If you have been following world news, you surely know that the seeds are now being sown to bring about the prophesied “Beast” of Revelation! As Russian-sponsored men in black masks occupy and hold police stations and other key facilities in the Ukraine, the European powers are reminded of how impotent they really are. Having depended upon the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States since World War II, the nations of central Europe now realize that they cannot depend upon America’s support in the future.
Increasingly, America is seen around the world as a “paper tiger.” As we at Tomorrow’s World have pointed out repeatedly, the God of our forefathers warned long ago, “But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant… I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze” (Leviticus 26:14–15, 19). Yes, although it is rapidly declining, America still has a great deal of power. But as the U.S. has as a whole turned its back on the Creator who gave the nation the power and almost unparalleled wealth it has possessed, its people have become less cohesive, less competent, and increasingly confused about how to use the wealth and the power bestowed upon them.
Russia, Ukraine and many other nations around the world are seeing more clearly than ever that the U.S. is now a nation that will do a lot of “talking”—but will not act vigorously to protect its friends as it would have done a generation or two ago.
With such a “power vacuum” created by American weakness, a full-scale European Empire cannot be too many years off! For, as America continues to deteriorate in its morals, and becomes more and more a hedonistic society seemingly without purpose, Almighty God has decreed that a coming “Beast Power” will be His “tool” in humbling us and teaching us lessons! It is not that this superpower led by the “Beast” will be filled with “bad” people; rather, it is simply that God uses different nations at different times as His instruments to humble those who rebel against Him, and teach the rebels some much-needed lessons. The Bible is full of such warnings. We in this Work have specifically warned about this for many decades. Even back in the 1950s when assisting Mr. Armstrong, I was conducting evangelistic campaigns and strongly warning all those who would listen about a coming “Beast Power” in Europe—headed by a revived and heavily armed Germany. At that time, many scoffed at this, thinking that Germany could never become a powerful nation again. But it has. It is!
We have shown you repeatedly in the pages of this magazine how Almighty God warned the descendants of ancient Israel that, if they would “despise” His statutes and His commandments—as we certainly have done—He would then “break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19). That very prophecy is now being fulfilled big-time! As you watch world events moving along swiftly, I hope all of you begin to really understand what is happening to those nations originally composed of the British-descended and American peoples—the descendants of the “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel!
Truly, when God is “left out,” bad things begin to happen! As Scripture tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV). Cut off from the true God, individual people and entire nations lose their sense of purpose and their reason for being. Families begin to come apart. Crime and violence begin to escalate. And all manner of perverted behavior soon becomes the norm. And, increasingly influenced by the Master Deceiver—Satan the Devil—most people simply do not know why these things are happening.
So, how can you prepare for what is coming? First and foremost, if God is calling you, be sure to “seek” Him with your whole heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29). Read your Bible daily! Do not just glance at it for “warm feelings” you may get from Psalms or the Proverbs. Study it—all of it—with all the seriousness at your command, for it is God’s very Instruction Manual for your life! As the Apostle Paul told the young Timothy, every word of Scripture is profitable—not only for doctrine, but also for practical instruction in how to live as a Christian (2 Timothy 3:16).
Be sure to read my article, “Do You Seek God?” beginning on page 5 of this issue, for more on this vital topic. You need to use the tools God has provided in order to draw closer to Him!
Also be sure to read Mr. Richard Ames’ important article, “Does the Sabbath Matter?” on page 10 of this issue. Although more than two billion human beings alive today call themselves “Christian,” how many are really following Christ’s example, and receiving the blessings for obedience that God promises (Deuteronomy 28:1)?
As I mentioned at the start of this brief message, our world is on the brink of the most terrible war it will ever experience. Thankfully, as Christians we can have in our own lives the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). If we let God do His will in our lives, as we yield to the Holy Spirit—which He gives to repentant Christians upon baptism—we will be able to wage war against the sin in our lives, and experience a foretaste of the coming Kingdom of God.
But we know that, as a society, human beings will have to go through terrible times ahead before the returning Jesus Christ will come to save mankind from self-destruction and utter cosmocide! Perhaps a very few of you reading this magazine were alive a hundred years ago, when World War I began in July of 1914. That war was for a while known as the “War to End All Wars”—but the sad reality was that within a generation World War II brought not only greater carnage but the advent of nuclear weapons. Please read Mr. John Meakin’s excellent article, “The End of War?” on page 16 of this issue—it will help you understand and appreciate God’s plan that will bring peace to our war-ravaged world.
As hard as it may be for many to believe, Scripture teaches plainly that most of mankind at the end of this age will actually fight against the returning Jesus Christ! “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). It is hard to imagine how massive the deception of countless millions of human beings will be in order for them to be willing to literally fight Christ when He returns as King of kings! Yet that is the deception we must all be preparing to resist!
Dear readers, please draw closer than ever to our Savior, Jesus Christ—while there is still time to be protected from the awful crises ahead of us. And be sure to pray always, “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)!