Herbert W. Armstrong
P.O. Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85701
September 17, 1982
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
I call on you to AWAKEN! We seem numb to the frightening SIGNIFICANCE of events in Europe and the Middle East! Today -- just hours ago -- the West German government FELL! It happened suddenly. Yesterday the Israelis moved swiftly into West Beirut, after the assassination of the President Elect of Lebanon. Just a couple days ago the Pope received terrorist leader Yasser Arafat and was photographed with him. Although my aides told me Arafat had invited me to a meeting with him, I refused to see him or to allow one of my aides to see him in my stead. Tomorrow the funeral will be held for Princess Grace of the kingdom of Monaco. Probably the November issue of The PLAIN TRUTH will carry a picture of Princess Grace and me dining side by side at a formal banquet.
World events are moving swiftly toward the grand-smash climax at the CLOSE of this world -- THIS CIVILIZATION! World news intensifies! God undoubtedly has held back progress of world events toward this final crisis. But indications now are that God will allow Satan to SPEED UP his wrath, for he knows he has but a short time! The devil knows it because Jesus' SIGN we are near the END OF THIS WORLD (Matt. 24:14), which YOU have backed me in proclaiming to the world -- the Gospel of THE KINGDOM OF GOD -- has been going to the world in great POWER!
It is written in Romans 9, concerning this very END TIME, "For he (Christ) will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (verse 28).
As I write, tomorrow is the Feast of Trumpets, portraying the SOON Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But WHY is he coming? Some few proclaim the Second Coming of Christ -- but it seems that NO ONE -- NO CHURCH -- understands the real meaning -- the true PURPOSE of his coming!
Winston Churchill said before the U.S. Congress, "There is a PURPOSE being worked out here below" -- implying God above working it out. But he did not understand that purpose, nor God's Master Plan for working it out.
God's great PURPOSE is: He is reproducing himself through humans made from the dust of the ground. But what, after all, IS God? He is the supreme Spirit Being, but he is perfect righteous spiritual CHARACTER! And that character must be inculcated into each human who is then to be changed from earthy matter into divine SPIRIT.
For this awesome PURPOSE God has a MASTER PLAN. God's annual feasts and annual sabbath holy days picture that Master Plan.
These festivals are built around the material harvest seasons in Palestine -- the early spring grain harvest and the autumn harvest.
God's great PURPOSE is fulfilled in TWO phases -- the physical phase begun with Adam, and the spiritual phase -- a new, or spiritual creation -- which began with Jesus Christ, and continues today.
During the physical phase or period, God called out of Egypt his people Israel and made them one of this world's nations. But God had closed up the Holy Spirit upon Adam's sin (Gen. 3:22-24) UNTIL Christ the second Adam should come and die in our stead in payment for our sins. God gave his annual holy days and festivals to that nation Israel. But they (except the prophets) did not have God's Holy Spirit, and so they did not understand the real spiritual MEANING of these feasts.
God foretold the coming of Christ, born as a human, as in Isaiah 9:6-7. But Old Testament Israel never understood, and Judah rejected him when he came.
But as prophesied, Jesus was born to become a KING. He said he was born to become a KING (John 18:37). Jesus' Gospel was the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD -- of which he shall be King. He taught his disciples, died on the cross, then ascended into heaven.
Then notice, Acts 3:19-21: The heavens have received him UNTIL the times of RESTITUTION of all things. He is in heaven on the Father's throne, as the High Priest of THIS CHURCH. He is coming at the time of RESTITUTION of all things. What is restitution? It is RESTORING to a former state or condition -- restoring something that had been taken away.
What former state or condition needs restoring? What was taken away -- and when?
Jesus did not restore anything at his first coming. Adam did not restore anything. Jesus will not restore anything Adam had. It antedates Adam.
To understand, notice II Peter 2:4: "... God spared not the angels that sinned ..."! What! Angels SINNED? People suppose angels are HOLY -- righteous -- perfect! Yet angels SINNED! When? Study verses 5-6. After the sin of angels, came the sins of the antediluvian world -- Adam to Noah. After that came the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Angels sinned prior to Adam's creation.
Now notice who led angels in sin. In Isaiah 14 it speaks of a soon-coming king of "Babylon" of whom the ancient King Nebuchadnezzar was a type. This coming king of Babylon shall restore the gentile kingdoms that started with Nebuchadnezzar. You find this succession of gentile world governments pictured in Revelation 13, 17 and in Daniel 2 and 7. Following the original Babylon emerged the Persian Empire, followed by the Greco- Macedonian Empire, and next the Roman Empire of 31 B.C. to A.D. 476. It was restored in 554 by Justinian, and became known later as the Holy Roman Empire. It lasted until Napoleon's defeat in 1814. In about 1934-36 Mussolini claimed to have restored it again. One final resurrection of that medieval Holy Roman Empire is now forming in Europe. The fall of Chancellor Helmut Schmidt's West German government may well signal its final resurrection into the "Beast" that is to fight against Christ at his Second Coming.
In Revelation 13, this whole "Holy Roman Empire" is said to have received its power, seat and great authority by Satan.
Now in Isaiah 14:12-14 the lesser type or human king lifts to the super one whom he represents -- Satan the devil. But originally he was a super archangel, the cherub Lucifer. Read those verses. He had a THRONE. He ruled a government. It was on earth. He said he was going to ascend into heaven, and exalt his throne above God. He was going to ascend above the clouds, so his throne was on earth. But he was cast back down to earth. Now notice he is also described in Ezekiel 28, beginning verse 12. He did seal up the sum of perfection, wisdom and beauty. He was an anointed cherub whose wings had covered God's throne in heaven. He had been perfect in his ways as God created him -- UNTIL iniquity was found in him. He had rebelled against the Government of God, which he had been placed on earth's THRONE to administer.
He became Satan. He led one third of all angels into SIN. He REBELLED against the GOVERNMENT of GOD. The GOVERNMENT of God had been established on earth. God had placed Lucifer on earth's throne to administer that government as KING over all the earth. He became Satan. The Government of God NO LONGER was administered on earth!
God created Adam. Had Adam taken of the tree of LIFE, Satan would have been banished from earth and Adam would have RESTORED that which Satan took away -- the GOVERNMENT of God.
When Adam rebelled, followed Eve who followed Satan, God shut off the Tree of LIFE -- which symbolized the Holy Spirit (Gen. 3:22, 24), UNTIL Christ should come and QUALIFY to restore that GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Jesus was born to become a KING. Jesus qualified. He conquered Satan (Matt. 4:1-11).
And so the heavens have received Jesus UNTIL he comes as KING of kings and LORD of lords to RESTORE the Government of God. More, he shall SET UP the KINGDOM of God -- the divine, Spirit- born FAMILY of God, which GOD FAMILY shall rule the earth -- hopefully including YOU and me.
Now notice Matthew 17:10-11: After John the Baptist already had come, completed his mission and been put in prison, Jesus said, "Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come [just before the day of the Lord and Christ's Second Coming], and restore all things." He was not here talking of John the Baptist, but of another to come IN THE POWER AND SPIRIT OF ELIJAH in our time just before Christ's coming. But John the Baptist already had come. Yet he RESTORED NOTHING. Even after John's mission was finished, Jesus said Elijah truly SHALL come and restore all things. But what "things"? He is prophesied in Malachi 3:1-6, but there it is talking about one preparing the way for the SECOND COMING of Christ in OUR time, now!
What was to be restored?
Two things, the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, just as Christ shall restore that over the earth -- the one to come in the power and spirit of Elijah would restore it in GOD'S CHURCH. God's Government HAS BEEN restored in God's Church!
One other thing. Christ's GOSPEL of the KINGDOM OF GOD was suppressed and ANOTHER gospel preached within about 22 years after the Church was founded. See Galatians 1:6-7. Since A.D. 53 a gospel of MEN about Christ was preached, but Christ's Gospel was THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Mark 1:1, 14-15). That Gospel was restored when I first went on the air the first week in January, 1934, and to the world when I went on Radio Luxembourg and Radio Ceylon in 1953 -- a century of l9-year time cycles after the Gospel OF THE KINGDOM had been suppressed. Jesus' sign by which we might know the end of this world and his Second Coming is near was, "this Gospel OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). The world didn't recognize the END of this world was near -- BUT SATAN DID! He knew his time is now SHORT! Do YOU know it?
And what next after this sign? This GREAT TRIBULATION, in which NO FLESH SHOULD BE SAVED ALIVE except God intervenes to CUT SHORT those days! (Verses 21-22.) I carried that Gospel to the world by the first week in 1953. Since then, and now 30 years ago, the HYDROGEN BOMB was first produced. For the first time, all humanity could be erased from earth -- unless God moves to SHORTEN these days! Now read on in Matthew 24 -- verse 29: "Immediately after the tribulation" shall come the heavenly signs of the DAY OF THE LORD, and then, verse 30, they shall SEE Christ coming in supreme power and glory TO RULE all nations!
Brethren and co-workers, YOU have been standing behind me in PROCLAIMING THAT TRUE GOSPEL -- in the WARNING we are about OUT OF TIME! THIS IS THE WORK OF THE LIVING GOD!
I began this letter Friday, September 17. Because of interruptions, and the Sabbath day, I have been interrupted until now, Monday afternoon, the 20th. Just this afternoon President Reagan went on the air announcing that due to the horrifying massacre in Lebanon late Friday after I started this letter, he is sending the U.S. Marines back into Lebanon to restore order. The Israelis are being condemned around the world, though they did not directly or intentionally cause it. TERRORIST AND TERRIFYING WORLD EVENTS ARE ACCELERATING BY THE HOUR!
Yes, we are running out of time! World events are moving now swiftly! GOD IS ALSO MOVING SWIFTLY TO MAKE A SHORT WORK OF IT in RIGHTEOUSNESS! In the past few days many more TV and radio stations are opening to God's last warning Message. NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE EVERY FINANCIAL SACRIFICE FOR THIS GREAT WORK -- as well as to FAST AND PRAY that Y O U may be ready to be suddenly CHANGED from human into a spirit GOD being and to rise to meet Christ as he returns in the air! Our ETERNITY is at stake RIGHT NOW!
Pray earnestly for me as I do for you!
With all LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong