WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
President and Pastor
July 20, 1976
Dear Co-Workers with Christ:
This morning at 5:12 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), I sat in our Ambassador Auditorium here in Pasadena, looking in on Mission Control headquarters, located only walking distance away, as scientists manipulated at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) the safe landing of VIKING I on Mars.
The JPL scientists had cooperated with Ambassador College so that everything at Mission Control -- as the scientists maneuvered the Mars landing -- was shown on a large screen in our auditorium. We had opened the auditorium to the public. A thousand or more were there.
I had risen at 3:30 a.m. Many had been watching in the auditorium from 11:00 p.m. last night. I arrived in the auditorium just before 5:00 a.m.).
The VIKING I spacecraft is a marvel of mechanical precision. It landed safely right on schedule at 5:12 a.m. (It actually landed at 4:53 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, but due to the vast distance, the signal did not reach Mission Control at Pasadena until 5:12 a.m.).
Enthusiastic applause -- filling the auditorium -- greeted the landing.
Very soon, just before 6:00 a.m., the first strip of two spectacular pictures arrived. We at the Ambassador Auditorium were looking in, just as if we were in Mission Control ourselves. Dr. Thomas Munch, geology professor and leader of the team of scientists in the Mission Control room, gave a cry of delight as the first strip of the first picture came through. As strip after strip of the pictures came through, he was unable to conceal his excitement. As the strips were pieced together, the scientists were absolutely amazed at the quality and clarity of the pictures of the Mars surface -- pictures taken perhaps only four or five feet above the surface. It was just as if a man were standing there, pointing his camera straight down, taking close-up pictures of the Mars surface.
Later, the second picture looked out over the landscape to the horizon. The pictures showed a Martian surface as a sandy desert littered with rocks -- from very minute size up to perhaps a foot or more in diameter.
But I had to think -- it showed precisely what I had expected from what is revealed from the God of Creation in the Bible. It was a dry, barren surface of decay and futility -- total unproductiveness.
Few indeed have any remote conception of the fact that GOD ALMIGHTY reveals facts about this universe -- planets such as Mars, their origin, their present state, and the causes and reasons thereof. Sometimes it seems futile that many of the BEST MINDS of humans are devoted to a lifetime of vain speculation, based on erroneous hypotheses totally untrue.
I had to realize that from this scientific laboratory, right here in Pasadena, great minds are, in fact, uncovering facts ACTUALLY REVEALED IN THE BOOK THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND PROBABLY DO NOT ACCEPT -- the revealed FACTS and TRUTH of the ETERNAL LIVING GOD!
For example, in Hebrews we find this:
"For unto the angels hath he [God] not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak" (Heb. 2:5). In other words, this passage is speaking about "the world to come." The Bible mentions three worlds: 1) the world "that then was," from Adam to Noah, 2) "this present evil world," and 3) the heaven which is the seat of the coming millennial world -- which we call so often "The WORLD TOMORROW." Also, the Bible speaks of three heavens: 1) the air, or earth's atmosphere; 2) outer space; and 3) the heaven which is the seat of God's Throne, to which no man save Christ resurrected has ascended (John 3:13).
So now, speaking of the NEXT world, "the world to come," con- tinue: "... What is MAN, that thou [God] art mindful of Him? ... Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put ALL THINGS in subjection under his feet. For in that he [God] put all in subjection under him [man], he left nothing that is not PUT UNDER HIM. But now we see not yet all things put under him" (Heb. 2:6-8).
In the first chapter, "all things" is translated in the Moffatt translation as "the universe." It means EVERYTHING God has created -- everything that exists.
This remarkable, almost INCREDIBLE revelation of the fantastic HUMAN POTENTIAL continues to reveal how what we do now see or know, is that Jesus, as the "first-born [by resurrection] of many brethren," as our pioneer, has gone on ahead of us, paving the way -- and now already is SUSTAINING THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER (chapter 1:2-3).
Chapter 8 of Romans ties in with this. We -- if His Spirit dwells in us, and if we are being LED by His Spirit -- are HEIRS of God, and CO-HEIRS with Christ, who already had INHERITED THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!
In my PLAIN TRUTH series on the "Incredible HUMAN POTENTIAL," I have shown how angels inhabited this earth prior to the creation of man. That might have lasted up to millions of years. Those angels SINNED (II Pet. 2:4-6). As a result, physical disaster came to the earth's surface. It became (Gen. 1:2) "without form and void" -- better translated "in confusion and chaos, waste and empty." In six days God "renewed the face of the earth" (Psalm 104:30), and then created man. Since the angels FAILED to improve and develop this earth, they were disqualified from developing, improving the rest of the universe, and God has created MAN, after God's own image and likeness -- form and shape -- to be developed into God's own perfect holy CHARACTER -- and what evidently was the original possible heritage of the angels, becomes that of MAN -- after man is changed from matter into spirit composition -- from human to divine -- from mortal to immortal.
Since everything God ever CREATED -- so far as we have record of its condition at creation -- was perfect -- "VERY GOOD," I feel it is made evident that God did NOT create our moon and Mars in the state of futile decay in which they are today. The indication points strongly -- based on what is revealed -- that the planets of the UNIVERSE (not our own solar system only) have been rendered into this state of lifeless decay by the REBELLION AND SIN OF THE ANGELS.
BUT WHAT NOW??
This is revealed in the 8th chapter of Romans. The King James translators apparently were unable to BELIEVE what was written in the original Greek, and MIS-translated it. It is made clear in the Revised Standard Version. Here it is:
"For the CREATION [not creature] waits with eager longing for the revealing [at time of resurrection] of the sons of God: for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay [as the universe now is -- as is Mars and our moon] and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation HAS BEEN GROANING IN TRAVAIL TOGETHER UNTIL NOW: AND NOT ONLY THE CREATION, BUT WE OURSELVES, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [of God] groan inwardly as we wait for adoption [BIRTH by resurrection] as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Rom. 8:19-23). (Emphasis mine).
So you can realize the thrill I experienced, seeing in our own House of God Auditorium, the first real close-up photographs from the very surface of Mars, CONFIRMING the state the Bible reveals such planets are in today.
This is all part of the wonderful TRUE GOSPEL -- the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD, soon now to come -- the Gospel the world has NOT HEARD from the first century A.D. until now -- the MOST IMPORT- ANT WORK ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH TODAY -- revealing this glorious GOOD NENS of the future GLORY OF MAN in his SALVATION -- and what we shall accomplish throughout the ENTIRE UNIVERSE!
Co-workers and Brethren, this is the MOST GLORIOUS MISSION EVER CONFERRED ON ANY CREATURE! God is blessing it tremendously!
THANK GOD that you have A PART in it!
PRAY FOR ME and my son GARNER TED, please!
We need your continuous prevailing prayers -- and generous financial sacrifice. GREAT THINGS are now planned! More to be revealed to you soon.
With deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong