MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF GOD, IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!!!
With the current impact of the 2020 Wuhan virus in full swing and its devastating economic consequences wreaking havoc around the world, it would be extremely beneficial for members of the Church of God to remember the words of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong from 40 years ago.
When this article first came out, Margaret Thatcher, was completing her 1st year as Prime Minister of Britain.
Jimmy Carter was in his final year as President of the United States.
The US economy was mired in deep recession with high business bankruptcies, a decline in agricultural prices and exports, accompanied by double-digit interest rates. The US national debt had not yet eclipsed one trillion dollars at 907 billion dollars.
Internationally, the US was going into its 3rd month of the Iran hostage crisis. This crisis lasted for 444 days until Ronald Reagan became President in 1981.
The Church of God was also in tumult coming out of the 1970’s, which saw God’s Church inundated with false doctrine & teachers, a sharp decline in the effort of taking the Gospel to the world as a witness, the State of California’s receivership and the declining health of Mr. Armstrong.
With all this great unrest in God’s Church, the nations of modern Israel and the world, Mr. Armstrong’s outlook for the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the earth was immediate. Notice his mindset at the beginning of this article.
“It’s time you knew the real meaning of the present inflationary spiral, rising interest rates, and fears of entering a severe depression. There is far more to all this economic concern than appears on the surface. Its roots even penetrate back into ancient history and biblical prophecy.”
“What does it all really mean? What does it portend for the relatively immediate future?”
“A number of times I have published an economic analysis of the real causes of the inflation spiral and other economic distresses in the United States.”
“But now the stranglehold of inflation and other economic disturbances are tightening around our necks. This trend is going to reach out and greatly reduce your standard of living, in the next two years or more."
Source: “The Plain Truth Magazine,” January 1980, pg. 12
Like all of God’s servants, Mr. Armstrong was a man ahead of his time (I Thes. 4:16-17, I Pet. 1:20, I John 2:18). Mr. Armstrong thought that possibly within a couple of years, severe economic times leading to the return of Christ would begin happening, but this is not what occurred.
By the time Mr. Armstrong re-published his article in 1983, the Reagan Revolution had begun to take hold with significant reductions in tax rates, cuts in domestic spending, elimination of government regulations and strengthening the US military, which had become woefully inept following the Vietnam War.
President Reagan’s economic plan got the economy of America moving again. He strengthened America’s influence on the world stage, leading to the collapse of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe.
In the Church of God, Mr. Armstrong had begun to put the Church back on the track doctrinally, rooting out those responsible for bringing in biblical error. The final push of taking the Gospel to the world as a witness (Matt. 24:14) made an incredible rebound from the 1970’s, with huge increases in the amount of literature mailed out, expanded coverage for the “The World Tomorrow Program” and increased visits with the world’s top leaders.
Instead of the standard of living immediately decreasing as Mr. Armstrong thought it might, people’s standard of living began to increase under the economic plan of President Reagan, lasting well into the presidency of Bill Clinton.
While the American economy has experienced its ups and downs since Mr. Armstrong’s article was first published, the overall trend for people’s standard of living has increased, providing people were willing to work, save money and control spending.
It is clear, after 40 years, the severe reduction in the standard of living Mr. Armstrong warned about did not occurred, but is poised to SOON explode!!!
The curse of debt
The Wuhan virus pandemic has caused the productive economic efforts of President Donald Trump to dissipate within a matter of weeks. Because of government decisions to shutdown economies, many jobs have been lost, savings and retirement accounts have experienced significant reductions and government spending is exploding to levels never before witnessed.
America’s national debt has exceeded 24 trillion dollars with the possibility of approaching 30 trillion dollars before the end of 2020. One reason offered for this massive borrowing by President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is because “interest rates are very low” at this time.
American leadership has forgotten a nation cannot spend its way to prosperity.
“The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant [slave] to the lender” (Prov. 22:7).
One of the curses Moses prophesied would come on the modern descendants of Israel (American & British peoples) would be massive problems with debt.
“The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail (Deut. 28:43-44).”
These verses show how debt reduces personal and national standards of living. The current $24 trillion national debt does not factor in over 200 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities the US will be obligated to payout as its baby boomer population continues to age. This is a “stranglehold” Mr. Armstrong could not have imagined at the time his article was released.
A perfect storm of economic collapse and national captivity is coming on the United States and Britain because its leaders & peoples have refused to obey God's Law (Ezek. 36:18-19). This collapse is going to greatly reduce the standard of living for these nations because God’s Law, the 10 Commandments, are not being obeyed.
As Mr. Armstrong warned, “the stranglehold of inflation and other economic disturbances are tightening around our necks.” These troubles did not occur in the final years of Mr. Armstrong’s life, but they are about to soon occur NOW!!!
No dependence on God
Mr. Armstrong pointed to a reliance on flawed physical science, a faulty educational system founded on evolution and corrupt business practices as reasons for modern Israel’s troubles.
On pg. 43, he gets specific about the real cause of these problems which will soon overtake the modern descendants of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.
“Our governments have been [are] corrupt. Our business, industrial, economic and commercial systems have been [are] shot through with deception, dishonesty, selfishness.”
“We have rebelled against the authority of GOD over us, worshipping the false gods of science, evolution and greed! We have gone the WAY OF SATAN!”
National, state & local leaders have not turned to God to deal with the Wuhan virus. Instead they have chosen to rely on faulty science, perverse political ideology and a deep disdain for God’s blessings of freedom. God is hardly mentioned in the daily virus press briefings held by political leaders.
Moses prophesied about the cause of these coming economic problems 3,500 years ago in Deuteronomy 31:27, 29
“for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more after my death? For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”
The time has come for God to deal with the corruption and evil works of modern Israel. Mr. Armstrong points to why on pg. 43.
“And now, FOR OUR OWN GOOD, an all-wise and all-loving God is about to PUNISH our nations, in order finally to bring us to HIM!”
During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Mason explained why “national sins” lead to “national calamities.”
“As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.”
The prophet Ezekiel spoke about these “national calamities” 1,200 years before the Constitutional Convention.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: A disaster, a singular disaster; Behold, it has come!” (Ezek. 7:5)
Ezekiel continues in verses 6-7,
“An end has come, The end has come; It has dawned for you; Behold it has come! Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; The time has come, A day of trouble is near, And not of rejoicing in the mountains (Washington, D.C. & London).
In verses 15 & 19 Ezekiel describes what this disaster will be like.
“The sword is outside, And the pestilence and famine within. Whoever is in the field Will die by the sword; And whoever is in the city, Famine and pestilence will devour him. They will throw their silver into the streets, And their gold will be like refuse; Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them In the day of the wrath of the LORD; They will not satisfy their souls, Nor fill their stomachs, Because it became their stumbling block of iniquity.”
Parallel with God’s Church
Sadly, the spiritual condition of God’s Church today parallels that of modern Israel. Christ described most of God’s people in the final era of His Church as “lukewarm”.
“So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will (am about to) vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy (achieved a good standard of living), and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Rev. 3:16-17).
The final era of God’s Church is spiritually inept and unprepared for Christ’s return. Because of their poor spiritual condition, God will allow many in the final era of His Church to experience the intense pressure of the “days of vengeance.”
Christ explains this to Laodiceans in verse 18,
“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
The solution is: Repentance
What is the solution for the coming troubles of modern Israel and God’s Church?
Ezekiel explains how modern Israel comes to repentance in Ezekiel 36.
“So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their deeds” (verse 19).
“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land” (verse 24).
“Then you will remember your evil ways and your evil deeds that were not good; and you will loathe (despise) yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations” (verse 31).
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols” (verse 25).
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (verse 27).
Christ explained the process of the repentance for Laodiceans in Revelation 6:9-11.
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls (people) of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest (remain dead) a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
Laodicean Christians will go into the “days of vengeance” for their “lukewarm” spiritual condition to repent. They will have to give up their lives to be part of the 1st resurrection and become members of God’s ruling family.
“And I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls (people) of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4)
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF GOD, IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!!!
Matthew 24:14 is a fulfilled prophecy.
The falling away (apostasy) within God’s Church has occurred (II Thes. 2:3).
NOW, is the famine of the hearing of God’s Word (Amos 8:11).
This is to be followed by the “days of vengeance” (Luke 21:22).
Christ’s message for God’s Church today is quite simple.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be[come] zealous and repent” (Rev. 3:19).
Time has come for God’s Church to prepare to greatly reduce its standard of living and repent of its “lukewarm” spiritual condition before the “days of vengeance” descend on this earth.
40 years after Mr. Armstrong’s warning, the end has come!!! Are you ready for it?
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3:22).