Everybody senses that something is WRONG with the world ... that some mighty event is about to occur.
What is it? Bible prophecy tells! Here is a solemn warning ... and it is the plain truth!
We Live today in the most strenuous, anxious, momentous hours of earth's history. Today we stand on the very threshold of colossal events that will stagger the mind of mortal man. Just now it is like the lull before a great and devastating storm. Everyone senses it!
The Lust for World Power
Ever since the Pharaohs ruled in Egypt — on down thru ancient Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome — on to Napoleon, and then the Kaiser — there has been a lust for power to rule the world. Today at least three major world powers seek to rule the world. Soviet Russia admits the theory of Communism cannot be proven until all opposition is wiped out, and the whole world is under its sway. The amazing Tanaka Memorial of 1927, recently discovered and exposed, outlines a most astounding program of Japanese expansion, involving the defeat in war of the United States, and Russia, and then of the whole world. This program raises Japanese imperialism to the height of insane megalomania! Yet Japan's policies and actions during the past two years supply irrefutable proof of preparation to carry out the aims of this document. It is commonly known today that Mussolini's whole aim is to restore the ancient Roman Empire in all its former splendor, power, and glory — and Rome ruled the world! Today Prime Minister MacDonald of Great Britain and President Roosevelt are striving frantically to avert, or postpone, the impending next world war — while the nations prepare even more feverishly for WAR! Three or four short years ago many laughed and scoffed when we said there would another world war in five to seven years. They do not laugh and scoff today. Everyone KNOWS the next world war is coming, and SOON. Every move for peace has failed.
What is Going to Happen?
Will some super-man now emerge? Will the nations get together and appoint a World dictator? Mortal man cannot prophesy the turns and trends of coming events. Only God know the end from the beginning. In words written, some nineteen hundred, some twenty-five hundred years ago, the Bible prophesies every outstanding phase of present world conditions — the depression, the unemployment, its causes, the hoarding of gold, the topsey-turvy political conditions thruout the world, the modern church conditions, present social conditions. It has foretold modern science, the automobile, the airplane. It foretold that the Jews would be driven into ALL nations, scattered, yet without ever losing their nationality or their appearance — and that is the miracle of history! It foretold that Jerusalem and Palestine would be in the power of the Gentiles, a barren desert waste, until 1917-1936, when it would once more "blossom as the rose," and the Jews would once again return! And the same Bible that foretold so unerringly all these amazing events and developments, leading to the very present, just as unerringly tells those who will listen what shall now happen NEXT.
The Pact of Paris
For the first time in world history, the nations of earth got together, in 1927, and "outlawed" war. Then, for the first time, the nations began to proclaim "PEACE!" and "SAFETY!" Now listen. Listen carefully, seriously, to God's prophecy of this event, and His solemn warning of what shall then come quickly and SUDDENLY! "But of the times and the seasons, brethren," (notice, thru Paul God is here speaking to the BRETHREN, not the unconverted) "ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For WHEN they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and THEY shall not escape." (I Thes. 5:1-3). SUDDEN DESTRUCTION! Now just around the corner: And the event that brings it will be the dark and dreadful "DAY OF THE LORD." Some have thought this a time of peace.
The Day of God's Fierce Wrath!
But notice how the Bible describes the "Day of the Lord!" "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light." (Amos 5:18). "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty!" (Isa. 13:6). "Alas for the day: for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a DESTRUCTION from the Almighty shall it come... a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness." (Joel 1:15; 2:2) The great day of the Lord is near...that day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness." (Zeph. 1:14, 15). Notice that the "day of the Lord" is a time of DESTRUCTION — the day of GOD'S WRATH.
The Time-Sequence of Impending Events
In order properly to understand the Bible prophecies so we may know what now lies ahead, it is necessary that we correctly relate the different prophecies as to time-sequence. It is in the Book of Revelation that we find most vividly painted in the details of events to happen from this time forward. But the story-flow, and the time-sequence of the events pictured in this book have not been commonly understood. Notice, chapter 1 verse 1, it is the Revelation, not the concealment, of JESUS CHRIST. The theme of the book as a whole is the conditions at the age-end, leading to the Second coming of Christ as the supreme climax of its story. But Revelation is in symbolical language, and we need a KEY to open up its true meaning, its story-thread, its time-sequence. So we ask, did Jesus ever reveal the story of the same general theme in plain language else-where? And we know He did — in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. The general story as told in Matthew 24 is the KEY to the story, in its fuller details, as told in Revelation. The disciples had asked Jesus, (Mat. 24:3), "what shall be the SIGN of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Jesus told them, (verse 5), there would be false Christs and teachers. There have been, in ever increasing numbers. Second, there would be WARS, but this would not signify the end-time, for, at the time of the end, (verse7), nation would rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, in real world war. We have had wars on down thru time. From 500 B.C. to 1925 A.D. there were 902 known wars. But, computed in relation to duration, numbers engaged, casualties, and number of countries involved the "index number" of wars has steadily risen. It had become 2.7 in the 12th Century, rising to 13,735.98, for the first quarter of the present century. The world war was the first that fit the description "nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." So the END time is HERE!
Where We are Today in Prophecy
Third, Jesus said there would be FAMINES (verse 7). There have been, culminating in the most colossal famine in all history recently in Russia. Then fourth, Jesus said there would be PESTILENCES, (v. 7). These, too have occurred, but the pestilence which was the most terrible ever known was the flu epidemic at the time of the world war. Following this, Jesus said "Then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time." (v. 21). Combining the many, many other prophecies of this great tribulation, describing its every phase and cause, including unemployment, millionaire suicides, hoarded gold and money withdrawn from circulation, general lawlessness, lukewarm and formal churches, etc., we may be absolutely certain that we are in, and for about three years have been passing thru, this great world-wide tribulation.
What Shall Immediately Follow
And "Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Verse 29). To get the connection of this darkening of sun and moon, and falling of stars, let us now compare carefully with the 6th chapter of Revelation. Remember, in the Matthew story we had False Christs and prophets, wars, famines, pestilences, tribulation, and then the signs in the sun and moon. In verses 1 and 2 of Revelation 6, the 1st seal is opened, and "white horse" symbolizes the false Christs and prophets. The "red horse" of the second seal, Bible students agree, symbolizes WAR. The "black horse" of the 3rd seal (v. 5,6) symbolizes FAMINE. The "pale horse" of the 4th seal (v. 8, 9) symbolizes PESTILENCE. And the 5th seal (v. 9-11), describes another phase of the TRIBULATION — the martyrdom of Christians — and this has been occurring in Russia, German, and other countries. And under the 6th seal, (v. 12, 13), the sun becomes black, the moon as blood, and the stars fall. The sequences correspond exactly with Mat. 24 — false prophets, war, famine, pestilence, tribulation, heavenly signs. Now let us compare the next event in the two prophecies; Matthew 24:30 says: "And then shall appear the SIGN of the Son of man in heaven: and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn."
The SIGN of the Son of Man
What IS the SIGN of the Son of man, now soon to occur? The corresponding event, described in Rev. 6:14, reveals it: "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places." This rolling together of the heavens like a scroll, then, is the SIGN of the almost immediate coming of Christ. At that time, the unsaved of the earth will be frantic. People will run to hide themselves in the holes of the rocks in the mountains, and cry for the rocks to fall on them, and hide them from the face of Him whom they SEE sitting on His throne in heaven. Now see what is to be ushered in by this: "For the great day of His WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (V. 17). We have seen that the "day of His Wrath" is the "Day of the Lord" which also is a day of DESTRUCTION. WHO will be able to stand it? Will YOU, brother, sister? You can't escape it. It is just as CERTAIN as were all these other events which have happened right on schedule! But let us carry thru this story-thread of Revelation further,
The Seven Trumpets
We now come to the seventh chapter of this book. It is "AFTER these things" just described, that the opening of the 7th seal is held back until the 144,000, the "first-fruits" of the redeemed (ch. 14:4), of the twelve literal tribes of Israel, are sealed in their foreheads. What is the SEAL placed there? The 1st verse of chapter 14 will tell you. These will be protected from the plagues to come. Those who suffer the plagues have the "mark of the beast", and they, too, have a name written in their foreheads, "BABYLON", which means confusion. But this is a complete, wonderfully interesting and important story in itself, and will be dealt with in a future issue. After the sealing of the 144,000 we come to the eighth chapter. In verse 1, the 7th seal is opened, and what is this seal? "And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given SEVEN TRUMPETS." (Verse 2). The seventh seal, then, comes in seven stages, each called a TRUMPET. The seven Trumpets ARE, and compose, the seventh seal. These seven Trumpets are seven plagues, divine judgements from God, which shall soon fall upon the earth, and they form the beginning of the dark and terrible "DAY OF THE LORD." Chapter 8 to 11 describe them.
The Two Witnesses
Then, in chapter 11, is the story of the mysterious "two witnesses." We shall not attempt here to identify them. Sufficient it is to call your attention to the fact that they END their "1260 days" of prophesying at the time of the end of the "second woe," which is the sixth "trumpet." That is an important key. Now notice, Rev. 11:15: "And the seventh angel sounded." Here is the seventh and last of the "trumpets!" What IS the seventh "trumpet?" The key to it is in verse 18: "And the nations were angry, and THY WRATH IS COME." The Seventh Trumpet is God's Wrath." Skipping now chapter 12, dealing with the "two wonders," chapter 13, dealing with the "beast" and "image to the beast", and chapter 14, dealing with 144,000 again, and the three angel messages of warning — all "inset" chapters, inserted into the main story-flow of the theme of Revelation, we pick up the story-thread again in chapter 15. And here we read: "Seven angels, having the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, for in them is filled up THE WRATH OF GOD Here again, as in the case of the seventh seal, the seventh "trumpet" is divided into seven stages, the Seven Last Plagues. As the end nears, things move faster and faster. These terrible plagues are described in the 15th and 16th chapters. We have space to leave with you only this hint: The plagues of Egypt, preceding the Exodus under Moses, were a type of these final plagues, following which will be the greatest Exodus the world has ever known! The 17th and 18th chapters are two more "insets" injected into the main story flow, dealing with Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots. Her identification, and that of her daughters, will have to await a future article.
A WORLD RULER Appears
In the 19th chapter the main story-thread is again picked up. Its time-setting is at the end of the seventh and last plague. And now the story draws to its thrilling and mighty climax! It begins with verse 11: The heavens are opened, and there emerges One riding a white horse! He is called "Faithful and True." "And in righteousness he doth judge and make war." On His head are many crowns. He is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood (v. 13). His name is called "The Word of God." This name is identified in John 1:1, 14, as being that of Jesus Christ! He smites the nations of all the earth, and rules them with a "rod of iron!" He also bears the name "KING OF KINGS", and LORD OF LORDS." Here, at last, truly, is a SUPER-Man! Here is the True WORLD DICTATOR! His reign will be a righteous one (v. 11), and it will be for ever and ever! (Daniel 7:14).
Other Scriptures Verify
Here we have seen, in brief synopsis, the unfolding of impending world events from this very hour onward! Do you wonder we stated, in the opening paragraphs, that we stand today on the very threshold of events that will stagger the mind of man? These are TREMENDOUS days. We shall be wise, indeed, to consider solemnly their ominous portent, and to heed the Warning, and turn to seek the Lord our God with our whole heart! Other Scriptures scattered thru the Bible verify this soon coming of Jesus Christ back to earth. Notice the 1st chapter of Acts. After His resurrection, Jesus was standing on the Mount of Olives, conversing with His disciples. "And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight." (v. 9). Two angels appeared and said: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? THIS SAME JESUS, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (v. 11). How did He go? He was standing on the Mount of Olives (v. 12). He rose up into the air, was caught into a cloud, and disappeared up into heaven. The texts already of many passages show He will return in the clouds. But some doubt that He will return IN LIKE MANNER as He went, returning all the way to the earth, until He stands again upon the Mount of Olives. Read Zechariah 14:1-4. Compare verse 3 with Rev. 19:19, at His coming. Then notice verse 4: "And his feet shall stand in that day UPON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES!" Yes, Jesus is coming! He is coming as He went! HE IS COMING SOON! Read the first two chapters of Joel. See also Luke 21:25-27, and then verse 28: "And when these things BEGIN to come to pass (They began in 1929!) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (Christ) draweth night!" May God help us to heed! "Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart!" Will you do it?
The Plain Truth published the Lord willing, the first of each month, in conjunction with the services of the RADIO CHURCH OF GOD, broadcast each Sunday morning at 10, over KORE, Eugene, 1420 kilocycles. Editor, Herbert W. Armstrong. Sent free to all who send in name and address, as the Lord provides. Extra copies for distribution, 10 copies 40¢, 35 for $1, 100 for $3. Address communications to the editor, or the Radio Church of God, KORE, Eugene