Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman
Chapter 1: Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman
In 1932, there were 2 million members in the Nazi Party—400,000 men belonged to Adolf 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 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 United States 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 United Kingdom lived in a weak world of illusion.
Martin Gilbert wrote the greatest biography ever of this great leader, Winston S. Churchill. In Vol. 5, The Prophet of Truth, he wrote, “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’” (emphasis mine throughout).
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.
On November 23, 1932, Churchill said in the House of Commons, “Do not delude yourselves. Do not let His Majesty’s government believe—I am sure they do not 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.”
Gilbert wrote: “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” (Isaiah 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” (verses 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 80 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” (verse 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 (Matthew 24:14). He restored all things—all of God’s major doctrines (Matthew 17:10-11).
But now God’s people are turning away from the “Holy One of Israel.” That is referring to physical and spiritual Israel. (If you want to prove what nations comprise Israel today, request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.) 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 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).
Ezekiel 33 contains an amazing prophecy. God sends His prophet with a message about a time when a sword would come against the land, and “the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman.” God explains what will happen if this man warns the people of the approaching danger. Ezekiel’s prophecies are intended most of all for the end time (request our free book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet for proof)—so this is prophecy primarily for this modern day.
I believe this prophecy was fulfilled by Winston Churchill.
Churchill became an outcast for doing so, but he bravely stood up and warned the world of the approaching danger. If Churchill did that, God must have prepared him in some ways to do that job. He was chosen by the people, but God used him in the political system to save his country and much of the Western world!
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 doesn’t want “smooth things.”
A Leader’s Responsibility
Churchill said, “[T]he 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” (Isaiah 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?
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 went on 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 clear-eyed youth marching forward on all the roads of the Reich singing their 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” (Romans 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?” (Jeremiah 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.
Anthony Eden (who later became prime minister) rebuked Churchill in Parliament, saying that “Germany 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.”
Gilbert wrote: “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, 1934, 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).
Meanwhile, Hitler continued to grow in power. From June 30 to July 2, most of his Nazi Party rivals were killed. It was a time 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 that 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, 1935, 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 up. … 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.
Chapter 2: Learning From History
Winston Churchill was always highly conscious and urgent about time. Britain could not afford to waste any time.
Here are more of his profound words: “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure.
“There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline Books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history” (Gilbert, op cit; emphasis mine throughout).
What an utterly condemning statement! We haven’t learned from history—even recent history of Churchill and World War ii!
If mankind is unteachable, it’s not just ignorance. It’s refusing to face the truth. Man just naturally hates and rebels against God’s law and even his own laws much of the time. Human nature is the first enemy that we must conquer. Then we can be taught. That is what the Bible is all about. But who obeys the Bible?
We didn’t denazify Germany after World War ii, and it is back on the world scene. The ugly factions are about to get control again. Already they are throwing their weight around—after the world has seen their grisly past in living color! What gall! That should be enough to teach those who learn from history that we are going to have to deal with yet another militant Germany.
It has already caused two world wars. And according to Bible prophecy, it is destined to start a third! (Request our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.) As Churchill said, it is “the endless repetition of history.”
“Is there a member of the government who will get up now and say that in November next we shall still have a 50 percent superiority over Germany? Is there a member of the government who will still assert that in March last, six weeks ago, we had a substantial superiority, or that we have a superiority today? No, sir. The whole of these assertions, made in the most sweeping manner and on the highest authority, are now admitted to be entirely wrong” (ibid).
There was still a possibility, Churchill believed, of preserving peace. “‘Never must we despair,’ he said, ‘never must we give in, but we must face facts and draw true conclusions from them.’ It was now essential for Britain to retrieve ‘the woeful miscalculations of which we are at present the dupes, and of which, unless we take warning in time, we may some day be the victims’” (ibid).
Can America and Britain face facts today and draw true conclusions from them? The very survival of our nations depends on it. And time is once again a very urgent factor.
“Churchill reiterated his worries [on May 5] when he wrote to Lt. Col. Ridley Pakenham-Walsh: ‘I am astounded at the indifference with which the press and public seem to view the fact that the government have been utterly wrong about the German air strength, and that we are now substantially outnumbered and must continue to fall further and further behind for at least two years, in fact we can never catch up unless they wish it’” (ibid).
It’s as if our press and politicians today have no memory. In 1979, they virtually forced an ally, the shah of Iran, out of office. Then Iran became the number one terrorist nation in the world. Our political elite forced a white government and strong ally from South Africa rule and helped usher in the Communist-affiliated African National Congress. South Africa is now a close friend of Iran and Syria, the greatest terrorist nations in the world.
The “endless repetition” of our foreign-policy weakness plagues us. We fail to remember history, and we get lost in the present.
As we make nation-destroying mistakes, the press and people remain indifferent—just as we did in the past.
We learn nothing from history. The “endless repetition” of catastrophes continues until we become victims. That is what happens to dupes!
History and Churchill should have taught us powerful lessons. Instead, that history condemns us!
Churchill stated on July 9, 1935, “There lies before us a period of strain and peril which I do not think has been equalled—no, not even in the Great War [World War i].”
Hitler continued to make and break treaties. Some Europeans condoned his doing so. Others even praised him.
Then Britain made a Naval Agreement with Germany. The British leaders and people rejoiced. Churchill said this about the treaty on July 11: “I cannot feel that this German Naval Agreement is at all a matter for rejoicing. I remain still under this impression, that the one great fear of Europe is the power and might of the rearmed strength of Germany, and that the one great hope is the gathering together of powers who are conscious of that fear.”
British leaders kept hiding from the “one great fear of Europe”—Hitler. Churchill warned that the one great hope was uniting with other nations who had the courage to face their fears.
The people were easily deceived, because they didn’t want to face the painful truth. They were looking for signs of hope, which were only delusions.
Hitler used such tactics as the Naval Agreement to lull the British people to sleep. They took it as a positive sign, because they were so weak. This caused them to reject Churchill’s warning and return to their pleasures. Hitler was playing them like a fiddle.
Most people will not face their national fears. It takes strong leaders, like Churchill, to clarify and stir the people to confront the critical issues—where the people’s energies should be focused. If they lack that leadership, then the people continue, like the Titanic, until a great disaster strikes and perhaps destroys the nation. Britain and the free world came dangerously close to that end in World War ii. Have we forgotten?
“During the election campaign [Prime Minister Stanley] Baldwin effectively dashed Churchill’s hopes that rearmament would become a leading Conservative election cry. In its own Manifesto, the Labour Party had accused the Conservative Party of endangering world peace by ‘planning a vast and expensive rearmament program.’ Speaking to the Peace Society on October 31, Baldwin answered this accusation by declaring: ‘I give you my word there will be no great armaments. …
“‘There may be governments deliberately planning the future, leading reluctant or unsuspecting people into the shambles. It sometimes looks as if it were so. I confess that in my own political experience I have not encountered governments possessed of all these malevolent qualities. …’
“Churchill, however, throughout his campaign at Epping, and at Hull and Biggleswade, continued to press for much greater rearmament, and to warn of the aggressive nature of Nazism. Writing in the Daily Mail on November 12, two days before the poll, Churchill declared, in contrast to Baldwin’s view: ‘Terrible preparations are being made on all sides for war,’ and he added: ‘I do not feel that people realize at all how near and how grave are the dangers of a world explosion. Some regard the scene with perfect equanimity; many gape stolidly upon it, some are angry to be disturbed by such thoughts in their daily routine and pleasures’” (ibid).
Prime Minister Baldwin later admitted that he put his own political interest ahead of the nation’s welfare! And his country came perilously close to death. The people wouldn’t face Churchill’s warning until it was almost too late. He talked about the possible “end” of Britain’s glories. But the people did not want to think about the bloody dangers of a world explosion. They didn’t want to be disturbed from their comfortable routine and pleasures. So they voted for politicians who spoke to them about more pleasures and a prosperous world.
The same is true today. We face a far worse world explosion. But we are too glutted on sports and entertainment to heed a strong warning. As Churchill said, history continues to repeat itself! We have not learned from the powerful lessons of World War ii.
The Bible prophesies that our enemies in the end time are going to be more sophisticated and subtle than Hitler was. We are going to be betrayed and attacked by our “lovers,” or allies. And this in the time of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons!
That means we can’t afford the kind of mistake we made with Hitler. We must learn from that disaster or face a far greater catastrophe!
Churchill’s writings just before World War ii could teach us some vital and urgent lessons. If we fail to heed the warning as in World War ii, then we must experience the indescribable disaster of a nuclear World War iii!
The Great Delusion
The British leaders continued to reject the facts about Germany’s accelerating military strength. But Churchill kept proclaiming the facts and having his views reinforced by events.
Churchill wrote in January 1936, “I do not mention this to claim demonic powers for myself, but only to remind you of the very long and careful thought I have given to these questions, and that it has sometimes been vindicated by the results.
“Another instance occurred last year in November 1934 when I drew attention to the secret growth of the German military air force, and made certain statements about its strength relative to our own. These statements were disputed by Mr. Baldwin, who I presume, after full consideration of all the Intelligence information at the disposal of the Air Ministry, put forward other statements. But only a few months later, in the spring, Mr. Baldwin was forced to confess in the House of Commons that the government with their official information were wrong, adding, ‘we were all in it.’ Here then was a case in which an independent outside judgment was proved to be nearer the truth than the estimate from the government based on all their secret sources” (ibid).
This was a stunning revelation to the British people and many in Parliament! The prime minister and all of his cabinet had to confess that they were wrong. Winston Churchill, an outsider, was right.
The government, with all of its secret sources, committed a nation-threatening error. The big question is, why? The politicians put themselves and their party ahead of the nation’s welfare. They lacked the courage to face the hard truths. These “intelligent” men were leading the nation, and the whole Western world, to its death!
This is a common mistake in the history of governments. Can we trust man’s government? Our leaders? Only in proportion to their passion for the truth!
This is the lesson we should be learning from Winston Churchill and World War ii. There is something dangerously flawed about man’s governments and human reasoning. Being deceived leads to the death of nations. This is not a subject to be taken lightly!
Only Churchill stood in Nazi Germany’s way. He was our watchman who warned all of us what was coming. We were barely awakened before it was too late.
Churchill had secret sources who would send him many of the extreme statements from Hitler’s speeches that were not printed in the German press. Then he believed what Hitler said and warned accordingly. That seems simple enough, but most people didn’t believe Hitler’s words about war and destruction. That would have meant disrupting their thinking about pleasure and prosperity. That is why they became victims of a towering delusion.
The British leaders wanted Churchill, their watchman, to go away. Even one of his friends, Duff Cooper, said, “One would have thought that at Winston’s present age, and after holding so many high offices, he would have been content to settle down philosophically to become an elder statesman and to devote himself to letters” (ibid).
Churchill was 62 years old in 1936. Most people wanted him to be a more passive elder statesman! Members of Parliament didn’t want anyone to upset their smooth-running machine. They wanted to believe that there was only peace and prosperity ahead. But Churchill warned of the most dangerous times his nation had ever faced—even worse than World War i!
Britain didn’t need another elder statesman or man of letters. It needed a man who would deliver a thunderous message about the danger of Nazi Germany!
Perhaps no leader has ever been more scorned by so many leaders and people as Churchill was in those prewar years. But he was never deterred—never discouraged. He kept warning because he loved his nation and his people.
German Troops March
Hitler knew how weak the British people were. So he decided that his troops should march.
“That same week, grave events were taking place in Europe. On March 7, Hitler ordered German troops to cross into the demilitarized zone of Germany. Within hours, the Rhineland, whose demilitarized status had since 1919 provided France and Western Europe with at least the illusion of security, became the potential starting point for any German aggressive action westwards. Two days after the remilitarization of the Rhineland, the House of Commons debated the Defense White Paper. For the Labour Party, Clement Attlee moved the rejection of the government’s proposals on the grounds that they were too bellicose, and would contribute to world unrest” (ibid).
Germany had just violated a treaty it made after World War i, which it also started!
Germany marched, and the House of Commons debated and did nothing. The British were fearful of being “too bellicose,” or warlike, in their words—not deeds!
Germany’s aggressive military move clearly pointed toward war. Still, the British didn’t want to contribute to “world unrest” by opposing Germany, even with their words—certainly not by military action!
The Times newspaper, perhaps the best in the world at that time, had a headline which proclaimed, “A Chance to Rebuild.” The Times discussed rebuilding just before the greatest destruction this world has ever experienced! This world-famous newspaper helped lull people to sleep. It had a glorious opportunity to help Churchill watch and warn. Instead, it made Churchill’s job much harder!
This is a subject most people in the press don’t want to discuss today. That is because, generally speaking, they were so wrong about Germany and Churchill before World War ii.
The press failed to learn a crucial lesson. So don’t expect them to be receptive toward a strong warning today about a dangerous and militant Germany rising once again in Europe, which is about to shatter the peace of this world!
Only two years after World War ii, Germany was left to denazify itself. Still our peoples vainly hope that a militant Germany won’t resurface in this dangerous nuclear age. Like little children, we act as if the problem will go away if we ignore it.
Where is our Winston Churchill today?
Have we really learned any lessons from that recent and most destructive war ever in history? If we haven’t learned some lessons from World War ii, then our future is very bleak.
Sidebar: Winston S. Churchill: The warrior
Winston Churchill had been a soldier for many years. A warrior attitude was manifested in his political life also. So this man had the courage to withstand a most withering attack from his own people.
Most leaders would have faltered because of a weak will. This is where the whole nation failed. The people followed their leaders. They (and America) lacked the courage to face the brutal truth in the early days of Hitler’s reign. In time, Churchill was able to strengthen their will through his strong warrior spirit. He believed that every British citizen should be willing to die, choking on his or her own blood, before surrendering to Adolf Hitler.
Some wanted Churchill to be the minister of defense. But he was not the kind of defense minister those in power wanted.
“‘After today’s debate,’ Sir Maurice Hankey wrote to Sir Warren Fisher, ‘I am afraid we have got to make some concession for a minister of defense. What I want is something that will work and not upset the psychology of the whole machine.’ Both Hankey and Warren Fisher—the two most senior civil servants, were determined that the new minister should not be a disruptive influence. ‘The minister should be a disinterested type of man,’ Warren Fisher wrote to Neville Chamberlain on February 15, [1936,] ‘with no ax to grind or desire to make a place for himself’” (Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill—The Prophet of Truth).
They wanted a minister of defense who would speak to them of “smooth things”—one who would help perpetuate the grand delusion of continuing peace and prosperity. Certainly he must not be a man who would warn about a coming war. And he must have little interest in the military of Britain or Germany! Their idea of a defense minister was a man who would be easily controlled. In short, he must not be a leader!
Where do we see a watchman like Churchill today? Where is there such a man who will stand up and challenge the whole government? And even the entire nation? Where is there a political leader who has the character to boldly proclaim to our people that they have degenerated into the sewer—at a time when the world is filled with unparalleled dangers?
I see no such leader in the U.S. or Britain.
Chapter 3: Preparing for War
The danger was intensifying in 1936. Still, only Churchill was playing the watchman role. On reading one of Churchill’s speeches, Sir Clive Morrison-Bell wrote to him: “It is quite one of your best I think. You are so right about not being mealy-mouthed just now; the tone everywhere is far too apologetic, and you seem to be almost the only person who ever speaks out” (Gilbert, op cit; emphasis mine throughout).
Isn’t the tone in Britain and America apologetic and “mealy-mouthed” today? Who is there that speaks out with a strong voice in foreign policy?
We often hear that the United States spends more on defense than the next six or seven countries combined, but how much invincibility does that money actually buy?
I have said for many years that the greatest weakness of our apparently impressive military is our dependence on information technology. Nations like China have engaged in cyberespionage against the U.S., stealing our pricey defense secrets and technologies and gaining an easy advantage over us.
U.S defense officials openly acknowledge that we no longer are leaders in the development of certain modern weapon systems, despite the billions we spend on our military. One of those is anti-satellite technology. Russia, China and India already have capabilities of knocking out our defense communications satellites with missiles. If that were to happen, our expensive weapons of war could be severely handicapped—in an instant!
The United States military might look invincible if it’s fighting one enemy at a time. But Pentagon officials say that we could be militarily overwhelmed if we were forced to fight on two or more fronts simultaneously. That frightening scenario could easily become reality if enemy nations united or cooperated against us—something the Bible actually prophesies will happen!
Experts say that a major, multi-front war would be unwinnable for the U.S. if it didn’t reintroduce the draft to beef up our troop numbers. But with our deep divisions and depreciating political and moral will, how could we swiftly and successfully accomplish that?
If the United States faces such threats, in spite of its defense spending, how much worse threats does Britain face, given that the one-time military superpower of the world is now outspent on defense by five potential enemy nations?
Churchill wrote on April 9, 1936, “It seems a mad business to confront these dictators without weapons or military force, and at the same time to try to tame and cow the spirit of our people with peace films, anti-recruiting propaganda and resistance to defense measures. Unless the free and law-respecting nations are prepared to organize, arm and combine, they are going to be smashed up. This is going to happen quite soon. But I believe we still have a year to combine and marshall superior forces in defense of the League and its Covenant” (ibid).
The leaders and people had become their own worst enemy!
On April 13, 1936, he wrote to Labour M.P. Eleanor Rathbone: “We are really in great danger” (ibid).
Does it make sense to think we can confront dictators without weapons, or, if we have weapons, without the will to use them?
As the danger grew worse, the British Parliament showed more peace films and kept resisting a strong defense! And if it hadn’t been for Churchill, Britain would have been “smashed up.”
The British leaders lacked the will to even prepare for war. They certainly lacked the will to lead in such dangerous times. Weak men will never face the brutal facts until it’s too late.
A few more people were beginning to see that Churchill was right. “Three months later, at an Independent Labour Party summer school, Eleanor Rathbone declared: ‘I have described Winston Churchill as a new recruit to pro-League forces. Watch that man carefully. You may feel distrustful. So did I. I’m not certain yet. But I ask you to dispel prejudice and consider facts. Churchill for three years has pointed out extensive German rearmaments. Later facts have justified his estimates” (ibid).
Those people who listened closely to Churchill’s message and watched the terrifying events unfold knew he was right about Germany.
Churchill saw that his nation was not mentally and physically prepared for war. He warned: “‘Europe is approaching a climax. I believe that that climax will be reached in the lifetime of the present Parliament.’
“At the end of his speech, Churchill called for a Ministry of Supply, or a Ministry of Munitions, to provide the necessary armaments in good time. As he told the House of Commons: ‘Surely the question whether we should be working under peace conditions depends upon whether working under those conditions will give us the necessary deliveries of our munitions—upon whether the gun plants and the shell plants and, above all, the airplane factories can fulfill the need in time. If they can do so, then peace conditions are no doubt very convenient; but if not, then we must substitute other conditions—not necessarily war conditions, but conditions which would impinge upon the ordinary daily life and business life of this country. There are many conditions apart from war conditions—preparatory conditions, precautionary conditions, emergency conditions—and these must be established in this country if progress is to be made, and if Parliament and the nation are not to find themselves deluded in the future by mere paper programs and promises which in the result will be found to be utterly unfulfilled’” (ibid).
What a deep lesson in this statement! If only we would so examine every phase of our individual lives and the life of our nation today, we would not be easily deluded. You can tell so much about people by how easily they are deceived. Deceit is our main enemy. The whole world is deceived about true leadership and God (Revelation 12:9). But who really believes that today?
America and Britain are deeply deceived about leadership today. And we are facing a greater crisis now than World War ii! The very same nation—Germany—is going to trigger that crisis—just as it did in World Wars i and ii!
War is ready to explode in Europe and the Middle East. The global economy is on the verge of collapse!
The time for polite words is past. It is time for the blunt truth.
Churchill said, “Something quite extraordinary is afoot. All the signals are set for danger. The red lights flash through the gloom. Let peaceful folk beware. It is a time to pay attention and to be well prepared” (ibid). And so it is today. The danger signals and the red lights are flashing. But people are prone to ignore their watchmen until it is too late.
Churchill was accused of having a “strong anti-German obsession.” Sometimes we are so accused. But some of our own members are German. We believe in facing the truth. Those who fail to do so are going to learn by the sledgehammer of events!
“What woke them up was a series of horrible shocks, and intelligence from every quarter streaming in. … If I read the future aright, Hitler’s government will confront Europe with a series of outrageous events and ever growing military might. It is events which will show our dangers, though for some the lesson will come too late” (ibid).
He read the future beautifully. But most people still didn’t listen to his words and awaken until it was almost too late!
Prime Minister Baldwin publicly accused Churchill of a serious lack of judgment. But events eventually revealed who had good judgment.
Ezekiel is a prophetic book for the end time. God prophesied that He would send a watchman (Ezekiel 33:7). That is the good news. But there is also some very bad news. “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). The people don’t recognize the watchman until it is too late physically. They ignore his words until they are in the midst of a nuclear disaster.
Churchill once said, “There is a purpose being worked out here below.” He sensed that God was working out His plan. And so He is. God even used Churchill to lead the Western world to victory.
But there is no Winston Churchill to lead us to safety this time. God is not going to save us again unless we repent (verse 11).
We can’t hide and escape from the series of shocking events that are about to bombard America and Britain!
“Churchill was one of the speakers at a Ralegh Club dinner, telling the assembled students and dons: ‘When I came to Oxford to make a speech, five years ago, I said you must rearm. I was laughed at. I said we must make ourselves safe in our island home, and then laughter arose. I hope you have learned wisdom now’” (ibid).
Did Oxford learn a lasting lesson from Winston Churchill? No! Has higher education today learned from Churchill’s World War ii experience? Mostly they scorn his political views today. Would they listen to a Churchill today? The answer is no! They would treat him just as they did prior to World War ii—only worse! If he were alive he would have some strong views on what is happening today in Germany and on other monstrous problems facing the world.
Some people also laugh at our warning today. But God prophesies that the laughter is about to be totally silenced!
Only fools laugh at God’s warning message!
“[O]n June 12, Ralph Wigram sent Churchill copies of three further Foreign Office dispatches dealing with different aspects of Nazism. ‘Will you kindly destroy them when you have read them,’ he added. ‘I have marked the important passages.’ Six days later the Duchess of Atholl sent Churchill the transcript of a speech Hitler had made to the League of German Maidens. One paragraph, she pointed out, had been deleted in the broadcast version. In it Hitler had said that if war came, ‘I should fall upon my enemy suddenly, like lightning striking out of the night’” (ibid).
These words had a great impact on Churchill’s mind. He also remembered Germany’s history in warfare.
“Churchill … was convinced about the possibilities of surprise in the German organizational framework. Commenting on the 1,200 machines and 1,114 pilots for whom the Air Staff had located no specific squadron and only non-first-line duties, he wrote, ‘This would be amply sufficient to duplicate every one of the 88 squadrons now believed to have been identified. When we remember the fondness evinced by Germany in history for this particular form of surprise, and note the large number of machines and pilots which seem to have vanished into thin air and the hundred-odd aerodromes which have been constructed, this possibility cannot be excluded’” (ibid).
He understood Germany’s history of surprise attacks! The Air Staff fully agreed with him. Germany had been fond of such attacks. And this is the method of warfare they followed throughout World War ii! This happened repeatedly to Hitler’s enemy nations and even those who thought they were his friends! Daniel 8:23-25 state that deceit and surprise attacks by Germany will be even worse in World War iii! History keeps repeating itself. (Germany has a powerful air force unit stationed in New Mexico and other military facilities in the U.S. today.)
Still, the British government rejected plans to invoke emergency powers that would accelerate its military preparedness, saying, “Such powers might come as a great shock to the country and result in an upheaval of industry.” They refused to do what the crisis demanded! Time was running out.
A Thankless Service
In a speech on June 20, 1936, Churchill said, “At any rate my conscience is clear. I have done my best during the last three years and more to give timely warning of what was happening abroad, and of the dangerous plight into which we were being led or lulled. It has not been a pleasant task. It has certainly been a very thankless task. It has brought me into conflict with many former friends and colleagues. I have been mocked and censured as a scaremonger and even as a warmonger by those whose complacency and inertia have brought us all nearer to war and war nearer to us all.
“But I have the comfort of knowing that I have spoken the truth and done my duty, and as long as I have your unflinching support I am content with that. Indeed I am more proud of the long series of speeches which I have made on defense and foreign policy in the last four years than of anything I have ever been able to do in all my 40 years of public life.”
On July 15, he said, “Through our own folly and refusal to face realities and deal with evil tendencies while they were yet controllable, we have allowed brutal and intolerant forces to gain almost unchallenged supremacy in Europe and have placed ourselves in a position of weakness and peril, the like of which our history does not record for 2½ centuries.”
On July 20, he said in a speech, “We are going away on our holidays. Jaded ministers, anxious but impotent members of Parliament, a public whose opinion is more bewildered and more expressionless than anything I can recall in my life—all will seek the illusion of rest and peace.”
Many authorities agree that the Western world probably would not have survived without the warning and leadership of Winston Churchill. It is hard to imagine a greater service than that. Yet he was castigated even by many of his friends and party members as a scaremonger and warmonger. A thankless service indeed.
Yet I perceive that Churchill’s warning is being pushed aside more and more by some scholars today. It is to their shame and our terrifying danger that they do so.
Chapter 4: Illusion of Security
The British people continued to seek the comforts and pleasures of life. They wanted the easy way of self-indulgence.
On March 4, 1937, Churchill addressed the House of Commons: “I must say that I am astounded at the wave of optimism, of confidence, and even of complacency, which has swept over Parliament and over public opinion. There is a veritable tide of feeling that all is well, that everything is being done in the right way, in the right measure and in the right time” (emphasis mine throughout).
The Labour Party refused to even support rearmament in spite of Churchill’s warnings. Most people had convinced themselves that there would never be another war after World War i. Nobody who understands human nature could reach such a conclusion. Such naive reasoning always leads into dangerous deception.
Our being deceived before World War ii also reveals a greater potential danger. Many people also thought World War ii was the war to end all wars. Because we don’t understand our evil human nature (Jeremiah 17:9), we are easily deceived (Revelation 12:9), which puts us in much greater danger today. We can ill afford such deception in this age of potential nuclear destruction.
Churchill also warned, “We are in the midst of dangers so great and increasing, we are the guardians of causes so precious to the world, that we must, as the Bible says, ‘Lay aside every impediment’ ….”
Martin Gilbert wrote: “On October 3, [1936,] Churchill was present at the Oxford High School for Boys, for the unveiling of a memorial to T. E. Lawrence [Lawrence of Arabia], who had been killed in a motorcycle accident in May 1935. ‘All feel the poorer that he has gone from us,’ Churchill said. ‘In these days dangers and difficulties gather upon Britain and her empire, and we are also conscious of a lack of outstanding figures with which to overcome them’” (op cit).
Lloyd George, one of Britain’s most prominent leaders (prime minister in World War i), praised Hitler as the greatest German leader of the age. He said this in 1935, after Hitler had murdered political opponents and instituted racism. Such statements were criminal—the opposite of what a great leader should have said.
It takes great men to lead us to face huge problems. This is a sobering truth that also escapes us today. Today, as before World War ii, politics and the press often keep outstanding leaders out of office.
Winston Churchill didn’t get a leadership role until after the war began. Politicians, educational institutions and the press kept him out of office. Today, nations have nuclear weapons and the power to deliver them in minutes. If we make the same mistake Britain and America made in World War ii, our nations will not survive!
That is why I keep saying we must learn from the horrendous mistakes we made before and during World War ii—or we will wake up too late. And just as Churchill warned Britain before World War ii, we are experiencing the same lack of will against strong dictators today. History warns about this disastrous kind of retreat. Churchill said, “Parliament is dead as mutton.” The leaders and the people had no real sense of the approaching danger of World War ii. They didn’t see the danger, so they didn’t prepare for it. And they drifted into this precarious condition. They were moving “towards some hideous catastrophe.” Today Britain and America are drifting toward a far more hideous catastrophe! That is why the World War ii lesson is so vital.
If we drifted so recently (World War ii), is it alarmist to think we could do it again? “I feel our country’s safety is fatally imperiled both by its lack of arms and by the government’s attitude towards the Nazi gangsters,” Churchill said. “It is fostering in them the dangerous belief that they need not fear interference by us whatever they do. That can only encourage those savages to acts of aggression and violence of every kind. I have, therefore, chosen to go my own way and to act independently in order to further the safety of our country and of the civilization without which we cannot survive as a nation” (ibid).
Churchill knew that if Britain fell, Europe would also fall and perhaps the whole of Western civilization, including America. Some people may have forgotten how close we came to destruction in World War ii. It will be to our own deadly peril if we fail to remember.
Neville Chamberlain tried to make friends with Mussolini and Italy. One of Chamberlain’s strongest cabinet members, Anthony Eden, resigned. This was one of Churchill’s blackest moments. “I must confess that my heart sank, and for a while the dark waters of despair overwhelmed me. … From midnight till dawn I lay in my bed consumed by emotions of sorrow and fear. There seemed one strong young figure standing up against long, dismal, drawling tides of drift and surrender, of wrong measurements and feeble impulses. My conduct of affairs would have been different from his in various ways; but he seemed to me at this moment to embody the life-hope of the British nation, the grand old British race that had done so much for men, and had yet some more to give. Now he was gone. I watched the daylight slowly creep in through the windows, and saw before me in mental gaze the vision of death” (ibid).
Churchill believed that Britain’s great empire, built over centuries, would be destroyed suddenly. He was in deep sorrow, fear and despair as he watched his beloved nation drift toward disaster. But that was a mild crisis compared to the one we face today. We first must experience some of Churchill’s sorrow and fear to be motivated to change. There is hope only if we face reality and have the vision of what is on the horizon.
Most people today believe that when Germany seized Austria, only 25 to 35 percent of the Austrians supported Hitler. “Within 24 hours of the German invasion of Austria, all the brutal apparatus of Nazi tyranny was put into effect. Throughout Sunday, March 13 , and in the days and weeks that followed, all those suspected of hostility to the new order were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Many hundreds were shot. Others, fearful of Nazi terror, committed suicide” (ibid).
The weak-willed press continued to deceive the people, even after Austria was conquered, aiding Hitler more than many of his own soldiers! “The division of opinion was exacerbated by the attitude of the press. The Times in particular urged the Czechs to make concessions to Germany, and argued that it was Czech obstinacy that was the main obstacle to a peaceful settlement. Yet even the factual reports in the Times did not give a true picture of the nature of Nazi rule. On March 18 Churchill was sent a first-hand account of events in Vienna since the German occupation from a young acquaintance, David Hindley-Smith, who had been angered by reports in the Times that Hitler had received an enthusiastic welcome from an overwhelming majority of Austrians. …
“‘Is our system of government adapted to the present fierce, swift movement of events? Twenty-two gentlemen of blameless party character sitting round an overcrowded table, each having a voice—is that a system which can reach decisions from week to week and cope with the problems descending upon us and with the men at the head of the dictator states? [Churchill was wondering if a democracy was adequate in times of war. He was making a case for stronger rule from the top.] It broke down hopelessly in the war [World War i].
“‘But is this peace in which we are living? Is it not war without cannon firing? Is it not war of a decisive character, where victories are gained and territories conquered, and where ascendancy and dominance are established over large populations with extraordinary rapidity?’
“Churchill went on to warn of the dangers of allowing any momentary easing of tension to lead to complacency. ‘After a boa constrictor has devoured its prey,’ he said, ‘it often has a considerable digestive spell.’ There had been a pause after each German move—after the revelation that a secret air force had been set up, after the proclamation of conscription, and again after the militarization of the Rhineland. He went on:
“‘Now, after Austria has been struck down, we are all disturbed and alarmed, but in a little while there may be another pause. There may not, we cannot tell. But if there is a pause, then people will be saying, “See how the alarmists have been confuted; Europe has calmed down, it has all blown over, and the war scare has passed away.” The prime minister will perhaps repeat what he said a few weeks ago, that the tension in Europe is greatly relaxed. The Times will write a leading article to say how silly people look who, on the morrow of the Austrian incorporation, raised a clamor for exceptional action in foreign policy and home defense, and how wise the government were not to let themselves be carried away by this passing incident’” (ibid).
The Times was considered by many to be the greatest newspaper in the world. It had thundered many accurate warnings in the past to build its reputation. It was recognized as the voice of the British government. Now, it had descended to this: rebuking the Czechs as being “obstinate,” since they would not voluntarily give a large portion of their country to the vile Nazis! It labeled the Czechs as the obstacle to peace—not Hitler! How could a revered institution pollute the truth so badly? And its reports grotesquely distorted Austria’s image in a dangerous way. It was a powerful support to Hitler’s people-enslaving and people-destroying war machine! Its own weakness and fear stained its reputation for years to come. Much of its reporting in the 1930s was a crime against humanity!
Because it was consumed with fear, the truth was cast aside. Such powerful institutions must be held more accountable. And we trust them at our own peril!
Has the press learned from their shameful mistakes of the 1930s?
The press deceived themselves about what was really happening. But not Churchill. He kept writing and speaking against this tragedy.
Most of the newspapers that had printed his speeches and articles stopped doing so. Even the people, on average, were more inclined to agree with Winston Churchill than the press.
Churchill was great enough to rise above the press, educational institutions and politics. Do we have any such leaders today?
Churchill kept encouraging America to support the defense of Europe. “‘America’s attitude is vital to … morale,’ [Sir John] Colville noted in his diary, ‘but America is the slowest to act of all the democracies’” (Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill: Finest Hour, 1939–1941, Vol. 6).
Even some of America’s news networks were against Edward R. Murrow’s strong cbs broadcasts condemning Hitler. They feared that America’s neutrality would be compromised.
But neutral is a heinous word under those conditions! Being neutral between Hitler’s Nazis and Britain was a shameful evil. And when would we have stopped being neutral if Japan hadn’t bombed us into the war at Pearl Harbor?
Our press often fails to make strong judgments against evil deeds committed today. They too often behave as though God and the devil should have equal time. This lack of judgment and courage allows the political leaders and their “spin doctors” to play the press like a fiddle. They are used and abused by politicians. As a result, many people become confused and deceived.
America should be ashamed of this history, before and during World War ii—and not just in words. A radical lesson must be learned, or we are destined to repeat the history—which will mean a deadly calamity!
Many authorities say World Wars i and ii were the greatest tragedies of the 20th century. I disagree. The worst catastrophe is that we failed to learn a lesson from Churchill’s warning! That means we have retained our deadly capacity for deception into the nuclear age. That is why we are destined to experience a nuclear holocaust unless we wake up!
“‘What price have we all to pay for this?’ Churchill asked. ‘No one can compute it. Small countries in Europe will take their cue to move to the side of power and resolution’” (ibid).
Other nations did move closer to Hitler because of his power and strong will. At the same time, they were turning away from Britain because of its weak will.
That is exactly what is happening today with the U.S. Though we have a greater military than any nation on Earth, we lack the will to use it. That is a major reason why other nations hate us and fail to support our policies.
“So they go on in strange paradox,” Churchill continued, “decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent. So we go on preparing more months and years—precious, perhaps vital, to the greatness of Britain—for the locusts to eat” (ibid). America shared that deadly pacifism.
Winston Churchill’s own Conservative Party was turning against him. “The House of Commons listened to him with what he later described as ‘a patient air of skepticism.’ There were frequent, angry interruptions, and his criticisms of Chamberlain were widely resented by his fellow Conservative m.p.s. Bitterly he told them: ‘You are casting away real and important means of security and survival for vain shadows and for ease’” (ibid).
The people wanted to continue in a peacetime atmosphere. Churchill tried to get them into an emergency posture, in tune with what Hitler was doing. Churchill served as an outstanding watchman for the whole Western world. But it hated the messenger and rejected the message!
The people wanted to believe they were living in ordinary times. “On June 8 , Brigadier-General [Sir James Edward] Edmonds, his former literary assistant, wrote from the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defense: ‘Providence looks after us and confounds our enemies, but expects “works” as well as faith. To ensure peace we must be strong.’ But many people took it for granted that Britain was already strong, and even the News of the World, which had on May 1 published Churchill’s major warning, began to assure its readers that all was well” (ibid).
Even those who published Churchill’s major warning didn’t believe him! It’s as if they were in a coma of deception! Those institutions that should have helped Churchill worked against him. As Churchill said, this helped the people continue “living in a ‘fool’s paradise.’”
“On June 24 George Harrap published the selection of the speeches which Churchill had made on defense and foreign affairs in the 10 years since 1928. Entitled Arms and the Covenant, the volume had been both suggested and edited by Randolph [Churchill’s son], and was welcomed by his friends. … The South African writer Sarah Gertrude Millin, whom Churchill had met during her visit to England that summer, wrote on December 15, 1938, ‘The book reads like a toll and knell of doom. All that heartens me is that you yourself, as I saw, have still more heart than any other person I have met in England’” (ibid).
This book helped those who would listen to see how accurate Churchill’s prophecies and warnings were! Anybody who sought the truth could find it. But the people didn’t want to hear the truth. That was at the heart of the problem. The people wanted to hear “smooth things” and “deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). They wanted to be deceived! That is the biggest challenge each one of us must always face: Do we really want to hear the truth?
Sometimes hearing truth can be the most painful experience of our lives. It often means ripping wrong ideas from our proud minds. But the truth sets us free and greatly enriches our lives.
Hitler soon demanded that the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia be given to Germany. He said it was because many Germans lived there. But most of the Germans there did not want his rule!
Here is a shocking statement only made known to the public after the war. “Unknown to anyone outside his secret circle, Hitler was already contemplating a dramatic outcome. ‘I will decide to take action against Czechoslovakia,’ he had informed General [Wilhelm] Keitel on June 18, ‘only if I am firmly convinced, as in the case of the demilitarized zone and the entry into Austria, that France will not march, and that therefore England will not intervene’” (ibid).
Hitler was going to take action only if he was firmly convinced that France and Britain would not intervene!
This statement greatly exposes the mind of a tyrant, which America and Britain generally refuse to understand. It is not complicated. It’s very simple. But it also reveals a lot about our nations. It clearly shows that we are weak and fearful nations when facing tyrannical dictators.
It was vastly different in much of America’s history. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, never backed down from a tyrant!
There is a very strong and clear message in all this: Tyrants always prey on weakness. The only thing they understand and respect is superior force.
Why can’t our well-educated people understand this? Because they reason out of vanity, weakness and fear. That means your greatest enemy is yourself! Until we face our own weaknesses and fears, we are condemned to repeat our past mistakes.
Germany started and lost World War i. The Allied powers imposed upon the Germans the Treaty of Versailles, which prohibited them from entering into a demilitarized zone in their own nation. In the 1930s Germany broke that treaty in every way. It took military control of the demilitarized area. The world watched and did nothing, fearful that opposing the Germans would lead to war. Then when Hitler seized Austria in 1938, again the world watched and did nothing. People feared that Germany would cause a war if they stood up to the Nazis.
Hitler marched into those areas because he saw how weak Britain, France and America were. The same evaluation was being used with Czechoslovakia.
Now we can better see why Churchill called World War ii “the unnecessary war.” He believed it could have been prevented if the democracies of Europe had stood up to Hitler in the beginning.
Churchill was the only British leader the Germans feared. That fact alone should have gotten him into the British cabinet. Instead, it was the main reason he was kept out! “On August 7, the British military attaché in Berlin, Colonel [Noel] Mason-MacFarlane, reported secretly to the Foreign Office that Hitler had already decided to attack Czechoslovakia in September, whatever agreement Beneš [the Czech leader] might reach with the Sudetens. Six days later the Conservative M.P. Charles Taylor, who had been traveling in Germany, informed the Foreign Office of massive German troop movements between Nuremberg and the Czech frontier. That same day Churchill wrote to Lloyd George: ‘Everything is overshadowed by the impending trial of willpower which is developing in Europe. I think we shall have to choose in the next few weeks between war and shame, and I have very little doubt what the decision will be.’
“As the German troop movements grew, with over 1.5 million men under arms, Hitler announced that he was holding the usual peacetime maneuvers. His announcement was widely accepted by the British and French public, for, as Orme Sargent noted in a Foreign Office minute on August 15, the French press had probably received the same ‘hint’ as the British ‘to write down the German mobilization as much as possible so as not to create a sudden panic.’ Churchill, however, in an article in the Daily Telegraph on August 18, warned that ‘if the optimists were proved wrong,’ the governments who shared their views would find themselves ‘at an enormous disadvantage in the opening stages of a world war.’ His article continued: ‘It would be only common prudence for other countries besides Germany to have these same kind of maneuvers at the same time and to place their precautionary forces in such a position that, should the optimists be wrong, they would not be completely ruined’” (ibid).
What logical and practical advice. But it was rejected. Of course, the democracies ended up getting war—and shame!
Churchill thought America would come in sooner than it did in World War i. “The feeling in the United States against Germany is now far stronger than it was even in 1914,” he said. “In fact, there never has been in time of peace so fierce a feeling against any European country. It seems to me very likely that the United States would not wait so long this time before coming in themselves” (ibid).
But the U.S. again waited a long time before entering, as it did in World War i.
Sidebar: Winston S. Churchill: The Prophet
Winston S. Churchill, an excellent watchman, could just as easily be called a prophet. All he did was simply remember history and learn from it.
After entering the demilitarized Rhineland zone in 1936, a clear violation of the Versailles Treaty, Hitler and the Nazi machine gobbled up Austria in 1938. The West stood by and watched as more catastrophes followed. “Negotiations between the Czechs and the Sudeten Germans continued. ‘Our latest information from Prague is rather more encouraging,’ [Neville] Chamberlain wrote to Churchill on August 26. But Churchill did not share Chamberlain’s optimism. ‘The fabricated stories of a Marxist plot in Czechoslovakia,’ [Churchill] told his constituents at Theydon Bois on August 27, ‘and the orders to the Sudeten Deutsch to arm and defend themselves, were disquieting signs, similar to those which preceded the seizure of Austria’” (Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill, Vol. 5).
Churchill saw “disquieting signs,” but they were not signs to Prime Minister Chamberlain. That is because he refused to learn from the recent history of Hitler’s Austrian invasion.
Today, we refuse to learn from the signs of history. And some of those signs are happening inside that very same nation—Germany! Our peoples are again refusing to see what is really happening. Germany is prophesied to rise one last time, again to be the enemy of America and Britain (Isaiah 10:5-7; “Assyria” is the ancient name of Germany). God helped us in World War ii. But God has prophesied that He will oppose us in World War iii, unless we repent.
Any good watchman looks for disquieting signs and warns his people. God has given me a watchtower from which to warn our people today. If they don’t heed, their blood will be on their own heads. If I don’t warn them, that blood will be on my head! (Ezekiel 33:7-9). Either way, there will be much bloodshed, unless our people repent.
“In an anonymous paragraph which Churchill had written for the Evening Standard Londoner’s Diary on September 1, he warned of the dangers of ‘a marked decline of the will to live, and still more of the will to rule.’”
Churchill said there was a “marked decline” in Britain’s will to live and will to rule. He wondered if his people would just surrender to the Nazis without even a war—did they no longer have the will to truly live?
Martin Gilbert summed up Churchill’s position: “In this single paragraph the Times gave its support to the most extreme of the Nazi demands, the complete cession of the Sudetenland, a demand which, if met, would have condemned Czechoslovakia to disintegration, and placed a majority of the Sudeten Germans under the grim rigors of Nazi rule. That same day, the Foreign Office publicly disassociated itself from the leader, but the damage had been done. Throughout Europe it was believed that the Times, in advocating a German annexation of the Sudetenland, spoke for the British government, and that, as a result, Britain clearly would not fight to protect the Czech frontiers against German attack. On September 8  Churchill drafted a ‘letter to a correspondent’ in which he set out his views. But the letter was never made public” (ibid).
The leaders certainly no longer had the will to rule as past British empires ruled. They weren’t willing to challenge Hitler and demonstrate that will to rule! If there was a “marked decline” of their will then, how about now? It’s far worse—and what’s more, it was prophesied!
The Times newspaper now had a shameful history to remember—and perhaps try to forget! Not only did it distort the available facts, it refused to print Churchill’s view! And his view had been amazingly accurate for years. It had a blatant bias visible to the whole world. This was no small crime by the prestigious Times. Its supposed purpose was, and is, to print the truth—and the spirit of the truth. What great lessons we all have to learn.
Many readers were deceived because they failed to “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We simply cannot escape our individual responsibility. Sooner or later we must face the truth.
But again, have the press learned lessons from their own lack of will? The evidence I see shows they have grown even worse today. Since this matter involves our survival, surely each person needs to be concerned!
Our lack of will before World War ii almost caused the Western world to be destroyed. Are we making the same mistake—before a nuclear World War iii?
The Times thought it was proper to give Austria and a part of Czechoslovakia to the Nazi demons!
Would they have thought the same about their own nation? Certainly not. But this is why we lack the will to fight for righteousness anywhere: We are too selfish to be strong!
The Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia was given to Hitler without any real resistance. On September 21, Churchill immediately issued this statement to the press denouncing Chamberlain’s policy: “The partition of Czechoslovakia under pressure from England and France amounts to the complete surrender of the Western democracies to the Nazi threat of force. Such a collapse will bring peace or security neither to England nor to France. On the contrary, it will place these two nations in an ever weaker and more dangerous situation. The mere neutralization of Czechoslovakia means the liberation of 25 German divisions, which will threaten the Western front; in addition to which it will open up for the triumphant Nazis the road to the Black Sea.
“It is not Czechoslovakia alone which is menaced, but also the freedom and the democracy of all nations. The belief that security can be obtained by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal delusion. The war potential of Germany will increase in a short time more rapidly than it will be possible for France and Great Britain to complete the measures necessary for their defense” (ibid).
That is blunt language. But it’s true! Churchill knew that the issue was far more than just Czechoslovakia. It was “the freedom and democracies of all nations” that desired it.
If we truly believe in freedom, then we must support other nations and perhaps even fight for their freedom. But we lacked the will to do so before and during World War ii. We also lack the will today.
The Law of Moses
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. … And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4, 9). This is an end-time book. It is only for us today.
Daniel prophesied what would happen to us today. “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice” (Daniel 9:13-14).
Moses, the man who wrote the first five books of the Bible, also prophesied that this evil would come upon us! Unless we repent, the problems are going to get worse. God is bringing this evil upon us. It has been prophesied from man’s very beginning!
Here is one of Moses’s prophecies: “And I will break the pride of your power …” (Leviticus 26:19). I have said many times that we cannot win the war against terror—because we fear facing the origin of state-sponsored terrorism, which exists because of our weakness.
The U.S. refuses to confront the Iranian leadership—the real power behind terrorism.
We simply lack the will to deal with tyrants and finish the job. We have a pathetic lack of will in a very dangerous world. It always gets back to the will to lead and the will to follow a strong leader.
That weak will was afflicting us badly in World War ii. But the good news is, we can change that weakness if we turn to God.
Sidebar: The Beast reawakens
Today, Winston Churchill’s philosophy is becoming less and less popular as Britain and America grow weaker. Germany has begun to show some of the same ugly aggression of the past. It recognized the breakaway states of Croatia (allied with the Nazis in World War ii) and Slovenia (a Nazi puppet state in World War ii) from Yugoslavia. Civil war immediately broke out, and there has been internal war ever since.
Almost all of Europe and the U.S. were against Germany recognizing these states as independent powers. But Germany’s view prevailed and the civil war began.
The U.S. secretary of state at that time, Warren Christopher, said that “Germany bears a certain responsibility.” This view was quickly silenced by Germany’s strong complaint. As usual, America meekly submitted, and that silence continues today. Leaders are already fearful of criticizing Germany again! But they almost always criticize the Yugoslav Serbs—Germany’s bitter enemy. What an amazing turn of events.
If Germany and the Vatican were deeply repentant of what they did in World War ii, they would never have recognized these two states and challenged all the Western leaders on this issue. They would have been too ashamed to even mention it! What the Nazis and the Catholic Church did in Croatia is some of the most evil history ever recorded; it explains a lot about why the Serbs hate Croatians today! But, of course, you never hear this side of the story presented in mainstream media. Their repentance is shallow, and the West’s will is too weak to even speak out!
Meanwhile, a powerful Germany continues to rise and bully Europe and the U.S. Your Bible reveals that what the Nazis did in World War ii was child’s play compared to what they are going to do in the near future—unless we wake up! And we don’t have much time to do so.
Germany started both world wars during the 20th century—still in the memory of some older people. The Allied powers promised to never allow Germany to rearm so it could start another war! But all those promises have now been forgotten—to our great peril!
There has been an alarming increase in right-wing extremism in Germany. So it isn’t alarmist to discuss such issues. It seems unbelievable if we don’t!
Chapter 5: Winston S. Churchill: The Leader
“Eleanor Rathbone wrote to Churchill of how relieved she was that he had been to the Foreign Office, and she added: ‘There is a great longing for leadership and even those who are far apart from you in general politics realize that you are the one man who has combined full realization of the dangers of our military position with belief in collective international action against aggression. And if we fail again now, will there ever be another chance?’” (Gilbert, op cit; emphasis mine throughout).
Some people were beginning to wonder if Britain would survive. The policy of surrender after surrender to the Nazis was taking its toll.
There was a long period without real leadership. Some of the people were beginning to yearn for strong leaders.
Where are our strong leaders today?
How long will it be before we are longing for powerful leaders? How long are we going to seek leaders who will tell us “smooth things”? How much must we suffer before we change our desires? When are we going to learn from history?
“[O]n September 14, Josiah Wedgwood wrote to Churchill:
“‘My dear Winston,
“‘Do our folk really mean business? They seem to have seen everyone but you, and it is inconceivable to me that they should actually be facing up to war if they have not called you in—inconceivable that we should not be disgraced without you. …
“‘Not one of these people had anything to do with the direction of the last war. They are babies, if not cowards. You, or God, will have to help if this country is now to be saved’” (ibid).
The fact that Churchill was not in the government was a sign that the leaders hadn’t faced reality. But it is so easy for weak and fearful people to reason around the truth.
Were many of our leaders like babies? “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:1-4). God even prophesied that our leaders in this end time would be like babes. This is an end-time prophecy (Isaiah 30:8). And notice the nation is falling apart at the same time! There isn’t even enough bread and water for the people.
This is where weak leaders take us! It can only end in the worst possible calamity! There is cause and effect. What a terrifying price to pay for following the wrong leaders.
The military men and eloquent orators like Churchill are gone today. And our leaders are making childish decisions—and childish speeches!
We are so childish that we are almost totally unaware of our lack of real leaders. We fail to see it as a curse from God! No great nation can survive without strong leadership. Childish leaders lack the will to face strong tyrants. Our will is broken in our leaders, exactly as God prophesied. When will we face the brutal truth about ourselves?—and then repent? People who have faith in God never have a weak will.
In World War ii, Britain needed a leader as bold as a lion. Instead, it was getting rabbits, and Britain continued to falter. “While Chamberlain was speaking, a message was brought in from the Foreign Office, given to Lord Halifax in the Gallery and then brought down to Chamberlain at the despatch box. It was an invitation from Hitler for a four-power conference at Munich, to which Chamberlain, [French President Édouard] Daladier and Mussolini were invited. Chamberlain broke off his speech in order to announce the news. Then, amid great excitement and applause, he declared that he would accept the invitation, and fly to Munich. Most M.P.s rose in their seats and waved their order papers with enthusiasm. Churchill, Eden, Amery and Harold Nicolson remained seated. Those M.P.s near Churchill called out, as Lennox-Boyd recalled, ‘Get up! Get up!’” (ibid).
Weak people try to force others to follow them. In this they are very strong! Their reasons are very weak because they don’t have the truth. That leads them to demonize those who oppose them. They can’t accept the truthful message, so they attack the messenger.
That condition is rampant in American and British politics today.
The Munich Surrender
Neville Chamberlain quickly and meekly responded when Hitler summoned him to Munich. He went there to sign a document of shame.
The British and French had forced the Czechs into giving Hitler the Sudetenland, a vital part of their country. Winston Churchill was deeply ashamed and alarmed for his country. “‘How, [Churchill] asked, could honorable men with wide experience and fine records in the Great War [World War i] condone a policy so cowardly? It was sordid, squalid, subhuman and suicidal.’ ‘The sequel to the sacrifice of honor,’ Churchill warned, ‘would be the sacrifice of lives, our people’s lives’” (ibid).
There is always a sequel to sacrificing honor. Churchill had the vision to see where it was leading. It often leads to war. But that wasn’t all bad. It is only through war that the British people would ever have accepted Churchill’s leadership.
“Throughout the morning [of September 30] the British government urged the Czechs to accept the ‘Munich’ terms; at noon Beneš agreed to do so. That afternoon Chamberlain flew back to London. ‘Vast crowds in the streets,’ Oliver Harvey recorded in his diary, ‘hysterical cheers and enthusiasm’” (ibid).
People talked of giving Chamberlain the Nobel Peace Prize. One newspaper even labeled him the Prince of Peace.
Churchill was almost alone. Still he was unmoved by the tide against him.
This event led to a heated debate in the British Parliament. Here is what Churchill had to say: “‘I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely, that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat, and that France has suffered even more than we have. …’
“‘All is over,’ Churchill continued. ‘Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and with the League of Nations, of which she has always been an obedient servant.’ … [F]inally they [Britain and France] had accepted the ‘immediate transfer’ of large areas to Germany without even the semblance of self-determination. ‘It is fraud and a farce to invoke that name,’ he said. …
“The ‘abandonment and ruin’ of Czechoslovakia was not, Churchill said, to be considered only in the light of the September crisis. There was a far more somber perspective in which it had to be set:
“‘It is the most grievous consequence which we have yet experienced of what we have done and of what we have left undone in the last five years—five years of futile good intention, five years of eager search for the line of least resistance, five years of uninterrupted retreat of British power, five years of neglect of our air defenses. Those are the features which I stand here to declare and which marked an improvident stewardship for which Great Britain and France have dearly to pay.’ …
“Churchill refused to accept the view that the Munich Agreement was a triumph for British diplomacy, or that it would open the way, as Chamberlain believed, to a reduction of European tension, and to even closer relations between Britain and Germany. Starkly, he declared:
“‘We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi power.’ …
“In the five days since Chamberlain’s return from Munich there had been much public rejoicing. Almost every newspaper had been ecstatic in his praise. The enthusiasm of the crowds in Downing Street seemed to have no parallel. Churchill ended his speech by referring to this public jubilation:
“‘I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week—I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth.
“‘They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies: “Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting”‘” (ibid).
That speech almost destroyed Churchill’s political career. He had been kept out of office for nearly 10 years. But still he played a role in Parliament. Now his own party was turning against him and most of them wanted him out of Parliament.
“Press reaction to Churchill’s speech was mixed. The Daily Express called it ‘an alarmist oration by a man whose mind is soaked in the conquests of Marlborough,’ and believed that his decision not to support the government ‘weakens his influence among the members of the Conservative Party.’ According to the Times, Churchill ‘treated a crowded House to prophecies which made Jeremiah appear an optimist’ and went on to refer to Churchill’s ‘dismal sincerity.’ For its part, the Daily Telegraph believed that Churchill’s warnings ‘verified by events, have entitled him to be heard …’” (ibid).
The prestigious Times labeled him a Jeremiah. What it failed to do was label itself as a type of the sinful and rebellious people Jeremiah had to deal with. But that’s not all. Jeremiah’s experience was only a type of what was prophesied to happen in this end time. So we all need to be familiar with the book of Jeremiah.
“The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jeremiah 23:20). The expression “shall consider it perfectly” should read “understand it thoroughly.” God prophesied that His very elect would proclaim to America, Britain and the world the meaning of Jeremiah’s book today. And so we are.
Jeremiah spoke of the worst suffering ever to come upon our peoples. But there is good news. David is about to be resurrected to rule over us, under Christ (Jeremiah 30:1-9). But times are about to get a lot worse, before that happens.
Robert Boothby, one of Churchill’s friends, was deeply agitated and worried by what Winston was doing. Churchill wrote to him: “I do not understand the agitation which seized you in these moments of what is, after all, only petty parliamentary action. You get so distressed about these matters both at the beginning and at the end, and nearly all our friends thought you had crumpled under the strain. You will certainly live to see many worse things than you have seen at present” (ibid).
Churchill had the vision to see what was coming, and warned his people—as we must do today. The trials we have today are petty compared to what is coming before Christ returns!
All these events are designed to turn us to God. How soon that happens is up to us. God is going to get our attention through words—or the Great Tribulation.
Churchill spelled out in precise detail what was coming. We do the same today, with God’s revelation. Our peoples are going to be without excuse. God is showering us with His loving message at this very moment.
French politician Pierre-Étienne Flandin even congratulated Hitler on the Munich Agreement. I doubt that he did the same when Hitler conquered France a few months later.
What happened at Munich in September 1938 discouraged Churchill more than any event ever before in his political career. But still he remained strong and kept warning—even as the British leaders kept dragging the people closer to war through weakness!
How glorious is strength—even in defeat. But there was some positive response to Churchill’s speech. “The impact of Churchill’s Munich speech was considerable. But Violet Bonham Carter wrote to him on October 6, as soon as it was over, ‘Will it pierce the shell of those drowsy tortoises? Dragging us to our doom?’ That same day Emery Revesz wrote from Paris: ‘Your speech in the House was grand. It made a very big impression over here on all those who can still be impressed. …’ Revesz added that in the Chamber everyone had voted for the Munich Agreement ‘in order to avoid being called a “bellicist,”‘ and he went on: ‘There will come a great reaction one day in France, but, of course, too late.’ Writing on October 20 Paul Reynaud declared: ‘One of your colleagues, a Labour M.P., told me of the very great success of your speech and the increasing importance of your position in Britain. I rejoice that this should be so.’ On October 22 Churchill received a letter from Germany from an anonymous ‘German citizen’ who wrote: ‘You have no idea of the respect which the German people hold for you, Duff Cooper, Eden and other English statesmen who defend justice’” (ibid).
France did wake up, after it was too late. And Britain and America are also prophesied to wake up in this end time—only after it’s too late. The Prophet Ezekiel warns, “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
Britain was desperate for help. Churchill made an appeal to America. For the most part, we ignored him. “Churchill told his American listeners that only intense, rapid rearmament, and the immediate close cooperation of Britain and the United States, could redress the balance. ‘We are left in no doubt where American conviction and sympathies lie,’ he said, ‘but will you wait until British freedom and independence have succumbed, and then take up the cause, when it is three-quarters ruined, yourselves alone?’” (ibid).
He was giving us some gentle correction, but we rejected it. Churchill knew that America was sympathetic toward Britain. But not enough to do anything! Just like the people Ezekiel prophesied about! When war came, as Churchill predicted, then the people finally knew he was right. And when all of the prophecies of Ezekiel and other prophets come to pass, the people will know God’s watchman warned them. But then it will be too late physically!
Churchill and many Europeans wondered when America would take up the cause against the world’s worst tyrant ever! It was not a good chapter in America’s history. But what is worse, we learned virtually nothing from that time of tragic shame! Our leaders in America and Britain were leading our peoples into disaster. The leaders’ weaknesses had infected the people. Only Churchill was able and willing to speak out against the unparalleled evil of Hitler.
One of Churchill’s friends, the Conservative Duchess of Atholl, lost her election. He encouraged her not to quit, but to run as an Independent. He wrote to her: “[Your defeat] would be widely accepted as another sign that Great Britain is sinking under the weight of her cares, and no longer has the spirit and willpower to confront the tyrannies and cruel persecutions which have darkened this age” (ibid).
Repeatedly, Churchill mentioned Britain’s weakened or broken will. That process was well underway in World War ii. It is far worse today. But our people refused to heed Herbert W. Armstrong’s message before, during and after the war. And they continue to reject God’s warning today. So God intensifies the punishment.
“And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass …. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins” (Leviticus 26:19, 21). That means God is going to keep putting on more intensive pressure until we repent! Our will to fight, militarily, is going to be totally broken! How much we suffer depends on how soon we repent. “And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins” (verses 23-24). Read the whole chapter. It is the future of America and Britain because these nations don’t repent. God deals with us according to our own hardness.
The leaders in America and Britain before World War ii were very weak. (Even Stalin exploited this weakness at the end of the war when it appeared as though we had regained our “strength.”)
“But Chamberlain was still reluctant to authorize any great increase in armaments, telling his cabinet: ‘There had been a good deal of talk in the country and in the press about the need for rearmament by this country. In Germany and Italy it was suspected that this rearmament was directed against them, and it was important that we should not encourage these suspicions …’” (ibid).
Not only was Chamberlain unwilling to arm Britain militarily, he was afraid to even talk of rearmament! He thought it might make the enemies more suspicious! How can you explain such a sick weakness?
Abraham Lincoln once said, “We cannot escape history.” This history must teach us a lesson or we will lose our freedom! It took courage and bloodshed to establish our freedom, and it will take courage and bloodshed to sustain that freedom. But even more, we must repent of our sins.
Hitler gave a good evaluation of our leaders, but did anyone really learn a lesson? “On November 14 the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Policy met to discuss the effects of the Munich Agreement. Halifax told the committee that Hitler was reported as saying, ‘If I were Chamberlain I would not delay for a minute to prepare my country in the most drastic way for a “total” war and I would thoroughly organize it. If the English have not got universal conscription by the spring of 1939 they may consider their world empire as lost. It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal’” (ibid).
Nobody can honestly and logically deny that Hitler was right. This is not God’s world. Satan rules this Earth (2 Corinthians 4:4), and such vile leaders will continue to come on the world scene. Even now they taunt and bully our weak leaders. And it’s going to get a lot worse because we didn’t learn from our weakness of World War ii.
Those grave mistakes should have been a call to action. Instead, we continue blundering—only 10 times worse today.
As Churchill warned, the leaders at that time also kept repeating mistakes. “In 1934 I warned Mr. Baldwin that the Germans had a secret air force and were rapidly overhauling ours. I gave definite figures and forecasts. Of course, it was all denied with all the weight of official authority. I was depicted a scaremonger. Less than six months after, Mr. Baldwin had to come down to the House and admit he was wrong and he said, ‘We are all to blame,’ and everybody said, ‘How very honest of him to admit his mistake.’
“He got more applause for making this mistake, which may prove fatal to the British Empire and to British freedom, than ordinary people would do after they rendered some great service which added to its security and power. Well, Mr. Chamberlain was, next to Mr. Baldwin, the most powerful member of that government. He was chancellor of the Exchequer. He knew all the facts. His judgment failed just like that of Mr. Baldwin and we are suffering from the consequences of it today” (ibid).
Robin Londonderry, a Conservative member in Parliament, wrote to Churchill: “I have listened to practically all your speeches since I have been in the House and your utterances have been strangely prophetic” (ibid).
Yet Neville Chamberlain still believed peace was coming. He wrote on February 19, 1939: “I myself, am going about with a lighter heart than I have had for many a long day. All the information I get seems to point in the direction of peace and I repeat once more that I believe we have at last got on top of the dictators” (ibid).
Winston Churchill always believed that free people ought to fight as much as possible against tyranny anywhere in the world. This was especially true if a freedom-loving country was being attacked by a tyrant. He thought that if you truly believed in freedom and law then you must be willing to fight to defend those precious values anywhere in the world.
Churchill had begun working on his epic History of the English-Speaking Peoples in the 1930s. About that four-volume set, he wrote to his research assistant in 1939: “In the main, the theme is emerging of the growth of freedom and law, of the rights of the individual, of the subordination of the state to the fundamental and moral conceptions of an ever comprehending community. Of these ideas the English-speaking peoples were the authors, then the trustees, and must now become the armed champions. Thus I condemn tyranny in whatever guise and from whatever quarter it presents itself. All this of course has a current application.”
Britain and America were the main authors and trustees of the rights of the individual. But they were refusing to be “the armed champions.” Hitler was destroying the freedom and rights of the individual wherever he conquered, and our peoples even helped him do it by influence or by remaining silent!
Notice, Churchill said “freedom and law.” If the law does not prevail, then freedom is destroyed and the nation probably is as well. It degenerates into everyone doing that which is right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25). That condition prevails today in Britain and America. Why? Because we don’t love freedom and law (specifically the Ten Commandments).
Hitler’s emergence gave a deeper meaning to those precious values, especially to Winston Churchill. But it should awaken the rest of us also. Today our peoples don’t understand those unparalleled blessings and how to maintain them.
“Churchill went on to say he supported the government’s present policies and the Military Training Bill because the situation was too dangerous to hold an election to endorse the change of policy, and he went on to warn that if compulsory service were rejected, ‘the whole resistance of Europe to Nazi domination would collapse. All countries great and small alike would make the best terms they could with the Nazi power and we should be left alone with our great possessions to settle up with the dictators ourselves.’
“Churchill then asked of the introduction of conscription in peacetime, ‘Is this peace?’ and went on to answer his own question:
“‘We have had three disastrous campaigns, and the battles, the actions of the war, have gone not only against us but against the principles of law and freedom, against the interests of the peaceful and progressive democracies. Those battles already make a long catalogue—the Rhineland, Abyssinia, Austria, Munich, Prague and Albania [and Spain]. We are all, then, agreed that circumstances are analogous to war actually prevailing’” (ibid).
He understood the deep psychology behind these events. Nations were being enslaved, and other nations were so fearful that their politicians and the media were often silenced about saying anything against Hitler!
It was not true peace for most of Europe, but fearful leaders called it that.
If we truly love freedom, we are not going to throw a freedom-loving nation to the wolves! Our actions reveal whether or not we truly believe in freedom.
Again, we didn’t learn the big lessons about Hitler and freedom from World War ii.
Hitler had now conquered all of Czechoslovakia and then denounced the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934. The danger kept intensifying.
Freedom was being squelched all over Europe. “In Greece, since the Italian occupation of Albania, and despite the British guarantee to Greece, ‘no article criticizing fascism or Nazism has been allowed to be published’ and articles by Churchill, Eden, Attlee, Duff Cooper and Wickham Steed had all been prohibited. Churchill sent a copy of Revesz’s letter to Sir Alexander Cadogan at the Foreign Office. The growing German control of the press in neutral countries was, he wrote in his covering letter, ‘a serious matter,’ and on May 8 he wrote direct to Revesz: ‘I am indeed sorry to hear that the net is closing round our activities, through fear of Germany’” (ibid).
The neutral nations were now afraid to even speak out against Hitler and Mussolini. They were more and more allying themselves with Nazism and fascism.
One strong, tyrant nation, if unchecked, destroys freedom. This has happened in many Arab countries of the Middle East. That is because America has allowed Iran, radical Islam and terrorists to strike fear in other nations. Now these same nations are moving away from the U.S. and becoming allies with Iran. This is causing massive shifts in world power. Dictators must be controlled, or this is the tragic result.
Where Are the Leaders?
What Churchill did before World War ii should be deeply remembered, even more than what he did during the war. That is because we must be better prepared than we were for World War ii or we won’t survive a nuclear attack. Being unprepared invites such an attack.
“On May 27 Robert Boothby wrote to Churchill: ‘One of the few things in my life of which I am proud is that in all matters of major policy during the past five years I have hitched my wagon to your star,’ and he added: ‘Long after the names of the miserable creatures who are now supposed to govern us have been lost in a merciful oblivion, the incredible services you have rendered this country since 1933 will be remembered’” (ibid). For six years Churchill had been strongly warning Britain. It has been remembered, but not deeply enough for us to learn the needful lesson.
Before World War ii, some people began to see Churchill’s value to Britain and the whole world. But today we live in good times and forget what he did and its importance to us.
He was a watchman used by God to help save the Western world. But Churchill’s example then was also intended to be a warning for us today! What value is a watchman if we forget his message? God will not send another Churchill—but He is sending a spiritual watchman to help us remember.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (Malachi 3:16). We are to remember what God taught us in the past, whether it was through a Churchill or an end-time Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong (Malachi 4:5-6).
Human nature tends toward catastrophe, which is why we must remember. In this nuclear age, human survival is at stake.
In 1939, Churchill began to have a nightmarish fear. “As the summer progressed, Churchill became increasingly worried about the sense of defeatism and despair which he began to feel around him. At dinner on June 14, when he found himself sitting next to the American columnist Walter Lippmann, he was shocked to learn from Lippmann that the United States ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, was telling his friends that when war came Britain, facing defeat, would negotiate with Hitler. Harold Nicolson, who was present at the dinner, recalled that the moment Churchill heard the word ‘defeat’ he turned to Lippmann and declared: “‘No, the ambassador should not have spoken so, Mr. Lippman; he should not have said that dreadful word. Yet supposing (as I do not for one moment suppose) that Mr. Kennedy were correct in his tragic utterance, then I for one would willingly lay down my life in combat, rather than, in fear of defeat, surrender to the menaces of these most sinister men. It will then be for you, for the Americans, to preserve and to maintain the great heritage of the English-speaking peoples …’” (ibid).
Joseph Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador (father of John and Robert Kennedy), graduated from Harvard. He was not a good representative of that institution. But then almost all of the college institutions were against Churchill! And those liberal beliefs are even more rampant in education today. That means our educational institutions, which are to set the example in learning truth, learned very little if anything from Churchill’s experience before and during World War ii.
The word “defeat” was a dreadful word to Churchill, and yet today America is forcing the little Middle Eastern nation of Israel to give back the land it has won after being repeatedly attacked by the Arabs from 1967 to today. And we have made Israel look like the evil party for resisting some of our pressure! How sick and upside down! It doesn’t take a genius to know that the Arabs must one day win. They can’t lose every battle. But even when they lose, Israel returns the conquered territory. It is a defeatist policy destined to fail! This is a philosophy of weakness, surrender and defeat, and it would have been abhorrent to Churchill.
Clearly, our leaders in politics, education and the press were wrong in the 1930s about Germany. Our peoples are even weaker and more anti-God today. Still, they continue to follow our leaders in their defeatist policies.
Churchill feared that his people were slipping into a dangerous defeatist attitude. At the same time, he warned them that, when dealing with a tyrant like Hitler, the only argument that counts is force.
Parliament on Vacation
What happened next was a massive lesson of the childlike leaders Britain had in Parliament. “In discussing the government’s policy, Churchill told [Maj. Gen. Sir Edward Louis] Spears that Chamberlain’s decision to adjourn Parliament from August 4 to October 3 was a grave error of judgment, which could only encourage the Germans to believe that Britain would not take decisive action when the crisis came, and would also convince the Russians that Britain was not in earnest about an alliance. Churchill had decided to speak against this two-month adjournment, and read Spears a draft of the speech which he intended to deliver on August 2, asking for Parliament to be recalled on August 22 or 25. …
“‘Abroad,’ Churchill said during the debate itself, ‘the House of Commons is counted, and especially in dictator countries, as a most formidable expression of the British national will and an instrument of that will in resistance to aggression.’ His speech continued:
“‘This is an odd moment for the House to declare that it will go on a two months’ holiday. … Is this, then,’ he asked, ‘the moment that we should separate and declare that we separate until October 3? Who can doubt that there is going to be a supreme trial of willpower, if not indeed a supreme trial of arms.’ He added:
“‘At this moment in its long history, it would be disastrous, it would be pathetic, it would be shameful for the House of Commons to write itself off as an effective and potent factor in the situation, or reduce whatever strength it can offer to the firm front which the nation will make against aggression.’”
Churchill then concluded, “It is a very hard thing, and I hope it will not be said, for the government to say to the House, ‘Begone! Run off and play. Take your masks with you. Do not worry about public affairs …’” (ibid).
Churchill kept coming back to the “British national will and an instrument of that will” and “a supreme trial of willpower.” Let me repeat that God prophesied that our will to use our military power would be broken in this end time (Leviticus 26:19). Our will was being broken even then because of sin, and it is much worse today.
When are we going to awaken?
Leopold Amery, Harold Macmillan and Ronald Cartland were among those Conservatives who had argued during the debate in favor of an early recall. Cartland later told his sister, “After Neville’s speech our little group shuffled disconsolately into the lobby. Winston came out. ‘Well,’ I said to him, ‘We can do no more.’
“‘Do no more, my boy?’ he echoed. ‘There is a lot more we can do. This is the time to fight—to speak—to attack!’”
Continuing from Martin Gilbert’s biography on Churchill: “On August 8, in a 15-minute broadcast to the United States, Churchill put into practice his advice to Ronald Cartland of six days before, telling his American listeners:
“‘Holiday time, ladies and gentlemen! Holiday time, my friends across the Atlantic! Holiday time, when the summer calls the toilers of all countries for an all-too-brief spell from the offices and mills and stiff routine of daily life and bread-winning, and sends them to seek if not rest, at least change in new surroundings, to return refreshed and keep the myriad wheels of civilized society on the move.
“‘Let me look back—let me see. How did we spend our summer holidays 25 years ago? Why, those were the very days when the German advance guards were breaking into Belgium and trampling down its people on their march towards Paris! Those were the days when Prussian militarism was—to quote its own phrase—“hacking its way through the small, weak, neighbor country” whose neutrality and independence they had sworn not merely to respect but to defend.’ …
“As to the hush that he had said was ‘hanging over Europe,’ what kind of a hush was it, he asked, and answered his own question:
“‘Alas! it is the hush of suspense, and in many lands it is the hush of fear. Listen! No, listen carefully; I think I hear something—yes, there it was quite clear. Don’t you hear it? It is the tramp of armies crunching the gravel of the parade-grounds, splashing through rain-soaked fields, the tramp of 2 million German soldiers and more than a million Italians—“going on maneuvers”—yes, only on maneuvers!
“‘Of course it’s only maneuvers—just like last year. After all, the dictators must train their soldiers. They could scarcely do less in common prudence, when the Danes, the Dutch, the Swiss, the Albanians—and of course the Jews—may leap out upon them at any moment and rob them of their living space, and make them sign another paper to say who began it.
“‘Besides these German and Italian armies may have another work of liberation to perform. It was only last year they liberated Austria from the horrors of self-government. It was only in March they freed the Czechoslovak Republic from the misery of independent existence. It is only two years ago that Signor Mussolini gave the ancient kingdom of Abyssinia its Magna Charta. It is only two months ago that little Albania got its writ of Habeas Corpus. …
“‘No wonder the armies are tramping on when there is so much liberation to be done, and no wonder there is a hush among all the neighbors of Germany and Italy while they are wondering which one is going to be “liberated” next’” (ibid).
Many of his prominent friends were still calling him a warmonger.
Here is what happened 11 days before world war was declared by Britain. “On August 23, Churchill returned to London. The news that greeted him was of an impending agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. On the following day the Daily Mirror published his article, ‘At the Eleventh Hour!’ In view of the Soviet-German ‘intrigue,’ he wrote, it was becoming ‘increasingly difficult to see how war can be averted. … Events are moving forward from every quarter and along all roads to catastrophe. The German military preparations have already reached a point where action on the greatest scale is possible at any moment.’
“That evening Archibald Sinclair telephoned Churchill to find out his reaction to the Nazi-Soviet agreement. ‘The latter has just returned from Paris,’ Harold Nicolson recorded in his diary, ‘and is in high fettle. The French are not at all perturbed by the Russo-German Pact’” (ibid).
There were signs galore of a coming war, but the British and French leaders kept ignoring them. Again, what a fulfillment of the prophecy about “children ruling over them.” The leaders were hiding from the danger as they vacationed. If ever there was a time not to go on vacation, this was it!
So how much can we trust the leaders of our land? God says we are under a curse if we do so! (Jeremiah 17:5).
On September 1, Germany marched into Poland. The English Parliament was on vacation! But they had been on vacation for most of a decade as far as their duty was concerned.
Although Britain declared war on September 3, Neville Chamberlain still believed he might negotiate peace with Hitler! “Were German troops to withdraw, Chamberlain added, ‘the way would be open to discussions between Germany and Poland, a discussion with which the British government would be ‘willing to be associated.’ Leopold Amery recalled in his memoirs:
“‘The House was aghast. For two whole days the wretched Poles had been bombed and massacred, and we were still considering within what time limit Hitler should be invited to tell us whether he felt like relinquishing his prey!’” (ibid).
War quickly puts people’s views into a proper perspective. Many people now had to see and admit that Winston Churchill was right.
What a powerful watchman Churchill was. What a marvelous example he was for all of us. His friend Brendan Bracken evaluated his watchman work extremely well, as noted by Martin Gilbert: “Winston has won his long fight. Our government is now adopting the policy that he advised three years ago. No public man in our time has shown more foresight, and I believe that his long, lonely struggle to expose the dangers of the dictatorships will prove to be the best chapter in his crowded life.”
Winston Churchill was a magnificent watchman.
Chapter 6: The Glory of Empire
Imagine if Winston Churchill visited London today—perhaps to watch an international sporting event or to speak before Parliament. What would he think?
Churchill was the greatest figure of the 20th century, and perhaps the most towering personality to come out of Britain in the last few centuries. Though Churchill had and still has some critics and detractors, few ever questioned his love for his country.
Churchill is still widely considered a great man. He was a fearless warrior and masterful military tactician and leader. He was a brilliant statesman and a quick-witted politician. He was also an exceptional historian, an eloquent orator, a gifted painter and one of history’s most underrated philosophers. Excelling in any one of these fields is enough to qualify a man as great, yet Churchill excelled in each of these areas.
But what motivated Winston Churchill? What motivated him to devote virtually every minute of his life to fighting for his nation? What motivated him to master military tactics and strategy? What motivated him to work so hard to become a great public speaker? What motivated him to endure the hard slog of politics? What motivated him, even in the twilight years of his life, to churn out articles, columns and books?
What was it that motivated Winston Churchill to become a great man?
Child of the Empire
Winston Churchill was born in November 1874. Queen Victoria was on England’s royal throne at the time, and the British Empire was near the apex of its global might and majesty.
During the reign of Victoria, the British Empire’s holdings around the globe expanded until it had become the largest empire in history. Though Great Britain was a small island nation, by the end of the 19th century it was said that the sun never set on its territory. With its colonies, protectorates and territories, the empire included over 14 million square miles of land and 450 million people—more than a quarter of the global population. With supremacy at sea, Britain took on the role of global policeman, and came to dominate world politics.
The vast tracts of lands it possessed to harvest natural resources brought great wealth into the empire. Owning such a large amount of the planet gave Britain unparalleled power in world trade, and granted it significant influence over the economies of countries like China, Siam (Thailand) and Argentina. In Britain’s ports, ships arrived from all over the globe carrying goods and raw materials that fueled the local economy. The wealth supported an age of scientific, industrial, cultural and military advancement within the United Kingdom.
It was within this environment of imperial greatness that Winston Churchill grew up. In his book Churchill and His Generals, Raymond Callahan explains the impact the British Empire had on Churchill’s mental, intellectual and moral maturation: “Churchill’s hostility toward Bolshevism abroad and socialism at home had its parallel in his reaction to nationalism in the empire. He had grown up with the late Victorian surge of empire building. He was 8 when Britain occupied Egypt, 11 when Gordon fell at Khartoum, and present when Gordon was avenged at Omdurman in 1898. The empire he had known as a young man always would seem to him part of the natural order of things …” (emphasis mine throughout).
Churchill passionately loved the British Empire, more than anything else in his life. He wanted the empire to be part of the natural order of things. Callahan continues: It was “beneficent and an indispensable prop of British power and greatness. Yet his entire political career would be played out in an era of challenge and dissolution for imperial rule.” Every minute of Churchill’s life, every decision and tactic, every new bill, every column and book, stemmed from his devotion to the British Empire!
It is easy to oversimplify Winston Churchill’s love of the empire. He didn’t love it simply because it was English, or powerful and wealthy, or because it ruled over tens of millions of people. Churchill’s writings show that his love for empire went much, much deeper. There was a selfless, altruistic, noble dimension to his devotion.
Winston Churchill wanted to share the British Empire with the rest of mankind.
Empire With a Purpose
Churchill believed the British Empire had a larger purpose. During World War ii, he once stated, “[W]hatever may happen on the Continent, we cannot doubt our duty, and we shall certainly use all our power to defend the island, the empire and our cause.” Perhaps most of his countrymen were fighting only for England, or for the British Commonwealth. But Winston Churchill was fighting for humanity!
Historians have noted how Churchill would speak of England’s special destiny. Merriam-Webster defines destiny as “something to which a person or thing is destined; a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.” Churchill was never an overly religious man. But he did, especially as he got older, believe in the presence of a Higher Power, and that there was a grand strategy being worked out on Earth.
On one occasion Churchill announced, “I have not become the king’s first minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.” Here’s what Lord Moran, Churchill’s doctor and close confidante from 1940 till 1965, said about that statement: “[I]t was not just bravado. He was affirming a faith for which he was prepared to give his life, and he proved it throughout his life.”
Lord Moran then stated, “If Winston has believed in anything at all in the course of his long life, it has been in the British Empire and all that it stands for.’”
Churchill’s ambitions were larger and nobler because he filled his mind with empire thinking. This expanded his ability to give selflessly and tirelessly, to sacrifice and do whatever was necessary to grow and preserve that empire.
Author and historian Kirk Emmert explored Churchill’s devotion in his excellent book Winston S. Churchill on Empire. He wrote, “The word ‘empire’ in the title is to be taken on many levels. The glory of the British Empire was its service to a cause that transcended Britain, that transcended history, that transcended time itself.”
Of course, the British Empire wasn’t even close to being perfect; there were plenty of mistakes and injustices. But it emphatically was not the cruel, evil and inhumane force that many today think it was.
Emmert wrote that in Churchill’s view, the British Empire acted to “lift human life away from barbarism and savagery towards civilization and human excellence.” In many instances, that is exactly what it did. It was, as Churchill believed, a powerful civilizing force that benefited all of humanity!
Empire the World Needs
Historian Niall Ferguson explains in detail the good work of the British Empire in his book Empire. Despite the wide criticism leveled at the British Empire today, he writes, “the fact remains that no organization in history has done more to promote the free movement of goods, capital and labor than the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And no organization has done more to impose Western norms of law, order and governance around the world.”
Ferguson does a very good job making the case that “the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain’s age of empire.” He documents Britain’s towering contributions to the lands it colonized and to humanity in general—contributions that included the English language and literature; English forms of land ownership, Scottish and English banking, Common Law, team sports, representative assemblies, and modern notions of freedom and liberty.
All these things were rooted in Judeo-Christian values, which the British shared with mankind during their global rule.
Isn’t an empire that leads the world away from savagery toward human excellence a good thing? This world needs that kind of empire!
Even America’s forefathers, despite their hostility to many facets of British rule, recognized Britain’s enormous contributions to the moral view of man. In June 1783, George Washington wrote, “The foundation of our empire was not laid in the gloomy age of ignorance and superstition, but at an epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period ….”
On July 10, 1833, Lord Macaulay stated in a speech before British Parliament, “There is an empire exempt from all natural causes of decay. [T]hat empire is the imperishable empire of our arts and our morals and our literature and our laws.” When Churchill entered the scene a few decades later, his view was essentially the same. These men believed Britain had a unique and special system of law, values and morals, and wanted to share those with the rest of mankind.
Contrast that ideal with what you see today, when Britain’s greatest export is lawless, amoral, drunken thuggery! Just laws and upright morals should be exported around the world. But Britain instead spreads deep corruption and a plague of evil, as does America. That is a terrible shame.
Emmert explained that Churchill believed that the “fostering of civilization [is] the highest purpose of empire.” It was Churchill’s hope and belief that the British Empire, grounded on a strong system of law and morality, would improve the character of both Britain’s leaders and its subjects. It never did this perfectly, but it did so more than any other people or empire!
“True imperialism … develops manhood,” Churchill said. That is politically incorrect today—but it is still very accurate! True imperialism—the expansion of an empire rooted in law and morality—does create quality men—and women. Churchill was a masculine man, a courageous, selfless individual. It was largely the British Empire that made him a real leader, one of the greatest in our time.
Churchill always had his detractors. He often called them “little Englanders.” These people wanted to do away with the empire—to renounce it and live an inward life. Churchill believed that such a retreat from the world would have terrible consequences.
“In his opposition to both little Englanders and to unbridled imperialists, he defended what he viewed as a modern, essentially political understanding of empire,” wrote Emmert. “Contrary to current critics of imperialism, Churchill argued that a properly constituted, imperial rule was civilizing in that it improved both rulers and ruled, preparing the ruled for self-government.”
Churchill warned “little Englanders” that their desire to retreat and live in seclusion was a dream—and that such thinking would inevitably bring conflict!
Read these words from Churchill during the battle of Dunkirk: “[W]e shall fight in France, and we shall fight on the seas and the oceans. [T]hen our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, will carry on the struggle until, in God’s good time, the new world with all its power and might steps forth to the rescue and liberation of the old.”
Churchill didn’t view the British Empire as a conquering force. He viewed it as a force for freedom, justice and civilization—and it was!
That strong belief in empire did great things for mankind!
Where do you find that spirit today in Great Britain? If Churchill visited Britain today, I think he would be horrified, and deeply saddened and ashamed, at the state of the nation he dedicated his life to serving.
In fact, he would barely recognize it!
God’s View of Empire
Human history has certainly produced some very evil empires. Rather than civilizing the world, some empires have made it more barbaric and violent. According to biblical prophecy, the most savage empire of all is going to rise just before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming—and we can see it emerging before our eyes in Europe today! At present, it is disguised with sophistication, but soon it will revert to its historical brutality.
That ugly history has contributed to the evil view that many people today have of empire in general, especially among intellectuals and scholars in the West. However, the existence of these barbarizing empires doesn’t change the good that a civilizing empire can do. And the scholars’ cynical portrayal of the British Empire is very deceptive and dishonest.
At its core, is it immoral to have an empire? No. There isn’t anything wrong with an empire if it brings good. Truly, the right kind of imperialism can accomplish great things!
In fact, if you understand the gospel that Jesus Christ brought to this Earth—advance news from God the Father of the soon-coming Kingdom of God—it was at its heart an imperialistic message!
The Kingdom of God could very accurately be called the God Family Empire!
God has a plan to lift human life away from barbarism and savagery toward civilization and excellence. He has a strategy to spread just laws and right morals. He intends to fulfill the noble purpose of fostering the right kind of civilization for the benefit of the whole world!
God is laying the foundation of that future empire today. He is preparing a people—His Church—that will be ready when the time comes that Jesus Christ is crowned King of kings and Lord of lords.
Are you one whom God could use for that noble purpose? Would you devote your life to this greatest of all causes?
Think on this statement from James Anthony Froude, which he wrote in his book Oceana: “A man … who is more than himself, who is part of an institution, who has devoted himself to a cause—or is a citizen of an imperial power—expands to the scope and fullness of the larger organism; and the grander the organization, the larger and more important the unit that knows that he belongs to it. His thoughts are wider, his interests less selfish, his ambitions ampler and nobler. … A great nation makes great men, a small nation makes little men.”
Froude was talking about the British Empire. Churchill and many others were living proof of that statement. That great empire ennobled them and set their imaginations on fire.
But Froude’s observation is infinitely truer of the empire that God Himself is establishing! This empire improves both rulers and ruled. The more we understand it and commit our passions to it, the less selfish our interests, the wider our thoughts, the ampler and nobler our ambitions become!
After all, this is God’s empire! It is the greatest, most wonderful and inspiring endeavor that will ever be. No nation or kingdom on Earth will ever produce greater men and women than God’s Kingdom—and you can join forces with it even today!
Chapter 7: A Final Warning
“Mankind has never been in this position before,” Winston Churchill wrote in 1924. “Without having improved appreciably in virtue or enjoying wiser guidance, it has got into its hands for the first time the tools by which it can unfailingly accomplish its own extermination. That is the point in human destinies to which all the glories and toils of men have at last led them. They would do well to pause and ponder upon their new responsibilities.
“Death stands at attention, obedient, expectant, ready to serve, ready to shear away the peoples en masse; ready, if called on, to pulverize, without hope of repair, what is left of civilization. He awaits only the word of command. He awaits it from a frail, bewildered being, long his victim, now—for one occasion only—his master” (The Gathering Storm).
If we don’t heed Churchill’s warnings before and after World War ii, a nuclear war will quickly put everything into perspective. But what a terrifying tragedy if we fail to heed.
Churchill said the people then were living in a “fool’s paradise.” Today our fantasy world is far more distorted.
We are living in the time of the lion’s roar, but don’t realize it! “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8). Christ has warned us again about a coming nuclear holocaust (Matthew 24:21-22). But even if we don’t heed, Christ is going to intervene to prevent us from destroying every human being.
We can heed this warning and avoid the worst suffering ever on planet Earth. Each one of us must choose. The consequences of that choice are truly monumental!