Herbert W. Armstrong
Post Office Box 431
Tucson, Arizona 85701
October 26, 1979
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
Time flies! It has been almost two weeks since the greatest Feast of Tabernacles in our time ended. And what a Feast it was!
Yesterday I had a meeting here, with eight ministers. They had been in several Feast sites. All reported the same at every site -- by far the greatest Festival they ever attended.
Our Great God is now drawing us all TOGETHER in close UNITY with our brethren, with Him and with the giorified HEAD of the Church, Jesus Christ. We have not had such unity and togetherness in fifteen years, and there definitely is a spirit gripping us, around the world, to draw closer to Jesus Christ, that we may be prepared and READY for His soon coming! I have not noticed THAT spirit of urgency and dedication before.
With this Festival there was launched in earnest a NEW program drawing CHILDREN closer to the parents and the parents to the children. That program is taking energized shape under direction of an enthusiastic and inspired leadership, under my direction, of a number of our younger enthusiastic ministers.
But we cannot now ease off and rest on our laurels. We cannot let down. We must gather momentum and dedicated energy in correcting ourselves, overcoming, devoting ourselves to increasingly fervent PRAYERS -- praying that God will show us our weaknesses and sins, give us a deep spirit of repentance, continually praying for the Work, for Christ's Apostle and the ministers working loyally with him, praying for one another, praying prevailingly for deliverance from Satan and his attacks on the Church and on us individually -- for Satan is now stirred to white-hot WRATH against us! He knows, far better than we, that he now has but a short time until our Glorified Christ returns to DETHRONE HIM, AND TO RULE, WITH US!
That glorious day is fast approaching. There did seem to be an indication, some ten or more years ago, that God was HOLDING UP world events in Satan's world, to give His Church more time to FINISH THE WORK, and be PREPARED ourselves for His coming. But now many evidences are appearing that prophesied world events are readying to move swiftly, bringing on the DAY OF THE LORD, and Christ's divine interference preparing for His coming. Jesus has said "...He will finish the Work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short Work will the Lord make upon the earth" Rom. 9:28).
How near finished is the Work NOW?
Remember this: Christ has not called us to reach every living person, even in the United States, which we know is the nation which sprang from Manasseh, jointly with Ephraim (the British people), who comprise together the Birthright tribes of ISRAEL.
God's Message for OUR day is: "And this Gospel OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the END come" (Matt. 24:14). Not to convert all people -- not to reach all people with the message -- but merely for a witness UNTO all nations -- not even within all nations.
We are living in a time when God has CUT OFF THE WHOLE WORLD from Him, or access to Him, EXCEPT the very infinitesimal FEW God would specially call in preparation for His Kingdom. God drove Adam and Eve out from the Garden of Eden, and BARRED ENTRANCE to them and their posterity -- THE WHOLE WORLD -- lest they take of the "tree of life" (access to GOD and His HOLY SPIRIT) and gain immortal life in the unhappiness and misery of SIN. To have done otherwise would have been UNFAIR to the sinning world under Satan (see article coming in December GOOD NEWS).
Jesus confirmed this when He said plainly, "No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him ..." (John 6:44).
The world is spiritually BLINDED by Satan (II Cor. 4:4). Judgment now is ONLY upon God's Church (I Pet. 4:17). All others are to be judged later -- during the millennium, or during the "Great White Throne" Judgment -- when Satan shall be banished.
God wants His Message of the KINGDOM OF GOD to go out merely as a WITNESS to a world which cannot and will not understand it NOW!
Now how many have we reached in the United States? A man asked a few people he saw in a restaurant how many read The PLAIN TRUTH, or heard The WORLD TOMORROW radio and TV program. From this he concluded, and said to two of our ministers, that we have not yet "scratched the surface" of reaching even the United States! That is no test whatsoever.
But broadcasters in the religious field have found, as have we, after years of checking and testing, that each letter received from a listener or viewer represents 1,000 actual listeners or viewers. Only one out of a thousand who HEAR the Message write in. The MILLIONS of letters we have received from The WORLD TOMORROW program and from ads in Reader's Digest, TV Guide, and other magazines, indicate we have reached MULTIPLE MILLIONS through the years.
All radio and TV stations are actually run and maintained by the RATING AGENCIES, which take samplings of many thousands, to learn how many viewers or listeners are tuned in to each program throughout the days. The rates charged for commercials that finance all broadcasting are based on these ratings. Multiple millions of dollars are spent weekly by large corporations for commercials BASED ON THESE RATINGS. You may be sure these major business corporations are not throwing away such vast fortunes unless they have EVIDENCE that they can depend on these ratings.
Our first TV programs, 1955-1956, showed ratings of LARGER viewing audiences than "Meet the Press" or NBC's "Tonight" show -- now starring Johnny Carson, then by a predecessor -- on stations where the "Tonight" show had a better time, earlier than ours.
Based on ACTUAL TESTS on a massive scale, I estimate we have reached, through the years, fully 80% to 85% of all people in the U.S. (and probably in Canada) of 20 years or older.
BUT, how many heard our program, say, two years or more ago, had no interest, did not respond, did not listen again? MILLIONS! Multiple MILLIONS! They may not now even remember it. BUT WE SOWED THE SEED OF THE WORD, AND SOME OF IT FELL ON THEM!
Look at Jesus' explanation of this!
The parable of the sower and the seed explains: "Behold a sower went forth to sow" (Matt. 13:3). Jesus' explanation starts in Matthew 13:37: "He that sowed the good seed (the true Gospel) is the Son of man." Jesus Christ is the living HEAD of God's Church. He raised up His Apostle, and His Church of our day to stand back of him, and CHRIST HIMSELF has been sowing the good seed of the Gospel through His Apostle and His Church loyally supporting and participating in it.
Back to Matthew 13:19: "When anyone heareth the word of the Kingdom, and understandeth it not" (the overwhelming majority -- well over 90% because NOBODY else in our time has proclaimed the true Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD, and the world is BLINDED to it by Satan -- II Cor. 4:4), "then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown .... This is he which received seed by the wayside."
Verse 5: "Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth."
Verse 20: "But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended." How many of these have come for a while into God's Church?
Others came and went out because the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of money-getting choked the Word. They, too have come for a while, and gone out from us.
Then there were, also, the brethren on good ground, who have remained faithful and loyal.
But by far the largest number we have reached -- whose ears HEARD the Message to some extent, perhaps more than 99.9% -- have HEARD the Message, and it took no root in them. It reached them ONLY AS A WITNESS!
Yes, brethren, the living Christ, through us, has actually come FAR closer to FINISHING His Work than most realize.
Now take Britain. For years we reached a really sizable listening audience there over Radio Luxembourg. Some fell on GOOD ground. A number of churches were raised up. Later, for two years we were broadcasting nightly over ship stations offshore, that was reaching most of the British population -- so much that the government moved to put it out of business! We have reached many MILLIONS in Britain and European nations through ads in Reader's Digest, German magazines, the London Sunday Times, Radio Europe, which has raised up churches in France, Belgium and other European countries. Also we have reached a sizable number, and have members, in Norway, Sweden and Denmark -- and churches in Holland and Belgium. We have reached a sizable number in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Philippines. We have reached many in Mexico. A smaller number in South America, but still some. We have reached many throughout Southwestern Asia and India, the second largest nation in the world.
We need to WAKE UP, brethren, to the fact that we are MUCH CLOSER TO THE END of this Work and the coming of Christ than we have realized.
The movements of the present Pope are strongly indicative that the "resurrection" of the medieval "Holy Roman Empire" could easily be well under way NEXT YEAR! Then the GREAT TRIBULATION would follow swiftly, and the time when "NO MAN CAN WORK" in proclaiming Christ's Gospel, and then there shall be "a FAMINE OF HEARING THE WORD OF THE LORD."
Do not let detractors tell you that not much has been accomplished! To say that is to accuse CHRIST, the living Head of the Work of not sending forth the Gospel. HE is doing it. Those who would criticize me or the Church or the Work are accusing the living JESUS CHRIST!
Let's THANK and PRAISE Him for what He has done! Let us press on with RENEWED vigor, enthusiasm, dedication and even SACRIFICE, with earnest heart-rending PRAYERS for the Work, and financial sacrifice.
THANK YOU ALL, dear brethren, my beloved children in the Lord, for the record-breaking Holy Day offerings during the Feast! Now we PRESS ON with renewed FAITH and PRAISE to GOD!
With deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong