THE REVIVAL OF ROME
Around September 1925, the government in Rome was changed from self-rule to national-rule. The correspondent in Rome of the British Morning Post (August 25, 1925) said, "This is a necessary step for the renewed expansion of Caesar’s city." This is an ominous sign. At present, anyone or any newspaper in Italy who criticizes the Roman Catholic Church or its creeds will be condemned. The official paper of Mussolini recently published an amazing article that praised the Inquisition as being flawless. This article talked about the "wild principle" of Protestantism and continued by saying that "the interrogation of the heretics, the tortures, and the murders are the greatest acts for the glory of God to us." The massacre of the Huguenots in France was considered as being very praiseworthy. The Christian World on August 20, 1925, said, "The position of the Protestants in Italy can be in peril any moment. What kind of omen is this?" The students of prophecy decades ago were able to answer this question already. Before the Roman Catholic Church will be judged (Rev. 17:1), it will first be drunk with the blood of the martyrs (v. 6). The thoughtful observers are beginning to worry. One of the professors of theology at King’s College in London, Dr. Maurice Relton, said,
In the twentieth century, Rome demands the authority of decision-making and of authoritarianism in the same way as it did before. Can we deal with this problem, or should we simply restrict ourselves to being Anglican Church members? If we can deal with this problem, there may still be hope. Otherwise, we know for sure that in the near future, there will be nothing except confusion. In the more distant future, it will probably not be Canterbury (where the Anglican bishop resides) or Geneva (where the League of Nations is) that will prevail, but Rome, the enemy of the two, who will prevail.
Those of us who study prophecy know already that the Roman Empire and the Roman Church will be revived. This will fulfill the prophecy in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Considering the present condition, we realize that the great tribulation is at hand. Therefore, we will not remain guests on earth for too long.
THE COMING GREAT WAR
A famous British writer recently declared that unless God intervenes with miracles, mankind will sink into unprecedented tribulations. The reason for this is that science, which used to be devoted to constructive works, is now devoted specifically to means of destruction. Although at no other time in history has there been as much advance in science in preservation and healing, with the goal of improving the material comfort of mankind and the bestowing of temporary blessings, at the same time, many believe that the advance of science on the negative side is even faster. Many shocking facts can testify to this. The following facts are recorded by Mr. Panton in his magazine, Dawn:
"The machine gun fires six thousand rounds of bullets per minute in a fan-like fashion."
"The airplane can fly to a height of a few dozen miles and drop bombs that are over 4,300 pounds, killing everyone within a radius of one mile."
"The fast gun has a shooting range of 450 miles."
"The tank can camouflage its smoke and is faster than the fastest hunting hound."
"All these things are here already!"
All of us have heard of the so-called "death ray," which can paralyze life forty miles away for more than six hours from over forty-five thousand feet high. Recently, there is another new invention called "death stroke," which some called man-made lightning. The inventor says that the "death stroke" can kill a person twenty miles away, and that he has killed many animals with this "death stroke" in the desert within a radius of seven miles. The coming great war will give no peace to mankind!
The Manchester Conservative paper said, "If destructive science is still in control, there will be no cure for the world...It is doubtless that the destructive forces are stronger than the creating and constructive forces."
David Lloyd George, four times British Prime Minister, said, "If we have another war, with the destructive means that we have that were unavailable in previous wars...the world will sink into a condition that goes far beyond the most perilous time in the past."
The Norwegian scientist Mr. Vogt said, "Give me a few million pounds, and I can destroy the whole of Berlin." Edison said, "Nothing can stop twenty to fifty airplanes from flying to London tomorrow and killing millions of people in three minutes with a certain kind of gas."
Then there is racial strife. "The present world is in a condition of unprecedented fermentation. Prior to this, eighty to ninety percent of the world’s populated areas were under the white people’s domination." Mr. Panton said, "Suddenly (1 Thes. 5:3), we are brought face to face with racial strife." Dr. S. P. Cadman said, "This coming war will forever remove the superiority of the white people." On June 30, 1925, the Thames Paper reported, "Moscow (Russia) encourages the yellow and black people to shake themselves from the domination of the white people. The struggle between races is no longer a distant dream on this little planet, but a shocking matter in the near future." Consider again the present anti-foreigner sentiment in China. We cannot help but think that racial wars are close at hand. The subjugation of the minority races by the white race has been a known fact. It is true that where there is discontent, there are outcries. But even if the yellow and the black people are to gain supremacy in the future, there is still no rationale behind it! Those who have not received the Lord’s salvation and who have not been regenerated can never treat others with justice. This is not what we are talking about here. After reading what we have quoted, we can see that the coming war is inevitable. The pacifists can go on with their peace campaign, while the warmongers can go on with their war preparations. The day of the Lord is truly at hand. "For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...All these things are the beginning of birth pangs" (Matt. 24:7-8).
In considering the world situation, we realize that we are truly at the end time. The world has become too evil, and it is no longer worthy of our living here. The armies of hell seem to be mobilized and are very active. This is what we know: either we will be raptured, or we will be martyred. The suffering of those who love the Lord will be increased. From now on, there will no longer be any comfortable times. However, we should not "be troubled," because our eyes are heavenward. We look up to the heavens! But as long as we are on earth, we should be the salt. If the earth becomes corrupted, it is because the salt has lost its taste. This is why we have to be faithful and watchful, and we should pray. May the Lord preserve us in this perilous age.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)