The Terrifying Darkness Before the Eternal Dawn

America is rapidly headed into its darkest hour ever. But that black hour leads immediately into an everlasting joy!
From the January 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

What will the next four years bring America?

A majority of American voters chose to reelect Barack Obama presumably because they believed the United States would have a brighter future with him leading the country.

Many others were convinced the country would have been far better off if the Republican candidate had won. His loss left a lot of people deeply discouraged, even depressed.

People see the terrifying problems facing the U.S. and this world—and see no solutions. They don’t have hope. But believe it or not, this is the greatest era of hope in mankind’s history.

There Is Reason to Fear

What can we expect to see happen in America during this next presidential term? I believe that many people who voted for Mr. Obama seriously underestimate the severity of the crises and threats facing this country and the world today. We need to look honestly at the dangers.

Here is how Melanie Phillips, an excellent British commentator, reacted to the president’s reelection: “With four more years of Obama in the White House, Iran can now be sure that it will be able to complete its infernal construction of a genocide bomb to use against the Jews and the West. World War iii has now come a lot closer” (Nov. 7, 2012; emphasis mine throughout).

This is the view of many influential people, both inside and outside the U.S. In her article “America Goes Into the Darkness,” Phillips continued, “It is said that, with likely gridlock in Congress over domestic issues, Obama will concentrate on foreign policy. We should all shudder. So far, Obama has empowered Iran to destabilize the region; supported Islamist takeovers in Egypt and Libya; is backing al Qaeda affiliates in Syria; refused to come to the aid of Americans being attacked by al Qaeda in Benghazi as a result of which four American officials were murdered; and hung Israel out to dry against its genocidal Palestinian attackers.”

There is a lot of evidence to support Ms. Phillips’s statements. The president’s first term saw a rise in power for many enemies of the United States, while America’s power and influence declined. This president has talked a lot about how he would improve America’s reputation in the world. But the facts show this has not happened. More and more, other nations openly work against America’s interests with no fear of any repercussions. America’s reputation is being ravaged.

America has been going into the darkness for many years. President Obama and the radical left are just leading us into the nation’s worst darkness ever, and much faster than at any time in our history.

Would Romney Have Been Better?

America has $16 trillion in debt—more debt than any nation has ever had—but that’s just the beginning. America has promised people tens of trillions more in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, says America’s total liabilities are actually $222 trillion!

Meanwhile, unemployment is high, productivity is stagnant, and inflation is rising. Yet all of the government’s efforts to fix the economic crisis have aimed at trying to soften its effects rather than solve its causes. That is only making things worse. Even in these crushing conditions, the government just keeps growing and spending more and more money. This administration has grown the national debt a trillion dollars a year for all four years. No nation has ever borrowed and printed money the way America has. A study in 2010 by John Kichen of the U.S. Treasury and Menzie Chinn of the University of Wisconsin showed that if trends continue, by 2020, funding America’s debt would take 19 percent of the gross domestic product of the entire world!

These facts ought to shock Americans to their senses, but most people are too involved in their sports and pleasures to notice. The debt doesn’t bother them. In fact, the way people voted in this election shows that they want more of it. Already the total price tag for federal and state welfare programs came to almost $1 trillion in 2011—almost a third of America’s yearly budget. A record 47 million Americans—one in seven—are on food stamps, and the government is actually encouraging more people to join.

I guarantee you, America’s financial problems will intensify until they get our full attention!

The dollar is going to collapse. I believe the chances are high this will happen within the next four years.

Would America have solved this problem under a Romney presidency? He offered no plan to pay off the debt—and Paul Ryan’s plan wouldn’t have balanced the budget for another 28 years!

This crisis is far bigger than just one candidate or political party.

An expert at the German Council on Foreign Relations, Josef Braml, said this before the election: “The weight of the usa’s total debt has become unsustainable both economically and politically,” he said. That reality has many crucial consequences; one that Braml mentioned is that the country can no longer maintain its global “strategy of massive military presence to secure energy resources and trade routes.” Couple that weakness with the fact that we won’t drill domestically, and you have a catastrophe for America.

Are we willing to listen to our critics?

This man studies the U.S. and recently published a book called The American Patient. The perception of America has changed a lot since our days as a superpower. Now we are looked upon as a sick patient on our deathbed.

The Real Problem

In the past, many nations looked to the U.S. for protection. But that trust is rapidly fading. Nations like China know that Americans are too fearful to fight. We do all we possibly can to avoid any human casualties. We do this to the point where we have become a nation of cowards.

Adolf Hitler preyed on that kind of weakness before World War ii. In fact, Winston Churchill believed that weakness caused World War ii! So few nations opposed Hitler that he thought he could conquer the world. He almost did! Weakness only encourages strong, dictatorial leaders.

How can we correct this deadly disease of a broken will? America gained its freedom through much bloodshed and courage. And our freedom cannot be sustained by cowards. We can easily deceive ourselves. But our enemies know the truth and will one day soon put us to the test!

The further we get from God, the more cowardly we become. How serious is this problem? The repercussions will be worse than we can imagine.

We learned a lot about America in this last election. For example, for the first time in American history, people voted to legalize same-sex “marriage.” They voted it down 32 previous times, but this time, laws permitting same-sex unions passed in Maryland, Washington and Maine. Minnesota rejected a measure constitutionally defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Also, Wisconsin elected a lesbian to the Senate, the country’s first openly homosexual senator.

America’s moral state has never been more base.

On abortion, a recent Rasmussen poll found that 54 percent of Americans now call themselves pro-choice, while only 38 percent say they are pro-life. Fornication is accepted; adultery is common. Pornography is mainstream—it is even studied academically in our universities!

There will be some serious consequences for America that come from this president receiving a second term. But Americans must not make the mistake of thinking that the problem is just with that man, or a small group of radicals, or the Democrat Party, or the liberal left.

America is experiencing problems because of the sins of the people!

The Root Cause

God revealed through Herbert W. Armstrong that the United States and the British peoples are prophetically known as the nations of Israel in the Bible. Others understood that truth, but only in a shallow way compared to Mr. Armstrong. God also revealed to Mr. Armstrong that the modern-day Israelis are prophetically known as Judah in the Bible.

These are God’s own nations, called to set an example for the world. Our nations have failed miserably to live up to God’s standards. Our crime rates are some of the highest in the world—and our morals are the lowest in the world!

Anciently, Manasseh “seduced” Israel into being more evil than other nations (2 Kings 21:1-3, 9, 16). He destroyed the righteousness that his father Hezekiah had established. In the same way, America today has led the rest of Israel and much of the world into great evil also!

This is what we have done with the enormous blessings God has given us. Now God is sending curses because of our sins.

God always warns people before He punishes them. In Ezekiel 33, God says He sends a watchman to warn the nations of the United States, Great Britain and Israel. (For proof, ask us for a copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. We will send it to you absolutely free of charge.) In verse 11, He says, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked;but that the wicked turn from his way andlive:turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

Do you believe that scripture? God wants people to stop disobeying Him! He doesn’t want us to suffer the evils of our addiction to drugs and pornography that destroys families. He doesn’t want us to have to live in poverty because of our corrupt economic and political systems. He doesn’t want us to be abused by corrupt religions. He wants us to turn from those evils—so we can reallylive!

Many people want to blame the country’s problems on the misguided policies of certain politicians. But that is not the root cause of our problems!God is sending curses on us because of our sins! He wants us to change our ways and turn to Him. Unfortunately, it is going to take a lot of suffering for many people first.

If you feel anxiety about the direction of the country, that is actually a good thing. It is the beginning of the right kind of change, because you will realize that you need to look for a real solution. There is hope, but most people refuse to see it.

The Next Four Years

“Obama’s agenda has been crystal clear from the get-go: to increase the power of the state over the citizen at home, and to neutralize American power abroad. Four more years of this and he’ll almost certainly have succeeded,” Melanie Phillips wrote. “The impact upon Western security could be cataclysmic. … With the reelection of Obama,America now threatens to lead the West into a terrifying darkness.

I have to emphatically agree with Phillips on this point. Why? Because it is exactly what Bible prophecy says is going to happen!

Our elected leaders are going to help bring about some of the worst violence the world has ever known. The Bible is full of prophecies of what is about to happen to the United States. Most people would ridicule that statement, but the fact is, we are already seeing these prophecies coming to pass.

God specifically foretold America’s decline in strong leadership, both nationally and within families (e.g. Isaiah 1:4-6; 3:1-12). He prophesied that sexual perversions would abound—comparing American and British society to ancient Sodom (Isaiah 3:9). He foretold the loss of military strength and will (Leviticus 26:17-20). Several prophecies speak of the nation being rocked by economic crises, social breakdown, racial hatreds, widespread crime, judicial corruption and other problems. He warned in advance of the increase in floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other nature-related catastrophes. He forecast our descent into materialism, greed, godlessness, rank idolatry, arrogance and self-promotion.

So many of these passages in Scripture—which specifically speak about the end-time nations of Israel—are perfect descriptions of America today. But the prophecies get far worse and even more specific.

Ezekiel prophesied that a third of the people in America and the British nations will die by a plague of violence or burning (that’s what “pestilence” refers to) and famine (Ezekiel 5). That could result from terrorism, or economic disruptions that spark riots and racial violence. Ezekiel said cities are going to be “laid waste” and “desolate” (Ezekiel 6:6). He discusses the great cities of America and Britain becoming “without inhabitant.” That means nuclear fire is going to reduce our major cities to ashes! It is hard to imagine God giving us a stronger warning! But the prophecies continue in even more detail.

We are heading into a terrifying darkness in this country, as Melanie Phillips put it. I do believe the next four years may well see the fulfillment of the worst of these prophecies.

But that is not the end of the story. In that darkness is the hope! That darkness is the very thing that will ultimately make us get to know God!Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:29).

The recent election showed that millions of Americans are ignorant of the dangers we face—and are complacent or even happy about the downward spiral this nation has entered. It showed that millions more are bitterly opposed to their neighbors. But more than anything, it proved that neither ideology has the solutions to our problems.

Maybe you are one of those who are apprehensive about the next four years. You probably see some of the same dangers that Phillips sees. Those dangers are real—and they’re even worse than you think. Yet there is real hope, and it is much greater than you think! It’s far greater than Mr. Romney or the Republican Party. It’s greater than conservatism. The real hope is repentance toward God! Strange as that may sound, the same Bible that precisely prophesied America’s decline and its coming collapse also prophesies that there is dazzling hope ahead!

There is only one answer. It is only by obeying God, by applying His laws and principles of life that we can bring real hope and joy into our lives. We do need real change to solve our problems. And even though we will go through some dark times, God will bring that to pass. He is about to effect a revolution by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to rule this Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. The Bible also prophesies about that—and those prophecies are sure. We are almost there! Take hope in that.