HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG P.O. BOX 431, TUCSON, ARIZONA 85702
September 2, 1981
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers in Jesus Christ:
Here we are into September. I've been so busy that I'm about 10 days late getting this letter to you. Since I last wrote to you, I stopped off to speak to our youths at the summer camp at Orr, Minn., en route to Europe. We are paying very special attention to the spiritual as well as physical development of the youths of God's people. We publish a special monthly magazine for them, YOUTH 81, besides a regular program in all churches — a two-fold program, one called the YOU (Youth Opportunities United) and YES (Youth Educational Service) — the former devoted more to sports and recreation, the latter to biblical and spiritual education. Our teenagers seem very enthusiastic over these programs. From the SEP camp in Minnesota, I proceeded with Mrs. Armstrong and my executive assistant Bob Fahey and wife on to London. Besides conferences in our British offices regarding the Work delegated to their jurisdiction, I spoke to a large assemblage of brethren in London, and the following day to another combined church group at Glasgow, Scotland, and visited our SEP summer camp of youths at Loch Lomond, Scotland. We were in London at the time of the Royal Wedding. Then I spoke at a meeting of nearly 1,000 brethren in Bonn, West Germany. Brethren had come from Holland and Belgium. The Dutch-speaking and German-speaking people who did not understand English were provided with earphones and equipment that translators could carry on a running translation in those languages. Thus I spoke to them simultaneously in the three languages. The next day I spoke to about 500 brethren in Paris. The same system of earphones was used, and a running translation in French heard simultaneous with those who heard in the English language. I also visited our office in Paris, and reviewed a report on the French Work worldwide. A visit also was made to our office in Geneva, Switzerland. While in Paris my affectionate friend, King Leopold III of Belgium, now abdicated and ex-king, visited me with his wife, Princess Lilian. We returned home at the beginning of the air controllers' strike in the United States. Afterward I made a third trip to the third SEP camp at Orr. A few hundred Church members in that general area came in for the service I conducted. On Aug. 20, Mrs. Armstrong and I, with Mr. and Mrs. Fahey, flew to Big Sandy, Tex., for the reopening of the Big Sandy campus of Ambassador College. I had a very busy three days there, speaking a number of times, and on the Sabbath to an overflow assemblage of brethren from surrounding churches, with more than 3,500 brethren present. The entire reopening was an emotionally inspiring occasion. Then back to Pasadena and the opening of the 1981-82 school year at the Pasadena campus. So we are off to another start of a college year. Last Sabbath, I flew to Toronto, Ont., to speak to a large congregation of members from that general area of Canada and upper New York state. Brethren and co-workers, I am seriously and deeply impressed with the fact we are in the very LAST DAYS of this world. Our Work of taking Christ's Gospel message to this world and its nations will soon be over. But MEANWHILE, we face the fact that when Jesus Christ soon returns in supreme power and glory as KING of kings, and Lord of lords, His Church SHALL have made herself READY! In the prophecy of Revelation 19:6-7, it is written, "Allelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." But what does "ready" mean? It is also written: "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:25-27). Three years ago the Church was backsliding — growing lukewarm, secular, watering down Christ's teachings. Jesus Christ, the living Head of the Church, has been working through His apostle and ministers to get us back on the track. BUT, BRETHREN, ARE WE, EVEN AS YET, HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH — A GLORIOUS CHURCH, WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE SPIRITUALLY? We have been making good progress. The Church is back on the track, but not going forward spiritually as rapidly as we might — we are not yet spiritually without spot or blemish. But God's Word says the CHURCH will BE MADE READY. That does not mean every member in it will be ready. And those who are not ready are pictured in Matthew 25 in the parable of the 10 virgins. Those who will not be ready will find the door into God's Kingdom slammed shut in their faces! Each of us needs to examine himself (or herself) and ask, "Am I yet ready?" Now the annual Feast of Tabernacles is approaching. It pictures to us the joyous time, now near, when Christ shall come. The Church shall have made herself ready and shall be changed from mortal human to immortal God — children of God in the God Family. We shall then reign with Christ a thousand years. Satan shall be removed. We shall not only be ruling in the new world government under Christ, but we shall also be priests (Rev. 5:10), reigning ON THE EARTH, when ALL ALIVE shall be called to salvation and eternal life through Christ! We're looking forward to a supremely happy, joyous time! THANK YOU, brethren and co-workers, for responding financially to my last letter. Let us not become weary with well-doing! The world is fraught through now with trouble, violence, strife, suffering and death. But our God has something unspeakably better in store for us! Let us be READY!