WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
June 25, l985
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
You are helping fulfill Bible prophecy. As Winston Churchill said before the U.S. Congress during World War II, a PURPOSE is being worked out here below. The events working out that purpose of God are recorded in the history of the past and the prophecy of the present and future, in the Bible.
Jesus told you and me to WATCH these world events.
Where are we right now in this sequence of events? We are comparatively near the Second Coming of Jesus Christ -- near the end of this civilization as we know it -- near to the peaceful world tomorrow. We are now and have been for some few years, at the point of Matthew 24:14, where Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end [of this world] come." That Gospel was not preached to the world after A.D. 70. For the first time after that, it began going to the world by this Church and work in 1953. During this time nuclear weapons of mass destruction have been produced that can blast every human life out of existence.
Then what next? Verse 21 of Matthew 24: a time of violence and great destruction such as never before or after, and except God intervenes to cut it short, not a single human being would be left alive -- but for the elect's sake -- meaning you and me -- God will intervene supernaturally and cut it short (verse 22). Then what? Immediately (verse 29), there will be supernatural frightening signs in the sky above, and then those left alive shall SEE Jesus Christ coming in supreme power and glory to take over the throne of the earth and rule.
Right now, it seems God has been holding events in the world back. We had expected the Great Tribulation to come before now. Why the delay? It surely seems God has held the winds of terrorism and the Great Tribulation back to allow time for the fulfillment of verse 14 in a more complete way. Already we have reached every nation on earth with the Gospel of the KINGDOM. But not intensively enough, apparently. Another thing, we are in the time of final exams in God's Church, and perhaps we are not yet sufficiently tried and tested and proven to be ready to sit with Christ on the earth's throne. Perhaps WE OURSELVES have been holding the march of events up.
So what will CAUSE the Great Tribulation just before Christ's coming? We find the very event of his coming described in Revelation 17. A woman -- symbol for a great false church -- is described as riding on a beast -- guiding it as a woman riding on a horse guides the horse. This symbolic beast is pictured in verses 12-14, as fighting against Christ AT his coming. So they will be on the scene up to the instant of Jesus' coming. Who and what is this mysterious beast? Revelation 13, Daniel 2 and 7, show it to be the revived Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages. For some years I have shown the prophecies that speak of this, and how 10 nations will be reunited in Europe to once again resurrect the Roman Empire. Several leaders in Europe are working diligently for this. I know a few of the top leaders in this movement. But Europe has been divided since World War II, 40 years -- and 40 years is a significant time in Bible prophecy.
The prophecy of Daniel 2:44, illustrated at right, shows the 10 toes representing these 10 nations as five in Eastern and five in Western Europe. Apparently they must come together before the prophecy of Revelation 17 and Daniel 2:44 can be fulfilled. The stone cut without hands (verse 34) represents Christ returning as King of kings to set up the Kingdom of God on earth.
Do you remember how Martin Luther King had a dream -- and how that resulted in an upheaval in a race crisis in the United States, bringing great changes in the racial situation in the United States? Some of these leaders of Europe also have a dream.
Pierre Pflimlin, the president of the European Parliament, formed to produce the reunification of Europe, stated in Strasbourg, France, on May 8, the 40th anniversary of the end of WW II: "Let us not indulge in self-satisfaction. We must recognize our limitations. We represent only one part of Europe. There are peoples every bit as European as our own that are unable to take their place in our Community. Dresden and Warsaw, Prague and Budapest are cities as European as our own ten capitals. It might now seem a vain hope to dream of bringing together all the peoples of Europe, but no one can stop us dreaming of a complete Europe united in peace. After all, all mankind's greatest steps forward have often only been dreams come true."
God says in prophecy this dream will come true -- in God's due time. Perhaps you and I are holding this world condition back. God's work must be completed -- because once this united Europe is formed there will be a famine of hearing the word of God -- a time when no man can work, as the Bible plainly says.
Notice now what President Ronald Reagan said that same day in Strasbourg while on his recent trip to Europe: "It is my hope, our hope, that in the 21st century -- which is only 15 years away -- all Europeans, from Moscow to Lisbon, will be able to travel without a passport, and the free flow of people and ideas will include the other half of Europe. It is my fervent wish that in the next century there will be one, free Europe."
Brethren, I have not been using these prophecies in vain. The united Europe must and will come. YOU and I are involved -- DEEPLY! God's Church must first be made ready for Christ's coming. I call on you in Jesus' name to pray as never before that God's Church will heed and draw closer to him. Have we not been becoming lukewarm? Read the last part of Revelation 3. If we are lukewarm we shall be spewed out of Christ's mouth. God's work still needs to put more and more ministers into the field full time. They are prepared and ready -- waiting on you and me, and sufficient money, to put them into the field.
With deep concern and love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong
P.S. -- By the way, many of you may not have read our booklet "Who Is the Beast?" And those who did some years ago ought to refresh your minds on that important subject at this time. It contains a chart putting together what is revealed in the books of Daniel and Revelation concerning this now forming third great world power in Europe. We still have copies of that booklet in print and I will be happy to send you a copy on request.