Many readers of the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine tell us they recognize the same message the Plain Truth carried for 52 years under the direction of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. Subscribers even point to similarities between our style of writing and presentations compared to the Plain Truth in its heyday.
Mr. Armstrong was one of the most prominent religious leaders of the 20th century. He was watched, read and followed by millions of people worldwide. At the time of his death in 1986, the newsmagazine he founded was being produced in seven languages; global circulation peaked at 8.4 million. (By comparison, Time magazine’s circulation that year was 5.9 million.)
The sheer number of prophetic statements made by Mr. Armstrong and his editorial team, and their accuracy, will astound you. We have compiled many of these prophetic statements into a booklet, titled He Was Right (request your free copy). If you read it carefully, I guarantee that you will be astounded! This booklet is by no means exhaustive. But it does pretty well encapsulate what the Plain Truth was about for more than 50 years.
Our Financial 9/11 Was Prophesied!
In March 1964, Mr. Armstrong wrote a letter discussing the catastrophic economic conditions that would plague the U.S. and Britain in the end time. “If the dollar is devalued, inflation will almost surely result,” he wrote, “and eventual economic collapse for the United States” (co-worker letter, March 26, 1964; emphasis mine throughout).
Referring to prophecies such as those in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, he continued: “Those of you who truly believe the prophecies of your Bible know such economic collapse is prophesied to happen! … We have shown how God prophesied a virtual trade war will get under way against the United States and Britain—and how our national economies will falter, and then collapse!” Remember, that was in 1964.
Over the next 20 years, Mr. Armstrong’s forecast became even more specific. In 1984, he wrote that a massive banking crisis in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S. That, in turn, could bring on the Great Tribulation suddenly. And that will lead quickly to the Second Coming of Christ and end of this world as we know it” (co-worker letter, July 22, 1984).
So all of this bad news is a sign of the best news you could possibly hear!
In a sermon on July 7, 1984, Mr. Armstrong said, “I believe that some event is going to happen suddenly, just like out of a blue sky, that is going to shock the whole world, and is going to cause the nations in Europe to realize they must unite! … Now I think I can see what may be the very event that is going to trigger it, and that is the economic situation in the world.”
Mr. Armstrong made those statements 24 years ago!
Look how suddenly we’ve had the financial meltdown. Look how suddenly this world is changing. Sudden crises are like the theme of this age.
The events of September 2008 dealt a deathblow to America’s reputation as a stable economic superpower. “It really does look as if the foundations of U.S. capitalism have shattered,” observed the German daily Der Spiegel. For the United States, September 2008 was more of a turning point than Sept. 11, 2001! It was a blaring announcement to the world that the American economic system had passed the point of no return.
Note this accurate forecast from a 1983 Plain Truth edition. After a G-7 economic summit, it noted “just how important confidence in America is to the stability of the entire Western world.” A crisis of confidence in America was bound to have dramatic global ramifications, it said—a forecast that proved frightfully true right before our eyes. Then that article made this additional, more specific remark: “The lack of confidence in American leadership must ultimately lead to a parting of the ways between the United States and Western Europe .…”
The inevitability of this stunning split is abundantly clear in biblical prophecy. Still, the insight that it would be caused by convulsions in the U.S. that would shatter global confidence is remarkable. And the September 2008 economic calamity fulfilled this prediction with uncanny accuracy. Where it rocked America’s reputation, it brought on a very different series of events for Europe. European leaders took it as a sign to unite quickly, and then step into the vacuum being created by America’s crumbling financial system.
German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück summed up European sentiment in October 2008 when he stated that “the origin and the center of gravity of the problem is clearly in the U.S.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed, both making it clear that they believed the global financial crisis was America’s fault. Pope Benedict xvi threw his voice behind the Europeans too. In a July 2009 encyclical, he joined the chorus calling for a new world financial order independent of the U.S.
Germany Domineers Europe
For more than five decades under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership, year in and year out the Plain Truth powerfully and consistently shouted a warning in print about the revival and unification of Germany. It proclaimed that Germany would be the dominant force behind a powerful union of European nation-states that would surpass the Russian bloc and even Britain and America in power and hegemony. Imagine predicting that when Germany lay in rubble after World War ii. But that’s what the Plain Truth did!
In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill signed a document stating how Germany would never again be allowed to disturb the peace of the world. At the same time, Mr. Armstrong was saying just the opposite! While Washington and London promised that Germany would never again be able to strike, Herbert Armstrong was preaching to the whole world that Germany would rise again, with greater power than ever before!
“One thing you can count on. In fact it is so sure you can bank on it: The cry of a political union in Europe will get louder and before long we will see the Common Market develop into a United States of Europe. You won’t have to wait long!” (Plain Truth, September 1967).
“For nearly 30 years the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow broadcast have been telling the world that Europe would unite—that a United States of Europe was as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun” (ibid., February 1970).
“Biblical prophecy revealed that this empire would start as an economic movement—that it would bring an era of unusual prosperity to Europe. It did start in March 1957, when six European countries—West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg—signed the Treaty of Rome, creating the European Economic Community. … How did I know, as far back as 1927, that this coming United States of Europe would spring up—in our time? I knew because I saw it clearly revealed in biblical prophecy” (ibid., March 1973).
In a 1999 book called On the Next War With Germany, French author Philippe Delmas, a senior civil servant, argued that “fear of Germany is back.” He wrote that “Germany seems threatening, despite itself, and nowhere more so than in France!”
Consider as well this startling statement by Mr. Armstrong in the Plain Truth way back in 1952: “The United States is determined, now, to let nothing stand in the way of building up a re-armed, independent Germany. This will be the heart and core of the united Europe that will revive the Roman Empire” (June 1952).
“Heart and core of the united Europe”—how closely those words were paralleled by America’s ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy. On Dec. 1, 2009, Ambassador Murphy “called on Berlin to work closely with Washington,” the Local reported. It quoted him as saying at a speech in Berlin, “We need strong partners—and nowhere are there better or more committed partners than in Europe. And Germany is the centerpiece of the European Union.” Without realizing it, the ambassador endorsed the prophetic words of Herbert Armstrong, declared well over 60 years ago when Germany was anything but the “centerpiece” of Europe! How powerfully that prophecy has been fulfilled!
Today, Germany is, by far, the EU’s leading economy.
Judicially, Germany is the only nation boasting a high court, the German Constitutional Court, whose power exceeds that of the European Court of Justice! The powers of the latter trump all judicial powers of the individual high courts of the other EU member nations. Then there’s the Financial Stability Board, a German idea, embraced by the G-20 group of nations as future regulator of the global economy. The EU has the majority vote on that board.
In an interesting development, however, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court determined that, unless a contrary law was enacted before the Lisbon Treaty was ratified, that treaty would disempower the German parliament. The court quickly acted to ensure that German law would override EU law. It determined that the Bundestag must have ultimate say over whether the German Army participates in an EU military operation. The remarkable upshot of this trick is that, now, Germany must give the “go” on any deployment of any EU battle group. So not only are the most vital EU parliamentary committees now dominated by Germany, but the deployment of EU battle groups is also essentially at the direction of the German High Command under German parliamentary approval!
Returning to the Fold
“Protestant churches everywhere are gravitating toward union with the Roman Catholic Church. These religious movements are speeding the fulfillment of the prophecies of the resurrected Roman Empire. For 30 years I have been proclaiming this tremendous event over the air and in print,” Mr. Armstrong wrote in 1963.
In recent years, many Anglicans have been angered by their church’s liberal stance on issues such as the ordination of female clergy and homosexual priests. Now, thanks to an invitation from the pope at the end of 2009, they may flock to the Catholic Church.
This process has not been limited to the Anglicans. The Vatican is making great strides toward bringing every major Christian denomination, especially in Europe, under the authority of Rome.
