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   Well greetings friends, this is Herbert W Armstrong with the Good News of the World Tomorrow. Gradually, and now faster and faster, a new power is being developed from underneath the surface. A new world power which the public now least suspects, which the world does not yet see, doesn't realize, doesn't dream is coming, but it is developing just as prophesied in Europe, a resurrected Roman Empire that will combine some three hundred and fifty millions of population. A power so mighty that our Western peoples will stand aghast when it flashes suddenly into full being. Yes, your Bible says that the world will be startled. That it will "...wonder, all whose names are not written in God's book of life..." (Revelation 17:8 paraphrased)
   Yes my friends, prophecy marches on. I have shown you that the next event that is prophesied is a great drought and an epidemic of disease. We had a big foretaste of it in 1934 and 1935. There is going to come a time of drought, famine and pestilences, the Bible calls it in King James language, or disease epidemic that is going to take one third of our population.
   And then at that time, there is going to be an invasion by this power that is rising up in Europe. That is the next thing to happen now. And the stage is being set. Everything is happening that way. The people don't realize it, they don't know what is going on on this earth. I tell you my friends, it's time we do blow the dust off our Bibles and realize that about one third of your Bible is prophecy. That it has to do with this pulsating, moving, chaotic, upset world present and that it tells what it is all about, and where we're headed and why. Where are we going from here? What's going to happen?

The Coming Tribulation

   Well at that time all these things, Jesus said in Matthew 24:8, are the beginning of tribulation, beginning of sorrows, or travail, as you'll see in your marginal rendering, or tribulation. It's the time of the great tribulation that is coming. And; "Then [He said, they shall] deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." (Matthew 24:9)
   Now that is speaking both individually and nationally. I want you to notice that: "they shall deliver you up to be afflicted." That is rather speaking there of individual Christians who are going to have to give up their belief in the Bible; their belief in the true Word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, or they will be so terribly tortured that they will finally be martyred. They will die unless they recant of the truth and turn to the fables that are going to be forced on them.
   At that time many false prophets shall rise, just as there have been many all down through the time, but they will be intensified at that time.
   "[And] then shall be great tribulation such as was not [from] the beginning of the world to this time no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]." (Matthew 24:21,22)
   That is coming and it's coming next and it's coming to your town, it's coming to your county, your state, wherever you live my friends. Make no mistake, this thing is absolutely certain unless this nation will repent of its ways, will change its ways and return to its God and His ways. And we don't seem to be doing it do we?
   Now this thing that is coming, I've told you it is both a national invasion and also it is on the true Christians that love the Word of God. There is going to be another martyrdom of saints. Notice now verse 22;
   "...except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)
   Who are the elect? They are the ones that cry out day and night to God for help as Jesus said. Let me see I think that's Luke 18. And then here in the twenty-fourth verse, this same twenty-fourth chapter of the book of Matthew.
   "There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)
   Who are the very elect? The ones is it no possible for false prophets to deceive. It just is not possible for them to deceive them. Now at the second coming of Christ verse 31) Jesus Christ will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, all over this earth.
   And they are going to rise first and they are going to meet Him in the air. Well His elect, the dead will rise first, and they that are alive will be changed instantly. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye... [and] ...this mortal [will] put on immortality" (I Corinthians 15:52,53). And they shall rise together with those that are in Christ, resurrected from the dead and they will meet the descending, returning Christ in the clouds, in the air, in this earth.

A Matrydom of Saints to Come

   Now turn over for a moment to Luke's account of this same speech of Jesus Christ. Luke's account, first I'd like you to notice verses 11 and 12: "..great earthquakes shall be in [different] places; and famines and pestilences..." (Luke 21:11)
   Now there's the next thing to happen and the invasion will follow immediately on the heels of it when we are very, very seriously weakened.
   "...pestilences [and], fearful sights [and], great signs shall there be from heaven. But before all these [that is before the great signs and sights from heaven], they shall lay [their] hands on you and persecute you..." (Luke 21.11-12)
   Now that's speaking of individual Christians persecution and it's going to lead to a great deal of martyrdom and I'll show you the other prophesies on it here in just a moment.
   "...delivering you up to [the] synagogues" (Luke 21:12). That is into churches. Who is it that usually does most of the persecuting? It is simply bigoted, religious people as a matter of fact. You know there is one kind of religion that is not the kind that is of God my friends, and that is the kind that has no love, that is bigoted and intolerant of other people and their religion.
   Let me tell you something; God Almighty has made you a free moral agent and He has made every other human being a free moral agent. There is no power, there is no person and there is no power that can cheat a one of you out of eternal salvation except your own self. There is no power that can cram any other religion that you don't want down your throat. God Almighty has seen to that. There is no power, whether on this earth or away from it, whether mortal or whether it is a devil and demons or what, there is no power that can force a truth on you you don't want.
   Now there are powers that can lay hold on your physical body and can torture your body and can fill you with pain and can even tear you apart limb from limb if they desire so to do. But if you are willing to take it and you will not give up the truth, there is no power that can separate you from Christ. And there is no power that can drive you to Christ and force you to accept Him. Absolutely none! God has made you a free moral agent and you stand on your own.

Love is the Principle Thing

   Now, the very first principal of any religion according to the Bible, and I would say according to common sense too, you notice it in I Corinthians the thirteenth chapter.
   "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity," (I Corinthians 13:1)
   That is charitable love, the kind of love for others that is tolerant with others where they disagree with you. Now some people think you must speak with tongues just almost like, I suppose they might say, it was the tongues of angels. And they say that you haven't got your baptism till you do it. Well I tell you my friends, you could speak with the tongues of angels, and I've never heard any of that, but if you lack that charity, what are you?
   "I am become as sounding brass [and], a tinkling cymbal" (I Corinthians 13:1), according to your Bible. Just like beating on a lot of old dish pans, like beating a lot of air and it doesn't get anybody anyplace. If you have not charitable love, if you're intolerant, in other words, and bigoted, you have no religion that will account for anything in God's sight.
   "And though I have the gift of prophecy [now prophecy is important, however here it probably refers to preaching] and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge [you can have all knowledge, all preaching ability and you can even understand prophecy and be able to foretell what is coming by the use of Bible prophecy]; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains [if I had that kind of power and I had that kind of faith and I had all knowledge, and I didn't have charitable love towards others and tolerance towards them], ...I am nothing." (I Corinthians 13:2)
   "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor [Oh I am very charitable now I'm doing a lot of good for others], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [for others and what they believe], it profiteth me nothing." (I Corinthians 13:3)
   Absolutely nothing! My friends, it is usually people that have the wrong kind of religion that have no charity, that do the persecuting. I wonder if you ever noticed that? Now if you want the right kind of religion, my friends, this I'll say, and this is not any denominational teaching one way or the other. I don't care anything about what denomination you may believe in or anything of the kind, but I will say this, that regardless of it, if you do not have that kind of charitable love, if that isn't the very first principle of your beliefs, and of your practice in your life, you're not living a real Christian life, and I don't care how many churches you join or anything about it.

Another Martyrdom of Saints

   Well there you are, but I tell you we're coming to it and there is going to be a time, and it will be religious people that are going to lay hold on other people that won't accept their kind or their brand of religion, and they're going to try to force it on them. But listen, no-one can force anything on you. They can torture you, they can tear your body apart, yes, but they cannot put anything in your mind unless you yourself are willing to admit it there. I think we ought to thank God that He has made us so that no-one can force anything upon us at all. Well now notice;
   "...before all these [things] they shall lay hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up [into], synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake." (Luke 21:12)
   There it is. Now I want you to notice next, verse 16;
   "And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death." (Luke 21:16)
   Now when you find 'you' in Bible language, that is speaking of Christians. When it says 'they' it's speaking of the people of the world that are not converted, that are not real Christians. 'Some of you' then means those that really believe the Word of God, that really are the true Christians that belong to Jesus Christ, whose Savior is Jesus Christ and have been reconciled to God by and through Him and are obedient children of God and under God's grace through Christ.
   They are the people of God, and some, my friends, are going to be put to death. There is another martyrdom of saints. Now, just a few verses later here Jesus continues to speak, according to Luke's account, and He shows the national phase of this same tribulation that is coming. Verse 22, for instance. No, let's begin with verse 20;
   "And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies [now this is speaking of national war and armies] then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains [It says "those in Judaea" not those in Iowa or Florida or California. Flee to the mountains]; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled [And]. Woe unto them that are with child, and [to] them that give suck, in those days. For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people." (Luke 21:20-23)
   Now that's on this nation, 'wrath upon this people.' It doesn't say 'you' now. It is not here speaking to Christians, it's speaking of America. It's speaking of Canada. It's speaking of Great Britain. It's speaking of Denmark, of Sweden, of Holland, of Norway, of those nations of northwestern Europe that we call democracies.
   "And they [not you, but they] shall fall by the edge of the sword." (Luke 21:24)
   It isn't speaking of converted people, it isn't speaking of Christians, but it is speaking of God's people Israel, and it is speaking of our people by nation. Listen my friends, if you don't know where we are mentioned in Bible prophecy, let me say again, you can't begin to understand one third of your Bible. One third of it is prophecy. If you don't understand where the United States is mentioned in Bible prophecy, you cannot understand prophecy.

United States in Prophecy

   The very first thing you should do if you want to understand prophecy, if you are one of those many, in fact nearly everybody that says, "Well I just can't understand the prophesies." Let me tell you, the very first key is to know where the United States is mentioned in prophecy. Write in for our booklet, 'The United States in Prophecy.' Now this is really the material and the factual material of a great large book condensed down into a booklet. An attractive booklet, 'The United States in Prophecy.' It's a veritable key and here condensed in a nutshell, is the most fascinating story that you have ever heard or that you have ever seen.
   It doesn't make any difference whether you are a skeptic, an atheist, a church member, or whether you are really a spirit-filled Christian, you are going to find here an amazing truth that has been hidden from this world. It is now revealed and it stands proved. No story of fiction ever was so strange or so absorbing, as packed with suspense as this gripping story of your Bible. Read it with your Bible. Check everything in your Bible and you will be amazed at what you find, and it will open up the prophecies and make the Bible a new book to you.
   Write in for our booklet, 'The United States in Prophecy.' There's no charge whatsoever. There is no price on it. You haven't got enough money to buy it. I'll announce that again at the close of the program, about twelve minutes from now, so you better have an envelope, paper, pen or pencil, have it ready. Why don't you get it right now as I have suggested before. Get it right now while I am speaking, have it ready and get that in the mail right away before you procrastinate and forget all about it.

National Captivity Foretold

   Now I want you to notice;
   "..these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe [to] them that are with child [and so on. It's a time of], wrath upon this people. And they [not you Christians, but 'they'- it's a nation now] shall fall by the edge of the sword [that is speaking of a national captivity. That is speaking of a national invasion, they shall fall by the edge of the sword] and shall be led away captive into all nations:" (Luke 21:22-24)
   My friends, that's speaking of America. That is speaking of our people. We are God's chosen people, but we are not His favorite people. God punished our forefathers years ago and He punished them with the hand of other nations. God has seen to it that we have won our wars so far, my friends, but we have not returned to God. We have failed to return to God. We are doing what we think is right in our own sight. We are carrying on with pagan customs, with heathen ways, and we call it falsely, Christianity. And God's day of wrath is coming on our people.
   God is about to punish as a loving parent will punish children to wake them up and to turn them in the way they ought to go, if they won't heed any other way. God has sent prophets, He sent His prophets to Israel of old. They stoned the prophets. God sent His own Son. They crucified Him. God is sending this message around the world now, and He is WARNING you now my friends, and if you won't heed God's warning, God will then step in and punish with physical punishment in a language that this nation will be forced to understand, because God loves this nation and we are bringing about our own undoing, as things are right now.
   We're going the way that's leading to destruction. Your Bible says, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man" (Proverbs 14:12). It seems right, we think it's the right way. We think the other way is wrong. I don't know why it is my friends, but "the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7), and seems to think that God Almighty is all wrong, and we're doing things that are right in our own sight. God says, "the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25). It's going to wind right up in death and God doesn't want us to die.
   "...why will you die O [house of] Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11) says God through the prophet Ezekiel. God wants us to turn from our ways and live, and if we won't do it ourselves, God is going to punish in a language we will be forced to understand. Now any individual that will heed God's warning my friends, can be spared every bit of this terrible, terrifying physical punishment that's coming.
   You'll hear plenty that will rise up and tell you that there is nothing to it, you'll have peace. Don't believe it, it's prophesied in the Bible. You just turn back to the prophecies and you will see where God said that's the way it would be; that God's own people will lift up their voice, they won't hide it, they'll shout the message, they'll thunder it forth and they'll tell God's people their sins and they'll tell them the truth.

Christ Will Gather His Flock

   But notice back here now in Jeremiah 23;
   "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Eternal {1} [that's the ministers], ...you have scattered my flock [He says], and driven them away... [then He says in verse 3, Jeremiah 23] ...I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all [the] countries wither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds..." (Jeremiah 23:1-3)
   That's at the second coming of Christ, and every prophecy in your Bible showing where we will be at that time, shows we will be scattered, and that Christ is going to regather us back to the land He promised our forefathers.
   I tell you my friends, you'd better realize what's in your Bible and it is not in some obscure passage just in some place with an obscure meaning that might be misinterpreted. It is in Jeremiah. It is in Isaiah. It is all through your Bible. It's in Amos, it's in Hosea and it's in Micah. It's in Zephaniah, it's in the teaching of Jesus. It's in the book of Revelation. I want to tell you my friends, it's all through your Bible. The trouble is we've been neglecting prophecy. We haven't even looked at prophecy. Christ says He will gather them.
   Now notice here, verse 16: "Thus saith the Eternal of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Eternal. They say still unto them that despise me, The Eternal hath said, Ye shall have peace..." (Jeremiah 23:16-17)
   Why they'll say, as another prophet says, that God's prophets that are telling you the truth of what's coming, that are showing you the prophecies in your Bible, they'll just tell you that God's own prophets are windbags. Now that very thing has been said and fulfilling the prophecy of God. God said that's exactly what they would say.
   "They say still [to] them that despise me, [that despise God] The Eternal hath said, Ye shall have peace; ...and they say unto everyone that walketh after the imagination of his own heart..." (Jeremiah 23:17)
   Now what is that? What is the imagination of your heart? Well that's the way that seems right to you. That's the way of conscience. Listen, have you ever heard that if you just do what your conscience says is alright, that that'll be alright? That conscience is your guide? And that sin is the transgression of your conscience? Well here it is: "...they say [to] everyone that [walks] after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you." (Jeremiah 23:17)
   "Why, if you've accepted Christ, you're under grace. You don't have to obey God's law. You don't have to be obedient to the Eternal Creator." No, they want to shake their fist at God Almighty. "The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7), and when you find anyone that hates the Commandments of God, you will know, my friends, that you are talking to a very carnal-minded person. And you are talking to someone that is just filled with all of the passions and emotions of carnality of anger, of bitterness, of resentment and of everything of that kind that is devoid of love; that is negative and never positive and all that sort of thing.
   People that hate God's law, they hate God. Well of course they say that they hate God's ministers that preach His law, but it isn't God's ministers they hate, it's God, and it's the law of God. They want their own way. They are disobedient, rebellious children, that's all there is to it. And there is a day of reckoning coming, and God after all is the Judge.
   Now, here we are: "They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations [and when Christ comes He is going to gather them from that captivity] and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)
   Now there is a duality principle in all prophecy. Jerusalem has been trodden down of the Gentiles for exactly 2520 years, and it has been delivered to Ephraim whose right it was. And once again, it's going into this very power, this very power that is going to bring about that invasion. It's spoken of in the latter verses of the eleventh chapter of Daniel, the greatest, the longest prophecy in all the Bible.

The Day of the Lord Coming

   Now, there is both the individual and the national phase of this thing that is coming. Now I want you to see something else. What is going to happen immediately after that Great Tribulation? Are the saints to be raptured up away from it? Is the church going to be taken out before it comes? Listen:
   "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:" (Matthew 24:29)
   That's going to happen immediately after. Now first comes the Great Tribulation and then the sun and the moon dark and the stars falling. That ought to be very plain. Now next I want you to turn to Joel the second chapter, the thirty-first verse:
   "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood [when? Well that's after the Great Tribulation, but Joel says here the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood], before the great and the terrible day of the Eternal come." (Joel 2:31)
   Before the Day of the Lord comes. Now what is the Day of the Lord? Joel tells us right here in the first chapter:
   "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come." (Joel 1:15)
   It's a time of destruction, God is sending it, it's 'as a destruction from the Almighty.' Let Zephaniah tell you what it is. Zephaniah the first chapter, the fourteenth verse:
   "The great day of the Eternal [or the Day of the Lord] is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath [a day of wrath] a day of trouble and distress a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of [the] trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers [in other words a time of war. And God says] ...I will bring distress upon men [it is coming as a destruction and God is sending it. I will bring distress upon men. Why? Does God hate us? Is God anger? Listen], that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Eternal: (Zephaniah 1:14-17)
   God's laws are for our good my friends, they're not a curse on us. WHY do men hate the laws of God? Because their thinking is warped and twisted and because they know NOT the right way. The transgression of God's laws has brought every curse and every wail of human woe this world has ever suffered. God's laws were the greatest bestowal of love that God has ever given us, except for His own Son that He gave that we might have forgiveness for our transgression of His law.
   Now again Isaiah says back here in the thirteenth chapter; "Howl ye for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." (Isaiah 13:6)
   God is sending it, and so my friends, first comes the Tribulation and that is the wrath of Satan the devil. He is angry, as you read in Revelation 12, "because he knoweth he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:12). And he is angry against whom? Revelation 12, the dragon, who is, in verse 9, Satan that old serpent, called the Devil that "great dragon was cast out, that old serpent [that is], called the Devil, and Satan [that], deceiveth the whole world..." (Revelation 12:9)
   "And the dragon was wroth [now he has wrath too and this is the Devil's wrath, is wroth] with the woman [that is the church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 12:17)
   And that tells you my friends, when you find anyone that hates God's law, they are children of the Devil himself. Now notice:
   "...when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Revelation 12:13). That is the true church "that keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). And that is the church that "loved not their lives unto death." (Revelation 12:11)
   However, if you are watching and praying, you can be "accounted worthy to escape ALL of these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Luke 21:36)
   No punishment will come nigh you. God help you then to heed.
   Now once again in closing, let me remind you to write in for that booklet 'The United States in Prophecy.' Study it in your own Bible and see with your own eyes in your own Bible in prophecy as well as in promises of God, who we are and where we are mentioned in the Bible prophecies. One third of your Bible is prophecy. You can't understand it unless you have this key. If you haven't already gotten that booklet, write in for it, there is no charge.
   Till tomorrow then, goodbye friends.
{1} Footnote: Whenever the KJV uses the word 'LORD' in block capitals, the meaning of the Hebrew word Jehovah is 'Eternal,' or 'Self Existent.' Mr. Armstrong usually uses 'Eternal' in these instances.

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