It is one of the most iconic images the Worldwide Church of God ever produced: the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, and the general secretary of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, eye to eye with the words “Why Russia Will Not Attack America” between them. Anyone who saw this illustration in the May 1986 Plain Truth would not forget it, but it was first published in a special publication of Ambassador College in 1980—and much of the text was first written in 1948!
Understand that in the 1980s, there was an ever present fear of nuclear war between the world’s two superpowers: the United States and Russia. This fear was largely sparked by the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. As the nuclear arms buildup continued, the world’s eyes were continually on the conflict between Moscow and Washington.
Herbert W. Armstrong never drifted for a moment. His message that Russia would not attack America was delivered repeatedly and to an increasingly large audience, even as it became more evident to commentators that conflict was inevitable.
How did Mr. Armstrong know? Because he knew Russia’s place in end-time Bible prophecy, which he explained in his booklet Russia and China in Prophecy. Russia is part of what the Bible terms the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). The merging of these nations even results in a 200 million man army! (Revelation 9:16). He also knew the identity of the American people in Bible prophecy—the end-time descendants of a lost tribe of Israel. He saw in his Bible that the “kings of the east” wouldn’t militarily attack the Israelitish nations. They would attack the king of the north—the combined nations of Europe.
Today, we could ask a similar question: Will China attack America? As spy balloons float unopposed over the United States and the Chinese build their military capability, many have asked this question. For the exact same reasons we know Russia’s place in end-time prophecy, we know how China factors into end-time events today: as part of the kings of the east, led by the prince of Rosh, or Russia (Ezekiel 38:3, New King James Version).
That doesn’t suggest for a moment that China isn’t a threat to the United States. Pastor General Gerald Flurry has written about the Great Tribulation beginning with an economic siege that destroys one third of the modern Israelite nations militarily and socially. That is carried out by a “mart of nations” (Isaiah 23:3) including both European nation and the Eastern nations, including Russia, China and Japan.
Because of the revelation God has given His prophets, we know exactly what to watch for in world news. With regards to China, we watch:
1. Increasing military ties with Russia and other Eastern nations because of the prophecies regarding the “kings of the east.”
2. Increasing economic ties with Europe because of the “mart of nations” prophecy (Isaiah 23:1-13). China is referred to as “Chittim” in these verses.
3. Economic infiltration in Latin America and Africa because of the “mart of nations” prophecy and the “times of the Gentiles” talked about in Luke 21:24.
4. China to establish rule over Taiwan because of the “kings of the east” prophecy and because it indicates the diminishing power of the United States.
This shows the principle that we follow when we analyze world news. We look for the trends that God revealed through His end-time servants and then apply that advance knowledge as world news unfolds. The type of list I’ve given above for China could be written for any country.
Most importantly, there are four broader trends you should know that generally categorize end-time events:
1. The fall of Anglo-America, or the two largest Israelite nations. This is covered thoroughly in the book that helped to build God’s Work: The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
2. The formation of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe, also referred to as the king of the north.
3. The rise of the kings of the east.
4. The rise of the king of the south, that is, everything happening around Jerusalem and with Islamic extremists, led by Iran.
Those are the four general areas and trends that we watch. Much of what you read in the Trumpet magazine is based on those four trends.
As you read the Trumpet, read the booklets the Church produces about end-time prophecy—especially those by Pastor General Gerald Flurry—and read future issues of this magazine, you will learn the prophetic trends that apply to other areas of the world as well. And that is the key to watching world news: knowing what the Bible says, learning what God has revealed to His prophets about the Scriptures and modern events, and then applying those trends to what you see happening in the world around you.