HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Chairman
Publisher of "The PLAIN TRUTH" Magazine
An educational service at all levels
for all people worldwide
March 28, 1974
Dear Inner Family of Co-Workers with Christ:
When I surrendered completely to the Living Jesus Christ, 47 years ago, giving my life literally to Him to use as He might see fit, I counted the cost! It meant giving up my business, and career in the business world. I was well aware that Jesus had said to His disciples -- and this included all who would follow Him fully -- "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." I had to be willing to accept that.
When God inducted me into His ministry more than 40 years later I knew what He had commissioned me to do, to "go into all the world and preach THE GOSPEL" -- "go ye therefore, and teach all nations."
Teach what? Christ's GOSPEL, which is the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD.
And for our time, now, Christ said, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the END (of this present world) come."
NOT to proselyte -- not aggressively to seek Church members -- but to ANNOUNCE the Good NEWS of the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD -- which will bring us WORLD PEACE, universal happiness and prosperity, and eternal salvation. To PREPARE THE WAY for the coming of Christ again to earth in all the divine splendor, POWER and GLORY of the Eternal GOD, as the KING of kings and LORD of lords to rule, and to SAVE the world.
This is not the time when God is trying to SAVE the world, spiritually. We are preparing the WAY for the time when He will do that. IF God had been trying to get the world spiritually "saved," HE WOULD HAVE SAVED IT! Nevertheless, though we have made no direct active effort to make converts -- and absolutely NONE to compete or take members from churches, there have been thousands of conversions of those who heard the proclamation of Christ's Gospel.
And, of course, since God did add to His flock, it became our responsibility to "feed the flock." For this an educated ministry was provided through Ambassador College. There are, at the present time, some 600 ordained ministers, worldwide, in the Worldwide Church of God. The number one purpose and function of these hundreds of ministers and churches is their part in helping us in getting the GREAT COMMISSION accomplished! And that job HAS BEEN GETTING DONE -- IN A VERY POWERFUL MANNER!
But in regard to Christ's Church, even in the first century, there were false brethren and even false ministers. The Apostle Paul had called to him at Miletus the elders (ministers, pastors) of the church at Ephesus, where there was a good-sized church.
Paul said to them: "And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more, ... take heed therefore, ... for I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears" (Acts 20:25-31).
There are many more New Testament statements of ministers turning false, leaving God's Church, trying to draw away members after them, and trying to destroy the Work of God. We would not be doing the true Work of the Living God if the same things did not oppose us today -- persecution, FALSE ACCUSATIONS!
And so it is that a very small handful of ministers, seeking to take with them the churches they pastored, have turned "Judas." In order to try to take members with them, they have created false "issues," they questioned doctrines, made false accusations, sought to introduce confusion, doubt, prejudice. They came to have no interest whatsoever in GOD'S WORK, and have sought to DESTROY IT! They have indulged in character assassination, and they have sought their ends by going to the public press with their false allegations.
Most people do not realize that good news is NOT CONSIDERED NEWS by many news media. But derogatory accusations, statements purporting to "expose" IS NEWS! If one believes that such news media checks up to VERIFY the accuracy of such accusations, one is very much MISTAKEN! Time and again enemies of this Work of God have given false and totally misleading statements against the Work to newspapers in the United States, in England, and in Australia, and the press has printed their false, exaggerated, totally misleading accusations, with no check-up for verification.
Yes, Christ warned that if they had persecuted Him they would persecute and malign and seek to destroy His followers and His servants that He is using.
This Work of the Living God has been going out -- and GROWING almost incredibly for more than FORTY YEARS. Many were those who persecuted and falsely accused, forty years -- 35 years ago -- 30 and 20 and 10 years ago. Everyone of them has come to NOUGHT! Many have died horrible deaths. But GOD'S WORK HAS GROWN AND GROWN AND GROWN! And it has been blessed of Him as no other operation on earth that I know! Even though this is only the time of the almost infinitesimal FIRST-FRUITS of God's harvest of souls, nevertheless thousands have been converted EVERY YEAR! -- Their lives totally changed, and on the way into God's Kingdom. The FRUITS of this great Work are MONUMENTAL! And those fruits are GOOD!
Yes, there was a conspiracy. But the back of that conspiracy has been broken by our God! On what do we rely in such an emergency? We rely on the THRONE OF GRACE IN HEAVEN! WE GO TO OUR KNEES BEFORE THE LIVING CHRIST! He HEADS this great Work. He guides it, blesses it, produces abundant fruits for His Kingdom through it. And we leave the dealing with adversaries in HIS hands, only PRAYING for them, that God will cause them to see the serious error of what they have yielded themselves to do and restore them to Him and His Work.
This angry ATTACK has, of course, given us a temporary setback. Undoubtedly it will hurt the income for God's great Work. But it has at the same time actually STRENGTHENED US -- for it has welded the great LOYAL MAJORITY closer together than ever before.
It came at the very time when I had just arrived in Manila, the Philippines, for the very FIRST PUBLIC Personal Appearance Campaign.
I have written you before now, for forty years, we could find no way to get Christ's message -- His Gospel of the Kingdom of God -- of the soon-coming happy WORLD TOMORROW -- to most of the big nations of the world. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, we have proclaimed the Gospel first by radio, and then also by television. But in such nations as China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh -- the most populous nations (except for the U.S.) on earth, the GOVERNMENT controls radio and T.V., and there was no way we could reach the people.
In many such nations (not Japan) up to 80% or 85% of the people are ILLITERATE -- can't read or write -- almost totally uneducated. It is not like the United States. Such people can't be reached with Christ's Gospel.
Now, after all these years, and after beseeching God, He has OPENED THE DOORS! He has caused circumstances to bring about many, many private, personal meetings with the HEADS of many nations. He has given me unusual FAVOR in their eyes. This brought about meetings where I have been able to proclaim the GOOD NEWS of God's Kingdom before groups of 50 to 100 of the leading, top-ranking people of many of these nations -- members of the ruling cabinets, members of the legislative bodies (congress, parliament, diet, etc.), judges, leading educators and business men. This has led directly to plans for large PUBLIC APPEARANCE CAMPAIGNS, either sponsored or approved by those at the TOP of the governments and where the TOP and substantial citizenry of those nations attend. More than 50,000 were expected at Manila! That campaign was sponsored by members of the Cabinet! NEVER, in all history, had anything like that occurred before. For this was the opportunity to get Christ's Gospel -- and His Gospel has not been proclaimed to the world since the FIRST CENTURY! -- to the very top people who govern -- who RULE the nations!
Now I cannot go back to Manila and pick up where I had to leave off to rush back to Pasadena headquarters.
WHAT A TRAGIC SHAME!
But we shall immediately carry right on with these campaigns! The next one is scheduled for Ethiopia in May. Many others will follow.
I wrote you previously, I think, about the eight high-ranking Japanese Diet members (Japan's Congress or Parliament) who traveled two weeks with me into the Arab oil-producing countries. As we said "good-bye" at the end of the trip, they called themselves my "eight Japanese sons." The following telegram from them, when they heard of this attack causing me to fly immediately back to Pasadena, brought tears to my eyes when I read it. THEY are loyal! Here is what they telegraphed:
"DEAR MR. HERBERT ARMSTRONG. OUR SINCERE PRAYER FOR YOU THAT YOU MAY HAVE PRECIOUS DIRECTION AND PROTECTION UPON YOUR PRESENT TASK WHICH WE LEARNED THAT YOU HAD TO GO BACK TO THE STATES. MAY THE ALMIGHTY GIVE YOU WISE WISDOMS, PEACEFUL MIND AND SPLENDID HEALTH SO YOU'LL BE ABLE TO CARRY THROUGH YOUR MISSION. YOURS RESPECTFULLY, YOUR EIGHT JAPANESE SONS BUNSEI SATO AND OTHER MEMBERS OF JAPANESE DIET"
I also received telegrams of assurance of loyalty from important officials in other world capitals, and from a judge of the World Court at The Hague, Holland.
Dear Co-Worker in the most important Work on earth, from the bottom of my heart, I THANK YOU beyond words to express for your LOYALTY, your confidence, and for STANDING BEHIND ME, when such crises threaten! We have had to weather many storms, but GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US, as we are WITH HIM, and Jesus Christ has never left us nor forsaken us, and He NEVER WILL!
THANK YOU for your PRAYERS for me, for Garner Ted, and for THE WORK! We need them now and your even more than usual generous support!
I pray for YOU, and am VERY GRATEFUL for your prayers! With deep LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong