HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, 91123
September 20, 1983
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
As world conditions worsen with increasing acceleration, the rich blessings of God upon his Work through the living Christ also mount with increasing acceleration.
Throuqh Christ, God is increasingly opening new doors for spreading his true Message.
Truly, as we read in Ephesians 1:8 (Moffatt version), "So richly has God lavished upon us his grace."
New and better times are opening to us on important television stations. Hundreds of supermarkets have opened for distribution of The PLAIN TRUTH magazine. The PLAIN TRUTH circulation has now topped six million copies in six languages -- and soon a seventh -- Norwegian -- which can be understood in both Sweden and Denmark.
Largely due to the good performance of a group of Ambassador College students sent to China to study Chinese (two members of our staff have since been asked to assist their government in teaching English), it now appears that the People's Republic of China will invite us to hold one of our convention sites in a brand-new hotel that will accommodate 1,000 members -- all services for the eight days being held in the large hotel ballroom. If and when confirmed, we will make a definite announcement. This will be a historic FIRST, since no religious conventions have ever been held in China since the Communist revolution.
We are now right up to the biblical Festival of Tabernacles time and have just observed the Feast of Trumpets, foreshadowing the Second Coming of Christ, and the Day of Atonement, foreshadowing the final removal of Satan and making the then reborn children of God AT ONE with God and with Christ.
The coming of the Messiah to take over the RULE of ALL NATIONS will mark the greatest event in the history of the entire universe. Do you realize WHY?
In Acts 3:19-21, in the first Spirit-inspired sermon on the day God's Church was founded, Peter said Jesus has been in heaven UNTIL the time of restitution of all things. Restitution means restoring something taken away. It is speaking of the GOVERNMENT of GOD on earth.
The Bible shows angels were on earth prior to the first human (II Pet. 2:4; Job 38:4-7). Satan is described as the former cherub Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14) who was perfect in his ways from the day he was created until he turned to rebellion against the Government of God (Ezek. 28:12-17). He had been placed on the THRONE OF THE EARTH. He was already present as Satan when Adam was created. God created MAN after the GOD kind (Gen. 1:26), potentially to become God beings -- God's born children. But man was created of matter from the ground -- with temporary physical existence -- NOT of spirit. God is composed of spirit, with immortal self-containing life. This immortal LIFE was offered the first man, Adam. But he was required to make a choice between the way of Satan -- rebellion against God's rule and way of life -- or eternal life through God's Holy Spirit of outflowing LOVE. Through Adam's wife Eve, Satan influenced Adam and Eve to REJECT immortal LIFE -- life lived God's way of outflowing LOVE. Man chose to take to himself the knowledge of good and evil. Thereupon God CLOSED UP the tree of LIFE -- that is, the Holy Spirit which could have imparted eternal life, UNTIL Christ, the second Adam, should come as a human and pay by his death man's penalty for sinning.
Thus it was that this WORLD was founded with Adam, influenced and led by Satan contrary to God's Law -- the foundation of God's GOVERNMENT.
Satan therefore was left still ON EARTH'S THRONE -- with the Government of God rejected, Satan still on the throne of the earth. MAN was led by Satan in developing SATAN'S WORLD, started with Adam. MAN had chosen good as well as evil, but without God's Spirit of LOVE in him, man's good was human good -- human righteousness -- which God calls "filthy rags."
So, in 6,000 years since Adam, his children have multiplied into TODAY'S 20th century world -- Satan's world. It is a world of AWESOME material progress and accomplishment, but at the same time a world of APPALLING EVILS.
After 4,000 years, God sent Jesus Christ to START GOD'S WORLD -- governed by GOD!
Jesus DID NOT come to reform Satan's world by "converting the millions one by one" as the false traditional "Christianity" seems to believe. He came to START a new and different world altogether. It started WITHIN Satan's world, but not OF it. It started with one man -- the Savior and future KING to replace Satan on earth's throne -- to build a NEW world -- a NEW civilization living GOD'S WAY of life, governed by GOD through Jesus Christ -- a world filled with GOD'S Holy Spirit of outflowing LOVE -- the love that fulfills the LAW of GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
Jesus chose 12 and taught them the WAY OF LIFE of GOD'S GOVERNMENT. He commissioned them to teach others, as God called others, who were in turn to teach still others of the next generation, who were to teach still others.
Thus Jesus built his CHURCH. His Church is the "called-out ones" -- called out of this world into the Church. The Church thus became the embryo that in due time will be BORN as GOD beings in the Family of God. It was, in embryo, GOD'S new civilization, living separately WITHIN, but not OF, Satan's world. It is governed by the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
Now consider what we mean by GOVERNMENT. It is merely the organized system of administering and supervising the conduct of its subjects in living by the rules or ways of life of GOD -- the way of LOVE -- of PEACE -- of mutual happiness and joy.
Now consider: HOW did God's Government originate? Originally there were only two living beings -- GOD, and the WORD who almost 1,990 years ago was born as Jesus Christ. In them was LIFE. They LIVED. What did they do? They CREATED. HOW did they live? They LOVED one another -- they cooperated -- they AGREED about everything. One had to be the leader. God was leader. The WORD did as God directed, in LOVING COOPERATION. That WAY of life is God's LAW. That spiritual law was the basis of God's GOVERNMENT.
The cherub Lucifer was put on earth's throne to administer God's GOVERNMENT by that LAW. He and his angels rebelled. Adam and Adam's world continued the REBELLION against God's LAW -- his GOVERNMENT. Jesus taught that GOVERNMENT. He put that way of life (GOVERNMENT) into his CHURCH. Jesus came to REPLACE SATAN on earth's THRONE. Satan tried to have Jesus killed as an infant. He tried to destroy Jesus spiritually when he was 30 years old. JESUS CONQUERED SATAN, and thus qualified to REPLACE Satan on earth's THRONE, restoring the GOVERNMENT OF GOD to this entire earth.
But Jesus did not take over that throne 1,900 years ago. First, it was God's will that the CHURCH grow and develop, so that when Jesus does take that throne away from Satan, he will have sufficient God beings, born spiritually through the CHURCH, to fill all the places of GOVERNMENT under Christ to RULE the earth GOD'S WAY.
That's why the Church must GROW in Christ's KNOWLEDGE, and in grace or spiritual character, to be changed from mortal humans to immortal God beings, ruling under and with Christ WHEN God's GOVERNMENT is RESTORED over the whole earth.
The Feast of Trumpets foreshadowed Christ's coming in supreme POWER and GREAT GLORY to TAKE OVER earth's throne -- to set up the KINGDOM OF GOD on the earth. The Day of Atonement foreshadowed the removal of Satan from that throne and from the earth.
The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the 1,000-year Millennium under Christ's RULE over all nations -- when salvation and eternal LIFE shall be offered to ALL THEN LIVING, just as it was to Adam 6,000 years ago. Only this time CHRIST will be on earth's throne to HELP them choose LIFE, instead of Satan who induced Adam to reject LIFE and start Satan's world.
At the end of the 1,000 years will come the Great White Throne JUDGMENT. All who ever lived prior to Christ's Second Coming, and who died, without the knowledge of God's plan of salvation, will then be resurrected mortal, and judged. But, on being sentenced GUILTY, they will learn that Jesus came and paid their death penalty in their place PROVIDED they then will repent and turn to GOD'S WAY, obedient to GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
That, Brethren, is a brief synopsis of WHY Christ is coming again.
But there cannot be world PEACE until all are 100 percent obedient to God in a right attitude of LOVE and submission to God's loving AUTHORITY. In the Church we are commanded that all must speak the same thing as Christ does -- all AGREE 100 percent. The CHURCH must be 100 percent in LOVING SUBMISSION to God's authority. Just one hostile teammate on an athletic team will cause the whole team to lose games. One rotten apple rots those next to it in the crate. God COMMANDS we must MARK those who cause division and are in hostile attitude, and avoid them by disfellowshipment. It is because we did not obey that command in Scripture that we had trouble in the Church for a few years up to four or five years ago. Since then, Christ has been putting his Church BACK ON THE TRACK, making it READY for his SOON COMING!
God is blessing his Church today as never before. Make yourself READY by constant prayer, constant overcoming, and faithfulness in paying God's tithe, and in as GENEROUS offerings as God makes possible for you. Let's all PRAY earnestly for one another.
With deep LOVE, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong