Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman

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Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman

From the September 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

In 1932, there were 2 million members in the Nazi party—400,000 men belonged to Hitler’s semi-military “storm troopers.” Three of the Nazis’ most strident demands were: 1) They wanted an end to the Versailles Treaty—a treaty to make the Germans pay for the damage they caused by starting World War i! 2) They wanted to rearm—something they were not allowed to do after World War i. 3) They demanded that German Jews be removed from all walks of German life.

This last demand should have alerted the world to where Germany’s rearmament would lead! Actually, there was really only one prominent leader who was alarmed by what was happening in Germany. He spoke out publicly against it. That man was Winston Churchill. He wanted to see Britain strengthen its weak military. Yet Britain’s foreign secretary, Sir John Simon, was working feverishly to get the British government to rapidly and comprehensively disarm! His appeal gained strong and enthusiastic support. Other members of Parliament were also working to achieve that goal.

Winston Churchill was a voice crying in the wilderness.

How could so many of our leaders in the U.S. and Britain—almost all of them—have been so weak in dealing with Hitler? Why was the British Parliament thinking of disarming as Germany rapidly rearmed?

Across the Atlantic, America was assuming a similarly passive posture. We might have remained that way throughout World War ii if Japan hadn’t directly provoked us at Pearl Harbor. As Edward R. Murrow said, “America didn’t enter into the war, they were bombed into it.”

Our leaders lacked the watchman quality of a strong leader like Churchill. He faced reality and spoke the truth in a dangerous world. Most leaders in the U.S. and UK lived in a weak world of illusion.

Martin Gilbert wrote the greatest biography ever of this great leader, Winston S. Churchill. In volume 5, The Prophet of Truth, he wrote (emphasis mine throughout), “Into Europe’s ‘highly complicated and electrical situations,’ Churchill declared, ‘our well-meaning but thoughtless and reckless pacifists expect us to plunge with sweeping gestures, encouraged by long-distance halloos from the United States’”.

The U.S. was even more pacifist than Britain. Both nations made horrendous misjudgments about Hitler. We should be embarrassed even today by our shameful weakness against one of the worst tyrants ever.

The big question is, did we learn anything from this towering mistake that almost cost us our freedom? Did Churchill’s example teach us why we made such colossal misjudgments?

Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat its catastrophes! Today a nuclear first strike is apt to win the next major war. So our margin for error is much smaller. That means we must stop a Hitler-type movement before it gains power.

We can’t afford the pacifist attitude we had before World War‑ii and survive nationally. Yet our pacifist attitude today is far worse than it was then.

“Smooth Things”

On November 17, 1932, Churchill wrote in the Daily Mail, “Do not delude yourselves. Do not let His Majesty’s government believe—I am sure they do believe—that all that Germany is asking for is equal status. I believe the refined term now is equal qualitative status by indefinitely deferred stages. That is not what Germany is seeking. All these bands of sturdy Teutonic youths, marching through the streets and roads of Germany, with the light of desire in the eyes to suffer for their Fatherland, are not looking for status. They are looking for weapons, and, when they have the weapons, believe me they will then ask for the return of lost territories and lost colonies, and when that demand is made it cannot fail to shake and possibly shatter to their foundations every one of the countries I have mentioned, and some other countries I have not mentioned. …”

“The dangers were too acute to be hidden behind bland platitudes. ‘I cannot recall at any time,’ Churchill said, ‘When the gap between the kind of words which statesmen used and what was actually happening in many countries was so great as it is now. The habit of saying smooth things and uttering pious platitudes and sentiments to gain applause, without relation to the underlying facts, is more pronounced now than it has ever been in my experience’” (ibid.).

Churchill pleaded for leaders to speak the truth and not “smooth things” to the people. He even used a Bible expression to get their attention.

“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isa. 30:8). The expression “time to come” in Hebrew is “the latter day.” So these prophecies were written in a book for the time we are living in now. “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (vv. 9-10). This was addressed to God’s spiritual and national leaders today. First it is to God’s own people. They wanted “deceits” to make it easy to rebel against God’s law. They knew God’s truth and prophecy. Then they rejected true prophecy and wanted “smooth things” from their leaders. They didn’t want a true watchman to warn them or the world.

Leaders like Winston Churchill and Isaiah refused to “prophesy deceits.” That is the mark of a great leader! They always tell the truth, no matter how hard it is to accept!

Churchill had to battle pacifist statesmen from every quarter. And Isaiah prophesied that we would get even worse leadership today than what Churchill battled against!

We were entering into “the latter days” even when Churchill was on the scene. He was fighting against Israel’s end-time attitude of wanting to hear “smooth things.”

We have been proving and teaching for over 50 years that Israel is primarily America and Britain. Churchill was fighting against this condition that was prophesied. And it’s going to get even worse! So expect physical and spiritual Israel to clamor for “smooth things” as we head for destruction!

Do we believe God? Do we have the courage to face the truth? Can we rise above our own weakness, or must we drown in it?

God says most will say, “Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (v. 11). This prophecy also reveals that there was a spiritual leader who followed God, the Holy One of Israel, and came on the world scene about the same time Winston Churchill did.

His name was Herbert W. Armstrong. He did the greatest work ever for God in terms of people reached. He preached the true gospel around the world (Matt. 24:14). He restored all things—all of God’s major doctrines (Matt. 17:10-11).

But now God’s people are turning away from the “Holy One of Israel.” That means physical and spiritual. (If you want to prove what nations comprise Israel today, write for our free booklet, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) Israel is the only people who have a history with the Holy One of Israel!

This prophecy is being fulfilled even now. It would behoove each one of you to drop everything and prove what I am telling you today!

Isaiah 30:11 ought to shock any person who believes the Bible. Here is a group of people among whom the Holy One of Israel dwelled. And now they want God to stop leading them. They knew the great God and then rejected Him! This is the greatest possible catastrophe!

What does this tell us about human nature? These scriptures refer to God’s Spirit-begotten people. If they rebel, it is very revealing. It is hard to overestimate the deceit and wickedness of the human mind. Our greatest challenge is to accept the truth. Can you? Can I?

That same God prepared Winston Churchill to help save the nations of America and Britain in World War ii (as well as other nations).

God is not sending a national savior like Churchill for the nations of Israel this time. God is only sending a warning from a tiny remnant of His Church, who don’t want “smooth things.”

A Leader’s Responsibility

Churchill said, “The responsibility of ministers to guarantee the safety of the country from day to day and from hour to hour is direct and inalienable.” Often a leader forgets his responsibility. His job is to do all he can to save his church or nation. Ultimately, this can only be done by God. But leaders also have their role to play.

A physical or spiritual leader must not forget why he is the leader. He has a duty to tell the truth in good and in bad times and then do all he can to protect his flock!

Churchill refused to soften or change his views for the people or the party leadership. Where is such a leader today?

We are heading into the worst crisis ever in this world, with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Only those people drowning in illusion can fail to see the great dangers.

The fact that there is no Winston Churchill on the world scene is in itself a frightful warning! That means Israel is too evil for God to even save! “Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant” (Isa. 30:12-13). It is time for Britain and America to awaken. Their destruction is about to come “suddenly”! Our only hope is in God and repentance.

These prophecies are for this end time! Do you really believe God?

Hostile Educators

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became Germany’s chancellor. On February 17 Churchill spoke at the 25th anniversary meeting of the Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union. Commenting on the recent debate in the Oxford Union, at which a majority of the undergraduates present had approved the motion “That this House refuses in any circumstances to fight for King and Country,” Churchill declared: “That abject, squalid, shameless avowal was made last week by 275 votes to 153 in the debating society of our most famous university. We are told we ought not to treat it seriously. The Times talks of the Children’s Hour. I disagree. It is a very disquieting and disgusting symptom,” and he proceeded to explain why it troubled him.

“My mind turns across the narrow waters of Channel and the North Sea, where great nations stand determined to defend their national glories or national existence with their lives. I think of Germany, with its splendid ancient songs, demanding to be conscripted into an army; eagerly seeking the most terrible weapons of war; burning to suffer and die for their fatherland. I think of Italy, with her ardent Fascisti, her renowned Chief, and stern sense of national duty. …

“One can almost feel the curl of contempt upon the lips of the manhood of all these peoples when they read this message sent out by Oxford University in the name of young England” (ibid.).

That was the pathetic view of Britain’s future leaders. Churchill’s views were met with almost total hostility at Oxford. But he wasn’t crushed by his opponents. He only grew stronger!

