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Is a New Dark Age Coming?
Plain Truth Magazine
January 1984
Volume: Vol 49, No.1
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Is a New Dark Age Coming?
Michael A Snyder

As we turn the calendar to 1984, are we closing in on the Orwellian nightmare?

   CURRENT events are taking a serious turn for the worse.
   Have you considered why almost no world leaders understand the causes of today's problems — and their solutions?
   Throughout the dark days of World War II a man today known as George Orwell committed to paper what he believed would be the final "achievement" of humanity.

A Book That Shook the World

   His book bore the title of the new calendar year: 1984. Orwell (his real name was Eric Blair) caught the fancy of many readers with his best-selling 1984, which has since become the standard definition for extreme mental and physical oppression.
   Orwell was born in the Third World. He was reared in poverty. Despite his humble beginnings, he worked hard and was beginning to be widely recognized for his literary greatness when he prematurely died.
   Was Orwell's 1984 warning of a new terrible dark age genuine human insight into the final stages of this world's civilization? Let us see, as we review his work.
   George Orwell's novel is centered in England, where in that isle by 1984 is headquartered an extreme socialistic philosophy that dominates the United States, Latin America and what was once the British Empire. Orwell vividly paints the scene of a world-ruling empire that enslaves humanity rather than frees it.
   As it turned out, it was not in England that this philosophy literally took root. But let us follow the story thread of the novel anyway. In this setting Orwell placed his character Winston Smith. Smith is a balding, middle-aged INGSOC party member (INGSOC is short for English Socialism). Throughout the pages of the novel Winston Smith weakly plots a pathetic, ineffectual rebellion against "Big Brother" — the symbolic leader of the oppressive society.
   Winston Smith fails abysmally in his rebellion.
   The novel closes with Winston's complete capitulation to INGSOC philosophy. "Anything could be true," he finally thinks in his broken mind. "The so-called laws of nature were nonsense," Winston mutters. "Whatever happens in all minds, truly happens."

A Solemn Warning?

   1984 is not pleasant reading. It has shaken the faith of many in humanity's ability to survive and preserve good over evil. Numerous literary critics believe Orwell meant the novel as a warning.
   Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm writes: "The mood it expresses is that of near despair about the future of man, and the warning is that unless the course of history changes, men all over the world will lose their most human qualities, will become soulless automatons, and will not even be aware of it."
   In his novel Orwell sums up his own thoughts through his character Winston Smith: "He had still, he reflected, not learned the ultimate secret. He understood how. He did not understand why."
   In this fictional world, knowledge of the past is completely lost. Nobody really knows where humans came from, where they're going or what kind of government will produce the good that humans long for.
   Would anyone dare believe that such a loss of understanding could actually happen in the real world?
   It has!
   The amazing fact is that it did happen — vital knowledge of humanity's true origins, of humanity's awesome purpose and of the one government that will. bring us peace, was suppressed and nearly irretrievably lost.
   And it happened centuries before George Orwell ever walked the face of the earth!

An Astounding Fact!

   Although George Orwell was known to hate cruelty and injustice, he held out little hope for humanity. He could not understand why things had become so bad in this century.
   Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a literary giant profoundly familiar with the ravages of both disinformation and war, does significantly understand. He declared the reason before British royalty: "The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short-lived value. It has become embarrassing to appeal to eternal concepts, embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system."
   The principal cause of 20th century evils? "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened," Mr. Solzhenitsyn said.
   Yes, humanity, pathetically deceived about the true causes of evil, wonders why the nuclear sword of Damocles hovers malevolently overhead, why poverty and crime seem unconquerable, why thousands each year die needlessly in war, why divorce rates spiral upward, why thousands starve daily. Orwell was among those who wondered.
It has become embarrassing to appeal to eternal concepts, embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system.... Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
   In intellectual vanity, humanity as a whole refuses to consider that we have brought evils on ourselves by turning our backs on our Creator and his laws! All of this could have been avoided had humanity not rejected and suppressed the now — neglected and nearly forgotten revealed knowledge of God.
   Orwell would have been astounded if he had known how suppressed and how profound is the answer to Winston Smith's problems! This suppressed knowledge centers on government — the government of God that we announce in the pages of The Plain Truth.
   Do you know what it would be like if this world were ruled by the government and laws of God instead of modern variations on Orwell's INGSOC? Humanity has never been able to discover a government that rules perfectly over all men and women even though philosophers and statesmen have penned millions of words about perfect government.
   Few are courageous enough to admit that they never found it. Orwell's character Winston Smith never found it.
   But an authoritative announcement concerning the only true, perfect government did come. And, believe it or not, that same good news was virtually snuffed out almost as soon as it began to become known!
   Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came nearly 2,000 years ago to deliver that message of perfect government. It was called the "good news," or gospel (which is simply an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "good message"). Jesus Christ himself declared his purpose on earth: "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God... for I was sent for this purpose" (Luke 4:43, RSV).
   And deliver it he did!
   What was that pure, unadulterated gospel message that was successfully suppressed for nearly 1,900 years after Christ's resurrection?
   The vast majority of humanity do not realize that in addition to being the announcer of this all-important yet rarely heard message of the government of God, Jesus Christ is also its soon-coming head! This was authoritatively prophesied in Isaiah 9:6-7: "Unto us a Son is given; and the government [of God] will be upon His shoulder.... Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end... to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever" (RAV).
   Few want to believe or are aware that Christ is soon returning as the literal "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16; Matt. 24:30)! And even fewer realize — including the author and most readers of 1984 — the degree to which this message was nearly completely suppressed!

