Chapter 2

Prophecies Closed Until Now!

From the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy
By Herbert W. Armstrong

One might ask, were not biblical prophecies closed and sealed? Indeed they were—until now! And even now they can be understood only by those who possess the master key to unlock them. But we have reached the approximate end of 6,000 years of biblical history. We have reached the end of an age! We are entering, right now, the world crisis at the close of the present civilization. We face, today, conditions such as the world never before has witnessed. Today the big problem is the stark question of survival! For the first time in world history, the weapons of mass destruction exist which can erase all life from the Earth. Chiefs of government and world-famous scientists have been saying publicly we must adjust to living in fear of human annihilation, with no solutions in sight.

To those prejudicially cynical toward the Bible, I say: It is now your only hope! Science offers no solutions. The politicians and heads of governments have no answers. In the Bible alone you will find the advance news of what is now certain to occur—and occur it will before mankind blasts itself out of existence!

But another objector might ask, are not most of the prophecies outdated Old Testament writings, addressed only to the ancient nation Israel, of no concern to us in our time? And the answer is an emphatic no! These scintillating, dynamic prophecies were, most of them, never given to ancient Israel.

A Pivotal Book

The plain truth is, these prophecies were written for our people of our time, and for no previous people or time. They pertain to world conditions of today, and could not have been understood until today.

One of the very pivotal books of prophecy is the book of Daniel. Actually, the Prophet Daniel was not the author of the book known by his name. The living God was its author! The message was transmitted to Daniel by God’s angel. Daniel put to writing, to be preserved until our time, what he heard.

At the very close of his book, Daniel wrote: “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. … [A]nd none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:8-10).

So the prophecies of Daniel were closed, sealed, locked up until now! But today we are living in “the time of the end.” Today the “wise” do understand! But who are “the wise”? Only those who fear and obey God—and who have the master key to unlock the locked-up prophecies. God says: “The fear of the [Eternal] is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments …” (Psalm 111:10). And even most professing “Christians” refuse utterly to do that. No wonder they can’t understand.

And don’t forget, the specific key that unlocks these closed doors of prophecy is the definite knowledge of the true identity of the American and British nations as they are mentioned in these prophecies.

Stop a moment and think. If the prophecies Daniel wrote could not be understood by him; if they were “closed up and sealed till the time of the end”—till the latter half of the 20th century—as the angel said and as Daniel wrote, then they were closed to the ancient Israelites of that day; they contained no message for Daniel’s time.

Think a little further.

These prophecies could not have been given to or known by the ancient kingdom of Israel. Daniel wrote in and after the time of the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion and captivity of the kingdom of Judah, 604 to 585 b.c. But the kingdom of Israel had long before been invaded, conquered, and its people moved out of Palestine—transported as slaves to Assyria—721 to 718 b.c. (2 Kings 17:18, 23-24), 117 to 133 years before Daniel wrote. Years before the book of Daniel was written, most of the Assyrians, with those Israelite slaves, had migrated from ancient Assyria northwest toward Europe. How far northwest—where they finally settled—was not then known. They had become known as the Lost Ten Tribes.

But today we do know.

Today, as Daniel wrote (12:4), knowledge has indeed increased. The whereabouts of the Lost Ten Tribes is one of the ancient mysteries now cleared up. But in Daniel’s day they were lost from view—as if the earth had opened her mouth and swallowed them.

Not for Old Testament Israel

Daniel’s prophecy, then, was not a message to the Old Testament kingdom of Israel!

Now think further!

Nor was this prophecy a message for the Old Testament kingdom of Judah. When Daniel wrote, the Jews already were slaves in Babylon. Daniel was one of the brilliant young princes of Judah, specially chosen for service in the king’s palace in Babylon (Daniel 1:3-6). Daniel’s strenuous duties in the Gentile king’s service did not allow him to deliver this closed and sealed message to the scattered Jewish slaves. In this condition of slavery, the Jews had no system of religious meetings—no priesthood. There was no such thing as a printing press—no way to print and distribute literature. And besides, the prophecy was “closed up and sealed till the time of the end”—our time, now! The book of Daniel was not a message for the Jews of Old Testament times!

Finally realize: It is emphatically clear that these prophecies pertain to no time but to our time, in this 20th century!

Then know this, further:

The greatest mystery book of the entire Bible, to most, has been the book of Revelation. But the book of Daniel is the key to the book of Revelation. And in the book of Revelation, solely and alone, do we find the world events of all prophecies correlated in order of time sequence. The book of Revelation, then, holds the key for putting together all of the prophecies in proper time order. And Revelation, too, was a closed and sealed book—until our time, now. We realize that the living Jesus is the Revelator—and that He has stripped off the seals and opened this mystery book to right understanding.

And where does that lead us? To the fact that prophecy generally was written and preserved for our time today! And some 90 percent of all prophecy pertains actually to this latter half of the 20th century. And the one central master key to prophecy as a whole is the identity of the United States and the British nations in these prophecies for today!

These prophecies could not pertain to any time previous to our precarious present!

It may not be generally realized—but neither Britain nor the United States became great world powers until the 19th century. Suddenly, in the very beginning of the 19th century, these two—until then small, minor countries—suddenly spurted to national power and greatness among nations, as no nations had ever grown and multiplied in wealth, resources and power before.

By 1804 London had become the financial hub of the world. The United States had exploded out of its swaddling clothes of the 13 original states and had acquired the expansive Louisiana Purchase. It was fast sprouting up to become the mightiest nation of all time. But Britain burst forth to greatness first, and until the world wars had become the greatest empire, or commonwealth of nations, in all history.

Could We Be Ignored?

Between them the British and American peoples had acquired more than two thirds—almost three fourths—of all the cultivated physical resources and wealth of the world. All other nations combined possessed barely more than a fourth. Britannia ruled the waves—and the world’s commerce was carried on by water. The sun never set on British possessions.

Now think!

Could the British and American peoples be ignored in prophecies of world conditions that fill a third of the entire Bible—when some 90 percent of all those prophecies pertain to national and international world happenings of our time, now?


Indeed it is. And yet, precisely as prophesied, Britain’s sun has now set. As these same prophecies that foretold Britain’s greatness revealed far in advance, Britain has already been reduced to a second-rate or third-rate power in the world.

And the United States? Today America finds herself heir to just about all the international problems and headaches in this post-World War ii, chaotic, violent world. And the United States has won her last war—even little North Vietnam held her at bay. Many other nations sap America’s national strength, “and he knoweth it not,” as God long ago foretold!

On the world scene nothing is so important right now as to know where the white, English-speaking peoples are identified in scores and hundreds of prophecies—prophecies which describe vividly our sudden rise to national power and reveal the causes of that greatness; prophecies that paint a crystal-clear picture of our present international dilemma; prophecies that open our eyes wide to see what now lies immediately ahead for our nations—and what our ultimate and final status shall be.

Continue Reading: Chapter 3: National Greatness Promised Israel—Yet the Jews Never Received It—Why?