This is exactly what Herbert Armstrong said would happen. Through the pages of the Plain Truth, Mr. Armstrong prophesied of this coming church unity. Notice, again: “The final—albeit short-lived—triumph of Catholicism is recorded in literally dozens of Bible prophecies. Right now—whether we want to believe it or not—the stage is being set for the greatest revolution in religion the world has witnessed” (November 1963).
In the 1930s, when future church unity was being prophesied, nothing was further from the minds of Protestants. They would have said, “Unity? Never!” But what do we see today, over 70 years after Mr. Armstrong first broke that news to the world? We see the Anglican Church and Rome’s other Protestant daughters returning to the fold!
“[W]e need to understand that the one great, overall, ultimate goal is the reuniting of all Christianity into one cohesive unit under one head—the Roman pontiff—in an attempt to bring to the world the Catholic concept of peace. This plan envisions the full use of the new Europe!” (ibid., January 1963). This church-state combine is called the Holy Roman Empire.
That statement was made 47 years ago!
In July of 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith restated the doctrines of “Dominus Iesus,” a document Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had signed in 2000 to proclaim that non-Catholics were “gravely deficient” and that Protestant churches are “not churches in the proper sense.” The restatement added that Orthodox churches suffer from a “wound” because they do not accept the pope’s authority.
In October 2007, Orthodox leaders signed an agreement with Vatican officials that established the primacy of the pope over all Catholic and Orthodox bishops.
The Asian Kings
As early as April 1952, even while West Germany was rebuilding after being bombed to ashes in World War ii, the Plain Truth wrote, “Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria to complete the 10-nation union.”
What a shocking prophecy to be made 58 years ago! And all of it has been fulfilled or is being fulfilled before our eyes.
Notice what Mr. Armstrong wrote in a booklet first published in 1955—over 4½ decades before Eastern Europe split from the ussr: “Some of the Balkan nations are going to tear away from behind the Iron Curtain. Russia has lost already, to all appearances, Tito’s Yugoslavia. Russia probably will lose still more of her Eastern European satellites.”
Not many would have believed that statement then, or this Plain Truth report the following year: “Communist oppression in Eastern Europe is being overthrown. … We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia’s ill-fated empire in Eastern Europe. These prophecies have been in your Bible for the past 1,900 years. But the world, and the churches of this world, have refused to believe them” (December 1956).
In January 1957, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “When the right psychological moment arrives, a number of these nations will break away from Moscow .…”
In July 1966, this startling prediction was made: “India knows Red China is completing massive troop buildups on the Indian border. India knows Red China has the atomic bomb, and possibly the hydrogen bomb. That means, in the most urgent considerations of national security, India must have the bomb! Purely as a defensive measure against Red China, of course. But then there’s Pakistan … [which is] one nation, born of violent hatreds between Hindu and Muslim. Should India build the bombs, Pakistanis would turn in desperation to the big powers—they would be forced to obtain nuclear weapons!”
Herbert W. Armstrong was able to see and publicly declare many prophecies because he was willing to submit to the authority of the Bible. We have highlighted only a few of those that concern major events now shaping the future of our existence. You urgently need to study this mind-staggering booklet, He Was Right!
One of the earliest prophecies of which he spoke, however—possibly the first and certainly the most important—has only been touched on here. It is an event that will bring the final, peaceful end of all the prophecies spoken of. It is a prophecy he began teaching back in the 1930s: the prophecy of the soon-coming government of God in the wonderful World Tomorrow.
Mr. Armstrong first determined to broadcast “the wonderful news of the World Tomorrow” in 1933. Later he wrote, “All I had in mind, as the World Tomorrow program was being planned late in 1933, was to serve God faithfully wherever He should lead” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 1).
“You don’t have to believe it! It will happen, regardless. It is sure—the world’s only sure hope. This advance good news of tomorrow is as certain as the rising of tomorrow’s sun. Humanity won’t bring it about—it is going to be done to us. Humanity is going to be forced to be happy—to enjoy world peace—to see universal abundance and joy fill the Earth” (The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like). ▪