pdf of The Plain Truth – January 1980 e-Book of The Plain Truth – January 1980 link to The Plain Truth – January 1980
The Plain Truth – January 1980
The Plain Truth – January 1980
Prepare To Greatly Reduce Your Standard Of Living!

by Herbert W. Armstrong

It’s time you knew the real meaning of the present inflationary spiral, rising interest rates, and fears of entering a severe depression.

There is far more to all this economic concern than appears on the surface. Its roots even penetrate back into ancient history and biblical prophecy. Where are the United States and British nations mentioned in Bible prophecy? What is prophesied about these very conditions?

What does it all really mean? What does it portend for the relatively immediate future?

We in the United States have enjoyed the most prosperous living standard of any nation in all the history of mankind. There is a reason for this unmatched prosperity that came to us. There also is a reason for the devaluation of the dollar in foreign markets, for our present abnormal inflation, and the fear in financial and government circles that we may well be in the beginning of the most severe economic depression in history.

A number of times I have published an economic analysis of the real causes of the inflation spiral and other economic distresses in the United States.

But now the stranglehold of inflation and other economic disturbances are tightening around our necks. This trend is going to reach out and greatly reduce your standard of living, in the next two years or more.

More Than Mere Economic Factors

Actually, what is happening to us now is much more than purely economic causes and effects. Yet of course these have contributed their part.

I have written more than once about an incident in my personal experience which took place in early January 1914. This was before most of our readers were born. But I was covering a significant event. I was then an editorial representative of America’s largest trade journal. I was traveling, by train of course in those days, eastward in New York state from Buffalo. At Utica I received a telegram from our editors instructing me to catch the first train back to Detroit to interview Henry Ford.

Henry Ford was on banner front-page headlines in that morning’s newspapers. The Ford Motor Company had just come out with a sensational new $5-a-day wage scale!

Don’t laugh. Five dollars was a lot of money in 1914. My editors wanted me to cover this story and get all the facts in person.

In a sense, that was the beginning of the highest living standard ever enjoyed in any nation, although the American standard was already perhaps the world’s highest. But with Henry Ford’s sensational new wage scale, our living standard was to escalate to an all-time world peak.

I saw Mr. Ford, but learned that the whole new plan had been devised and was administered by John R. Lee, head of the Sociological Department.

“I understand you are now paying by far the highest wage scale in the automobile industry,” I said to Mr. Lee.

He smiled. “On the contrary,” he said, “we are paying the lowest!”

I was taken aback. “But isn’t the union scale $3.75 per ten-hour day?”

“Correct,” he confirmed.

“And are you not now paying $5 per day for only a nine-hour day?”

“Right again, but we don’t figure what we really pay on that basis. We compute it on the basis of what we get for each dollar spent. You see, our sales volume is now great enough to enable us to install a new conveyor belt or assembly-line system of production. We take full advantage of the fact that fewer men can produce much more by machines than a greater number of workmen by hand. We start each car at one end on a conveyor belt system. Each workman has to do his part as it passes him. This way we regulate the speed of production. Actually, we now are getting twice the man-per-day production for $5 that our rivals get per man per day working one hour longer than our employees.

“That means,” Mr. Lee continued, “that other manufacturers in our industry pay for two days $7.50 for the same production we get in one 9-hour day for $5. So we pay $2.50 less per day for the same results as others pay in two 10-hour days!”

It was not long, however, until all motor car manufacturers went on the assembly-line, mass-machine-production system. Not only them, but all large manufacturers in the U.S.

America offered her manufacturers a mass market for machine production. Other nations at that time – Britain, Europe, Russia, Japan did not have mass markets.

Two world wars have changed all that!

But in the meantime, beginning World War I, U.S. manufacturers, by this new mass machine production, began producing much more per dollar cost. This abnormally skyrocketed manufacturers’ profits.

