Herbert W Armstrong Library
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   And greetings everybody. Speaking to so many of you, scattered coast to coast in the United States and in Canada from British Columbia, back as far as the middle west and appearing live on large movie screens brings to my mind now something about when the first telephone was used. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, said when he heard the first voice over telephone over some distance, a long distance, he exclaimed with great awe "what hath God wrought?" And if I did speak to all the English-speaking feast sites in the United States and Canada last October, I felt then and I feel again now, a sense of great awe as I say, 'what hath God wrought?'

Advancement in Transportation and Communication

   Do you realize brethren, the awe inspiring means of transportation and of communication that God has made available to us today to close out His work on this earth and to reach the whole world with His gospel?
   The early apostles in the first century had a very small world compared to the world now; only a fraction as many people. And it was centred mostly around the Middle East and over into southern Europe. It required seventeen or more apostles and that wasn't enough to really cover it. But they had to travel mostly afoot or by a sailboat which was propelled only if there was a breeze.
   Now today, I can go to the other side of the earth and fly back to Tucson …well, I did only just a couple or three weeks ago. Leaving Tokyo, after I had visited China. And I left Tokyo after the four days of speaking to Chinese leaders. I left Tokyo about six o'clock on a Sunday evening and I arrived before I started. I arrived here in Tucson, Arizona at two thirty the same Sunday afternoon. Of course, I had crossed the International Date Line on the way, which gave me a little bit of help.
   But that reminds me about the old joke about one saying he could run faster than the other fellow and he said "well when I run the hundred yard dash, I arrives before I starts." And I was just thinking that I arrived back here really, in just a single airplane ride, almost half way around the earth.
   Well I have many important things that I need to say to you right now. This is the fifth day of the new decade and I wonder if you realize this may be the last decade of this world as we know it. Now we've entered the eighties and we may well see the finish of God's work during this decade. Very, very possible, if not actually likely. More of that later.

Satan's Attempt to Destroy God's Work

   But first, one year ago, day before yesterday, Satan launched his most massive blow, up to date, to destroy the work of the Supreme Almighty God by the massive invasion of the legal arm of the largest state in the United States, the state of California.
   Now Jesus said "if they had persecuted me, they will persecute you" and I had known all along that we were destined to be persecuted.
   And I wonder if you realize that it is nearly always the power of human government that the government of this world has set up that are the persecutors of God and the work of God and it has been that way for six thousand years. Soldiers of the Roman government crucified Jesus Christ. Of course the pressure was brought on them from the Pharisees, who were in the lower echelon under the Roman government and serving the government and they had demanded His crucifixion.

Back to the Beginning

   But let's go back now to the time of Adam. Adam's wife listened to Satan and transmitted it on to Adam and rejected the Government of God. God had been talking to Adam and Eve and He explained all about the Government of God; how it had been in force on the earth under angels, but the angels had rejected it and had turned traitor to the Government of God.
   Now Adam had a chance to restore that Government of God on the earth. But he believed what Satan said when he said "you will not surely die" when God has said "you will surely die" if you take of this forbidden fruit. And so, God said to Adam and Eve, in effect, when He drove them out of the Garden of Eden and He barred entrance back into the Garden of Eden…and He said, in effect, "You are the pioneers of all the human race. The entire race of humanity will came out of and from you. You have rejected Me. You have rejected Me as your God. Go form your own religions. You have rejected Me as the foundation of learning and of knowledge, so form your own knowledge."
   And that's what we have in the colleges and universities today. And it's full of more fables and lies than it is of truth. And then he said, "Go form your own governments." That is what man has done. And we have the governments of man; all over this earth and every one of them has been influenced and practically set up by Satan. Now, man has formed his own governments but Satan has influenced them.
   It was the government of Egypt that enslaved God's people Israel. And God said, through Moses, "Let my people go." And today, the United States is saying to the people in Iran "Let my people go." But they are not paying any heed and we're not doing anything about it. Now when God said "Let My people go", to Egypt, He did something about it. And with miracles, He got His people out of the land of Egypt. And He saw to it that He got them out of there.
   Well, we say there's no way we can do anything and we're not doing anything. Well, I'm going to come back to that a little later and show you what is the situation in a moment over in Iran and in the neighboring countries over there and in Russia.

