HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
P.O. BOX 431, TUCSON, ARIZONA 85702
April 24, 1981
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
It is the next to last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. I'm writing you from my "office" in our G-II aircraft, in flight to New York, where I plan to speak to the combined churches of that area tomorrow on the last Holy Day of this Spring Festival. With me is Robert Fahey, my executive assistant. He will speak at the morning service, and I in the afternoon.
Returning to New York with us is Mr. Lew Gillenson, manager of Quest/81 magazine and of Everest House, our book publishing firm. He had flown to Pasadena for a conference with some of us yesterday. I have given him firm instructions to either sell or close out Quest magazine within 90 days. Although Quest is probably the finest quality of secular magazines in the United States, it has been wholly secular. I agreed to start it originally with the understanding that it would contain at least one article by me per issue, carrying Christ's Message of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in each issue. But its editors were entirely hostile to the idea of any such articles appearing. When finally I insisted on an article I wrote about the Mt. Sinai Peace project, the three or four top editors resigned. We then appointed Mr. Gillenson as managing editor.
Quest has been a high quality secular magazine. But God has not called us to enter the commercial magazine business in the secular world. I'm sure many of our people will be very happy that we are getting rid of it.
We are in the Work of GOD—the most important operation on earth. At the beginning of this year we started on a final "homestretch" drive to increase the power of carrying Christ's Gospel Message to this last generation of this present world. Additional television stations are being added. We are stepping up methods of increasing Plain Truth circulation. This had been preceded by 2 l/2 years of getting God's church and His Work BACK ON THE TRACK!
Forty-seven years of this Work has demonstrated clearly that when WE please God, He blesses the Work. We have been striving to PLEASE HIM these past 2l/2 years—and now HE IS BLESSING HIS WORK. Everywhere, worldwide, the Work is showing NEW LIFE and VITALITY. It is growing in new converts. God is adding to His Church. It is expanding in the power of proclaiming Christ's Message. All that in our day costs money, and God is increasing the income for His Work. Most facets of the Work are increasing in the United States well above 20 percent, and this year even the increase is increasing, until I think we soon will be back on a 30 percent increase each year over the preceding year once again. In some of the other countries—Canada, Britain, West Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the Philippines, the increase is even running over 30 percent.
Brethren, God is not slack concerning His promises to bless us. He does far more than HIS part. He always will. What matters is how much we do OUR part.
As the chosen apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, in His name I want to thank all you brethren from the bottom of my heart for your joyful response—first, in getting our own lives back on God's track, and also in standing so solidly and loyally behind me in God's Work—by far the most important activity on earth today.
BUT WE CAN, AND MUST, DO MORE! We must sacrifice even more—roll up our sleeves, so to speak, and each do his part even more than before.
Even as we have been striving, these Days of Unleavened Bread, to put sin out of our lives, we at Pasadena have been striving, too, to get all leaven out of the Church and the Work.
The central message from God to all of us, during this first of God's annual festivals, is this:
After angels under Lucifer, who sat on earth's throne, had rejected and rebelled against the Government of God, God in six days renewed the surface of the earth FOR MAN. God was then starting His SUPREME, GREATEST PROJECT—to REPRODUCE HIMSELF through MAN.
God formed MAN out of matter—from the ground—gave him a temporary physical existence. He did not give man, at that time, real LIFE. Man's existence came from the physical energy supplied by food and water from the ground, and by the circulation of blood oxidized by the breath of air. Man's average span of this physical-chemical existence averages around 70 years. God offered the first man, Adam, LIFE, through the symbolic tree of LIFE in the garden of Eden. But man DISbelieved God, believed Satan, rejected God's Government and way of life—chose to take to himself the knowledge of how to live. He made the CHOICE for his entire HUMAN FAMILY. God shut off real LIFE from man (Gen. 3:22-24). God postponed JUDGMENT on Adam's family—which is the whole world. Judgment is a trial to determine whether we shall choose to live GOD'S WAY (His Law) in eternal life, or take the penalty of eternal DEATH. Judgment could not begin for the sons of Adam UNTIL Christ the Son of GOD had come in human form, lived the perfect life and then paid the death penalty for humanity so that, when man is judged, he may REPENT and be reconciled to God, who alone has LIFE to give.
Judgment—the time of trying and testing to determine whether we will choose and walk in the way of GOD'S LAW of His GOVERNMENT—began therefore, with the CHURCH OF GOD, AFTER the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Only the prophets were given LIFE through God's Holy Spirit prior to that time.
The Church is merely the FIRSTFRUITS of those God will call to repentance and the GIFT of eternal LIFE. The world is not yet judged—though it is held accountable and will give account for its transgressions when its time of judgment comes.
We in God's Church have had to undergo our trial and test of judgment against the wiles of Satan and the influences of Satan's world. But we shall JUDGE THE WORLD, under Christ, in the Kingdom of God, WHEN judgment comes to the world! We have to put sin out of our lives NOW, if we are to rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom! That's the lesson of this past week.
We're near the END of this world. Let's step up our efforts, and each contribute MORE, as the living Christ is stepping up HIS BLESSINGS to us. Increase your time and diligence and fervency in PRAYER and in Bible study. Let's get CLOSER TO OUR GOD—ALL OF US!
With deep love and prayers, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong