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By Herbert W. Armstrong
November 22, 1982
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
I write you in flight over the Atlantic Ocean, London to Pasadena, California.
In Europe I have talked privately with heads of state and officials high in governments. Many threads of government in both Eastern and Western Europe are coming together suddenly. Very shortly, probably in a matter of months, the whole world is going to be rocked with the astounding news that a new super nation has been formed in Europe - possibly even more powerful than either the United States or the Soviet Union!
I can tell you now, soberly, that the feared nuclear World War III is definitely coming - and comparatively SOON! All human life would be erased if God should not stop it short of that!
Events I have foreseen, proclaimed over the air and published in The PLAIN TRUTH for 48 years, are at last suddenly falling into place. The gigantic new world power - the United States of Europe - the resurrection of the medieval "Holy Roman Empire" - is about to blossom into almost unbelievable REALITY!
The unthinkable World War III - all-out NUCLEAR WAR - will soon follow. That war is described in Bible prophecy as the Great Tribulation, leading immediately to the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST!
On this trip I have discussed the subject with high officials in Europe. With me was Mr. Gene Hogberg, world-news editor of The PLAIN TRUTH.
I have to warn you, the immediate future of the world appears now frightfully threatening. The proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, with your help, is the very prophesied event to trigger this massive reunification of Europe and the Great Tribulation.
I foresaw this world-ending event in the very first issue of The PLAIN TRUTH, dated February, 1934 - almost 49 years ago. Why, then, has it been so long delayed- For one thing, this Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD (Matt. 24:14) had to be proclaimed into all the world first. No one had proclaimed that Gospel to the world for nearly 1,900 years. I began proclaiming it then, but only to a small area in and around Lane County, Oregon. Within 19 years I had proclaimed it by radio and The PLAIN TRUTH over the entire United States. Then, the first week in 1953 - precisely 1,900 years (a century of time cycles of 19 years each), I began sending out this Gospel to all Europe over the world's most powerful radio station, Radio Luxembourg.
It was about A.D. 53, some 22 years after the start of the Church, that the apostle Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia that the Gospel of the Kingdom - the only Gospel Jesus taught - was being suppressed. From then only a gospel of MEN about Christ was proclaimed to the world!
Today some 20 million people in all parts of the world are reading The PLAIN TRUTH.
Other reasons have held up and delayed the formation of a United States of EUROPE. The nations there are divided by different languages - German, Italian, Spanish, French, Polish, Romanian, Greek and others. They are divided by different nationalistic aspirations and patriotisms. They have different governmental systems and currencies.
Bible prophecy says this European unification will be also a union of Church and State (Rev. 17). Many European political leaders do not want religious domination, or even participation. But they are coming to realize they cannot be welded together into one great European super nation without the unifying power of the Catholic church.
And therein has been another problem that has caused long delay in achieving unification. The Catholic church is divided between the Roman Catholic church in the west and the Greek Orthodox church in the east. The latter has strenuously objected to supremacy of the Pope, and to the doctrine of papal infallibility. But on this trip we learned in Athens that the Eastern Orthodox church at last is willing to give in on papal leadership, though not yet in agreement on infallibility. I feel sure some compromise or agreement will be reached very soon.
When I was last in Jerusalem, the Patriarch of Jerusalem came to see me. I asked whether he felt ecumenical reunion would be achieved with the Roman church. His reply was, "We are praying for it."
On the pope's recent 10-day visit to Spain, he made an urgent plea for a united Europe. He warned that Europe faces many crises in the immediate future. The solution, he said, lies in the affirmation of Europe's Christian heritage. He told the audience: "Find yourself.., discover your origins. Give life to your roots," which are Roman Catholic.
So even the Pope now cones out in public advocating European restoration of "the Holy Roman Empire." Religion, he contended, is the unifying balm for healing the differences between divergent languages and national aspirations.
An important government official in Athens said to me that European unification on a political and military basis is the only hope for world peace.
But this world little understands what in real fact is going to bring world peace at last.
WHY no peace, now?
This world started with one man, Adam. God had created him with a mind capable of dealing in matter - material objects from the ground. Before Adam were two choices - the symbolic tree of LIFE by which God would have given him knowledge through the Holy Spirit for a happy relationship with his Maker and fellow humans - spiritual knowledge and the spiritual attitude of LOVE toward others - along with immortal LIFE. The other symbolic tree was the taking to himself, in his carnal mind, the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong - all in the carnal self- centered attitude.
Adam allowed Eve to persuade him to take the latter - even as Satan had tempted her. Thus Satan got to Adam through his wife, and the whole world, founded with Adam and Eve, has been deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:9) into the self-centered way of life.
That way of life has brought on absence of a right relationship with God, and attitudes toward fellow humans of selfishness, greed, competition and strife, warfare - attitudes of envy, jealousy, hostility. It has led to immorality, crime, discontent, unhappiness, suffering and death!
This is Satan's world, started with Adam. Jesus came to start GOD's world of tomorrow, started by Jesus Christ, and the Church which he called to come out from this world's ways, and live as Adam would have, had he taken of the tree of LIFE. That is to live God's way of life, as God reveals through his Holy Spirit. The one true Church of God, now worldwide, is the embryo of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD - a new world of PEACE, happiness, joyous accomplishment.
But meanwhile, in this world, God called his nation Israel. He gave them his Law - or his WAY OF LIFE. They utterly disobeyed. God allowed them to divide into two nations, Israel and Judah. The nation of Assyria conquered Israel, the northern nation, removing them from the Holy Land around 721 to 718 B.C. Then about 604-585 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the first world empire, conquered Judah. Through the prophet Daniel, God gave Babylon an opportunity to become God's nation, but Nebuchadnezzar rejected being ruled by God. Thereupon came the times of Gentile domination. Babylon (the Chaldean Empire) was succeeded by the Persian Empire. It in turn by the Greco- Macedonian Empire, and finally the Roman Empire, of 31 B.C. to A.D. 476.
At the behest of the Pope at Rome, Justinian, emperor of the east at Constantinople, formally reestablished in A.D. 554 the Roman Empire in the West. It became known later as the Holy Roman Empire, since the popes at Rome ruled over the civil or political rulers.
It is that "Holy Roman Empire" now being resurrected in Europe. Prophecy says it will last but a short time, ended by the second coming of Jesus Christ as WORLD RULER! So, since this European unification will, in fact, lead in slightly over 3 1/2 years from then to Christ's coming, to bring world peace, perhaps the official at Athens was right after all.
But, brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11).
God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work - in the Work of God!
Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all- important Work of God. We must step up our TV and radio programming, and PLAIN TRUTH circulation - now up to five and a quarter million copies monthly. I do need your help. Pray about it, and please pray fervently for me, in sore personal trials right now.
With deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong