Herbert W. Armstrong
Post Office Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85701
May 20, 1982
Dear Brethren and Co-workers with Christ:
TIME IS RUNNING OUT! The nuclear World War III and the final ARMAGEDDON battle now draw daily closer and closer. As I write, in flight en route to England and Germany, war between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands seems imminent within hours.
This latest of eruptions between nations, and the struggle going on in Poland against Soviet domination, are extremely significant and very probably may trigger the frightful, unthinkable World War III. Let me give you a brief synoptic review of biblical prophecies leading to this soon-to-come END of civilization as we know it -- and the imminent Second Coming of Christ.
The chief prophetic book of the New Testament is the book of Revelation. Only Jesus Christ can open that book to understanding, and He does so primarily in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The prophet Daniel also explains much of it.
The disciples asked Jesus when the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem would occur, and also what would be the warning signs just prior to His coming as KING of kings and LORD of lords to usher in the peaceful and happy WORLD TOMORROW. Those disciples, in A.D. 31, thought Jesus' return would occur almost immediately in their lifetime. The destruction of the temple did occur in their time -- in A.D. 70.
Jesus answered their first question first. He warned them to let no one deceive them -- that many would come in His name, claiming to be His ministers, proclaiming that Jesus was the Christ -- yet deceiving the many. There would be wars, famines and pestilences, but the end of this world would not yet have come. He knew it would be more than another 1,900 years -- but they didn't.
Actually, as Jesus said, false preachers did come, proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ -- preaching Christ to the world. By A.D. 53, when the apostle Paul wrote the book of Galatians, a different gospel already was being proclaimed, and Jesus' Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD suppressed. Paul also wrote of these false apostles in II Corinthians 11:13-15. This continued for 1,900 years.
Jesus did not answer the second question of His disciples until verse 14 of Matthew 24 -- after years of wars, famines and pestilences. Then, 1,900 years later, He said, "This gospel OF THE KINGDOM [the Gospel Jesus preached] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN shall the end [of this world] come."
But then, what NEXT? In verses 21-22, a frightful time of world trouble such as never before, during which, unless God Almighty supernaturally cuts it short, NO FLESH SHOULD BE SAVED ALIVE! That could never have happened until after the production of the hydrogen bomb, just 29 l/2 short years ago, since I, with YOU backing me, have been proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God into all continents of the earth! That could only mean NUCLEAR WORLD WAR III!
But one thing more AT THIS TIME in the preliminary stages of the Great Tribulation: It's in the very next two verses -- verses 23-24: Not just false prophets proclaiming that JESUS is the Christ, but false CHRISTS, claiming that they, themselves, ARE Christ! For the first time that IS NOW HAPPENING! Before me as I write, high over the Atlantic Ocean, is a full-page advertisement from the April 25, 1982, International Herald- Tribune and the same full page in the April 24 London Times, with a big-type headline:
"THE CHRIST IS NOW HERE!"
It claims he is now hiding, but will come out boldly for the whole world to see by July 1 (this very year)! But these same two verses in Matthew 24 warn you and me not to believe it! Someone is spending huge sums of money to promote some false "Christ," for these full-page advertisements are appearing in leading newspapers in capitals all over the world! They claim this false "Christ" will make a great TV show of himself -- within about four weeks from now!
Now what will actually trigger the Great Tribulation? It will last approximately 3 1/2 years -- right up to the REAL Second Coming of Christ with His eyes as flames of fire and His face shining as the SUN full strength for all to see.
Revelation 13 and 17, coupled with Daniel 2 and 7, say that a union of TEN NATIONS in the area of the old Roman Empire will plunge the world into THE GREAT TRIBULATION! The Falklands' crisis is turning the other nations of Europe against Britain. The uprising against Soviet domination in Poland can easily lead to Poland, and such eastern European nations as Romania, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and even Greece, joining in a union with Roman Catholic nations in western Europe. The Eastern Orthodox Catholic church could join with the Roman Catholic. The 10 nations of Revelation 17 will be CATHOLIC.
Co-workers, TIME IS RUNNING OUT on us! Satan is going to attack this Work harder than ever! Yet this Work is GROWING. We receive from 6,000 to 11,000 telephone calls from every telecast. The PLAIN TRUTH circulation is now climbing faster than any other magazine. Circulation is now around 4 l/2 million copies per month, and we hope to pass FIVE MILLION before the year's end. It now is one of the very FEW highest-circulation magazines in all the world. Additional TV and radio outlets are being added all the time. But this Work MUST NOW GROW EVEN FASTER! We must be financially able to survive in the new attacks we know are coming by Satan through those human instruments he can use!
Christ's BRIDE must be READY to be changed instantaneously from mortal to immortal at Christ's soon REAL coming! We must now put on the pressure as NEVER BEFORE -- sacrifice other wants and desires financially as NEVER BEFORE.
I know the economic recession, the unemployment situation, etc., is HURTING OUR PEOPLE -- BUT not as much as other people because God is very specially blessing HIS OWN WORK AND YOU WHO ARE GIVING SO GENEROUSLY for it. We are being blessed above other people in many ways. LET US NOT FAIL GOD -- AND HE WON'T FAIL US!
With deep LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong