WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG PRESIDENT and PASTOR
January 14, 1985
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
What may this year of 1985 hold in store for us?
Already the Work of God is off to a flying start. The first TV program of the new year broke all records in immediate responses by telephone, with 15,836 calls requesting literature. The second telecast was preempted on 28 TV stations, yet in spite of being off the air on those stations another record response broke even the preceding week's record with 15,852 telephone requests. If this presages the trend for the year, we should have a record-breaking year.
A recent incident occurred which could presage critical world-shaping events for this year 1985. Late one night less than two weeks ago, three Jewish rabbis from Jerusalem called on me. They professed to be on a mission of grave importance that could trigger crucial events leading quickly to the coming of Christ and the end of this world.
One of these rabbis is a member of the Israeli Knesset, Israel's national Congress. They explained the divided condition politically in the Knesset, and although the ultraorthodox Jews which these men represent are in the minority, they do hold the balance of power. One of them, who seemed to be their leader, hopes to maneuver things to make himself Prime Minister. He claims to be a physicist of distinction and showed photographs of himself with President Ronald Reagan, Konstantin Chernenko of the Soviet Union, and Deng Xiaoping, leader of China. He explained plans to build the third Temple at Jerusalem. He said his group of ultraorthodox Jews had been studying the New Testament. He said (and I have since verified the truth of this) that these Jews expected a pre-Messiah to come almost immediately prior to the coming of the Messiah or Christ, and that he himself is that pre-Messiah or "ante-Christ" as he termed it. He insisted it is necessary that I help him politically become the Israeli Prime Minister. They seemed to know all about me personally.
I kept trying to pry out of him how and where they proposed to build the temple prior to Christ's Second Coming. I think it best not now to divulge his astonishing answer.
At 2 a.m. they left. I gave them my very definite answer. I cannot in any manner join him in politics. The rabbis left rather downhearted. I have checked and this man is in fact who he claims to be. My real appraisal I will not now state.
But I have heard from other sources that some rather eccentric Jews are planning to build a temple in Jerusalem. This could certainly provoke a serious crisis in the Middle East. It could inflame the Arab nations as never before. It could lead to a withholding of oil and using an Arab oil boycott as a weapon to force Europe to oppose the State of Israel. This could lead to the formation of the prophesied United States of Europe, and lead directly into the Great Tribulation.
These Israeli rabbis did positively express the conviction that the Second Coming of Christ is very near at hand.
Meanwhile we may have our very greatest work yet to do. This year 1985 may prove to be the most eventful year to date, especially in God's Work.
We need to be more fervent in prayer than ever before. More dedicated to Christ and his work than ever. Time is shorter than we think.