Congress Of Leading Ministers Hears Defined And Reemphasized Spiritual Organization Of Church
GREETINGS everybody! I have called this as a congress of the leading ministers of God's Church worldwide.
We have here today the office managers from our different offices around the world, the evangelists and top ministers from the United States. In other words, a congress of the leading ministers of the United States.
I would like to read what I have today. I have called this congress of leading ministers of God's Church worldwide because, first, conditions in the world fulfilling biblical prophecies are now fast accelerating, indicating that we are indeed in the very last of the last days. And things are coming to a crisis at the close very rapidly in the world. I do not think they are going to be delayed very much longer.
Secondly, this necessitates a dynamic stepping up in the intensity of God's Work by His Church, proclaiming Christ's Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, which is not being proclaimed to the world by others and has not been for 19½ centuries to the world — except what we are doing now ourselves.
I want to acquaint you leading ministers with the plans for this intensified homestretch finishing of the Great Commission of the living Jesus Christ that the living Jesus Christ has called us to do.
And third, to update you so that you may update the brethren and the other ministers and brethren under you in the true purpose that this, the organization and the government of the Church of God, has for this time — this present Commission in the time that we have left.
Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, speaking before a joint session of the United States Congress in the time of World War II said, — "There is a purpose being worked out here below." His statement, of course, was a great deal more than that, but that's the essential part.
A Higher Power above, of course, is working out that purpose. That purpose is the creation of perfect, holy and righteous character in separately created beings for continuing God's creative Work throughout the endless universe, perpetually time without end.
Now I wonder if you grasp all of that? That is far more than anything that we would normally consider as the Work of this Church here and now. That is more than a thousand years yet into the future. What God is doing now is preparing for that. He is [re-]producing Himself in His Church now. He is going to continue reproducing Himself when Christ comes to set up the Kingdom of God during the Millennium.
But we are the first to be called. We are the firstfruits of His salvation. And those of us who overcome are going to sit with Him in His throne when He takes over the throne of the earth from Satan. We are going to be given power over the nations and we shall rule them with a rod of iron.
That does not apply to any but the Church of this time now. That does not apply to those who shall be converted and changed into God Beings from human beings during the Millennium. That applies to the Church and those who are called now.
Judgment is on us now. Judgment is a time of trying and testing to see whether you are innocent or guilty. When you are in a court of law, you don't go there just to be sentenced — that usually comes after the trial.
When you are in a court of law you are being tried as to whether you are innocent or guilty. The Church is being tried now. Judgment is on the Church, and we are the first to be judged. Judgment is not on the world as yet.
Let me give you something else that has come to my mind in the last 24 hours that I hadn't thought very much about before. We are going to judge angels.
You read in II Peter how God spared not the angels that sinned. They are being kept in Tartaroo. That's the Greek word translated "hell." Tartaroo is a word not used anywhere else in the Greek Bible, including their equivalent of the Old Testament. It is a place where angels are reserved for their judgment.
Now stop and think a moment. Have we considered or thought that the angels are all judged and condemned already? I think Satan is, but that verse does not say Satan. It says the angels that sinned. Maybe some of them were deceived by Lucifer, the great archangel who became Satan. That's something for you to think about.
We are to judge angels. Angels are yet to be judged. There is a time when judgment is coming on the world and it has not come yet. The world as a whole is not being called.
Jesus Christ said, "No man can come to me except the Father which sent me draws him." Otherwise, no man can come to Christ. That was true 1,950 years ago.
God has called only a few now. We who are called, if we overcome, are going to sit with Him and reign when Satan is taken away. When Satan is taken away and Christ is ruling — and there is no Satan here to deceive the world — judgment is going to come on all that remain alive. That may not be over a third of the people that are alive today on earth.
Terrible, frightful things are going to happen in the next few years that are going to take the lives of probably two thirds or more of all of the people now living on the face of the earth.
There are many things in Bible prophecies, and God is revealing them rapidly, I would say, to me now. And I'm going to be revealing them to you as God reveals them to me.
But first, while God can create separate living entities or beings, this righteous, spiritual character cannot be created automatically by fiat.
There are things even God cannot do. Did you ever think of that? God can create living, separate entities, separate beings who have mind power, power of mind. He created separate entities or beings we call animals, who have a brain but don't have mind power to think, to reason and to come to making choices and decisions.
But He did put that power in angels. He has also put that power in human beings. You have to have that power before righteous holy character, perfect character, can be inculcated, built and developed in you.
That character must come from God. But it does require the decision and the effort on the part of each separately created entity. God cannot do that.
If He were to make anyone a perfect character at the time He created that being, it would be like man making a machine that has to do what God says and cannot have any will of its own. And that would not be holy righteous character.
Character is the ability of an individual to come to a right decision, to choose a right decision, the right choice, even against what might otherwise be a pressure or a will of his — to choose the right and to do the right and resist the wrong. That is what God has and no living creature had that originally but God.
Now the holy angels apparently have that, though it isn't revealed to us in the Bible how it was developed in them. But it is revealed that the angels that sinned, spoken of in II Peter are immortal and are kept to their day of judgment. But they have not been judged. That's something new I didn't intend to say but I've just ad libbed that.
While God can create separate living entities and with mind power for free choices and thinking, this righteous spiritual character cannot be created automatically by fiat. The individual created being must make his own decision, take his own action in the creation of character.
The character will come from God but he has to want God to give it to him and believe in God. He must repent and he must believe — believe what God says — and let God put it in him with his own consent and his own will. That is righteous character, that is what God is creating.
In man God is reproducing Himself. We shall be as much God as God Himself is God. It will be a Family of God, a God Family. God the Father will always be at the head of that whole Family. Jesus Christ will always be next in that Family. The rest of us at the resurrection, at the time of the Second Coming of Christ will be the Bride marrying Him. The husband, Christ, will rule over the wife, the Church, and Christ will be ruling next to God.
All judgment has been given to Christ, not God the Father. God the Father has given it to Christ. And God, Jesus said, judges no man. But Jesus Christ does. God is the Lawgiver, Christ is the Law Enforcer and He enforced it on Himself. He built that character when He was on earth as no other human ever did.
God first created angels before He created any other type of living beings, so far as we know. He placed angels on this earth at its creation. Angels were created before the creation of the earth, because in Job 38 you will find they shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. They must already have been here to shout for joy at the creation of the earth. They were placed here to inhabit it.
God set a throne of earthwide rulership on the earth. He placed on that throne a super-archangel, the great cherub we know as Lucifer, to administer the Government of God over the earth and those inhabiting the earth who were, at that time angels.
Lucifer rebelled and led his angels into rebellion. Lucifer became Satan the devil. His angels became demons. They are spirit beings with immortal life. They've been living for untold thousands of years already, and they will live forever.
Satan is going to be tormented forever and ever. But it does not say all his angels will. They are yet to be judged, that's a new thought for you to think about.
Lucifer, who became Satan, is still on that throne today. He's invisible to human eyes.
The world today is not really conscious of the existence of God or of created spirits. They don't stop to think about it. It doesn't enter into their hour-by-hour and day-by-day thinking and planning. In the background of their mind if you asked them they'd say, Oh, yes, I believe in God. They don't believe God. That's something else again, believing what God says.
But many believe in God and also there are many — and that number is increasing — who do not because they have been misled and deceived by Satan the devil.
So God created man in God's image. But man was composed of material flesh and blood from the ground. That's all we are. But there is a spirit in us that gives man a mind that the animal does not have. Animals have a physical brain just as man does.
But the animal does not have the kind of spirit with the brain that acts as a computer to store knowledge and to give him instant recall of knowledge in the process we call reasoning and thinking, decision making, even creative thinking.
The first man, Adam, had to make a decision. He made the decision for his human family. The whole world today had been born from Adam. We are the family of Adam. He made the decision for his children, his family, for the world, to reject the Government of God.
But the Government of God enters into the picture and has from the time God set the Government on earth over angels and put Lucifer on that throne. The world is overlooking the Government of God. The Government of God is based on the law of God. You cannot have a government unless it has a basic law or Constitution.
And the basic constitution or law of the Government of God is the law of God. This law is summed up in one word, love, two words, love to God, loving your neighbor as yourself. Love has 10 divisions, the Ten Commandments. And you can go on and apply it at lesser levels as it expands over more and more territory.
Adam's sin cut the world off from God as a whole — that is, all but the minute few that God would specially call, as He has, I believe, called us. And He cut them off from access to His Holy Spirit as you'll read in the last four verses in the third chapter of Genesis.
He set angels with flaming swords pointing every way lest man go back to the tree of life, gain immortality and live forever in unhappiness and misery and wretchedness — the results of sin, which man had chosen to live in.
God is not going to let any human have immortal life now in unhappiness. Instead, you have now a temporary life. It's a temporary existence. It's not actually really life.
We are and have all been dead in trespasses and sins. In the Garden of Eden there was a tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam didn't have real life. He had a chemical existence that was running down. Every hour and every day it was running down towards death. He was dying every hour of every day and so are you and I.
And unless we are spiritually fertilized, as an ovum in our mother's womb was fertilized by our father's sperm cell, and unless we are so fertilized by the Holy Spirit of God to join with our spirit, we will just run out of physical life and die.
As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. A resurrection is coming and a judgment for all who ever lived. And everyone will finally have a chance. God has not given everyone a chance while deceived under the great deception of Satan the devil. No one on earth has this truth but this Church.
God shut man off from immortal life, which is impregnation by the Holy Spirit, until the restoration of the Government of God over the earth. Man is shut off until the restoration of the Government.
While Satan is here deceiving all nations, deceiving the whole world, it's only the few that God has called. And we are of those few who have to resist Satan. But we are going to have a greater reward. We are not saved by our works but we will be rewarded according to our works.
Those who are called are having to fight Satan in a way that those who are saved during the Millennium will not. And they will not have the same reward that we can have now.
I want to tell you it's a tough time fighting off Satan. I've had to do it a good many years. I know just how hideous and how tough Satan is, perhaps more than most of you know. Satan would love to destroy me — and how well I know that.
Others, not called, are reserved for their judgment day, which will come after the restoration of God's Government over the earth during the Millennium. And it will be in a resurrection.
Their judgment will come in a resurrection to judgment in the afterlife, as explained in Revelation 20. And we have one Holy Day, the eighth day after the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is looking forward to that judgment of the Great White Throne after the Millennium. And you will read of that time in Revelation 20, Ezekiel 37 and other scriptures.
Jesus Christ, the second Adam, came more than 1,950 years ago. Jesus is the first human who could ever qualify to wrest the Government and the throne of the earth from Satan. Jesus overcame Satan. He qualified to reestablish and restore the Government of God and to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Kingdom of God is different from the Government of God. The Kingdom of God is the Family of God, which will administer the Government of God.
Jesus said, "I will build my Church and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it." The word hell used there in Matthew 16 means the grave. The Church of God, which He founded in A.D. 31, is a spiritual organism. It is not a secular organization. That is not what the Church is.
The Church is a spiritual organism, but it is organized and organized on God's spiritual pattern as explained primarily in I Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 and other New Testament scriptures. Of course, God the Father is the head over all. But Jesus Christ is the living Head of the Church. He's in heaven on God's throne.
Under Him on earth are apostles. Apostles were given the oversight of the Church and its organized Work.
Originally there were 12 apostles. The principal work of the 12 apostles, if you will read carefully in the book of Acts and if you will analyze their sermons, included not only the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, but they put emphasis on the big question at that time in Judea — Jesus' messiahship.
The Jews had been influenced by the Pharisees and Sadducees to not believe in the existence of Jesus as the Messiah. Now the Pharisees knew, as Nicodemus said in the third chapter of John, that Jesus was the Messiah. But they feared Him because they had government positions over their own people.
The Roman Empire ruled Judea as a vassal state. And while they allowed a king and they had garrisons of soldiers there, they made the Jews rule themselves and that was done by the Pharisees.
The Pharisees had nice jobs and they didn't want their situation disturbed. They knew Christ was preaching the overthrow of the governments of the world and they thought it was to be in their lifetime.
In other words, they looked on the fact that Jesus would be viewed as a subversive and off would go their necks and out would go their jobs if it were found out. They had to be loyal, they thought, to Caesar.
Now the common run of the people were not told that Jesus was the Messiah. And the 12 apostles — God needed 12 because they were eyewitnesses of the resurrection — put main emphasis during the first years of their ministry on the fact that they were eyewitnesses of the resurrection, proving that Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus sent them on a mission. He said, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The lost sheep of the house of Israel at that time were in Britain and Western Europe.
After a few years you see no more in the history of the New Testament of Peter and the other apostles, except that John was on the isle of Patmos in the 90s A.D.
But we do begin to see Paul. And why does Paul suddenly become so significant? Because the others had gone to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Jesus Himself said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Paul was the main apostle to the Greek world, and he had the oversight over all of those churches, as he very plainly said.
So, though the Church is a spiritual organism, it is organized not on a carnal human pattern, but on God's spiritual pattern. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the message that Christ proclaimed. That message was the Good News or the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That is the message He preached, the restoration of the Government of God by the coming Kingdom of God.
The apostolic Church from A.D. 31 proclaimed it. They proclaimed that message but with special emphasis, as I said, on the resurrection of Jesus Christ of which they were eyewitnesses. It required 12, as in a 12-man jury, to make it absolutely certain and to convince the people in Judea.
The two spiritual areas, which are the real purpose and mission of the Church, are, one, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God for a witness to the nations of the world.
As I say, in the first century the first apostles put great emphasis on the resurrection of Christ. I'm going to show you later that the emphasis now is on the coming Kingdom of God as this is the generation to which it is coming.
Emphasis then was on the fact that Christ Jesus was the Messiah because that was the generation when He came. Do you see the difference?
Now the second mission of the Church is to feed the flock, as Jesus said, on the spiritual food of the Word of God.
Today we carry on God's Work in a world multiplied vastly larger in population, a mechanized, mechanical, complex world with instrumentalities to work with that were never dreamed of in the first century. So there is a great difference in the operation of the Church today from what it was in that day.
The basic organizational pattern is the same today as it was then. But today we must utilize supporting services — and let's remember that — they are supporting services. The main function of the Church is spiritual. The supporting services are mostly physical. Get that into your minds and keep it there. However, supporting services are needful to get the Work done today.
So the basic organizational pattern is the same. But today we utilize supporting services in scientific, technological and mechanical areas that were nonexistent in the first century.
Moreover, we have to deal with the world's governments in a manner quite different than they had to deal with in that day. We have many complicated matters that they were not confronted with in their day.
Therefore I want to show you an overview chart of the Church organization and government to carry on the Work of God in His Church in this 20th century. Then I want to come to some scriptures on that immediately.
When the legal battle hit us a little over two years ago, we soon formed a new corporate organization: Herbert W. Armstrong, Apostle for the Worldwide Church of God, a Corporation Sole. We've changed all the saleries and handling of things and the actual operation of the Church into that corporation sole.
Now for the organizational diagram of the Worldwide Church of God (see chart) God is the Supreme Head over all. In heaven is God, and Christ under Him as Head of the Church but under God the Father. Below we come to the earthly area First, under Christ is His chosen apostle. Jesus said by their fruits you shall know them. So now we are incorporated under myself. I am appointing an Advisory Council of Elders, not a Board of Directors. This type of corporation doesn't require a Board of Directors. I want an advisory council, Advisory Council of Elders, because Solomon says in the multitude of counsel there is safety.
I have always done that, as you older ministers know. And you know how far back we used to meet together. We weren't a legal board but it was the way we functioned as God's ministers and in God's Church.
Often we went into session with divergent ideas. Always after an hour or so, sometimes less, sometimes more, we were all united because we only wanted God's truth.
And we did not have someone who was trying to look for his own personal, private political interest at that time. That's why the Church was growing 30 percent a year. And we always came to a unanimous idea.
It must always be that way. Sometimes I didn't agree with the others when we went in and when we came out I did. I think that more often the others agreed with me before it was through, but there were times when I had to change my mind. We didn't want our own way. I still want this Advisory Council of Elders.
We have here the Church, an organized spiritual organism but unincorporated. Now this is not the corporation, or the corporation sole. This is just the Church as God has organized it. As for The Worldwide Church of God, Inc, a California Corporation, do you realize that most of you are not members of that corporation at all? The members are the officers that sign the corporation papers.
I might tell you the story I wrote up in the Autobiography. In Eugene, Ore., an individual organized a corporation of himself, his wife and another man who was a son-in-law. The son-in-law was not a member of the Church at all and hardly ever attended. He visited once in a great while, once in probably three or four months. Those three incorporated and claimed the ownership of the Eugene church property.
I had the deed to the church. It was made out to the two elders and two deacons as officers of and trustees for the Church of God at Eugene, Ore.
I knew what the opposition had done. I went to a lawyer. I said, we want to incorporate. "Okay," he said, "give me the name of your officers." I said, "I want the names of all of the members."
"Oh," he said, "you can't do that." "Why," I said, "can't I?"
"All that's required is just the three officers; that's all I want." "Well," I said, "but I want all of the members on it."
"You can't do that," he responded. I said, "Why?"
"That's not legal." I said, "You mean it's illegal, is there some law against it?"
He said: "Well, no, but I never heard of anyone doing it. The law doesn't require it." I said, "There's no law against it?" "No." "Well, then I want all their names on — all the members."
"Why in the world do you want to do that?"
I answered: "There's one man, who with his wife is very angry because I have had to tell him that he and his wife are living in adultery. She has another living husband. He is very angry, and he says he is going to take the Church property away from us."
"Now," I said, "I have the deed to that property and they are going to go to court. The Bible says we don't dare go to court against our brethren. We cannot appear in court, and we are not going to appear there against them in our defense.
"But" I said, "we are going to claim the ownership of the property, and we hold the deed and three of the four members whose names are on the deed are still in the Church, and only one of them is the man who is trying to take it away from us."
"And," I said, "if they go to court against us, our deed will cloud that title and they'll have to bring that into court, won't they?" "Oh", he said: "I get the idea. They won't even be able to get a lawyer who will take it into court."
We held the church for many, many years. We finally sold it from Pasadena. Anyway, the unincorporated Church is, in a sense, the Great Commission going to the world and the ministry of feeding the flock.
Now we come to the incorporated area on earth — the various support services and corporation entities here on this chart. The support entities that are incorporated include Worldwide Church of God, Incorporated, a California Corporation. We haven't dissolved that yet.
Also The Corporation Sole, which is a new corporation, and Ambassdor College, which is incorporated under the laws of California and the AICF, which is a corporation.
Now I would like to go to the other chart (see chart) Here we have the Worldwide Church of God organizational chart with God at the Head, Christ as the Head of the Church, and God as the Head of Christ. As we come down to Earth we have Christ's chosen apostle. There are two main parts in the Work. First is the Great Commission of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom for a witness to the nations of the world. And second, the feeding of the flock, those whom God Himself has added to the Church.
I do not conceive that the preaching of the Gospel is to go out and force people into being converted. It is not a crusade to make conversions. It is a proclaiming of the Good News. God calls certain ones and puts it in their hearts to respond. They come to us.
How often have I said to our great audiences at a Feast of Tabernacles, we didn't try to talk you into becoming a member; you came to us. I have never tried to talk you into being converted. But God does add those of whom you'll read in Acts, the second chapter. God added to the Church daily such as were being saved.
Now, on the one side of the Great Commission, under that is the program for developing radio, television and advertising space — like the full pages in The Wall Street Journal.
We've used double pages in the past and want to use them again very soon in Reader's Digest and maybe even four pages at times. Also inserts in the TV Guide, which actually brings a bigger response. Both of those have multiple millions in circulation, very, very vast audiences that they give to us.
Under that is some time and space buying, one of the services. Next, is Mail Processing. We don't have it in order of importance: just the way I happened to place them on the chart. Then next is the performing arts series of Ambassador Auditorium, which is under AICF. Then my personal proclaiming of the Gospel. The AICF helps in that, but I do most of that. And in addition is the magazine, Quest, for the AICF audience.
I'm doing all the radio and the television programs. As of this minute, we have 11 programs already done ahead for television and 11 ahead in the new series of radio programs that have not been aired as yet.
I will probably do two more TV programs tomorrow. That will make us 13 ahead before this week. After Sunday's program goes on, we'll still be 10 ahead. On Tuesday I expect to do two more, and on Wednesday of next week, two more.
When I get far enough ahead we're going to try to get television daily, five days a week. That is Monday through Friday. Most television daily programs are on Monday through Friday. We might use Sunday as an alternate. Anyway, it will be virtually a daily program.
Mr. Stanley Rader has just ordered and obtained time on the most important television station in Chicago, WGN television. We have not been on an important station, radio or otherwise, in Chicago for many years, not since the days of WLS, which is a big 50,000-watt radio station. It was WLS that really built the Church Work in the Chicago area.
I expect to speak there later to a combined meeting. I'm speaking this next Sabbath to a combined meeting at Big Sandy.
A week ago Sabbath, I spoke to a combined group at Seattle. We had about 2,800. I am informed that we will have at least 2,500 at Big Sandy. You know that the Big Sandy church is the largest church in the world outside of headquarters here. And they have an auditorium on our grounds that will seat more than 2,500. We hope to have it filled next Sabbath.
Now, on the chart, comes advertising. I write most of advertising. So it is pretty much my job. God has given me the experience, the know-how — you want to call it expertise — He's given me that in this field. The next main function is the personal proclaiming of the Gospel. I do most of that in the trips around the world. But I have to have support through the AICF and Stanley Rader. We have used Quest magazine to some extent.
Now comes getting the Gospel out in print. That includes The Plain Truth, the Correspondence Course, booklets and books. And again, I am the editor-in-chief, I do the chief writing, especially in the area of the booklets and the books that are now going on sale in the bookstores all over the United States.
Now coming over to the second of the spiritual areas, feeding the flock. Under feeding of the flock is Ambassador College, which prepares ministers and other people for services and especially spiritual services in the Work of the Church. Next The Good News, The Worldwide News, Youth 81 — it'll be Youth 82 next year and so on. Going out weekly to the ministry is the Pastor General's Report. Semimonthly is The Worldwide News, and monthly, of course, is The Good News.
But to the world we have The Plain Truth, the booklets, and books and other literature of that kind. I want to remind you, even many of the bigger churches do not have the printing operations that our Church has. We may be small in numbers, while they have millions of members. We have less than 100,000 worldwide who we count as adult baptized members.
Other churches count people that used to belong and haven't darkened their door in the last 10 years. But they're still members and their children. We don't count members that way. But we have an operation bigger than most of the larger churches in getting out the Gospel to the world and doing the Work that God has for us to do.
Now comes Ministerial Services. Under that, the regional offices around the world. Then we have the festivals, especially the Feast of Tabernacles, around the world. Then the co-worker letters that I send out monthly, semiannual letters.
Then there's the YOU, the YES and the SEP that are very important activities in bringing families together, the youths to the parents, the parents to the youths. In most families today, children do not eat at home with their parents, or their parents don't eat at home with the children. And if the wife is a mother she's working. We're trying to correct that as far as we can in the Church.
Now we come to supporting services. In the physical, mechanical, material phase of the Work there are various publishing services. When I write articles, or we have a magazine ready, we have to have all of the services to get it to press, printed and mailed. Facilities Management, Legal Department, Financial Department in Accounting and Data Processing — those are all supporting services. Not necessarily spiritual but they support the spiritual functions.
That gives you a good chart of the Work as it is organized and operated today. And this will be published in The Worldwide News so that the brethren can see it as soon as we can get it out.
Now, I want to turn first to Matthew 24. Jesus was giving a prophecy here, which is the longest prophecy that Jesus gave. The same general purpose is recorded in Mark 13 and Luke 21. Usually we use Matthew 24.
Anyway, He was showing them what would happen at their time. He told them of the false prophets that would come. But they had also asked Him about the sign of His Second Coming and the end of this world, and the setting up of the World Tomorrow, or the Kingdom of God.
And He came to that in verse 14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (that's the end of this world) come," and the beginning of the world that will be ruled by Christ and the saints, with the saints under, and with Christ.
I said a while ago that in the first century the apostles put first emphasis on the fact that Jesus' resurrection proved His Messiahship because that was the point of interest in that generation at that time. But the point of interest is different in this generation — this is the generation at the end of this present world and that should live on into the coming of the World Tomorrow.
This is the time just before the Great Tribulation and before the Day of the Lord that will stop the Great Tribulation. This is the time when the Gospel of the Kingdom is to go to the world.
It's also the time for one or two other things. God made a prophecy in the third chapter of Malachi, verse one; "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [that is before Christ]: and the Lord, whom you seek ... even the Messenger of the covenant ..."
He did come as the Messenger of the New Covenant. He's coming to make the New Covenant at His Second Coming. He didn't make the New Covenant at His first appearing. He announced it at the First Coming.
But He's the Messenger of the New Covenant just as Moses was the mediator of the Covenant at Sinai. The Sinai Covenant, which we now call the Old Covenant, made Israel a nation. The New Covenant will make the children of God, the Family of God, a nation — the Kingdom of God.
The first covenant made the people of Israel and the descendants of the literal Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, a nation. The New Covenant will make the spiritual family, the children of God, a spiritual nation, the Kingdom of God. You see the difference.
Continuing: "...shall suddenly come to His temple..." What kind of a temple is He coming to? Are the Jews going to tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a new temple? Oh no! You see no evidence of anything like that happening.
I know the people well enough that if the Jews over there were going to do anything like that they would certainly have mentioned that to me. But, He will "...suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant [which] you delight in ... He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." Now let's go right on.
"But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? [Now what coming is it talking about? Who's going to stand when He does come, when He appeareth?] for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap [that's not the way He was when He came some 1,950 years ago]: and He shall sit as a refiner and [a] purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi [He didn't do that when He came before], and purge them as gold and silver [purged of dross], that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." That never happened at His First Coming.
"Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord [it wasn't 1,950 years ago], as in the days of old, and as in [the] former years. And I will come near to you to judgment [He didn't come to judgment His First Coming, but He is coming to judgment of the world at His Second Coming]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against [the] swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in [the] wages, [and] the widows, and the fatherless, and [them] that turn aside the stranger from his right, and Fear not me, says the Lord of hosts."
It is talking about His coming to His temple the second time!
Now turn for just a moment to Ephesians, the second chapter, verse 19: "Now therefore you [in Ephesus, as Paul wrote] are no more strangers and foreigners [they had been; they were gentiles, foreigners], but fellow-citizens with the saints [now the citizens are not Jews physically, but spiritually, as Paul said elsewhere], and of the household of God..."
That's a family relationship. We are begotten sons of God if we have the Holy Spirit. And therefore, we are impregnated with immortal life, to have it when Christ comes, which will be in the Family of God. So we'll be a family. We will also be a nation.
Now notice this: "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone [it's talking about the Church and what the Church will be; the Church is going to be a government, is likened to a kingdom, or a family and household]; in whom all the building [we're a building, and later on in the fourth chapter, we're compacted in every joint just as if we were welded together, as we are so thoroughly compacted and joined together through the love of Christ] fitly framed together [and later in the third chapter, he used the word compacted together] groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord ..."
A holy temple! Christ is coming to His Church! Christ is coming to His temple! And the Church is the temple. Do we see that? The Church is the temple "...in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." God will reside in us through His Holy Spirit being in us.
Let me read another scripture in the fourth chapter of Malachi, the fifth verse: "[But], I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord ..." The Day of the Lord is what will come to shut off and to stop the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be caused by Satan the devil.
We've had the day of Satan, or the day of man influenced by Satan for nearly 6,000 years. The Day of the Lord is the day when God will take over and intervene in this world's affairs and begin to take over the rulership of the world.
He begins with great signs in heaven. That's the beginning of the Day of the Lord, signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. I've been proclaiming that for more than 40 years to the world.
"... and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to [their] children, and hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." That word curse is translated in another place from the same Hebrew word as utter destruction. That is total, complete destruction.
We are in the days of total destruction in which it is now possible, unless those days were cut short, that no flesh would be saved alive. In other words we're at the time when humanity can be erased from off the face of this earth by man. Man can destroy man.
For the first time in all history, the weapons of mass destruction are available that can erase all human life and all life from off this planet Earth. God says it would happen if He doesn't intervene. And He will intervene.
Now the disciples asked John the Baptist, are you the Elijah that was to come. He said, No, I am not. I have been asked, "Are you the Elijah?" And I say, "No".
Jesus said though, if you can bear it, Elijah has already come. And then He explained that John the Baptist was a different man, not the same man as Elijah. The Elijah by that time was dead and buried.
But John the Baptist was a man in the power and spirit of Elijah. John the Baptist came to prepare the way before the First Coming of Christ. He was a type of someone to prepare the way for the Second Coming of Christ.
I'm going to say something to you now, that I would not have said five or six years ago under any circumstances. I don't go out trying to fulfill prophecy. But Jesus said, by their fruits you know. And sometimes you look back on fruits and you can tell some things you couldn't tell in advance before the fruits had been performed.
John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the wilderness of the Jordan River, the physical wilderness of the Jordan River, to prepare the way before a human, physical Jesus Christ coming as a Messiah, coming to a physical temple built of stone and wood and with gold and silver and other materials and coming to His physical people and carnal people, Judah.
Jesus' coming was to announce that someday, more than 1,900 years off, He would set up the Kingdom of God. His First Coming was to proclaim His message, His Gospel, the Kingdom of God.
So now prior to the Second Coming of Christ, there is someone, before the Second Coming of Christ with a voice in the spiritual wilderness of all the mixed-up Babylon of religions that we have in the world today. A voice crying out amid religious confusion, spiritual confusion and preparing the way not for a physical Jesus, but a glorified Christ coming in all the supreme power and glory, to rule all nations, and coming to His spiritual temple, which is going to rise.
The dead will rise first and we which are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air. We shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. And this mortal will put on immortality. And when we meet Him in the air, we come right back down that same day with Him, because on that same day, His feet will stand on the mount of Olives.
As He went from the mount of Olives up into clouds, He will come in clouds and come down and descend onto the mount of Olives. He's coming to His spiritual temple. He's coming to His spiritual people and not a physical people that rejected Him. He came to His own, Judah, and His own received Him not.
This time, He's coming to the Church that has received Him and is going to meet Him in the air changed to glorious immortality. And He's coming not to announce that someday He will set up the Kingdom of God. He's coming to set it up and to rule and to reign over all the nations of the earth. Does that make sense — that one is the type of the other?
God does things in a dual manner. There was a first Adam; Christ was the second Adam. There's the Old Covenant, which is physical; the New Covenant, which is spiritual. You could go on and on. I don't have time to do that today.
Now there's something else I'd like to read in Haggai, the second chapter of Haggai, "Who is left among you that saw [the] house in [its former] glory?" It's talking about the temple of Solomon.
This is in the time when a colony of Jews had been sent from the Persian Empire, which then had taken over from the Chaldean Empire and was ruling the world, and sent them back to build the second temple. That's the temple to which Christ came the first time, the physical temple. Solomon's temple had been destroyed.
Zerubbabel was the governor of that colony. And Zerubbabel was given the commission to build that temple. "Who is left among you [who] saw this [temple] in [its] first glory? and how do [we] see it now? [it had been totally destroyed] ... yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua [then it gives his father and parents' names] and work [in other words, work to build this physical building to which Christ came the first time]: for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not."
And His Spirit remains among His people even today. In a way it was not with all of the people then, but really is in us today.
"For thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land [What's He talking about? He's not talking about the time in which Zerubbabel lived; He's talking about our time; this was a prophecy. Haggai is not a book of history, it's a book of prophecy]; and I will shake all nations [He hasn't done that yet. He didn't do that in Zerubbabel's day. Zerubbabel lived about a little over 500 years before Christ], and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater [more glorious] than [in] of the former [meaning greater than Solomon's temple], says the Lord of hosts: and in this place I will give [you] peace, says the Lord of hosts."
He's talking about the peace at the Second Coming of Christ. He's talking about a temple that will be more glorious than Solomon's. The temple, the physical temple that Zerubbabel built, was not. It was remodeled later and even added onto by Herod, a Roman ruler. And that was the same temple that Jesus came to the first time.
But again, it is a duality. It is a type of the spiritual temple to be built later, that will be more glorious. Christ is coming to His temple, and that is a spiritual temple, that will meet Him in the clouds of the sky as He's coming.
It will be far more glorious than the temple of Solomon, which was glorious in a physical way, probably more than any building that's ever been built on earth,
"The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the Lord of hosts." You ministers can read the rest.
God was going to prepare someone to come and build that temple to which Christ is coming this time, the second time. God was going to raise up someone who is going to prepare the way for the Second Coming and calling people, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That's exactly what Elijah did physically. He reminded them that they had gotten away from the Kingdom and the Government of God, and needed the restoring of the Government of God.
And now before the Second Coming, as John the Baptist fulfilled that before the first coming, someone had to announce it again. As Zerubbabel built the first temple, someone had to build the spiritual temple. Of course, God is doing it all. Christ is the One who is doing it.
Have you ever heard me say that I built this campus? What have you heard me say? You've heard me say that Christ built it, but he used me in doing it, didn't He?
God is not the author, physically or spiritually, of inferiority. The things of quality and of beautiful design are the work of artisans. Quality is the selection of better material and quality material that comes out of the earth and more careful and more meticulous workmanship.
That is God's way. I have tried to build this as I thought God showed me. God has built it, but He has used me.
Do you think that has happened? Do you think we're near the time of the coming of Christ? Has anyone proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom of God? Has anyone proclaimed the law of God? Has anyone been calling on them to repent? Have you been reading the Wall Street Journal ads? Have you noticed what I was saying even on last Sunday's broadcast to President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and how he was nodding while he smoked his pipe? But he was getting the Gospel of the Kingdom, if you were listening to the words that were right there on the television program. But I think it's time we come to know what God is doing, and to know that the time is here and there's very little time left.
Now we are all ready in a stepped-up homestretch spurt of this end-time Work that God has given us to do. I am already deep into a new series of television and radio programs. My office is all set right now; All the lights and everything are there. Everything for a televised program tomorrow morning.
And, in addition, I need to take a trip down to Australia. I haven't been there for 10 or 11 years now. I'm way overdue. And I think it would give the Church and the brethren in Australia a big lift if I go down there. Mr. Rader has the trip all planned for early April. If I can I should go.
Anyway, we're starting out a stepped-up program from the beginning of this year, and it's already well underway.
It's going to build this Church a lot faster on television when we get on more stations than 30 percent a year like we used to be. And for the first time now, in about 11 years, the Work is growing at about 30 percent. It's not quite 30 percent in the United States, but I think it's around 20 or more, and it's coming up toward 30.
And it is 30 or more in Canada, in Britain, in Germany and in the Philippines and in other parts of the world.
And we have some of you men here who are responsible for the Work in those areas. You can tell the others that that is true as you've told me. So we're already deep into this new big spurt in pushing the Work on farther ahead, more dynamically than ever before.
Of course, the major city newspaper full-page messages have been underway, especially in The Wall Street Journal. Now I want to say that most of the Wall Street Journal ads have been tailored and written especially for that particular peculiar audience.
They are a different type audience than any other. The Wall Street Journal reaches businessmen and investors in bonds and stocks, the people who own the corporations, the banks and the big businesses — and people in government. It's a very peculiar audience. And the response has been good and it's getting better.
Now, however, those ads are not all appropriate to be used in Canada or other newspapers in the United States. But I will write ads, and if God will help me to write ads as good as the Wall Street Journal ads have been, I'll be very grateful.
I don't want to take any of the credit. But I will tell you that I think that Christ inspired those ads, and I think they're terrific ads.
He had to use someone who had know-how to write to men who are in the economic world right up at the very top. And I have had that experience. When I was in my early 20s and my middle 20s I was doing business with the presidents of the largest industrial corporations in the Middle West. That's Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis, that whole area. And with the presidents, top vice presidents of the banks of Wall Street, New York and of South LaSalle Street, Chicago.
I know how those men think. I know them. I have known them for more than 60 years. I've had a very special training. God gave me that training, and I don't think anyone else on earth has it and also has God's spiritual training to go with it.
Now in that one paper, The Wall Street Journal, we reach just about everybody who owns or wants to own the properties and especially the corporate properties and enterprises of the United States, and everybody who runs or wants to run the governments of the United States, and that means state and national.
We plan to greatly expand this means of sending out Christ's message. We have plans for stepping up the newsstand circulation of The Plain Truth. We plan to resume the purchase of large space for Christ's message in such publications as Reader's Digest and TV Guide. which have massive circulations reaching many millions every issue.
For all of this I am having to ask our own members and our co-workers to make extra sacrifices and to increase their freewill offerings. We do not and will not solicit the public for contributions. But God does expect His people to make sacrifices for Him and especially at this critical time.
God expected the people of the Old Testament to make sacrifices. But then they made sacrifices of animals, and sheep and goods. Today we translate all that into money as the medium of exchange. But God expects us to make sacrifices today. And they made sacrifices besides the tithe [the 10 percent], and so we must.
I'm calling on our people to do it now, because we've got to step up this Work. And it's going to cost a little extra money. I shall need the support of our ministry in this, so that the additional expansions may be finished.
Now I'm not asking it because we're in debt and need to ask the brethren please come and bail us out. In the last co-worker letter I said the budget is balanced. I'm asking for money for expansion that the Work can go ahead.
How wonderful it is the budget is balanced! The Work is going ahead right now, and for the first time in about 11 years it is starting to go ahead; let's give God the glory for that.
All this additional pressure we are putting on in taking Christ's message more powerfully now to a multiplied listening, viewing and reading public will begin, in one to two years' time, to bring in additional new voluntary co-workers that we don't even know of now.
The additional money that we must put into this expanded program now is like old-fashioned pump priming, where we used to put an amount of water into the pump to prime it and then it produced a flow of water multitudes of times larger than the original priming.
So that is what I want ask of you all, to those of you who are over other ministers in South Africa, in Australia, in the Philippines, New Zealand, in Mexico, in Germany, in Britain. That's why I've called this congress of the top leading men, of God's ministers worldwide. Now I have something special. Now I come to another matter. Just over two years ago, on Jan. 3, 1979, armed deputies under the attorney general of California's office suddenly, without notice or forewarning, invaded the Pasadena headquarters of God's Church and college. It was a massive lawsuit attack that threatened to destroy God's Church and God's Work. And except for certain things and God's intervention it would have. But God had to use human instrumentalities in that intervention, and God does work through people.
It was primarily through the extraordinary work of Stanley R. Rader that the Church, its activities, its facilities for those activities, properties and assets were protected, were preserved, were kept in continuous operation and their destruction was prevented. These properties and facilities, which I would conservatively value at more than $100 million, and I think that's a very conservative estimate, and to us it's really worth a lot more than that, but I think a market value would be more than $100 million.
This is a wonderful property. Three times we have won the award of being the most beautiful, the best landscaped, and the best maintained campus of any college or university in the United States.
That's something of which I believe God is pleased. That's something in which we can be pleased and perhaps a little proud.
First, Mr. Rader had the expertise prior, of course, to this attack to guide the installation of what I feel undoubtedly is the most sophisticated accounting system of any church in the United States, prior, of course, to this massive government, unconstitutional invasion.
But when they invaded they came upon an institution that had that kind of an accounting system. They thought we didn't have any, or any to speak of.
During our legal defense, which Mr. Rader masterminded, he had the wisdom to hire the largest CPA firm in the United States, Arthur Anderson & Co., of a reputation that is absolutely impeccable, to audit all of our records.
And he had, also, the ability to relate to them, to this vary prestigious accounting firm, so as to clear the Church and its corporate entities of any allegations of financial wrongdoing, and they based their suit pretty much on allegations that were totally false, of wrongdoing.
This was a masterminded, strategical move. The attorney general's case was doomed from the time the Arthur Anderson & Co. was brought in to make their audit.
They hadn't dropped it yet, but they would have had to. There's no question about it. Because the things they were basing it on were simply not true.
Second, Mr. Rader masterminded bringing together in our defense, highly qualified attorneys from at least seven top, major legal firms to defend the Church in many hearings and court appearances.
Mr. Rader had the ability to command the respect of these prestigious law firms, and they were big (they were as big as any corporation could have gotten anywhere in the United States, because I think we have just as prestigious ones out here as they do in New York), and to assume overall legal leadership as a master general of a master legal army to defend the Church against the overwhelming legal army of the state.
Third, Mr. Rader spent much time in Sacramento, Calif., working with other organizations, and not behind the scenes, but in front of them, working to put the Petris bill through the legislature. This bill nullified the law on which the attorney general's office had based its case against the Church.
It was Mr. Rader's work with these people and behind the scenes that encouraged the legal departments of the great churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist church, the Baptist church people, the Lutherans, the big churches, the National Council of Churches to get back of us in this legal fight.
Now that just didn't happen overnight. It took some extraordinary work, and it's clear beyond legal, ordinary legal, services.
The average lawyer, I don't care how big he is, how noted he is, he could not have the expertise or the mind to do these things, and it's time we begin to realize it.
Fourth, for the entire two years Mr. Rader was working effectively with the media nationally, and he made many trips to different parts of the United States, trips to New York, trips to Washington, other places, with the media, television, radio and the press, using expertise in the media field over and beyond ordinary lawyer services.
He appeared on talk shows over the nation on many interviews, in press conferences, turning public opinion in the Church's favor. Actually, the Church is known in a way it never was before, and it isn't known so unfavorably as it was before either. And the media have turned now more in our favor.
At first they were against us with every kind of accusation in the world. But their accusation of siphoning off millions of dollars was, of course, totally unfounded and we never had to worry about that, and our membership never worried about it. I never had one letter of a single member that ever came to my attention of accusation or people doubting us or anything of the kind. The membership has been solid. Thank God for that.
Now fifth, he utilized authorship in writing articles and his book Against the Gates of Hell communicating the Church side of the lawsuit before the world.
Sixth, he had the extraordinary ability to coordinate all of these things and put it all together in an effective and a winning spearhead, and the Church is now free from that lawsuit, and we hope forever.
There might be one chance in a million of an amendment still trying to be tacked onto that law, but by June 30th the law becomes permanent and the only thing they could do then would be to start another bill all over again.
And I don't think they will do it because the attorney general wants to run for governor this term, and he doesn't want to start anything like that right now. And all the churches would be against him and they have too big a vote. Even though our Church doesn't vote, the others do — remember that.
Now these activities extended in extraordinary manner, completely beyond the abilities and the services and the efforts of even the best and most famous or prestigious attorneys. Yet normal attorney's fees totally incomparable to these extraordinary and effective activities would run into many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Corporations have to pay very highly for ordinary legal services in corporate lawsuits. I think people don't realize just how costly such legal services are in cases of this kind, but they run into big figures.
Ordinary legal services even from top lawyers and lawyers of national reputation, in my judgment, could not have won the battle and kept God's Church alive and active.
I feel that Mr. Rader's salary is grossly inadequate for these extraordinary services completely beyond anything that is normal. And if you know what some of the attorneys were expecting to get out of this on the other side, you would understand a little better.
It used to be that he had the biggest salary among us because he had the kind of service to give us that you have to pay highly to get and we had to go outside of the Church to get it. But Mr. Rader, in the meantime, came into the Church and came on salary full time, but he wasn't at the beginning. He was on a fee basis at the beginning, and of course, that is all known.
Mr. Rader had expressed a desire to retire from official Church executive position prior to the Jan. 3, 1979, State invasion. He and I had agreed to his retirement from this executive responsibility, and I had communicated that privately to Pasadena. His resignation was to take effect soon after the beginning of the year 1979.
But when the State attack was launched Jan. 3, it became necessary for Mr. Rader to stay on until the case was won. And of course, now it is won,
For many years now Mr. Rader has rendered extremely valuable services to this Church in the fields of law, of accounting and finance, beside invaluable services as my assistant in carrying Christ's Gospel message to and through kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and other leaders of nations all over the continents of the world, in all of the continents of the world.
He has the expertise in the field of government to complement with me in talking to many heads of government or near heads all over the world. I feel sure that no man has talked in private conversation with as many such government heads in their own capitals scattered over the world as Mr. Rader and I.
I don't think anybody has come anywhere near matching it. Not any government official from Washington. Nobody has. And that includes South America, it includes all over Asia, Africa, Europe, all over.
When we go and I talk to heads of state, I say some things about the Kingdom of God, but we have to talk about governments and government problems and matters like that, too. They're not letting me in just to preach the Gospel to them. Don't kid yourself about it. But Mr. Rader has the expertise to talk to them in their own language and it helps me.
There is no man on earth who could give me that help. If Mr. Rader doesn't continue to go with me I'll have to stop those trips. I can't do it alone. He can't do it alone without me either. But together we complement one another. And may I just say we do make a pretty good team.
And the heads of government all over the world have come to like us. Now I get the honors, because I'm the senior member. Mr. Rader goes as my assistant, but I couldn't do it without him. Of course, then he'll tell you he couldn't do it without me and, of course, that's true, too. We need each other on that kind of effort.
Once doors open to the heads of state, other doors are opened. I've talked to the Rotary Clubs, to other important clubs and organizations. I talk to groups of important government people and important people in the universities and in other fields all over the world, including communist People's Republic of China.
So far I'm the only world religious leader who has been invited by the government to China. And I was the guest of the government. I didn't have to go to a hotel. They had their special government place where we had a suite of rooms, and our whole staff, even our television staff, were housed there. They allowed our own plane to fly in and that's a very unusual thing. And we were invited to come again. Mr. Rader is going back there. I think within the next week he's going to fly back there and over into North Korea, and then on down to Australia to prepare the way for my trip to Australia.
I feel that this Church would be derelict in its appreciation if it does not make suitable acknowledgment for such service rendered two years after Mr. Rader had planned to retire from active executive duty.
For the past five months or so, he has said publicly in public press and before our own congregations that it is his desire to step down and return from executive authority in the Church to private law practice, and he has made public statements of intent to resign as treasurer and board member of the Church by July 1. But now he has asked that this date be moved up to March 1. It's this weekend.
To show our appreciation it is my judgment as pastor general of this Church that we should express our gratitude and heartfelt appreciation by a special bonus to Mr. Rader of $250,000 net. And I would like an expression from all of you on that. [Applause]
Now there's more to this. Mr. Rader isn't leaving the Church, but he's leaving that executive position as treasurer, and I might announce right now that I'm transferring the duties of acting treasurer at the present time to Mr. L. Leroy Neff. God has worked everything out to the advantage of everybody and certainly to the very great advantage of God's Church.
Thank you very much — because you did approve it. I don't want to be accused of a bigger amount than it should be, but I can tell you that any lawyer would tell you that that is not an excessive amount.
Mr. Rader will continue on as executive vice president of the AICF, that's the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, the performing artists series in the Ambassador Auditorium and in time and space buying for television, radio and publication space, and as my personal adviser in legal and financial areas, and in such Gospel trips abroad as I shall take, but resigning his executive responsibilities in the office of treasurer.
Well, that's it ladies and gentlemen. We are off to a big start on the homestretch. As you know the one who wins the race is the one who finishes first, not the one who's first halfway along, as the apostle Paul states in the New Testament. And we're putting on that spurt at the homestretch and we're coming in right now on it.
I might add this. There's been talk about who is the No 2 man, who would take my place. Some think I'm going to die right away, When you get to be 70 years old you're supposed to die. I don't know, for some reason I have been disobedient, I didn't do it. And now, I will be in my 90th year in less than six months.
But while I can't run a hundred-yard dash anymore, and my eyes are not as good, and my hearing is not as good as it once was, but God has left my mind good. And my voice is good. And I can still go on the air, and I think that my programs are, if I may say so, I think they are effective. I want to do what Mr. Rader said I did do in the meetings at the Philippines. In the meetings at Manila, Mr. Rader said that one of the things that was effective was that I seemed to just reach out and my arms would enfold that audience and draw them right up to me. There seemed to be a love or an affection, or something. I hope so, I try to express that. I feel that. And I mean that.
God didn't spare His own Son. Of course, His Son hadn't gone wrong, but God didn't spare Him. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son if God demanded it. I had to face that.
I had to wait 10 years to have a son. We had two daughters, but three highly qualified physicians, one the most famous obstetrical physician in the world, had said that my wife could never have another child. Both she and the child would die in the pregnancy. And we had to avoid a pregnancy.
Our sons began coming along 10 years later after I was converted and after my wife was divinely healed. Otherwise we would never have had a son. The day my son, Richard David, was born was the happiest day of my life. I think maybe you can understand that.
Every man, I think, wants a son. When a man is married and the first child is a daughter, I don't think he's dissatisfied at all but he does hope the next one will be a son. My next one was another daughter and my wife nearly died in that childbirth. That's when they said that she never could undergo it again. I still wouldn't have been so unhappy.
I would have thought, well the next one will be a son, maybe God will give me a son yet. But then they said I couldn't have a son.
Then God healed my wife. Actually we didn't know from what — we found out later it was this negative/positive RH blood factor. But God completely healed and we had two sons.
But when the automobile crash came in July of 1958, there was my son Dick just beaten. His jaw was cracked in at least six or eight places and they were trying to wire it together. It was an awful condition. His heart had been shoved over and collapsed a lung. His kidneys didn't work. He died because his kidneys didn't work. He did stay alive for one week exactly.
But again, I had to face the question. I knew God was calling on me as He did Abraham, would I give up my son? He was my firstborn son even though I did have a second one. I had to say when I was praying that if that was God's will I would give him up.
But I didn't think God would make me do it. Maybe I wouldn't have said it if I thought He would. But He did make me do it and I did give him up.
And then I've had to give up my second son. Fellows, that hasn't been easy. My son said on local television just over this weekend that I'm a dictator and that a dictator never appoints anyone to succeed him.
I once appointed my son Garner Ted to succeed me. I didn't know any better, Today I wouldn't. What I've told you today is something, as I said, I would not have said a few years ago. But I look back and I look at the fruits and I see what prophecy says and I see that prophecy has been fulfilled. I wonder if you brethren see it?
And brethren, I have to say to you, no one is going to succeed me. God has called me to a job, to a commission. Mr. Rader has said time and again publicly that he doesn't expect anyone to succeed me, that God has never let anyone die until what God has called him to do is completed.
I think that when God lets me die, the thing He's called me for will have been completed, preparing the way for the Second Coming of Christ carrying that Gospel of the Kingdom to the world for a witness to all nations.
I don't know whether God's going to keep me alive for the rest of this day. I don't know whether He's going to keep me alive until next year. I don't know whether He's going to keep me alive for the next five or 10 years. I know He's able to keep me alive for 20 or 30 more years if that's what God wants to do. My God is that powerful. He can do it!
I have been persecuted ever since I gave myself to God. I try to be on the giving and not the getting side. I've been practicing the way of giving for just about 54 years now.
But I think God has called me for a job to do. If I have been someone in the power and the spirit of Elijah, remember there is no prophecy that God will have Elisha following Elijah. There is no one in the Church that has the qualifications, the experience that could carry on the work that God has given me to do.
Who is there among you who can do it? If you will tell me I would like to know. It would be to nice if I could retire, because it's a pretty heavy load I have to carry. But I'm not thinking of myself. I'm thinking of what I've been called to do. And it must be done. And God's will will be done.
If anything happened to me I would expect the Church to continue right on and the local churches and the local church ministry. But the job God has called me to do is a prophesied job. It has been being done. I don't think it's anywhere near finished yet. I need your prayers. I need them daily to help me. As I said, I will be in my 90th year in less than six months from now, on July 31 of this year. But God is keeping me in the vital areas that I need and He's keeping me in good shape to continue. I know that I can continue with God's help and with God's strength. Of myself I can do nothing. Of yourself you can do nothing.
This is an important time. I felt that I should call you in. These charts will be published. I'm writing articles that I think are very important along these lines on some of these things I think the brethren need to know. As fast as I can get to them I will do it.
I've been trying to do a bigger job, a better job than I ever did 50 or 40 years ago or any other time in my life. I expect to continue on as long as God uses me.
We are at peace right now. Satan has been striking at us. He is going to continue to strike. I can't tell you how he will strike. Now when I say something like that rumors begin to fly. Mr. Armstrong thinks something, now what's up? What's going to happen?
Brethren, don't start rumors. The only rumor you want to spread is that there is peace. Any of the ministers who have come here on this refresher course will tell you they have never found such peace at Pasadena headquarters as you are finding here now. And all of them that have come here in the past year have said that. I get letter after letter from the ministers who have been here.
Let's not spread any rumors of any problems, any troubles or anything of the kind. God is giving us peace. We need the armor of God. Satan is fighting us. He's shoving his darts and he shoves them at me!
Now I'll tell you what I've got against the darts of Satan and that is the shield of faith. I have to rely on God. I cannot outwit Satan, neither can you and don't ever kid yourself that you can. You just can't.
So we are going on now. Are you with me? [Applause] God bless all of you! [Applause]