The recent flurry of world-shaking catastrophes has caused even President Reagan to wonder if we are not approaching "Armageddon" and the end of this world.
Suddenly, unexpected mind-boggling disasters fill the news. September 1, the deliberate shooting down by Soviet warplanes of the Korean passenger flight 007, killing 269 civilian passengers. Then October 23, the Beirut massacres, killing 230 sleeping U.S. Marines and 58 French peace-keeping soldiers. Just prior, October 9, 17 South Korean officers assassinated in Burma. November 4, four days ago as I write, in Lebanon again, 29 Israelis killed. October 25, the U.S. military intervention in Grenada iust in time to prevent a Soviet-Cuban takeover of much of the Caribbean that could possibly have led to a Central American takeover by the Soviet-Cuban forces, which in turn could have led to Soviet takeover of the entire United States.
Even disasters of nature warn us. October 29, a severe earthquake in Idaho, registering 6.9 on the Richter scale, leaving a 10-mile-long gash in the earth. One woman reported seeing a chasm several feet wide suddenly open its mouth, and then slowly shut again — a frightening sight. October 30, eastern Turkey quakes killing more than 1,000. November 7 (yesterday as I write), a quake registering 5.9 in northeastern China. Early today, near Liege, Belgium, a severe quake registering 5.0, killing two people and causing tens of millions of dollars damage.
Then nature warns us in the weather. Weather patterns are upset in the past year all over the earth.
These events are deadly serious and ominous of the approach of the END OF THIS WORLD.
They caused the U.S. President to say: "You know, I turn back to [the] ancient prophets in the Old Testament, and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if — if we're the generation that is going to see that come about.... But, believe me [those prophecies], certainly describe the times we're going through."
In addition to the alarming catastrophes, disasters and troubles cited above, our own mail (we receive thousands of letters a day) shows more and more individuals are facing severe personal trials in health, marriages and family troubles. Countless letters addressed to me show a sense of futility, frustration — some on the brink of suicide.
You can see that I am not only deeply concerned over published news, but deeply touched personally by personal reports and appeals coming to me daily.
Dear Subscribers, I simply have to tell you what this sudden heating up in personal and world troubles really means.
In the coming 50th Anniversary issue of The PLAIN TRUTH — the February 1984 number — will appear a very sobering article I have written, captioned "A WORLD HELD CAPTIVE." It is the first of a series of three or four articles which will be published in a new book by the same title.
People simply do not understand the world we live in — how it got started — what has caused and led up to the frightening BAD NEWS you read and hear daily through the public news media. God Almighty the Creator reveals this entire TRUTH in his Word, the Holy Bible — but it seems even the theologians have not seen the REAL MESSAGE that is there revealed. ONLY in The PLAIN TRUTH and accompanying available literature — all absolutely free — can you find a true UNDERSTANDING. That is why The PLAIN TRUTH has become one of the largest mass-circulation magazines on earth today — now published in six languages, and beginning the 50th Anniversary number, seven — English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and soon Norwegian.
The PLAIN TRUTH is unique — it gives you the MEANING of what is happening in world news, the MEANING of human life — the CAUSES of personal and world troubles which seem unsolvable.
Millions, besides yourself, look forward eagerly for each month's issue of The PLAIN TRUTH. Millions write to me — many about their own personal problems — many requesting additional literature I have offered (FREE) in these semiannual letters I write personally to our subscribers. I have just received a tabulated report from our Data Processing Center, which reveals that since 1955 more than four million subscribers have written to me in response to these personal letters from me. Most of those have asked for additional booklets or books — all sent free, and with no request for money or contributions. But many tell of their own problems and trials, and I am deeply touched and moved by the conditions these millions of our own subscribers are facing.
Now WHY all these seemingly unsolvable problems that cause so much suffering and anguish? What CAUSES all these troubles we have to struggle and wrestle with? Your Bible says, "For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood" — that is, other people — "but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). And a better translation is "against wicked spirits" — meaning Satan the devil and his demons who do RULE this world and hold it captive — although even human leaders in the world do not realize it.
Now WHAT ABOUT THIS SATAN THE DEVIL? Did GOD create a devil to cause this world pain, suffering and anguish? Where did Satan come from? It isn't fashionable, in higher educational channels today, to believe there really IS a devil. Is he real? WHAT IS THE REAL TRUTH? I have written a booklet titled Did God Create a DEVIL? which I would like to send to you — FREE, of course. This booklet will explain things about the existence of the devil preparatory to the article that will appear in the February number of The PLAIN TRUTH as the first installment of the series of articles titled "A WORLD HELD CAPTIVE." vAnother booklet — one of my newest — is YOUR AWESOME FUTURE — How Religion Deceives You.
These booklets are EYE-OPENING! They are IMPORTANT! You need to UNDERSTAND them. There is no charge — absolutely free. Remember, we never request the public for money, financial support or contributions. We look solely to God for all our NEED — and he supplies it, so that, gratefully, we do not have to beg our television and radio audiences for financial support or contributions as it seems all others do. The Bible commands, "Buy the truth, and sell it NOT." We work hard to SERVE GOD and look to him who PROMISES to supply all our need — AND HE DOES; for which we thank and praise HIM! We want to GIVE — to HELP — that is the way of God's commandments.