Satan's Attempt to Destroy God's Church

   Now Satan tried to destroy Jesus as an infant and later, he tried to destroy Him before He could preach a word when He was about thirty years of age.
   And now, if you will turn to John in the New Testament. John the tenth chapter and verse thirty nine. {1}
   John 10:39 Therefore they sought [the Pharisees sought] again to take Jesus: but he escaped out of their hand.
   Now we have many people in the church, a few, I don't mean many; I mean a few; and there have been a few ministers that are now ex-ministers in the Church that had said that we should just cave in when the government, the state of California came down to try to destroy the Church of God and destroy the work of God so that we couldn't go to the world with His message of the Kingdom of God any longer.
   They quote the scriptures that say that we are to be obedient to the powers that be and that they're ruling for our good. Well, do you know that if you examine those scriptures again, you will that that it is speaking to the individual and his individual life.
   For example, if the government says you cannot go over fifty-five miles an hour in your automobile, we're going to obey that. We're not to disobey that. We come to a red light, we're to stop because that's the law of the land. We obey the law of the land in things like that.
   But when they tried to stop Jesus from even growing up, God saw to it that He was protected and that He did grow up. And when Satan tried to stop Him from preaching before He even got started, Jesus outsmarted him and thereby qualified to be the one to replace Satan. And Satan knew that he was on trial for continuing at the time, for continuing in the rule of the earth.

Healing of the Beggar

   Well, then with the apostle Peter; a day or so after the Day of Pentecost. It could have well been the very next day. Peter and John had entered the temple at Jerusalem and there was a cripple, a beggar there who was begging for some money. And Peter said that he didn't have money but what I have, I will give you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.
   Now this man was well-known by everybody and he had been crippled so that he couldn't walk from the day of his birth. Well, that aroused a great crowd. And they came and Peter had a chance to talk to them and he preached and about two thousand were converted that day. But Peter and John were both thrown in prison for that. The state got after them, the state government was after them.
   It was the Pharisees, but remember, the Pharisees were part of the government. They were in the lower echelon of the government of Rome. And they threw them into prison for the night.

Are to Obey God First

   Now then, we come to the fourth chapter of the book of Acts, beginning with verse eighteen and on through verse twenty-one.
   Acts 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them [well, this was after they were released from prison the next morning. They were brought before the representatives of the government. Now if we could always obey the government, just think what Peter and John did.]
   Acts 4:18 They [the government men] called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor to teach in the name of Jesus.
   Well, then, Peter and John, according to some of our ex-ministers that had been disfellowshipped from the Church of God, could say yes sir, we will obey you sir. But what did they do?
   Acts 4:19 But {2} Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge you. (3)
   In other words, we are to obey the powers that be, but we are to obey God more than man. And that's what Peter said exactly right there at that time.
   Now then, we turn over to the twelfth chapter of the book of Acts. I want you to notice the first seven verses.
   Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king [now notice this was the local king under the Roman empire and he was a man in government] Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain in the Church . [Always, it's government against the Church.] (2) And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
   [And he was a murderer. And the government was perfectly willing to shoot the murderer if necessary.] {3} And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the Days of Unleavened Bread.)
   [So they were observing the Days of Unleavened Bread in the New Testament Church.]

Peter's Miraculous Release From Prison

   Acts 12:4-7 And when he had apprehended him [that is, apprehended Peter; [the king, the government ruler] put him in prison and delivered him unto four quaternion's of soldiers to keep him; intending after [it says Easter and this is a mistranslation. In the original Greek in which that was written, it is translated Passover] after Passover to bring him forth to the people. (5) Peter therefore was kept in prison; [but now what part did the Church have in getting the gospel out to the world?] but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (6) And when Herod would have brought him forth [the government would have killed him]the same night Peter was sleeping betweentwo soldiers, bound with two chains: [they had him bound in chains]and the keepers before the door kept the prison. (7) And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side [that is, the angel did] and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. {4}
   And Peter then was led out of the prison because the brethren had prayed. You see, the lay members of the Church were given the part of backing the apostles who were to get the gospel out. The word "apostle" simply means "one sent forth" with the gospel. And it was the apostles that were taking the gospel to the world, not the lay members, but the lay members backed them with their prayers, with their tithes and in every way with their encouragement, every way that they could.
   So you see how it is the government that has always been persecuting the work of God.
   Now I don't know how many of you have read Fox's Book of Martyrs. That's quite interesting if you can get a copy. You probably can find a copy in a second hand book store and it won't cost you very much. But, some things I'd like to say to you about that in Fox's Book of Martyrs. It shows how the persecution was coming on down from the emperors of the Roman Empire
   Take Matthew 16 and verse 18 where Jesus said
   Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee [speaking to Peter here] That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell [meaning the gates of the grave] shall not prevail against it.
   God said that His church would always survive.

