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Personal from the Editor
Plain Truth Magazine
April 1968
Volume: Vol XXXIII, No.4
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Personal from the Editor
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

   Personal from Herbert W Armstrong - LAST MONTH, I began answering the question, "Just what is back of the PLAIN TRUTH, the WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, and Ambassador College, with its three campuses in California, Texas, and England?"
   All these operations, worldwide, we customarily speak of, among ourselves, as "the Work." So, just what do we mean � "the Work"?
   WHY the worldwide broadcast? WHY a world-news magazine of more than 1,200,000 copies monthly? WHY do we have colleges? WHY do we operate worldwide? Just what are our objectives, our goals, our purposes? How is this great Work financed?
   Last month I was able only to give you the background, without which neither today's world conditions, nor this Work, could be understood.
   I explained that when we speak of this Work, we mean GOD'S Work, which God purposes to accomplish in the world, by and through human instruments, whom He calls and uses. To really understand I felt our readers needed the background � even Biblically revealed facts of prehistory which are almost totally unknown. You need to understand the real background and CAUSES of world conditions as they are today � its civilization, its governments, its problems. These world conditions are the REASON for God's Work in the world.
   In briefest summary, the facts of creation prove there is a Creator � the great almighty GOD, the supreme Personage, composed of Spirit (not matter or mortal flesh), of perfect all-knowing mind, and almighty power. God RULES His creation. It is He who designed and brought into being the vast universe, with its galaxies and heavenly bodies flung through limitless space � including our solar system � our sun, earth and its moon.
   I explained (this will be reprinted as a booklet, titled, "Just What Do We Mean � This Work?") there was a super-archangel, a cherub named Lucifer, created with great knowledge, wisdom, beauty, trained at the very seat of God's Throne of the Government of the Universe. Thoroughly trained in the administration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, Lucifer was placed on a throne in Eden, on this earth, to administer the Government of God over angels who then populated this earth.
   Under GOD'S GOVERNMENT, the earth was filled with happiness, abundance, joy. But this Lucifer (whose name means "Shining Star of the Dawn" or "Bringer of Light and Knowledge") allowed himself to be filled with vanity, envy of God's supremacy as Ruler of the whole Universe, and a self-centered desire to get, take, have. He organized a rebellion. A third of the angels followed him. They swept on up to attack Almighty God on His Throne in heaven � to seize Power over the Universe.
   But God's Power is supreme. Lucifer and his angels "FELL" back down to the earth. Lucifer was renamed Satan (meaning Adversary, Competitor), and his angels became demons � perverted in mind and reasoning.
   Physical chaos to the earth resulted from this universal sin of rebellion. In six days God brought order out of physical chaos, renewing the surface of the earth, and then creating MANKIND upon it. Speaking of this, God inspired David to write: "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30). Satan now was disqualified as Ruler and Administrator of GOD'S Government on earth. However, in God's plan, he could not be removed until a successor has qualified and been inducted into office.
   Adam had his chance. But Adam also reached out to take (even from his wife) what God had forbidden him to have � rebelling against GOD'S GOVERNMENT, obeying Satan. Mankind, filled with human nature � the nature of vanity, self-centeredness, greed, lust, envy and hostility against God's authority � has rebelled against God's Government and authority, blindly following Satan's way, ever since.
   Few, indeed, realize WHY Jesus Christ came to earth � begotten by God, yet born HUMAN of the Virgin Mary. He came to be the Savior of the world, yes! Many recognize that. But there is much more to it than that. He came to start GOD'S WORK in a rebellious world.
   Few realize just WHAT that Work is!
   By His total obedience to God's Laws � the Laws of GOD'S GOVERNMENT � and by overcoming Satan in the Great Temptation � Jesus Christ qualified to replace Satan as King and Administrator of GOD'S GOVERNMENT over the earth. But He did not, then, take over that world rule. He was not, then, inducted into office.
   First, God had a very important WORK to be accomplished. When the living Jesus Christ takes over world rule with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, He will do it with a qualified, prepared and trained ORGANIZATION. During His ministry, Jesus explained to His disciples (Luke 19:11-27) that He (the young nobleman of the parable) must first ascend to the Father's Throne in heaven, there to be given officially this rule; and there to supervise THE WORK of preparing and training His organization, to be rulers, under Christ, in GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
   After Jesus qualified, by resisting Satan's temptation, obeying God, commanding Satan to leave Him, He was then ready to begin GOD'S WORK. Religious people call that Work "preaching the Gospel." It is that � and more!
   You'll read the beginning of it in Mark 1:1: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." But before explaining that beginning, Mark's account first records the work of John the Baptist, preparing the way for Jesus' personal "ministry" � or mission which God had given Him personally to perform. This account of John the Baptist fills verses 2 to 13 inclusive. Then follows the beginning of Jesus' personal mission:
   "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM OF GOD is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel" (emphasis mine � Mark 1:14-15). Repent of what? Repent of SIN � and sin is transgression of God's Law (I John 3:4) � GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
   Notice, Jesus said it was necessary to REPENT. He said also it was necessary to BELIEVE! And believe what? Not only to believe on Him � but He said plainly, here, it was necessary to believe the Gospel. But WHICH Gospel?
   Today you hear preached many different gospels. Some call what they preach the gospel of salvation � some the gospel of grace. Some the gospel of going to heaven. Some preach a message about Christ � about His Person � but although they may call it the gospel of Christ, it is not the Gospel Christ TAUGHT and preached.
   Note it! The Gospel Jesus said it is necessary to believe is "the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD." A kingdom is a GOVERNMENT. So Jesus preached the Gospel � or GOOD NEWS � of the coming GOVERNMENT OF GOD being restored to the earth!
   It is VITAL that you establish, clearly once for all, WHAT Gospel Jesus brought from God � WHAT Gospel God also sent to the Gentiles. For "traditional Christianity" has preached a different Gospel! And your Bible says THE WHOLE WORLD � ALL NATIONS � have been DECEIVED!
   Have You? Better make SURE! Now I want you to notice TWO important points.
   1) The Message Jesus taught was SENT BY GOD.
   2) Jesus was powerless, of Himself. The WORK OF GOD, which He started, was carried on BY THE POWER OF GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT. It was that Spirit, IN HIS Personal HUMAN BODY, which carried on GOD'S WORK.
   Jesus Himself said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself" (John 5:19); and "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30); and "... the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works" (John 14:10); and, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, THE WORKS that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father... and I will pray the Father, and He shall give you... the Spirit of truth... for he dwelleth with you, and shall be IN You" (John 14:12-17).
   At the beginning of His personal starting of THE WORK of God, Jesus called His 12 disciples, and for 3� years taught them THIS MESSAGE HE HAD BROUGHT FROM GOD � about the GOVERNMENT (Kingdom) of GOD.
   Finally, Jesus had finished that phase of the WORK OF GOD which the Father had given Him to do personally in the HUMAN flesh. In His final prayer to God, on the very night He was seized to be crucified, Jesus said: "I have finished THE WORK which thou gayest ME to do" (John 17:4).
   Just prior to this Jesus had said to His disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away [to heaven]: for if I go not away, the Comforter [Holy Spirit] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7).
   After Jesus ascended to the THRONE OF GOD, seat of GOVERNMENT of the entire UNIVERSE, He did send the Holy Spirit, on the next day of "Pentecost," to ENTER INTO THE DISCIPLES, who then became God's APOSTLES (Acts 2:1-4).
   On them, together with the prophets (Old as well as New Testament), with Jesus Christ the Chief Corner Stone, Jesus founded His Church. His Church is composed of all those begotten children of GOD who receive, and in whom is dwelling, God's Holy Spirit. Being begotten children of God, they compose the CHURCH OF GOD. The HEAD of God's Church was not � AND IS NOT any man, but the living Lord Jesus Christ, now resurrected, and at God's right hand on God's THRONE OF THE UNIVERSE in heaven.
   But WHY the CHURCH?
   It is called "the BODY of Jesus Christ" (Eph. 1:23; 4:12; 5:30; Col. 1:24; I Cor. 10:17; 12:27; Rom. 12:5).
   WHY is the Church called "the Body of Christ"? Because, the WORK OF GOD was started in the world through the one Personal human BODY of Jesus of Nazareth. It was THE POWER of God's Spirit IN HIM which really did the WORK. But He was crucified, and resurrected immortal, very God, no longer human. The SAME POWER that had worked mightily in Jesus' Personal human Body then entered the collective body of His Church. Now the CHURCH, headed by Jesus Christ from heaven, humanly led by the Apostles who had been taught and trained by Jesus in Person, BECAME THE COLLECTIVE BODY empowered by God's Holy Spirit, FOR THE VERY PURPOSE OF CARRYING ON GOD'S WORK!
   That WORK, first of all, was the divine Commission, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). And, "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the END OF THE WORLD" (Matt. 28:19-20). Some seem to think Jesus bowed out, turning HEADSHIP of the Church over to Peter and human successors as voted by men, and that Jesus is no longer WITH His Church. But He distinctly said He would be WITH IT, as its HEAD (Eph. 5:23; 4:15; Col. 1:18).
   What is the PURPOSE of God's Church, now, just before the END of this world, or age? The disciples had asked Jesus what would be the sign of the end of this age, and of His coming again to earth as KING of kings, to set up the world rule of GOD'S GOVERNMENT (Matt. 24:4). In Jesus' answer He said that all through the age MANY would come, professing to be His ministers, preaching "in His name," saying that He, Jesus, is the CHRIST, yet DECEIVING THE MANY. But the only sign He gave by which they would know that His coming was near was in verse 14 of Matthew 24: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached [and published � Mark 13:10] in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the END come."
   What Gospel did the Apostles proclaim as the New Testament Gospel? It was THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 8:12; Matt. 10:5-7; Luke 9:1-2; 10:9; Acts 1:3; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23; 28:30-31; Rom. 14:17; I Cor. 4:20; 6:9; 6:10; I Cor. 15:50; Gal. 5:21; Eph. 5:5; Col. 4:11; II Thess. 1:5; Rev. 12:10). The Apostle Paul pronounced a DOUBLE CURSE on any who preached any other gospel (Gal. 1:8-9). And the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians that false apostles (II Cor. 11:13), pretending to be the ministers of Christ, yet actually the ministers of Satan (verses 14-15), would be proclaiming another gospel, with a different spirit, preaching another Jesus (verse 4).
   But the original and true apostles not only preached THE KINGDOM OF GOD � which is the GOVERNMENT OF GOD � but this very proclaiming of GOD's GOVERNMENT is called the WORK of God!
   When the apostles were brought before the Council and the high priest, threatened for preaching Jesus' Gospel (of God's Government), a learned and respected Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up and counseled: "... And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counselor THIS WORK be of men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it..." (Acts 5:34, 38-39). Gamaliel recognized it as "THIS WORK... OF GOD."
   Paul and Barnabas were ordained for, and sent out in THE WORK of God. There was a meeting of the Church at Antioch. "And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, 'Separate me Barnabas and Saul for THE WORK whereunto I have called them' " (Acts 13:2).
   In THE WORK, they had come to Attalia,... and thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for THE WORK which they fulfilled" (Acts 14:26).
   That SAME WORK, proclaiming that same good news of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD � the very GOVERNMENT OF GOD to rule all nations, was to be proclaimed now, in our time, just before Christ's RETURN in all the POWER and GLORY of God to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all nations. This Work, now, is PREPARING THE WAY before Christ's coming. Restoring GOD'S GOVERNMENT will mean the END of this age � of this world's present setup � of this world's governments.
   The disciples had asked Jesus what would be the sign of His coming, and the END of this world or age. Jesus said, "This GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM [Government of God] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matt. 24:14). Mark says "published" � Mark 13:10.
   That Gospel was not proclaimed after 69 A.D., until The WORLD TOMORROW went on the air in 1934. Persecutors scoff. But ask them whether they preach this same Gospel we do! They will answer emphatically NO! Then look into your Bible to see whether this is the same Gospel God sent by Jesus � the same Gospel Jesus preached and taught His disciples � the SAME Gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles! THAT Gospel has not been proclaimed to the world, until 1934!
   THIS WORK is Christ's SIGN that we are NEAR the end of this world, and the restoring of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on the earth!
   When Jesus went to heaven to be given rulership of GOD'S KINGDOM (Luke 19:12), "the heaven must receive [Him] until the times of restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). "Restitution" means the restoring of something taken away.
   Once this earth was HAPPY � filled with joy, when angels on earth were ruled by the GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
   God's Government is ruled by God's LAWS � based on the overall inexorable, eternal SPIRITUAL LAW, summed up in the Ten Commandments. That LAW is the WAY OF LIFE which is the CAUSE of happiness, joy, abundance! It's a matter of cause and effect. The CAUSE of unhappiness, and all the world's ills, sufferings, wars, chaos, is living the OPPOSITE WAY � in transgression of God's Law.
   Human nature is automatically and naturally hostile to God's Law, and the authority of God. Human nature wants to BE "good" � that is, to think of itself as being GOOD, while it wants to DO what is contrary to good � for GOD'S LAW is THE WAY that is GOOD in the sight of God. But not in the sight of carnal MAN!
   Human nature is VANITY. It is SELF-centered. It is lust, greed, envy, reacting in resentment and hatred.
   God's Law is LOVE! And true LOVE is outgoing concern, with desire to GIVE, to SHARE, to HELP, to SERVE � as much concerned about others' welfare as its own. It follows the Law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Its Golden Rule is, "Do unto others as you would that they should do unto YOU." But human nature's golden rule is, "Do it unto others before they do it to you."
   God's LAW is the WAY to � the CAUSE of � PEACE, HAPPINESS, JUSTICE, ABUNDANCE � GOOD to ALL. It's a matter of CAUSE and EFFECT.
   For 6,000 years this world has practiced the opposite WAY � the WAY of selfishness, getting the best of a deal, taking, getting, competition, strife, vanity, lust, greed, jealousy, resentment, hatred, war and murder. The EFFECT of that cause has been unhappiness, crime, broken health, broken homes, violence, war, every kind of injustice, inequality, frustration, unsolvable problems, poverty, ignorance, squalor � and wretchedness and DEATH.
   MAN has proven, through 6,000 years of experience, that he is not capable of governing himself � because man's governments are all based on HUMAN NATURE.
   Now, VERY SOON, God will send again Jesus Christ to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, administering that government by enforcing the LAWS of God � which are the CAUSE that will produce the EFFECT of world PEACE, universal prosperity, equality, happiness, abundant well-being for ALL!
   This WORK OF GOD proclaims that WAY. It lives that WAY. It teaches that WAY. And those who now follow it are HAPPY! They PROSPER! They find it PAYS OFF!

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Plain Truth MagazineApril 1968Vol XXXIII, No.4
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