After 2,550 Years…
JEWS ARE A NATION AGAIN!
by Herbert W. ArmstrongContinue reading…
by Herbert W. ArmstrongContinue reading…
Why Did God Raise Up the Nation Israel — and Deny Them Spiritual Salvation?
Published in the Good News Magazine, May 1984Did anyone ever think to ask WHY God raised up the ancient nation Israel, denying them His Holy Spirit and eternal salvation – except their prophets only? Why “chosen people”? WHY were Old Testament Israelites called God’s “chosen people” —and still denied the Holy Spirit to beget them into eternal life? “Chosen”—for what? To be teacher’s pet? For special favors above other nations? Was God a respecter of nations? To understand, we need to start with Adam and Eve. It is an intriguing story, and I have never seen it put together in this manner before. The true reason for ancient Israel is an integral part of God’s supreme master plan. Continue reading…
By Gene H Hogberg THE world, as the new year dawns, is poised on the brink of momentous change. Fast-paced events are already unfolding in Western Europe and in the Middle East as the world heads into the. politically storm-filled mid 1980s. The stage has been set by two major events. The first was the stunning collapse in September of the West German government and the fall from power of its widely respected chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. The second occurred at the same time. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians perished in a massacre in West Beirut, Lebanon. World opinion turned against the state of Israel, which was held responsible for not preventing the pogrom carried out by its troublesome Lebanese allies. Let’s first look at these events in some detail. Then we can see how these two seemingly unconnected events have set in motion a profound change in world affairs. Schmidt Era Over On September 17, the 13-year-old national coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in West Germany came to an abrupt end, with the resignation of four FDP cabinet members. The development, rumored for some time because of irreconcilable differences between the SPD and FDP, also Brought to a close the eight-year rule of Chancellor Schmidt. After ‘an October 1 “constructive vote of no confidence” the opposition conservative parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian affiliate, the Christian Socialist Union (CSU), assumed power once again-linked in coalition with the Free Democrats, who, in effect, swapped partners. Many political analysts, however, appear to have doubts about the new chancellor, Helmut Kohl. Herr Kohl is a successful though not particularly colorful politician. He has steadily marched up through the ranks of party leadership to become CDU chairman. But he may not have, believe his detractors, what it takes to stand up to expected stiff challenges ahead in the nation, plagued by economic slowdown and increasingly polarized politics. Labor union leaders, for example, have warned they may order rank-and-file members into the streets to protest planned cuts in social spending. Leftist student groups are certain to protest louder than ever, as the day approaches, Bonn’s decision to accept the stationing of new NATO nuclear missiles by the end of 1983. West Germany has nevertheless taken a decisive step away from 13 years of leftward-drifting socialism. Its leadership is back in the center-right position once again. It will continue to progressively move to the right over the years. The Social Democrats, now in opposition, are expected to move farther to the left, possibly even attempting to incorporate the so-called Green movement (which is composed of younger Germans who focus on single issues such as the environment, antinuclear power and anti-NATO, among others). Thus the stage is being set for even more political fireworks in the Bundestag in Bonn. If Herr Kohl fails to provide the leadership needed to meet the challenges ahead, especially from the radical left, there is always Franz Josef Strauss, CSU chairman and Herr Kohl’s chief conservative rival, ready to offer his more dynamic style of leadership. After national elections, perhaps in March, the CDU/CSU hopes to win a clear majority. In that case the weakened FDP would no longer be needed and may in fact disappear on the national level. At that time, predicts Business Week, Herr Strauss will “emerge, in a purely Christian Democratic government, as foreign minister and power broker.” And perhaps also as vice-chancellor, which would be a stepping-stone to the top position denied him in the election of October, 1980. Europeans Furious at Israel Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Israel’s war in Lebanon against the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) unleashed an unprecedented amount of criticism from all quarters in Europe. The governments and the news media of France, West Germany, Italy and other countries have soundly condemned the Israeli military campaign that. led to the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from West Beirut. Nevertheless, the Jerusalem government might have escaped relatively unharmed had the massacre of Palestinian civilians not taken place. Israel was blamed for permitting the carnage, since the Israeli Defense Force had moved into West Beirut ostensibly to keep warring factions apart. Without a doubt, the Israeli military blundered by entrusting to its Lebanese Falangist allies the job of rooting out straggling PLO soldiers in two urban Palestinian camps. Instead, the Falangists took revenge, slaughtering hundreds of Palestinian women, children and the elderly for the murder of President-elect Bashir Gemayel, their fallen chief. The Israelis are no longer seen as underdogs in the Middle East as they were in the 1967 war, or even in 1973. They are now Goliath instead of David. Worse yet, they have been compared with a most ignominious event in Jewish history. President Francois Mitterrand of France, for example, an earlier supporter of Israel, described Israel’s actions in Lebanon as similar to those committed by the Nazis in Occupied Europe. And he said this before the dreadful events of West Beirut were known. West German news sources have been exceptionally strong in their opposition to Israel’s campaign against the PLO, employing heavily emotive words and phrases such as “war of extermination” and “final solution.” One West German official said that because of the Beirut siege” “Israel has done a lot to remove itself from its pedestal of high moral standing. It has lost call it its virginity.” For Israelis, the entire Lebanon campaign has turned out to be a very agonizing experience. With the ouster of the PLO gunmen from West Beirut, Prime Minister Menachem Begin proclaimed that “there is reason to say ‘and the land was tranquil’ for some years perhaps 40 years, perhaps 80, perhaps a generation.” Then the “roof caved in” for Israel, and with it her moral standing even among her supporters. PLO Gains Acceptance More than ever, the “underdog” PLO is receiving favor in Europe. Even the Vatican has extended a cautious welcome. On September 15, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat was granted a 20-minute private audience with Pope John Paul II in Rome. The reception understandably unleashed a storm of protest in Jerusalem. After the meeting the Vatican released a communique saying that by granting the audience the Pope “demonstrated his benevolence towards the Palestinian people … expressing the wish that an equitable and lasting solution be reached as soon as possible to the Middle East conflict, which would, excluding recourse to armed violence in any form and above all to terrorism and vengeance, lead to the recognition of the rights of all people, in particular to those of the Palestinians, to a homeland of their own and of Israel to her security.” Thus the Pope carefully distanced himself from the PLO’s terrorist methodology. But he once again came down squarely on the side of a homeland he has used the Latin word patria in the past for the Palestinians, not some sort of vague, nonsovereign self-rule. The Vatican and Israel hold entirely different views on the future course of Middle Eastern affairs. The Holy See stands firm against Israeli claims, based on biblical references, to the West Bank (what most Israelis call Judea and Samaria). The Vatican is openly opposed to Israeli claims that Jerusalem is the “eternal and undivided” capital of Israel. John Paul supports the idea of Jerusalem as a free city under international rule. For the PLO chairman the papal visit represented yet another diplomatic triumph following the PLO’s military setback in Lebanon. After being ousted from his besieged headquarters in Beirut, the PLO chairman met with Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, receiving full military honors. In Italy, Yasser Arafat was guest of honor at a luncheon given by Italian President Sandro Pertini in the official presidential Quirinale palace. His reception by President Pertini was viewed as another wedge in opening the doors of other Western European leaders to the PLO leader’s personal diplomacy. European Forces for Middle East The two trends detailed above the change of power in West Germany and the change in Israel’s fortunes in the Middle East are even now leading to a new orientation for Europe in world affairs. In the wake of the Beirut massacre, the 10 nations of the Common Market unitedly expressed “profound shock and revulsion” and offered to increase participation in a new peacekeeping force, called for by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Such a strengthened force, they said, would show “a will of peace” in the region. One detects, for the first time, a genuine unified European desire to act in the Middle East. Troops sent to Beirut are being dispatched in the name of the individual European nations comprising a multinational force, not on behalf of the United Nations, which is being totally bypassed in this case. U.N. forces have proven to be totally ineffective in Lebanon for the past four years. The United States is also involved. But American politicians are showing hesitance at the U.S. commitment. The U.S. Senate may someday force the President to remove U.S. troops if the situation heats up further leaving the field to Europe. Further down the road the Europeans might also insist on the right to move into the West Bank area to enforce a homeland for the Palestinians. Such a military presence will eventually be sent to the vicinity of Jerusalem itself (Luke 21:20). Europe Must Be More Unified To be in command of events affecting them most directly, such as in the energy-rich Middle East, Europeans will have to act more in union in the future than they are doing now. The German nation, squarely in the heart of Europe, remains, as always, the key to Europe’s destiny. The way West Germany was headed, however, led in the very opposite direction of European unity. The ultimate goal of the left in West Germany was to achieve a reunited, but neutralized, inward looking nation free of all military attachment to its former allies a Germany essentially having dropped out of the world. This drift into a political nether world has now been countered. The new conservative leadership will be more pro-American than the outgoing government, but it will not be as subservient to U.S. policy as its post-war counterparts, such as the Adenauer and Erhard regimes. Frictions with the United States, such as over the Siberia Western European natural gas-pipeline, are not likely to abate. The Americans are attempting to regain “lost leadership” over their European allies, but this is unlikely to happen. The die has been cast. Influential and powerful personalities are emerging on the scene who realize that Europe must be in charge of its own destiny, whether that involves vigilance against communist encroachment or the protection of Europe’s own vital interests in the Middle East. In 1965, before West Germany’s l3-year-long center-left interlude began, Franz Josef Strauss wrote a book entitled The Grand Design. In it Bonn’s former defense minister called for “a Europe growing in stages determined to assert its role in the world, exercising increasing influence and attraction on the Communist satellites, growing in confidence and world importance. “This Europe,” continued Herr Strauss, “could make peace terms with Russia…. We must therefore face the new historical conceptions of Communism… with a new and rival historical conception that of the reconstruction of the classic role of Europe. This would at one and the same time change the political balance of power in the world and stabilize the military balance of power.” (Emphasis ours.) Other voices, too, are calling for Europe to resume its “classic role” in the scheme of world events. Recently, a prominent Greek politician and delegate to the European parliament, George Voyadzis, said this: “Europe, which has a Greek name, has founded its culture on a combination of the Greek, Roman and Christian spirit. In this synthesis, the Greek spirit has contributed the idea of freedom, truth and beauty. The Roman spirit gave the idea of the state of justice. Christianity offered faith and love. “The full integration of Europe will be one of the most important political events in world history and will have considerable bearing on the future course of humanity. It is thus that the balance of power will come to an equilibrium in the world while safeguarding the independence of Europe and contributing to the consolidation of world order and peace.” A Royal Appeal An event in Europe escaped the attention of most of the world’s news media. Last May 20, King Juan Carlos of Spain was awarded the Charlemagne Prize in a ceremony in Aachen, West Germany (Charlemagne’s old capital). This award is given annually to the public figure most advancing the cause of European unity. The King was the first royal recipient of the prize_ Earlier winners have included Winston Churchill, Jean Monnet, Robert Schumann and Konrad Adenauer. In accepting the prize King Juan Carlos traced, in the present tense, the development of Europe and its need for unity. He placed great stress on the role of Europe’s monarchies. “Over the centuries,” said the King, ” the resurrection of the Roman Empire under clearly Germanic, and of course Christian, signs is the political dream: the Holy Roman Empire of [the] Germanic Nation. But what is really being created is something else: Europe…. “In the course of European history,” continued King Juan Carlos, “the monarchies have been a factor of unification…. And through marriages among the members of ruling families, bonds have been woven between countries which were separated from each other by language, race and customs; they strengthened the recognition to be a unit and to belong to a common reality…. “The unifying of Europe,” this ruling monarch said, “had been proposed as the only solution for Europe’s problems as early as 1930 a super nation which had to be raised up a United States of Europe. And this impulse has not been lost in my country.” Watch Europe’s Direction During this new year and throughout the 1980s the process of European unity will accelerate. European leaders, moreover, will turn their attention more than ever to areas of the world, such as the Middle East, where Europe’s interests are most affected. Because of the Middle East connection, watch for the nations bordering on the Mediterranean, such as Greece, Italy and Spain, to play an increasingly important role. Europe’s “power center” will gradually shift farther south, with relatively energy-sufficient nations in northwestern Europe playing a less important role. As the pages of The Plain Truth have warned so often over the decades – watch Europe!]]>
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG President and Pastor
August 14, 1978
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Christ,
We — and the whole world — are at a crucial turning point in the history of mankind. And in the life and work of God’s Church!
The death of Pope Paul VI may trigger a drastic, crucial and pivotal CHANGE in world affairs — and also in GOD’S WORK to which He has called you and me to be co-workers with Christ!
This is SO IMPORTANT to our very LIVES — as well as our labors with Christ in God’s Work. I want now to clarify even more what I wrote you a few days ago.
Let me start once again from the beginning. In creating man, God plunged into the most stupendous feat of creation possible even for the GREAT MAJESTIC GOD! My forthcoming book, “The Incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL” (hopefully ready for the Feast of Tabernacles) explains why it was imperative that God form man out of matter, instead of Spirit. Even though God Himself is a Spirit, composed of Spirit, and in this spiritual reproductive process He is going to change man into alternate Spirit composition.
But the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, after being completely informed by their maker of His PURPOSE, and of His KINGDOM, made their fateful DECISION. They would continue Satan’s WAY! They rejected the Kingdom of God! They rejected God as Ruler, Revealer of basic knowledge, Saviour, and Giver of eternal life.
God said, in effect: “You have made the decision for yourself and for your human race which shall come from you. You made it after hearing ALL THE FACTS. Therefore I SENTENCE you and the human race, for six thousand years, to being CUT OFF entirely from me, except such comparative few as I shall call to special duty that my purpose shall be fulfilled. After that six thousand years of your own HUMAN RULE, HUMAN PRODUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE, and HUMAN RELIGION, I will intervene, and take over by my supernatural power the GOVERNMENT, the EDUCATION, and the RELIGION of the entire human race.”
That six thousand years may be termed the DAY OF MAN. Although he has not realized it, man has been swayed, deceived, and actually ruled invisibly by Satan. Man has lived Satan’s way of “GET” instead of God’s way of “GIVE” — of outgoing LOVE. And now THE DAY OF THE LORD is almost upon us!
Let me now show you into what the death of Paul VI may plunge us.
For six thousand years the world in general has indeed been CUT OFF from God. Some knowledge of God did continue for many generations by word-of-mouth. But it became distorted.
After some 1900 years, God called Noah to the special project of building the great ark to preserve humanity alive through the flood God sent upon all the earth.
Several generations later God called Abraham. Four hundred thirty years after Abraham, God called MOSES to lead Abraham’s descendants out of Egyptian bondage. At Mount Sinai God proposed them a COVENANT agreement by which they would become GOD’S NATION.
Remember, through the symbolic tree of LIFE in the Garden of Eden, the Holy Spirit of God had been made accessible to Adam, provided he rejected Satan’s way, and chose the KINGDOM OF GOD.
In Adam and Eve from creation — and in all their progeny from birth — have existed a spirit which empowers the human BRAIN with an intellect non-existent in animals. This provides humans with MINDS. But God made the human mind to need another Spirit — the Holy Spirit of God. But on Adam’s decision, he and mankind, except such as God did specially call and convert, were CUT OFF from the Holy Spirit.
And that left the human mind a carnal mind — “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and also “enmity” (hostile) against God, and not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be (Romans 8:7).
Now fasten firmly in your mind, that God did not offer the children of Israel His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit He gave only to Moses and the prophets. The Kingdom of Israel, therefore, was a carnal-minded people! God put them under His government. They were thus ruled, primarily, by the SPIRITUAL LAW OF GOD — the Ten Commandments. But, because until Christ should come, the Holy Spirit was not available, God gave them a special sacrificial law. This was a reminder of sin — but the blood of animals could not pay the penalty of sin. Also God gave them a ceremonial law of rituals — of physical substitutes for the Holy Spirit, as the sacrificial law was a substitute for the blood of Christ.
Then God gave them also, as a national government, statutes and judgment — their civil law. But the substitute sacrificial law and ceremonial ritual law could not make them righteous. The nation Israel proved that the carnal mind is hostile against God — not subject to His Law. Even though they were given God’s revealed knowledge.
Now, meanwhile, consider the rest of the world as a whole through those years.
In Asia the yellow race, descended from Japheth, has formed their own pagan religions. In due time such religions as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Brahminism and Hinduism had sprung up. In the sense of man’s relation to God they were hardly religions, but rather, philosophies — human thought devoid of the foundation of basic knowledge from God.
But we in the so-called Christian orbit have not heard a great deal about them.
Then, in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, other pagan religions developed, based to a considerable extent on a perverted and deteriorated mouth-to-mouth knowledge of the true God. Most of those flowed through the funnel of religions set up by Semiramis, mother-wife of Nimrod. Nimrod, (Genesis 10) was the world’s first despot, or government dictator, after the Flood.
We know only the most meager fragmentary facts about human governments, religions, and knowledge production prior to the Flood. But Nimrod organized a number of city-states among descendants of Ham (and perhaps some of Shem) in the Euphrates-Tigris area. Out of this came the Isis and Osiris gods in Egypt — patterned after Nimrod and Semiramis. In Babylon and Greece, carnal minds created such “gods” as Jupiter, Estarte(Easter), Diana, Hermes, and a long list in Grecian-Roman mythology.
Now remember, the BIBLE is essentially the Book of ISRAEL — both ancient carnal Israel and New Testament spiritual Israel (the Church of God). The Bible is therefore not directly concerned with oriental religions. But the Hamitic religions of Egypt and the Middle East did come in contact with Israel — and do very significantly today with the Church of God — and, therefore, we do find a considerable history of them in the Bible.
I want you to consider now, the governments and religions of this area. They did come into contact with ancient Israel. And they do today, in a significant manner very little realized, with GOD’S CHURCH!
The Bible reveals history and prophecy regarding the pagan church-and-state combination, from ancient Egypt, from which Israel was delivered from slavery, through Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome.
The death of Pope Paul VI has definite and tremendous connection with this. So let me trace, in extreme brevity, the chain of events revealed in God’s Word, from ancient Egypt, on to this present year 1978 A.D.
In the days of the prophet Daniel, about 550-610 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon — the Chaldean Empire — had conquered other nations and formed the first WORLD EMPIRE. Nimrod long before had started the organization of city-states. Now Nebuchadnezzar conquered and annexed Egypt, the Medes, Persians, and Greeks, into the CHALDEAN EMPIRE, usually called Babylon, after its capital city. The nation Israel had been divided into TWO nations many generations before. Israel had rejected King Rehoboam, son of King Solomon, and set up a new king, Jeroboam, over them. At that time the tribes of Judah and Benjamin split off from the nation Israel, becoming the Kingdom of Judah in order to retain the Davidic dynasty in King Rehoboam. Jeroboam rejected the priests — the tribe of Levi — and the Levites mostly joined with the nation Judah. They, and they only, became known as the Jews.
In 721-718 B.C., King Shalmaneser of the Kingdom of Assyria (prior to Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean Empire) had conquered the Kingdom of Israel (TEN TRIBES), and moved them as slaves into the land of Assyria, on the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. He had put Babylonians, of the Babylon Mystery religion, in the land of Samaria — north of Jerusalem, from where he had evicted the ten-tribe Kingdom of Israel. They were still there in the time of Christ — Gentiles, in northern Palestine, retaining the Babylonian Mystery religion.
More than 120 years after the captivity of the Kingdom of Israel, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged and conquered the Kingdom of Judah (the Jews) and evicted them from Judea as slaves, taken to the land of Babylon.
Among these Jewish captives were four outstanding, especially talented and brilliant Jewish lads, of which Daniel was one. Nebuchadnezzar set them in important posts in the Chaldean government.
God used all four in dealing with the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar — but especially Daniel as a prophet of God.
The Book of Daniel, chapter 2 records the incident of the super impressive dream in which Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a tremendous metallic statue. Daniel was called to tell the king what he had dreamed, and the message God conveyed to Nebuchadnezzar through it. The head of this enormous statue of a man was of fine GOLD, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet and toes a mixture of iron and miry clay — utterly non-adhesive.
This God-given dream was a PROPHECY. God revealed His tremendous MEANING to Nebuchadnezzar. The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar and his first WORLD EMPIRE, the Chaldean or the Babylonian Empire. The dream contained a time-element. After Nebuchadnezzar’s empire was to arrive a second empire, even larger and stronger in military might, but of less spiritual and moral values — the breast and arms of silver — the Persian Empire. It was later to be followed by a still larger and stronger empire though of lesser moral and spiritual value; Greece. The legs of iron represented the strongest of all in physical strength, yet it divided — the two legs of iron representing the two divisions of the Roman Empire with the western capital at Rome, and the eastern capital at Constantinople (called Istanbul, Turkey today). The feet and ten toes represented OUR TIME — this latter half of the twentieth century — at the CLOSE of the six-thousand-year sentence God imposed on the DAY OF MAN. It represented the Kingdom of God finally replacing all these Gentile kingdoms (verse 44).
Iron is stronger than brass, silver or gold, but less valuable. But miry clay, mixed with the iron toes, is both the least in value and strength. And iron and clay will not cleave together. They represent the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, soon to appear.
Now let us tie this prophecy to the actual historic events as they have occurred! After the Chaldean Empire, there arose the empire of the Medes and the Persians — the Persian Empire. It was conquered in 330 B.C. by Alexander the Great of Macedonia — with Grecian armed forces. But it was short-lived. Alexander soon died in a drunken debauch. His kingdom was then carried on in four divisions, each headed by one of Alexander’s four generals.
But one by one, these four divisions were swallowed up by what became the ROMAN EMPIRE, 31 B.C. It ruled the world, including the land of Israel and Judea in the time of Christ.
The Roman Empire was destroyed by Barbarians from the north in 476 A.D.
Then, beginning 333 A.D., the ancient Babylonian Mystery religion, a sector of it transplanted in Palestine north of Jerusalem after 718 B.C., had through its first century leader, Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8), appropriated the name “Christianity,” portraying a false Jesus and turning Christ’s grace into license to disobey God’s Law.
By 554 this religion, called also the Roman Catholic religion, had become strong enough to dominate the world. In that year at the behest of the Roman Pope, the government of the eastern division of the defunct Roman Empire, Justinian, was moved to Rome and the Roman Empire was resurrected as the “HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE.” It was a union of European nations, in a CHURCH-AND-STATE EMPIRE — with the Roman Pope astride what is symbolized as the “beast” in Daniel 7, and in Revelation 13 and 17.
Let me at this point bring you up to date with the prophecies of Daniel 7, and the 13th and 17th chapters of Revelation.
In Daniel 7, the prophet himself had a dream in which God revealed the future. He saw FOUR wild animals — the first a lion, second a bear, third a leopard with four heads, and fourth a beast that embodied the dominant characteristics of its predecessors — the HEAD of the lion, the FEET of the bear, the BODY of the leopard, with four heads.
But in Daniel’s dream an additional factor was revealed which did not appear in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-image. The fourth “beast,” representing the Roman Empire, had ten horns sprouting out of its head. But “there came up among them” — among the horns — “another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots” (verse 8).
The four “beasts” were four kingdoms that should arise beginning with the Chaldean Empire (verse 17), and “the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth” (the Roman Empire — 31 B.C.-476 A.D.). And the “ten horns out of this (fourth) kingdom are ten kings (or kingdoms) that shall arise” (verse 24) out of — or after the Roman Empire — after 476 A.D.
The “little horn,” before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots — (the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths which disappeared from existence), was the little horn in whom “were the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things” (verse 8); then again, “even of that horn that had eyes and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows” (verse 20) — that is, a smaller horn, who dominated over the other horns, and before whom the first three were disintegrated.
This “little horn” was of major importance. For “the same horn made war with the saints (true Christians), and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days (CHRIST) came, … and judgment was given to the saints of the most high; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (verses 21 and 22).
After the first three kingdoms following 476 A.D. had disappeared, SEVEN “horns” were left — seven kingdoms or rulerships to arise out of the original Roman Empire.
These seven formed the “Holy Roman Empire.” The first was Justinian, starting 554 A.D. The second was the Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne, 800 A.D. The third was the German kingdom of Otto the Great, the fourth was the Austrian Hapsburg kingdom of Charles the Fifth, and the fifth that of Napoleon, ending 1814 A.D. That ended, for the time being, the “Holy Roman Empire.” But there were recesses and lapses between Justinian’s reign and the revival in 800 A.D. under Charlemagne. These lapses or recesses are by inference “valleys” between mountain peaks, as we shall see in Revelation 17.
In 1935 Mussolini, on taking over Ethiopia, and including Italian Somaliland and Eritrea, concluded a concordat with the Vatican, called the restoration of the “Holy Roman Empire.” However, this was little noted at the time — I do not even remember it to have been front page news — and it was an insignificant and short-lived restoration of this “empire” — when the sixth of these remaining seven horns could aptly be termed, as in Revelation 17 “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”
Notice one more passage in Daniel 7 before leaving this chapter: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven [Christ], and came to the Ancient of days and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and language should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (verses 13, 14).
Then finally Daniel’s prophecy ends with “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom [of God] under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions will serve and obey him” (verse 27).
Now on to Revelation 13.
John in vision here sees ONE “beast” rise up out of the sea — but it combined all the main carnal strengths and characteristics of Daniel’s four “beasts.” What the apostle John saw was a single wild animal with seven heads and ten horns. Daniel saw four “beasts” but the third, the Greco-Macedonian Empire, had four heads — the four divisions into which Alexander’s empire split up.
The wild animal John saw was like a leopard — but with the feet of a bear (the strongest part of the bear), a mouth like a lion and therefore the body of a quick cat-like leopard — in other words, the carnal and physical strength and characteristics of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all combined in this one animal — which therefore represented the ROMAN EMPIRE, with its continuation through the “Holy Roman Empire,” and even until the coming of Christ to RULE!
John continues describing this wild animal, saying that the “dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). In Rev. 12:9 the dragon is explained to be a symbol representing Satan the Devil. So, this wild animal symbolizes the Roman Empire, as organized by MAN under the sway of Satan.
Verse 3: one of his seven heads — definitely the last one, or the Roman Empire of 31 B.C. – 476 A.D. — was wounded to death (476 A.D.), but the deadly wound was healed — by the succeeding “Holy Roman Empire,” beginning 554 A.D.
The people of the Western world worshipped the dragon — Satan, the god of this world — which the world is deceived into worshipping. They also worshipped the “beast” — the “Holy Roman Empire.” HOW? By saying, “Who is like unto the beast (the Holy Roman Empire), who is able to make war with him?” THAT IS WORSHIP!
“And there was given unto him” (verse 5) “a mouth speaking great things … and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” — prophetic months — literally 1260 years — and it actually continued 554 to 1814 — precisely 1260 years. This “mouth speaking great things” is the same as the little horn of Daniel 7 with “a mouth speaking great things” — in other words, the Vatican.
Verse 7: “And it was given unto him [by Satan] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” It was Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8) who, in 33 A.D., two years after Christ had founded the Church of God, turned the Babylonian Mystery religion into a so-called “Christianity,” and wielded enough power to SUPPRESS the preaching of Christ’s gospel message (Gal. 1:6, 7). If you have ever read “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” you will understand how this religious power, sitting astride the government — during this 1260 years tortured and put to death thousands of saints.
The church merely pronounced them “anathema from Christ” and/or state military police did the torturing and killing. This is referred to in Rev. 6 under the fifth seal — symbolizing the now-imminent “Great Tribulation” when another martyrdom of saints is coming in our time, during the Great Tribulation!
Now in verse 11, Rev. 13, John in his vision sees another “beast” coming up out of the earth, with two horns like a lamb, “and he spake as a dragon.” The two horns represent two government heads. “Like a lamb” — appearing as the Church of Christ, the Lamb of God. One of these horns represented the Papacy as RELIGIOUS head, the other is head of Vatican City, one of the world’s civil governments.
This second “beast” — the Papacy — (verse 12) exercised all the power of the first beast before him, — that is of the civil “Holy Roman Empire” — the United Europe! This same situation is pictured in Rev. 17 as a woman (church) riding astride a “beast” — the Roman government.
They claimed the “Holy Roman Empire” was the Kingdom of God. Christ had come, not in His own Person, but in that of the Pope’s, and was ruling. This explains why they called the CHURCH the Kingdom of God! The Popes have taken the title “Vicar of Christ,” which does not mean representative of Christ, but “in place of Christ.” In other words, Christ has been banished, and the Roman leader has taken His place.
Then, this religious leader — yet to come — is to perform “great wonders,” or apparent miracles — even as Simon the Magician of Acts 8 did among those of the Babylonian Mystery religion of his day in the land of Samaria, north of Jerusalem. But it was all deception — not real miracles, but magic.
Verse 14 — this religious leader brought into being an “image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” That is, a replica, likeness, imitation of the Imperial Roman Empire GOVERNMENT. Vatican City — a civil GOVERNMENT — is patterned after the system of government of the Roman Empire. “And (verse 15) he had power to … cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Notice, the religious power did not do the actual killing — he caused them to be killed. The church pronounced dissenters “heretics” which was tantamount to a death-sentence. They were tortured, and unless they recanted and accepted the Catholic teaching, they were martyred. THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN — AND SOON — (Rev. 6:11) during the Great Tribulation!
Now comes verse 16 (Rev. 13). This same religious power, through the military and police of the STATE government of the “Holy Roman Empire,” and its now very imminent resurrection — will cause all within the jurisdiction of the civil state to RECEIVE A MARK and (verse 17) no person was then, or will be in the coming Great Tribulation, able to buy or sell — engage in earning a living, or purchase food or necessities of life — unless they have that mark! Send for our free booklet, “The Mark of the Beast.”
The “beast” has a number we should be able to count — 666!
Now to Revelation 17!
The same Gentile CHURCH-AND-STATE system in its final and latter stages — now very imminent — is portrayed in Revelation 17. In this vision given the Apostle John regarding the DAY OF THE LORD (Rev. 1:10) an angel came to him. It was one of the seven angels with the vials of the seven last plagues — to be poured out at the precise time of Christ’s Second Coming.
The seventeenth chapter is another inset chapter — one of the few injected into the main story-flow of the prophetic book of Revelation. The story-flow, in chapter 16, had come to the very time for the pouring out of the seven last plagues.
The angel said, “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.”
This, of course, is symbolically speaking of the great false church. The many “waters” are (verse 15): several nations speaking different languages. Historically, it could mean only European nations — the “Holy Roman Empire” of 554 – 1814 A.D.
This great church (verse 2) has committed fornication (spiritually) with the kings of Europe. Fornication is illicit intercourse with an unmarried person. Israel had been married to Christ (the Lord of the Old Testament). So this is not Israel. It is identified as Gentile nations. The true Church of God is the affianced bride of Christ. Christ’s death severed the Old Covenant marriage. But New Testament spiritual Israel (the Church) is engaged to marry the RESURRECTED CHRIST, upon the resurrection of the Church.
So, (verse 3) the angel in vision carried John into the wilderness, where he saw this same great whore as a woman sitting astride a scarlet-colored “BEAST” (symbolic of civil government). This “beast” had seven heads and ten horns.
This is a continuation of the “beast” prophecies of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. But the “beast” revealed to John here is the very latter part of the whole system, dating from Nebuchadnezzar’s Chaldean empire. But the “seven heads” of this seventeenth chapter “beast” are the “Holy Roman Empire,” dating from 554 A.D. — in other words the last seven of the ten horns of the thirteenth chapter “beast.”
And the ten horns on this “beast” are the same as the “ten TOES” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image (Daniel 2).
This woman (church) was arrayed in purple, the color of royalty and scarlet, the color of a whore. Also she was decked with gold and precious stones and pearls.
Now we come to HER NAME (verse 5): “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Her harlot daughters came out of her in protest. This name identifies the church as that of the BABYLONIAN MYSTERY religion, now grown GREAT ruling civil nations.
In other words the Babylonian Mystery religion of the ancient Chaldean Empire, now grown great in size and power. Indeed she is the largest religion on earth in number of adherents today.
Notice, this “woman” was drunken with the blood of the saints — just as Daniel’s” little horn” persecuted the saints of Christ — and prevailed against them until the coming of Christ to rule the world (Dan. 7:21,22). This, incidentally, is not referring to the Roman Empire persecutions, where professing Christians were thrown to hungry lions as a “sport” in the Roman Coliseum. This is speaking of a medieval persecution.
Then (verse 8) the angel in this vision explains to the apostle the time element. Remember, this whole seventeenth chapter prophecy is thrown in — as an inset into the sequence of prophesied events of the book of Revelation, just at the point where world events had come to the very time of Christ’s return in POWER. So, we know the time of events shown the apostle in the seventeenth chapter is shortly before Christ’s Second Coming.
Verse 8 explains that John is seeing this “beast” at a time in world events when the “Holy Roman Empire” was, and is not, and shall ascend (be restored) out of the bottomless pit — that is a state of virtual non-existence.
Notice the latter part of verse 8. The whole world will be shocked in wonder, when this final revival of the “Holy Roman Empire” occurs. It is “the beast that was,” and (at the time-setting of this vision) “is not, and yet is.” That would place the time when the vision John saw this church riding over the governments of Europe, at approximately 1935 and up to our very present moment.
It was in 1935 when Mussolini declared he had restored the “Holy Roman Empire” yet, as stated, I do not remember that it was regarded as sufficiently newsworthy to make the front pages of newspapers. I did read the dispatches — but it was not given big headlines. Probably only a few even noticed it. It was such an insignificant revival of the Holy Roman Empire that the world in general considered the empire “WAS NOT,” and yet it was. This was the sixth “head” of the “beast”.
Verse 9: the seven heads of this medieval-modern empire are symbolized as seven mountains on which the “woman” sat. I have already explained there were “valleys” in between the times when this European empire rose to its greatest heights.