The Unknown Suppression

   The apostle Paul warned that there were those "who suppress the truth" (Rom. 1:18, RAV).
   Within half a century of Christ's First Coming, the powerful announcement of the kingdom of God — the only answer to Winston Smith's nightmarish dilemma — was severely diluted into a confusing mixture of religious mishmash.
   Several theories about the nature and purpose of life were extant at the time Paul wrote. Some thinkers participated in a kind of theological and philosophical smorgasbord. That is, they took a little of one belief and mixed it with a little of another belief until they had a homogenized conglomeration that bore little resemblance to the original gospel message!
   That's why Paul thundered to the Galatian congregation, a church he personally raised up: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon... to a different gospel, which is not another [authoritative message]...."
   Paul knew the reason: "There are some who... want to pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal. 1:6-7, RAV). Shortly after Paul's death, the knowledge of God's real purpose for humanity was nearly smothered to death — and the world entered a spiritual dark age for nearly 19 full centuries. This dark age — as you can see from the centuries of anguish that have ensued — cast humanity in painful bonds as tragic as those that Orwell conceived.
   Thank God that this age of spiritual oppression — the nearly 1,900 years of suppressed truth — will end forever! Your eyes even at this moment are witness to this fact.

Oppression Will End

   Jesus knew that his message of government would be suppressed. But he also determined that the time would come when his original unadulterated message would be thundered across this globe.
   The exciting aspect of this foreknowledge is that this prophesied event barely precedes the actual reestablishment of God's kingdom upon earth. Jesus himself thus declared: "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end [Greek: alon — this "age" of man, not this physical globe] will come" (Matt. 24:14, RAV).
   However, the full knowledge of God will not blanket the earth until Christ returns and the government of God is fully restored. At that time "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9, RSV).

What's to Come

   What kind of world will God's government produce? Catch this glimpse of that wonderful future! "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.... Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs" (Isa. 35:1, 5-7, NIV).
   This government will be headed by none other than Jesus Christ himself. There won't be the ugly, mind-sapping 1984 — like disinformation that this world spews forth daily. It simply won't be allowed! No more will people attempt to suppress the truth of God: "And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest..." (Jer. 31:34, RSV).
   But before the long ongoing period of spiritual deception fully ends, humanity will taste to the full what Orwell feared. Orwell, as one writer put it, was convinced "that modern man [is] inadequate to I cope with the demands of his history."
   Indeed, the Orwellian INGSOC will appear in form. The Bible prophesies a terrible time soon to come (Matt. 24:21) — a short dark age of religious and political persecution. God, however, will not allow it to last long — humanity will not lapse again into centuries of deception and oppression.
   This prophesied period of pain and persecution soon to come will be cut short in a series of events that will convince humanity of the folly of rejecting God. Humanity will learn, as Orwell faintly glimpsed, that man is indeed unable to "cope with the demands of his history."
   You need to understand the principles that this coming government rests on. You need to understand why this world can't find them for itself, and suffers the terrible pain of unhappiness, poverty and war as a consequence.
   This article only touches the tip of the profound, yet simple truths revealed in your Bible. Unlike many in this world, you can, if you are willing, understand both the how and the why that often seems so elusive.
   If you're truly interested in the purpose of human life and why humanity is in — such incredible confusion, we invite you to write for two free publications.
   We have available, free of charge to you, the full-length book The Incredible Human Potential. Also available for free is the book The Wonderful World Tomorrow - What It Will Be Like. It is also free of charge.
   These books, written by Editor in Chief Herbert W. Armstrong, provide the revealed truth that humanity desperately needs. You can know how you can avoid the brief Orwellian dark age that humanity is destined to bring upon itself, given its present trend.
   God help you to understand!

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Plain Truth MagazineJanuary 1984Vol 49, No.1
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