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Personal from the Editor
Plain Truth Magazine
March 1968
Volume: Vol XXXIII, No.3
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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 - JUST WHAT IS BACK of the PLAIN TRUTH, The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, and Ambassador College with its three campuses in California, Texas, and England?
   WHY do we have colleges? WHY do we broadcast (and now also the WORLD TOMORROW on TELEVISION)?
   WHY publish a magazine of more than a million copies circulation? WHY worldwide?
   Just WHAT are our objectives, our goals, our purposes? As one sensational newspaper, attempting to discredit and smear, asked, "Just what are they up to?"
   Those of us close to or directly connected with this fast-expanding worldwide publishing, broadcasting, and educational activity, customarily designate the multi-phased operation by the term "the Work."
   Just WHAT, then, IS "the Work," and WHY?
   I feel sure that many of our readers do not fully understand. Many, especially among our comparatively small but growing family of Co-Workers who voluntarily have desired to have a part in the support of "the Work" themselves speak of the activity by that term, yet do not fully grasp just what Is "the Work." One, not quite comprehending, wrote asking, "WHY do you operate colleges? WHY do you need new college buildings? Why don't you sell those college properties and put the money in the Work? Why not sell that experimental farm in Texas, and put the money in the Work?"
   I think our readers should know just what IS "the Work," its PURPOSE, what is back of it, how it operates, how it is financed just why we do things the way we do.
   I shall try to make the answer PLAIN. When we speak of "the Work" we mean GOD'S Work. Very often we use the entire term, "God's Work," or, "the Work of God." But more often we speak of it, simply, as "the Work."
   So let me make it plain. There is a difference between man's work, and God's. God marked out, and gave us, six days of every week for our own work. He said: "Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work" (Ex. 20:9). We understand well enough what we mean by "our work," or "man's work." We mean his labor, job, business, profession, occupation, enterprise. GOD'S Work, then, is God's activity, enterprise or mission.
   But we do NOT mean, as we use the term, God's great supernatural CREATIVE activity which He, alone, does by His own limitless creative power. We mean that activity or Great Commission which God purposes to accomplish in the world, by and through human instruments whom He calls and uses.
   So what, then, IS that Work, and WHY? What's its PURPOSE? How did it start, and HOW does GOD carry it on through human instruments today?
   Jesus came for the purpose of starting God's Work in the world.
   To understand fully, we need to review, in brief, the FACTS of prehistory that explain the whole condition of the world today its civilization, its governments, and its problems. Actually, there is no such thing as "prehistory" so far as recordings of historians are concerned. Yet Biblical passages reveal occurrences prior to any recorded from human observation.
   There is not space here for details. This surprising, eye-opening factual truth is made plain in the free article "Did God Create a DEVIL?" which you may have on request.
   But in briefest summary, the Bible reveals the presence of the devil, named Satan, and of his origin as the former super archangel Lucifer, a topmost cherub, perfect as God created him. He had been at the very throne of God, Headquarters of the Government of the entire vast universe. He had been trained in administration of GOD'S GOVERNMENT. Prior to the creation of man, he was placed on a throne in Eden, on this earth, as earth ruler to administer GOD'S government over angels which then populated the earth.
   It is revealed in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 that he allowed vanity and greed and jealousy to fill his mind. He deliberately became an aggressor, influencing a third of the angels to follow him in rebellion against God's Government to ascend, as a warring army, above earth's clouds to attack God on His throne, and to attempt to seize the government of the entire universe.
   He desired to replace God as supreme Ruler. He was not satisfied to be God's ruling INSTRUMENT. He wanted to be IN PLACE OF God. He was not satisfied to rule only the earth. He set out to CAPTURE HEAVEN and occupy it.
   Much of the details of this "prehistory" is revealed in various parts of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. You'll get the intriguing details in the free article, "Did God Create a DEVIL?"
   God IS SUPREME RULER, Head of the Government over the limitless universe. His power is SUPREME. So Lucifer and his angels were cast back down to earth where God had placed them, now disqualified to administer GOD'S Government. Yet, until a successor was QUALIFIED and inducted into the office, Lucifer, his name changed to Satan, must remain in office, even though now an ADVERSARY to God's Government.
   Thus the proud Lucifer, which name means "Morning Star," or "Bringer of Light," was changed to Satan, which means "adversary" or "rival" or "competitor." The super archangel became the devil. His angels became demons. They had become warped, perverted in their thinking, their reasoning, their knowledge.
   They had changed from GOD'S WAY of love, outgoing concern, desire to help, serve, share, to THE WAY of vanity, lust, greed, jealousy, envy, self-centeredness and hatred. From a desire of GIVING, into lust, GET, and TAKE.
   As a result of this supreme FALL of Satan and his demons, physical chaos happened to the earth. The word "was" in Genesis 1:2 is elsewhere translated as "became," and has that meaning. The original Hebrew words which Moses wrote, translated "waste and empty," are tohu and bohu, otherwise translated "chaotic and in confusion." In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. It was PERFECT. The angels shouted for joy (Job 38:1-7). God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). But Satan is!
   Then in six days God RENEWED the face of the earth (Psalm 104:30), causing the sun and moon to shine through, dividing land and sea, creating the present flora and fauna, and, lastly on the sixth day, creating MAN in the very form and shape of God. Not with mere animal brain and instinct, but with MIND and potential spiritual CHARACTER like GOD.
   He created man of MATTER, with the potential of being begotten, and then BORN of SPIRIT composition, immortal, into the very family and Kingdom of GOD!
   But now, UNDERSTAND THIS! You never heard this before!
   God deliberately put within mortal material MAN the very spiritual character of Satan, as man's NATURE human nature. That nature is merely an invisible PULL toward self-centeredness, vanity, lust, greed, jealously, envy, hatred, rivalry desire to GET rather than GIVE. It is the nature of HOSTILITY against AUTHORITY! God also put another PULL in man's human nature inordinate desire of the FLESH unrighteous desires of the five senses.
   Angels were created with MIND power, with perfect KNOWLEDGE, and with free moral agency right of free choice. But there was no PULL toward evil, such as exists in human nature. No evil nature to resist and fight, such as man finds within himself. Angels are individually created beings of great knowledge, created holy and righteous, and with no PULL to sway them in the wrong direction. They KNOW the CAUSES of desired results, and the causes of evil results. If they, like Satan and the demons, CHOOSE the evil way, there are NO extenuating circumstances there is NO justification there is NO rectification of the evil RESULT they deliberately and without excuse choose to inflict on themselves.
   With MAN it is different. Man was created IN THE IMAGE OF GOD, with the potential of being begotten and BORN of God as God's own CHILD, then having God's own DIVINE NATURE (II Peter 1:4), elevated to the GOD plane high above angels.
   But GOD is responsible for the fact man has to resist HUMAN NATURE, and, being responsible, GOD has provided rectification for rebellious, sinning MAN. By giving His own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty of man's transgressions of GOD'S GOVERNMENT (the penalty is DEATH) in man's stead, God makes reconciliation available to all humans; and freely offers, then, HIS GIFT of eternal life.
   Understand two things about human nature. The psychologists are utterly ignorant and without understanding in postulating that human nature is essentially GOOD! (1) Human nature DESIRES to BE good but (2) it desires more to DO evil. Human nature resents being told it has done wrong denies it justifies it. Or blames the wrong on another!
   It is in human nature for the human MIND to have an attitude of hostility to GOD'S GOVERNMENT. Even as Satan deliberately and without excuse chose rebellion to the Government of God, so man starts out with a natural attitude of hostility to God's Laws and to God's AUTHORITY over his life.
   Man desires the GOOD RESULT of obedience to God's Laws. But he naturally tries to obtain that result while breaking God's Laws in a natural spirit of rebellion against divine rule OR ANY RULE over his life.
   It is NATURAL for man to SIN and sin is defined (I John 3:4) as transgression of God's Law. God GOVERNS by His Law. Does that mean that man HAS TO SIN? That no man could prevent sinning? NOT AT ALL! Jesus Christ was born as a human, of a human mother tempted in all points as we are, which means subjected to the pulls of human nature YET WITHOUT SIN! Yet no other man ever did live without sin. It is NATURAL to sin natural if we follow the inclinations and impulses and desires of human nature, to go THE WAY of Satan, not THE WAY of God. And ALL have sinned (Rom. 3:23).
   So back, now, to the creation of man.
   Adam was created with human nature. God created all things BY Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:9; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16). It was the One of the God Family who later became Jesus of Nazareth in human flesh, who was ADAM'S MAKER.
   He completed the creation of the man and woman just before sunset on the sixth day of that week, for God counts the ending of a day at sunset.
   Here, then, were an adult man and an adult woman, with the pull of human nature, and with human MINDS, as yet unfilled with knowledge. But their minds were capable of receiving knowledge, reasoning, choosing, and acting according to will.
   At sunset that 6th day of the week, God ended His WORK which He had made (Gen. 2:1) but He did not end creating. He now created His Sabbath day BY REST. And on this first Sabbath day, God, in the Person of the WORD who later became Jesus, INSTRUCTED THE MAN AND WOMAN in GOD'S WAYS in GOD'S GOVERNMENT in the CAUSES of desired blessings and abundant well-being, as well as the CAUSES of curses, evils, pain and suffering, unhappiness, and DEATH.
   But as soon as God's Sabbath was ended, and the Eternal One had finished instructing the man and woman in RIGHT WAYS, along came Satan, on the first day of the next week the day the world today calls Sunday, and began instructing, first the woman, in SATAN'S RELIGION saying that man is an IMMORTAL soul, and that God's LAW GOD'S GOVERNMENT IS WRONG unfair contrary to man's good a yoke of bondage. He taught our first parents to reach out and TAKE not to give, share, help, and serve.
   So, the woman reached out to TAKE. She rejected REVELATION. She performed the very first "scientific" experiment. Rejecting God's revealed knowledge, she used reason. She reasoned the forbidden tree was GOOD for food (Gen. 3:6). God had said it was BAD poison would result in DEATH (Gen. 2:17). Ever since, humanity has desired as the choicest of food delicacies that which God reveals is NOT good for food (Leviticus 11). It appealed to her vanity "desired to make her WISE" appealed to illegal desire of the sense of sight "pleasant to the eyes" what did she do? She experimented, to see the result for herself.
   SHE REACHED OUT AND TOOK that forbidden fruit. (God says nothing of its being an apple)
   Adam was NOT deceived, yet he allowed his wife to lead him, and he, too, obeyed Satan, and DISOBEYED God.
   Therefore Adam DISQUALIFIED HIMSELF to succeed Satan as Administrator of GOD'S GOVERNMENT over the earth.
   Ever since, mankind has followed the deceptions of Satan and of human nature. Only two are mentioned as following God's ways before Noah Abel and Enoch. Noah alone was obedient to God after some 1,900 years.
   Next recorded as being righteous was Abraham. God chose Abraham's descendants, 430 years later, for GOD'S service. He made them HIS NATION, set up HIS GOVERNMENT over them, under Moses. But they were actuated by human nature. They rebelled. They demanded HUMAN government, with a human king like other God-rejecting nations (I Sam. 8:4-7), when GOD had been their King.
   Then, finally, God sent His own begotten Son, Jesus the Christ. And men rejected Him and crucified Him. Jesus came to START God's WORK through humans, in this world.
   But before beginning that Mission, Jesus had to be subjected to THE TEST, to prove that He would QUALIFY to ADMINISTER THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all nations of the earth, and thus REPLACE SATAN as earth's Ruler.
   As God had allowed Satan to test Adam, He now allowed him to test Jesus, after Jesus had fasted 40 days and nights. Under the most extreme conditions of temptation, Jesus resisted Satan, resisted the EXTREME PULLS of hunger and human nature, quoted and obeyed Scripture, obeyed THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
   He PROVED in this most titanic struggle ever staged between two Personages, that He was LOYAL and FAITHFUL to GOD'S GOVERNMENT, and that NOTHING could move Him to defy or disobey it.
   Jesus qualified to become KING over GOD'S Government, administering God's Government over all nations, IN ONE SUPER WORLD GOVERNMENT. But Jesus was not, then, inducted into office. First, God had a WORK to be done in the world, to PREPARE for world rule by GOD'S GOVERNMENT.
   Jesus had qualified. He was now ready to begin His own Personal phase of THAT WORK.
   Just what DID Jesus then do? HOW did He, in Person as a human, start that Work? What is the PURPOSE of that Work? WHY was it necessary? How did God carry it on through human instruments, after Christ's ascension to heaven? Are the many CHURCH denominations and organizations doing it? Is it really directed and motivated by Got)?
   Now you have the background, without which neither TODAY'S WORLD CONDITIONS, nor God's WORK could be understood. Space does not permit the astonishing answer in this number. I shall continue it next issue.

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Plain Truth MagazineMarch 1968Vol XXXIII, No.3
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