by Herbert W. Armstrong
page 2 Plain Truth June/July 1980
WHAT A PARADOX! No nations ever so rich! None ever so blessed by Almighty God! Now we stand condemned to total disaster!
THIS IS the most seriously-in-earnest article I have ever written for The Plain Truth. Our beloved country—yours and mine—now faces TOTAL DESTRUCTION!
It will come soon! Not this year. Probably not next—but much sooner than anyone thinks! We ourselves already have CAUSED IT!
Today, nations are interrelated. What happens in one nation affects another. Events now are moving with fast and increasing momentum! This nation is now heading rapidly into the most terrifying havoc the mind of man could contemplate.
LISTEN! This is no pipe dream! It is the TRUTH from the God of all creation!
I will give it to you straight first—then I will give you the CAUSES and the AUTHORITY by which I speak. Take time to read it all! It’s a serious matter of life and death—and eternity—for us all!
A third of our people—white English-speaking people and minorities with us—will die in a disease epidemic such as the world never experienced—resulting from imminent FAMINE! I do not know whether in two or three years—or in another decade or more—but sooner than people think!
Our cities will be destroyed, and with them another third of all our beloved peoples! This was all prophesied—as I shall show you—more than 500 years before Christ.
But the world—its theologians and religionists—have been blind to these words of God for nearly 2,500 years! This military destruction, of course, means NUCLEAR destruction—hydrogen bombs!
The third of our peoples left alive will be taken away from our country as slaves to enemy lands overseas!
Politicians, Theologians Won’t Tell!
Candidates for President KNOW many of the CAUSES drawing us now rapidly into the vortex of utter disaster! Why are they afraid to tell you the REAL TRUTH about inflation, balance of payments problems with other nations, dollar devaluation—many other evil CAUSES which they knowingly perpetuate?
Why do not theologians, doctors of divinity and of theology, evangelists, religious leaders shout this warning to you? THEY SIMPLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND God’s prophecies! They do not preach what God’s Word says—they take a piece of a sentence or a paragraph here or there out of context—yet leave about 98 percent of the Bible unread and unpreached!
WAKE UP! Readers of The Plain Truth! If they have not the courage to tell you, I HAVE!
First let me tell you WHY I am now sounding this warning! It is not of my own will! Most of you readers will not believe it. BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHY I MUST GIVE YOU THIS WARNING ANYWAY!
One of the major prophets of God, prior to the time of Christ, was the prophet Ezekiel. Please read carefully. Please bear with me. After all it’s your life we’re concerned about. I want every one of you to know what’s going to happen to you, your town or city.
Ezekiel, under the Old Testament priesthood, had been a priest. But he had been taken a captive by Babylon with other Jews in the captivity of King Jehoiachin of Judah. He was a prisoner, by the river Chebar in Babylon.
In a vision it seemed to him the heavens opened. He recorded what he saw.
The first chapter of the book of Ezekiel records a very mysterious sight he saw in the heavens in this vision. While this is different to, and centuries before the apostle John saw the heavenly throne of God in his vision, the similarities indicate strongly that Ezekiel was seeing the heavenly throne of God in his. He was to write a MOST IMPORTANT PROPHETIC WARNING FOR YOU AND ME IN THIS LATTER PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY!
The voice of God said to Ezekiel: “I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers hath transgressed against me even unto this very day” (Ezekiel 2:3). The “children of Israel” could, and here did, include all 12 tribes.
However, Ezekiel was sent especially to “the HOUSE OF ISRAEL”—a term which refers ONLY to the people of the northern 10-tribed kingdom, often referred to as the “Lost Ten Tribes.” They were never called Jews.
The first place in the Bible where the name Jews is used is II Kings 16:6, where Israel, allied with Syria, is at war AGAINST THE JEWS! The southern kingdom had retained Jerusalem as its capital, but had seceded from Israel. They were led by the tribe of Judah and were called Jews. But none of the northern 10 tribes, with the capital at Samaria, were ever called Jews. The term “house of Israel” in the Old Testament always refers to those of these 10 tribes. The term “children of Israel” quoted above, refers to all 12 tribes—both nations, the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.
The more specific commission of Ezekiel is mentioned in chapter 3 verse 1 where God said, “Go, speak unto THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.” Again in verse 4: “And He said unto me, Son of man, GO, get thee unto the HOUSE OF ISRAEL.”
Ezekiel Never Allowed to Travel
Now at this point UNDERSTAND THIS: Ezekiel was a captive, a prisoner. His country, Judah, had been invaded, and he was among the prisoners of war in a prison camp beside the river Chebar in the nation of Babylon.
