Read the startling TRUTH regarding an event that will soon startle this world!
THE visible bodily return of Jesus Christ is not a mere theological "idea." It is a FACT soon to be revealed — an absolute NECESSITY for a world on the verge of human annihilation.
Why God Is Concerned
To Arnold J. Toynbee, the historian of civilizations, the unleashing of atomic energy raises the basic question of man's survival in our time. He says: "Since 1949, when Russia, too, got the bomb, it has become possible for the human race to destroy itself. If we are able to survive, we are going to live in danger from here on." As reported in a survey of twenty eminent historians in Look Magazine, Professor Samuel Elliott Morrison concluded: "We have got to get used to living without solutions. We have to get wed to living in crisis after crisis, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst." It is high time you learned why God is concerned with humanity's threat of self-extinction. Stop and think! Would the very Creator of heaven and earth allow man to completely destroy this world as we know it — to defeat the great PURPOSE He is working out here below, a purpose of which most men are in total ignorance?
A Religious Theory?
The educated of this world have come to regard the prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, as a myth or superstitious idea held by a few ignorant folk. They smile knowingly at one another whenever the subject is mentioned. Very few modern ministers ever speak about Jesus' return. Most of those who do preach on this subject often bring discredit on themselves and their messages by making startling statements to frighten people, or by setting exact dates for certain events for which they have no Biblical basis whatever. Their particular exposition of this subject is so obviously in error that the educated listener usually winds up disbelieving the entire doctrine. It has come to the place that most so-called "Christian" churches in our time no longer teach their members about the hundreds of passages in the Bible which speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ to rule this world. Most of the larger denominations do not directly deny this doctrine, they just carefully avoid mentioning it, or else they try to "allegorize it away." Is the "sure word of prophecy" which Peter speaks of to be relied upon as a fact — or can we relegate these prophecies to the rubbish heap as of no consequence? Are these prophecies actually taking place right now? Does the continuance of human life on this planet demand the intervention of God which the prophecies in His Word foretell? Is God's intervention a logical solution to mounting world chaos?
A Startling Historical Admission
The renowned historian, Edward Gibbon, in the fifteenth chapter of his authoritative The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — recognized as a standard work on this period of history — admits that the doctrine of Christ's second coming to earth was taught as a FACT by the early Christian church. He states: "The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state according to a tradition which was attributed to the Prophet Elijah was fixed to 6000 years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with a triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection... The assurance of such a Millennium was carefully inculcated by a succession of fathers from Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, who conversed with the immediate disciples of the apostles, down to Lactantius, who was preceptor to the son of Constantine... But when the edifice of the church was almost completed, the temporary support was laid aside. The doctrine of Christ's reign upon earth was at first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism." NOTICE! Here are the words of the recognized "authority" on the history of this time. As a historian — not a theologian — he states that the early church taught the doctrine of the second coming of Christ as a FACT — but that it was later gradually rejected or in many cases treated as a "profound allegory!" Modern theologians have clearly DEPARTED from teaching the people about a REAL. God who can and soon will intervene in world affairs! Recent world events are beginning to FORCE thinking men to admit that things are "different" now. For if there is a real God in heaven then, NOW is the time for that God to intervene and send His Son Christ back to literally "save" this world from destroying itself! President John F. Kennedy admitted in his inaugural address: "The world is VERY DIFFERENT now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to ABOLISH all forms of human poverty and ALL FORMS OF HUMAN LIFE" [emphasis ours]. We have reached a turning point in human history where we had better stop and ask ourselves — not what men say — but what are the DIRECT WORDS OF GOD on the subject of Divine intervention in human affairs?
Jesus Christ's Direct Statements
When Jesus Christ was here on earth, His disciples asked Him to describe the signs that should precede His second coming and the end of this world — or age. Study His answer in Matthew 24. In verse 21, He foretold a terrible time of trouble "such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Most people who read this prophecy say, "Yes, but there have always been wars and troubles in the world — so how do we know what to go by?" The answer is contained in the very next verse of this momentous prophecy. It reveals that a time is coming when God will INTERVENE in world affairs and shorten the course of events in this age! He will do this as a Loving Creator to prevent HUMAN ANNIHILATION. "And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Verse 22). Here are definite statements in your Bible in which Christ predicted a time of trouble at the end of this age to which no other can be compared — a time when God MUST INTERVENE in world affairs to prevent man from blasting himself into oblivion with hydrogen bombs and rockets. Could this prophecy refer to any other time than the present and the immediate future? Has man EVER — at any time — had the means to completely obliterate human life so that "no flesh" would be saved alive on this earth? The Apostle Paul was also inspired to describe the condition of humanity of this end time. In II Timothy 3:1-4, he says that "perilous times shall come," and predicts that at this time men would be traitors, truce-breakers, greedy, coveting the wealth and territories of each other. This condition would not get better but worse, for Paul said: "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived" (Verse 13). In spite of all our "peace" conferences and high ideals, the lust and greed of carnal men is expressing itself in worse and WORSE depredations against what peaceful society still remains.
Men Reject the Truth
Yet, even though most men can see the "handwriting on the wall" and know that this world is perhaps plotting its own doom, they scoff at the idea that the Creator God should intervene in human affairs. Peter wrote: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoff err, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (II Pet. 3:3-4). Peter says these men are willingly ignorant of the fact that God has ALREADY intervened once in this world's affairs to send a flood to destroy a corrupt and violent civilization of another day (Verses 5-6). How true this is! In our day above all others, countless scientific findings in the fields of geology and archaeology point conclusively to the absolute reality of the flood of Noah. But carnal men use every clever device and artifice possible to hide their eyes with this FACT. Contrary to what these "scientific" scoffers think, all things have NOT continued as they once were. Man's basic lust and selfishness is the same — only perhaps a little worse. But the physical means of expressing that lust in war and conquest have radically CHANGED!
New Scientific Horrors
Among all the fantastic ideas being thought of to stop an enemy nation from attacking with nuclear weapons is the idea of the "ultimate weapon" — the "DOOMSDAY MACHINE." Such a machine, some think, would be the "ultimate deterrent." Here is the conception of such a machine by one of the nation's outstanding thinkers on military research, Herman Kahn, physicist: Such a machine "might be built within a decade for perhaps ten to one hundred billion dollars... and programmed by a computer to fire at the first flash of an enemy attack, DESTROYING THE WORLD with radiation, heat or profound climatic change." Kahn says there would be "nothing left to orbit the sun but the cinder of a planet shrouded in an atomic cloud." No nation, it is hoped, would dare launch an attack in the face of such a total threat. Americans today generally refuse to face squarely the issue of a war with such horrifying weapons and call it simply "unthinkable." "We must think about the unthinkable, or perish," Kahn maintains. He states: "The ultimate solution to Armageddon... is some form of arms control and rule of law, possibly under a world government."
The REAL Hope of Civilization
Our leaders now realize that the only real hope of saving our civilization from self-destruction is the eventual formation of a strong WORLD GOVERNMENT. But all attempts at this encounter suspicion, distrust, and hate. The hard fact is that man has consistently failed, and will continue to fail to attain this objective. Men will NEVER achieve a successful world government because the greed, covetousness, and lust for power of world leaders will always keep them from being willing to make the sacrifices such a universal government would involve. The Apostle James says that these same lusts are the basic cause of war: "From whence come wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not, ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye FIGHT and WAR, yet ye have not, because ye ask not" (Jas. 4:1-2). Human nature has not changed. Men are still quite willing to spill the blood of their fellows to satisfy their lust and greed. Do the men of this world really know the WAY to peace? God Almighty says of sinful men in general: "The WAY of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3:17). We hear a lot of sentimental platitudes about the hopes of achieving peace through the United Nations. But the pitiful RESULTS confirm Paul's inspired statement that carnal men simply don't know the way to peace. It may be an unpleasant fact, but it is still a FACT. Let's not hide our eyes from these realities and be overtaken by our DOOM. The events in this world prove the Bible stands fast. Evil men are continuing to "wax worse and worse." More than at any other time in history, men are traitors and truce breakers as Paul prophesied. Man has proved himself incapable of bringing peace to this earth. He does not even know the WAY to peace. His character is basically lustful and evil — and waxing worse in these end times. Only God can change it. Most significant of all, as we have seen, man now has terrifying weapons of destruction which were formerly unheard of. NEVER BEFORE in human history have such weapons existed! Times HAVE CHANGED! Guided missiles and earth satellites, horrifying nerve gases, hydrogen bombs and rockets — all these and many more scientific horrors — make WORLD SUICIDE a definite, fearful possibility! The ONLY real hope is the intervention in world affairs of the Creator God Himself. Can we GRASP this?
How to Understand
Jesus' own prophecy of His second coming to prevent human annihilation has already been briefly discussed. But in this prophecy, Jesus warned that most men would either disbelieve or be in ignorance of this momentous event until it actually took place. He compared them to the men in Noah's time who unheedingly continued in their worldly endeavors. "Until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be" (Mat. 24:38-39). Why are men in such great IGNORANCE of this vital subject today? Why are they so backward and skeptical about investigating the ONLY REAL HOPE for the continuance of mankind on this earth? It is because most people — and even most churchgoers — are in almost total IGNORANCE of the countless prophecies in the Bible which clearly reveal that God has ordained that His Son Jesus Christ shall RULE this earth for a thousand years and teach men the way to peace! Your Bible shows that this is to occur after a DEFINITE SERIES OF EVENTS. It will occur after man has had time to write a lesson in human suffering to show once and for all that his own ways literally lead to DEATH (Prov. 14:12). In a basic prophecy describing this definite series of events before Christ's intervention in human affairs, the prophet Daniel foresaw the rise and fall of four great world-ruling empires which would culminate in the establishment of God's government on this earth (Dan. 2:36-45). These kingdoms known by all Bible scholars to be the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian, and Roman Empires. Verses 41-43 indicate that the end time revivals of the Roman Empire in central Europe would be less stable than at first, but would continue until God intervened. Nevertheless, an amalgamation of nations in central Europe comprising a revived ROMAN EMPIRE was prophesied to exist until Christ's second coming. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall NEVER be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but is shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Verse 44). Isaiah prophesied that in the "last days" God's Kingdom would be established here on earth and that "all nations shall flow unto it" (Isa. 2:1-4). At this time, Christ will teach men the WAY to peace. "And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE" (Verse 4). One of the principle thoughts in these prophecies is that Christ is coming to save the world from SELF-DESTRUCTION and will begin to teach all nations with force as necessary — the WAY of peace.
Christ's Coming is NEEDED
The bodily return of the Divine Christ is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to keep man from destroying himself, and to make possible the strong world government — the KINGDOM OF GOD — which will keep the peace and make possible the literal utopia for which mankind longs so much! In every age, God has had His ministers — His prophets — to WARN those who would heed, of His DIVINE INTERVENTION, and how they might come under His protection from any impending calamity. God promises in His Word: "Surely the Lord God will do NOTHING but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). Where are God's prophets today? As you continue to listen carefully to The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast and to read and study with your Bible, The PLAIN TRUTH magazine, the answer to that question will soon become very apparent. For there is NO OTHER SOURCE from where you can get real UNDERSTANDING of the definite prophesied events in world affairs which are now occurring and beginning to occur. Long before the European Common Market ever came into being — long before Germany revived into the MOST POWERFUL industrial and political nation in central Europe — this work was warning America and Britain in definite terms of these prophesied events! For these nations now uniting in Europe will ultimately comprise the "Beast" of Revelation 17 — the final revival of the Holy Roman Empire! It will be this highly militaristic, pagan, yet church-dominated system which Jesus Christ will have to CRUSH at His second coming. There will be exactly ten kings or dictators ruling over ten nations or groups of nations which will comprise this system. They will all give their power eventually unto one super dictator — prophetically called the "Beast" (Rev. 17:12-13). This dictator and the entire system will be heavily influenced and dominated by a false church system called a fallen woman or "great whore" which sits upon and guides this political "Beast" (Verses 1-3). The book of Revelation, together with Matthew 24, shows the exact order of world-shaking events preceding Christ's return to this earth. For a complete exposition of this subject, write immediately for Mr. Armstrong's free booklet, "The Key to the Book of Revelation."
Where GOD Is Working
For over a quarter of a century, this work of God has been definite and specific in showing the world — event by event — EXACTLY what is going to take place before the second coming of Jesus Christ! Can you grasp the SIGNIFICANCE of this? This work alone has been warning America and Britain of the specific punishments which are coming upon us. Millions in America and Britain have learned through this work that we are God's people Israel, and that He is going to deal with us as His chosen people — chosen for a service we have FAILED to perform. Prophesying of what His true ministers would be doing at the time of the end, Jesus said: "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man become" (Mat. 10:23). This work of God is now THUNDERING the warning message from Christ to the major cities of America and Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Modern Israel is rapidly being WARNED before it is too late! This also is the fulfillment of prophecy. People may argue and reason, and have their own ideas. They did in Jesus' day, and the religious leaders rejected and ultimately crucified even HIM. But He said: "If I do not the WORKS of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in Him" (John 10:37-38). This is the WORK Christ is doing through His human instruments today! God the Father and Christ Himself are "IN" this very work. You need to begin really STUDYING The PLAIN TRUTH magazine, the booklets offered freely over The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, and to take the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. Others may hem and haw about a coming world catastrophe, or shout that "the Lord may come tonight" or similar emotional and general statements. But this work of God stands ALONE in being able to clearly depict — event by event — the EXACT order of major world events BEFORE they happen and to show the tremendous MEANING of these events in the light of the great PURPOSE which God is working out here below! Jesus said: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom (the coming world government of God) shall be preached in all the world for a WITNESS unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Mat. 24:14). That "witness" of Christ's return and God's coming world government is coming to you NOW as you read these lines! May God grant you an open mind and help you to study, to pray, and to ACT on the knowledge you are receiving through His Word and through His human servants in this climactic age!