Personal from Herbert W Armstrong We've heard so much bad news that some wonderfully GOOD NEWS soon to come ought to be welcome! And IT IS SURE! Many do not realize it, but many prophecies in the Bible apply literally to the nations of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa today — and even to the nations of WESTERN EUROPE! To understand, you need to read our free booklet The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy. It shows you exactly WHERE we are mentioned in the biblical prophecies! These prophecies turn the searchlight on our countries TODAY. They pull no punches! They describe our EVILS and their causes. And then, in this same Bible, the Book of God, it tells us how we are to be FORGIVEN by an all-loving and merciful GOD — our ways changed — and tells of the wonders, the glories, the peace, happiness, joy, and abundant and universal well-being that are coming — and not only to our nations, but to all nations! Men are not like God. Men do not often return good for evil. But you and I now live in the very generation when this good news is coming! I was riding in a car in New Delhi, India, one day. It seemed a strange sight. Cows were walking leisurely all over the streets, and in the sidewalks beside the streets. "Don't these cows all belong to somebody?" I asked my driver. "Oh yes, they belong to many different owners," he answered. "But how do the owners find their own cows and herd them into their own sheds at night?" "Oh," he answered, "they don't. Many would not even know which cows are theirs. But each cow knows its owner and where it belongs at night." Immediately I thought of a prophecy God gave about OUR PEOPLE: " HEAR, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the ETERNAL hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but... my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the ETERNAL, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint" (Isa. 1:2-5). Back in the days of Moses, God put a proposition — a proposal of marriage — to Israel. He offered them a COVENANT (known as the "Old Covenant") which was actually a MARRIAGE covenant, and at the same time set up those Israelites delivered out of Egyptian slavery as one of the world's nations. They became GOD'S nation. Upon obedience to His government's laws, they were promised they would become the wealthiest, most powerful, most peaceful and happy nation on earth. He gave them NO spiritual promises of salvation or eternal life, but supreme NATIONAL promises — above all nations. But what does God through Jeremiah say of His "wife's" conduct? "... Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers [military allies]; yet return again to me, saith the ETERNAL [implying forgiveness and receiving His "wife" back upon repentance]. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places [places of idolatrous worship], and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them... and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.... thou refusedst to be ashamed. Will he [God] reserve his anger for ever? Will he keep it to the end?" (Jer. 3:1-3, 5.) Let's stop right here and UNDERSTAND this. We have a CREATION — this earth, our moon, the other planets of our solar system with our sun. Our solar system is a small part of a GALAXY. There are thousands of other galaxies far, far off in space — each with its suns, which appear as small stars to us because of their tremendous distance. The physical universe is ENDLESS — greater than our minds can grasp. A CREATION demands the preexistence of a CREATOR. There was PLANNING, design — PURPOSE. There is a REASON for what the Creator did. This earth, as only a FEW know, originally was populated by angels. But there was PURPOSE! Great accomplishment was planned for them. This of course demanded law and order — harmony — all pulling together for their grand accomplishment. So the CREATOR set over them a GOVERNMENT — HIS government, with His constitution and LAWS. God's LAWS were — and are — a WAY OF LIFE; the way of LOVE — outgoing concern for the welfare of others; the way of peace, harmony, helping, serving, sharing. But the angels sinned (II Pet. 2:4). They rebelled, rejected GOD'S government, and adopted the way of GET, which is vanity, lust and greed, jealousy and envy, competition, strife and violence, resentment and rebellion against authority. This brought disaster to the earth which these angels could have developed and improved. In six days God "renewed the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30), prepared it for man. God created humankind, male and female, to reproduce and bring forth the human family, made of matter from the ground; made in the image, likeness (form and shape) of GOD HIMSELF; made for a special relationship with God; made with the potential of being begotten and BORN into the very GOD FAMILY. The first created man, Adam, was instructed in and offered, by personal teaching directly from GOD, the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, which Adam could have restored to earth, and he could have received the fantastic, awesome potential of being BORN INTO THE GOD FAMILY, restoring the WHOLE VAST ENDLESS UNIVERSE! But such a grand and awesome potential could be possible only in peace, harmony, working together with mutual CONCERN for one another, and OBEDIENCE to the guiding LAWS OF GOD. Adam then also listened to the former Lucifer, superarchangel RULING over the sinning angels — his name now changed to Satan the devil. Adam, for his offspring and the entire HUMAN FAMILY, rejected God's government and guidance, chose to decide for himself the WAY TO GO, chose to decide right from wrong by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and thus CUT HIMSELF OFF from God. Satan, powerful beyond human recognition, an invisible spirit, has deceived the entire human race, leading them into the WAY of GET. Upon Adam's rejection of God's government, God adopted a hands-off policy for 6,000 years, allowing MAN to DEMONSTRATE that the GET way can lead only to trouble, evils, pain and suffering, anguish, frustration, confusion, failure and DEATH. God's great PURPOSE is to build into mankind His holy and righteous character, so that man will turn to the WAY of LOVE or GIVE, and NEVER again turn to the WAY OF GET.
God is about to prove, by 1,000 years of His rule under the give philosophy of love, that it is the only way to universal peace, happiness, success, desirable accomplishment, and well-being.
Part of God's MASTER PLAN for working out His purpose was to call the nation ISRAEL. He called them and delivered them out of Egyptian SLAVERY, promised them that HIS WAY of LOVE and GIVE — the way of His LAWS and HIS GOVERNMENT — would automatically payoff; make them the most prosperous, most successful, most blessed, most powerful, most happy nation on earth. Hence, the marriage covenant that set them up as one of the world's NATIONS. But they clung to Satan's way of GET. God has allotted 6,000 years to man for this experiment of PROVING by human experience that the fruits of the GET way result only in total failure, unhappiness, discontent, anguish, suffering and death. God sent Jesus Christ to earth, begotten by God Almighty, born human of a human mother, to proclaim the GOOD NEWS (gospel) of the KINGDOM OF GOD: the restoration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth — after the 6,000 years. First, however, Jesus, after living a perfect sinless life, met and conquered Satan, and thus QUALIFIED to reestablish God's GOVERNMENT. Then He called and taught His apostles in the ANNOUNCEMENT of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD, and He Himself went forth announcing it. The humanity of the Promised Land of Israel of that day REJECTED His message, rejected GOD'S GOVERNMENT — as the angels had done, as Adam had done. They CRUCIFIED Jesus, who gave His sinless life in payment for human sins. God raised Him from the dead, making eternal life possible for MAN. He ascended to God's throne of the universe in heaven, where He has been since as the HIGH PRIEST of those CALLED out of humanity to accept HIS WAY — His GOVERNMENT — to REPENT of the GET way of sin, and to turn to God voluntarily, beseeching Him to develop in them His holy and righteous character. At the END of that 6,000 years, God knew the GET way of a man-made society swayed invisibly by Satan would bring man to the brink of cosmocide — to the point where he could create the powers of MASS DESTRUCTION that would blast all human life from this planet! At that time, the merciful Almighty GOD of LOVE will intervene at the very last minute; He will PREVENT man from erasing all humanity from the earth; He will save mankind ALIVE. He will send Jesus Christ in supreme almighty power and glory to take over and RULE over all mankind — to once again restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth. Now back to ancient ISRAEL. God gave them a SPECIAL CHANCE to live under His GOVERNMENT and by His WAYS, in order to PROVE that those ways will bring success, prosperity, happiness, joy and abundance to any people who will live that way of love. But Israel FAILED. We reached by 1933 the beginning of the very generation during which Christ will return to reestablish the government of God. That year-1933 — God conferred on me the STAGGERING GREAT COMMISSION to take the GOOD NEWS — the ANNOUNCEMENT of the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD — to all the world for a witness to ALL NATIONS, just before the END of today's civilization, built by a Satan-guided humanity. Man has formed his OWN kind of governments and sought to GOVERN HIMSELF, rejecting GOD'S RULE over him. Today we are in world trouble greater than ever before in human history. Governments of men are being overthrown at the rate of one a month. Crime has never been so great. Marriage and family life are falling apart. Sickness and disease and mental illness have reached the highest point in humanity's history. And weapons of mass destruction have been developed in the past 40 years that can erase all human life from the earth! Now notice in further prophecies what GOD said in giving HOPE to ancient Israel — and it applies to us today: "Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the ETERNAL; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the ETERNAL, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the ETERNAL thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the ETERNAL. Turn, 0 backsliding children, saith the ETERNAL; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion [this is a prophecy for OUR TIME, after the U.S., Britain, etc. have gone into a yet future-soon-to-occur-captivity]: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.... At that time they shall call Jerusalem the THRONE OF THE ETERNAL; and ALL the NATIONS shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the ETERNAL, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart [attitude of GET]. In those days the house of JUDAH [the Jewish people] shall walk with the house of Israel [the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Western European nations], and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers" (Jer. 3:12-15, 17-18). God has a tremendous PURPOSE He is fulfilling. For almost 6,000 years now, He has demonstrated, by keeping hands off except in a few instances necessary for His purpose, that humanity, REJECTING God's rule and GOD'S GOVERNMENT and forming its OWN governments under the sway of the invisible and unrealized Satan, IS INCAPABLE OF GOVERNING ITSELF; that living by the self-centered GET way is NOT good for us and brings only unhappiness, failure, suffering, frustration, destruction and DEATH. Now God is about to PROVE, by 1,000 years of HIS RULE under the GIVE philosophy of love, that it is the ONLY way to universal PEACE, happiness, success, DESIRABLE accomplishment, well-being and joyfulness. There is a REASON for today's tragic worldwide EVILS. There is a CAUSE for every effect. That is the lesson the Creator God is teaching by 6,000 years of actual EXPERIENCE. And through the lessons mankind is learning by experiencing cause and effect, God is DEVELOPING perfect, holy and righteous CHARACTER in human beings — REPRODUCING HIMSELF — making us His own very CHILDREN, finally to be BORN into the GOD FAMILY! Notice a little of the GOOD NEWS of the world that will start in THIS VERY GENERATION: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse...." Jesse was the human father of King David of Judah. David was the "stem" that came-out of Jesse. Jesus Christ was a descendant of David, and therefore is the "ROD" of this prophecy. In other words, "CHRIST shall come forth." Continuing, "... and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." The "roots" of Jesse is GOD, and the "BRANCH" that grew out of His roots, therefore, also is CHRIST (Isa. 11:1). Now continuing in verses 2-5: "And the spirit of the ETERNAL shall rest upon him [Christ], the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the ETERNAL; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the ETERNAL: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." This is speaking of CHRIST as KING of kings, RULER OF THE WORLD, restoring the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to earth — yet in THIS PRESENT GENERATION. It is speaking of the seventh millennium since Adam, following the EVIL 6,000 years to END in our present generation. Truly, we are in the very end time. Now continue the prophecy, describing the thousand years SOON to start: "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (verse 6). What a picture of PEACE and contentment — wild animals tamed! Continue: "And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw [hay] like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp [a small African cobra], and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' [serpent's] den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the ETERNAL... "How FULL? "... as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [Christ], which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it [Christ] shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the ETERNAL shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people.... And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah [the Jews] from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Ephraim [Britain] shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim" (verses 7-13). Now continue in Isaiah, chapter 12. Note the GOOD NEWS coming! "And in that day thou shalt say, O ETERNAL, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD ETERNAL is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore WITH JOY shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation" (verses 1-3). That is the time God will set out to "save" the world spiritually — salvation with eternal life! Continue in verses 4-6: "And in that day shall ye say, Praise the ETERNAL, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. SING unto the ETERNAL; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and SHOUT, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee." In Isaiah 14, speaking of an evil human type of Satan at a time in the very near future: "He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. THE WHOLE EARTH IS AT REST, AND IS QUIET: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us" (verses 6-8). Just one more glimpse into the wonderful WORLD TOMORROW, at its very beginning. At His coming as KING of kings to rule, Christ's "feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives" (Zech. 14:4). "And it shall be in that day, that living waters [the Holy Spirit) shall go out from Jerusalem.... And the ETERNAL shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.... And men shall dwell in it [Jerusalem], and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited" (verses 8-9, 11). Today we live in the most terrifying time of human history. It will get WORSE. Then God will step in. Then PEACE shall come!