THE REASON FOR THIS BOOK
Suppose you and I were neighbors, and a terrible, devastating storm was approaching the area in which we lived. Suppose I saw the storm approaching from some distance and knew that we were in its path. What would be the normal thing for me to do? First, having determined the best way of escape, I would urge my loved ones to flee at once and tell them which direction to go to get out of the path of the storm. Next, I would warn you of the approaching storm and advise you how to escape. Then I would flee to a place of safety, hoping that all of you would heed the warning and escape from the impending storm.
With this simple illustration, I want to convey the motive behind the writing of this book. I see a terrible time of trouble approaching which may be likened to a terrifying and devastating storm. All the inhabitants on the face of the earth are living in its path. Many are already prepared for its coming and will be delivered from its havoc. I hope multitudes of "my neighbors," people of every race and creed, will receive and believe the message of this book so that they also will be delivered from the coming storm.
This storm is not a tornado, whirling and twisting in its fury, or a hurricane ravaging the earth with violent wind and heavy rain. It is a period of unprecedented suffering that is coming upon all the earth's inhabitants. It is a time of trouble, of distress and anguish, of ruin and devastation, of darkness and gloom, of clouds and thick darknessa time of God's wraththat is coming upon the whole world. When that time arrives, declarations of wars will be the order of the day. Distress will be sent upon men so that they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.
I see such a time coming, and am confident it is approaching rapidly. I base my opinion on facts about present world conditions studied in the light of the Word of the living and all wise Creator. His Word, the Bible, tells that this time of universal distress will come. It also defines the characteristics of the days just before such time will start.
According to the Bible, shortly before God's time of wrath must start, society's moral fiber will deteriorate and cause iniquity to abound, violence on an unprecedented scale will be the order of the day, and knowledge will increase remarkably.
Immorality and violence are becoming more and more characteristic of the Twentieth Century. Knowledge is increasing so rapidly it staggers the imagination. These three things alone have developed so noticeably, since the turn of the century, that they have given this short period a complexion that accurately fits the Bible's description of the end days. Almost every passing day bears a more distinctive appearance of being one of the last days of this age than the previous one.
Now, as in the past, people fill every day with actions that result from wrong thoughts and uncontrolled emotionsimmoral behavior. In the past, however, lots more people worked to live right. They worked to fill their days with good deeds so as to fulfill the Golden Rule, even for conscience sake. Then they looked at right behavior and immoral behavior as definitely being on different planes. They looked up to and respected one who lived as a saint. On the other hand, they looked down on and despised anyone who behaved as a sinner. Over the past few years peoples' consciences have dulled gradually until today there seems to be only a few who perceive or value behavior on different planes. Today both saint and sinner are extolled alike. Wickedness is exalted among the sons of men. As a result, iniquity is multiplying.
As the "iniquity of the people" multiplies and fills up the earth, it brings down limited amounts of God's wrath. But when the workers of iniquity do flourish and fill the earth with vile deeds, the Almighty will arise and send down full measures of His consuming anger and fury. In the wake of his consuming wrath "the earth and all the works therein will have been burned up."
Already during the Twentieth Century many peoples have experienced frequent and unusual, yet mild, showers of the Lord's wrath locally. Such experiences will build up as the world travels toward the end of this age. And He alone knows the end. In the face of the world's precarious condition, "What action are you going to take?" I ask you to weigh the evidence presented in this book with an unbiased mind and act accordingly.
Almighty God, the One in whom we live, move and have our being, knows the end from the beginning. Therefore He graciously and lovingly revealed in His Word what will take place in the last days. He did this so that all honest and sincere persons may lean upon Him, the Holy One of Israel, in truth during the difficult end days. His word is truth. Truth never yields herself to him who esteems her lightly. I urge all who read this book to pray the prayer of King David, who wrote: "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law [word]" (Psalm 119:18).
This book comprehensively and concisely covers what the Bible says will take place in the end days, and also the reasons why God will deal severely with the human family. Every precaution was taken not to speculate. Every Bible passage that is handled in this book is interpreted under the principle set forth in the Golden Rule of interpretation: "When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise." Besides this guiding principle, the following rule was always uppermost in my mind as I handled the Word of God: "A text apart from its context is a pretext."
I am deeply indebted to my dear teacher, Dr. David L. Cooper, founder of the Biblical Research Society and Chairman of the Board, for his most invaluable advice and suggestions while the contents were being prepared.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bring many souls to Himself through the use of this book for the glory of the Holy One of Israel.