Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
Prophecy Reveals Where We're Headed Now!
Plain Truth Magazine
March 1984
Volume: Vol 49, No.3
QR Code
Prophecy Reveals Where We're Headed Now!
Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

Only one SOURCE can give genuine understanding of world events.

   AWESOME changes in society and in our daily lives are destined to occur within the next five to twenty years.
   Scientists do not foresee most of these changes. Business and governmental planners do not even begin to grasp their effect on your daily life.
   You need to know. And you need to take action — while there is still time!

Our Present Interlude

   Today, many older people still assume that everything will just continue along the way it always has. Sure, they know there will be bumps in the road. Many remember World War II, Korea, Suez, the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam. But we "got over" them and carried right on.
   As a young man at the beginning of World War II, I can remember us singing, "We did it before and we can do it again!" It never occurred to us that landmark changes would occur in our society and that events would never again be quite the same. What we have at the moment is an interlude before the developing storm on the national and international scene.
   Even as I write, several international powder kegs are just waiting to blow up: the Iraq-Iran war with its potential for triggering U.S. intervention. Missile deployment in Europe. Poland. The Cyprus conflict. The Korean situation. The Lebanese crisis.
   On the domestic scene even now the groundwork is laid for a massive social upheaval — with its consequent general confusion and disorder — such as Britain and the United States have not experienced. Cities and states are being forced to hire admitted homosexuals as teachers and as policemen.
   Homosexuality is gradually being taken for granted as an alternate lifestyle that has no spiritual or physical penalties. In California, the Second District Court of Appeal recently decreed that the Boy Scouts could no longer ban even known homosexuals from membership. Similar situations are now occurring in Britain. A number of the larger, most "respected" churches are seriously discussing the ordination of admitted homosexuals to their own ministries!
   National tragedies?
   Of course they are if you examine what the Bible directly and clearly states. But how many permissive theologians do that anymore?
   That would make things too simple.
   Why, if you did that, some people might even get the idea that stealing, lying, fornication, adultery and homosexuality were SINS that ought to be abhorred and deeply repented of! That would be embarrassing for most every human, wouldn't it?
   And in the realm of natural forces already afflicting larger areas of Africa, the English-speaking nations are prophesied to experience similar devastating drought, famine and disease epidemics such as have not before struck our nations.
   The U.S. dollar and the British pound sterling will eventually be replaced as the key reserve currencies of international trade and commerce. Then, rising from the foundation already laid down by the European Community, a union of nations in Europe will arise and quickly begin to exert not only a major economic, but a political, religious and military influence on the world.
   The power of this final restoration of the Roman Empire will startle both the Western and the Soviet-dominated alliances and lead directly to the most traumatic WORLD CATACLYSM that humankind has ever experienced!

How Do We Know?

   Before proceeding further, we should address the question many newer readers may now be asking: How do we KNOW these things will occur? How can we even say, "We know"? Human opinion is not worth anything either in matters pertaining to the ultimate future of mankind, or such basic issues as why are we here and what is the purpose of life.
   There is, however, a SOURCE of knowledge and understanding of such matters that is infallible. When honestly and properly understood, it reveals with accuracy the basic course of human events and the ultimate outcome.
   The great Creator is working out a purpose here below. He intervenes, when he chooses, in the affairs of men and nations. Many thousands of our readers have proved that the Holy Bible is the Creator's inspired revelation of essential knowledge. We have tested the written word of God, the way of God and find that it works.
   It is important to realize that almost one third of the Bible is prophecy! Yet it is the most neglected part of God's revelation to man. The apostle Peter wrote: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye. do well that ye take heed... " (II Pet. 1:19). Jesus Christ said: "... man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).
   In setting forth many of the very prophesied events just described, Jesus stated: "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Luke 21:32-33).
   So when we write in The Plain Truth, it is with a deep sense of awe and recognition that we must honestly and faithfully proclaim the inspired message that GOD has set forth in his written word. And we must fearlessly and faithfully announce and write the warnings revealed in Scripture that will so deeply affect all our lives over the next several years.
   For regardless of how any of us think or feel, God's revealed prophecies WILL occur! So we had all better include them into our future plans!

