WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG PRESIDENT and PASTOR
June 15, 1984
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
Greetings from Vienna, Austria: It is Friday, June 15. We arrived here Wednesday afternoon and in the evening had dinner with President Rudolf Kirchschlager of Austria. I had met him both in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles, California, where he invited me to visit him when in Europe.
I was in London at the time, a week ago, when the Economic Suummit Conference between leaders of Britain, France, Italy, West Germany, Canada, Japan and the United States was in session. I had another personal meeting with Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, foreign minister Shintaro Abe of Japan, and one of my high-ranking "Japanese sons" Congressman Toshio Yamaguchi. Two of Mr. Yamaguchi's sons are in Pasadena, attending our Imperial School on the Ambassador College campus. He is adviser to the Foreign Minister on Japanese government funding toward developing nations, and has backed one or two of the projects our Ambassador Foundation has initiated, and has invited my further cooperation in initiating helpful and needful projects in other countries.
Many of these international contacts are giving me a much closer insight into the drift of world conditions as they move toward the prophesied Armageddon and the end of this world.
We had been invited to participate, through the Ambassador Foundation, in a project of international youth development by UNESCO, the educational and cultural branch of the United Nations. In Paris earlier this week I had meetings with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Amadou Mahtar M'Bow, and also with the French and German representatives to UNESCO, relative to this youth project. Through such conferences I am learning much more from the inside about the drift in world affairs.
Actually, we are at present in a sort of lull before the great storm. There is the war going on between Iraq and Iran in the Persian Gulf, the Central American disturbances, continuing tensions in the Middle East regarding Palestine and the Arab-Israeli struggle, and other flare-ups. Meanwhile controversy continues between the United States and the Soviet Union regarding nuclear buildups. The stage is set for a sudden, massive and violent world explosion that will plunge the world into the most destructive violence ever experienced by mankind.
I fully believe God is holding back this final global eruption and Christ's coming, to allow time for our work to be completed. More and more, God is moving this Work into prominence among the major nations of the world. But we are always mindful of our real mission. Just WHY is the world in such turmoil? WHY are we nearing the very END of this world? The world does not understand. The world's leaders do not understand. They are bewildered. They know well the world stands poised for the nuclear war that could annihilate all human life from the earth. And they don't know how to stop the nuclear buildup or prevent such an unthinkable end to all human life.
Yet it is all made clear and plain in the book more widely distributed in more languages than any other book — the Holy Bible. They are bewildered and helpless because they do not understand the Bible. It is a coded book and cannot be understood except by the indwelling of God's Holy Spirit.
What almost nobody understands is that God started the human family with one created man, Adam. God's PURPOSE was to reproduce himself through humans who were made from the dust of the ground. Adam was created a mortal being with only temporary existence through breathing air and the circulation of blood. Adam had to make a decision. Before him in the garden of Eden was the symbolic tree of LIFE, freely offered him. Had he taken of it he would have received the Holy Spirit of God to join with the human spirit already created in him. God's Spirit would have begotten him with eternal life — GOD life — and with it, spiritual understanding and knowledge, leading to the righteousness and perfect spiritual character of God, that he might be born again as a son of God in the very God Family. But also in the midst of the garden was the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was created with a mind capable of good as well as evil — but good only on the human level — the self-centered level — far short of the divine good on the God-plane level.
When Adam followed his wife in disobeying God, as Eve was led by Satan, Adam cut himself off from at-one-ment with God, and became the kidnapped property of Satan the devil. Whereupon, God closed off the tree of LIFE — that is, barred all human access to GOD-LIFE! This means that GOD BARRED ALL HUMANITY FROM SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE — UNTIL AFTER JESUS CHRIST, THE SECOND ADAM, SHOULD APPEAR AND THROUGH DEATH PAY THE PENALTY OF ALL HUMAN SIN, FOR AS MANY AS REPENT, AND COME TO BELIEVE GOD!
All traditional Christianity teaches that God has been trying to SAVE THE WORLD NOW.
On the contrary, God SHUT OFF SALVATION FROM THE WORLD SIX THOUSAND YEARS AGO WHEN ADAM SINNED, and decreed that in Adam ALL SHOULD DIE. But, "as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all [the SAME ALL] be made alive" by a resurrection (I Cor. 15:22), and "after this, the JUDGMENT" (Heb. 9:27), in which judgment many may find salvation.
Jesus Christ, the second Adam, came to start an entirely NEW WORLD — a new and different civilization. He said, "I will build my Church." The Church began with "called-out ones" — called out of this world, as pioneers starting the new world of GOD. This world is Satan's world. Satan is the god of this world.
AS God closed off salvation from all humanity, until Christ opened it to the Church, so Jesus said, "NO MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him" (John 6:44). Salvation is still closed to all others, contrary to the teachings of a false "Christianity." So, the leaders of the world, cut off from God, DO NOT UNDERSTAND. They are bewildered.
Now something revealed in the Bible about the economic condition of the world.
The great nations are in ECONOMIC TROUBLE. That's why they held this economic summit in London.
My meetings with officials of UNESCO in Paris a few days ago made plain that the Third World of economically poor nations is, with Soviet influence, gaining control of UNESCO as well as the United Nations system in Geneva, against the United States and Britain. The United States has already given notice of its intentions to withdraw from UNESCO at the end of this year. WHY do many economically poor nations look with jealousy and hatred against America and Britain? That, too, is explained in the Bible.
When the first human, Adam, disobeyed God and took of the forbidden fruit, God not only closed off the tree of LIFE (salvation and eternal life) from mankind, but he also said to Adam and his human family: "... Cursed is the ground for thy sake...thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee...in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground..." (Gen. 3:17-19).
Then, just a few generations after the Flood, God chose a man of great ability, Abram, and called him out from his area of the world, into the land of Canaan. God gave Abram great promises, conditioned on obedience. After he obeyed, God made the promises UNconditional, "BECAUSE that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept...my commandments" (Gen. 26:5). Among those promises was a very great nation, and another company, or commonwealth, of nations, to become the wealthiest and most powerful nations on earth — from Abraham's descendants. These promises were repromised to Isaac and to Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. The dying Israel passed on these material birthright promises to the descendants of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, who, today, are the British Commonwealth and the United States (see our free book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy).
In Leviticus 26, these national and material promises were made to ancient Israel in their time IF they would keep God's Sabbath and his Commandments. But if the ancient Israelites disobeyed they would be withheld 2,520 years. They disobeyed. After several generations of pleading with them by his prophets, God finally drove out the House of Israel, headed by Ephraim and Manasseh, into Assyrian slavery (721-718 B.C.). The 2,520 years of withholding the national promises of wealth and power ended about A.D. 1800-1803. At that time the descendants of Ephraim had become the British Empire, and Manasseh's descendants had become the American states. Until 1800 these nations had been small and unimportant in the world. But suddenly, in A.D. 1800, London became the financial capital of the world. The United States had been 13 original colonies with a few territories added. In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was acquired from France, and the United States almost suddenly sprouted up into — by 1918 — the greatest, wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth.
The United States printed "IN GOD WE TRUST" on its money — but it never did really trust in God.
Between World War I and World War II the United States and Britain, combined, owned more than two thirds — nearly three fourths — of all the cultivated wealth of the world — NOT BECAUSE WE EARNED IT, BUT BECAUSE GOD CAUSED OUR PEOPLES TO MIGRATE TO THE LANDS THAT PRODUCED THIS WEALTH, AND BECAUSE GOD KEPT HIS PROMISE TO ABRAHAM BECAUSE ABRAHAM OBEYED GOD!
Yet we Americans and British feel WE, of our own superiority, produced this massive wealth. Since World War I and more so since the Second World War, we have DISOBEYED GOD in many ways. And GOD HAS ALREADY REDUCED THE BRITISH TO A COMPARATIVELY SMALL NATION — her Empire is gone — and the United States is going down and down, and is going to be conquered in the next war. WE HAVE WON OUR LAST WAR!
Now GOD says, through John, "I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER and be in health" (III John 2). Prosperity comes from OBEYING GOD, and poverty from disobedience.
But many poverty-stricken nations are jealous and dislike the Americans and the British. What I have written here explains why.
God brought wealth to our people BECAUSE of Abraham's obedience, and ALSO SO THAT, IN THESE LAST DAYS, EVEN THE MORE POOR OF OUR PEOPLE COULD FINANCE THE WORK OF GOD TO CARRY GOD'S LAST WARNING MESSAGE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO THE WORLD!
You are one so blessed — and SO YOU COULD SUPPORT THIS FINAL WORK OF GOD.
Be thankful. Give God thanks! Pray for his Work. Pray for me as I pray for you. This Work must now go in GREATER POWER, and you have your part.