Oxford was the leader of the pacifists. Other colleges and universities thought similarly in America and Britain. Have our educational institutions learned a lesson from the Hitler experience? No they have not! Neither have our political leaders, nor the press.

As Churchill said, mankind is unteachable. They refuse to learn. History keeps repeating itself in endless catastrophes! Being so wrong about one of the worst crimes and criminals in history is no small error!

Something is terribly wrong with the human mind. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). How many universities teach that our natural minds hate God and His truth?

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). How many universities teach that the human mind is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”?

God commands us to conquer our natural rebellion toward His Ten Commandments—not surrender to our human nature. We build godly character by conquering our evil human nature.

Our number-one problem today is human survival, and still we think men can solve our problems!

The human mind is deeply flawed and must be changed. Man’s only hope is to turn to God. That includes religion. And we have very little time to do so, if we are to save our physical lives.

Hostile Parliament

Here is how Anthony Eden (who later became Prime Minister) rebuked Churchill in Parliament: “As for Germany, they did not wish to double her army, but to change the system ‘which was imposed on her at Versailles,’ replacing a small long-service army by a larger, but short-service militia.

“The house of Commons cheered Eden’s rebukes. On the following morning the press were strongly censorious. ‘The House was enraged in an ugly mood—towards Mr. Churchill,’ declared the Daily Dispatch; and the Northern Echo called Churchill’s speech ‘vitriolic,’ ‘a furious onslaught’ and ‘one of the most audacious he has delivered’” (ibid.).

That didn’t deter Churchill from his warning. On July 9 he wrote in the Daily Mail: “I look with wonder upon our thoughtless crowds disporting themselves in the summer sunshine, and upon this unheeding House of Commons which seems to have no higher function than to cheer a minister”—and all the while, across the North Sea, “A terrible process is astir.Germany is arming”!(ibid.).

Hitler continued to grow in power during 1934. On June 30 most of his Nazi Party rivals were killed. It was a night of bloody butchery. Still, most of the people in America and Britain continued to praise Hitler or refuse to fight against him. It was a shameful time in our history.

More and more the Germans were building a strong military as they violated the Versailles Treaty. Churchill said, “Germany’s illegal air force was rapidly approaching equality with our own.” He continued, “So far I have dealt with what I believe is the known, but beyond the known there is also the unknown. We hear from all sides of an air development in Germany far in excess of anything which I have stated today. As to that all I would say is, ‘Beware!’ Germany is a country fertile in military surprises” (ibid.).

Still, the critics in Parliament discussed Churchill’s “scaremongering speech” or his “mad policy” proposals toward Germany.

Today we consider Germany one of our closest allies. The Bible prophesies about our “lovers” turning against us.

Our leaders see little danger today in this nuclear age—where surprise attack wins all!

As before World War ii, this generation has to grapple with living for many years in unreality. Our big battle in foreign policy is not to give in to rock-hard tyrants. But that is what we routinely do.

Winston Churchill asked some hard questions. It was not just a concern about foreign policy. He discussed issues upon which Britain’s whole existence depended. We ought to be asking some hard questions today.

On April 11 Churchill wrote to his wife: “My statements about the air last November are being proved true, and Baldwin’s contradictions are completely falsified. There is no doubt that the Germans are already substantially superior to us in the air, and that they are manufacturing at such a rate that we cannot catch them. … How discreditable for the government to have been misled, and to have misled Parliament upon a matter involving the safety of the country.”

In a letter to her two days later he said, “It is a shocking thing when a government openly commits itself to statements on a matter affecting the public safety which are bound to be flagrantly disproved by events. …

“On the whole, since you have been away the only great thing that has happened has been that Germany is now the greatest armed power in Europe. But I think the allies are all banking up against her and then I hope she will be kept in her place and not attempt to plunge into a terrible contest.

“Rothermere rings me up every day. His anxiety is pitiful. He thinks the Germans are all-powerful and that the French are corrupt and useless, and the English hopeless and doomed. He proposes to meet this situation by grovelling to Germany. ‘Dear Germany, do destroy us last!’ I endeavor to inculcate a more robust attitude” (ibid.).

As danger worsened, the leaders and Parliament kept reassuring the public with false statements. Being self-deceived, they deceived the people. The leaders were too weak to face the hard truth.

And so are our leaders today.