Persecution From Government

   Now government has always tried to completely destroy the church of God. That's what's going on right now; they're trying to destroy the government of God at it's very headquarters in Pasadena, California. And so, we find in the Bible, that God teaches us to keep the church surviving. There was a time when Jesus…they were after him to kill him but His time hadn't come yet. And so He escaped from them and hid so they couldn't find Him.
   Now shouldn't Jesus have said, "Oh, well yes, if you're the government, I must just give in and let you kill me." Well, when the time came, He did because that's why He came, but before that time He certainly would not do it.
   Well, some of those that were concerned with this big assault against the church just a year ago day before yesterday, they thought we would just cave in. But they found we weren't made of that kind of muscle; we didn't cave in at all.

Persecution of Early Church

   Now, in this Book of Martyrs…Fox's Book of Martyrs; he describes some revolting tortures. At times, people who were Christians, had ropes tied to their wrists together and other ropes tied to their ankles and they had horses at each end. And they pulled them apart, until even pulled them off limb from limb, pulled their arms off, right off of their sockets and they were tortured in various ways until they died.
   Now you will read some of the subheads at the very beginning before they get into the worst martyrs. And one subheads says this…quote: "Account of the First Primitive Persecution Beginning 67 A.D., under the Emperor Nero." Now here is the Roman government under the Emperor Nero, persecuting the Christians in the Church. And it says that Nero perpetrated the most barbaric.
   Now a few pages, a page or so later, it's…quote: "the Second Primitive Persecution, Under the Emperor Domitian." And so it came again. And you pass on, maybe another page or so, the third persecution under the Roman emperors, and then the fourth persecution under the Roman emperors. And it gives the Roman emperor name each case and the date. Then the fifth general persecution under Roman emperors, then account of the sixth general persecution under Roman emperors and that takes us up to 235 A.D.
   And then, the eighth, ninth and tenth persecutions after that. The persecutions in Persia where the Persian government was martyring the people of God and trying to stop the gospel from going out.
   Now we come to the case of Doctor Arius, who was a priest from Alexandria and was fighting against the Trinity doctrine which is a false doctrine. And, all of this began…his fight on this, began about 318 AD. Then Emperor Constantine, in 325 AD, called the Nicene Council and the Emperor of Rome said "I'll decide this question. You vote and anything you decide, I'm going to make it a law and we'll just kill anyone who doesn't obey it." So, the trinity doctrine was accepted.
   Now, if you want the truth about the trinity doctrine, you'll want to read my forthcoming book…it isn't completely written yet. I've written it once and I'm rewriting it and so it hasn't gone to press yet. "A Voice Cries Out" and I hope it will be ready for the bookstores by the autumn of this year.
   Then there was a coliseum in Rome, a great amphitheatre and surely, if you've ever gone to Rome, one of the sights you want to see is the old coliseum. Of course, it's kind of a historic wreck now but it used to be a Sunday afternoon sport to cast Christian believers into the coliseum down below, then they would release a lot of hungry lions to tear them apart and to devour them and eat them and have a good meal on them.

Waldenses Appear on the Scene

   Then we finally come to the people called the Waldenses. Now that gets us down to about the beginning of the thirteenth century; I think about twelve hundred. But…no, I've gotten it down here that in 1147 that the Waldenses would not admit of any proofs relevant to religion but what could be decided from the Scriptures.
   Now Peter Waldo is a man that Doctor Herman Hoeh has often compared to me because he was a leader in the Church at that time. And he was a native of Lyon and I am way off in my pronunciation of French words. I intended to ask Henry Cornwall how to say that because he is French and I forgot it.
   Anyway, a strenuous opposer of popery, Waldo received the appellations of Waldoys…I mean followers were called Waldoys or Waldenses. Waldo was a man imminent for learning and for benevolence.
   Now I'm quoting this from Fox's Book of Martyrs." But Waldo answered that he could not be silent in a cause of such importance as the salvation of men's souls, wherein he must obey God rather than man."
   The government had tried to silence him. The government had sought to absolutely murder all of his followers and to completely destroy the work of God at that time. When Pope Alexander III was informed of these transactions, he excommunicated Waldo and his adherents and commanded the Bishop of Lyon to exterminate them. In other words, just to murder them, to kill them.
   Thus began the peoples persecutions against the Waldenses but remember in those years, the papacy was merely the woman riding the beast. In other words, the government was doing whatever they said. And it was not…well the religion was the Babylonian mystery religion, the pagan religion and not that of God at all. They were persecuting the gospel of Jesus Christ.
   Waldo remained three years undiscovered in the city of Lyon, though the utmost diligence was used to apprehend him. He didn't just cave in, he didn't give in to the government. He escaped just as Jesus before had done and just as the angel had helped Peter to do and which is the teaching of God.
   But now continuing to quote from Fox's Book Of Martyr: "but at length he found an opportunity of escaping from the place of his confinement to the mountains of Dauphiny." He soon found means to propagate his doctrines in Dauphiny and Picardy. Maybe you remember the song "Roses of Picardy", which so exasperated Philip, the king of France. Now we get in to the kings, the government again, the king of France, that he put the latter province under military execution to murder all of those people. There again, it's the government doing it.
   Notwithstanding these persecutions, the reformed religion…now this is Peter Waldo continued to flourish and the Waldenses, in various parts, became more numerous than ever.
   The Pope, using all manner of art for their extension, their land was seized and their grounds were confiscated. Now that's precisely what the government was trying to do one year ago day before yesterday with us. To seize all of our grounds, all of our properties, all of our buildings and take them over.
   And if they could succeed in that, then they would come against the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church and, incidentally, all of those churches have come to our aid through their legal departments and have sent very strong letters of protest to the state Supreme Court. And that includes also the National Council of Churches and a number of others, perhaps not quite so large. But those are the largest churches in the United States.
   We're getting back now to the book of martyrs. Peter Waldo continued to preach boldly against the errors of the Church of Rome. The monks, upon the least surmise or information, delivered over the reformed - that is, the followers of Waldo - to the magistrate, and the magistrate delivered them to the executioner.
   There was no real trial at all, no witnesses; there was, just on anyone with charges.
   Now some former members that had been excommunicated and put out of the Church, were out for revenge. And they made some very great, blasphemous false charges.

Church, College Falsely Accused

   And the State of California came and provoked this lawsuit. Now mark you, It was a lawsuit, it was not a case of charging us, or arresting us on a charge to be in prison for anything wrong. We were not accused of any wrongdoing whatsoever by the state. But the ones who convinced the state to bring the suit, went to the papers and the newspapers' and news on television and spread this thing that we had stolen so many million dollars as Mr. Rader said in the beginning of this program today.
   Well, so it goes. And we have had to fight, just as the people of God have always had to fight against government trying to completely extinguish the work of God; trying to destroy it completely. That's what they were trying to do to us.
   Now, let's see where are we today in the world? We entered the decade of the eighties just five days ago. The seventies had been a momentous decade. But the seventies are now behind us. I was amazed last night on television. I saw a listing of the prominent people that were so well known, many of them were celebrities from Hollywood and so on, who had died during the decade of the seventies and it's amazing, I didn't know that all of them were dead yet. It makes you realize how many things can happen in a decade.
   Now we're in the eighties. This may be the decade that will end this present world and I hope so. I think we should all be praying "Thy Kingdom come" and God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
   So where are we now?
   As I said, we have entered the decade of the eighties. Ten days ago, the Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan. Now we've been having a lot of trouble with the fact that the government of Iran are backing a lot of dissidents…or, what is the word? They're not students…who are holding United State government officials hostage.
   Now, another thing that's happened just five days ago. Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. Let me just say that the attention of the whole nation is on Afghanistan. A few years ago I was invited to visit Afghanistan and have a private meeting with the king. But before I could arrange to make the trip, the government was overthrown and, as we know now, it was by Communist influence and Moscow appointed the new head of government. I don't know if he was called the president of what, but anyway, I never was able to go there.
   And now, ten days ago, at least thirty thousand soldiers entered Afghanistan and more have been pouring in since. It is a very serious situation. What the communists are up to is to go right on from there, take over Iran which borders Afghanistan on Afghanistan's west. In other words, they're just east of Iran. And then they will go south; the next nation what'll get them into the Indian Ocean. And once they get there, they will control all of the Far East and the Middle East. And they'll have enough control of the world that they will become masters of the world.
   Now let me show you the main thing; here is the main thing that you're not going to see on television news or in the newspapers. They don't realize this. But the nations in Europe are dependent on the United States to protect them from the Russian power, which, with its satellites, borders the European nations on the east. They are beginning to fear that President Carter won't do anything. He had just said that we're going to do something about the hostages in Iran, but nothing has been done. Nothing has been done.
   As I said, when God said He sent Moses to say 'let my people go' to the Egyptians and to Pharaoh, God did something about it. But in Europe, they're beginning to fear that Carter isn't going to do anything. And also the Roman Catholic Church is a lot concerned too because Communism is atheism and would tend to stamp out the Roman Church just the same and do away with it.
   So let me tell you, I know, without evidence and I don't have the evidence and I don't need it. I know that there have been plenty of secret conferences between some of the members of the Kurio in Rome and of the Roman Catholic Church and of leaders in the nations of Europe.
   And this is going to bring about and probably much sooner than we thought, a resurrection of the medieval Holy Roman Empire, as it was called, which came on the heels later on after the fall of the ancient Roman empire, which was…let's see, 476 wasn't it, A.D. But 554 I believe it was, the Holy Roman Empire, succeeded it and lasted until 1814.

Commission to Preach Gospel to all Nations

   But before we look into the immediate future, I want you to notice a few other things and what happened in the decade of the 70's.
   I'd like to have you notice now something back here in the tenth chapter of the book of Revelation. It is speaking about a time just prior to the time of the sixth angel sounding with sixth of the plagues of God. I can't take time to read it all but in verse seven.
   Rev. 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, [it hadn't sounded yet] when he shall begin to sound, [the seventh angel] the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.(8) And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take a little book and eat it…well, really what I wanted to read to you is in verse 6, where an angel had come and said there will be time no longer…or a better translation of that is:
   Rev 10:6 there will be no further delay. The things are going to happen right away.
   And then an angel came with this little book, and told John, who was writing the book of Revelation, to take this little book and eat it. It would be sweet as honey in his mouth but very bitter in his stomach. So he took the little book from the angel and he ate it. Now verse eleven, the last verse in the chapter:
   Verse 11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy [or preach] again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, [that is, nations speaking different languages], and kings.
   Now he was to go before kings; that hadn't been done before. Who was that speaking about? The time was just before the seventh angel. After the time of the sixth angel and at the seventh trump, Christ will come. So it's holding up the coming of Christ until someone…THIS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT ANCIENT HISTORY, THIS IS TALKING ABOUT US NOW. IT IS TALKING ABOUT SOMEONE RIGHT NOW. WHO COULD IT BE?
   God has held up world events and deliberately held them up until someone goes out only unto many gentile nations speaking different languages, but also to many kings.

Mr. Armstrong Begins Visiting World Leaders

   Brethren, let me tell you something. In the decade of the seventies, beginning in 1970, I have probably spoken to more kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers and heads of government than hardly any other man in the world. I'm quite sure I've spoken to more than Henry Kissinger did.
   And I have been invited…I have not just forced my way in because you don't do that you know. But I have been invited. Now I was just recently invited by the heads of government of the largest nation on earth to visit China. And I was the first world leader, religious leader, that is, from the world of Christianity to be invited to Communist China.
   And there, I spoke publicly, to audiences of four hundred and two hundred who were leading people in China and in the government. And one night there were the envoys, or the ministers from seventy six other nations there. In other words, representatives of the governments of seventy six other nations. And they were very interested in what I said. Now many of you have already heard that; it was taped and it's been passed on to the churches in the United States and many of you have heard what I said.
   But there's one thing I want to emphasize now. I was talking to the men that are, for example, one man is President of the National Education Society and the Library. In China, there're doing something that other nations are not doing. They are educating their people and they are trying to educate them in atheism. And they are teaching the people.
   I spoke to the men that are responsible for the thinking and the molding and thinking and changing the teaching of one billion people…that is one thousand million people. That's one fourth of all the people on the face of the earth. I didn't go out to the grass roots people. I spoke to the men that are telling those grass roots people what they must believe.
   And I spoke to one of the three men that are at the top. There is a Chairman that is taking the place of Chairman Mao Tse Tung. And there are two vice chairmen that are taking the places of Premier Cho en Lai.
   Now the man that I did speak to was the vice chairman and he was contemporary with Cho en Lai and Mao Tse Tung and has actually fought in the war and he was right up at the top all the way along. And I was privileged to have one hour with him in person. He told me their objective; he said a lot about the Russian objective which, of course, he was not in favor of.
   And then I told him what was going to happen in Europe and in United Europe and he'd shake his head, and I said, "now I don't expect you to believe me and you wait and when it happens, remember I told you."
   And he isn't going to have to wait too long. Then maybe he'll believe what I said. And then I told him about the coming Kingdom of God. And it's going to be one nation to rule all the nations of the earth and that is the gospel and the only gospel of Jesus Christ.
   So the decade of the seventies ended that way and in the beginning of the last year of the seventies, the state of California assaulted us.
   Now the future invasion of the Soviet forces into Afghanistan, since they added ten days ago has changed the entire world picture. In other words, as we often say in slang, it's an entire new ballgame now in world news. The United States foreign policy is absolutely changing. As the matter of fact, the President has had meetings with the State Department and with the military people from the Pentagon and they haven't made a final decision in all of the things of the policy that we will have as the foreign policy of the United States from now on.
   But Russia is planning to go on south to Pakistan, to the Arabian Sea and that will get them into control of the Indian Ocean, one of the three great oceans of the world. And that will give them control of all of Asia and all of the Middle East and of all the oil of the world. And where are we going to be then? And where is Europe going to be? Now Europe is alive to this thing and they have long since begun to lose faith in the United States that we'll do anything. We just don't do anything anymore. We sit around and say we're going to do, but we don't do.
   Now I want to say this, that there is no nuclear war prophesied in the Bible between Russia and the United States. I do not think that'll come to war between Russia and the United States. Russia knows that we can destroy them as well as they can destroy us and I don't think they want to do that.

Ten Nations in Europe to Unite

   But what it will do; it's going to arouse Europe and they will unite and there will be ten nations in Europe and they will be as powerful as Russia and as powerful as the United States, maybe more so.
   Now we're going to be shipping a lot more of nuclear weapons over to Europe. We think that is the place we need to have them so we can defend against Russia. Well, Europe will just shoot them right back at us a little later when they organize.
   That is going to bring on the Great Tribulation.
   Now I want to come to Matthew 24 and if you'll bear with me a little longer…let me see how the time is going by. Oh, I haven't spoken too long yet, I want to go now to Matthew 24. I want to take time to read quite a little of this if I may.
   Jesus, well he was speaking to his disciples and they had just been in the temple and they had just come outside and were looking at the buildings of the temple. And Jesus told them the time would come when the temple would be destroyed.
   Matthew 24:3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives [I'm in verse three now, Matthew 24]
   The disciples came to him privately [they went up to the Mount of Olives then after they had been down at the temple…They said] tell us, when shall these things be? What will be the sign of your coming [that's the second coming of Christ? What'll be the sign of your coming] that's the end of the world? That's the end of this age. The end of this present world of man's building?
   Where God said go build your own nations, build your own educational systems, build your own religions and that's what we have; the religions that men have built on the earth.
   Matthew 24:4 So Jesus answered and said to them [Now they wanted to know the sign before His second coming and the end of this age.] Take heed that no man deceive you. The first thing He said, they're going to be deceivers. Satan is the great deceiver and he is going to have some that he will lead to try to deceive even you; He's talking to His own disciples. He was talking to the ones who became the first apostles. And even they had to be on guard against being deceived.
   And He said, (5) For many shall come in my name, saying that I am Christ and shall deceive the many. Look how many have come saying, 'Jesus is the Christ', teaching Christ to the nations as one church denomination is doing on radio and television. Oh, they preach Christ and they preach that He is the Christ; that Jesus is the Christ. But He said they would do that and deceive the many. And you'll hear of wars and rumors of wars and all that sort of thing. But nation will rise up against nation.

Gospel Preached to all the World

   Now then He did give only one sign by which we would know we are near it. He said in verse 14
   Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom; [the government of God, the kingdom of God on earth] this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.
   Brethren, I've been preaching that gospel into all the world. I've been going to kings and nations speaking different languages. There was a translator or an interpreter that was put with Mrs. Armstrong and me and went everywhere we went in China to interpret everything. And, perhaps, to even listen to everything we said ourselves. We were careful even in the bedroom what we said to one another.
   But, nevertheless, we were very warmly and courteously received and, really, I think that people just warmed up to us over there and invited us to come again.
   Now, then, it goes on to say that there would be a lot of trouble brewing and finally, it'll come to the supreme crisis at the close in verse twenty one.
   Matthew 24:21 Then shall be great tribulation since such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. A time of trouble greater than anything that has ever happened on earth or ever will again. Now there can only be one trouble that great.
   Verse 22 And except those days should be shortened,that shall be no flesh saved alive.
   [Now the word 'alive' ought to be there because we're not talking about spiritual salvation; it's being talked about anybody still living on the earth.] But for the elect's sake [brethren, are you one of the elect? I hope you are. For the elect's sake, those of God's own Church who are filled with his Holy Spirit] those days shall be shortened.
   Now right after, it goes on to show the signs in heaven, the day of the Lord then the coming of Christ.
   Now with that, I want to put two or three other scriptures before I close. I'd like for you to turn next…you know Daniel mentions the same thing. A time of trouble such as never happened before. Then it shows that the resurrection will come and many that sleep in the dust of the earth will awake.
   But I'd like to have you go next, back to Jeremiah thirty. In verse…let me see…
   Jeremiah 30:7 -[It's talking about the same time] "for that day is great so that none is like it."
   That has to be the same time. There can only be one time, brethren, so great that no others could be so great. It shall be even the time of Jacob's trouble.
   Brethren, one of the very vital important truths that God as revealed to this church, that no other church has and nobody else knows and we've even had ministers in the church trying to do away with this truth. That we are the remnant of the tribe of Manasseh of the house of Israel.

We are the House of Israel

   Now Israel was divided into two nations and the northern people were called the house of Israel. The southern people took the national name the house of Judah or kingdom of Judah. But the house of Israel was driven out between 718 and 721 B.C. And they moved then over to western Europe and the British Isles. And the tribe of Ephraim moved into Britain and the tribe of Manasseh later moved over into the United States and we are the tribe of Manasseh and we are the house of Israel.
   Now then, knowing that we are the house of Israel, turn with me real quickly now to the Book of Ezekiel and in Ezekiel five and verse twelve where it says;
   Ezekiel 5:12 A third part ofthee [now I'll have to show you later who the "thee" is…who is it talking about] A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence [in other words, there is going to be such a great drought that it will result in a great disease epidemic of pestilence] and with the famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee. And a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee [that's two thirds and I'm going to show you that's speaking about Britain and the United States.] And I will scatter the third part to the four winds.
   The ones that remain are going to be scattered as slaves. I think some will go to South America, but mostly into Europe and the nations of Europe after Europe unites in the Holy, so-called Roman Empire united with church and state and the Catholic Church sitting on top.
   Brethren, we're very near to that. And I can tell you that almost certainly that's going to happen in this decade. We've entered the decade of the eighties, the most crucial decade in all the history of mankind since Adam.
   Now you'll notice over in the chapter just ahead…no, it's the same chapter, chapter five and in verse four…it's speaking to the house of Israel and again, I want you to notice again, it is speaking of Israel; speaking of the house of Israel. In verse nine he says
   Ezekiel 5:9 And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do anymore the like. [It's speaking of this same great tribulation.]
   [Now then, in] chapter six and in verses six and seven
   Ezekiel 6:6 ...In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste.
   Brethren, that couldn't happen until the time of the hydrogen bomb. Until nuclear warfare had come. Now one hydrogen bomb can destroy a whole city such as Los Angeles or San Francisco or Washington D.C. or New York City and just think of the rubble of those skyscraper buildings that will come toppling down. Or Cleveland, Ohio or Kansas City or Des Moines, Iowa or St. Louis; Minneapolis or Dallas or Houston, Texas. It will destroy our cities and that will take one third of our people. One third of the people destroyed in nuclear warfare today.
   Ezekiel 6:6 Your cities shall be laid waste and the high places shall be desolate that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate and your idols may be broken… Our idols are not carved in statues and images anymore. Our idols are, well, a lot of them are in Hollywood today and they're worshipped as if they're idols. And celebrities. Our idols are sports and football. Our idols are the making of money and the things that money will buy.
   And look what has happened to the United States dollar and look what has happened to the gold and we're on the gold standard. And the dollar is going down, down, down until it goes out
   Ezekiel 6:7 And the slain shall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I am the Eternal.
   And all of that is speaking to the house of Israel. Now in verse eleven - It speaks about the evil abominations of the house of Israel!
   Ezekiel 6:11 ... for they shall fall by the sword and by the famine and by the pestilence. Just as I read to you in the preceding chapter.
   Now there's no doubt about who it's speaking to and there's no doubt about the time.
   And it's the time when Christ will come and they're going to know that he is the Lord Jesus Christ.
   Brethren, I tell you, we're facing that very thing. And I think you're going to see those things coming in this decade that we just entered five days ago. And it's time for us to wake up. And if you WANT TO STILL SLEEP and if any of YOU ARE ASLEEP TO THESE THINGS, YOU SLEEP ON AND IT'S GOING TO STRIKE YOU. YOU BETTER WAKE UP WHILE THERE IS TIME.
   We are very close to that time of Revelation three and verse ten. Let me turn to that.
   Revelation 3:10 Because [it's speaking to this church, the Philadelphia era of the church] Because thou hast kept [my word] the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that are upon the earth.
   In other words, the time of the Great Tribulation. And if we are worthy, if we are close enough to God, if we are praying enough, if we are close to God, if we are studying our Bibles, if we are diligent in church attendance and Bible study.
   And here in just a year and a half ago, things had gotten down at the headquarters in Pasadena where they were wanting to do away with the Bible study altogether. You couldn't get a minister to even take the Bible study. Let's see, how many people were there last Friday night? I think someone told me. Twenty five hundred was the Bible study in Pasadena. The last Bible study. The last Friday night.
   Now then, one more scripture, Luke 21:36 where we get this warning. Now Luke 21 is Luke's version of the same thing that's in Matthew 24. And this is where he's been speaking about the same great tribulation. And here comes the warning from Christ.
   Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass.
   I was ridiculed by one or two ministers and one of them was pretty closely related to me when I used to preach as much as twenty years ago, that we would be going and be taken to a place of safety. Well that made me begin to preach that again. And I say to you, that is definitely in the word of God. And it's exactly…he's talking about the Great Tribulation here.
   And Jesus Christ says to pray "that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of man." The time is coming for He's coming very, very soon.
   Christ may be here and the Kingdom of God set before this decade is out. I say "may", I'm not setting any dates. But that could happen. And I will say definitely, and you can put that down, if it doesn't happen in this decade, it will in the next. But I think it's more likely to happen in this decade.
   I tell you, brethren, we're a lot closer to these things than most of us realize. Most of us have been asleep and we need to wake up. Now this church has been turned around in the last year. The doctrines have been restored, the truth has been restored that secular ministers were trying to do away with. Many of the ministers have been put out of the church that were secular and that were liberal and wanted to water down the truth of God. And we're going back to the old ways and to the truth of God. And God is blessing this church.
   Satan is angry and he has tried to bring the wrath of the greatest state, the biggest state in the whole United States to try to destroy us. They haven't destroyed us.
   We had an increase in income this year, the membership has gone up and the people of God are united. And, let me tell you where the worst area in all the world in the Church of God, was Pasadena where the headquarters is supposed to be located. Actually, the headquarters is right here where I'm speaking to you right now in my own home here in Tucson, Arizona. But it had gotten down to where people hardly ever would come to a Bible study and they wanted to do away with it altogether
   Now they're so interested, they want to know more of the word of God. It's time to wake up and get back and know what's being told us in the word of God and that we get on our knees a little bit more and get a little bit closer to God and get a little bit farther away from the cares and enjoyments and the pleasures of this world.
   Well that's my message to you, brethren. And all I can do is warn you. As I told the vice chairman, one of the three men at the top, who is responsible for the thinking of a fourth of all the people on the face of the earth. I said "I have told you". That's all I can do. You don't have to believe me. And I'm not responsible for making you believe me.
   My job is just to tell you. And I've told you. We had better be on our knees and we better be getting closer to God. This church has been changed. Let's change it still further and still closer to God now in this decade. Let's make it a decade when we really get close to Almighty God and His Son and, you might say, our Big Brother, Jesus Christ.
   So, with that, I'll say, God bless you all and goodbye for now.

{1} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong inadvertently said the wrong verse of the Bible. - The original reads: "And now if you will turn to John in the New Testament. John the eleventh chapter and verse thirty. "Therefore they thought… the Pharisees, sought again to take Jesus but he escaped out of their hands."

{2} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong began the verse with a different word. - The original reads: "Then Peter and John answered and said unto them.

{3} Editorial note: Mr. Armstrong mention the fourth chapter of the Book of Acts beginning with verse eighteen and on through verse twenty one, only verses 18 & 19 were covered.

{4} Editorial note: In Acts 12:7 Mr. Armstrong inadvertently omitted the word "off". - The original reads: "And his chains fell from his hands."

Sermon Date: January 5, 1980
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