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The weather disasters and earthquakes we read about in the news are trying to tell us something very important. You need to know!
As our world increasingly seems to be growing out of control, we can no longer afford to ignore the truth! For the Almighty God—the Creator of heaven, earth, and all things—is trying to get our attention! He is letting us know, through powerful weather catastrophes, earthquakes and the events happening in the world around us, that He is in charge!
All of us must learn to face reality! For Almighty God is not “dead”! He is very much alive and is right now preparing to intervene in world affairs more than ever before! We in this Work have explained to all of you readers of Tomorrow’s World many specific prophecies that have recently come to pass or are right now beginning to occur.
Are you, personally, paying attention? Are you willing to face reality? Think!
Thousands of you realize that I am the last one of the five original evangelists ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong back in December 1952. I joined with him and the other leaders in the Work at that time in “warning” that the British Empire would come to an end. We warned that the American and British-descended peoples would soon start our fall from national greatness all over the world and that our “pride of power” would disappear (Leviticus 26:19). We warned that the great “sea gates” God gave the British and the Americans would soon begin to be taken away. We warned that the hundreds of thousands of Russian troops and tanks stationed in Eastern Europe at that time would soon be gone, and that Germany would become the obvious leader of a coming United Europe—and about many other specific prophecies!
Soon after I joined Herbert Armstrong in preaching and writing in The Plain Truth magazine about these prophecies, they began to occur! My wife and I were sent to Britain in the autumn and winter of 1956, and it was right then that the Suez Canal was taken away from Britain! The Suez Canal was one of the most important “sea gates” in the world at the time—and you can read about the powerful impact the loss of that canal had on the British Empire in our article “The Suez Crisis: 60 Years On,” right here in this issue. In the years immediately following that, most of the other “sea gates” began to be taken away as well: the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Simonstown Base—controlling the tip around South Africa—and the Strait of Malacca—controlling vast numbers of ships going through areas in the Far East. Then, President Jimmy Carter virtually “gave away” the Panama Canal—the only major sea gate controlled by America!
Then, a few years later, the thousands of Russian tanks and troops were indeed withdrawn from the nations of eastern Europe and the Berlin Wall came crashing down! Germany became one nation again, with a speed that shocked political observers!
These things have taken place just as we warned they would. Right now, even as I write this, Germany is internationally recognized as the most powerful nation and the “leader” of the European Union, and only two of the eight to ten major sea gates are left under British or American control: Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. And those of you who carefully follow world news know that both of these are constantly “under siege” in the media—with the Argentinians constantly claiming that the Falkland Islands belong to them and the Spanish trying to gain control of Gibraltar and kick Britain out! No doubt, within the next few years, either one or both of these gates will be “gone.” Then, as we might say, they will be “all gone”!
My friends, these prophecies are not “tiny” events! They are affecting hundreds of millions of human beings and hundreds of billions of dollars in international trade and commerce that have to go through the great “sea gates.” To paraphrase the Bible, these massive events were not “done in a corner”! But this same great God—the God of the Bible—also has specifically predicted absolutely massive occurrences in the weather and related events to soon come upon us! I am including—along with prophesied drought and famine—terrible fires that always come as a result of these. And I am including earthquakes, which God also controls in the same way He does the weather. For God is indeed “El Shaddai”—God Almighty. All of us need to really understand this and its obvious implications, for this fact is going to affect your life and the lives of all your children and loved ones in the near future.
Even recently, news reports described the terrible earthquake that struck central Italy, killing almost 300 people. Entire villages were devastated so powerfully that they may never be able to be rebuilt! Also the entire American West is beginning to go into the most serious drought in recorded history, and many areas are burning up with fire! At the same time, the opposite has occurred in parts of Texas and Louisiana—with the terrible flooding in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area completely devastating the lives and properties of tens of thousands of people!
Please remember, the Bible itself makes it very plain that both the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God, and Jesus Christ constantly quoted the Old Testament as “Scripture”—the very word of the Creator!
In Amos 4:1–9, Almighty God prophesied to the peoples of “Samaria” (v. 1), the ancient “House of Israel” and the ancestors of the British-descended and American peoples: “‘Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord. ‘I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered. So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord. ‘I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, your vineyards, your fig trees, and your olive trees, the locust devoured them; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord” (vv. 6–9).
So God describes how He will cause it to rain “too much” on some cities and withhold the rain from others! And yet, as God said, His people will not repent and return to Him! And please remember, my friends, all of these prophecies I am quoting were written centuries before the modern “climatologists” have come out with their predictions about “global warming,” whereas a few years ago they predicted “global cooling”—neither of which have happened to any great extent yet! For it is Almighty God—not the modern weather scientists—who actually controls the weather! Do you, personally, begin to “get it”?
In His major “Olivet Prophecy” in Matthew 24, Jesus Christ describes the “key” changes in events that absolutely will come about and are coming about at the end of this age. First Jesus said to beware of false prophets (vv. 4–5). Then He describes wars and rumors of wars and explains that different nations and “ethnic” groups would rise against each other increasingly at the time of the end (v. 7). Next, He describes famines, pestilences (or disease epidemics) and earthquakes in various places. Jesus Christ said that all these are the “beginning of sorrows” (v. 8). Then Jesus prophesied that His true servants will be delivered up to tribulation and “hated” by all nations for His sake (v. 9). All this will soon come about within the lifetimes of most of you reading this right now!
Do you remember Elijah the prophet? Many do, but they usually forget that he demonstrated God’s absolute control over the weather. In fact, Elijah is first introduced through this very matter: “And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word’” (1 Kings 17:1).
But why had God inspired Elijah to prophesy total drought for a period of three years? The answer was found when Elijah finally presented himself before wicked King Ahab: “Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, ‘Is that you, O troubler of Israel?’ And he answered, ‘I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and have followed the Baals’” (1 Kings 18:17–18).
And the New Testament directly validates this Old Testament account. For in the book of James—written by the brother of Jesus Christ—we find these inspired words: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit” (James 5:17–18).
Have we, in the United States, Canada and Britain, “forsaken the commandments of the Lord” as Elijah condemned King Ahab for doing? The answer is rather obvious. And will we receive the same kind of punishment that the land of Israel did back then? We have the answer from the word of God: “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). As the New Testament puts it, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Notice Solomon’s inspired prayer acknowledging God’s direct control over the weather. “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (2 Chronicles 6:26–27).
In Isaiah 29:6, God says of Jerusalem, “You will be punished by the Lord of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.”
Again, God says, “I change not” (Malachi 3:6, KJV). He did punish ancient Jerusalem with earthquakes and storms. Now, He is beginning to punish the modern descendants of ancient Israel in the same way.
After a recent earthquake in Southern California, some local newswriters asked, “Why pick on Los Angeles?” The better question would be, “Why not?”
Los Angeles is widely regarded as the entertainment capital of the world. More rotten, vile movies and television shows featuring murder, mayhem and illicit, perverted sex are produced in Los Angeles than any other place in the world. California has long been regarded as the “leading edge” of seemingly every form of perversion known to man. The Great God who rules over men and nations has every right to punish degenerate and rebellious people and nations who have forsaken His laws and have not appreciated His great blessings. The people in California—and in most parts of the English-speaking world—have in the past had many chances to learn the Truth if they had any genuine interest. God’s basic ethical standards, summed up by the Ten Commandments, are generally well known—not hidden, esoteric knowledge. Maybe a good “shaking up” will get people’s attention!
Speaking to our ancestors, the Great God says: “And you have polluted the land with your harlotries and your wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and there has been no latter rain. You have had a harlot’s forehead; you refuse to be ashamed” (Jeremiah 3:2–3). Be honest. As a professing Christian nation, we have “polluted” the land with our modern adulteries, perversions, crimes and murders—including the butchery of some 50 million unborn children since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973—along with countless other acts that are abominable in the sight of the God of heaven. Is He then justified if He withholds the “latter rain” from those who disobey Him? Or if He strikes the earth beneath our feet?
The British-descended peoples of the earth are definitely the descendants of the so-called “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel. God has blessed our nations immeasurably with the greatest concentration of wealth and material resources of any people in human history. But we have “forgotten” God. We are a disgrace to the One who has blessed us so much. Therefore, in prophecy after prophecy in your Bible, God describes in detail how He will punish the modern “house of Israel”—and the Jewish people as well. Again, as a loving father “disciplines” his son, so God will discipline us for our own good in the hope that it will wake us up!
Do you remember reading about the massive earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1906? Writer Jack London lived just 40 miles away. He rushed to the city when he heard the news, and recorded what he saw: “Nothing remains of it but memories and a fringe of dwelling-houses on its outskirts… There was no opposing the flames. There was no organization, no communication… The telephone and telegraph systems were disrupted. And the great water-mains had burst. All the shrewd contrivances and safeguards of man had been thrown out of gear by thirty seconds’ twitching of the earth-crust... Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone” (“The Story of an Eyewitness,” Collier’s, May 5, 1906).
The desolation of San Francisco was beyond words. In 45 to 60 seconds of tremors and three days of fires, 28,000 buildings were destroyed and 225,000 people were left homeless. An estimated 3,000 people lost their lives. Property damage reached $400 million (in 1906 dollars). The fire destroyed four square miles of San Francisco—roughly two-thirds of the city.
On today’s Richter scale, the quake measured 7.7 to 7.9—nearly 100 times as intense as the terrible earthquake that struck Northridge, California on January 17, 1994!
My friends, what will it take to “shake” you to be willing to genuinely seek God—the true God of the Bible—with all your heart and with all your soul? What will it take to “shake” you to be willing to come out of this present society and truly obey the God who gives you life and breath?
In the New Testament, the great God who created us all inspired the writer of Hebrews to give us this warning: “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:25–29). May the God of your Bible help you to listen.