But labor union leaders were determined not to allow capital and management to keep all the vastly increased profits. The labor union movement surged, even violently, in the U.S. Strikes everywhere sought to transfer the huge escalating profits into the hands of labor.

Industrial labor attracted a rapidly increasing flow of the rural population of a previously rural majority into the cities. This converted industrial labor into America’s primary consumer class. Result? The American standard of living rose to a height never known by any nation in world history.

The labor union movement did not materially improve consumer living standards in the other industrial countries until quite recently.

Britain’s Former Dominance

Prior to World War I the British Empire had risen to become the greatest in material wealth, and even in power, in all earth’s history.

The world economic and power dominance began in both Britain and the U.S. in 1800-1804. In those years the U.S. leaped, largely through the Louisiana Purchase, from its original 13-colony status to a major nation.

But Britain leaped into material greatness first. By 1804 London was the financial capital of the whole world. The British had gobbled up large parts of Africa and Asia, including India. They boasted that the sun never set on their Empire.

But the top landed barons kept largely their vastly increasing wealth to themselves. Their wealth was not diffused among the lower classes. Until after World War I, a youth desiring a college education could not gain admission unless his father was university educated. The class system in England kept the lower classes low.

The upper class built great mansions, from about twenty rooms up to the Great Houses, like kings’ palaces. In 1959 I purchased one of the smaller of such estates, with a mansion of some 25 rooms, besides many horse and cow stables, and some beautiful gardens (we cleaned out the hip-high weeds and restored their original beauty). This became the start of the Ambassador College campus in England. Additional buildings were added as we went along.

Today England has lost her Empire, is no longer a major power like the United States and Russia. British labor has made some gains and the economy is more diffused. But Britain has been on the way down, in national wealth and power, since World War I.

And now the United States is STARTING TO FOLLOW on the downward path!

Our Rise and Fall Has Ancient Roots

There is a far more important CAUSE behind the Anglo-American rise and fall than mass machine production and labor union action producing a greater diffusion of wealth.

There is a far greater CAUSE that is now starting in rapid descent to BRING DOWN YOUR PRESENT STANDARD OF LIVING.

It is true that even though Britain as a former world empire has lost her national greatness, yet today there is a moderately larger diffusion of what prosperity they have left. British labor has come to receive probably slightly more than half of America’s present labor income. But Swiss, German, Swedish and other European living standards have risen markedly.

The real CAUSE, however, for the rise and fall of Britain and the U.S. dates back to centuries before Christ.

Our Ancient Roots

There is a far more significant reason – both for American ascendancy to the highest living standard ever enjoyed by any nation in earth’s history, and our sudden PLUNGE we are now entering.

Few indeed realize that hundreds of years before Christ, God had made certain unbreakable and irrevocable PROMISES to the descendants of the patriarch Abraham. This has never been realized or proclaimed by “traditional Christianity.”

Abraham, in the New Testament, is designated as the “FATHER of the faithful,” since all of God’s promises of salvation and eternal life through Christ were made to Abraham – and Jesus Christ was directly descended from Abraham.

But what not even theologians understand is that God made DUAL promises to Abraham. He made the promise of GRACE, to come through Abraham’s descendant Jesus Christ – but also He made unbreakable promises of RACE – overlooked entirely by “traditional Christianity” and theological “scholars.”

The promise God made to Abraham of GRACE was spiritual and individual (Galatians 3:16). But the promise of RACE was purely national and material. It is vital to the understanding of biblical prophecy to realize that God made also to Abraham promises of RACE – entirely separate from the spiritual promises of salvation and eternal life.

God said: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make NATIONS [plural] of thee, and kings [more than one] shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:6). Notice, these nations and kings shall come out of Abraham – physical generation, not spiritual regeneration.

“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee … in their generations [plural] for an everlasting covenant…” (verse 7).

Cannot Apply to Jews

This cannot apply alone to the Jews. The Jews have never been more than one nation.

God put Abraham to the test. And Abraham, through FAITH, passed the test of obedience, even to being willing to sacrifice his only son. Then God made the covenant with Abraham UNCONDITIONAL.

A covenant is a contract – usually, as in this case, between two parties. One binds himself by contract to pay certain rewards IF the other performs certain conditions. But God made His covenant with Abraham UNCONDITIONAL – after Abraham had performed his part – fulfilling the CONDITION of obedience.

“By myself have I sworn, saith the Eternal, for because thou hast done this thing … that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed [descendants] as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore” (Genesis 22:16-17). These promises passed down through Isaac and Jacob.

Later the prophet Israel (Jacob) laid his hands on the two sons of Joseph, saying: “Let my name [Israel] be named on them” – that is, on their descendants. God gave the promise that the descendants of Manasseh, Joseph’s elder son, would become a very GREAT nation, but the descendants of Ephraim his brother would become a “company of nations” – that is, a commonwealth of nations.

The spiritual promise God made to Abraham of the Messiah, and of eternal salvation through Him, is well known by the most superficial Bible student. But God made also to Abraham national and material promises of RACE.

The spiritual promises of eternal salvation are called the Sceptre, and the national promises of RACE the Birthright – that which is inherited by right of birth.

Respecting the promises of RACE, God said to Abraham: “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations [plural] of thee, and kings [more than one] shall come out of thee” (Genesis 17:6).

The Messianic promises of GRACE pertained to the tribe of Judah, who were nicknamed the Jews. But “the Birthright [promise of RACE] was JOSEPH’S.” The national, material promise of the birthright – RIGHT of birth – was handed down to the two tribes springing from Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (I Chronicles 5:1-2).

The twelve tribes of Israel split up into TWO nations after the death of Solomon. The nation ISRAEL rejected Solomon’s son Rehoboam as king, because he threatened to make their taxes even steeper than Solomon had. They established a new capital city in northern Israel, Samaria, and chose Jeroboam as king.

Then the tribe of Judah (the Jews) seceded from the nation Israel in order to keep their king Rehoboam and their capital city Jerusalem, calling their nation the Kingdom of Judah.

So now the birthright promise made to Abraham was in one nation, the Kingdom of Israel, and the spiritual Messianic promise was in another nation, now called the Kingdom of JUDAH. The tribe of Benjamin remained with Judah. Jeroboam, new king of ISRAEL, threw out the tribe of Levi from the priesthood in ISRAEL, and the tribe of Levi also went in with Judah – the JEWS.

Those of the nation ISRAEL were NOT Jews – never called Jews. The first place in the Bible where the name “Jews” is mentioned is II Kings 16:6, where the Jews were at war against ISRAEL.

We pick up the most critical prophecy as to the future of the nation Israel in Leviticus 26.

Now the Prophecies

In the 26th chapter of Leviticus we find God’s promises and prophecies to Israel beginning in Moses’ day.

God through Moses specially put emphasis on avoiding idolatry and keeping God’s Sabbath.

Then He said that IF they would keep His commandments and His national statutes they should receive and enjoy the national and material promises of the Birthright in their time. He gave them NO PROMISE of inheriting, in the days of ancient national Israel, the spiritual promises (the Sceptre).

Even though the promises were made UNCONDITIONAL to Abraham for his future descendants, God now promised ancient Israel ONLY the material promises of the Birthright – and even that was CONDITIONAL.

Otherwise that Birthright phase of the promises would be withheld 2520 years and then in that far, far future, confer the Birthright national and material promises to the descendants of Israel through Ephraim and Manasseh.

God promised them, through Moses, ON CONDITION of obedience, adequate rain, abundant crops the year round, peace, and such military power that a hundred of them could put ten thousand enemy invaders to flight.


They did so only at intervals during the days of the Judges. In the day when God ruled them through the prophet Samuel, they rejected God as their Ruler and King, and demanded a human king like the Gentile pagan nations of the world.

I have already covered how in the days of King Rehoboam, after Solomon’s death, they split into TWO DIFFERENT NATIONS.

At that time, the Birthright promise remained with the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh in the kingdom of ISRAEL, while the Sceptre promise, to be realized through Christ, remained in the nation JUDAH.

In the years 721-718 B.C., King Shalmanezzar of Assyria invaded, conquered and removed the northern nation ISRAEL from their land of Samaria, carrying them off as slaves to Assyria.

In the years 604-585 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded and moved the nation JUDAH as slaves into the land of Chaldea.

Meanwhile the Assyrians, with the ten tribes of ISRAEL, had migrated northwest. The Assyrians settled in the land known today as GERMANY. The Ten Tribes, now known as the “LOST Ten Tribes,” moved on into western Europe and Britain – Ephraim and Manasseh largely settling in Britain.

But they had LOST their identifying Sabbath, their Hebrew language, and their identity. They supposed, and the world supposed, they were Gentiles.

About 515 B.C., a contingent of Jews of the former Kingdom of Judah were sent by King Cyrus of Persia back to form a colony in Jerusalem, under Zerubbabel as governor, to build the second temple on the site of Solomon’s temple. It had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 585 B.C.

But NONE of the ten-tribed “lost” ISRAEL were among those of this colony. Their tribal names are recorded in the book of Ezra, and NONE of the ten-tribed ISRAEL is mentioned.

Other Jews, outside of this colony, were scattered into various nations through the centuries.

Where the U.S. is Mentioned in Biblical Prophecy

Prophecy mentions that Britain (Ephraim) would lose her first colony. The colony that grew into the United States was that colony.

Now the 2520 years the Birthright was to be withheld from ISRAEL because of their continued disobedience, breaking their part of the Old Covenant, expired in the years 1800-1803.

The big colony Ephraim was to lose was the United States – descended from co-Birthright holder Manasseh. The United States became the ONE promised GREAT nation. Britain became the great COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS.

Neither Britain nor America deserved the unprecedented wealth, greatness, and national power of Abraham’s BIRTHRIGHT. But God had promised it UNCONDITIONALLY to Abraham. It was CONDITIONAL to ancient Israel.

Though our two great peoples did not deserve it, God was bound, and kept His PROMISE! Yet, once God had FULFILLED His promise to Abraham by giving us that national wealth, power and greatness, it became CONDITIONAL on us whether we should retain it!

As ancient Israel did not keep God’s statutes, commandments, sabbaths, NEITHER HAVE WE!

At this point let me bring in another bit of historic background.

Go back, for a moment, to the first man, Adam. Prior even to Adam’s creation, the earth had been populated by angels. The angels had SINNED (II Peter 2:4). God had set over them His GOVERNMENT, administered by the mighty archangel Lucifer (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28). This Lucifer, the most powerful spirit being God had created, was placed on the throne of the earth. But he rebelled against and rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. He led his angels in the opposite direction: – rebellion against the law of God – vanity, lust and greed, envy and jealousy, competition with strife and violence, darkness of error instead of light of truth, destruction instead of creative construction. This Lucifer had become Satan the devil. His angels had become demons – evil spirit beings.

Until a successor qualifies and is set on that throne of the earth administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, Satan remains, though now disqualified – and the GOVERNMENT OF GOD not being administered over the earth, earthwide.

When God created the first human, Adam, He thoroughly instructed this man and Eve, his wife. He instructed them in the law and government of God, in the rebellion and sin of the angels. In the Garden of Eden were two symbolic trees. One, the tree of life, symbolized the Holy Spirit of God – the way of life of God and His law – the gift of eternal life. Adam and Eve were created with only mortal, temporary physical life. The other tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, symbolized the taking to themselves – IF they disobeyed God in so doing – the knowledge of what is good and what is evil, rejecting the gift of eternal life.

When Adam and Eve chose the forbidden fruit, rejecting God and His government, God drove them out of the garden, and barred the way of entrance, lest humans rejecting God’s sovereignty over them go back, take of the tree of life, and receive eternal life IN SIN. This would have brought on all such an eternal life in the indescribable misery and torment of unhappiness, despair in resentment and bitterness, and pain of mental frustration.

God is a God of LOVE – outgoing concern for the GOOD OF MANKIND, created in His image, with the potential of being BORN into the very GOD FAMILY!

God could not allow any such indescribable eternity of anguish and mental torment to come to the humanity He had created.

Therefore He BARRED entrance to the tree of LIFE – to an immortality in the supreme torment of eternal anguish and frustration. That is, God put an impassible WALL between Himself and all humanity – EXCEPT those infinitesimally few He would specially call to Him – for 6,000 years! Afterward – after Satan is conquered by Christ and those called to be His, and Satan is imprisoned forever, every human who ever lived will be called, mostly in a special postmillennial resurrection, and offered repentance, forgiveness of sin, and the gift of ETERNAL LIFE!

HOW WONDERFUL are the ways of Almighty God!

So God had said to Adam, in effect: “YOU have made the decision for yourself and the whole world that shall spring from you. Therefore, go, and devise your own ideas of government, your own religions, form your own gods, produce your own store of knowledge and its dissemination, during the next 6,000 years.”

Mankind was CUT off from God, except those predestined to be specially called by God.

Jesus said plainly: “No man CAN come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him” (John 6:44). Others who think they are “saved in Christ,” accept Him IN VAIN – in a FALSE RELIGION promulgated by Satan! Jesus also said plainly: “… IN VAIN do they WORSHIP me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men” (Mark 7:7-8).

Now Prophesied for the U.S.A.

The United States and the British peoples did inherit the NATIONAL and MATERIAL promises of the Birthright promised unconditionally to Abraham. Therefore God has FULFILLED His unconditional promise of the Birthright to Abraham.

Once fulfilled, in the British and Americans, retention of it by us became CONDITIONAL on our performance.

And WHAT HAVE WE DONE with all this vast wealth, economic prosperity, and world power?

We have made physical SCIENCE the new Messiah – our false God – which boasted we no longer needed to wear the swaddling clothes of superstition, or lean on the crutch of religion. SCIENCE promised to deliver us from all our troubles! But it failed utterly, and only produced the weapons of mass destruction that can now erase all humanity from the earth.

Our educational systems worshiped at the shrine of the false god of EVOLUTION, making it the foundational approach and basic CONCEPT upon which all KNOWLEDGE is based! Evolution is the atheist’s attempted explanation for the presence of a CREATION, without a CREATOR!

Our governments have been corrupt. Our business, industrial, economic and commercial systems have been shot through with deception, dishonesty, selfishness.

We have adopted the WAY OF LIFE of Satan – utter selfishness, lust and greed, envy and jealousy, competition in every walk of life – business, politics, sports, society – leading to violence and destruction! We have rebelled against the authority of GOD over us, worshiping the false gods of science, evolution, and greed. We have gone the WAY of SATAN! And Satan is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4).

And now, FOR OUR OWN GOOD, an all-wise and all-loving God is about to PUNISH our nations, in order finally to bring us to HIM!

I will use just one prophecy here. In Leviticus 26:19, God said of OUR PEOPLE, TODAY: “And I will break the pride of your power.”

God has given the U.S. more national POWER than any nation ever had! But since Korea we have been afraid to use it! Small nations like North Korea, Cuba and Panama thumb their noses at us, and we run. A gang of students in Iran break into the U.S. Embassy, hold our U.S. staff as hostages, and we DO NOTHING but protest.

I won’t take more space here. This whole story is given in great detail in my forthcoming book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It will be available in bookstores in March.

But already the noose is around our necks, and is almost daily tightening! Skyrocketing inflation, devaluation of the dollar in all foreign markets, other economic ills are starting GREATLY to reduce our standard of living! I warn you, PREPARE greatly to reduce your standard of living! Even GREATER punishments are to follow!