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The Plain Truth – August 1980
The Plain Truth – August 1980

from Herbert W. Armstrong

We are near the end of this evil world. Coming soon – the wonderful world tomorrow! Also, Sir Hans Armstrong.

RECENTLY I HAVE been writing for our millions of readers in a far more serious manner.

World events, seen through the eyes of biblical prophecy, strongly imply we are much nearer the END of this evil world than people realize.


Also He said the end of this world shall come, SUDDENLY, catching those not watching like a rat caught in a trap. The trap springs suddenly before the rat knows what happened to him.

But the good news is the very Gospel message that Jesus taught: the KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND. The Second Coming of Christ, in supreme POWER and GLORY, as KING of kings to rule all nations.

That very time is now almost upon us!

Not a time of despair and hopelessness, but a time of WORLD PEACE – of WORLDWIDE PROSPERITY – OF ETERNAL SALVATION OFFERED TO EVERYONE – a time when there shall be NO SATAN to mislead and deceive the whole world as he has done these 6,000 years!

But MAKE NO MISTAKE! Frightful, unprecedented evils shall strike this world briefly BEFORE the glorious coming of the Savior to usher in that wonderful WORLD TOMORROW!

You who do NOT know and understand the Holy Bible, LISTEN now while yet you may! Let me quickly take you through a fast-moving summary of what the living GOD says shall now quickly happen to this world!

God has set me as YOUR WATCHMAN, to WATCH world events – to WARN YOU of what is now near!

We are now at, close to, or just past the prophecy revealed in Revelation 12. This prophecy covers a span of approximately 2,000 years.

The apostle John was taken, in a vision, into the time when God Almighty is going to directly intervene in world affairs. In vision the prophet was shown GOD’S PEOPLE – Israel under the Old Testament and Israel spiritually converted as the CHURCH OF GOD in the New Testament. To this Israel, a Messianic Child is about to be born (Revelation 12:1-2), foretold in Isaiah 9:6-7.

Then there appeared another wonder in his vision, a great red dragon, identified (verse 9) as Satan the devil, lying in wait to devour the Christ child as soon as He is born.

This did happen, but God preserved the Christ child safely. Satan then attempted to destroy Jesus when He was 30 years old, just before He launched on His 3 1/2-year ministry – but Jesus Christ overcame and conquered him.

The prophecy of Revelation 12 moves swiftly – verses 3 and 4, Satan, the former archangel Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12) had with his angels invaded heaven attempting to conquer God (Isaiah 14:13-14), but now (Revelation 12:4-5) was cast back down to the earth with his one third of the angels, now demons. Here, he persecuted the true Church of God through his great false church (Revelation 17:5), and the Church had to flee and go underground for 1,260 years (Middle Ages) (Revelation 12:6).

Then after the Middle Ages, at approximately our time now (Revelation 12:7-9), Satan and his demons made another flight to God’s heaven to try once again to take over the throne of the entire UNIVERSE. This time, for this WAR IN HEAVEN, God assigned His archangel Michael with his angels to fight off Satan’s invasion. God gives Michael and his angels power to win this battle for the rule of the whole universe. Satan and his demons are cast back down to earth.

In the sequence of the prophecy we are now just about at that very time.

Once cast back to the earth Satan is full of wrath. If he could not conquer GOD, he will now try to DESTROY God’s true Church. Verse 10 shows this to be the time JUST BEFORE Christ returns bringing SALVATION to His saints, and setting up the KINGDOM OF GOD. Satan is here the accuser of God’s people.

Verse 12 warns the world of the woes to come on the world as a result of Satan’s WRATH. He now knows that he has but a short time – because when Christ comes in supreme POWER to RULE the earth, Satan shall be removed and imprisoned.

Verse 13 shows Satan angrily starting a new PERSECUTION against the true Church of God. The California government’s massive armed assault against the Worldwide Church of God January 3, last year, 1979, may well be that real Churchwide persecution!

THEN WHAT? Verse 14. To the true original Church of God of this generation are GIVEN, in symbolic language, “two wings of a great eagle” that she might FLY to a place in the wilderness – a place of PROTECTION and SAFETY from the “GREAT TRIBULATION” that Satan is now about to bring upon the whole world – especially the United States and the British peoples (see Jeremiah 30). This GREAT TRIBULATION is mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24:21-22, immediately following the time when this same Church has PROCLAIMED CHRIST’S GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS TO ALL NATIONS (Matthew 24:14). For doing this very thing – proclaiming this TRUE GOSPEL message before kings and heads of governments in all continents of the earth, we were accused by the state of California of “siphoning off millions of dollars every year” for our own private accounts. Judges of the Jewish faith have no understanding whatsoever of proclaiming Christ’s GOSPEL into all the world. Judaism does no such thing.

It is curious, at this point, to notice that a former, but excommunicated, angry minister now accuses God’s Church of planning to go off into the wilderness to die of starvation – following the example of the cultist Jim Jones! This unfrocked exminister ought to read his Bible. It says specifically in GOD’S WORD, in this 14th verse of Revelation 12, that GOD HIMSELF will provide these “two wings of a great eagle” – the means of transportation – that we shall be TAKEN to a place, and there NOURISHED – well fed – for the nearly 3 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation. THIS IS GOD’S doing, not ours!

Incidentally, this same generation of God’s own true Church is pictured in Revelation 3:7-13. We are pictured as having but little human strength – we have gone by living faith in the power of God, but we have KEPT GOD’S WORD FAITHFULLY, and have not turned away from it, or watered it down! So God has OPENED DOORS before us to go to kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers over the world with CHRIST’S Gospel message (Revelation 3:8).

Now back to Revelation 12:17: Satan shall be full of WRATH against the REMNANT – the last remaining generation of the Church – the “Laodicean” Church, and will terribly persecute her. But Matthew 25 shows that though that final generation of the Church shall be LUKEWARM – not less emotional, but more “liberal,” more secular and less spiritual – less strictly biblical – yet half of them shall be SAVED at Christ’s coming, though half shall be spewed out of Christ’s mouth (Revelation 3:16).

Other prophecies speak of various phases of things covered in Revelation 12 – especially of the Great Tribulation.

Speaking of the present “Philadelphia” era, it says in Revelation 3:10, that because we have kept God’s Word faithfully, not liberalizing nor watering down, God will keep us from the “hour of temptation, which shall come upon all them that dwell on the earth” to try and test them. The original Greek words indicate this is speaking of THE GREAT TRIBULATION. The Faucett Critical and Experimental Commentary says, “the hour of temptation: the appointed season of affliction; the sore temptation coming on; the GREAT TRIBULATION before Christ’s second coming.”

This same time of trouble, greater than any on earth before or after, is mentioned in Daniel 12:1, as being just prior to Christ’s return. It is mentioned in Jeremiah 30 as a trouble especially on the United States and the British nations.

All signs in world events imply strongly we are now on the very eve of these events to shake the world as NEVER BEFORE, just prior to Christ’s return, and the coming of the HAPPY PEACEFUL WORLD TOMORROW!

Jesus taught us to pray, “THY kingdom come.” We should now want God to delay no longer what MUST SHORTLY COME!

Up to this point I have covered that sequence of events revealed in Revelation 12, with a brief reference to other scriptures speaking of a certain phase of it. This chapter hits the high spots, speeding through the time from Old Testament Israel, through the birth of Christ, Satan’s attempt to destroy Him, early and Middle Age persecution by Satan of the true Church, Satan’s second attempted invasion of God’s heaven trying to dethrone God Almighty – his being cast back down to earth, his persecution of the true Church, the flight of the Church to a place of protection against the GREAT TRIBULATION – then the Great Tribulation caused by Satan’s wrath, and the final persecution of the very last generation of the Church – the Laodicean era.

But remember, the Bible is like a jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle is made up of many pieces, which must be properly fit together. Each piece by itself gives no one picture. Put together in a manner in which they do not properly fit together, you have confusion. But when all is put together properly, one sees a beautiful picture.

I have covered one chapter of one book of the Bible. I did fit into it a very FEW other passages of the Bible, BUT THERE IS MUCH MORE.

So now let us fit in a number of other passages of the Bible and bring the WHOLE PICTURE more clearly to completion.

The whole book of Revelation is the Revelation of JESUS CHRIST, not of “St. John the Divine” – who was not divine – YET! Revelation is a word translated from the Greek apocalypse meaning revealing, not hiding; opening up, making clear, not a mysterious concealing.

But Christ does not REVEAL the meaning within this one book. He gives the KEY to opening up the meaning of the book in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. He opens up other portions of it in other scriptures. Remember, the WHOLE Bible is the written WORD OF GOD, and Jesus Himself is the living personal Word of God.

In Matthew 24, Jesus reveals much of that portion of Revelation 12, beginning with the time when Jesus was on earth speaking with His disciples.

The WHOLE book of Revelation is summarized in chapter 6 – that is, a summary beginning at the time Jesus was teaching on earth.

First, in Revelation 6, are the famous “Four Horsemen.” They are symbolic. Their meaning is explained in Matthew 24 and elsewhere.

First was the white horse, followed by a horse symbolizing WAR, a black horse famine and a pale horse symbolizing death.

Now glance into Matthew 24. Jesus had been showing His disciples the buildings of the great temple in Jerusalem. Then they had gone to the Mount of Olives, where His disciples asked Him privately, “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” – this present evil world.

Jesus was talking to His disciples, about A.D. 31. He did not answer their question first – instead He warned them of what would begin to occur even in their lifetime.

“Take heed that no man deceive you,” He said to them. He was talking about false teachers that might deceive them, even in A.D. 31. “For many shall come in my name,” He said. Now UNDERSTAND this before reading the rest of that sentence. You may research the Bible thoroughly, and you will find that everywhere those coming “in Christ’s name,” come claiming to REPRESENT Him – coming in the pretense that they are the ministers of Jesus Christ. They were to come, even beginning A.D. 31, saying that Jesus is the Christ, “and deceiving many.”

He was not referring to men coming who would claim that they were the Messiah. But how could they claim to be Christ’s Christian ministers proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ, and still deceive the MANY? DO you know that people may even WORSHIP Christ, and all IN VAIN? Jesus said, “IN VAIN do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).

But from A.D. 31 until now, MANY have claimed to be ministers of Jesus Christ, proclaiming CHRIST, yet actually deceiving the many who hear them, even as they, themselves, were deceived by a master Satan. They have preached to this day ABOUT Christ. But they have not preached His MESSAGE – which was His GOSPEL. The true GOSPEL is the MESSAGE Jesus brought for mankind from God – the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD. For 1,900 years – one hundred 19-year time-cycles – that true Gospel of Jesus Christ – the Gospel He preached – was suppressed! People heard ABOUT Christ, but they did not hear His GOSPEL.

That false preaching began in the very first century, and continues UNTIL NOW!

Jesus revealed that the white horse of Revelation 6 represented these false preachers. Next, in Revelation 6, came the red horse of WAR. And in Jesus’ Olivet prophecy (Matthew 24) Jesus said wars would come, Matthew 24:6-7. Next, the black horse. Jesus said, verse 7, there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes.

Next, Jesus said, Christians would be martyred – put to death. That happened, beginning with Stephen (Acts 7), and into the Middle Ages, when, as in Revelation 12, the Church had to flee – and go underground, meeting for worship services secretly.

Then after that, Jesus came to the answer to their question about the sign preceding His return to earth as KING of kings in verse 14: “This Gospel of the KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and THEN [quickly after that] shall the end [of this age] come.”

I started proclaiming that Gospel over radio the first week of 1934. But it did not go to other nations until January, 1953 – precisely 1900 years after Paul wrote the Galatians (chapter 1:6-7) that the Gospel was being SUPPRESSED!

Then what NEXT? The pale horse followed the black horse. Jesus said, (Matthew 24:7) there would be famines and pestilences.


Then what? The fifth seal of Revelation 6 shows another time of martyrdom – this time the GREAT TRIBULATION. In Matthew 24, coming next to verses 21-22, Jesus shows the GREAT TRIBULATION – a time of trouble greater than any before, or any to come later. This is also shown in Daniel 12, as occurring just prior to the resurrection of the saints. Also in Jeremiah 30 as a trouble coming chiefly on Americans and British.

Then what next? The Great Tribulation is shown as the fifth seal. The sixth seal shows there shall be frightening signs in the sky, and the sign of Christ in the sky, and the DAY OF GOD’S WRATH shall have come – called in many prophecies “the Day of the Lord.”

In the Matthew 24 account, verse 29, “immediately after the tribulation of those days shall” come the signs in the sun, moon and stars – the DAY OF THE LORD! That will be the time of God’s supernatural intervention in world affairs.

Notice Joel 2:31: These signs in the sky – in the sun, moon and stars – shall come immediately before the Day of the Lord, but, Matthew 24:29, immediately after the Great Tribulation.

In Revelation, beginning chapter 7, the time has come for GOD’S PLAGUES, but they shall be delayed until God seals those who came out of the Great Tribulation. The following chapters in Revelation, except the inset chapters, continue the DAY OF THE LORD, to the COMING of Christ, in chapter 19.

Then shall come a THOUSAND YEARS of “the WORLD TOMORROW” – ruled by the KINGDOM OF GOD – a time of WORLD PEACE. Satan shall be bound. Then ALL STILL LIVING shall be called to salvation and eternal life. Those previously truly converted (NOT including the millions of DECEIVED “Christians”) shall have been resurrected as immortal SPIRIT PERSONS, at Christ’s coming.

This coming of Christ is shown in Matthew 24 in verses 30 and on.

In this “Personal,” I have given you a brief yet fairly complete account of prophesied events from now until Christ’s coming – and the HAPPY, PEACEFUL, GLORIOUS WORLD TOMORROW.

Sir Hans Armstrong

In these serious days my mind is filled with the things of God, and the seriousness of the time. But an occasional sense of humor gives a certain rest and change from the heaviness of things as they are in this evil world.

I had never had a dog as a growing boy, or in all my adult life – until we came to our present home in Tucson, Arizona. My two sons loved dogs, and my elder son, Richard David, when a little boy, became very indignant one day when he saw a dog whose tail had been cut off.

“That’s against the BIBLE!” he exclaimed in earnest indignation. “The Bible says, ‘What God has joined together, let not man put asunder!’”

But after coming to Tucson, my wife acquired a very lovely and lovable half Keeshond named Ginger. Later she brought home a very small little pup, a pedigree German dachshund, with elongated body and very short legs. She named him Hans. This pup is now full grown, still very small. But he is now “Sir Hans Armstrong.” He is very important – in his own eyes. He is a deputy sheriff – he wears a badge (hanging from his collar around his neck). Moreover he owns our property here. Despite his importance, he is very much still a spoiled baby. I don’t know whether he is happiest when being cuddled on Mrs. Armstrong’s lap or gnawing on a bone.

Two or three months ago my stepson Richard brought home a large pup, half retriever and half Afghan. Already he has grown into a huge dog – a real “he-man’s dog.” Because he walks like a lion, I suggested naming him “Leo,” and Richard liked the name. Leo gnaws on a huge bone, yet Sir Hans will take possession of it when he can.

This morning, as my wife and I were sitting on the veranda in the early morning shade, Sir Hans started digging up one of Leo’s huge bones. Poor Leo stood helplessly by – not a bit happy, but seemingly not knowing what to do about it. Hans took possession of the bone, to Leo’s discomfort.

These dogs do give us an occasional bit of relaxing humor. But there is yet one more dog that enters occasionally into our lives. My wife’s mother has a very small poodle, Suzie. One Sabbath we were having a Bible study in our family room with a number of guests. At the beginning, as we all stood for prayer, Suzie stood up, too, with her front paws braced on my pant legs.

Mrs. Armstrong is a lover of animals. She has two horses which she cares for daily, even to shoveling manure. She scatters liberal portions of birdseed every day under our one patio tree, beside providing pans and cups of water. The birds flock to that tree and the ground under it every day. She even hangs up a cup of birdseed and water accessible only to tiny hummingbirds, who help themselves to it regularly. In a special cage she keeps a pair of ferrets, McGarrett and Fatima.

God has greatly blessed us in our desert home here in Tucson’s perfect climate.

P.S. – Leo finally got his big bone back. Hans had to go “on duty” barking at the laundry man. In his excitement, he dropped the bone, and as I write, Leo is now contentedly enjoying his bone. We do have PEACE in this home.