August 17, 2004
August 17th, 2004
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! The terrible drought continues in much of the American West—"the worst in more than 400 years"—as I quoted from the USA Today newspaper in last month’s letter. Meanwhile, more and more hundreds of American troops are dying or being severely injured in Iraq. It does certainly appear to be a "quagmire" for the United States—an extremely unpopular war which is draining our military and financial resources. In fact, the Associated Press recently reported, "The U.S. trade deficit hit a record $55.82 billion in June as the country’s foreign oil bill surged to an all-time high, the government reported Friday…. The far bigger-than-expected jump in the deficit caught analysts by surprise. They said it would act to further slow an economy already struggling with what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan described as a ‘soft patch’ in the early summer. ‘America is bleeding badly in the trade area,’ said Sung Won Sohn, chief economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis. ‘This implies not only weaker economic growth but a weaker dollar, which will contribute to inflation down the road’" (Charlotte Observer, August 14, 2004). So America’s finances go deeper and deeper into the red.
Our financial situation is getting so serious that the world’s second-wealthiest man and top-rated financier, Warren Buffett, now thinks the grass is greener in foreign currencies and is positioning his portfolio out of the dollar. In an interview with Fortune magazine, he was quoted as saying that the transfer of this country’s "net worth" abroad would eventually lead to "major trouble." In this way, as well as many others, the "pride of our power" is certainly being broken step-by-step.
With these "financial storms" in mind, and our increasing physical storms—such as the enormous damage recently done by hurricane Charley—our American and British-descended peoples need to wake up and begin to pay attention to what the Eternal God says will happen. They also need to pay attention to many of these preliminary events which are already happening!
In these prophesied "last days," God’s true servants should be powerfully warning His people about the coming Great Tribulation, and warning them to repent of both personal and national sins. In an excellent article in the American Family Association Journal, Michael DePrimo writes, "On February 12, 2004, during what homosexual activists claimed as ‘Freedom to Marry’ week, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He did this on the pretense of ‘justice’ and ‘equal rights.’ Over the next week, more than 3,000 homosexual couples received marriage licenses, and most of these couples were immediately ‘married’ by San Francisco city officials. Like a swarm of locusts descending upon a field, the deluge of these homosexual ‘marriages’ was remarkable not only because it was unprecedented in the history of western civilization but also because of the swiftness with which it occurred. With one decree, with neither lawful authority nor the consent of the people, one low-level government official altered forever the social compact we call the United States of America." Although these California marriages have been annulled by court order, large numbers of them continue to be held valid in other states. The dam has burst, and the floodwaters are rising. The only thing remaining is to assess the damage and contend with the consequences that are sure to follow.
Dear brethren, what is now happening is indeed "unprecedented" in the history of our nation. And one of the very unusual aspects of this current situation is that very few professing Christian ministers, political leaders or educators seem willing to admit the obvious. What is happening is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, "Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him" (Isaiah 59:14-16).
It is indeed coming to the place where "he who departs from evil makes himself a prey." Those few of us who boldly stand up and warn our nations of their wretched sins will be laughed at, vilified and eventually persecuted ferociously! But our eventual reward from Almighty God will be awesome. For, together, as brethren and co-workers with the living Jesus Christ, we in this Work are busily proclaiming the Good News of the coming government of God to straighten out this confused world. Our Tomorrow’s World television program and magazines, and our use of the Internet, is now reaching increasing millions of people. And we are just getting started!
Of course, Satan the Devil knows all of this—and he knows our plan and fervent desire to powerfully preach God’s Truth "to all the nations" (Matt. 24:14). He will do everything he can to thwart our efforts. Satan is indeed a formidable enemy. He will try to discourage and confuse those whom God may be calling to repentance. Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 2:2).
God’s Word reveals that Satan is also active in trying to influence world affairs. In Daniel 10, God partly lifts the veil and reveals to us some of the realities of the unseen world. We find here that a fallen angel or demon was in a spiritual war against the righteous angel who was being sent to encourage the prophet Daniel (v. 12). Then "Michael" the archangel came to help this other angel reach Daniel. Later in the chapter, this angel reveals to Daniel, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince)" (vv. 20-21).
My brethren, behind the scenes a spiritual warfare is indeed going on. We are truly in the last days of this present world’s existence. Satan’s time is short as the "ruler" of this present society. He knows this, and he will begin to strike out furiously in the years just ahead. As one who has "watched" Bible prophecy being fulfilled for the past fifty-five years, I want to tell you that the final "spirit war" described in Revelation 12:7-17 may not be far off!
Carnal but "normal" men are now in charge of the major Gentile nations. That will soon change! For within the next several years, we will begin to realize that a demonic cleverness and hatred against the Truth of God and against the American and British-descended peoples will manifest itself in a number of the key leaders of the soon-coming European Empire and in the great false church described in Revelation 17. A wave of adulation and worship toward the coming great false prophet will sweep over countless millions in Europe and elsewhere. This man—charming and yet diabolically clever—will gradually begin to work false miracles. This "second beast" of Revelation 13 will have "two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon." Appearing to be very dedicated and sincere, he will look like Christ. But his message will be that of the Devil! (Rev. 13:11).
For Christ is clearly identified even in this biblical book as the "Lamb" (Rev. 5:5-9). And Satan is described as the "dragon" who deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9).
As a servant of God, I again solemnly warn you that the "war in heaven" described in the above passage in Revelation 12 may soon take place. The results of this titanic spirit battle will be felt here on earth by increased persecution of God’s people, through an upsurge of demonic activity and by the ruthless but Satanically clever machinations of those coming into power and the Beast system soon to rise in Europe! God help each of you to be alert and aware—and to do your best to draw ever closer to God through intense Bible study and prayer!
These coming events will be fearsome in a certain sense. But they will also be exciting and even encouraging to those of us who understand and who are genuinely walking with God. For, speaking of the end-time events, Jesus said, "Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near" (Luke 21:28).
Dear brethren and co-workers, let us zealously "watch and pray" just as Jesus has instructed. And let us be fervent in truly serving our Creator and in performing our part in the very end time Work of the living Jesus Christ. Then, we can expect to hear Him say, "Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord" (Matt. 25:21).
With Christian love,
—Roderick C. Meredith