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There is gnawing, growing concern on the minds of millions about the course of human events. As world trends and conditions grow worse, and ever more confusing and complex, there is also increasing uncertainty—and rapidly deepening worry—about what lies ahead for all mankind.
Towering questions loom over every nation!
Approximately one-third of the Bible is prophecy—history written in advance. Over three-quarters of this future history is yet to be fulfilled. Tragically, most Bible readers are completely unaware of awesome, impending world events, soon to stagger all nations—focusing first on the greatest nations. Vast sections of Scripture are hidden from them, and remain lost to their understanding. The result is that most simply have no idea what the future holds. Even those who are interested in learning remain tangled in a Gordian knot of disjointed, confusing, competing—and plain wrong!—popular ideas and opinions. They remain ignorant of fascinating, incredible—and truly vital!—knowledge, life-changing knowledge.
Wars, disease, poverty, illiteracy, disasters of every kind, violence, religious division and confusion, governments collapsing or under siege, shortages of food and drinking water, shallow, pleasure-driven, immoral entertainment, breakdown of family values—and of virtually all other values held sacred for generations—fill the headlines of newspapers and newscasts.
Then there are the stunning events and conditions throughout the financial world that are affecting every nation. One development after another—virtually all of them bad!—are impacting both Wall Street and Main Street. The effects are seen in tight credit, global stock markets, banks and all kinds of lending institutions, rapidly rising unemployment, declining retirement and pension funds, fuel prices, fallen home prices, frozen business and home equity lines, corporate bankruptcies and bailouts—as well as the projected budget deficits of city, state and federal governments, here and in many other countries. These also have a rippling effect through every level of politics, in every Western or democratic nation. The entire global economy is being revisited, reviewed and revised, with many acknowledging they simply do not know what to do next.
Where is it all going?
Everyone desires to know what the future holds. In fact, the question of what lies ahead for the whole world has become the very greatest question today. Millions are searching—wondering about the course of events. More and more world leaders are expressing pessimism about the rise of troubles, evils, ills and woes both within and between nations, including those that are the most powerful. So are educators, military planners, sociologists and scientists.
All the nations of Earth are increasingly overwhelmed by a complicated and worsening array of difficulties confronting and challenging them. The greatest thinkers are being employed to find answers—solutions.
The problem? There are no solutions to any of the world’s biggest problems anywhere on the horizon, but rather only new ideas that never seem to work!
This has caused a growing percentage of thinking people to ask whether the answers lie in the realm of biblical prophecy. We hear from such people every day, and from all over the world. In effect, a “market” has developed for “information.” With opinions everywhere, books about prophecy now abound. Just count the number of volumes about this subject within the also rapidly expanding “Christianity” section of any major bookstore. There has been an explosion of books presenting popular scenarios, ideas, theories, suppositions and interpretations of “how it will all play out.”
Again, the problem? They are all wrong! Why? Because none knows how to understand—either how to use, or even that there are, keys to unlocking climactic Bible prophecies that will soon affect the life of every human being on Earth!
This has not prevented many supposed experts from setting themselves up as authorities on Bible prophecy. There are fiction writers, history-based writers, technical commentators, “mathematicians” and “code experts,” as well as a nearly endless stream of outright false prophets, phony prognosticators, crystal ball gazers and self-proclaimed “seers” and “psychics” spewing little more than ignorant confusion on unwitting, but willing, listeners and readers.
But who IS an authority? Who really knows?—who really understands what the future holds as outlined in the Bible? While religion should hold the answers, it has not even figured out the questions—and, when understood, is seen to be the biggest part of the problem. However sincere at least some preachers and religionists may be, all of their publications merely add to the confusion long offered to those desperately seeking answers in all the wrong places.
Further, most who write about the Bible do not realize the Bible interprets itself, that if a symbol is mentioned within a prophecy—any prophecy!—and virtually every prophecy involves symbols—the Author of this greatest of books would not leave the most crucial questions, those involving all humanity, subject to human interpretation. He would provide clues—necessary vital keys!—to understanding the large portions of His Word devoted to future events. He would also make known that He IS the Author of the Bible. And He would make absolutely clear that the Bible is a book backed by His authority—that it is His divinely revealed instruction book—and that this need not merely be “accepted on faith.”
He would provide proof of all the things He says!
The Bible commands its readers: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thes. 5:21). This certainly applies to prophecy—and to the things you will read in Real Truth articles. You will find that what is explained here can be proven, that it is not mere opinion from one more ill-informed, self-appointed “expert.”
Tragically, most who read the Bible remain in near complete ignorance of its meaning, completely unable to recognize the speed, sequence and seriousness—and the awesome magnitude!—of certain onrushing prophecies. And this is on top of not truly comprehending what any of them actually means!
So many just cannot untangle the maze of what happens when, and why, as well as where and to whom.
Here are but a few examples: Many wonder if the world has entered what is called the “end time” or the “last days.” How can you know if this time has come, and if so, what does this mean?—for you and the rest of the world?
Then there is the Middle East, the region prophesied thousands of years ago to lie at the center of the very biggest—the most planet-rattling—and shattering!—events ever to occur on Earth! While most Bible students seem to know at least this much, they do not know in any detail what these events are, or why they will come.
Of course, the book of Revelation evokes an endless stream of questions about its meaning and purpose. The last book of the Bible stands shrouded in mystery to almost all who read it. Seen as filled with terms—metaphors, symbols and descriptive language—that seem impossible to decipher, many lose hope that they will ever understand even its most basic messages.
Within Revelation is the often talked about, but almost universally misunderstood, mysterious “beast.” Who or what is this multi-headed, strange and fierce-looking beast?—and who (or what) is the “woman” that rides it? Then, what is the dreaded “mark of the beast”? The beast of Revelation is a topic of countless speculative books promoting popular theories—and, I repeat, they are all terribly, and even disastrously, wrong!
What about the meaning and timing of the infamous battle of Armageddon—and the lead-up of events surrounding it—as well as the Abomination of Desolation, the four horsemen, the seven seals, the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, the 144,000 and the Great Multitude...and so many other topics mentioned either in Revelation or by various prophets of the Old Testament?
Jesus Christ foretold that immediately preceding His Return these and other prophecies would slam into a completely unsuspecting, unprepared world (Luke 21:34-36). Notice what He told His disciples in Luke’s version of the Olivet Prophecy:
We begin in chapter 21, verse 34: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” And verse 35, “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.”
These are truly stunning words. Yet, most do not concern themselves with conditions and events that Christ plainly states will affect everyone on the entirety of the planet—“all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth”—and that these things are to occur without notice or warning, as with any snare.
Jesus continued with this all-important instruction—again—for those who are listening: “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (vs. 36).
Are you concerned about a prophecy of such magnitude?—one with so much at stake for every man, woman and child alive today? You can escape what lies ahead. You need not fear—IF you are obeying God and doing what He requires.
In Matthew’s account of this same prophecy, found in chapter 24, the disciples were concerned. Notice their discussion with Christ, beginning in verse 3 with their question to Him: “And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?”
In verse 4, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” Christ goes straight to the problem that would exist at the end of the age and about which I am speaking. There are many, many deceivers at work today. How many people are doing what Christ said, and taking heed about this? How many are carefully doing their homework regarding men claiming to represent God?
What specific indicators does Scripture present—for those who are willing to accept them!—about the timing and appearance of the events and conditions of which Jesus is speaking? He went on in Matthew 24 to spend the rest of that chapter and the whole next chapter—all the way through chapter 25—explaining in detail exactly what would occur—what the careful Bible student should be looking for and expect—before His Coming.
So then, naturally following this is the most central, all-important question that should be on the minds of nearly all who care about these prophecies—“Can I escape what is coming, and if so how?” Many believe the Bible teaches that a “secret rapture” to heaven is coming to spare the saints from the fulfillment of devastating prophecies. Is this true? What does the Bible actually reveal? The truth is that Christ promises something very, very different for those who will escape. Related to this—and this is, in fact, another prophecy—is the reference in verse 14 of Matthew 24 that “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”
May God help you understand that you have come directly in contact with—through The Real Truth magazine—the very fulfillment of this prophecy! Soon coming to Earth is a world-ruling kingdom—or divine supergovernment—administered by Christ and the true saints.
But there is another group in all of this who, not knowing God’s supreme purpose—His master plan—believe that the meaning of these gigantic prophecies is permanently sealed. These seem to think that God would inspire a host of very specific prophecies, large and small, and have them recorded—but never intend anyone actually know their meaning. Isaiah 29, verses 11-12, is actually its own prophecy of—first—how some would say that all prophecy is sealed, and—second—how others would openly profess themselves ignorant, and therefore unable to learn God’s intended meaning. Take time to read what was foretold.
However ridiculous, these are positions held by many millions! Obviously, these would be little concerned with escaping that which they neither know nor understand—nor think can be understood.
But you can know the plain truth answers to all these questions—in fact, you should! And they are all laid out right there on the pages of your Bible! Like so many pieces of a large puzzle that only make sense when fully assembled, each of these questions and others represent a part of a bigger picture, one that is shocking far beyond the imagination of those who think they know the meaning of Bible prophecy.
However, you must come to recognize that this picture not only speaks to the bad news of the near future, but also to the incredible, marvelous good news beyond in store for a world desperately in need of this news. It is the awe-inspiring hidden knowledge presented within the true gospel—the real message that Jesus Christ the Messenger brought! This understanding overarches everything you will hear and read in all of our programs and literature.
Now understand this! The translation of the Greek word apocalypse has produced the better known English equivalent—“revelation.” Not a difficult word, it means to reveal—not to conceal, hide, veil or close up. The dictionary definition of revelation is easy to grasp. Here it is: “The act of revealing or disclosing; something revealed, especially a dramatic disclosure of something not previously known or realized.”
But, it is also imperative you recognize that the very beginning of Revelation states that it was written for those who would be God’s servants at the end of the age.
The apostle John begins recording Christ’s words with, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ...to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass...blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 1:1, 3). At the end of the book it states this for emphasis: “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (22:10).
How many have noticed this? Then, even more important, is how many have concerned themselves with whether or not they are God’s servants? And do not be so sure you know who is and is not.
The Bible’s very biggest prophecies are on the threshold of fulfillment, with the front edge of some already underway. They will soon crash and explode with a force completely beyond what anyone anticipates, including “prophecy watchers” who think themselves in the know and on God’s inside track!
The time for understanding these colossal prophecies has come! You can comprehend the message they bring. If you read regularly, you will comprehend—IF you are resolved to obey God, IF you are determined to become one of His servants.
Foretold by the prophet Daniel to be “closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Dan. 12:9), but now finally—in the late 20th century—having been revealed and explained, the Bible’s greatest prophecies now thunder a powerful warning to all who will hear—and heed!
In this brief personal, you have learned more about the truth of Bible prophecy than most will ever know. But this is only an introduction to the subject. Again, prophecy involves one full third of the Bible, and therefore is a topic that requires many articles and broadcasts. I repeat: You will read and hear prophecy made clear—the very biggest and most crucial elements of it made easy to understand.
Be sure to regularly visit The Real Truth website and watch The World to Come program. These are unlike anything else you will encounter. We speak plainly. No guesswork is necessary. This is because God is plain. Also, where He fills in details, so do we. And we speak with authority. Here, in this magazine—and none other!—you will learn the plain truth about many subjects—always straight from the Bible.