Herbert W. Armstrong
Post Office Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85701
April 21, 1982
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ:
I have very frightening, very sobering -- yet very reassuring -- news! You need the real FACTS on nuclear TERRORISM now threatening the lives of every one of us. You need to know the imminency and REALITY of this impending threat -- but we need also to know the PROPHECIES about it and that the assurance of God is also REAL!
Let me briefly summarize the existing FACTS of nuclear war possibilities, frightening as they are -- and the Bible PROPHECIES about it -- and then what prophecy says is actually GOING TO HAPPEN!
The world entered the Atomic Age 37 years ago this August. At eight seconds past 8:16 a.m. on August 6, 1945, an American atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan. The violent shock wave produced by the uranium weapon, coupled with the intense heat of its huge fireball, totally devastated the city. More than 75,000 people were killed or fatally injured.
Three days later, the Japanese city of Nagasaki suffered a similar fate at the hands of another U.S. atomic weapon, this time a plutonium bomb. In two awesome displays, the world witnessed for the first time the terrible power of the atom!
In November, 1952, the far more frightening hydrogen bomb -- a thousand times more powerful -- was an awesome announcement!
The U.S. lead in atomic weapons' development was soon followed by the Soviet Union. Later Britain, France and China became members of the so-called "Big Five" nuclear powers.
For years these five nations were an exclusive club. They were in sole possession of the knowledge and technology necessary to produce weapons of mass destruction.
But not so today!
The "secret" of atomic and hydrogen military technology is no longer even remotely secret. Possibly a half dozen additional countries now already secretly possess nuclear weapons.
The shocking fact is that no less than 35 countries already have, or will have by 1985, the technological know-how and the capacity to produce nuclear weapons! These include Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Iraq, South Korea, Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, South Africa, Taiwan and Yugoslavia.
No corner of the globe will be safe from the specter of cataclysmic destruction!
Even more disturbing is the growing prospect of NUCLEAR TERRORISM -- nuclear MASS MURDER by madmen bent on their own insane goals! Many authorities believe that when the next nuclear bomb is used, it will be by terrorists and not by a national government.
The destructive capacity of nuclear bombs in terrorists' hands is a growing risk. It is a documented fact that uranium and plutonium -- vital nuclear arms materials -- have been stolen, smuggled internationally and offered for sale.
One expert estimates that there is enough "material unaccounted for" at American facilities alone to make more than 20 plutonium bombs and half a dozen uranium bombs! Officials have no idea where this nuclear material is!
In addition to terrorist groups, experts fear that unstable regimes in various countries could also get the bomb. An unbalanced Third World dictator with a nuclear device could kill millions of people. A new Stalin or Hitler in a major nation would have the stockpiles to literally obliterate the entire human race!
The nuclear "genie" is out of the bottle! Events are even now impelling the world toward a time of cataclysmic destruction. It is time to awake to the imminence of nuclear war and nuclear terrorism!
Now what does PROPHECY reveal actually WILL happen!
The one central prophecy in the New Testament is Matthew 24. Luke 21 and Mark 13 are parallel accounts of the same prophecy of JESUS!
Just outside the temple at Jerusalem, Jesus' disciples were showing Him the buildings of the temple. He said the temple was going to be totally destroyed. A little later, on the Mount of Olives they asked Him, "When shall these things be? and [another question] what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"
Jesus answered their first question first -- because He knew that destruction of the temple was to occur in the latter part of their lifetimes.
"Take heed that no man deceive you," He said (Matt. 24:4). Actually the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. But many deceivers were to enter before then, turning people to a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-7 and II Cor. 11:3-4 and 13-15), and so Jesus warned that no man deceive them -- the apostles. "For" Jesus said, "many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24:5).
Even down to TODAY, gospel preaching going out to all the world says that JESUS is the Christ -- that is their message. But it is their message, not Christ's. Christ's MESSAGE was His GOSPEL. Ever since A.D. 70 gospel preaching has been the message of PREACHERS and EVANGELISTS ABOUT Christ, but not Christ's Gospel message. Jesus' message was the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD (Mark 1:1, 14-15). That message was NOT proclaimed to the world for 1,900 years, until I began proclaiming it the first week in January, 1934, by radio, and after proclaiming it for 19 years coast to coast, it went out to Europe over the world's most powerful radio station, Radio Luxembourg, first week in January, 1953.
Jesus did not answer the second part of the disciples' question until later, recorded in verse 14, "And this gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
Co-workers, this Church is proclaiming that Gospel for a witness to all nations -- not actually into every single nation, but for a WITNESS to all nations. It had not been proclaimed for 1,900 years! If it had been, its being preached now would NOT be a sign of the end of this age, and the coming of Jesus Christ.
But now continue on. When this Gospel of the Kingdom of God is proclaimed, it is not the actual coming of Christ and end of this world -- but the SIGN that it is coming. But of specific events, what's prophesied NEXT?
Verses 21-22: ''Then 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! (see Moffatt translation).
"NO HUMAN LIFE SAVED ALIVE!" That is, UNLESS God intervenes to cut short that time. But, last part of verse 22, for the elect's sake -- HIS CHURCH -- HE WILL INTERVENE AND PREVENT THIS TOTAL BLASTING OF ALL LIFE FROM THE EARTH! Here is a prophecy that could NOT be fulfilled UNTIL:
1) The Gospel of the Kingdom of God had gone out as a witness for the WHOLE WORLD, and;
2) Until the development of NUCLEAR POWER that could ERASE ALL HUMAN LIFE FROM EARTH!
Look at Daniel 12:1-2: At the time of the END (chapter 11:40) of this world, "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 [God's Church] shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book [of life]. And many of them that sleep [deadl in the dust of the earth shall awake" -- in the resurrection at Christ's coming!
Now back to Matthew 24. Verse 29, immediately after the tribulation, frightening signs in the sun, moon and stars, and then, verse 30, the Second Coming of CHRIST!
Speaking of this same END TIME, "In all your dwellingplaces, THE CITIES SHALL BE LAID WASTE" (Ezek. 6:6). Cities now have populations into multiple MILLIONS. No such destruction in ALL the cities could have occurred before the hydrogen bomb!
But God WILL INTERVENE! His Church SHALL BE PROTECTED!
We who have restored CHRIST'S TRUE GOSPEL to the world, who have come out of this world, and served the great GOD, and SUFFERED PERSECUTION and FALSE ACCUSATION, shall be delivered from terrifying evils such as never occurred before. Let us REMAIN FAITHFUL and supportive of God's great and END-TIME WORK!
Now I have a personal announcement for our brethren and co-workers.
On April 18, 1977, I wrote our membership a very personal announcement. It said that at age 25, God had provided me with the wife of my youth. We were happily married for 50 years lacking only three and one-half months to the day. He used her in bringing about my conversion, and as my close partner in being used of Christ in the raising up and building of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. Also she had given me the needed closeness and warmth of companionship, love, affection and inspiration only a wife can give.
For 10 years after her death, I carried on alone. But in my letter to you April 18, 1977, I said the loneliness had reminded me how God said, "It is not good that a man should be alone," and I felt God had, after 10 years, provided me with a wife to be constantly at my side and give the help and companionship needed for God's Work.
But with deepest regret I have to say to you now, Mrs. Ramona Armstrong has refused to be at my side here in Pasadena headquarters or in further travel, but has insisted on living separately in Tucson. It has been determined by events, facts and fruits that I am not spiritually bound by God and only by man's law of this world.
Circumstances now render it ill-advised that I condone the continuation of the legal marriage, both from the Church point of view and of my own. It was my hope and effort to resolve the matter, and with the least publicity possible, for the benefit of the Church, for her and for myself. All attempts to do so have failed. It has therefore become necessary that I accede to the advice of Church legal counsel and file the necessary legal proceedings. I assure you every effort has been made, at cost of heavy stress on me personally, to avoid this.
God HATES divorce. So do I. I have gone to every effort to prevent this. It would be inappropriate at this time that I state all the facts, but if necessary and proper later, I will reveal more.
This matter of marriage and divorce has been of very serious concern to the Church, and to me personally. I had never known of a divorce in my own family as far back as I have record or knowledge. I lived 50 years with the wife of my youth -- happily. I have made every effort to avoid this action that I hate. You may be sure, of course, that it is not taken except after every effort, continuous heartrending prayer, and completely in accordance with God's Word and teaching, and the teaching of God's Church, especially I Corinthians 7:12-15.
This determination SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A PRECEDENT TO ENCOURAGE OR JUSTIFY OTHER DIVORCES IN THE CHURCH.
It is my sincere prayer that this necessary action and any following publicity will not in any way adversely affect the Church or the spiritual life or growth of any of its members.
God reveals truths and matters to His servants. It is our opinion that there are other agents bearing influence in this matter. Also that it is the intent to maximize all adverse publicity against God's Church to the fullest, I feel that you should be made aware of what I have revealed here.
With much love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. One last word. As I write, the greater part of the British fleet that once "ruled the waves" of the whole world, in one vast armada is arriving just off the Falkland Islands, ready for WAR. The Argentines are poised ready for WAR. British possession of these islands has meant British CONTROL of one of the great sea GATES of the world. One of the PROMISES of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, directly repromised to Ephraim (Britain) and Manasseh (United States) in our day, was to possess these GATES of enemy nations. These gates included the Suez Canal, Panama Canal, Cape of Good Hope, Gibraltar, Singapore, and these Falkland Islands. God prophesied that, because of disobedience, we should LOSE these islands in this end time. All have been lost except these Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and some other incidental islands.
DON'T BE SURPRISED IF THE BRITISH FLEET IS DESTROYED IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS! Gibraltar will come next, and already is in danger.