WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG President and Pastor
Dear Fellow-Worker with Christ:
I am enclosing your annual receipt for the tithes and offerings you have sent for God's Work during the year 1979. Separate receipts have been made for the Church and for Ambassador College. With all my heart I thank you, on behalf of Jesus Christ, the living HEAD of this Church of God.
We are beginning a new year—and also a new decade. It may be the last decade of this age—of this world's civilization as we know it.
We have just closed a most eventful and momentous decade. The world has moved at an accelerating pace in Satan's way toward the END of this world—and, thankfully, toward the happy, peaceful, glorious WORLD TOMORROW, with Jesus Christ and the KINGDOM OF GOD ruling all peoples and nations from Jerusalem!
This past year has moved swiftly in two opposing directions: 1) the world faster and faster in Satan's way, with ever rapidly increasing problems and evils unsolvable by MAN, and 2) in spite of the greatest satanic persecution in the modern history of the Church, Christ has moved swiftly this past year in setting God's entire great worldwide Work back on God's track. It has been the greatest year of progress in God's Work in our lifetime.
On January 3, the State of California, through the Attorney-General's office, launched a massive attack against the Worldwide Church of God, Ambassador College, and the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. It was a sudden vicious attack to determine WHO is LORD—Caesar, or CHRIST! Government has always opposed Christ.
Six thousand years ago, after Adam had turned Satan's way and rejected God as Lord and Ruler—as Revealer of basic knowledge—as giver of eternal life—as the One to be worshipped—as the One to form and shape the world's society and civilization, God drove him out of the Garden of Eden, and barred mankind's entrance for 6,000 years.
God then said to Adam, in effect: "You have rejected me as Lord, Savior, King, Revealer of basic knowledge. You have rejected my government over you. Therefore, go! Form your own governments—your own gods and forms of religion—your own fund of knowledge and means of disseminating it to your children—your own civilization. I SENTENCE YOU, AND THE WORLD THAT SHALL BE BORN FROM YOU, to 6,000 years of being CUT OFF FROM ME AND MY HOLY SPIRIT, except for the VERY few I shall specially call in preparing for the Kingdom of God. Meanwhile Satan will deceive you and, unrealized by your children, lead them into HIS EVIL WAYS."
We are now a matter of a very few years away from the END of the 6,000 years of this world—this age—this man-made civilization, deceived and swayed by Satan.
Ever since Jesus Christ appeared on earth in human flesh, with the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM OF GOD (now VERY soon coming), the GOVERNMENTS of this world have fought Christ and His people!
It was King Herod of the Roman Empire government who tried to kill the Christ-child. It was the Pharisees and those appointed under Caesar's vassal government in Judaea who demanded that Christ be crucified—and soldiers of the Roman government who did the crucifying!
It was the Roman GOVERNMENT, in A.D. 325 under Emperor Constantine, who called the Nicene Council and officially perverted what true Christian doctrines they had still left, into pagan doctrines, customs and teachings.
It was the Roman GOVERNMENT which persecuted the early Christians, threw them into the Colosseum as a Sunday afternoon sport, to be torn apart and eaten by hungry lions. It was the Roman GOVERNMENT, at behest of Roman bishops, who martyred—tortured and put to death—MILLIONS of faithful Christians.
Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also." Could we, with Christ's END-TIME MESSAGE going to the world, expect to escape the persecution of government?
NO! But Jesus said, "I will never leave nor forsake you!" He hasn't. He said the gates of the grave would never prevail against His Church! IT'S MORE ALIVE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 1980 THAN IT WAS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 1979!
The most important event in the Work in our time took place this very month of December. I was the FIRST world religious leader from the world of Christianity to be officially invited as guest of the government of the People's Republic of China to meet privately with top officials, and speak before groups of leaders of this new Communist republic! I was able to proclaim to those leaders—now molding the minds and the thinking of their ONE BILLION people, the largest nation on earth, and therefore leaders RESPONSIBLE for the minds of ONE-FOURTH OF THE EARTH'S POPULATION— the true Gospel of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD. I did it in language they well understood—and without offense—for they enthusiastically invited me to come again!
And this has led to a similar invitation to Moscow, and to North Korea, as well as Poland and other nations I have so far not visited!
In spite of the massive attack by the State of California, GOD'S WORK LEAPS ON AHEAD more powerfully than ever!
Expect great things from this Work this year, and on into this new decade of the 80s!
In this past year of 1979 alone we mailed out:
From our mailing facilities 8.1 million PLAIN TRUTH and GOOD NEWS magazines (not including the large mailings from our printing plants in England and Australia).
2,045,212 pieces of Gospel literature.
7.7 million letters.
701,400 Bible Correspondence Course lessons.
Also, many thousands received my book The Incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL (now available in bookstores), and so far 122,364 have ordered the new book, TOMORROW... What It Will Be Like. Also many thousands of copies were given to members at this past Feast of Tabernacles.
In 1979 we received 1,342,646 letters plus 135,744 telephone calls on the toll- free line. Approximately 300,000 new subscribers were added to The PLAIN TRUTH and 45,000 new Bible Correspondence Course students enrolled.
Over 2,500 new members were baptized during 1979, and six new churches were raised up in the United States, and 36 new churches in other countries worldwide. Forty-four new ministers were ordained, and 19 public evangelistic campaigns and Bible lectures were held, and a larger number are scheduled for 1980.
Yes, God's Work MARCHES ON!
By YOUR PART in all this, you have had a part in CHANGING THOUSANDS OF LIVES from the hopeless outlook of this world to the joyous anticipation of the incredible human potential through God's Master Plan for all of us!
How you should THANK AND PRAISE GOD for giving you a part in SO GREAT a Work as a Co-Worker WITH CHRIST!
THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart. REMEMBER, your tithes and offerings are income-tax DEDUCTIBLE!
With sincere love, in Jesus' name, Herbert W. Armstrong