“Eleanor Rathbone wrote to Churchill of how relieved she was that he had been to the Foreign Office, and she added: ‘There is a great longing for leadership and even those who are far apart from you in general politics realize that you are the one man who has combined full realization of the dangers of our military position with belief in collective international action against aggression. And if we fail again now, will there ever be another chance?’” (Martin Gilbert, The Prophet of Truth; emphasis mine throughout).
Some people were beginning to wonder if Britain would survive. The policy of surrender after surrender to the Nazis was taking its toll.
There was a long period without real leadership. Some of the people were beginning to yearn for strong leaders.
Where are our strong leaders today?
How long will it be before we are longing for powerful leaders? How long are we going to seek leaders who will tell us “smooth things”? How much must we suffer before we change our desires? When are we going to learn from history? Gilbert continued:
Two days later, on September 14, Josiah Wedgwood wrote to Churchill:
“My dear Winston,
“Do our folk really mean business? They seem to have seen everyone but you, and it is inconceivable to me that they should actually be facing up to war if they have not called you in—inconceivable that we should not be disgraced without you. …
“Not one of these people had anything to do with the direction of the last war. They are babies, if not cowards. You, or God, will have to help if this country is now to be saved.”
The fact that Churchill was not in the government was a sign that the leaders hadn’t faced reality. But it is so easy for weak and fearful people to reason around the truth.
Today many of our leaders are like babies! “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:1-4). God even prophesied that our leaders in this end time would be like babes. This is an end-time prophecy (Isaiah 30:8). And notice the nation is falling apart at the same time! There isn’t even enough bread and water for the people.
This is where weak leaders take us! It can only end in the worst possible calamity! There is cause and effect. What a terrifying price to pay for following the wrong leaders.
The military men and eloquent orators like Churchill are gone today. And our leaders are making childish decisions—and childish speeches!
We are so childish that we are almost totally unaware of our lack of real leaders. We fail to see it as a curse from God! No great nation can survive without strong leadership. Childish leaders lack the will to face strong tyrants. Our will is broken in our leaders, exactly as God prophesied. When will we face the brutal truth about ourselves?—and then repent? People who have faith in God never have a weak will.
In World War ii, Britain needed a leader as bold as a lion. Instead, they were getting rabbits, and Britain continued to falter. Gilbert wrote:
While Chamberlain was speaking, a message was brought in from the Foreign Office, given to Lord Halifax in the Gallery and then brought down to Chamberlain at the despatch box. It was an invitation from Hitler for a four-power conference at Munich, to which Chamberlain, Daladier and Mussolini were invited. Chamberlain broke off his speech in order to announce the news. Then, amid great excitement and applause, he declared that he would accept the invitation, and fly to Munich. Most MPs rose in their seats and waved their order papers with enthusiasm. Churchill, Eden, Amery and Harold Nicolson remained seated. Those MPs near Churchill called out, as Lennox-Boyd recalled, “Get up! Get up!”
Weak people try to force others to follow them. In this they are very strong! Their reasons are very weak because they don’t have the truth. That leads them to demonize those who oppose them. They can’t accept the truthful message, so they attack the messenger.
That condition is rampant in American and British politics today.
What happened at Munich in September 1938 discouraged Churchill more than ever before in his political career. But still he remained strong and kept warning—even as the British leaders kept dragging the people closer to war through weakness!
How glorious is strength—even in defeat. But there was some positive response to Churchill’s speech (ibid.):
The impact of Churchill’s Munich speech was considerable. But Violet Bonham Carter wrote to him on October 6, as soon as it was over, “Will it pierce the shell of those drowsy tortoises? Dragging us to our doom?” That same day Emery Revesz wrote from Paris: “Your speech in the House was grand. It made a very big impression over here on all those who can still be impressed. …” Revesz added that in the chamber everyone had voted for the Munich agreement “in order to avoid being called a ‘bellicist,’” and he went on: “There will come a great reaction one day in France, but, of course, too late.” Writing on October 20 Paul Reynaud declared: “One of your colleagues, a Labor MP, told me of the very great success of your speech and the increasing importance of your position in Britain. I rejoice that this should be so.” On October 22 Churchill received a letter from Germany from an anonymous “German citizen” who wrote: “You have no idea of the respect which the German people hold for you, Duff Cooper, Eden and other English statesmen who defend justice.”
France did wake up, after it was too late. And Britain and America are also prophesied to wake up in this end time—only after it’s too late. The Prophet Ezekiel warns, “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:30-33).
One of Churchill’s friends, the Conservative Duchess of Atholl, lost her election. He encouraged her not to quit, but to run as an Independent. He wrote to her: “It would be widely accepted as another sign that Great Britain is sinking under the weight of her cares, and no longer has the spirit and will-power to confront the tyrannies and cruel persecutions which have darkened this age” (ibid.).
Repeatedly, Churchill mentioned Britain’s weakened or broken will. That process was well under way in World War ii. It is far worse today. But our people refused to heed Herbert W. Armstrong’s message before, during and after the war. And they continue to reject God’s warning today. So God intensifies the punishment.
“And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass. … And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins” (Leviticus 26:19, 21). That means God is going to keep putting on more intensive pressure until we repent! Our will to fight, militarily, is going to be totally broken! How much we suffer depends on how soon we repent. “And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins” (verses 23-24). Read the whole chapter. It is the future of America and Britain if we don’t repent. God deals with us according to our own hardness.
The leaders in America and Britain before World War ii were very weak. (Even Stalin exploited this weakness at the end of the war when it appeared as though we had regained our “strength.”)
Hitler gave a good evaluation of our leaders, but did anyone really learn a lesson? Gilbert wrote:
On November 14 the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Policy met to discuss the effects of the Munich agreement. Halifax told the committee that Hitler was reported as saying, “If I were Chamberlain I would not delay for a minute to prepare my country in the most drastic way for a ‘total’ war and I would thoroughly organize it. If the English have not got universal conscription by the spring of 1939 they may consider their world empire as lost. It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal.”
Nobody can honestly and logically deny that Hitler was right. This is not God’s world. Satan rules this Earth (2 Corinthians 4:4), and such vile leaders will continue to come on the world scene. Even now they taunt and bully our weak leaders. And it’s going to get a lot worse because we didn’t learn from our weakness of World War ii.
Those grave mistakes should have been a call to action. Instead, we continue blundering—only ten times worse today.
As Churchill warned, the leaders at that time also kept repeating mistakes (ibid.):
“In 1934 I warned Mr. Baldwin that the Germans had a secret Air Force and were rapidly overhauling ours. I gave definite figures and forecasts. Of course, it was all denied with all the weight of official authority. I was depicted a scaremonger. Less than six months after, Mr. Baldwin had to come down to the House and admit he was wrong and he said, ‘We are all to blame’ and everybody said, ‘How very honest of him to admit his mistake.’”
Robin Londonderry, a Conservative member in Parliament, wrote to Churchill: “I have listened to practically all your speeches since I have been in the House and your utterances have been strangely prophetic.”
Yet Neville Chamberlain still believed peace was coming. He wrote on Feb. 19, 1939: “I myself, am going about with a lighter heart than I have had for many a long day. All the information I get seems to point in the direction of peace and I repeat once more that I believe we have at last got on top of the dictators” (ibid.).
Where Are the Leaders?
What Churchill did before World War ii should be deeply remembered, even more than what he did during the war. That is because we must be better prepared than we were for World War ii or we won’t survive a nuclear attack. Being unprepared invites such an attack.
“On May 27 Robert Boothby wrote to Churchill: ‘One of the few things in my life of which I am proud is that in all matters of major policy during the past five years I have hitched my wagon to your star,’ and he added: ‘Long after the names of the miserable creatures who are now supposed to govern us have been lost in a merciful oblivion, the incredible services you have rendered this country since 1933 will be remembered’” (ibid.). For six years Churchill had been strongly warning Britain. It has been remembered, but not deeply enough for us to learn the needful lesson.
Before World War ii, some people began to see Churchill’s value to Britain and the whole world. But today we live in good times and forget what he did and its importance to us.
He was a watchman used by God to help save the Western world. But Churchill’s example then was also intended to be a warning for us today! What value is a watchman if we forget his message? God will not send another Churchill—but He is sending a spiritual watchman to help us remember.
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (Malachi 3:16). We are to remember what God taught us in the past, whether it was through a Churchill or an end-time Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong (Malachi 4:5-6).
Human nature tends toward catastrophe, which is why we must remember. In this nuclear age, human survival is at stake.
In 1939, Churchill began to have a nightmarish fear (ibid.):
As the summer progressed, Churchill became increasingly worried about the sense of defeatism and despair which he began to feel around him. At dinner on June 14, when he found himself sitting next to the American columnist Walter Lippmann, he was shocked to learn from Lippmann that the United States ambassador, Joseph Kennedy, was telling his friends that when war came Britain, facing defeat, would negotiate with Hitler. Harold Nicolson, who was present at the dinner, recalled that the moment Churchill heard the word “defeat” he turned to Lippmann and declared:
“No, the ambassador should not have spoken so, Mr. Lippman; he should not have said that dreadful word. Yet supposing (as I do not for one moment suppose) that Mr. Kennedy were correct in his tragic utterance, then I for one would willingly lay down my life in combat, rather than, in fear of defeat, surrender to the menaces of these most sinister men. It will then be for you, for the Americans, to preserve and to maintain the great heritage of the English-speaking peoples.”
The word “defeat” was a dreadful word to Churchill, and yet today America has forced the little Middle Eastern nation of Israel to give back all the land it has won after being repeatedly attacked by the Arabs from 1967 to today. And we have made Israel look like the evil party for resisting some of our pressure! How sick and upside down! It doesn’t take a genius to know that the Arabs must one day win. They can’t lose every battle. But even when they lose, Israel returns the conquered territory. It is a defeatist policy destined to fail! This is a philosophy of weakness, surrender and defeat, and it would have been abhorrent to Churchill.
Clearly, our leaders in politics, education and the press were wrong in the 1930s about Germany. Our peoples are even weaker and more anti-God today. Still, they continue to follow our leaders in their defeatist policies.
Churchill feared that his people were slipping into a dangerous defeatist attitude. At the same time, he warned them that, when dealing with a tyrant like Hitler, the only argument that counts is force.
Parliament on Vacation
What happened next was a massive lesson of the childlike leaders Britain had in Parliament. Gilbert wrote:
In discussing the government’s policy, Churchill told Spears that Chamberlain’s decision to adjourn Parliament from August 4 to October 3 was a grave error of judgment, which could only encourage the Germans to believe that Britain would not take decisive action when the crisis came, and would also convince the Russians that Britain was not in earnest about an alliance. Churchill had decided to speak against this two-month adjournment, and read Spears a draft of the speech which he intended to deliver on August 2, asking for Parliament to be recalled on August 22 or 25. …
“Abroad,” Churchill said during the debate itself, “the House of Commons is counted, and especially in dictator countries, as a most formidable expression of the British national will and an instrument of that will in resistance to aggression.” His speech continued:
“This is an odd moment for the House to declare that it will go on a two months’ holiday. … Is this, then,” he asked, “the moment that we should separate and declare that we separate until the 3rd October? Who can doubt that there is going to be a supreme trial of will power, if not indeed a supreme trial of arms.”
Churchill kept coming back to the “British national will and an instrument of that will” and “a supreme trial of will power.” Let me repeat that God prophesied that our will to use our military power would be broken in this end time (Leviticus 26:19). Our will was being broken even then because of sin, and it is much worse today.
When are we going to awaken?
Leopold Amery, Harold Macmillan and Ronald Cartland were among those Conservatives who had argued during the debate in favor of an early recall. Cartland later told his sister (ibid.):
“After Neville’s speech our little group shuffled disconsolately into the lobby. Winston came out. ‘Well,’ I said to him, ‘We can do no more.’
“‘Do no more, my boy?’ he echoed. ‘There is a lot more we can do. This is the time to fight—to speak—to attack!’”
Here is what happened 10 days before world war was declared by Britain (ibid.):
On August 23, Churchill returned to London. The news that greeted him was of an impending agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. On the following day the Daily Mirror published his article, “At the Eleventh Hour!” In view of the Soviet-German “intrigue,” he wrote, it was becoming “increasingly difficult to see how war can be averted. … Events are moving forward from every quarter and along all roads to catastrophe. The German military preparations have already reached a point where action on the greatest scale is possible at any moment.”
That evening Archibald Sinclair telephoned Churchill to find out his reaction to the Nazi-Soviet agreement. “The latter has just returned from Paris,” Harold Nicolson recorded in his diary, “and is in high fettle. The French are not at all perturbed by the Russo-German Pact.”
There were signs galore of a coming war, but the British and French leaders kept ignoring them. Again, what a fulfilling of the prophecy about “children ruling over them.” The leaders were hiding from the danger as they vacationed. If ever there was a time not to go on vacation, this was it!
So how much can we trust the leaders of our land? God says we are under a curse if we do so! (Jeremiah 17:5).
On September 1, Germany marched into Poland. The English Parliament was on vacation! But it had been on vacation for most of a decade as far as its duty was concerned.
Although Britain declared war on September 3, Neville Chamberlain still believed he might negotiate peace with Hitler! (ibid.):
Were German troops to withdraw, Chamberlain added, “the way would be open to discussions between Germany and Poland,” a discussion with which the British government would be “willing to be associated.” Leopold Amery recalled in his memoirs:
“The House was aghast. For two whole days the wretched Poles had been bombed and massacred, and we were still considering within what time-limit Hitler should be invited to tell us whether he felt like relinquishing his prey!”
War quickly puts people’s views into a proper perspective. Many people now had to see and admit that Winston Churchill was right.
What a powerful watchman Churchill was. What a marvelous example he was for all of us. His friend Brendan Bracken evaluated his watchman work extremely well, as noted by Martin Gilbert: “Winston has won his long fight. Our government is now adopting the policy that he advised three years ago. No public man in our time has shown more foresight, and I believe that his long, lonely struggle to expose the dangers of the dictatorships will prove to be the best chapter in his crowded life.”
Winston Churchill was a magnificent watchman. •