Herbert W. Armstrong
P.O. Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85702
January 26, 1983
Dear Brethren in Australia:
Evangelist Gerald Waterhouse has just returned to Pasadena from his most recent visit to many of the churches in Australia, and I thank God for his report of your continued faithfulness and loyalty to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, and of your continuing steadfast in spiritual growth.
I recently returned from conferences with government leaders in Europe. I am much sobered by what I learned. The revival of the medieval "Holy Roman Empire" may be much more imminent than we have supposed -- and both prophecies of Revelation 17 and Daniel 2:44 show that its reformation will result quickly in the Second Coming of Christ, the END of this present evil world and the bursting forth of the wonderful, happy and peaceful WORLD TOMORROW!
We in God's Church are of the glorious TEMPLE to which the glorified Christ is coming.
More of that later, but I find there have been some misunderstandings as to what Mr. Waterhouse taught, and also about God's Church and what it is. God has shown me that this letter must be straight and PLAIN TALK- the PLAIN TRUTH. For I know you do not want to be wrong due to misunderstanding.
Time indeed is now short. We are the last generation of this present evil world -- the generation that shall be caught up in the air to meet Christ as he returns to earth as KING of kings and LORD of lords to establish A WHOLE NEW WORLD! Brethren, we are all still human. We have been called of God to come OUT of this world's ways and beliefs -- to be a separate and holy people, forming the glorious TEMPLE OF THE LORD to which he soon will come.
But also, the first century church at Corinth were called out of this world, and though now dead they shall be resurrected at Christ's coming and with us (then changed to spirit immortality) together meet with the returning Christ in the air at his coming. And Christ's apostle to them of that day had to write: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you ... that there are contentions among you" (I Corinthians 1:10-11). Some of them followed one minister, some another. This was causing divisions in the Church.
And the apostle Paul also wrote to those at Rome, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Romans 16:17).
Christ put GOVERNMENT into his Church. Most of those who have gone out from the Church have gone because they resisted the GOVERNMENT of CHRIST in the Church.
Brethren, how does God look at this world? It is common for us to look at it as we have been seeing it in our lifetime, in our little PART of this world. God sees the WHOLE world from its very foundation. It was founded through one man. Adam followed his wife, who was deceived by Satan, into rebelling against the GOVERNMENT of God. God had commanded him not to eat of the forbidden fruit. The penalty was DEATH. Actually Adam followed the GOVERNMENT of Satan. As the archangel Lucifer, a cherub, Satan had been placed on the throne of the earth (Isaiah 14:13) to administer the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the earth. But Lucifer rebelled and became Satan. But he is still on that throne. Adam had the opportunity to reject Satan and obey God. IF he had taken of the tree of LIFE, Satan would have been abolished and Adam made immortal, ruling on that throne. But Adam accepted the government or rule of Satan over his life and that of his children. So God CLOSED OFF the tree of life (the Holy Spirit, impregnating with immortal life) until Christ, the second Adam, 4,000 years later. Adam's decision was the FOUNDATION of this world. At that time it was decreed that the "WORD" would come as Savior of the world and be slain for human sins (Revelation 13:8). It was also decreed at the foundation of the world that all men should once die and after that the JUDGMENT. Also, that as in Adam ALL die, so in Christ should all be made alive by resurrection (Hebrews 9:27, I Corinthians 1 5:22).
This world became Satan's world. Satan became the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4). Adam's first son killed his brother and lied to God about it. A world developed, swayed by Satan -- a world avoiding and rejecting God.
God's law is the basis of God's GOVERNMENT. Law is merely rules that regulate one's way of living. The world has rules or laws regulating all sports and games. God's law regulates human RELATIONSHIPS -- with God, and with neighbor. God's way is LOVE -- outflowing concern for the GOOD of others -- humility, obedience to God, cooperation, serving, sharing with neighbor. Satan's way (this world's way -- human nature) is the way of rebellion, competition, strife, violence, disagreement.
Satan is STILL on that world throne. A civilization was developed by MAN, cut off from God's Spirit. Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Just as thoughts in the form of sounds, words and pictures can be transmitted instantaneously through the air by radio and TV, so Satan transmits ATTITUDES and IMPULSES through the air, and this works in the people of the world with the contentious, self-willed way of "GET." Satan injects this selfish nature into babies in the first months of their lives, and parents do nothing to teach them otherwise. You and I grew up that way.
Into such a world Jesus came. HE DID NOT SET OUT TO REFORM THIS WORLD OR MAKE SATAN'S WORLD A BETTER WORLD. He did not come to CHANGE this world or convert this world or make it a better world, as Protestants think. He came to start a whole new and different world. So he chose and called 12 men -- drafted them, so to speak. For 3 l/2 years he TAUGHT them the WAY OF GOD -- which is the GOVERNMENT of God. Through them he started his Church -- people called OUT of this world -- people who had grown up IN this world, but to REPENT, BELIEVE his teachings based on GOD'S LAW, which is the basis of God's GOVERNMENT. Still living IN the world, but no longer part OF it, learning GOD'S WAY of life based on God's LAW, which is the basis of God's GOVERNMENT. On real repentance and believing Christ and living as we shall in GOD's coming world -- living as God and Christ have always lived -- the TREE OF LIFE is open to us, even as it was open to Adam before he sinned. Receiving the Holy Spirit of God to dwell with our human spirit, the two spirits become ONE -- just as Adam and Eve became ONE family humanly, we become spiritually ONE in mind with God.
Under the 12 apostles, the 120 disciples who had followed Jesus, having received the Holy Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost, taught the other 3,000 baptized that same day. They, in turn, were to teach a multiplied larger number converted in the following days. THEY BECAME THE START -- THE EMBRYO -- OF AN ENTIRELY NEW AND DIFFERENT WORLD, to reign and rule and teach others in GOD'S WORLD, beginning with their resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ. But Satan was still on earth's throne. By A.D. 53, 22 years after the Church started, much or most in the Church had turned away. The Gospel was suppressed. A false gospel of MEN about the person of Christ, but denying the GOVERNMENT and law of God, counterfeited the true Gospel of Christ -- the Gospel OF THE KINGDOM -- of GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
When I was converted, 56 years ago, the true Church still retained the Sabbath and the name "Church of God," but had lost knowledge of the true Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, knowledge of the whole PURPOSE and Master Plan of God -- knowledge of who and what God is, what and WHY man is, what salvation really is.
Brethren, think a moment. HOW did the first Church of God receive its doctrines -- its teachings -- its beliefs? Answer: Only through the APOSTLES. And how did they receive this teaching? Direct from JESUS in person. He is the WORD of God. The Bible is the SAME Word of God in writing! How did YOU receive the true teachings of Christ? From God's apostle. How did I receive this wonderful truth? From the SAME JESUS, only IN WRITING. The Bible is a coded book. The Catholics and Protestants have access to it, but can't UNDERSTAND IT! WHY? "A GOOD UNDERSTANDING have all they that DO his COMMANDMENTS," says Christ in writing -- in the Bible. Catholics and Protestants say his commandments are DONE AWAY -- nailed to the cross! They CAN'T understand the Bible. Jesus said these truths are hidden from the wise of this world and revealed to babes -- to those who submit to his commandments and his GOVERNMENT.
I was astounded, 56 years ago, to see that what I had been taught in a Protestant church was the very opposite of the plain teaching of the Bible. I submitted to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD! I GAVE my life to Christ, to let him live his life IN ME. He opened my understanding to HIS TRUTH, used me to share it with you and all his Church. WE MUST ALL SPEAK THE SAME THING -- and it must be the very same thing Jesus teaches in HIS WORD. There must be NO DIVISIONS or contentions among us. We must be ONE with Christ and with God. We are NOT an Australian church or an American church -- we are all ONE in Christ Jesus!
Now, finally, how does GOD look down and see this world? He sees it as a world started with Adam, led by Satan in rebellion against God and God's way of life. It is SATAN'S world, God sees in it -- but not OF it -- his Church, living God's way of LOVE, obedient to HIS GOVERNMENT.
IF we overcome this world, overcome Satan, overcome our own nature Satan has implanted within us from infancy, believe and obey Christ's Gospel, are all ONE in and with Christ, then are we a part of that HOLY TEMPLE that shall rise and meet Christ as he returns to SIT ON THE THRONE OF THE EARTH. Satan shall be banished from it. When he comes, the dead in Christ shall rise first, we living shall be changed instantly from physical mortals to spirit IMmortals -- all together being the glorious TEMPLE to which he is coming. We shall be priests and kings, ruling with and under Christ. We shall JUDGE THE WORLD. For 1,000 years judgment will be on the world. Judgment NOW is on us of God's Church.
Again, finally, dear brethren, directly or indirectly my children in the Lord, I address you even as the apostle John did after A.D. 90, and since I also am now passed 90 years of age, I address you as "my little children."
Virtually all the trouble in your country has come from some disagreement or rebellion against the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, or about (like in the church at Corinth) a preference as to ministers or disagreement between ministers. Your minister is your teacher. You're his student, learning to be a teacher yourself in God's Kingdom. He is OVER YOU in the Lord. You therefore must esteem him highly.
It is true, nonetheless, as in the first century of the Church, some departed from the faith to draw disciples after them, even so some few have today. But even IF you suspect a minister is false or off the track, DO NOT DISCUSS THIS WITH OTHERS IN THE CHURCH. KEEP SILENT. But write either to your regional director or to me or Mr. Joe Tkach at Pasadena. Let US who are over him look into it. KEEP THE PEACE in your church. We believe and sincerely hope all ministers now serving are Spirit-led, true ministers of Jesus Christ, doctrinally sound and correct, loyal and faithful. Go VERY SLOW about feeling otherwise. Pray for one another. Pray for me.
With much love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong