The World Tomorrow

Outline of Prophecy - Part 5 (The End of the World)

by Herbert W Armstrong


Just how near are we to the end of the world, or is there any such thing as a possible 'end of the world'? How soon, and where, will Armageddon be fought? Or is this Armageddon just a myth, or a superstition? When is the Great Tribulation coming? Where? On whom? And which is coming first; World War III or the Great Tribulation, or Armageddon, or the second coming of Christ, or the judgments and the plagues of God?

Listen my friends, you are living in the mighty upset world today. This world went along at a pretty even gait, generation after generation, century after century, ever since the beginning of the world up until 1914 when, suddenly, this world erupted. It erupted in World War I. Of course, there have been wars all along, but nothing like world war explosions of World War I and World War II.

For lifetime after lifetime through thousands of years, the world went along as it was altogether and totally different from the world that you and I know today, a world without our modern inventions. Oh think what a slow world it was compared to the world we live in today. And what would some of the people of only 75 or 100 years ago, or back at the days of Abraham Lincoln, what would people of that time think if they were to awake out of their graves and see the world in which you and I live?

Then World Then - And Now (Play from 1:50)

Well, after that slow-moving world, continually going along about the same way, then all of a sudden came the inventions just recently here in very recent times, of the steam boat, the railroad engine, the electric motor, electric lights, the telegraph and the telephone, the automobile, the radio, electric washing machines, electric refrigerators, electric appliances and conveniences too numerous to mention, the radio and television.

And also along came the airplane, the machine gun, TNT bombs, then tanks, submarines, battle ships, and finally, the atom and the hydrogen bomb guided missiles. They didn't have any of those things back here just a few years ago. They had never had them in all the history of the world. Think of the modern tractors and the farm implements we have today and think how they used to have to farm through all these years until just recently.

I wonder my friends, if you can realize it, here we're living in this modern world. We take these things for granted as if it had always been this way. You are living in a world that is erupting, a world that is changing so drastically, so rapidly - it is nothing like the world had been for almost the 6,000 years up to a hundred, or a hundred and fifty years ago. And, as a matter of fact, most of the change has come in this century in - the last 50 years - in the lifetime of many of us and many of us have seen most of this come.

And where are we today? Today this world is in jitters, it's in fear, it's in terror of war that can now lay waste an entire continent without warning. And scientists say that we are on the very threshold now of destroying all human life from off this planet earth. That is now possible, and we seem totally oblivious to the danger, and what's coming.

I tell you my friends, we are going along trying to enjoy all these modern gadgets, trying to sit 6 hours a day being amused and entertained, and taken off to some kind of a happy dream land to get our minds off of reality, to escape the fact and reality of life, to hide our minds from what is coming so that we can do something about it and prevent it.

An average American family, just think of it, now spending 6 hours a day before television sets, being amused and entertained. You know, all of these inventions in themselves are alright, they're good. Television can become a very wonderful thing. As a matter of fact, think of the power of radio, and now television even goes further, because you not only hear the sound, you also see. You see and hear at the same time.

Television brings across its message, whatever it may be, with terrific impact, both through sight and sound simultaneously. A very effective medium. But what are we doing with it? How are we using it? Oh just to wile away our time, to amuse and entertain ourselves, most of us. Listen, it brings with it a tremendous responsibility on your part. And it's going to require a little bit of self control and guidance over your children, over your own selves, as to whether you use it wisely.

Are your children sitting away there in the day time hours with their legs crossed and getting a warped position? They are going to grow up looking crooked and deformed, looking at TV when they ought to be out running around playing in the fresh air sometimes. Now, there are some programs that are very beneficial and educational for children. Television can be used as one of the greatest educational mediums that ever came, just the same as radio, only even more so, and more effectively. But what are we doing with our modern inventions?

It is Time to Wake Up (Play from 5:49)

Somehow, here in America, we get the idea that it's a disgrace to work. The main idea is to do everything as cheaply as you can, as poorly as you can, but get as much for it as you can. Beat the other fellow if you can, charge too much, give too little. That seems to be our philosophy of life, and we're all trying to beat one another, and I tell you my friends, we are riding to the greatest fall that has ever happened to any nation.

We're losing our balance and we're forgetting ourselves. We're losing ourselves, and it's about time to wake up because the end of the world IS coming, no matter what people think. It doesn't mean the end of the earth's existence. What is this world anyhow? This world, my friends, is the pattern of civilization that has been built up, the system, the ways of humanity contrary to the laws God Almighty set in motion.

The laws that will bring us blessings if we go along with them, that will work for us and will do things for us that will make life happy and abundant and joyous; or which are going to bring curses upon us and make us reap what we sow, if we break those laws. Well we're breaking them. Yet some people scoff about the end of the world or Armageddon or the second coming of Christ.

My friends, scientists today are confirming what Jesus foretold about the Great Tribulation and about these things. The disciples had asked Him; Matthew 24 once again. I'm going into this so often because it is the very pivot of all prophecy in your Bible. A third of your Bible is prophecy and about ninety percent of prophecy is dealing with this present pulsating, dynamic, eruptive, explosive time in which we live.

Here's the heart and center, the crux of all prophecy and it fills a third of your Bible. This is very important. Privately, His own disciples, some of them came to Jesus. They said, "Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming" (Matthew 24:3). The second coming of Christ. Why Christ said, "If I go, I'll come again." (John 14:3)

Your Bible says He's coming as the "King of kings and the Lord of lords" (Revelation 17:4). He's coming in all the supreme POWER and GLORY of the CREATOR GOD. When He came before, He came begotten of a human virgin, and He was God made flesh, and “He was tempted in all points” like as you and me (Hebrews 4:15). And He came as the Lamb of God, a tender, innocent, mild little lamb. (John 1:29)

And so when they struck Him, He just turned the other cheek. They spit in His face, He didn't answer back. They put a crown of thorns on Him. They nailed Him up to a cross. They stabbed Him in the side with a spear. They gave Him vinegar and gall to drink when He was thirsty. He just looked up to heaven and said, "Father in heaven, forgive these poor people, they know not what they are doing" (Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23). He had the love of God.

He came to set us an example of the kind of spirit, the kind of attitude we ought to have. Very few of us seem to have anything like that today.

Christ is Coming to Rule (Play from 9:13)

But listen; when He comes again He is coming as GOD! He's coming in the POWER of God. He's coming in all the GLORY of God and all the holy angels with Him. He's not coming as a little lamb-like meek, humble, kind and loving man that will let them step all over Him, as He did before.

He's coming now to RULE, and He's going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. Thank God He's coming. If He weren't, I want to tell you my friends; we are approaching the end of everything. Our scientists say that it is now possible to ANNIHILATE HUMAN LIFE FROM OFF THE FACE OF THIS PLANET. We're STARING such a possibility in the face.

Why do we hide our eyes like silly ostriches? Why do we try to indulge in PASTIMES, just to WILE away our time, go off in a happy dreamland. Or is it so happy? We fill our minds with crime and murder, and detective underworld police stories, all that sort of thing; illicit love. We don't use our minds, we don't have to work. "Oh no it’s a disgrace to work," so we seem to think.

So today you find in all your advertisements, your commercials and everything, the idea is like this: "Now don't work, it's a disgrace to work. Here's another push button that will do the work for you." Yeah, we're getting to the place even it's going to be too much effort isn't finally to reach over and push the button. Yes it is. Then what are we going to do? Get some kind of a gadget, I guess, that has mental telepathy in it and when you just think the thought, it will turn.

But you know, we mustn’t think either, that might exercise the brain a little bit! And so I think some way we'll have to get something where we can just pass out. We're trying to pass away our time anyhow. You know, honestly, when we take a good look at ourselves my friends, aren't we just a little bit foolish, we human beings? Where do we think we're going anyhow?

Well I tell you, there are weapons abroad now today my friends that can really cause plenty of trouble. What do you know about civil defense? You know, a hydrogen bomb can strike where you live. What are you going to do about it if it happens, or are you just too busy trying to entertain and amuse yourself to ever think about it? These disciples came to Jesus. They didn't think it was silly to ask about the end of the world. They said:

"Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming [they didn't scoff at the second coming of Christ], and [of] the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3)

Now actually, of course, the word 'world' comes from the Greek word 'aion' which means 'age.' It doesn't mean the earth being blown to bits or anything of the sort. It means the end of the age, the end of a time that God has allotted to allow human beings, under the principle of free moral agency, to EITHER obey God and to come VOLUNTARILY under His rule, or to reject God’s rule, set up their own governments, their own ideas, and do as they please. And that's what we've done.

And so we have wars, we give lives and everything else - precious human lives - on the battlefield, fighting out which kind of a human idea of government is going to survive when EVERY LAST ONE of these ideas OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT ON THIS EARTH ARE DIAMETRICALLY CONTRARY to the fundamental basic principles of the GOVERNMENT of GOD, and the LAWS - the MOVING, LIVING, VITAL LAWS that God Almighty has set in motion.

And those laws are LIVING things, they are MOVING, they are active with force and energy. God created all force and energy and all the laws that exist, all the laws of gravity, of chemistry, of the laws of physics, and there are spiritual laws that operate that regulate your happiness, your relationship with your neighbors, your relationship with God, if any.

Now Jesus answered that things were going to go along with people being deceived, people coming in His name saying He is Christ. And then wars and rumors of wars. Yes, we've had those all along, but finally He began to show how things are going to speed up here at the end, how the world is going to erupt, finally nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom and world war, then famines, then pestilences, then earthquakes, and they're coming faster and faster.

"Then [He said] shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you:" (Matthew 24:9)

Both the individual, the religious person and also the national phase of the Great Tribulation. These He said; "All these things are the beginning of sorrows [or of trial, of tribulation]. (Matthew 24:8)

And then in verse 21: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not [from] the beginning of the world to this [same] time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]:" (Matthew 24:21-22)

There you are, Jesus Christ was saying we'd come to the time when, if God Almighty didn't intervene with supernatural power to save mankind from himself, that human life would be wiped off the face of this earth. That's what your scientists are saying today. Now was Jesus foolish? Was He crazy when He said that? Did He know what He was talking about?

Well, I say, did Einstein know before he died when he mentioned these things? Do your great world scientists know what they are talking about? They are alarmed my friends, they admit it, and many a noted scientist has confessed it in the public press, that he is very much alarmed. But it seems that we have to go to one extreme or the other.

Either we've got to lose our heads and get into some kind of mass hysteria, or else we go to the other extreme and like the foolish, silly ostrich, stick our head down in the sand of...well of movies and TV and just going off into this some kind of an oblivion of happy dreamland, getting our eyes off of things, ESCAPING! We're a pack of escapists I sometimes think.

A Purpose Being Worked Out Here Below (Play from 15:25)

Well I tell you, my friends; about ninety percent of prophecy applies, either directly or indirectly, either directly or in the type and anti-type, the dual fulfillment idea where the main fulfillment is the one to come now. These prophecies apply about ninety percent to the time in which we are living. This pulsating, dynamic, world erupting time when the whole world is about to explode. And it's about time we wake up and begin to read what it all means, what's back of it all.

There is a purpose being worked out here below. God Almighty is bringing that purpose, and God Almighty has told us in words that were written and committed to writing and have been preserved, in spite of every effort to destroy them through the centuries of centuries and centuries. God has revealed it at this time, things would speed up and all these inventions and things would come and knowledge would be increased. Men would run to and fro, not walk any longer (Daniel 12:4). Well we're at that time now, so why don't we look at it.

Now recently I've been showing you the United States is actually, we find now, the most amazing fulfillment of prophecy of all, is to find out who the United States is and how God has kept His promises that He made to Abraham, and fulfilled those promises in us. And here we are today, the descendants of the birthright tribes of ancient Israel. The descendants of the ancient Joseph that was sold down into Egypt and of his sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

If you don't understand that, you don't have even the first beginning key that will unlock Bible prophecy to you. You'll never understand biblical prophecy because it won't make sense. You will read things that apply to Israel, that mention Israel. You'll try to apply it to the Jewish people and it just won't fit, it won't make sense. You'll be bewildered and just give it up. It won't make any sense to you at all. You won't understand a thing. But once you understand this key and you open up your prophecies and read them, they begin to make sense.

Now we've been going into the prophecies back here in the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, and I was reading that, and I was showing you that it corresponds to the very things that Jeremiah wrote and pertains to our time now. And I was showing you, my friends, that there were both the blessings and the curses set before our people.

Now God has kept the promises He made to Abraham after 2520 years of taking those promises away from His people because they did not, way back there, obey God. But He has given them to us because Abraham did obey God and God had promised it unconditionally to Abraham so we've had to have those promises in spite of ourselves.

Now I've shown you where He had said that our land would have rain and yield its increase if we obey. But He said here in verse 24, Deuteronomy 28.

"The {1} [Eternal] shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed." (Deuteronomy 28:24)

If we disobey - that's one of the curses. We're getting a beginning of that, a foretaste of it now. God has given us the blessings because Abraham obeyed. GOD HAS KEPT HIS PROMISES to Abraham and He has fulfilled them. Now, in order to keep His promise to Abraham, God doesn't need to go on fulfilling it any longer. Look at the way we're living, and look at what we're doing today. And God is about to punish as a Father always punishes his child if he loves his child, and God is about to punish us.

Now I've been reading to you in the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah, the prophecy of what is coming, and it's this same Great Tribulation. And it's the time of our national trouble and it's coming on us. That's who it's coming on and it's the next thing to happen, and it's coming soon. It's coming very, very soon. And I was reading to you that a yoke is going to be on our neck. I've read to you WHO will put that yoke on our neck, and it isn't even communism, because there is another enemy that we don't recognize that is rising up FASTER and SPEEDIER than communism. Communism is slow moving.

Our Time of National Trouble (Play from 19:44)

They are trying to get ready to conquer us. Yes they're trying to get ready but they're moving a little too slowly, and there is another fast moving BLITZKRIEK type of an enemy that is going to move a little bit faster, and it’s going to get ready and attack us even before they do. And a yoke is going to be on our neck unless we will repent and return to our God, and God is doing it. He says here in verse 14 of {2} Jeremiah 30;

"All [your allies] have forgotten [you]; they seek [you] not; for I [God says] have wounded [you] with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one," (Jeremiah 30:14)

That is yet to come. When this was written, my friends, both Israel and Judah had already gone into captivity. Now this is a prophecy, this isn't pertaining to what happened way back there 600 years before Christ. The invasion of Israel, of whom this is speaking, had occurred 721 BC. And Jeremiah wrote this, my friends, down in the year of 580 BC.

And the invasion and the captivity of Judah had occurred in 604 and 585 BC. Jeremiah was, well he would have been among the captives, only he was given absolute freedom, and even expense money, by the General of the invading armies of the Chaldean Empire. That was because God had a mission for Jeremiah to perform. Oh what a THRILLING mission it was. You will read of it in this booklet I have been telling you about, if you haven't gotten your copy yet, 'The United States in Prophecy'

Now here's a time of war and not of peace. It's a time of our national trouble, but Christ, at His second coming, is going to remove that yoke, and He says;

"...I will save [thy seed] from afar, and thy seed from the land of their CAPTIVITY, and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid." (Jeremiah 30:10)

And that's us, that's our people, and it's all prophecy that it shall come, and as I say, all of the past captivities of Israel and Judah had already occurred several years before this was written.

Now that means a future captivity, it's a prophecy, it's for our time. The last words in this very chapter say "in the latter days ye shall consider it" (Jeremiah 30:24). Oh it wasn't in the former days or in the ancient history days, but now. The latter days means now, our time now, the time of the end. And God says here, as I was reading;

"...for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity [why?]; because THY SINS WERE INCREASED." (Jeremiah 30:14)

Because thy sins were increased! My friends, why don't we hear more preaching about the sins in our nation, arousing our people and awaking us, instead of just lulling us to sleep and saying that, "Well if you just accept Christ as your Savior, He died for all your sins you know, past and present and future. You have indulgences now, just go head and commit all the sins you want if you just accept Christ, or receive Christ, and profess Him before men"? My friends, "just confess the Lord Jesus Christ" . And He said:

"...WHY [do you] call me Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things [that] I say? " (Luke 6:46)

'Lord' means ruler. Why do you call Him Lord, The LORD Jesus Christ, when you don't obey Him? When you don't want to obey what is WRITTEN in the Word of God. JESUS is the one who said that "man shall live by every word of God" (Matthew 4:4.) Every word in the Bible. Jesus is the Word and the Bible is the Word in print. And there you are.

Now then, oh, I don't have much time, but I wanted to go on and read some more of this in the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah. At that time, and it's the time when all of this is going to happen, we're going to be delivered from all of this and this Great Tribulation when our people are going to go into a national captivity and slavery after this TERRIBLE calamity of complete national drought. Our land will be like dust all over this nation, and disease epidemics are going to come if we don't wake up and turn back to God.

God Will Regather Israel (Play from 24:03)

God is going to punish us, but listen, when it happens;

"At the same time, saith the [Eternal] will I be [a] God [to] all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah 31:1)

We are, after all, the chosen people but we've got lessons to learn and God is going to teach us. After which my friends, we're going to be the greatest nations on earth once again, after we've learned our lessons.

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness;” (Jeremiah 31:2)

And the Moffatt Translation, let me read that to you here:

"...I will be a God to all the families of Israel; they shall be my people, for this is the Eternal's promise: "Those who survive the sword shall find grace in the dungeon" [in the dungeons of their captivity]. When Israel yearned for rest, then in a far land the Eternal appeared, saying, "From of old I love you, so now I draw you gently home. Once more I will settle you O maiden Israel; once more you shall take the tambourine and dance merrily; once more you shall plant vines on Samaria's slopes." (Jeremiah 31: 1-5 Moffatt Translation)

You see, it's speaking of Samaria, not the Jewish people, they were in Judea. This is Samaria, the Israel people of the northern kingdom, the birthright people. Oh God help you to understand and to understand the difference between the birthright and the scepter, and between Israel and Judah.

"For this is the [Eternal's] word to Jacob: "Shout aloud [in the top of the nations and so on] the Eternal has saved his people the REMNANT of Israel!" (Jeremiah 31:7 Moffatt Translation, paraphrased)

That's the last generation, speaking of our time now. Well I want to go on with that, there is so much there, and in the next program I'm going to take that up and go right on again, the thirtieth and the thirty-first chapters here of Jeremiah and the fiftieth and fifty-first and some of these other places.

These prophecies are amazing. My friends, we need to understand what is going to happen and you can have absolute, complete protection through it all if you will turn to God to obey Him, as well as acknowledging Jesus Christ as personal Savior.

{1} Wherever the KJV uses the word "LORD" in block capitals, the meaning of the Hebrew word is 'Eternal,' or 'Self Existent.' Mr. Armstrong most often says 'Eternal' in these instances.

{2} Mr. Armstrong mistakenly said 'Isaiah' here but read from Jeremiah.