Verse 10: Revised Standard Version,” They are also seven kings” or kingdoms — eras — five of whom have (at the time of the vision) “fallen … one is” (1935), “and the other is not yet come.”
Verse 11: And this beast “is the eighth and is of the seven.” That is, it is of, following after, as part of, the seven heads of the thirteenth chapter “beast” — and it is the eighth. The seven were Babylon, Persia, Greece with four heads, and the Roman Empire of 31 B.C.- 476 A.D. This is a continuation of the same Gentile system. It is the final stage of the entire system dating from 604 B.C. to Christ’s Second Coming, when it shall go into perdition! (Utter destruction!)
Verse 12: We have been talking about the seven “heads” of this “beast” — Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto, Charles, Napoleon, Mussolini, were the SIX! The “ten horns” are part of the seventh “head” perhaps now in the election of a new Pope, coming. These ten horns are not described as successive kingdoms, one after the other — but as ten literal contemporaneous kings. But, as of the time of division — 1935 to now — they have not yet received their kingdoms. But they are to receive power as kings, for just a very short period — perhaps three and one-half or more years.
They are to be ten heads-of-state over ten European nations, temporarily united as a “United States of Europe.” They are symbolized in Daniel 2 as the ten toes, of iron and miry clay — which will not mix, and therefore shall be short-lived!
Definitely, however, they shall last for at least two and one- half years of the three and one-half years of the “Great Tribulation” — which they will instigate. And also the very brief period of “THE DAY OF THE LORD” which is the central theme of the whole book of Revelation. This latter could be up to one year at the end of the “Great Tribulation.”
But they will give all their military and monetary power to the central ruler over the TEN — the coming European leader — one I may already know.
These ten, with their leader, will fight against Christ at His coming — but He will END their rule. This places the whole seventeenth chapter “beast” as shortly before Christ’s coming.
Now to pick up the thread of our story from the beginning — from the creation of Adam. The six-thousand-year sentence God placed on the world from Adam is ready very soon to expire.
The ten-tribed kingdom of Israel, taken to Assyria as slaves 721-718 B.C. had, with the ancient Assyrians, migrated into Europe within a hundred years — by or before Judah’s captivity by Babylon 604-585 B.C. The Assyrians are the Germans of today. Ephraim- Manasseh settled in the British Isles. The tribe of Reuben settled in France. Dan may have settled in Ireland — or Denmark, or both. Others of the ten tribes settled in Western Europe — Holland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium.
Meanwhile, a contingent of Judah (Jews) had gone back to Jerusalem and Judea to build the second temple, 70 years after Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Solomon’s temple. Other parts of Judah had migrated to such countries as Russia, Poland, and many Balkan countries. Many Jews from those countries have been returning to modern Israel since 1948.
But Jews were living in Judea when Jesus was born. Gentiles of the Babylonian Mystery religion had been in the area of Samaria north of Jerusalem.
Jesus sent His twelve original apostles to “the lost sheep of the House of Israel” — actually then unknown to the world — having lost their identity, living in Western Europe (not including Italy, Spain and Portugal). That is why we find very little in the book of Acts or New Testament history about Peter, after some few years following Christ’s resurrection and the founding of the Church of God. That explains why we read more about Paul — who was the chief apostle to the Gentiles.
But two years after the founding of the Church of God, 31 A.D., a tremendous persecution set in. By about 59 A.D. the churches in Galatia had turned to another gospel — Christ’s gospel message had been suppressed. The Church had gone virtually underground — but it survived through all generations. Thousands were martyred during the “Dark Ages” of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.”
But, today, we find a trace of some of the original Christian faith of Jesus in Britain, Europe, South America, besides the United States.
In 1933 God raised up a new era of His true Church. It is the “Philadelphia” era of Rev. 3:7-13, when Christ has “opened the door” into foreign Gentile nations — which doors had been closed to Christ’s message — so that the message of the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD might, AT LAST, (after nineteen centuries when it was suppressed) go into those nations. And all this, just before the GREAT TRIBULATION and the end of this six-thousand-year day of man.
Now, finally, I come to what it is of LIFE-AND-DEATH importance for you to understand!
Our labors in GOD’S WORK will be ended soon after the resurrection of the impending United States of Europe!
UNDERSTAND these end-time PROPHECIES! According to Daniel 11:40-45, this revived “Holy Roman Empire”, “shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown.”
Then, verse 44, news out of the north-east (Russia and China) shall worry him — the Communists will be stirring to invade and destroy Roman Catholic EUROPE! Therefore, this power (U.S. of Europe) “shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace…in the glorious [land]” (Palestine — Judea — Israel).
Continue Dan. 12:1: “And at that time shall Michael stand up” (Rev. 12:7), “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 …” (compare Matt. 24:21, 22 — the Great Tribulation), then shall soon follow the coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the KINGDOM OF GOD!
Now notice what Jeremiah adds to happen at this precise juncture: (Jer. 30).
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (verse 7). This is the same GREAT TRIBULATION — as Matt. 24:21, 22 has it: “For 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]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
Jeremiah 30 is more specific. While it is to be a time of WORLD TROUBLE such as never before occurred, yet it is PRIMARILY “the time of JACOB’S TROUBLE.”
Now who is “Jacob” in these last days? THANK GOD! He revealed to me 51 years ago that the so-called “lost ten tribes” of Israel (of Jacob) had migrated to Western Europe, Britain, and finally the United States. In Ambassador College from its very opening day, I had to fight diligently and continually to keep Christ in and Satan’s world out! The so-called “intellectuals of higher education” constantly sniped away at BASIC TRUTH which God had revealed to me — on which God’s Church for our time is based. They found three or four little non-important errors in the booklet “The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy” originally written some 51 years ago. As their tiny non-important errors were brought to my attention, they were eliminated! But finally, my son, assuming an authority never delegated to him had this most important booklet cut down to almost nothing, then put out of circulation entirely! That booklet, or book, is again being printed — “error-free” — and will be vigorously circulated. That book had a great deal to do with the very building of the Worldwide Church of God!
When prophecy tells us this is to be the time of “Jacob’s trouble,” that means, primarily, the United States and the British people!
Now that we are coming down to the very time, it is A LIFE-AND- DEATH matter to God’s Church that we UNDERSTAND!
Now the prophecy says, news from Communist countries will cause this “beast” power to “go forth with great fury to destroy” (Dan. 11:44). He will thereby instigate “THE GREAT TRIBULATION.” But whom will he seek to destroy? Jacob! And the dying Jacob in Egypt, with his hands crossed on Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph’s sons) said, “let my name (JACOB) be named on them” (Gen. 48:16). Today they are the U.S. and the British!
Undoubtedly GERMANY will head the new resurrected “Holy Roman Empire.” Who conquered the German armed fist twice — in the two great world wars? It was Britain with the United States pouring in the real knockout power! Who will they go forth to DESTROY? Britain and the United States!
Read the latter portions of the “U.S. in Prophecy” booklet prophecies, showing that our cities shall be destroyed (Ezek. 6:6). A third of our populations shall die from disease epidemics caused by famine, and another third shall be killed by military action and the remaining third scattered — as slaves to Europe (and probably some to South America) (Ezek. 5:12).
Our work will be ended soon after the resurrection of the “Holy Roman Empire” — the impending “United States of Europe.” The Laodicean era of God’s Church — the seventh and final era — will exist during the Great Tribulation.
But our “Philadelphia” era brethren are promised divine PROTECTION — to be taken to a place of safety (Rev. 3:10 and 12:13-16) which PLEASE READ!
Now, you of God’s Church can see WHY the election of a new Pope — in a few days (this is written August 11, 13 and 14 — before the conclave of Cardinals to elect a new Pope) is vitally important to us. If this election (within two weeks from this writing) results in the prophesied “United States of Europe,” which Pope Paul VI had been outlining within the Vatican — but not publicly — then the time left to us to finish the work of the GREAT COMMISSION is short indeed!
Brethren, IF we are to be taken to a place of protection from the GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall have to have real faith in Christ and His promises!
A spiritual REVIVAL within the Church is virtually a LIFE-AND- DEATH matter of URGENCY NOW! I ask you, pray as never before!
With deepest love in Jesus’ name,
Herbert W. ArmstrongComment: Today, Pope Francis, a Jesuit from Argentina is the first Jesuit Pope. After the World War 2, in the 1950’s The Plain Truth Magazine and Herbert W. Armstrong reported on Hitler’s escape to Argentina, and how that revival of the Holy Roman Empire went UNDERGROUND. Since that time this “government” has been working in the shadows. And if you know anything about the Jesuit society, and their history, even their history within the United States, you realize how this “shadow government” works. Hitler used the Jesuit Society to form his SS Gestapo believe it or not. And since World War 2, this “shadow government” has been at WORK, preparing for WORLD WAR 3! If you read Revelation 12 and other places, you find that this “United States of Europe” is that shadow government working underground today, and when it rises up it’s first mission is to DESTROY the Worldwide Church of God! But this Church is protected by God, and goes into a place of protection. And then, Satan the Devil, that great serpent, turns and wages WAR on the remnant of this Church, our laodicean brethren, and WORLD WAR 3 COMMENCES! Today, the United States of Europe is forming in Europe. WE ARE SEEING BIBLE PROPHECY UNFOLD BEFORE OUR EYES! And this Great New World Superpower will cut our Work, of the Worldwide Church of God, OFF, and will seek to DESTROY US. That is what the Bible tells us. After the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, many have created corporations, forming their own “churches”, claiming to be the successor of Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God. This claim is a false one. They have NEW churches, NEW corporations, NEW IDENTITIES. If you work for Macy’s you don’t call yourself an employee of Kohls. And you don’t go around telling your customers that even though they stand in a Macy’s department store, that they are supporting Kohls. That would be fraudulent. And would be WRONG! These churches are telling people that the Worldwide Church of God went defunct, and that they have succeeded the Church! But the Worldwide Church of God still exists, as it was never the legal corporation, and our membership is still backing and supporting Herbert W. Armstrong and the message he preached, the true gospel of Jesus Christ! The Church’s corporation was taken, and re-branded as a different corporation with different values and teachings. God allowed that to happen. But the Worldwide Church of God continues to exist. The membership is the Worldwide Church of God! In 1979, the State of California tried to SEIZE and take over the Worldwide Church of God, by taking over the the Church’s property and college campus located in Pasadena. But the Church doesn’t just exist in California, or just in the United States, it exists WORLDWIDE and has a worldwide membership. So while they seized the California corporation, the Church continued on. And eventually they won that MONUMENTAL AND HISTORICAL COURT CASE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN AMERICA! And so, even though after 1986, the legal corporation was taken away, the Church continues to exist. Today, the Church faces an identity theft. It’s name has been run through the mud, and has been dirtied by other men who do not represent this Church. And what Mr. Armstrong is talking about above, in his co-worker and brethren letter, is how the Work of the Church will be STOPPED by this United States of Europe, this prophesied “Beast Power” of Revelation. Since World War 2, this “POWER” has been working feverishly UNDERGROUND. Since that time, Pope Francis rises from Argentina, the same country this “Beast power” disappeared in. This “beast system”, will rise up to become the “United States of Europe”. They will become OVERT, stepping from their COVERT actions being worked out within the shadows. God’s Church faces PERSECUTION today from this “shadow government”, and according to the Word of God, when this “beast system” steps from the shadows, it will become the United States of Europe, a union of Ten-nations of Europe. And the Roman Catholic Church will ride this new World Superpower, being the woman that rides the beast power! PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!]]>