to only 13% who disapprove . . . Support . . . is even higher in the West Bank [under the Palestinian Authority],” per Arab World for Research and Development (Gatestone Institute, Nov. 20).

“80% of the Palestinians reject both the ‘one-state’ and ‘two-state’ solutions, and instead demand all the territory . . . the entire State of Israel within any borders” (ibid.).

“57% of US Muslims believe Hamas atrocities justified,” per Cygnal poll (FrontPage Magazine, Oct. 22, 2023).

“Shock poll: Majority of American 18-24 year olds think Hamas slaughter of 1,200 Israeli civilians justified,” Harvard CAPS Harris Poll (, Oct. 22).

“After failing to condemn Hamas terror group, UN adopts eight resolutions condemning Jewish state” (Fox News, Nov. 10).

“Antisemitic crimes up by over 1,350 per cent in London amid Israel war” (Breitbart, Oct. 21).

“Anti-Semitism resurges in Germany [much of it from Muslims] . . . Some 2,000 cases linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict have been reported so far [in November]” (AFP, Nov. 7).