World leaders predict mass famine and starvation. God’s Church knows total famine is coming. What should we do as members of the body of Christ? What is the balance of FAITH AND WORKS that we should have in facing THIS end-time crisis? During the last Ministerial Conference Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong commissioned Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong to begin preparing a program on this vital subject for the Church. Working directly with him in this program is Mr. Dale L. Schurter. Read the basic, beginning research in this article from the Instructor in Animal Husbandry and Agriculture at Ambassador College in Texas.
Hunger pangs plague millions today!
Jesus Christ prophesied worldwide famines would be a sign preceding His second coming. This prophecy is being fulfilled today. Its last stages will end in the grizzly horror of children being eaten by their own parents!
The world sees the problem, but doesn’t know what to do about it. Or if a solution is suggested, how to put it into effect is an insurmountable-problem in today’s strife-torn and hopelessly divided world.
The World’s Insoluble Problem
The latest quarterly of the National Federation of Grain Cooperatives reports: “The world is on the thresh¬old of the biggest FAMINE in history.” The three continents of Asia, Africa, and South America are being stricken this very minute. The populations of these continents are growing out of control and production of food is falling drastically behind. This is one of the greatest and most insoluble problems in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
“Such a famine will be of massive proportions affecting hundreds of millions, possibly even billions of persons. If this happens, as appears very probable, it will be the most colossal catastrophe in history.”
Famines in China and India are already involving thousands and even millions of persons. The peoples of the United States and the British Commonwealth have not yet had to cope with such a problem in this age. Modern Israel does not realize that its prosperity is almost over.
Dr. Raymond Ewell, vice-president for research at State University of New York at Buffalo, states, “This problem seems likely to reach such enormous proportions even by 1975 that it will dwarf and overshadow most of the problems and anxieties which now occupy our attention, such as the threat of nuclear war, communism, the space race, racial problems, unemployment, Berlin, Viet Nam, the Congo, Cyprus, Cuba, etc., etc.”
“In past famines, many people have died of disease as well as starvation, but now modern medicine will keep people alive even though starving, and they will still compete for a share of the inadequate food supply … but it will be persistent and get worse year by year, unless ways and means are soon found to increase agricultural production.”
Possible Answers Inadequate
It is hard for us, sitting in a rich, comfortable, over-fed America, to realize that total famine in all the world is just around the corner.
President Johnson, British Prime Minister Wilson, and other men in high positions of government, around the world, have reasoned, studied, pondered the problem, and have come up with two “possible” answers: 1) Reduce the population growth rate, or, 2) Increase agricultural production, or both.
Reducing the population growth rate is the only real answer according to these men. Improved agriculture could conceivably take care of the expected increases in population for a few more years. Beyond that—STARVATION.
An effort to reduce population through birth control is being actively promoted by governments and private groups throughout the world. But, no marked decrease in birth rate is expected until the 1980’s. By then, it will be TOO LATE!
The only remaining possibility of averting world famine in the 1970’s is therefore increased agricultural production. Technically, it is possible to double or even triple agricultural production in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, through the use of more fertilizers, more irrigation, better seed varieties, pesticides, and other improved agricultural practices. Dr. Ewell believes that most fertilizers needed by these countries will have to be imported from the industrialized countries through foreign aid.
This presents another problem. Even after the quantities of fertilizer we have been discussing become available, there is still a big educational job ahead to get farmers to use the fertilize!. This would require an extensive and intensive propaganda campaign together with adequate economic incentives. The countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America (except Japan) do not have enough agricultural specialists of their own to put over such a program. These proposed “possible answers” are a far cry from a desperately needed solution.
Modern Israel Included
What about modern Israel? American exports of food in 1965 were larger than ever before, and the demand grows daily. Peoples of other countries, and the leaders, refuse to face the fact that the United States cannot feed the world. In 1965, U.S. surplus dwindled to a mere seven to ten percent of what it had been. In the same year, cash income from farm produce was at an all-time high.
What would be the result if the drought that has hit India and South Africa were to hit the world’s “breadbasket”—America and Canada? Our government is already committed in a foreign aid program for this year that will ELIMINATE our “surpluses.” Canada and Australia offer little help. The facts show famine is inevitable, world¬wide, including modern Israel.
God prophesies that is exactly what will happen. “… I shall send upon them [modern Israel] the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: And I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread” (Ezek. 5:16).
God’s prophecies emphasize all facts and trends, which show that world famine is just around the corner.
Only Possible Solution
What a fantastic blessing it is that there is an Almighty God in heaven. What an incomparable miracle that “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
The rulers and planners of this world have based their predictions on the assumption that the weather and growing conditions will remain constant, and that crop yields will increase, not decrease. Not knowing God, they neglected to take prophecy into account.
God says, “The field is wasted, the land mourneth, for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vine dressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished” (Joel 1:10 11). “But it shall come to pass if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store” (Deut. 28:15-17).
God’s people know the only possible way to avert a disastrous worldwide famine is through worldwide obedience to God.
Will You Suffer in Famine?
Will truly converted Christians be required to undergo the suffering of the coming famine along with the rest ot the world? Is there something you can do to prevent it? Does the Bible offer any guide?
In the Old Testament, when the children of Israel were held as captive slaves in the land of Egypt, God sent great plagues which troubled and harassed all the inhabitants of the land. At first, there was no difference made between the Israelites and the Egyptians. As the plagues became more grievous, God put a division between His people and the Egyptians for a sign to all that He was the LORD in the midst of the earth (Exodus 8). The first three plagues of that tribulation were suffered by the Israelites along with the Egyptians, but they were spared worse plagues that followed.
In Matthew 24 and Revelation 6, we read that the coming of false prophets, wars and rumors of wars, world war, famines and pestilences are the “beginning of sorrows” [tribulation]. These sorrows are coming on the world in the end time. Notice Matthew 24:16-21, God is going to allow true believers to live in this world’s society until Satan brings intensified persecution on the true Church, and increased tribulation. At this time, God will deliver the Church into her place of protection (Rev. 12:13-14). There God will provide her needs supernaturally.
How God Preserved During Famine
Examples are given in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, how God guided and cared for His people when it was neccessary for their area of the country to be chastened through famine.
During the time Israel (Jacob) lived in the land of Canaan there was a great famine throughout that land and Egypt. God knew famine was coming and allowed Joseph, one of Israel’s sons, to be sold into Egypt in advance of the famine.
Three years after Joseph arrived in Egypt, Pharaoh, the king, had two dreams foretelling the coming of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of extreme famine. Pharaoh was greatly troubled by the dreams because he could not understand them. Joseph was summoned and God gave him the interpretation of both dreams. Joseph told Pharaoh of the seven fat and seven lean years that lay ahead, and signified a way to HANDLE the problem. Pharaoh looked upon Joseph with much favor and made him governor over all Egypt. His main responsibility was to initiate plans for the coming fourteen years.
Joseph appointed officers over the land to store up the fifth part of the produce of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
When the famine came, Israel sent to Egypt for food. Soon, he and his whole household came into Egypt. Joseph told his family, when they arrived, that God had sent him on ahead to preserve them and their posterity on the earth, and would save their lives by a great deliverance.
The children of Israel and all their household were nourished for the final five years of famine.
New Testament Example
A New Testament example of how God preserved his people during the time of famine is mentioned in Acts 11. “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth through¬out all the world; which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar” (verses 27-28).
This drought was extensive in the region around Jerusalem, Palestine. History records that it was during this famine, that the apostle Paul wrote the first book of Corinthians. In chapter 16, he gave an order to the brethren at Corinth: “Let every one of you lay by him in store . . . and I will bring your gift unto Jerusalem.”
Paul also had ordered the same type collection from the church in Galatia. This order instructed the brethren to lay in store for the famine stricken saints at Jerusalem. Paul urged them to have it ready so he could pick it up later that year and take it on to the headquarters church.
In these examples from the Bible, we see that it is wise to prepare for what God says is imminent in the very next few years.
There IS Something You Can Do
The time has come for true believers and members of the body of the Living Jesus Christ to begin thinking about and preparing to save up to “lay by him in store.” Jesus Christ commands us to watch (Luke 21:36) the signs and events that were prophesied to come. They are now happening before our very eyes. It is time for us to prepare for the coming, last, worldwide famine. There are ways that all of us can lay aside supplies of food.
There are several commodities of high nutritional value that can satisfactorily and economically be stored for long periods of time. The Bible speaks of high-quality foods such as grain, honey, milk, the fatted calf, and others. The following are suggested basic staples that you will want to consider in beginning your storehouse”: wheat (or other kinds of cereal grains), honey, cheese, smoked meat, canned and frozen meats, fruits and vegetables.
Do NOT Become a Pharisee
Understand thoroughly, brethren, be¬fore we go into the technical and physi¬cal details that NO MANNER OR AMOUNT OF FOOD STORAGE CAN SAVE YOU! Only God can!
If you get to looking to the physical, dedicating all your time, efforts and energies to food storage to save your physical life—then you will be the greatest loser of all time! Read Luke 9:24-25—”For whosoever will save his life [seek to selfishly maintain his physical life at all costs] shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?”
Avoid the extremes!
