The Unthinkable Will Happen

By Herbert W Armstrong

19 June 1982


Well brethren I guess it's still the same old thing, there is both good news and bad news. And there's some wonderfully good news clear beyond human comprehension coming. But there is some bad news, still completely beyond comprehension, that is coming first. And God has told us to prepare for it and He has shown us how He is going to protect us.

But the unthinkable is coming. There is an article coming in 'The Plain Truth' which I saw yesterday. Let me see, I don’t know whether I have it; I guess I have the title of it here. It’ll probably be in the August number – maybe September: 'Humanity Won’t End in a Nuclear Holocaust.' As a matter of fact, it will be the lead article in 'The Plain Truth'. We have already approved the cover for it.

I haven’t read all of the article myself but I want to read you just a little bit of it. It’s pretty much built around a quotation from a former Harvard Professor who gave this report to 'The Plain Truth'. He is now President of the Physicians for Social Responsibility; and this is the quote.

“Survival is the only issue that matters now. The other issues pale into total insignificance if we don’t do anything about it, that is the nuclear war threat, within 10 – 20 years we’ll all be killed anyhow.”

And most people don’t realize what the hydrogen bomb will do. There is a great deal of talk about it, but it seems that in television they are afraid to show you the reality of it, and what it really will happen. And it is going to happen. Well I’ll come to that, but I want to read you the description that is here, and this is giving you a little bit of an advance peek into the coming 'Plain Truth'. But I think it's good for us to have it now anyway.

Effect Of A Nuclear Blast (PLAY FROM 2:33)

“In the first milliseconds after detonation, gamma radiation would kill everything within six miles [just in milliseconds]. An electromagnetic pulse created by the nuclear blast would fuse all unprotected circuitry within several hundred miles, knocking out communication. A fireball would consume everything within 280 square miles [now this is only one bomb - 280 square miles], in ten seconds. Followed by a blast wave that would flatten remaining structures within four and one half miles, and severely damage other buildings dozens of miles away."

“If the device exploded near the ground, hundreds of tons of debris now highly radioactive, would be thrown into the air; returning and settling for days afterward as fine deadly ash. And the long term effects are as devastating as the initial blast. If the device exploded on the ground, the surrounding area would be uninhabitable for decades.”

Now imagine if that was New York City. This is only talking about one bomb on one city. I’m going to read you something from the Bible just a little later.

“The high radiation would kill most, if not all, of the local bird population, allowing the exponential growth of radiation-resistant insects. Radioactive particles would cause 'beta burns' and kill plant life. Radioactive fallout would be carried into water supplies and aquifers through streams and lakes, rendering drinking water unfit in many areas.”

And many areas outside of the area of the city in which the bomb fell. And they know how to hit the target right on the nose today too!

“Burn victims and the injured would find the hospitals obliterated in the blast and clogged with other victims. In short, society as we know it would be taxed to its limits by a single blast, and unable to function in the event of a minor {1} nuclear attack.”

Nations With Nuclear Bomb (PLAY FROM 5:53)

Now that is just one nuclear bomb. Just one nuclear bomb! And now we need to realize; I want to show you what’s prophesied. It’s not going to be one city only but many cities. Supposing that bombs like I just read - the description like I just read - that hit New York, also hit Boston and hit Washington in the East; and hit Chicago, and hit Houston, Texas, and Kansas City, and Denver, and Los Angeles and San Francisco; and possibly in the Pacific Northwest. Just say Portland because that would reach Seattle too.

What would be left of the United States of America? The nation would be gone. I’m going to show you what God says will happen. But not only the United States and the Soviet Union now have the hydrogen bomb, and can do just that, and can hit that many cities at once. And hit every one right on target.

But also Britain, France, India, China - that is The People’s Republic of China; Red China - all have the hydrogen bomb. And many other nations are right on the heels of it and will have it within...if they don’t already have it. Some think, for example, that Israel and a number of other nations already have it. And if they don’t, they will have it within another two, three, five years. And that includes Argentina. Many, many other nations.

Now it’s a matter of some small nation, and some mad man in a small nation – and look at the mad men we’ve had in small nations recently. Oh what was that man’s name down in central Africa. The Israelis had a raid down there and took their captives away from him one night. Was that Idi Amin? Or something like that! And then - oh, this man in the country just to the west of Egypt. And then a man that is sort of hiding alone, surrounded right now by the Israeli army – the head of the PLO, {2} he has already done things just as crazy as that.

There are men that would start it, and there are many who believe that a hydrogen bomb war would not be started by either the United States or Russia. Now the President of Russia - Brezhnev - has 'pledged,' so-called, better put quotes around that word 'pledged' however, that Russia will never fire the first shot of nuclear weapons.

But I have never known of a nation that has broken as many promises as Russia - or the Soviet Union. They make agreements and promises just in order to have something to break. They don’t keep them. And, I hope you noticed President... the United States President’s reply. I don’t know why a name won’t come to me as well as I know – my tailor calls him “Ronnie,” which I think he shouldn’t do, since he is in the office now of President of the United States; President Ronald Reagan.

Prepare For War (PLAY FROM 9:55)

But many small nations are now arming. Let me read you from Joel. Then I’m going to read another prophecy a little later that ties in with it. But Joel the third chapter and beginning with verse nine. Here is a prophecy, and I used to proclaim this over the air, oh, up to 30, 35 years ago, at the time when I was noticing many ship loads, when I was still up in Eugene, Oregon, and I would notice freight cars going with all kinds of junk toward Portland. And they were going there to ship all that metal junk to Japan.

I said, “That is going to be shot back at us,” and it was later. They melted it into implements of war, and it did come back and it sunk many of our ships, at Pearl Harbor to begin with. But here is the prophecy:

"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all of the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears [and]: let the weak say I am strong." (Joel 3:9-10)

Little weak nations now are beginning to boast that they are strong. The strongest nation on the face of the earth, or at least that was - maybe Russia is now - but it’s only just a very few short years ago that the United States undoubtedly was the most powerful nation on earth. But we have lost all the pride in our power and we’re too timid to use it, even if we had to. And beside God is no longer blessing this country at war, and this country has won its last war - I’m telling you.

But to these small nations that were weak, it says - God says to them in this prophecy.

"Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD." (Joel 3:11)

Now that is a prayer to the Lord because His mighty ones,and all of the holy angels, are going to follow Christ when He comes. So there are some mighty ones and mighty spirit beings on the heavenly throne.

"Let the heathen be wakened [that is the general nations and especially those smaller nations; third world nations and nations like that], Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about." (Joel 3:12)

Now, compared to Revelation 14:15 when it's talking of just before the second coming of Christ, after the Day of the Lord even, here is the same thing mentioned here.

"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe [now you read that in Revelation and you may not understand what the harvest is but it is described right here]: The harvest is ripe for reaping [what harvest?], come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great." (Joel 3:13)

It’s the harvest of the wickedness of mankind on this earth. It’s the harvest of Satan the Devil and his wickedness, and God is going to REAP that harvest. And Christ is going to come and start a new and a different world altogether.

Gospel Almost Lost (PLAY FROM 13:59)

Now I said to you the last time I spoke here that the church, - and in one way very especially this church now, although it includes the original apostolic church in the first century, and those that have been in the church ever since. But they didn’t learn as much as we, in the Middle Ages, because the gospel was pretty well lost.

When I came among those of the true Church of God - and the Sardis people were the true Church of God - they had lost most of the vital knowledge. And yet the church is simply the disciples or the students, going to school to learn how to teach others, when God’s time to reap His harvest will come in the Millennium. To teach others as we should be taught now.

But they had lost the truth. They were not learning. They were not growing in grace and knowledge. They had the right name and they knew about the law but they didn’t know it fully. They didn’t understand that the law must be kept in principle, in spirit and not in letter. There’s so much that they did not know.

They looked at sin as just some literal point of the law. If God said that this particular identical thing is sin; it was. If God didn’t mention an identical thing, well then it was okay to do it. And that’s what the liberals are saying today.

But there’s the general principle of love toward God and love toward neighbor, as exemplified and magnified in the ten commandments. Love toward God and love toward neighbor. And then love toward yourself in the sense that your mind and body is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, or made to be potentially at least it is. I don’t think in all cases of all people that that is true, but it should be and could be, and potentially is. And both the mind and body should be taken care of, and to that extent we should love ourselves, but not selfishly. But we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

So the wickedness is great. Then it carries on: "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14). And it carries right on to the battle of Armageddon, and the time of God being there.

So PRIOR to the second coming of Christ the weak and the minor and the small nations are going to arm and say “we are strong,” and they have been doing it. Now Japan was not strong but they did arm prior to World War II. And the United States was still being blessed by God, but it took us a few years before we could put them away. And even then it took the atomic bomb to do it. And how much longer that war might have gone on I don’t know, and I think you don’t either. And none of us knows how much longer it might have gone on.

The First Man Adam (PLAY FROM 17:18)

Now in such a world as this: I have been talking about this world a great deal. And the foundation of this world was the time of Adam, when God created the first man. Now God had not put a nature in that man one way or the other. He didn’t have an attitude, a motive, a desire and intent or purpose to do either right or wrong. He had just been created.

He was created as a full grown adult with a mind that was just like a full grown, that had started from a baby and grown up to that point. But God created him that way in the first place. But yet it was a mind as unfilled with knowledge as a new-born baby five minutes old. But God began to teach him and then God put him in the Garden of Eden. And God taught him about God’s law. Only very little of what God said is recorded in the second chapter of Genesis, but some of it is recorded there.

Since God told him that "the wages of sin is death", we know that, God tells us that in Romans 6:23. {3} And God couldn’t have pronounced a death sentence on him for a certain thing unless he already knew the penalty of God’s law. He would have to know something about God’s law, at least in principle of obedience to God, of love toward God, that he would have neighbor. And Adam should have loved his wife. And Eve should have loved her husband Adam. And that was already known to them at that time.

And then you notice Jesus’ prophecy now - well let’s go on a little further before I come to that. Adam made a decision. Eve was tempted by Satan the Devil. She believed his lie. She didn’t believe God. Adam didn’t believe God either, because he went the way of Eve when she offered him the forbidden fruit and Adam took it. And he disobeyed God. Now at that very moment, certain things happened. You read in the thirteenth chapter of Revelation that from that moment on, Christ the Lamb of God was slain, or as good as slain because it was appointed that He should be. And that’s just as good as done in God’s sight. Whatever God says, and whatever He plans, happens absolutely.

Another thing happened. God took away the spirit of life. The Tree of Life. One of the two trees was a Tree of Life, and it was simply a symbol of the Holy Spirit by which God would have imparted life. Also the Holy Spirit merely opens the mind, the comprehension of the mind to comprehend spiritual knowledge, when God reveals that knowledge.

Now God had revealed some knowledge to Adam, but I don’t think Adam fully understood it. He didn’t have the Holy Spirit yet. I don’t think he fully comprehended it, but he did know enough to be selfish and to follow Eve. There was a lack of will and there was a lack of obedience, a lack of respect to his Father; or his Creator. He dishonored his Creator and he broke the spirit of all of the commandments.

Then God closed up the Tree of Life until Christ - the second Adam - should come. So at that same time it was appointed that Christ was to come and pay the penalty of sin. Adam had sinned. His first son, Cain, sinned and slew his own brother. And everyone has sinned from that time on to now, except Jesus Christ, who, after He came four thousand years after that.

Man Appointed Once To Die (PLAY FROM 21:48)

Another thing that was determined then was it was appointed to men once to die because God had not given man immortal life. He had OFFERED him eternal life through the Tree of Life through the Holy Spirit, but Adam did not take it. And now God closed up the Tree of Life, and no one was going to have eternal life given to him until after Christ had come, because he could not have eternal life IN SIN.

To have eternal life WHILE YOU ARE SINNING, would be to have eternal life in discomfort, in unhappiness, in wretchedness, in suffering, in sorrow, in discontent; in EVERY misery that you can think of. And God wasn’t going to let that happen. Besides, God’s purpose was to reproduce Himself; to build character; to build us into GOD’S character - the same character as God.

Now that has to COME from God, but it isn’t character unless it comes with our knowledge, our consent, our will, and our intent and purpose. Otherwise you don’t have that character. God had offered Adam ETERNAL LIFE. GOD HAD OFFERED ADAM A CHANCE TO BE GOD. AND HE OFFERS YOU AND ME THAT CHANCE TODAY – TO BECOME GOD. I wonder if we can realize it!

Brethren I don’t think we realize:

Number one: I don’t think we realize how great and how powerful is the hydrogen bomb and the kind of weapons that are available now. I don’t think we really understand and REALIZE it! I don’t think it ever SINKS COMPLETELY IN. It would HORRIFY you if you do.

And second: I don’t think we realize how GREAT it is, how WONDERFUL it is, to become God and have such character. GOD CAN’T LIE. GOD CAN’T SIN. GOD CAN’T BECOME UNHAPPY. But God is Creator. God is a DOER. He is ALWAYS DOING SOMETHING that brings great PLEASURE, and great SATISFACTION, and HONOUR and GLORY, and EVERYTHING GOOD. And what a wonderful and a good feeling that is - successful, righteous, happy accomplishment.

And so many people just want to be left so there is nothing to do. It reminds me of one, who’s name I won’t mention, but had never been converted, has never been in the church, and I had explained the difference between the general Protestant idea – just accept Christ and it’s all settled, and it’s alright to go on living your life and when you die you go to Heaven. There is no responsibility and nothing to do, but you just live forever with nothing to do but look on the glorious face of Christ.

Whereas I said that what I teach is, that we can become God. We’ll be creators. We’ll have very great responsibility. But it’s going the way of righteousness, and it’s the hard way and it gives us very great responsibility. But great happiness comes from that kind of accomplishment. “Well” he says, “I tell you, I want the Protestant way then. I don’t want any responsibility. I want to just go to heaven and have nothing to do. I don’t want to have anything to do.”

That man is still living and he is only about five years younger than I am. He’s already, I think he must be past 75, I mean 85 by now, and he is one of the most miserable men that I know of on the face of the earth. He has nothing to do. He doesn’t have much income but he is able to live. He can sit there and watch television and sit in his easy chair - arm chair - in the day time and nothing to do.

I met him a few years ago at a funeral and he said, “My," he said, "I wish I had something like you do. You’re busy all the time. That keeps you going.” He said, “The most miserable thing that I know is to just sit there with nothing to do.” And he’s miserably unhappy. Well that’s what he asked for. It’s kind of late in life now for him to begin to start all over.

God's Greatest Blessing (PLAY FROM 26:28)

I’m glad that somehow God awakened things in me when I was sixteen and in those formative years I was at least preparing, although He hadn’t opened my mind yet. I hadn’t come to know God yet really. I knew about Him a little bit, but not much. I didn’t really come to know Him until I was thirty four years of age. But I had been prepared for a lot of things from age sixteen on. And I tell you, they are the formative years, from sixteen up to twenty five.

By age twenty eight I was very successful in the City of Chicago, and making as much money as; well about a third of a million dollars would be in today’s dollar value. And of course that’s the world’s standard of success. By that standard I was becoming quite successful. And then God, and things happened in a way that I know it was God and nothing else, took all of that away from me and reduced me down to real poverty. And I knew what it was to go hungry.

And then God opened my mind and the challenge for Him and I had to begin life all over. And I had to give up the business career. I never went back to it. I didn’t come up from that, and possibly I might have, I don’t know. But I never went back into the business field. I’d rather turn my back on it; and gave myself over to Christ; asked Him to come in and live His life within me. And He began to fill my mind with understanding and with knowledge and has given me the wonderful, matchless opportunity and pleasure of being able to share that knowledge with all of you; and with actually millions of other people.

Could there be any greater blessing to come to anyone than that? Then a wonderful blessing. And I want to tell you that happiness comes from doing, and successful doing and accomplishment of right things with a clean conscience. But don’t bother your conscience or anything of the kind.

Nevertheless in due time; now it was appointed from the foundation of the world that man should die. He did not have an immortal life, so his life span would be - as was brought out in the sermon this morning - approximately 70 years on the average. Some die in birth, and some a month old, and some a year, and some ten, some twenty, some fifty, some seventy years old. A few live past that age. It’ll average about seventy.

And people don’t understand that this life is just here for a PURPOSE and only for a LITTLE WHILE and you’ve got SO MUCH TIME to get so much ACCOMPLISHED. But people really don’t think about that, they only think about “enjoying the moment” and the pleasure and the moment while they are going along.

But God then appointed that men should die, but after this the Judgment; that this is not the only life; that this is a temporary physical life, but everyone who ever died would come back to life again. So you read in I Corinthians 15:22 and on that:

" in Adam all die in Christ shall all be made alive [by a resurrection]." (I Corinthians 15:22)

But after death and after the resurrection will come the Judgment on people who never heard of God’s true plan; of God’s great purpose, and who have been misled by this false civilization.

So Satan got Eve. Eve got Adam and recruited him. And they built a world on human-based knowledge. With minds capable of dealing with things but not with people. And yet even dealing with things, it takes multiple people in one team, or one organization, to produce... well, let’s say an airplane, an automobile, or many of the things that we have today.

A World Without God (PLAY FROM 31:02)

But men don’t know how to work together. They don’t get along together. Everyone is thinking of what he can get - and usually from the other. And there’s always a case of competition. A matter of jealousy and envy towards others. Of strife leading to violence, and violence is increasing rapidly right now all over the world.

And men are trying to live without God and this world has been built without GOD. But it HAS been built influenced and guided by Satan the Devil, and we are in such a world now. And God is not going to end this world until the world has come to see that it’s had six thousand years and it’s tried EVERYTHING. And as long as man would say; “Oh if you’d just given us another few days, or weeks, or months, or maybe years, we would have solved our problems.”

I tell you the great of the world think they’re still going to solve the problems of the world. They don't admit they are absolutely licked they can’t solve the problems. They think “We’re going to make this a better world someway. We’re going to solve all these problems.”

Well they’ve been trying it for the last six thousand years and it’s getting worse and worse, and they’re getting farther and farther away from solutions. Farther and farther away from solutions. I did a broadcast, I believe it was yesterday, on that very subject - about solutions of all these problems.

It was in such a world that Jesus came and He started the World Tomorrow. He said, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). And the church is merely the Kingdom of God as I said a couple of weeks ago, I believe it was, when I was here. The church is the Kingdom of God in embryo.

Now every one of you was once an embryo before you became a human being. We are not the Kingdom of God, we are the Church of God. But the Church of God IS THE KINGDOM IN EMBRYO. And you were not a human being when you were an embryo, but you were a human being in embryo. And after four months you became a fetus inside of your mother, in her womb. And then you had to develop for five {4} more months before you could even be born.

And the church has to GROW AND DEVELOP SPIRITUALLY and in KNOWLEDGE. Now Jesus started the church by calling His twelve disciples and for three and a half years He taught His disciples. And when they had been taught He said, "I have ordained you, that you should go out and teach others. "And so He gave them then the Great Commission in Matthew 28 where He said:

"Go... [into all the world] and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:19-20)

That’s Matthew 28 the last three verses, the last four verses.

So the disciples had been taught by Jesus. He was the teacher. They had gone to school to Him. They didn’t sit in a classroom. They went from village to village. They walked different places, but He was teaching them. That’s the kind of school they had. They didn’t follow Plato’s idea of a school. And they went out to teach others, and so the church got started.

Well let me tell you what is going to happen. Now let’s get back to where we are right now. We are in the church now; I’m coming back to this. But Matthew 24 beginning with verse 21, and that’s speaking of the time just ahead of us, and I’ll prove it to you in a minute.

"For then [a time just ahead of us] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this [same] time no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened there should be no flesh saved [alive] but for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened [or cut short]." (Matthew 24:21-22)

In other words, God is going to stop it all before all humanity is obliterated. It is a time when it is POSSIBLE TO BLAST ALL HUMAN LIFE OUT OF EXISTENCE. AND ALL HUMAN LIFE WOULD BE BLASTED OUT OF EXISTENCE except for the coming of Christ.

Let me tell you, the hydrogen bomb - now - could blast all humanity out of existence. And that has only been possible in the last - what is it? - twenty nine or thirty. Thirty, thirty-one years ago that could not have been possible. Now it is possible. So there is something about the time.

Now let me give you something else, what’s going to happen immediately after. Verse twenty nine: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days..." (Matthew 24:29)

Not a thousand years after but IMMEDIATELY after – immediately after the tribulation of those days. A tribulation so bad it has never happened before and never will again. Nothing like the hydrogen bomb has ever happened before. Never will again.

"...the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken." (Matthew 24:29)

Supernatural signs. God is going to MIRACULOUSLY, SUPERNATURALLY INTERVENE and people are going to REALIZE the POWER OF GOD. The people are ignoring God now and don’t want to HEAR ABOUT GOD are going to run SCREAMING when that happens and asking for HELP. And CRYING OUT to God for mercy.

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man [that’s of Christ] in the heavens: and then shall all the tribes of the earth [or all of the nations] mourn, and they shall SEE the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:30)

The second coming of Christ to put Satan away and to take over the governments of all the nations and have ONE nation ruling the whole world – the Kingdom of God. And you and I brethren have been CALLED and WE ARE that kingdom IN EMBRYO, IF WE GROW in grace and in knowledge. If we GROW in KNOWLEDGE, if we are developing, growing in embryo.

When you were an embryo if you had not grown, you were only the size of a pin point. How little was that compared to how big you were when you were first born? Well how little are we now, compared to what we will be when we are BORN AGAIN into the KINGDOM OF GOD? PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP TO THIS THING. They don’t REALIZE how serious it is. THEY DON’T REALIZE THE MAGNITUDE of it!

They have their minds on other things somehow it seems. So you see it’s a time just before the second coming of Christ, but it’s a time after the hydrogen bomb. Because, otherwise, we had not ever have reached a time when not a single human being would be left alive. Never before has that been possible.

Not One Would Be Left Alive (PLAY FROM 39:15)

Now let me show you again what is going to happen. Many great cities are to be destroyed. Let’s go back to Ezekiel. Ezekiel six and verse six.

"In ALL your dwelling places, the cities shall be laid waste..." (Ezekiel 6:6)

Now who is God speaking to and what time is He speaking of? Well we go back to the very beginning. You even go ahead of that. As a matter of fact all of the prophecies in Ezekiel; Ezekiel was a prophet to the house of Israel, not the house of Judah. Not to the Jews but to the house of Israel, which today is Britain and America. And he starts out in the very beginning of his book, and again in the beginning of the fifth and sixth chapter, and speaking of Israel. It speaks here in chapter five verse four of how "...a fire shall come forth [from] all the house of Israel." Ezekiel 5:4)

It’s the house of Israel it's talking about. And after talking about the house of Israel we finally come down: well let’s begin with verse eleven now in chapter five of Ezekiel.

"Wherefore as I live says the Lord [Eternal] surely because thou has defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore [I have diminished] thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither [shall] I have any pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with [the] famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part [of thee] shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them." (Ezekiel 5:11-12)

Let me see, there is another point here I wanted to bring to your attention. Anyhow, in chapter six then:

"And the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying, Son of man set thy face toward the mountains of Israel [or the nations of Israel], and prophesy against them, And say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the [Eternal] Thus saith the Lord [Eternal] to the mountains [now this is literal, to the mountains] and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys;" (Ezekiel 6:1-3)

That is in the land of Israel. Now begin with verse six. Let me see, he’s been speaking to the house of Israel primarily, and he’s a prophet to the house of Israel. Well in verse seven:"And the slain shall fall in the midst of you and you shall know that I am the [Eternal]." (Ezekiel 6:7)

That is a special little phrase that Ezekiel uses that is not used in other writers or other prophets in the Bible. The time when 'they shall know' that He is the Lord, or the Eternal. That means the second coming of Christ. It is used time and again in the book of Ezekiel, always referring to the second coming of Christ. And he continues on in verse nine:

"...and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have [done, in the past]." (Ezekiel 6:9)

It’s after Christ’s coming. They are not going to do that until He comes. Now then, I want to go on a little further to the twelth chapter of Ezekiel and verse twenty: and here again:

"And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the [Eternal]." (Ezekiel 12:20)

In other words it is going to happen just before the coming of Christ. Now, in Matthew 24, this great time, such as never happened before, when ALL LIFE would be snuffed out if God didn’t stop it - which could not happen before the hydrogen bomb - is happening JUST BEFORE the second coming of Christ. And here is just before the second coming of Christ because they are going to know that He is the Eternal. Now it goes on in verse 24 here:

"For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel." (Ezekiel 12:24)

And then later he says, "O rebellious house" (verse 25) and always he is speaking of the house of Israel. All through the book of Ezekiel, wherever he says the "rebellious house," is all referring to Israel, never to Judah.

"Son of man, behold they of the house of Israel say, the vision..." (Ezekiel 12:27) Well it goes on to say: it’s speaking about the house of Israel all the way through.

Chapter thirteen; "And the word of the Eternal came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them [or that are preaching, really and] that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the [Eternal];" (Ezekiel 13:1-2)

Then he scorches the ministers and that’s the ministers here, not in Judah, but the ministers in Britain and the United States. So there is no question about who and where and what time, and to whom God is addressing there and who is mentioned.

Let No Man Deceive You (PLAY FROM 45:11)

But now I want to turn to something else again. Just before these things happen – back into Matthew 24 again. Jesus had been in the temple with His disciples, they’d just come outside. And He was showing them, from outside the temple, the buildings of the temple. And He was telling them that the temple was going to be destroyed, and that not one stone would be left on another.

And they sort of broke off and He went up on the Mount of Olives, and, as one of the other - I believe it’s either Mark or Luke - says, there were three of the disciples came to Him up there. Matthew indicates “the disciples” without saying how many, and apparently it was just three of them. Anyway they came to Him and they said:

"...Tell us when shall these things be [now actually, that was going to happen in 70 AD, but now they ask another question. A lot of people don’t see this. Jesus was talking about one thing, and that one thing happened in 70 AD. They said] when shall these things be? AND what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world. And Jesus answered and said unto them [now these disciples], Take heed that no man deceive YOU." (Matthew 24:3-4)

Who was He talking to? His disciples. “Don’t let anyone deceive YOU." They were then living in the first century.

"For many shall come in my name saying [that], I am [the] Christ." (Matthew 24:5)

Brethren, most people read that saying that “many will come saying that THEY are the Christ.” Oh no! They just put a comma in the wrong place in translating it. You get the original in the Greek language and it’s talking about many coming professing to be the MINISTERS of Christ, saying that JESUS is the Christ.

Jesus is talking, many will come, Jesus said, “saying that I, Jesus, am the Christ. It was Jesus talking when He said “I am the Christ,” not that, “many will come saying they are the Christ.” Many will come saying, it’s not them quoting, and He’s not quoting them.

I ran that down one time to be sure I was right and not wrong in that. And I went through every place I could find in the Bible where anyone came “in the name of Christ.” And always they came as His representative, never once impersonating Him or saying that they themselves were Christ. Never!

"Many will come in my name" (Matthew 24:5). That is then, they were coming as Christ’s representative saying that Jesus is the Christ, and deceiving the many. Then there was wars, and rumours of wars and things like that. And there shall be famines and pestilences. But He said here in verse 6,

"...but the end is not yet" (Matthew 24:6-7). That these things must come first but the end is not yet.

The Sign Of His Coming (PLAY FROM 48:27)

Then He came to verse fourteen, and He answered the second question about the sign of His coming. He answered their first question first. He didn’t give the sign of His coming till He gets to verse fourteen here.

"And [He said] this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

That’s the end of this world. That is His second coming. Brethren, when did the gospel of the kingdom start being PROCLAIMED? Jesus said that right around late 30 or early 31 AD. The church was founded in 31 AD. What gospel did Jesus preach in Mark 1:1 "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..." (Mark 1:1)

And then it shows as soon as He was baptized;

"...after... John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel [what gospel?] The gospel of the kingdom of God [now a kingdom is a nation, a government. A nation under a government. Of the kingdom of God.] And saying, the time is fulfilled..."(Mark 1:14-15)

WHY was it fulfilled? What did that mean? People read right over that. They don’t get the meaning of that. The time is fulfilled. Now stop right there, there is a MEANING on that. What is the meaning? The time had not been fulfilled until Jesus had overcome Satan.

Satan tried to kill the Christ child, but that wasn’t Jesus overcoming Satan. God the Father got a message through to Joseph and Mary - Mary the mother of Jesus - saying, "Flee into Egypt until this thing is all over." They were trying to, Satan was trying to have Jesus killed through King Herod. And when he had died then He said, “Now you can go back into the land of Israel.” That’s when they went back up to Nazareth (Matthew 2:13-20).

But that wasn’t Jesus conquering Satan. You read of Jesus conquering Satan just a line ahead of this. Let’s see:

"And immediately the spirit [drove Jesus] into the wilderness [right after He was baptized]. And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." (Mark 1:12-13)

Now you get the details of that in the fourth chapter of Matthew. There was the greatest battle that EVER HAPPENED. THE BATTLE FOR THE THRONE OF THE WHOLE EARTH! And you find in the fourth chapter of Matthew the details of that great battle. Now the TIME WAS FULFILLED when Christ had conquered Satan. So He came with the gospel of the kingdom;

"[And] saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand..." (Mark 1:15)

The kingdom was at hand. He was going to call now the church, which in fact as I’ve been telling you the last two or three weeks, and I didn’t realize this myself before that, the church is the kingdom of God in embryo.

In other words, it’s the embryo that will BECOME the... we’re not yet the kingdom of God. But we’re the embryo of what will BECOME the kingdom of God. And it started with those twelve. And then on the Day of Pentecost there were three thousand added. The next day or two, two more thousand, and then others.

But always there's supposed to be teachers - I mean, we're supposed to be students and to learn, and then we’re supposed to be teachers. That’s where you read over in Hebrews where the apostle Paul, writing the book of Hebrews, said to the people in the church that ..."whereas you ought to already be teachers, you still need to be taught the very beginning of the religious, or the spiritual, education of the things of God." (Hebrews 5:12 paraphrased)

Brethren, what grade are you in in spiritual education? Now stop and think, each one of you. You people, you women, you men sitting right down here, you people up in the balcony. Are you past the first grade? Are you in the second grade? Are you in Junior High, or are you in High School yet?

IN SPIRITUAL EDUCATION HOW FAR HAVE YOU GONE IN THE KNOWLEDGE, OF SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, and the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. HOW FAR ADVANCED ARE YOU NOW? WE’RE COMING UP TO THE TIME OF FINAL EXAMS. Are you going to be able to pass the grade and get into the kingdom?

Spiritual Fervency Needed (PLAY FROM 53:32)

I WANT TO AROUSE YOU TO THINK! WE’VE BEEN JUST TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED. WE’VE BEEN JUST STUPEFIED. WE HAVEN’T BEEN AWAKE! I know God says to the weak nations, “AWAKE HERE, GET AWAKE. BUILD UP, beat your farm implements into weapons of WAR.”And they’ve been doing it. Oh yeah they’ll wake up for WAR.

But will you wake up for peace? For the kingdom of God? Brethren, I have to put energy into what I do and I hit ninety years of age next month. Now not one of us knows whether he’s going to be alive one day longer or not. I don’t know, but I feel somehow that perhaps God needs to have me stay on a while longer. And I know this, I’ve got to put every ounce of energy I have into it every day.

I’ve got to get back into my little studio office over in the Television Department tomorrow. And I’ve got to put a lot of what I am giving you today into another telecast, which you won’t see on the air for maybe five or six more weeks. I have to keep several weeks ahead because we’re just not equipped to do it, just like that. Like live programs like the news broadcast you get every night at 7 o’clock on World News.

But I have to be up and doing and I have to AROUSE myself, and it’s harder for me to arouse myself out of bed mornings than it used to be. It’s harder for me to STIR myself up and DRIVE myself on. But other people they just take it easy, and take it for granted, and they are not in a hurry. And I wish some of you would show a little more energy brethren. I wish you would get a little more EARNEST about this thing. DO YOU PUT EARNESTNESS IN YOUR PRAYERS? Or do you just pray in a nice easy manner?

Do you read about prayer in the Bible? Go back and read, in the prophet Joel, and read some of the prayers of King David in the Psalms. Read the 51st Psalm. They poured their hearts into their prayers. They were in EARNEST about it. And I think most of you don’t know HOW to get stirred up into EARNEST. When will you wake up brethren?

I know. I get reports. Our light is shining. We send some students over to do work in Thailand in the refugee work. And they make such a good account for themselves. Their light certainly shines. We send students in the summer over for the archaeological dig in Jerusalem and they certainly are different than the other students there. But they are just working.

But I tell you, it’s going to take more energy, more DRIVE, more dynamic ENERGY than that. If I can put it in, in my 90th year as I’ve been doing; - now I’ve been in my 90th year for almost a year now - how much more could some of you do? Could you stir yourselves up a little more than you have?

Brethren, I only say this because I want you in the kingdom with me. And I am beginning to wonder how many are going to be there. You know you can’t just take this nonchalantly. And I think too many of us are. I think we are. We’re just taking it nonchalantly.

Gospel To The World Again (PLAY FROM 57:29)

Well, the gospel of the kingdom, when was it first proclaimed? Jesus said when the gospel of the He said to the disciples, "...many will come saying [that]...I am [the] Christ and deceiving the many." (Matthew 24:5) What was the gospel? What were they preaching? What were they proclaiming? If you turn over here in Galatians in the first chapter and verses six and seven. I have read it so many, many, many times. Paul says:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel." (Galatians 1:6)

The true gospel of Christ was being sabotaged, and that was about 53 AD. And the gospel of the kingdom was not proclaimed until 1953 when I went on Radio Luxembourg. Tell me who was preaching it before that time to the world! Prior to that time I was preaching it over the United States. And we had gone, by radio, coast to coast over the United States.

But it was the first week in 1953 that we went on in Europe through Radio Luxembourg and that was not the 208 that reached northern England later, and Scotland and North Ireland. We didn’t go on that until later. We were on a different channel, and I think the broadcast was on Wednesdays. And we were reaching all Europe at that time. Later we were reaching England.

Tell me who was preaching the gospel of the kingdom between. I think maybe it was preached a little bit from that time up to 70 AD, but certainly not after 70 AD. And actually it didn’t start going round to the world to kings and people like that until 1970, or nineteen hundred years later, and that’s a century of time cycles.

And nineteen years is a time cycle as defined by the sun, the moon and the earth, which God set in their respective places and orbits to determine lengths of time. You know I am reminded of one who used to say to me, “nineteen years is no time cycle.” Yes it is. It certainly is a time cycle. You can ask any astronomer.

But now we get back to this time and the gospel of the kingdom is being proclaimed. Now another thing: The gospel of the kingdom was being proclaimed around the world when the hydrogen bomb was first invented and prior to that time and is still being proclaimed around the world.

Another thing; I wonder if you realize, with the possible exception of the apostle John, I have already been serving in the capacity that I am in the service of God longer than any of the original apostles in the first century. Did you realize that?

There is something very significant about this end time that I think that most of us have never realized. VERY SIGNIFICANT. WE’RE RIGHT DOWN AT THE END TIME AND A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY IS ON THIS WHOLE CHURCH! A great responsibility.

The time of these prophecies, the time when the hydrogen bomb was invented that could destroy ALL HUMANITY! THE TIME OF THESE PROPHECIES IS THE time WHEN THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM IS GOING TO THE WORLD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ONE HUNDRED TIME CYCLES of nineteen years each.

It’s ASTOUNDING when you realize the truth. IT OUGHT TO SHAKE US UP! It ought to.

A Spiritual Temple (PLAY FROM 1:01:45)

Now turn to Malachi - the third chapter of Malachi, and notice here verse one:

"Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple..." (Malachi 3:1)

What temple is Christ the Lord coming to? Brethren YOU ARE THAT TEMPLE, a SPIRITUAL temple, as you read in the - let's see - the third chapter isn’t it, of Ephesians; or the second or the third chapter (Ephesians 2:21-22).

"...even the messenger of the covenant [which is Christ, and He’s coming to His temple. His temple is the church at His second coming] whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:1)

Now is this talking about His first coming? You’ll read in Matthew and Mark and well, in John; at least in three of the four gospels, of how John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy. John the Baptist was not Elijah. Jesus said Elijah had already come. John said he was not Elijah, but Jesus said that he had come in the POWER and SPIRIT of Elijah. A different man but in the power and spirit of Elijah.

Now Elijah is the same man. He is not coming back until the time of the resurrection, and that hasn’t happened yet. But who is this talking about here? Was that talking about John the Baptist before Christ’s first coming? Because you go right on in the next words:

"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord [that didn’t happen when He came the first time. None of this has happened when He came the first time], as in the days of old, and as in [the] former years. And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [the] wages, [and] the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not [the Lord] saith the Lord of hosts." (Malachi 3:2-5)

And we’ve had liberals in this church trying to turn people aside just a little bit. Liberalizing, watering down the truth of God. Oh God help us from that kind of thing! I hope that we are getting that cleaned out of the church. That’s talking about someone to prepare the way before the second coming of Christ. Someone to prepare the way before the second coming of Christ! [Mr Armstrong knocks on the Bible for emphasis]

Now the church started out as an embryo of the Kingdom of God - to become the Kingdom of God, but pretty soon they turned to false gospels; a false message. And the truth was sabotaged, and the true gospel was suppressed and was not preached for nineteen hundred years! One thousand, nine hundred years the gospel was not proclaimed to the world.

The church was supposed to have kept it, but they lost most of it during that nineteen hundred years. And God has had to raise up someone to restore it, and brethren it is a tremendous responsibility. And you have to share that responsibility with me. You simply do have to.

Mark Of The Beast (PLAY FROM 1:06:23)

Now back here in Revelation the eighteenth chapter we find something...well in the seventeenth chapter we find the church that did come, and they turned to other gospels. In the seventeenth chapter and verse five:

"[And] upon her forehead [the church’s forehead, and this is the church of traditional Christianity]. On her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:5)

Yes old Rome was the mother church, but brethren, her daughters are not God’s churches. Her daughters are harlots and God says so right here, (knocking on the bible) and it’s all part of the Babylonish system. And now mother Rome is trying to get her daughters BACK and the Pope signed up some kind of an agreement with the head of the Church of England, just a couple or three weeks ago in London.

And they are getting back together. I don’t know how far they’ll get back together, but it is starting in that direction. And things are starting until there will be ten nations in Europe that will form one great empire. And that’s going to happen. And old mother Rome is going to ride on top of the heap and then the Mark of the Beast is going to be enforced.

And I think I am going to have to preach some sermons on that! Nobody else is doing it. And incidentally, a lot of the truth was suppressed within this church while I was away and overseas, including the booklet on 'The Mark of the Beast'. Some of you ought to get that out and read it. Because, if you try to keep the Sabbath, you’re going to be in trouble very soon.

And you are going to find you are going to be tested as to whether you are willing to even give your life, if necessary, for the truth. Do you love it that much? YOU’RE GOING TO BE TRIED AND TESTED in the next few years as NEVER BEFORE! And I think we are going to be tried and tested in the next months this year, because some are predicting a worse depression than ever happened.

That everything is going to take a terrible tail spin now, economically, and unemployment will grow very great. And if that happens it is going to hit God’s people. Now we have not been hit like other people. God has protected us so far, but not altogether. We are hurt by the unemployment situation. The income is not going up as much as it would, by any means.

And right now we are just about hovering even with the cost of living increase, on income for the work of the church. But the rate of growth has decreased. The amount has not decreased as yet, but the rate of growth has. And it’s a warning, and I have warned you. I warned you a couple of years ago to tighten your belts and get ready for a LOWER STANDARD {5} OF LIVING! Because you are not going to be able to enjoy all of the material things and the GOOD LIVING you have had.

And I TELL YOU NOW ONCE AGAIN brethren. And you will see that GOD IS SHOWING ME WHAT IS COMING. IT’S NOT GOING TO BE EASY. It’s not going to be just peaches and ice cream from here on, and just getting into the kingdom of God and everything is going to be all wonderful. We’re going to be TRIED and TESTED and PURIFIED!

Have you got what it takes? Are you going to be able? We’re right close to final exams. We’re supposed to have been learning. How far are you? Are you still back in first grade? Or are you only in second or third grade? Where are we brethren? Where are each one of you? Ask yourselves that question, - not the one next to you - ask you, yourself.

Now here is this Babylon, and God calls us out of that. He says that "Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen." (Revelation 18:2) And then in verse four, Revelation 18;

"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE [that’s out of this world’s church, which is really the church of Satan] that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4)

She will punish you if you keep the Sabbath. That time is coming and you’re going to have to stand up and be counted. Have you got what it takes? It’s going to cost you money. It’s going to cost you everything. Where are you going to be brethren?

The Work Continues (PLAY FROM 1:11:38)

But we are to go out and teach all nations, and we want to keep the work going. Well at least we are still on the air. I have to do another program tomorrow and thank God, as far as we know, the programs will be run tomorrow morning – tomorrow afternoon here. And there has been a great increase – the number of television stations has multiplied in the last year.

I think it is far more than double the number that we had a year ago. And the responses are coming in so great, many of you are having to volunteer to get over there. Some have to get up Sunday mornings about 4 o’clock I think, in order to get over there and answer the Watts line telephone calls that come in from the telecasts.

And I have to do another one tomorrow, and I have used some of the matter that I am going to put on that program, on this sermon here this afternoon. And I hope we got...I haven’t even watched my watch, but I guess God puts kind of a watch in here. It seems like when I have to wake up in time in the morning, I don’t have to set an alarm clock, I just wake up! And I see it’s just about time for me to close anyway.

Well brethren, I just know that we are in very perilous times, in the very last days. I don’t like to have to come and talk this way and tell you about it. I’d like to just tell you everything is nice and easy and going to be easy and everything is just wonderful. And it WILL be, but I have to tell you the bad news is going to come first.

Your metal is going to be TRIED brethren. Are you going to come through? I hope I will and I do need your continued prayers. I know that many of you are praying for me, and maybe all of you are. Well I need it, but you need to pray for one another too. We’re going to be tried as we never have been tried before, and very, very soon. This isn’t going to go on this way forever.

In the meantime enjoy yourselves as much as you can, but throw yourselves with dynamic energy into prayer and into the work of God and realize that the pleasures of this world don’t count any more. The one great thing, as this former Harvard professor said, is this matter of survival.

What about us? Are we going to survive? Some of us won’t brethren. I hope it’s not many of us that won’t, but I know some of us won’t. And I hope that we’ll pray for one another that we won’t fall by the wayside, but that we’ll all come through because there are perilous times ahead right now. We are already in perilous times but there are going to be far more.

Well talking isn’t going to do it. It’s a case of, did you get the message?

{1}Footnote: Mr. Armstrong said “minor” nuclear attack, but the Plain Truth article itself said “major”

{2}Footnote: Mr. Armstrong was referring to Yasser Arafat, as head of the PLO.

{3}Footnote: Mr. Armstrong gives I John 3:9 as the biblical reference, but actually quotes Romans 6:23.

{4}Footnote: Mr. Armstrong said nine, but meant five.

{5}Footnote: Mr. Armstrong said LOWER "COST" OF LIVING, but meant LOWER "STANDARD".