But the HOUSE OF ISRAEL—the nation to which he was sent—had been taken captive more than a hundred years before Judah’s captivity. The HOUSE OF ISRAEL had been taken to Assyria on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea as slaves. But before Ezekiel became a war prisoner, the Assyrians themselves had gone into captivity, together with their Israelite slaves. Where they migrated to is revealed in our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The prophet Ezekiel was never freed nor allowed to travel from his prison camp in Babylon to the house of Israel. The lamentations and woes of the message to be carried to Israel never occurred in Ezekiel’s time or later. They are to strike America and Britain in our time. This is borne out by several other prophecies!
So Ezekiel merely received and wrote the warning message. It was a prophecy for the latter part of the 20th century. IT HAD REMAINED FOR A MODERN 20TH CENTURY “Ezekiel” to understand and deliver the message! YOU ARE READING THAT MESSAGE NOW!
God said to Ezekiel—and his 20th-century counterpart who was ultimately to deliver the message—”Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the HOUSE OF ISRAEL” (Ezekiel 3:17). In other words, one who is to watch events as they fulfill prophecies leading up to what Ezekiel is to WARN the “lost” 10-tribed ISRAEL about.
Later, God puts this another way. Beginning chapter 33, verse 2, God says, “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword [military invasion] upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman; if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. . . . But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword [military or atomic invasion] come, and take any person from among them . . . his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the HOUSE OF ISRAEL [U.S. and British peoples] . . .” (Ezekiel 33:2-7).
A Modern Ezekiel Carries the Message
There is duality here. First, God sets a modern “Ezekiel” as a watchman. Then the PEOPLE set him as their watchman.
UNDERSTAND THIS! In Ezekiel’s day he was a P.O.W.—a prisoner of war, taken from his own country into Babylon. The people of Judah never set him as their watchman. But Christ’s Apostle for our day has been set—first by Christ, then by the people of God—as their watchman. That is, one to watch events as they fulfill prophecy, to perceive and warn the people of the 20th-century house of Israel when such military invasion is reasonably imminent. He would have to be one with facilities available for warning the whole nations of America and the British peoples.
WHO ELSE, in our time, knows who are the modern Lost Ten Tribes—the HOUSE OF ISRAEL? No other church or leader has this knowledge.
Now what is the very crux of Ezekiel’s WARNING? It is found in chapters 5 and 6. God says to 20th-century British and Americans (5:8-9), “Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold I, even I, am against thee and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations!” (Emphasis mine.) Compare with Matthew 24:21; Daniel 12:1-2; Jeremiah 30:3-7.) There can be only one time of trouble more severe than any before or since. These four prophecies all speak of THE GREAT TRIBULATION. Jeremiah shows it will be primarily that of the British and Americans. Ezekiel shows, as quoted below, the nature and extent of that trouble.
Ezekiel’s prophecy continues, “Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. A THIRD PART OF THEE SHALL DIE WITH THE PESTILENCE and with famine will they be consumed in the midst of thee: AND A THIRD PART SHALL FALL BY THE SWORD [nuclear destruction of our cities—see later, from chapter 6] . . . and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my FURY to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I THE LORD HAVE SPOKEN IT IN MY ZEAL, WHEN I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED MY FURY IN THEM” (Ezekiel 5:11-13, emphasis mine).
This is to be the most terrible fate ever to happen to any people! God is going to send it upon peoples who, more than any others, have KNOWN HIS WILL—and have ignored it and rebelled against Him!
God has blessed us as no other nations! Not only has He blessed us with material wealth and national greatness unmatched, but He has blessed us with His TRUTH which our nations have spurned. We have made atheistic evolution the very foundation of our educational system, in which we have reared our children. Hundreds upon hundreds of our churches have idols that are adored. We Americans took our land away from the Indians and treated them unfairly. Our sins are monumental!
In chapter 6:6-8, a continuation of the above, “In all your dwelling places [different countries to which they shall have emigrated by the 20th century] THE CITIES SHALL BE LAID WASTE . . . and the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD. Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations when ye shall be scattered through the countries.”
The phrase “YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD” is frequently used by Ezekiel, designating Christ’s Second Coming in GLORY and POWER! This great calamity foretold by Ezekiel actually shall begin in the “GREAT TRIBULATION” but will continue through the “DAY OF THE LORD”—the time of God’s “FURY” mentioned earlier, and until Christ’s coming in SUPREME POWER to RULE!
Ezekiel definitely pin-points this prophecy to “the HOUSE OF ISRAEL”—which is 20th-century United States and the British nations—later in this 6th chapter:
“And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them. Thus saith the Lord God, smite with thine hand, and stamp with thy foot, and say, Alas for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they SHALL FALL BY THE SWORD, BY THE FAMINE, AND BY THE PESTILENCE . . . thus will I accomplish my FURY upon them. Then shall ye know that I am the LORD! . . .” (verses 10-13).
Again I repeat, “they shall know that I am the LORD” is a phrase Ezekiel uses continually to designate the Second Coming of Christ, when they will KNOW that He is LORD! Also this removes all doubt that this prophecy pertains to the Lost Ten Tribes of THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL who, today are the United States and British nations!
The identity of WHO is to be involved, and of the TIME of the prophecy, is made doubly sure. It shall begin with the “GREAT TRIBULATION,” and carry on through the “DAY OF THE LORD” right up to the time of Christ’s Second Coming. Jeremiah 30 makes this even more certain.
A Time of Unparalleled Tribulation
Ezekiel gives a preview of what will happen to “lost” 10-tribed Israel. Matthew gives a general description of its enormous severity. Here Jesus Himself is quoted.
Jesus said the sign by which we may know when the end of this present world and the coming of Christ is NEAR, is that “this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14), and then on the heels of that, “there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (verses 21-22).
Mark 13 and Luke 21 speak of the same.
Now notice Daniel’s prophecy of the same GREAT TRIBULATION: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a TIME OF TROUBLE, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered every one that shall be found written in the book; and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life” . . . (Daniel 12:1-2).
Daniel shows WHEN it shall occur—just before the resurrection and Christ’s return.
Now notice Jeremiah’s prophecy of the same event. Begin in Jeremiah 30, verse 5: “For thus saith the LORD, We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces turned into paleness? Alas for that day is great so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble. . . .” (This tells upon which nations the GREAT TRIBULATION will fall primarily.) The United States and the British are, primarily, 20th-century “Jacob.” (See our book, United States and Britain in Prophecy.)
Now remember Ezekiel shows that our nations—the third remaining alive—shall be scattered—driven away from our own lands. I said we shall become SLAVES in enemy nations. Jeremiah now brings out this fact. Continue:
“. . . yet he [Jacob] shall be saved out of it. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I will break the yoke [of slavery] from off their neck, and I will burst their bonds, and strangers shall no more make servants of them, But they [remnant of U.S.-British peoples] shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I shall raise up [from the dead] for them” (verses 7-8, Revised Standard Version).
Later, Jeremiah adds, “ALL thy lovers [allies—other allied nations] have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. . . . Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be for a spoil. . . . For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord. . . . Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places . . .” (verses 14, 16-18).
In the following chapter 31 Jeremiah shows the NEW COVENANT being made—after Christ’s return in POWER and GLORY!
This should be tied up with Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. God promised ancient Israel, under Moses, national wealth and greatness UPON OBEDIENCE. But, if they continually disobeyed, God would remove the birthright promise for 2,520 years. This expired in about A.D. 1800. Britain and America suddenly grew until we possessed more than two thirds of all the cultivated wealth of the entire earth. All other nations combined possessed a little more than one fourth!
But already Britain’s sun has set! It is no longer the greatest EMPIRE in world history. It is no longer “Great” Britain. It is now one of the smaller nations. It has lost its tremendous possessions.
Concerning the United States, in Leviticus 26:19, God says, “I will break the pride of thy power.” She still has the military power, although Russia is now passing her, but she is afraid to use it—has no pride in it. The United States has been held at bay by little Iran—held up to scorn and ridicule before the world. She is on the way DOWN—and OUT!
In Leviticus 26 God says that, once He has fulfilled His unconditional PROMISE to Abraham in our individual and collective national greatness, if we continue in our sins, He will PUNISH US beyond all natural results of our own folly! I have outlined above what that punishment shall be.
A Remnant Escapes
But right here we need to backtrack a little. Above I have quoted Ezekiel 6:7. Now consider verse 8: “Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations. . . “
This follows the prophecy of a third of our people dying from famine and disease, and a third by destruction of our cities—”by the sword”—and the remaining third taken as captive slaves to enemy lands.
Compare this with Revelation 3:10. It is speaking of the “Philadelphia” era of God’s Church, during the latter half of this 20th century, and says, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [trial, or tribulation] which shall come upon all the world. . . .”
Compare also with Revelation 12:14, speaking of a time now very soon to come, after the war in heaven, when Satan and his demons are cast back down to earth:
“And to the woman”—the persecuted true Church of God—”were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [3½ years] from the face of the serpent.”
NOW WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
I suppose the average reader will pass it over totally unheeded. Woe to you who do. No one else is sounding this warning. If I were warning the ancient city of Nineveh, THEY WOULD HEED, and save themselves alive!
We have never yet come to a time when men will clutch at their stomach and loins, in fright and fear and in pain as a woman in childbirth! Such a time is now JUST AROUND THE CORNER! THIS WARNING IS DIRECT FROM THE WORD OF GOD—not my imagination. You can read it yourself in the Bible!
I have not overestimated the SERIOUSNESS of this! The time has now come for this SERIOUS WARNING to go forth in mighty POWER! Millions will see this warning in The Plain Truth!