The End of the Free World
Read This First—A Note From the Trumpet Staff
Ten years ago, in our January 2002 edition, the Trumpet presented an overview of biblical prophecy. Called “The Coming World Crisis,” this special issue featured articles on each of the major global powers foretold in Scripture to play a significant role in end-time events. We are now in the process of converting it into a booklet to offer to Trumpet subscribers.
The following article, about Anglo-America, is reprinted in full and unaltered from that issue. It is our hope that you will benefit from reading its astounding preview of world events—now in many instances a post-view. We believe it powerfully demonstrates the inerrancy of the Bible. Its timeless nature is made all the more exciting as you consider the astounding events that have taken place just over this past year.
As you read, remember the shocking economic collapse experienced by the U.S. and Britain in 2008. Remember the hundreds of financial institutions—including giants Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—that either failed, or were bailed out or nationalized. Consider the 9 million jobs that have been lost, the millions of homes that are being foreclosed upon, the record high food stamp usage, and the growing divide between rich and poor. And remember that another, greater crash is guaranteed to hit soon.
As you read, don’t forget the heightened social unrest spilling onto the streets in America and Britain. For five days in August, animal-like mobs of rioters in London burned businesses and homes, hospitalized police officers, looted shops, assaulted citizens, and even killed people. That same month, in America there were the race riots in Milwaukee that more closely resembled something out of tribal Afghanistan. More recently, the Occupy Wall Street movement has made dramatic headlines. Every day it seems that people are getting angrier—and looking for someone to blame. Authorities reported record gun sales in November, up 35 percent over the previous year. Violence is taking over the streets in many of our cities, and people are getting desperate for protection.
As you read, consider that America’s military—the institution that perhaps the most Americans take pride in—is reaching a critical breakpoint. After more than a decade of war, troops and equipment are stretched like never before. The average age of fighter aircraft is 24 years and rising. For naval vessels it is even higher. Hundreds of aircraft and vessels are operating far past their expected operational lifetimes. With the broken economy, massive military spending cuts are guaranteed. America’s military is set to shrink rapidly. In Britain, a country once renowned for its navy, its armed forces are so shrunken that it no longer has even a single aircraft carrier.
And as you think about the prophecy in this article, know that America and Britain are now less able than at any time in their history to cope with these problems. Think of the moral decline that has taken place over the past decade, and what that has done to our leadership. Think of the in-your-face homosexual agenda being forced on the nation. Think of the breakdown in traditional families. The consequences are becoming more apparent each year. America’s jails are full. Depression and health issues plague society. One in four women take at least one drug for a mental health issue. These problems are beyond our ability to fix.
But there is a solution to our problems. God promises to protect and prosper those who commit to obey Him and keep His laws. He promises to give answers to even our biggest problems. We hope the following article will help you see the urgency in God’s work today and that it will motivate you to action. This world needs solutions—God’s solutions—more than ever. And we hope you will continue to be a part of that.
The End of the Free World
One of the most astounding secrets of the Bible—that the United States and Britain are two of the most prominent nations mentioned in prophecy—may initially appear startling, or even preposterous, to some of our readers.
Yet, while never mentioned by their modern-day names, the prophecies about these nations that have come to pass are so numerous, they provide one of the most convincing proofs of the validity of God’s written Word! A startling statement, but provable beyond the shadow of a doubt.
These nations are dramatic, living examples of prophecy being fulfilled.
Tragically, these nations have a history of being quick to forget. Even knowledge revealing their identity and their role in history might have been lost forever in the corridors of time, had God not restored this truth to His Church through the late Herbert W. Armstrong.
But still more important for your sake than the prophecies already fulfilled are the prophecies yet to be fulfilled. The future of these nations, as portrayed by God’s prophets, is a terrifying one. Yet scriptures like Isaiah 55:11 remind us that God’s prophecies are sure.
We now can see the seeds of these vital prophecies being fulfilled, in world events, and exposed on the pages of this magazine!
Now, more than ever, before it is too late, you must have a clear-eyed view of what to expect in the years ahead—to get a grasp of what God forecasts for the American and British peoples.
To say that the effect these prophecies will have on your life will be dramatic would be a grave understatement!
Here is why.
Identity of U.S. and Britain
First, before we can understand the prophecies pertaining to the United States and Britain, an understanding of the identity of these countries in the Bible is essential.
The abundant material blessings eventually bestowed on the U.S. and the British Commonwealth of nations were initially conveyed to the biblical patriarch Abraham because of his obedience (Genesis 22:16-18). He then passed them on to his son Isaac, who later did the same with his son Jacob. In due time, Jacob conferred this birthright promise to his son Joseph’s sons—Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh was to become one great nation, and his younger brother a company of nations. One day, materially, these nations would become stupendously rich and powerful, above any other nations.
For proof of why Britain (together with some of the British Commonwealth nations) and the United States of America can be identified in the Bible as Ephraim and Manasseh—part of the lost 10 tribes of Israel—request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, written by Herbert Armstrong.
The Bible is a book essentially about Israel—its history and its future. Given that the modern descendants of the Israelites are known, the key to understanding biblical prophecy suddenly jumps into view.
That includes an understanding of those future events which are certain to soon hit this world!
Prophecies Already Fulfilled
One of the most amazing stories of history, that of the unparalleled growth and prosperity of the United States and Britain, and the unprecedented, startling speed of their appearance on the world scene, takes us straight back to those promises made to Ephraim and Manasseh. Following the unwinding of these prophecies from their earliest phases makes a fascinating study.
Think of it! At the height of their power, these two countries possessed nearly three quarters of all the world’s cultivated wealth and resources. For Britain, the sun never set on its empire. In fact, it became the greatest territorial expanse in history, and the United States the greatest single nation.
Just as your Bible prophesied would be the case, no people have enjoyed greater blessings of prosperity and freedom than the modern nations of Israel.
However, the conditions on which these Anglo-American promises were made—the active part of the equation—depended on obedience to God, the awarder of such spectacular and abundant blessings. God kept His part of the bargain. Israel did not. God’s agreement with ancient Israel specified that, in such a case, curses for disobedience would follow on the heels of the blessings.
What the world has witnessed in these nations, especially over the last few decades, is an unequalled moral decline—and consequently, the gradual removal of God’s blessings. How clearly reality in both the U.S. and Britain reflects this truth!
Isaiah prophesied of the decline of strong leadership—nationally and within families (Isaiah 1:4-6; 3:1-12). Family strife, abusive parents, delinquent children, adultery and divorce are commonplace in the Western world. God also prophesied that sexual perversions would abound—comparing American and British society to ancient Sodom (Isaiah 3:9).
God prophesied of a decline in military strength and will (Leviticus 26:17-20). The facts speak for themselves. Both Britain and the United States are currently withdrawing from their role as the world’s peace brokers and turning the job over to a willing German-led European Union, which has begun to take on U.S.-led peace challenges in the Middle East, Bosnia and Afghanistan. Right now, despite the far superior size and capacity of its military, the casualty-shy U.S. feels particularly wary about acting forcefully enough to win a decisive battle.
Also prophesied for America and Britain was the gain of strategic sea gates (Genesis 22:17) only to be lost as these nations reaped curses for disobedience. This too has already largely occurred. The 20th century saw Britain’s and America’s loss of sea gates such as the Suez Canal, Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Cape of Good Hope and the Panama Canal. Gibraltar will undoubtedly be added to the list soon, as Britain is being bullied by the European Union to relinquish control of this strategic territory, under threat of horrendous fines.
To anyone with a truly open mind, who knows the identity of Israel in prophecy, the fact that God is allowing Britain and America to reap the corrective consequences of their actions should be increasingly obvious.
Given that people are largely ignoring the correction meted out thus far, what can we expect to occur in the future?
Prophecies to Be Fulfilled
Old Testament prophets like Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Hosea provided specific detail about what is to happen to the United States and Britain. Their prophecies were sometimes dual, with a lesser fulfillment to happen in their day. But they were mostly written for the end time, just prior to Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.
Ezekiel, for instance, wrote about Israel’s future destruction and captivity well after ancient Israel had already gone into captivity. Other prophecies could not have been fulfilled during the lives of the prophets. God even explicitly told certain prophets that their words are for the end time (see Jeremiah 30:2, 24; Isaiah 30:8; “the time to come” reads “the latter day” in the Hebrew).
In these prophecies, God refers to the end-time nations of Israel as the “house of Israel,” “Jacob” or “my people.” Some prophecies refer specifically to the house of Judah—the modern nation of Israel in the Middle East today—but often, the general prophecies can be applied to Israel and Judah, since Judah is a tribe of Israel.
Armed with this knowledge, we can get a clear picture of the future of America and Britain from Old Testament prophecy. Tragically, the story told there is very bleak.
In addition to prophesying the decline of the greatest superpowers ever to exist, the fruits of which are being seen now, the Bible says the decline will culminate in the tragic devastation of these two countries. The U.S., Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and others will see utter defeat in a coming world war—what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22).
In comparing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to modern-day Israel, Isaiah foretold that Israel would suffer the same fate as those two evil cities—with only a few righteous to be saved (Isaiah 1:7, 9).
Here is how these events will play out, as the Bible foretells, just before and throughout this future tribulation. The outline can be found in Ezekiel 5. Through Ezekiel—whose prophecy was for the “house of Israel” (Ezekiel 3:5)—God says that a third part of America and the British nations will die by pestilence and famine, a third by nuclear attack on the land, and the final third taken into captivity.
These are prophecies to sit up and take note of! This is the plain Word of God, printed in your Bible! Surely, it should merit your attention!
Pestilence and Famine
Ezekiel 5:12 states, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee ….”
Earlier in chapter 5, Ezekiel was told to go through a physical ritual that pictured this event: “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled …” (verses 1-2).
In his new booklet, Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, our editor in chief wrote, “The word pestilence just means destruction or death (see the Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon). One definition of the root word is ‘to lay snares, to plot against, to destroy.’ So this pestilence could be a plague of violence or burning—not necessarily a physical disease at all! It can be defined as a plague of violence and rioting—such as the Los Angeles riots in 1992 or as the violence of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks! Why would the first third be burned with fire (verse 2), if it refers to a disease epidemic?
“The pestilence, or plague of violence, will cause many health problems that lead to famine. Sewage disposal will be disrupted. Gas lines will be broken. Jobs will be lost. Society will unravel and the collective panic will bring a stock market disaster! It will get so bad that violence and famine will take millions of lives!” It will take a full third of lives, in fact! This is death on the scale of tens of millions of people! Write for a free copy of this booklet for more information.
The siege spoken of in Ezekiel portends an economic disaster, for God speaks of removing Israel’s financial blessings (Hosea 2:8-9). The Bible shows that this famine will get so bad, people will turn to what seems unthinkable in our current prosperity: cannibalism (Ezekiel 5:10).
Watch the American and British economies carefully. The U.S. economy, in particular, is an ever expanding bubble—ready to burst anytime. It has been kept afloat by superficial means, particularly heavy consumer spending. When the terrorist attacks struck on September 11, the fragile economy was revealed for what it was as consumer spending took a huge blow. Yet, it all began to pick up as the U.S. entered a retaliatory mode and the holiday shopping season struck.
America will not be so resilient when it suffers this kind of pestilence prophesied in Ezekiel 5. With one third of the population falling as casualties of domestic violence, the world’s largest economy will barely be a shell of what it used to be.
Of course, all this seems too unbelievable to be true! How could such a fate befall America? Well, before September 11, who would have believed that such terrorism could occur on U.S. soil? It was so unbelievably shocking. Yet, it happened. The terrorist attacks, the rioting and racial tensions already experienced in both Britain and the U.S. are signs that this plague of violence is imminent. We should watch these things, so this destruction does not catch us off guard (Luke 21:36).
As Mr. Flurry’s Ezekiel booklet points out, we should watch for increased racial tension in the nations of Israel. Increasingly over the last ten years, British and American newspapers have been spattered with stories about bloodshed over conflicts between racial groups.
The race riots in Cincinnati, Ohio, last April and Britain’s Bradford riots of six months ago were only a precursor of how major Western cities could fall to such violence in the near future—violence so great as to cause the death of one third of these countries’ citizens.
After the pestilence and famine, Ezekiel 5:12 says, “a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee ….” The next event will be a military attack against the end-time nations of Israel. Hosea 5:5 says that Britain, America and Israel will all fall together.
Yet, how could this prophecy come to pass, particularly against America, which is still by far the most militarily superior nation in the world?
We can expect to see something undercut the U.S. military might—perhaps more terrorist attacks or even cyberwarfare and cyberterrorism.
The U.S. has downsized its defense program to the point where it can no longer fight a war on two fronts. The current campaign in Afghanistan may look impressive, but prophecy indicates that what is left of America’s strength will be “spent in vain” (Leviticus 26:20). Perhaps this war on terrorism will have exhausted American forces by the time the real enemy attacks.
Britain is suffering from a similar military contraction. The Daily Telegraph reported on June 11, 2001, “The Royal Navy can barely meet its nato obligations, let alone think of mounting any campaign in Britain’s interests far away ….” As God prophesied in Isaiah 3, the “mighty man” and the “man of war” will continue to fade into non-existence.
The economic wounds previously discussed will most likely contribute to the lack of military strength and response at this point in time. Consider the implications of another of Ezekiel’s prophecies: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” (Ezekiel 7:14). It appears certain that, at some future point, Israel’s military will be so crippled that an armed takeover by another country will occur.
But who will attack the United States and the British nations? When you understand Bible prophecy, you realize that these countries’ foreign policies have been off the mark when predicting which countries pose the real threat. It will not be the Russians. It will not be Iraq. It will not be North Korea.
The Bible actually shows it is those with whom Israel has formed a close alliance—its “lovers” (Lamentations 1:1-2; Hosea 2:13).
Ezekiel 23 reveals these “lovers” to be the Assyrians (verses 5, 7, 9, 12)—end-time Germany. Germany, by this time, will be leading a united Europe, a resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—the prophetic beast power of Revelation 13 and 17.
God will use the German-led European Union to punish the U.S. and Britain: “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets” (Isaiah 10:5-6).
At this point, we can pause and make another point about what to watch in the times ahead: These verses provide prophetic proof that Britain will not remain in the European Union! Britain’s sense of national identity is in tatters. It is increasingly dependent on Europe for its financial well-being, and yet it is doing the balancing act of maintaining its sterling markets in the face of a Europe that officially adopted the euro as its means of exchange this month. Still, Britain has failed to find a comfortable role for itself in Europe.
Britain will be left out. Europe is prophesied to conquer Britain. In Isaiah 28:3, God refers specifically to Britain (Ephraim) being trodden underfoot.
God says this military attack on Britain and the U.S. will not only destroy another one third of their inhabitants, but it will utterly level the cities not already destroyed by the “pestilence.” Ezekiel 6:6 mentions the cities being “laid waste” and “desolate” (see also Hosea 5:9). Even more graphic, the Bible shows that these cities will be left without one inhabitant! (Isaiah 6:11; Jeremiah 2:15; 33:10). The cities of ancient Israel were not destroyed in this manner. In fact, these prophecies could not have come to pass until the advent of nuclear technology.
How utterly astounding to imagine cities like New York, Washington, d.c., Los Angeles, London and Sydney being leveled and left empty by nuclear destruction! But it is coming!
The third and final phase of God’s punishment toward Israel will then be carried out: “… and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them” (Ezekiel 5:12). The survivors of the pestilence, famine and nuclear attacks will be taken captive by the German-dominated Europe.
God says He will cast Britain out of His sight (Jeremiah 7:15). Hosea 9:3-6 show that they will be taken as captives into Assyria and Egypt—where the beast power will also dominate during this nuclear world war (Daniel 11:42).
The suffering of this bondage will far outweigh that of any previous time (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:21). The ghoulish concentration camps of Nazi Germany in World War ii were merely a small taste of what this captivity will be like. And it will affect one third of Anglo-America—millions of people forced to suffer under the iron fist of a revived German regime!
Jeremiah 30:3 states, “For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord ….” This clearly is referring to an end-time captivity.
But, thankfully, as the last half of Jeremiah 30:3 indicates, Israel will repent as a result of these heavy trials, and God will respond with mercy. Those Israelites who do not die in the Tribulation will turn to God in heartfelt, genuine repentance (Ezekiel 6:7-9). As World War iii comes to a close, as the beast power is totally defeated, God will bring His people out of captivity from the “north country” and Egypt and other parts of the Earth (Isaiah 11:11).
The Good News
This time of unparalleled suffering will bring Israel back to God. And that is the exact reason God allows something so utterly dreadful. Of course, if Israel were to repent and turn to God now, He promises that they could completely avoid such agonizing punishment.
Ezekiel 33:11 states, “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 and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
God does not want the nations of Israel to die. He wants them to repent and to be spared from the greatest time of suffering. If that does not occur, the prophecies will be played out in full (Ezekiel 3:7).
There is nothing to suggest that America, Britain and the other nations of Israel will turn to God in repentance. Even after a tragedy like the one suffered on September 11 of last year, there was more talk of pride in the “American spirit” than there was self-evaluation, humility and repentance. But you, on the other hand, can change the destiny of your life. You do not have to suffer the unparalleled misery of the Great Tribulation.
God promises protection to those who repent and surrender to Him (Psalm 91:5-7). If you will commit yourself to obey His laws, He will count you worthy to escape all these frightful things (Luke 21:35-36). The decision is yours.