January 22, 2021 Brethren Letter
Earlier this evening, I was listening to an “advertisement” on television where the announcer asked the question, “What is happening in America?” As the man spoke, pictures of riots, upheaval, and even military soldiers were shown.
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong gave a warning to this world of what lies ahead for the nations. “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). With that in mind, tonight, I am sending excerpts from a letter written by Mr. Armstrong in 1976. It is well worth reading.
Please have a good night’s rest.
Your Brother in Christ,
January 21, 1976
Dear Co-Worker in Christ:
It’s time you were becoming ALARMED over the rapidly worsening state of the world you live in. The flaring up of massive violence may not be in your town or city — but we live in an interdependent world. The increasing mass violence and threat of spreading world war affects the United States and all British countries — and your town or city.
This world we live in is being rapidly hurled into the prophesied GREAT TRIBULATION — the time of world trouble, such as never happened before, and never will again. And prophecy says it will be primarily affecting the United States and British countries!
And the living Creator of the universe has called YOU and me to get this message and the message of the ensuing supernatural intervention which will bring PEACE announced throughout the world before the Tribulation strikes in full FURY!
When this letter was written — January 21 in Europe — the chief trouble spots of the world were fast escalating in violence.
And while danger and violence are everywhere, and the world only beginning to emerge from worldwide economic troubles, the British, French, and United States governments are dickering about faster and more expensive transportation.
Through history humans have always striven for more speed in travel. I am reminded of the time when my mother’s twin sister, an Iowa farmer’s wife, overheard her husband drifting off to sleep while praying. He was saying, “O Lord, give us better roads and more speed.” It was 1924, and he drove a Model-T Ford over Iowa mud roads at twenty miles per hour. Country roads were not yet paved.
But what is humanity doing with its modern technology and “progress”? It was military need that inspired many of the marvels man has produced — weapons for mass DESTRUCTION and VIOLENCE! I travel over the world as an ambassador without portfolio for WORLD PEACE in my comparatively small Gulfstream II aircraft. But most subsonic and supersonic aircraft were developed for WAR purposes.
But it is extremely important that we realize there is a definite upsurge right now in worldwide VIOLENCE, fraught with ultra-significant indications that the prophesied terrifying GREAT TRIBULATION is approaching with increasing speed. Time is fast growing SHORT! The real brunt of this terrifying time will strike the United States and Britain.
The prophecies in the Bible were written to give us a warning. Few, of course, UNDERSTAND. But the living Christ has called us — you and me — as co-workers with Him in getting HIS MESSAGE to the world for a witness to all nations. But, if we heed His warnings in prophecy, He does not intend that we should go through the extreme suffering just ahead of us. I know there are some who will hear the warning of these prophecies — who are foolish — and will not take it seriously, nor heed. They will suffer a frightful penalty for their negligence.
These warning prophecies are given us as a tremendous gift of God’s love for our safety and protection.
Now notice Matthew’s prophecy of this Great Tribulation. It is the very NEXT THING TO HAPPEN. In verse 14 Jesus spoke of this VERY WORK in which YOU are a co-worker. “… This gospel of the Reign shall be preached over the wide world as a testimony to all the Gentiles, and then the end [of this age] will come” (Matt. 24:14, Moffatt).
Then the NEXT event in prophecy is the Great Tribulation. It is summarized in verses 21 and 22: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
The Moffatt translation has: “Had not those days been cut short, not a soul would be saved alive …” (verse 22).
There can be only one time of trouble greater than any before or to come after. I don’t want to have to qo throuqh it!
The prophet Daniel speaks of the SAME TIME: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince [archangel] which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book [of life]. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life …” (Dan. 12:1-2).
Daniel describes the SAME time of trouble, more furious, more severe than anything before — and just before the coming of Christ in supreme POWER and GLORY to RULE THE WHOLE WORLD!
Do not read carelessly over this, as if it were some ordinary thing you’d hardly notice! The FOOLISH will do just that, and they will SUFFER as humanity has never suffered before!
The prophet Jeremiah describes it.
Did you ever see a man in frightful, excruciating PAIN, like a woman in childbirth? Read GOD’S WORDS, through Jeremiah: “For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble…” (Jer. 30:5-7).
And WHO is “Jacob”? Jacob was the son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. This is speaking of his descendants — the “House of Israel.” But NOTICE THE TIME OF THIS PROPHECY. The context shows it is a prophecy for OUR TIME, NOW — shortly before Christ’s second coming. Daniel set the time as just prior to the resurrection of the just — at Christ’s coming. Matthew 24 sets the time as just prior to Christ’s return. So does Jeremiah in this chapter and continuing in chapter 31.
WHERE is “Jacob” — the “House of Israel” — TODAY? Ancient Israel was divided into TWO NATIONS after the death of Solomon. A new capital was set up at Samaria, north of Jerusalem. But the tribe of Judah remained with their King Rehoboam, son of Solomon, while ISRAEL made Jeroboam king over ISRAEL at Samaria. Jeroboam threw the priestly tribe of Levi, and that tribe joined with Judah and Benjamin, forming the nation JUDAH, and BREAKING OFF from ISRAEL. After 19 evil kings, ISRAEL was conquered by King Shalmanezar of Assyria — uprooted from their cities and farms — and taken as slaves to Assyria. Some years after, the Assyrians and the people of ISRAEL migrated north and west — the Assyrians settling in Germany, where they are known as Germans today, and the ten-tribed people of ISRAEL migrating on into western Europe and Britain. They lost their identity and their language. The world called them “the LOST TEN TRIBES.” Jesus called them “the LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.” Today Britain is the tribe of Ephraim, and the United States the descendants of the tribe of Manasseh.
This prophecy of Jeremiah and other prophecies show that OUR PEOPLE (who do not know their real identity), are once again to go into captivity, but at Christ’s return are to be delivered out of it.
Go back to this prophecy now: “… the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jer. 30:7).
NOW go back to verse 3 in this prophecy. Let me give it to you from the Moffatt translation: “… the day is coming, the Eternal declares, when I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and Judah, and bring them back to possess the land that I gave to their fathers.”
This is NOT referring to the return of Jews to the ancient land and the present nation set up in 1948, except that this is preliminary to it — and includes JUDAH ONLY.
But the prophecy given in Jeremiah refers to BOTH Israel and Judah. It speaks of CHRIST, at His coming, delivering them from a yet future captivity…
Listen to Moffatt’s translation, beginning in verse 4: “Here are the words spoken by the Eternal with regard to Israel and Judah: We have heard a SCREAM OF TERROR; all is alarm and unrest. Ask now and inquire, if a man is ever with child; for why do I see every man pressing his hands on his loins, and why is every face turned to a deadly pallor? Ah, this is an awful Day — an hour of anguish for Jacob; but he shall come through it. For on this Day, says the Lord of hosts, I will break the yoke from their neck, and snap their thongs; they shall serve foreigners no more, but serve their God, the Eternal, and their Davidic king, whom I shall raise up for them.”
It is speaking of the RESURRECTION from the dead of the ancient King David — the time of Christ’s return and the resurrection of the just!
Co-workers, I know only too well that very FEW people will ever heed a warning. But this warning I must give you, for it is true — and IT IS SURE!
THINK of all the troubles on earth NOW — and yet this TERRIBLE GREAT TRIBULATION is YET TO COME! It will be indescribably WORSE!
But, I am announcing the GOOD NEWS of the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD to bring us WORLD PEACE.
With love, in Jesus’ name,
Herbert W. Armstrong