Chapter 1

The Hidden Cause of Society’s Deadly Decline

From the booklet America Under Attack
By Gerald Flurry

We live in a time unlike any other in history. World events are moving rapidly toward the end of this age.

There is an unseen reason why troubles are intensifying as never before. You cannot understand events without recognizing this truth.

An event occurred in 1986 that marked a major turning point in history. It has radically altered everything that has happened since: culture, family, education, religion, science, finance, politics, international relations—everything we do.

Yet what is most remarkable is, almost no one even knows it happened.

It has affected the United States in a massive way. In fact, it marked a major escalation of a violent attack on America. It is an assault by an invisible force—a force that is very real and deadly dangerous.

The Bible provides penetrating insight into this troubling trend. The Trumpet has written for years that America is prophesied to fall—hard—before it rises again. But it also gives extraordinary insight into how that fall will come about. This insight puts the seriousness and urgency of current events in their true perspective.

This force is mysterious. It is a spirit that prevails in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Jewish state in the Middle East. But the main focus is America—because this evil force knows where the real power is. By bringing down the world’s number one superpower, it can bring down the others as well.

To understand this world-quaking change that happened in 1986, let’s first look at some of what occurred right after it took place.

The Demonizing of Robert Bork

On July 1, 1987, President Ronald Reagan nominated a highly respected judge, Robert Bork, to become an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Within 45 minutes, Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy took to the floor of the Senate and demonized him. “Robert Bork’s America,” he said, would produce back-alley abortions, segregation, censorship and midnight police raids.

It was a shocking, bald-faced vilification of a man who was obviously qualified and greatly respected, even by many liberals. “There was not a line in that speech that was accurate,” Bork said. Many people agreed—but the attack still worked. Senator Kennedy and others led the way for abortionists, evolutionists, feminists, civil-rights advocates and other liberals to band together and defame Judge Bork’s reputation in an enormous smear campaign. They even aired television ads denigrating him. “They turned him into an absolute gargoyle, into a beast,” one senator said.

Even the liberal Washington Post admitted that it was a “lynching.” Many other liberals saw what was happening too. The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee was Joe Biden, and he said he didn’t believe they could reject a man of Bork’s qualifications. But after special interest groups told him to change his tune, he did. The radical left was on a rampage.

Judge Bork’s name even became a verb. To “bork” was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002. It means “to defame or vilify (a person) systematically, especially in the mass media, usually with the aim of preventing his or her appointment to public office.”

Why was Robert Bork so demonized? Why was his nomination to the Supreme Court turned into a witch hunt, when it was obvious he was more than qualified? The reason was that the radical left feared him.

And for what reason? Judge Bork was known for one thing more than anything else: believing in the Constitution. He was one of the most brilliant constitutional lawyers this land has produced! He was considered “a pioneer in constitutional thinking devoted to the text and original meaning of the Constitution,” as Reuters put it. He was known as a constitutional “originalist” or “constructionist” who believed in judicial restraint. The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia released a statement through the Federalist Society calling him one of the most influential legal scholars of the last 50 years. The society’s executive vice president said Bork was “one of our country’s fiercest and most articulate defenders of the Constitution as it is written.”

That’s why they hated him! The Constitution is the supreme law of the land—much of it based on biblical principles. That means we are descending into deadly, anti-God lawlessness!

Everyone thought that when a popular president nominated a brilliant, well-qualified man who passionately defends what the Constitution actually says, he would be easily confirmed—even by a majority Democrat Senate. But in 1987, radical liberals considered defending the Constitution a very, very bad thing! And they had the power to get their way.

The Senate defeated Judge Bork’s nomination 58-42, the largest margin ever.

Many people at the time recognized that this was a watershed event in American politics. One law professor said it was “the decisive moment in politicizing the process of judicial selection” that “poisoned the atmosphere for judicial confirmations ever since.” In fact, it poisoned a lot more than that!

In 2005, Bork said what he thought made a good Supreme Court justice: “A willingness to apply the Constitution according to the principles that are actually in it, rather than what they call the ‘evolving’ or the ‘living’ Constitution, which simply means the judges begin to make it up.”

The tide turned in a big way in 1987. Law started to get a lot weaker. And lawlessness started to get much, much stronger.

This is a significant clue as to what happened in 1986 that made such an impact on the state of our world.

The Architect of Lawlessness

Such a massive lurch toward lawlessness has a cause. I want to show you exactly what that cause is. Most people will scoff at what I am about to write—but it is absolutely true, and you can prove it from your Bible.

The most lawless being in the universe is a spirit being, Satan the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4 calls him “the god of this world.” What does that mean? It means that this evil spirit being has frightening power—power we can hardly imagine! To say that he is the god of this world means that he rules—and even more: It means the people in this world worship him!

One of the Bible’s most remarkable passages to help us understand the extent of the devil’s power is the book of Revelation. This book puts all prophecy into a time sequence, or time frame. That means you can know when the prophecy is going to be fulfilled. If you don’t understand Revelation, you don’t understand Bible prophecy!

Revelation 12 prophesies of a war in heaven where great angelic beings fought against the devil and his demons, of which there are millions. Here is the outcome of that spiritual war: “[T]he dragon fought and his angels [the fallen angels—the demons], And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (verses 7-9).

Notice: Verse 9 says Satan deceives the whole world. That’s talking about everybody! His deception affects this world’s education, its religion, its politics, its science—everything! So says your Bible.

Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” He is stirring up people’s emotions, moods and attitudes. When people get into a negative emotion, a bad attitude or a wrong mood, he works on those people even more. He has power to influence those wrong emotions; he has deceived the world through them! People don’t understand God’s Word—they don’t have any depth spiritually—so they just follow along emotionally, and Satan deceives them all. That is amazing, but it’s biblical and you can prove it to yourself, and you certainly should.

Revelation 12:9 is also an end-time prophecy. It tells us that Satan was cast to this Earth. When did this happen? God’s people must have this revealed to them, or why would God make the prophecy? You must know if you are to understand what’s going on in your nation and in this world.

The devil and millions of demons are now confined to this Earth. They can no longer go out into the universe. That’s the first time that has ever happened!

What are these evil spirits doing? These are beings with awesome power. Surely their being cast down to this Earth would have enormous impact on world affairs. We must be seeing things happen that would indicate the reality of this end-time Bible prophecy. How did it affect this world? And how much is it going to impact your life? Their dirty work is going on now, but do we see it? Do we understand it? If this is actually true, then there must be a lot of damage.

God’s Word stands or falls on whether or not we can prove this. And we certainly can prove it. The effects and Bible prophecy will tell us when and how it all happened and how it continues to unfold.

This is earthshaking—even universe-shaking in many ways! It is bad news, and yet, in the bigger picture it’s also very good news—the best news we could possibly hear. Here is why: “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! [even of the sea, it’s so bad] for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (verse 12).

Satan and all his demons were kicked out of heaven—so they’re rejoicing in heaven! There’s a lot more freedom and happiness there as a result! But woe to us on Earth! This brings a whole new level of suffering to this world. Satan is already being worshiped on this Earth, but now it’s a thousand times worse! Now he’s cast down, and he is full of wrath for a very definite reason. Satan knows he has a short time—but a short time before what?

This statement shows that this is an end-time prophecy. Satan was cast down just a “short time” before Jesus Christ returns to this Earth and kicks Satan off his throne! (e.g. Revelation 20:1-2, 10). That is the spectacular, joyfully good news. Christ is about to return to this Earth and stop all of the hatred, racism, violence and war that is caused by Satan’s influence. Everything is set for a new government to be in place on Earth very shortly—almost certainly in less than a decade.

However, you need to understand what Satan is going to do before that happens. Satan, knowing his time is short, is full of wrath like never before! That is a major prophecy in your Bible. Satan knows he has a short time to do what? What is he doing that he won’t be doing in a very short time?

This is a spiritual force of tremendous evil and destructive power! Satan is a liar and a murderer. And he and his evil minions are confined to this Earth. What are they doing? We have to know. We must understand our enemy!

When Satan Was Cast Down

Look again at this Revelation 12 prophecy. Verse 12 warns the inhabitants of the earth and sea because Satan was cast down. Then as soon as that happened, what was the very first thing Satan did? Verse 13 shows that he attacked the Church of God! That is what this “woman” is prophetically.

Perhaps you, like many of our readers, have no history with that Church. But what happened there is still extremely relevant to you, and I will explain why.

If you want to know how Satan operates, just look at what he did to that church.

This verse specifically dates this prophecy. We can point to a specific time when God’s true Church was forcibly attacked by the devil. This is spoken of in another prophecy—in 2 Thessalonians 2—that links directly with Revelation 12 in order to establish the time frame.

There the Apostle Paul prophesied, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2). When is Christ coming? How can we know? God tells us what will happen just before He returns.

Notice this astounding prophecy: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Second Coming of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [or destruction]” (verse 3). Something terrible happened inside God’s Church, and by it, Satan was able to wreck the spiritual lives of many people. This is a great “falling away” in the Church—exactly what Revelation 12:13 is about. When Satan was cast down, he attacked God’s Church, which triggered a great falling away because most of God’s people were deceived and God’s Work was destroyed!

This prophecy says a “man of sin” would be revealed inside that church. This man is called the “son of destruction”—the same title as Judas Iscariot, who was actually possessed by the devil (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). Satan has a lot of power. And Satan used a man!

This man “opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). And this Satan-inspired man showed himself to be God—and many people were deceived by him, amazing as that sounds!

He acts like he’s God, taking the place of God in that temple. That is how arrogant Satan is—acting like God. He thinks he’s God—and has rebelled against God and tried to overthrow God!

That is why Satan was cast down in this end time. He tried to overthrow God once (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-17), and then tried again just before Christ is to return (Revelation 12:7-9). This time, he was thrown down to Earth and confined there; he is no longer allowed in the rest of the universe.

The prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2 also includes another important individual. Verse 7 says, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way” (English Standard Version). This is a mystery of lawlessness. That is what it’s all about.

This “mystery of lawlessness” was working in God’s Church already, but somebody (“he who now restrains”) was controlling it and ensuring it didn’t openly manifest itself. As long as he was there, Satan could not take over the Church; the falling away couldn’t occur.

Do you know who this man was? Herbert W. Armstrong was the head of God’s Church for over 50 years, and God used him to keep the Church on track. Then he was taken “out of the way.” That happened when God allowed him to die in 1986.

And notice what happened immediately after that: “And then shall that Wicked [Satan the devil] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (verse 8). This man has to be revealed. Somebody has to reveal him!

After that man was taken out of the way, Satan was cast down! Now everybody can see him because he is full of wrath and wreaking great destruction! Satan turned 95 percent of the people in God’s Church away from God. Only 5 percent remained to proclaim the message! God had to raise up another work to get His message out. He uses that 5 percent who remained behind to reveal Satan and his man to those who are willing to see.

These prophecies have come to pass. Once Satan was cast down, he used a “man of sin” right at the head of God’s Church to lead in the destruction of that church from the inside, from right at the top!

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (verse 9). This is after the working of Satan. Can you detect this evil spiritual influence in our world today? It is a real spiritual power, and it almost mesmerizes people with its lies! This points right back to Revelation 12:9 and the fact that Satan has unmatched powers of deception. It is all prophesied in your Bible!

Where has Satan been revealed on this Earth? Who has revealed Satan?

I would like to give you a free copy of a book my son wrote titled Raising the Ruins. It is filled with details about what happened in God’s Church after Herbert W. Armstrong died in 1986. That Church was devastated. You can prove that. It’s out there for anyone to see if they’re willing to look.

We went through six years of litigation with the Worldwide Church of God in order to preserve the right to keep Mr. Armstrong’s literature in print and freely available to the public. The leaders in that Church wanted to bury that literature—and even sued us for giving it away free! In that court battle, we gained access to all kinds of documentation of what the leaders of that organization did—from the very top—to destroy it and destroy the truths that it taught from the Bible. They did their work very efficiently.

We explain all this in Raising the Ruins, which we send out free of charge to anyone who wants it. It tells the whole story about what happened, and how and when. This history is also explained in detail, from a prophetic perspective, in my book Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today, also free.

In fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 12:13, Satan destroyed the Church of God. This happened beginning in 1986, and I saw it happen. God’s loyal members were the primary victims.

Here is why this is so important to you.

Satan’s Second Target

The Bible describes the Church as spiritual “Israel” (e.g. Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 2:12). When Satan was cast down, he immediately went after spiritual Israel. That was his first target.

But he didn’t stop there. After that, he directed his attack against physical Israel. Who is that? Specifically, it is three of the modern nations that descended from the biblical nation of Israel—chiefly the United States, Britain and the Jewish state. (Proof of these nations’ identity can be found in Mr. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, one of the works we won in that court case, and which we will also send you free.)

This is a big goal of the devil and his demons: They are out to bring Israel down, whether spiritual or physical Israel.

What happened in that Church shows you something of a blueprint for what Satan began to do in these nations. That is why that Church history is so relevant and important for you to grasp.

Revelation 12:14 is a prophecy of God’s faithful people being taken to a place of safety for 3½ years. Putting this together with other scriptures shows that this occurs during the Great Tribulation, when the nations of Israel are suffering as never before in the most savage warfare in human history. The first 2½ years of that period of nightmarish warfare is called the Great Tribulation, a manifestation of the wrath of the devil. The last year is called the Day of the Lord, which is a time of God’s wrath on a sinful world. But even the troubles of the Tribulation show a measure of God’s wrath as well—He is very angry at sinful Israel.

But again—note the chronology here. After the devil attacked the Church in verse 13, and devastated it and destroyed the people’s faith, he continues his destructive rampage on a larger scale until God has to take His faithful people to a place of safety. That also tells you that the devil is attacking the nations of Israel—three in particular. And that attack leads up to the Great Tribulation. It wouldn’t start only at the beginning of that 2½-year period. That part of it is not specifically explained here, but it is in other scriptures.

So, even though this passage doesn’t explicitly mention physical Israel, Satan’s attack on the U.S., Britain and Israel is the subtext. Satan must have attacked the nations of Israel leading up to the Great Tribulation of those three nations. Satan attacked the Church, then he attacked the nations of Israel.

This means these nations are in serious trouble! It’s so bad that the woman has to flee to be protected by God from the serpent. That’s talking about great suffering in three nations of Israel in particular: the birthright nations and the scepter nation, or America, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East.

If you look at the whole story in biblical prophecy, you see that Satan has a three-pronged attack. First he attacks God’s Church. Second, he tears down the values within the nations of Israel. Finally, he will bring the Holy Roman Empire to destroy those nations in the Great Tribulation. That is Satan’s master plan for destroying spiritual and physical Israel!

We are watching that second phase unfold before our eyes, as the Holy Roman Empire becomes a world superpower.

The Invisible Force

This is what changed in 1986. The devil was cast down to Earth, and he began his lawless rampage. I saw with my own eyes the damage he wreaked on God’s Church. Now, it is becoming ever clearer that he is unleashing the same kind of destruction on our nations!

The only difference is this: The destruction in God’s Church was on a spiritual level, and the three nations are being destroyed on a letter-of-the-law level because they don’t yet have God’s Holy Spirit. This will lead to these nations being conquered from without.

Many people are deeply concerned about the direction of America today. Many can see that the nation is on the wrong course and is rapidly losing its moral character and its strength.

However, the situation is more severe than people realize. Something very grave is going on in this land that most people do not truly understand.

The fact described in Revelation 12:12—prophesied to occur just “a short time” before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—is one of the defining spiritual truths of our world today. What is it? That Satan the devil and his demons are “cast down” and confined to this Earth.

This is a subject that requires some study and meditation. You cannot understand events in America today if you don’t see the spiritual dimension.

This invisible force is attacking our nations today! What happened to Robert Bork marked the beginning of a vicious attack on the law of the land. In the two decades since, we have seen a rapid breakdown of law and an increasing amount of poison spreading through America’s political system. Today, because Satan is cast down, America is a different nation!

Satan is bringing these nations down. Through all the destruction, he is using individuals to destroy law and government, so everything comes unglued and falls apart. That is what this is all about.

Continue Reading: Chapter 2: Attack From Within