The Close of Gentile Times
O solemn, dreadful,
The Gentiles' times about to close,
And Zion's King appear!
RECENT world events, and the condition of the world today, are among the strongest incentives to faith and hope and patience and zeal.
The prophecies of the Bible were all written approximately 2,000 years or more ago. The changes that have occurred even in our own lifetime illustrate what could have happened in 2,000 years, but the Scriptures draw today's picture with infinite precision.
We are living today in an entirely different world—politically, socially, economically, mechanically, scientifically—than we were born into. So much has completely changed within even 50 years. Everything we do—our whole way of life—is entirely different. And on the world scene, all has changed.
Only 50 years ago RUSSIA was weak and backward—not a world factor. BRITAIN held one quarter of the earth in an imperial iron grip and held undisputed sway over all the oceans of the world. The dark oppressive shadow of the desolating TURK lay over all the lands of the Middle East. Most of the world was quiet—European power was universally supreme. CHINA—INDIA—AFRICA were sleeping giants easily dominated by a handful of whites. The oceans were tremendous barriers—even the English Channel gave security to Britain.
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TODAY, everything is different, but with all the vast, innumerable, and rapid changes, the prophetic picture drawn 2,000 years ago becomes more and more true every day.
To see the force of this, consider the infinite variety of things that could have happened—the infinite forms and shapes that the arrangements and relationships of the nations of the world could have taken.
When the prophecies were written, most of the earth was unknown—vast areas and continents were undreamed of. The vast territory that is now Russia itself was unknown.
The world today is different from even ten short years ago—missile warfare—satellites—interplanetary rockets—and Russia leads the whole world in these things
The destructive power of modern weapons was undreamed of as a close reality even ten years ago. The New York Times said, on Feb. 15 (1959)—
"There is no known defense against atomic intercontinental missiles. They can obliterate large cities . .
"The best detection techniques give about 15 minutes warning .
"In a surprise mass attack Russia could completely wipe out all this continent's major cities . .
"By 1961-2 Russia will be outproducing the U. S, by 4 to 1 in intercontinental missiles"
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WE DO not need to dwell on what the prophecies call for in the last days of the Gentile times. We are all familiar with them. So we need but to briefly review them, and then, examine the world today in the light of them—
1. Fear, uncertainty, insecurity, mistrust—"Men's hearts failing them for fear."
2. Intense, frantic, world-wide war preparation. Deep, bitter national hostilities and rivalries—"Prepare war, wake up the mighty men!"
3. Evil, crime, violence, immorality, decay of decency and integrity, breakdown of established standards of conduct, treachery, covenant-breaking, breakdown of social and family relationships, of family unity and discipline—"In the last days perilous times shall come"—and we remember all the evil conditions that the apostle lists in writing to Timothy.
4. Blasphemy, godlessness, sensuality, abandonment to pleasure and amusement, combined with a great show of piety and religious pretension and outward form and lip service—"A form of godliness but denying the power thereof."
5. Pride, boastfulness, human presumption, glorification of man's learning and accomplishments, a vast increase of knowledge and general movement and intercommunication throughout the earth—"Knowledge shall be increased—many shall run to and fro."
6. Unrest and upheavals among the great masses of mankind, the instability and collapse of long-established international political patterns—"The sea and the waves roaring"—"Earthquakes in divers places"—"The weak saying, I am strong."
7. The great preponderance in the earth of poverty and need and destitution—because of human oppression and injustice and incompetence—in spite of the great increase in knowledge and productive ability.
8. A state of affairs which, if permitted to develop and continue unchecked, would mean the utter destruction of all mankind—"A time of trouble such as never was"—"Except those days be shortened, all flesh would perish."
Such is the general prophetic picture of the time of the end—a very unlikely, self-contradictory and man-humiliating picture. What man, 2,000 years ago, unguided by inspiration, could have looked forward over 2,000 years of so-called human "progress," and foreseen this present sad and desperate state of affairs upon earth?
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AS TO the specific prophetic picture, the greatest single item, of course, is the regathering and reestablishment in their own land of a nucleus of the JEWISH NATION after 2,000 years of worldwide scattering, persecution and degradation. This is a separate subject.
The greatest, most significant Gentile event of our time is the rise of the mighty northern power of Gog, the latter day Assyrian, who is to descend with humanly-irresistible force upon the land of Israel as the climax and final act of the long, dark evil night of human misrule upon the earth.
Unquestionably the meteoric rise of Russia to dominating world power is the greatest political phenomenon the world has ever seen. Christadelphians have eagerly looked for this development for the past 100 years. WE are privileged to see it!
Only 20 years ago Russia was regarded as so inconsequential that she was not even considered at Munich when Europe's blind statesmen gathered to formulate "peace in our time."
Only 20 years ago the world mocked her clumsy war with little Finland.
Only 20 years ago the military brains in Washington conceded Russia the ability to hold out for about 6 weeks at the most against Hitler's invasion forces.
Even fifteen years ago, after World War II, it was said it would take Russia generations to repair her tremendous war damage, and to become a modern industrial power.
American might then dominated the world with the atom bomb, and that Russia would ever in the foreseeable future catch up with Western scientific development was utterly unthinkable.
Politically, she was despised and friendless, in a constant, impotent, humiliating minority in the United Nations. How could this despised, backward and barbarous power "gather unto himself all people," as Habakkuk foretold he would?
The "Big Four"—America, Britain. France and China—(how long ago and unreal it all seems now!)—sat securely in the seat of world power and prestige.
The Middle East appeared to be securely and permanently under British control. Russia had not a shred of power or influence there. The Suez Canal—the proverbial British lifeline—was a symbol of the power and unity of a worldwide empire, and the location of a vast, billion-dollar military stronghold that cast the shadow of the British lion in a 1,000 mile radius from Persia to Tripoli.
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THAT WAS less than 15 years ago. In the course of events since then there has been a constant and tremendous growth of Russia's internal power and external influence and prestige throughout the world: She is now respected and admired as the world's scientific leader in missile and space pioneering. She is regarded by a large part of the world as an invincible friend and defender. She has now more influence, power and popularity in the Middle East than Britain. Here she is regarded as the savior from British imperialism.
During the past 4 years, Russia—so recently poor and backward—has extended 2 1/2 billion dollars in foreign aid, and the program is rapidly growing. Russia's gold reserves are estimated at between 5 and 10 billion dollars. The lowest estimate (5 billion) is double that of any country but U. S.
Right after the war, EASTERN EUROPE and the BALTIC STATES were brought completely under her control, adding 100 million highly industrialized subjects to her empire.
Soon after this, the Western-supported Chinese government collapsed in incompetence and corruption, and 600 million more people and 4 million square miles were added to the growing Russian sphere.
Those 600 million Chinese today are tightly organized and disciplined into a vast slave-labor state intensely dedicated to surpassing and overwhelming the pleasure-loving West with economic and military superiority—dedicated to enforcing the Communist slave state through-out the world. They boast that they could afford to expend 300,000,000 soldiers' lives in a war for world supremacy.
China has recently built, with Chinese labor and brains, the largest open hearth steel producing furnace in the world. She has flooded South East Asia with Chinese industrial goods with which the West cannot begin to compete.
China is more militantly anti-Western than even Russia is. She has a long, humiliating history of white exploitation and abuse to avenge, and she believes the day of reckoning is near.
IN THE meantime the rich colonial empires of Britain, France and Holland have been crumbling, largely under the pressure of Communist support and incitement. Without Russia in the background, Britain would never have tolerated for a day the growth of Nasser's power in Egypt.
It is but a few short years since Winston Churchill arrogantly said, when independence was talked of for some British possessions, "I was not made Prime Minister to preside over the dismemberment of Her Majesty's Empire!"
But events have moved swiftly since then. In 1949 the Dutch were driven out of INDONESIA, one of the world's richest natural areas, with a population of 85 million, long dominated by a handful of Dutch, for Dutch profit.
Since then Indonesia has turned more and more toward dictatorship and the Communist camp. The Communists made great gain in the 1957 election and are the largest political party. Indonesia is rich in tin, oil, rubber, and many other vital products.
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SIMILARLY France has for 15 years been fighting a bitter, costly and losing battle to hold her Empire together. The struggle has bled France white, and has brought her near complete collapse. The French people turned to virtual dictatorship under De Gaulle last year to avoid Communist-dominated chaos.
Her Mid East power ended with the loss of SYRIA and LEBANON in 1944. Then several years, billions of dollars, and many French lives were spent in a vain attempt to hold FRENCH INDOCHINA—now a group of independent states mutually suspicious and increasingly under Chinese Communist pressure.
Then, in 1956, nationalist rebellion and Communist agitation forced France out of her North African possessions of MOROCCO and TUNIS.
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THE DISSOLUTION of the former British Empire and spheres of influence throughout the world has followed a milder and less spectacular pattern, but its basic trend and result has been the same—the advantage and prestige of Russia, and the weakening of the West.
The weakening of the British Empire can be divided into 3 areas—Asia, Africa, and the Middle East—in each of which Russian pressure, influence and interest are strong and growing.
In Asia, since the last war, INDIA, PAKISTAN, CEYLON, BURMA and MALAYA have gained complete independence, after long and bitter struggles against British domination. Burma has chosen to sever all ties completely. The others chose to maintain nominal Commonwealth relationship.
CEYLON is torn by racial strife and Communism is strong there. Ceylon proclaims neutrality in the East-West struggle, but she is very friendly to Russia and China and has received much aid and trade from them.
INDIA and PAKISTAN contain 3/4 of the population of the entire former British Empire. Relations between them have been extremely hostile and often on the verge of war. Millions were killed in racial strife in the period in which they were separating into two nations.
INDIA has for many years maintained a hostile, critical "neutrality" toward the West and a friendly "neutrality" toward Russia.
The trend lately however has been more toward the West because of the rivalry with Red China which by strict dictatorial Communist regimentation is surpassing India's industrial development and becoming dominant in Asia. India's return to the Western camp is what prophecy leads us to expect. (Written before the recent crushing of Tibet by Red China, which has greatly shaken and frightened India.)
India, with 400 million people packed into a little over a million square miles (less than 1/3 the area of China), is—after 200 years of British rule—at the very bottom of the world list of national poverty. 95% of its people get less than the bare minimum standard of living for a healthy existence.
PAKISTAN is one of the several former British possessions in which democratic processes have completely collapsed under inefficiency and corruption in the past few months and military dictatorships seized control.
This latter is an interesting development. Bro. Thomas felt strongly in the light of the prophetic picture that democracy would largely give way to autocratic dictatorship as the pressures and problems of the time of the end developed, and man's incapacity for self-rule become more manifest under stress.
Other areas where democracy collapsed during the latter part of 1958 were BURMA (Sept. 26), SUDAN (Nov. 17)—both formerly British—and SIAM (Oct 20). In each case the army seized control, and in each case the reason was fear of the growing power and influence of the Communists.
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AFRICA, the mysterious Dark Continent, four times the size of the United States, with 220 million people, has been coming more and more into the news lately, as racial tension and terrorism mount.
This appears to be the next battleground in the struggle for world domination between Western and Communist influence, and the tide is running against the West.
Outside of the UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, only one percent of the population of the continent is European—99% is native, but until recently the Europeans have exercised complete domination. Here is fruitful soil ready-made for the sowing of Communist propaganda, and its results are beginning to be felt.
France, as we have seen, has lost TUNIS and MOROCCO, and left a legacy of Arab bitterness in the process. It has spent 5 billion dollars and 100,000 lives trying to subdue a rebellion in Algeria which seems to be as strong as ever, and which is driving the other Arab states more and more toward Russia.
Just recently the Algerian rebels have announced that there is "no prospect of peace in Algeria," and they claim to be receiving Communist war supplies.
The roots of bitterness still divide the UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA, between British conqueror and original Dutch settler, and between whites and colored—the latter in the majority 4 to 1.
The Dutch, in political power since 1948, are pursuing a policy of extreme racial segregation and white dictatorship, and tremendous tensions are building up. Here again are rich grounds for Russian agitation, as the blacks gradually awake to their potential power. The Dutch have always desired complete independence from the British Empire.
All throughout colonial Africa, there are ominous rumblings of violence and revolt, all working to Russia's advantage.
In recent weeks have come reports of bitter racial violence in the French Equatorial Africa, the Belgian Congo, Portuguese Angola and Mozambique, Italian Somaliland, and all through British East Africa.
In British NYASALAND, 3 million impoverished blacks outnumber the prosperous white rulers 300 to 1. Groups of 500 Africans roam the roads plundering and destroying property and blowing up bridges. Settlers' plantations are armed camps. The leader is reputedly Russian-trained.
The Government has declared martial law and made hundreds of arrests, charging a plot to mass murder the whites, but the rioters threaten greater violence and destruction if white rule is not ended. There has been similar violence in N. and S. RHODESIA.
This is all current news, and we can look for more in coming weeks and months. The roaring of the sea and waves, which has driven the European powers out of Asia, has now engulfed Africa.
All hopes of peaceful co-existence between whites and blacks seem to have been destroyed by the bitterness and intense national feeling built up by 100 years of exploitation and humiliation. Skillful Russian propaganda is fanning the flames and training agitators and saboteurs.
Soviet radio broadcasts to Africa—increased 4-fold within the past year—continually advocate violence and rebellion.
The borders of African countries are artificial and arbitrary, ignoring national and racial lines, and are the chance result of the greedy 19th century scramble for colonies. As they come to national birth, this makes for more tension and confusion as some races are split up and others widely divergent to find themselves thrown together.
One feature strike's us very forcibly in looking at a map—the network of airports all over Africa, until recently so inaccessible and unexplored. Here is another sign of the last days—the many running to and fro—the great change that has shrunk the world and is drawing all mankind together into the final vortex of destruction.
In recently independent GHANA, greatly publicized as the showplace of modern, enlightened British colonial policy, the trend under self-rule is more and more to dictatorship on the Russian model and suppression of political freedom.
Russia has just secured the right to station there a large diplomatic corps—an important breakthrough—Russia's first solid beachhead in black Africa. Ghana's rulers, like Ceylon and India, claim "neutrality" in the death-struggle between East and West—a strange stand for parts of the British Commonwealth!
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BUT IT is in the MIDDLE EAST where the power shift from West to East has been the most striking and most significant. This is the vital area of final world conflict that Christadelphians have been watching for over 100 years. Here is where the prophetic picture is specific and detailed.
This has been the area of Russian ambition for centuries—to drive a wedge through the British dominions and gain a southern outlet to the waterways of the world. Until just recently Russia—the world's largest country—was completely bottled up in the Baltic, in the Black Sea, and by Japan in the Far East, with not one year-round warm water outlet to the world.
For one hundred years Britain bent every effort to block Russian expansion to the South, by bolstering the ailing, corrupt and despotic Turkish Empire—the destroyer and desolator of God's land.
But in 1917, in the working out of God's eternal purpose, Britain was forced to destroy the dominion of her former long-time ally (just as in World War II God used her to help destroy the German and Japanese Empires to make way for the rise of Red Russia and Red China). Thus the Euphratean power was dried up from the Middle East (Rev. 16:12).
After the first World War Britain was supreme and unchallenged in this area, with loyal and grateful allies on the thrones of the Arabian kingdoms she had created after the Turk had been driven out—Saudi Arabia, Transjordan, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, various little Sheikdoms around the Arabian coast, and the directly administered mandate of Palestine.
Her ally France was in Syria. Anglo-Arabian friendship and unity seemed to be the permanent keystone of the area.
But at the same time Britain took a strange step that has been the underlying cause of all succeeding developments—the establishment of a homeland for the Jew. What a tremendous leap forward the prophetic picture took when that occurred!
There has been bitter friction, opposition and hostility ever since among the Arabs. Britain has found Jerusalem a "burdensome stone." The irritating presence of the Jewish settlement has united the Arab in the common bonds of hatred against Israel and of alienation from Britain, who put the Jews there in what the Arabs believe was the betrayal of a World War I covenant with the Arab people.
This has opened the way for the beginning of the fulfillment of Russia's long-held ambitions in the area. She has exploited the situation to the full in the past few years, until today the British name is synonymous with oppression throughout the Arab world, and Russia is the friend, ally, and economic benefactor. In the balance is Mid-East oil—vital to West Europe, but more and more precariously held.
EVENTS HAVE moved swiftly and dramatically during the past couple of years. The big break and test of strength came when EGYPT, with Russian blessing, seized the Suez Canal and defied the whole British Empire.
Soon after came the Suez invasion disaster—Russia posing as the defender of the oppressed, and Britain forced to withdraw in abject humiliation.
Aroused Arab nationalism has forced British withdrawal from JORDAN (ancient Edom and Moab), long a British military stronghold. The present government is shaky and the economy very weak. (But here, like India, prophecy leads us to expect latterday alignment with the West).
IRAQ, the ancient Assyria and Babylon, was long a direct British protectorate and then a firm British ally until the bloody revolution last year in which the pro-Western king and premier were brutally murdered. Since then Iraq has gravitated more and more into the Russian orbit.
The revolt just recently suppressed was an attempt by an anti-Communist group to halt this trend, but its failure has only served to strengthen and consolidate the Communist power in the country. In suppressing the recent revolt in the Mosul oil area, the anti-communist ruling class has been wiped out. The Communists control the workers in the oil industry.
IRAN, the ancient Persia, may be the key to the whole complicated Middle East puzzle.
Persia is the first ally mentioned in connection with Gog's descent upon Israel—"Persia, Ethiopia and Lybia with them."
At the moment Persia, or Iran, is allied with the West, but she is under tremendous Russian pressure. Just within the past few weeks the Shah was deterred only at the last minute and by great Western pressure to break off consultations with Russia about a treaty of aid and mutual security.
This shows how weak and undependable are its links to the West. Persia has a long, difficult-to-defend common border with Russia, her people are poverty-stricken and dissatisfied, and subject to constant propaganda from Moscow. It is a shaky autocracy, without any real popular support.
Britain, in exploiting the riches of these countries, has always worked with and supported the ruling classes. But in these countries, too, the sea and the waves are roaring and Russia works upon the hates and fears of the vast oppressed and impoverished masses.
A recent commentator spoke significantly of the great gulf that exists between the living conditions of the small ruling class and of the mass of the common people in Iran.
Russia's control of Iran would mean the collapse of the whole Western framework of Mid East defense.
Bro. Thomas pointed out 100 years ago in the Exposition of Daniel that Gog must possess Mesopotamia (or Iraq) and Persia (Iran) at the time of the end. That time seems close.
The Communists are rapidly consolidating their strength in oil-rich Iraq. Premier Kassem, who murdered the former Western king, appears to be practically a helpless captive of the Russian-supported Communist element, which dominates his cabinet and his government. If Iraq goes into the Red camp, Iran will be practically surrounded and will become an easy prey.
Wild AFGHANISTAN on Iran’s east border, long a pawn in Anglo-Russian imperial rivalry, was controlled by Britain up to World War I—an outpost of empire—a buffer between Russia and India. Here too, the British are completely out—now it is firmly in the Russian sphere and the subject of a massive Russian economic development program. It was the first country outside the Soviet bloc to receive Russian economic aid. That was in 1954.
Tiny KUWAIT, a fabulously oil-rich sheikdom, ruled by one family and controlled by Britain, is the largest single oil producer in the Mid-East. There is no self-rule, but a complete, Britain-supported patriarchal dictatorship, and agitation is afoot here too.
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THE ANCIENT land of EGYPT is perhaps today's biggest and most interesting prophetic puzzle. Bro. Thomas saw it in alliance with Britain at the beginning of the final conflict, and taken by Russia in her irresistible rush southward.
Egypt is the original, literal King of the South, the country upon which the symbol is based.
Egypt, whose mighty ancient empire dominated the world in science, industry, art, and military power longer than any in history, was condemned, by the Word of God through Ezekiel, to be forevermore in Gentile times a base, down-trodden, humiliated, foreign-ruled kingdom, and that has been its condition from Ezekiel's day to our own.
In the last war, Egypt was a political cypher under complete British control. The Allies and the Axis fought back and forth upon it as if there were no government or nation there at all—and Egypt sat helpless and watched.
But in the past few years there has been a change. Egypt like Israel, has begun to arise out of the dust of 2,500 years of degradation and humiliation.
A man has arisen who has given Egypt the appearance of life and individuality. He is, of course, but a pawn between East and West, but he has put Egypt into the world spotlight.
We know that there is an honored place in God's purpose for the land of Egypt when she shall be purged and purified and turned unto the Lord.
Since the break with the West over the Suez Canal, Nasser has hailed Russia as the champion of liberty and the friend of the Arabs. In the past few years Russia has extended Egypt credits and loans of nearly a billion dollars. Nasser was given a tremendous 18-day ovation in Moscow last May, and he and Khrushchev swore mutual eternal friendship.
But in the past few weeks there has been a tremendous change. Those who did everything they could to destroy Nasser now wonder if he is not their only hope against Russia.
Nasser's basic home policy has always been violently anti-communist, even at the height of his friendship with Russia. He has outlawed Communism in Egypt, and he took over Syria to forestall a communist revolution there. Now, over the issue of Iraq, which both he and Khrushchev are bending every effort to obtain, he has dropped his campaign against the West and turned the full violence of his propaganda against Communism, fanning the fire of Moslem zeal for the liberation of Iraq from godless Russian control.
Clearly Nasser was behind the ill-fated Iraq revolt of a few weeks ago. Just as clearly Russia was on the other side. The struggle for Iraq is growing in intensity, and could set the Mid-East aflame within the coming weeks.
This sudden change, which has taken Iraq out of the Western camp and brought Egypt back much closer to it, teaches us we cannot build too much upon passing, day to day conditions. We must discern the basic trends.
Both moves have brought events closer to the prophetic pattern. Iraq, now an enemy of the West, was the Arab keystone of the Baghdad pact designed to bar Russia from the Mid-East. It now promises to be her willing gateway.
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THERE ARE many other aspects of the world scene today that have a bearing upon the development of the purpose. Never was there a time when so much was happening so fast in relation to the prophetic picture. Some of them are—
1. The Berlin crisis. Germany belongs with Gog, and Russia is determined to get it. Germany has no history of successful democracy. Adenauer is old. His party is Catholic. Nazism and anti-Semitism are again gathering strength. Hitler had no scruples about an alliance with Russia. Khrushchev recently ominously said: "Let Germany have any government they want for now. Every vegetable has its time of harvest."
2. France—saved from chaos by the De Gaulle dictatorship. He has used up 10 months of his mandate to solve France's terrible problems—what if he fails?—where then does France go? His popularity is waning—the Communist regained all their old strength in the last election—l/4 of the total vote.
3. Russia to come with "many ships"—she is now second only to U. S. in naval power—more than twice as many capital naval vessels as Britain—naval personnel six times that of Britain's. How times have changed! 500 submarines—75 scientifically-equipped ocean research vessels—studying, mapping, planning worldwide sea-war strategy. The U. S. is just awakening to the vital importance of this.
4. The growing prestige and prosperity of the Catholic Church—"I sit a queen and am no widow"—the call for all churches to rejoin Mother Rome—many favorable—planning a general worldwide church council—2,000 Bishops and Cardinals to assemble at Rome—the last one was in 1870—proclaimed the infallibility of the Pope—broken up by Garibaldi's liberating army that freed Rome from papal domination—was it a type?—will the TRUE Liberator, Jesus Christ, break up this coming one?
5. The European Economic Community—France, West Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy abolishing tariffs and pooling their steel, coal and atomic resources—a shadow of the Holy Roman Empire—French, German and Italian governments all in the hands of Catholic parties—Britain frozen out.
6. The war burden—over 90% of United States Federal budget for war costs. Less than 10% for everything else—the complete failure of civilization. A high ranking space scientist said last week that the missile and space programs are the "swan song of a dying civilization." He said they are useless, and the money and effort should be directed to combating the poverty and suffering and sorrow and need of mankind. The world's richest country—300 billion dollar debt for past war costs. With 2/3 of the world hungry, the U.S. Government in 1957 paid farmers 600 million dollars to let 20 million acres lie useless, and thereby caused a billion dollars worth of food not to be grown—all to keep up prices—and man knows no better solution.
7. Italy—9 major political parties—instability and weakness—patchwork government—hard to even get a government to endure—no bold approach to great problems is possible—here, too, the Communists, well organized, get 1/4 of the votes and are just waiting their time to seize power.
8. Cyprus—key to the Eastern Mediterranean—Britain to get out—one more chip off the Empire—promised military bases—France was promised bases in Morocco and Tunis, but has since been forced to get out of all but one, and that is a constant source of irritation. Britain pulling her military headquarters back to Kenya and Aden. Cyprus has a well organized Communist party and a precarious future is foreseen.
9. Major crime In the U. S. the rate has doubled in the last ten years—more and more like the days of Noah. One marriage in every 4 ends in divorce and a broken home.
10. Atomic fallout contaminating the earth—threatens physical degeneration of the race—recognized more and more as a vital problem.
11. Tremendous birthrate—world's population 6 1/2 billion by year 2000—must reach a saturation point—many countries vastly overcrowded now and terribly underfed—everything is converging to a universal crisis.
12. South America—plagued by insurmountable economic problems—deep hostility to the United States—a history of exploitation for the profit of the minority—more fertile ground to Communist agitation.
13. The Philippines—vital link in the Pacific defense chain—corruption and mismanagement—ill-feeling toward the U. S.—talk of a military coup.
14. South Korea—100,000 lives and billions of dollars spent to keep it out of Communist hands—now degenerating into a totalitarian dictatorship.
Many more could be mentioned, all telling the same story.
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Brethren and sisters, the world today is terribly sick. In an age of tremendous scientific and technical knowledge, where man has an infinitely expanded ability to turn the powers of nature to universal well being, there is more hate and strife, and fear, and insecurity and want and economic distress and basic human misery than ever before.
Where can a country be found that is not plagued with deep-rooted problems—poverty, unemployment, terrible inequalities, economic instability, racial or religious friction, fear of aggression, frantic war preparations?
The children of God alone know the answer to these things. They alone know that all these calamities presage the glorious day of righteousness and peace. Jesus said—
"When these things begin to come to pass—these terrible but wonderful last days—then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh."
G.V.Growcott, The Berean Christadelphian, March, 1959