Where are they all gone — these former heads of government — all of whom I knew — some warmly, affectionately! Why are they gone? What does it all mean? This world was not like this when I was a young man.
VERY FEW MEN in this world know personally as many heads of government as I. Yet I am absolutely AMAZED at how short a period of time most of them last. Many have a tenure in office — if they stay healthy — of only four to six years. Many die in office. Some are assassinated — others shot down in a military coup or violent overthrow of government. Some are forced to resign due to alleged misconduct in office. I think over in my mind about many I have known, some closely and intimately — now GONE! One was Prime Minister Eisaku Sato of Japan. He and I had a personal agreement we would throw away a year annually — to become one year younger each year. And also, as he said to me, "One of us must live into the 21st century, so to have lived into THREE CENTURIES — and that must be you, Mr. Armstrong, because I was born in this century." Before he died last year, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. There was Prime Minister Tanaka of Japan, now under alleged bribery charges, forced to resign. I had acquaintance with him before and during office. There was Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, taken prisoner in a military coup which overthrew his long-established government. He died in military custody. There was President Allende of Chile, machine-gunned in the back in the very room where I had a private conference with members of his staff. There was President Rahman of Bangladesh, assassinated in an overthrow of his poverty-stricken, illiteracy-cursed country. There was the king of Afghanistan, whom I was invited to visit, but who was overthrown and driven to European exile before my visit could be arranged. There have been others, affectionate friends of mine, whose terms of office have expired, such as V. V. Giri, ex-President of India. And many more, still in office. I think mine one of the rarest experiences in world history. And now, even since writing the words above, Prime Minister Thanin Kraivichien of Thailand has been driven from office in a military coup which overthrew the Thai government. He is being held in "protective custody." Three weeks before this military coup, I had a private meeting with him in his office in Bangkok, and that night he sat next to me at a banquet. There was President Suleiman Franjieh of Lebanon, with whom I was spending a day at his summer mountain home, at the time of the Allende assassination in Santiago, Chile. President Franjieh fought desperately on, in the bloody civil war in Lebanon, until forced to "resign" — at least officially. And what Now? As I write, in a spa near Rome, the Sunday morning Daily American front-page headline says: "Christians Seize South Lebanon Garrison Town" — the disastrous civil war still continues in Lebanon. Other front-page news that appeared as I was writing these words: "Smith [of Rhodesia] Wants Kissinger in Geneva to Untie Rhodesia's Transition Knots." I had stopped off here near Rome, waiting for a scheduled meeting between myself and Prime Minister Ian Smith in Salisbury last November 1st. His emergency meeting at Geneva postponed that meeting. I proceeded on to Johannesburg and other South Africa cities instead. A recent issue of Time had a story on the granting of freedom to the ALL BLACK NEW STATE of Transkei on the eastern coast of South Africa, last October 26th. There was a great celebration at Umtata, the new capital of Transkei. Its new head of state is Chief Minister Kaiser D. Matanzima. He flew in to Johannesburg for an hour-and-a-half private talk with me and Mr. Stanley Rader (my chief assistant) last June. He invited us to the opening celebration, but we preferred another private talk with him after he would be officially in office. Just look at the STATE OF THE WORLD, TODAY! Just WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Current news headlines — look at the significance — a WHOLE WORLD ON FIRE — fast approaching the final SUPREME END-TIME CRISIS at the END OF THIS PRESENT WORLD! TODAY'S front-page news headlines — Paris edition of New York Herald-Tribune — and Daily American of Rome: "Hua Hailed as Leader: Leftist Bid 'Shattered.' " (That's the great political CRISIS in the world's largest nation, China) "Right Dominates New Thai Cabinet — Military Men Hold Two Key Posts." (Hopefully, the new government will get settled down so that I may yet visit Bangkok on the return of this present trip) "President of Ireland Resigns Over Antiterrorism Laws." "Rhodesian-Britain Talks Informally in Germany." (Ian Smith's presence there postponed my personal talk with him in Salisbury scheduled for November 1st) "War Continues in South Lebanon." It's WAR, CIVIL WAR, and VIOLENCE — EVERYWHERE ON EARTH! It's in Europe, Asia, Africa. And South America is in tense states of crises. The world DOES NOT REALIZE! The world takes this VIOLENCE EVERYWHERE as a matter of course. It has increased on us gradually. We seem to suppose it is the natural state of affairs. It ISN'T. I see these heads of state personally. I see them IN TROUBLE. And, soon, I get news that THEY ARE DEAD! Men I KNOW! Men with whom I have had private talks! I cannot keep up with it! Doors open so that the warning MESSAGE of the CREATOR GOD may be taken into these nations — then the GOVERNMENT IS OVERTURNED! This is disconcerting — actually FRIGHTENING! Because I know what all this MEANS! Perhaps it is not REAL to you. You have not KNOWN these men in a close, personal way, as I have. It has struck CLOSE to me! When you lose a loved one, you weep — you are shaken — upset all over. My dear readers, THIS IS JUST AS REAL. Can I make you realize that? And, whether you realize it or not, it is just as REAL as it seems to me. For what it portends as ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN SOON TO STRIKE IS GOING TO AFFECT YOU, personally, just as much as me — and perhaps a LOT MORE TERRIFYINGLY unless you are as READY as I. It means THE END of this world, as organized, IS UPON us! God Almighty sent Jonah to warn the Gentile city of NINEVEH! They HEEDED his warning. And the destruction did not come, BECAUSE God saw their deep repentance — their turning from their evil ways — He heard their desperate PRAYERS asking for MERCY! But God said that if He sends a prophet (as He now sends me to warn You) that You, people of America, Canada, Britain, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa WILL NOT HEED! SO, if you DON'T, then I tell you IT IS CERTAIN TO HAPPEN — TO YOU! Let me give you a picture of it from GOD'S OWN WORD, as GOD HIMSEI1HAD IT PICTURED! "HOWL YE; for the DAY OF THE LORD is at hand; it shall come as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: and they SHALL BE AFRAID: PANGS AND SORROWS shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be AMAZED one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the DAY OF THE LORD cometh, CRUEL both With WRATH and FIERCE ANGER, TO LAY THE LAND DESOLATE: and he shall DESTROY the sinners thereof out of it" (Isa. 13:6-9). Dear readers of mine, I hope you realize mine is not an easy job. I have to wonder what has become of former President Thieu of South Vietnam. I knew him when he was in office — chatted with him an hour. I heard he escaped, just as the Reds were taking over Saigon. Then I wonder where are Senator Pauline of the South Vietnam government, her husband and family whom I learned to love so dearly? I heard they escaped, and are safe somewhere — I know not WHERE! These tragic conditions all over this world strike DEEP into my HEART! They MEAN something REAL to me. I KNOW what they mean. All I can do for you is WARN YOU. In JESUS CHRIST is your only hope and SAFETY! I can't do YOUR repenting, and YOUR praying for you. Don't think these world happenings now are just ROUTINE world news. They are GOD'S LOVING WARNING to us of the fast-coming SUPREME CRISIS at the END of this world's society, civilization, government — man's whole evil SYSTEM. Then, afterward, shall come the HAPPY, PEACEFUL WORLD TOMORROW, ruled by the GOVERNMENT OF THE LIVING GOD! I travel in all parts of the world as an ambassador for WORLD PEACE. But I know I myself cannot bring about PEACE. I am merely Christ's ADVANCE ambassador, PREPARING THE WAY!