The Coming World Crisis

Since the “last hour” of the age of man began, the pace of events has accelerated. What does this mean for the future?
From the January 2002 Trumpet Print Edition

“A dreadful, horrendous time is coming upon this Earth, even before the Great Tribulation” (Trumpet, Nov. 2001).

Is the Trumpet a lone voice crying in the wilderness? Are we alone in fearlessly declaring the true state of current events in the world? No, we are not. But we are unique in declaring the reality of their ultimate end and what that foreshadows for the future!

Other clear-headed thinkers, however, are at least starting to realize that we have moved into a most dangerous phase in mankind’s history.

Consider the following.

“The early years of the 21st century will see massive and potentially dangerous shifts in the structure of international power and influence” (Alun Chalfont, Salisbury Review, Autumn 2001; emphasis mine throughout). These comments of Lord Chalfont, a former minister of state for foreign affairs in Britain, were penned prior to the shocking events of September 11 last year.

Those same sentiments were endorsed only months earlier by a former U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger. Commenting on what he termed “a world in transition,” Kissinger mused that “understanding the contemporary situation must begin with the recognition that its disturbances are not temporary interruptions of a beneficent status quo. They signal instead an inevitable transformation of the international order.” Dr. Kissinger then added, “a period of turbulence is inevitable” (Does America Need a Foreign Policy?).

A little earlier in the year, Dr. George Friedman, commenting in the context of what he termed was “the beginning of a new international relations era,” made the striking statement that “at stake is the international system’s composition.” He continued, “the lines are drawn showing a very different world than existed in the past decade. … This is a world with few precedents” (www.stratfor.com, April 10, 2001).

Here are three minds that have studied history. Three minds of status which have analyzed geopolitics upon our entry into the 21st century. The minds of three clever men who have really thought about and deeply pondered the state of global affairs, and who all reached the same conclusion: We crossed a line in the year 2001.

Is it mere coincidence that one other mind would reach the same conclusion from a totally different perspective? Lord Chalfont, Dr. Kissinger and Dr. Friedman all drew the same logical conclusion by applying their deep perspectives on history and current events, by the process of human reasoning, to the phenomenon of unprecedented change upon entry into the year 2001.

Our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, reached the same conclusion based upon biblical revelation!

At the time that Mr. Flurry spoke on this phenomenon of the world entering an unprecedented time of turmoil, such as has not been experienced in the totality of man’s history to date, he was not aware of the conclusions of these other men. Indeed, the thoughts of Lord Chalfont and Doctor Kissinger had not been published at the time. Yet, our editor in chief brought out the following in his Personal in the November 2001 edition of this magazine:

“In a sermon in May, I said we should expect this last hour to be different than any other hour in the history of man! Just four months later, the face of the world changed dramatically. … The world has entered its last hour! It is plain for all to see!

They are powerful words. They are revelatory words, straight out of your Bible! As Gerald Flurry showed in that Personal, the Apostle John, under divine inspiration, wrote the following declarative statement as a message to God’s end-time Church: “Children, it is the last hour …. [W]e know that it is the last hour” (i John 2:18; rsv).

Ever since the rise of humanism and the penetration of German rationalism into our halls of learning from the 18th century, cynics and skeptics have parodied, lampooned and generally made snide fun of Jesus Christ’s own teaching that there would come an end to man’s civilization: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).

Yet we now have some thinkers possessing keen, intelligent minds, with a realistic perspective on both history and the present, who have reasoned that we have entered unprecedented times. As Dr. Kissinger opines in his masterful thesis on U.S. foreign policy, we have entered a time which portends “the most profound and widespread upheavals the world has ever seen” (op. cit.). That brings to mind another prophetic statement of Jesus Christ: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (v. 21).

Mere months after each of these men published their separate declarations on our entry into unprecedented times, the U.S. suffered the great terror attack of September 11—the worst ever.

Connecting that event with Jesus Christ’s prophetic words in the biblical verse just quoted, Mr. Flurry stated, “The wtc attacks were a little taste of the Great Tribulation. What we saw is just a tiny little problem compared to what is coming. Multiply what happened on September 11 by maybe 30 or 40 thousand to begin to get a picture of what it will be like in the future …” (op. cit.).

Yes, indeed, believe it or not, God is going to get our attention!

Heightened Pace

At our News Bureau, we are constantly monitoring the best of world news and intelligence sources to keep pace with world events. Current events occurring in areas of major geopolitical significance around the world give powerful proof to the ongoing fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

Our founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, had a sharp eye for spotting major world events and connecting them with the thread of biblical prophecy, which declares their outcome far in advance. Our editor in chief continues in the same vision. This magazine attests to that.

Look back over the past year, most especially since May 5, the time of that bold and revelatory declaration by Gerald Flurry that this world, in the present configuration of man’s civilization, had entered its last hour. Tracking areas of special prophetic significance proves that world events have accelerated since that time.

Watch World Events

In His final revelation to the Church, given even as the first era of its history was closing, Jesus Christ gave a special warning. It was given at a time when most of the original apostles, ordained by Jesus Christ, had been martyred. The aged Apostle John remained, exiled on the Greek island of Patmos.

John contemplated the persecution that the first era of the Church had endured, having powerfully witnessed of the faith and gospel of Jesus Christ so as to have “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). As he thought on the scattered remnant of God’s Church—dispersing to the mountain valleys of Western Europe, scattering to pockets in Anatolia, with Joseph of Arimethea and some others having long departed for Cornwall—his mind was impacted by a powerful revelation from God. He was moved in his mind’s eye to see the ebb and flow of the tumultuous history of God’s Church, never large in numbers, often persecuted, many times scattered and abused, its leaders torched at the stake, decapitated or flung behind bars, its strength reduced to a point at the dawn of the 20th century of near death (Rev. 3:1).

As John contemplated this vision, his hand moved to pen that powerful warning to God’s own true Church, the Church which had, from the beginning, “a more sure word of prophecy” (ii Pet. 1:19). That warning simply admonished the Church to “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Rev. 3:3).

The admonishment was to remember Christ’s instruction and to watch! The warning to the Church was: If they did not watch, they would lose the vision of prophecy. Once they lost the vision of prophecy, they would lose the understanding of the prime indicators of when Jesus Christ would return to this Earth. That had been the eternal hope of the Church—that He would return to establish a just and peaceful government over all. To lose the vision as to the timing of that event could be fatal! Eternally fatal!

Thus Jesus Christ warned His people to watch. Watch what? Watch world events! Watch conditions in the Church! Watch for the totality of those events that Christ summarized in Matthew 24, and for our entry into the final prophetic “hour” of man’s civilization.

How to Watch

Our long-time readers realize that the past 12 years have witnessed a powerful outpouring of revelation of biblical, end-time prophecies to the Church that sponsors this magazine. Our long-time subscribers recognize that we are different. We speak with authority simply because we have the power of that “more sure word of prophecy” at our disposal.

We often quote secular authorities to reveal how often astute analysts of world events may reach conclusions which parallel the predictions of irrefutable biblical prophecy. Some of these clear-thinking analysts we regard as friends. To an extent, we speak the same language when it comes to a realistic approach as to why the world is in its present state.

Those secular authorities whom we quote cannot, however, confidently and with complete assurance predict the ultimate outcome of world events. Neither could we, or those who support the enterprise which produces this magazine, if we simply leaned to our own understanding! (Prov. 3:5).

But, as this ancient proverb goes on to show in verse 6, if we do trust in the Eternal with all our heart, and in all our ways acknowledge Him, He shall direct our paths.

That is power—real power. The power to predict the future. That is the kind of power that gives the confidence to deliver an unpopular message while staring down persecution in the face! It’s the power that gives driving force to a small army of yielded servants of God to do a work that is destined to shake the world with the most powerful warning of the impending punishment of God!

It takes power to give such a warning of impending dire consequences upon a godless, immoral and decadent generation which lustily sings “God Bless America,” or “God Save the Queen,” or “Advance Australia Fair,” as their sins rise like a rotting stench, filling God’s nostrils, to high heaven! (Ezek. 8:17). It is thus that the U.S. and Britain and its daughter democracies have provoked God to an anger that will be made manifest, in its beginnings, prior to the Great Tribulation.

Satan is about to inflict a great tribulation on the nations of modern Israel. “But there is a preliminary stage that will bring these countries down” (Trumpet, Nov. 2001).

As we consider the painful past of the year 2001 and consider what we can expect to see in the quickening pace of fulfilling prophecy ahead, the chronology of world events and the accompanying articles in this edition give startling evidence as to the times we have entered and where they are leading.

It is undeniably “the last hour”!