What Jesus Prophesied

   In his Olivet prophecy, Jesus Christ was asked to detail the specific events that would precede his Second Coming and the end of this age (Matt. 24:3).
   He specifically stated that there would be, over the centuries, false ministers, wars and finally, in the crisis at the close of this world's civilization, world wars, famines, disease epidemics and earth quakes of major proportions (verses 4-7). Jesus then warned about a coming great persecution over matters of religion (verses 9-10) and described a time when "iniquity shall abound" — a time of LAWLESSNESS and chaos. Yet he said the warning message of the coming kingdom or government of God would be announced to all nations "as a witness" (verse 14, Revised Authorized Version).
   In Luke's account of this same prophecy (Luke 21), Jesus warned: "For these be the days of vengeance, that ALL things which are written may be fulfilled" (verse 22). If you simply lift this statement out of the Bible by itself, it might have no clear meaning. But if you honestly look in God's prophecies to see which nations God intends to punish in the latter days and why, then the picture becomes clear.
   Continuing in Luke: "... for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people" (verse 23). This is speaking nationally, but of whom? Many assume this was only a prophecy for the first century A.D. and for the Jewish nation under the Romans.

What Jeremiah's Prophecy Reveals

   The prophet Jeremiah wrote more than 100 years after the ancient northern 10 tribes of the house of Israel were taken into captivity and lost from world view. Yet he prophesied a future punishment that would strike their descendants as well as the Jews (Jer. 30:4).
   Many do not yet realize that the ancient patriarch Jacob had his name changed to Israel. Yet the term Jacob is often used for his descendants. And it is also important to understand that when God prophesies against Israel and Judah, two different peoples are included. It is not only the Jews of whom he is speaking! If you do not yet understand this vital truth, send immediately for a free copy of our fascinating book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
   Now, back to Jeremiah 30. In verse 7, God describes a time of absolute terror soon to fall upon our peoples. He declares: "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble.... "
   Here is clearly delineated the same time period of which Jesus spoke in his prophecy. For there cannot be two such "worst ever" times of trouble. Yet, describing the coming crisis, Jesus specifically states:. "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21).
   The tribulation, then, falls on Jacob's descendants — not only the Jews who descend from Jacob's son Judah, but also the British Commonwealth and the United States who have shared the promises of national greatness and blessings bestowed on Jacob's birthright son Joseph, but who have FAILED to honor God in the responsibilities he has conferred! Continuing in Jeremiah 30: "For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck... " (verse 8). A terrible "yoke" of national servitude is prophesied for our nations unless we truly repent of our national and personal sins and turn to God!
   After being released from this national captivity by the returning Messiah, our peoples, along with the Jews, "shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them". (verse 9). It is the time of the resurrection! King David. will once again RULE over the reunited people of Israel and Judah (see Ezekiel 37:16-24). What a remarkable turn of events that will be for the children of Israel and all the peoples of the earth, who will also be delivered by the Messiah!
   In Jeremiah 3:18, God describes the time after Jesus Christ's (the Messiah's) return: "In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel [two presently SEPARATE peoples], and they shall come together [now reunited] out of the land of the north to the land that I have given... " (RAV).
   Nearly all of the prophecies describing Israel AND Judah at Christ's return show them in a condition of servitude from which he will deliver them, then reunite them and teach them HIS WAYS that they have forsaken! (See Hosea 1:11, Zechariah 8:13, 10:6-9.)

A Fundamental Prophecy

   But what about the events of the next several years leading up to the crisis at the close of this world's civilization?
   A little understood but foundational prophecy giving many details is set forth in Leviticus 26 and its companion chapter, Deuteronomy 28. These prophecies are speaking to the descendants of the patriarch — all 12 tribes of the house of Israel. They detail what God WILL DO to his people if they turn aside and forsake his way.
   In Leviticus 26:3-12, God sets forth the blessings we could have if our peoples sincerely turned to God, kept his commandments and served him from the heart. Then in verses 14 and 16, God warns our people: "But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments... I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague [fevers], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it."
   This prophesied time of national crisis began for Britain, America and much of Northwestern Europe in the Great War of 1914 to 1918. It was indeed during and right after that war that the terrible flu epidemics and similar outbreaks caused millions of deaths in addition to the war deaths.
   In World Wars I and II, the farmers of France, Belgium, Holland and Norway did "sow their seed in vain." For occupying armies either ruined the crops or confiscated them.
   "Ye shall be slain before your enemies" (verse 17). The millions of dead troops in both world wars are a mute testimony that God was beginning to allow the punishment of the people to whom he had given the choicest material blessings on the earth.
   But did our nations REPENT and truly begin to seek the living GOD?
   While viewing a massive, impressive old church building in Boston on the east coast of England, I asked the verger when was the last time this structure, which could hold more than 2,000 worshipers, was filled with people. The old gentleman got a faraway look and a glint of tears in his eyes as he answered: "Why, it was on the Sunday right after Dunkirk," he said. "People poured into the churches everywhere in England because they knew it was a miracle."
   "How many people now attend here?" I asked.
   His eyes saddened. "Oh, only about 75 to 100 on average."
   "Mainly older women?"
   "Yes, that's right."
   Do you think GOD is impressed by a people who cry out to him only when they are in terrible trouble?
   Think about it!

Our National Paralysis Prophesied

   God continues in Leviticus 26: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass" (verses 18-19).
   God decreed that if we did not truly repent after the sufferings of two world wars, he would continue to discipline our peoples. Notice! He did not say he would immediately take away our power. God said he would take away our "pride" of power, our courage. our national will and resolve to USE the power we still have!
   Former U.S. President Richard Nixon, in his book The Real War. was moved to comment, "The United States appears so lost in uncertainty or paralyzed by propriety that it is either unable or unwilling to act." Later in this same book, Mr. Nixon observes: "America's failures of will in recent years have been partly the product of weariness after nearly 40 years of bearing the burdens of world leadership. They clearly result in part from the traumas of Vietnam and Watergate. But more fundamentally, they reflect the failures of America's leadership class. Too many of those who profess to be the guardians of our ideals have instead become the architects of our retreat."

A Worsening Scenario

   Reading carefully the foundational prophecy in Leviticus 26, notice that after each series of events God pauses to see if we will repent. If not, then he adds further and stronger punishment!
   So in verses 21-22, God says he will send "plagues" as punishment in addition to our nations' paralysis of will and the unexpected consequences of drought — witness the awesome damage to crops this past year!
   Finally, God says in Leviticus 26:28 that if we still won't repent, "I also will walk contrary to you in fury" (RAV). The nations' cities will be destroyed (verse 31), and the people will be taken into servitude by the conquering invader.
   Referring to these end-time events, Jesus Christ admonished: "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" (Luke 21:36).
   This utter destruction will come in OUR DAY in the form of a nuclear attack and perhaps direct — energy weapons — now being feverishly developed in several nations — if the nations that descend from the so-called lost 10 tribes of the ancient house of Israel do not repent of their sins.
   Only in such a human crisis will people wake up, it seems. Then God will remember his people Israel and Judah in the concentration camps: "And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them" (Zech. 10:6).
   When these events transpire — and they WILL come just as surely as tomorrow's sun — then the nations will remember that we WARNED them ahead of time and they will come back weeping and repenting and begin to SEEK God with all their heart (Jer. 31:7-9).
   What wonderful good news is coming! The tragedy is we could experience it now, but we have refused to go the way that will ultimately bring about the coming world of peace and spiritual understanding.

Back To Top

Plain Truth MagazineMarch 1984Vol 49, No.3
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services   |   Video Groups   |   2016 Feast of Tabernacles   |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - Mobile Site
Copyright © 2016 Herbert W Armstrong Library
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church of God dissolved after Mr. Armstrong's death in January 1986.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.