WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
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 sacrifical 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 sacrifical 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. Jereboam 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 brillant 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 powerwas 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 nonexistence.
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 nonimportant errors in the booklet "The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy" originally written some 51 years ago. As their tiny nonimportant 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. Armstrong