Don’t be super and pseudo-spiritual and declare that you are going to trust the Lord and not do anything for your¬self. Remember God’s admonition given through Solomon, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer [the time of plenty] and gathereth her food in the harvest ” (Proverbs 6:6-8.) We have been warned ahead of time and should do every¬thing within our power to prepare, ALL THE TIME KNOWING ONLY GOD CAN SAVE US THROUGH THESE END-TIME CATASTROPHES!
And DON’T become a food fanatic! Don’t look to the physical. Pray for Godly BALANCE. In fact it would be a good idea for you to do JUST THAT RIGHT NOW! Before you continue with this article, go to a private place, or drop to your knees with your whole family and ask God to help you see this instruction in its proper balance, to see it THROUGH HIS EYES!
It may well be that many of you, being city and apartment dwellers, will not be able to follow through on this as much as you wish you could. But if your attitude and spiritual growth is right, God will supply your needs when the time comes—directly, or through the other brethren as those in the provinces supplied the saints in Jerusalem in their need.
Now About Wheat
Wheat ought to be the core of your storage program since it is the most generally available grain in our Western countries. It is a well-known fact that human beings could survive in health indefinitely on wheat and water alone.
Scientific and medical research shows that wheat contains the properties to help: strengthen nerves, develop muscle tone, promote a healthy heart condition, improve circulation, build resistance to disease, increase the ability to learn and remember, aid normal reproduction, increase the power of a mother to nurse her babies.
Any wheat is better than none. We should select the best available while it is available. In the selecting and storing of wheat, the following points should be kept in mind:
Kind or variety: Dark Hard Winter Wheat (Turkey); Dark Hard Spring or Marquis Wheat.
Grade: The grade should be No. 2 or better (Not less than 58 lbs. per bushel). Protein should be from 11.50 to 12.50 percent or more. Wheat should be cleaned for human consumption and free from smut and foreign material. Be sure it has not been treated for use as seed.
Moisture: Moisture content it most important. It is recommended that the moisture content be 10 percent or less. (Some say 12 to 13 percent, but the dryer the better). This may pose a problem necessitating your drying the wheat artificially in areas—or times— of high humidity by means of heated, forced air. Insects arc unable to reproduce in clean grain with a moisture of nine percent or below. (A moisture test can be made at most feed stores and grain elevators.)
Containers: Containers should be suitable to hold weight of grain, protect it from rodents and insects, and should be non-conductors of moisture (metal containers have been most satisfactory). Also be sure the covers fit tightly.
Quantity: Quantity will vary according to needs. An active person will re¬quire more than an inactive one. As a guide, one year’s requirement will vary from 70 lbs. for children to 100 lbs. for adults. (This refers only to bread, cereal, and other normal requirements. If circumstances cause wheat and wheat products to become the principal diet, the amount required per individual would be proportionately increased.)
Storage: Wheat will keep indefinitely if properly stored in a cool, dry place with moisture content under 10 percent. Wheat stored for more than one year should be aerated by turning it at least twice a year. Wheat can be cleaned by screening it over a hand sieve made of screen similar to wire door screen. Five-to ten-gallon metal containers are a handy size to use for storage and aeration.
You may check with farmers in your local area about acquiring wheat.
Honey is a natural, unrefined food that can be stored for an indefinite period of time. It is safe and whole¬some. Bacteria, which cause certain dis¬eases in human beings, cannot live in honey because of its high sugar con¬tent. Honey is available the year around and may be purchased in various forms. It is on the market in liquid, comb, chunk, cut comb, solid, sometimes called granulated or finely crystallized, and creamed honey. The various forms do not change its food value. Here are some points to keep in mind:
To purchase honey: Select the flavor you desire. The flavor depends upon the kind of flowers from which the bees gather nectar. Honey producers frequently mix several honeys by heating moderately and stirring to produce a blend with a flavor that is most satisfactory.
To store honey: Keep liquid honey in a dry place. Freezing does not injure the color or flavor, but may hasten granulation. Avoid damp places for storage because honey has the properly of absorbing and retaining moisture. It is best not to put honey in the refrigerator. Containers should be suitable to hold the weight of the honey (one gallon weighs 12 lbs.), protect it from rodents and insects, and should be nonconductors of moisture.
To liquify honey that has granulated or solidified: Place the container in a bowl of warm water, not warmer than the hand can bear, until all crystals are melted. See that the honey container does not rest on the bottom of the water container. Getting it too hot will injure its quality and food value.
You are all familiar with canning (or bottling) as a means or preserving fruits and vegetables, but what about drying? Drying, which used to be a common method of preservation, has become a lost art. Instructions are still obtainable as stated at the end of this article if you care to try it This is a good way to preserve fruits if you don’t have much storage space, or if you have an abundance beyond what you are able to can. Apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, figs, grapes and even berries may be dried at home with a minimum of equipment.
Unprocessed raisins may be bought directly from vineyards at a price substantially less than that of processed and packaged raisins. The unwashed raisins keep better than washed ones, too. They will stay in good condition two years or longer if stored in tightly covered metal containers.
Some vegetables may also be dried. These include corn (maize), green lima beans, okra, peppers and green peas. In general, however, vegetables are more palatable canned or frozen than dried.
Cheese has been a popular food for thousands of years. An important point to consider about cheese is the fact that it is a concentrated source of many of the nutrients of milk. Finished cheese contains a large proportion of the milk protein, the minerals, the fat (if it is a “whole milk” cheese), and the fat-soluble nutrients of milk. It is interesting to note that the peoples of the world who exhibit the highest degree of national health, on the basis of longevity and infant mortality rates, are also the leading cheese eaters of the world. Some points to consider are:
Types: There are only eighteen distinct types of cheese, of which there are over 400 varieties. Despite the diversity among cheese varieties, it is possible to classify all cheeses under three main divisions—hard, semi-hard, and soft. The relatively low moisture con¬tent of hard and semi-hard cheeses permits their storage for long periods of time, if conditions are favorable. Soft cheeses, which contain a higher moisture content, are more perishable.
Purchasing: United States and foreign cheeses have no difference in food value if they are of the same variety. Cheese manufactured in the United States consists largely of hard cheeses (cheddar and swiss). Wisconsin and New York are the leading cheese-producing states. In Wisconsin, most cheese is made from pasteurized milk, while in New York, raw milk is used almost exclusively. During the curing or aging period (60-day minimum), the cheese not only develops a desirable flavor and texture, but through bacterial action all harmful micro-organisms are devitalized. The longer cheese is held or aged past the minimum 60-day period, the better the flavor and texture if proper temperature is maintained.
Storage: Hard and semi-hard cheeses arc best for storing. Many varieties of these cheeses arc cured for as much as 12 to 16 months. The length of time aged usually appears on the label of both New York and Wisconsin cheeses. Most cheeses purchased in a large lump will be coated with paraffin which helps to preserve it. In such cases, a wedge of the cheese can be cut out and wrapped in foil for immediate use while the larger remaining piece will keep better if the cut surfaces are spread with softened butter before-wrapping in aluminum foil. Cheese should be stored in a cool place, prefer¬ably the refrigerator—or no warmer than about 50° F.
Digestibility: Some people are reluctant to use cheese freely because of their mistaken notion that it is diffi¬cult to digest. This idea is not sup¬ported by research. Experimental evi¬dence of the high digestibility of cheese shows it to be 90-99 percent digestible. This range compares favorably with that found for other foods normally used in a mixed diet.
There are various methods of preserving foods for storage Those most frequently used are: canning, freezing, smoking, drying, pickling, brining, and making preserves or jellies of several types. Each one of these methods has merits of its own, depending on the food selected for preservation and the pleasure of the user. In each case, the proper selection of the food, choice and care of equipment, preparation of food, suitable- application of heat, packaging, labeling, dating, and storing are necessary if products of excellent quality are to be your reward. Each method may be checked to determine which would serve you best.
Instructions for the above methods mentioned can easily be acquired by writing for information from your local Home Demonstration or County Agent. They usually maintain offices at the County Court House. Another excel¬lent source of detailed information is, The United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. This material is free for the asking.
Plan To Save
To be effective in your planning you will need some definite goals. Few will be able to lay up large quantities of food all at once. It would be wise to first take time to sit down and consider what you want to store, its availability, and the quantity you wish to purchase. It is helpful to schedule your planning in the form of an outline or chart.
At certain seasons of the year there are usually special sales on various products. If you make room in your budget to begin saving a little from each pay¬check, you will be able to take advantage of these sales when they become available.
Another method of saving that is simple, yet effective, is to set aside certain portions of items each time of major shopping. You should use a method or combination of methods you feel will best satisfy your needs. What¬ever your decision, begin now.
Physical Preparation Alone Is NOT Enough
Our Creator, a loving, benevolent God, wants us to “.. . prosper and be in health” (3 John 2). Jesus Christ foretold the signs and world conditions that would appear just prior to His second coming. Immediately following, He gave those of understanding a solemn admonition, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21 : 28).
Remember, lack of obedience to God’s laws is the reason the world is in its present condition. If we are not prepared spiritually, our spiritual house being in disorder, all the physical preparation in the world will avail nothing. We need desperately to keep close to our Lord and Savior. Obedience to Him needs to become automatic.
The prophecy of world famine IS being fulfilled before your very eyes. God may not intervene to help you, if you knowing famine is coming, do not help yourselves—according to your ability to do so.
By Dale Schurter The Good News Magazine April-May 1966