August 24, 1982
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
Violence all over the world grows apace and has continued since last I wrote you some five weeks ago. Yet much has happened in God's Work. New TV and radio stations have been added. The past week or 10 days has seen a slight upturn in the economy. Inflation has slowed slightly. The past week has seen a dramatic upturn in the stock market - interest rates have dropped slightly.
Though unemployment holds the highest since the Great Depression, we find it has not hit God's people - our members and co-workers - as hard as the population as a whole. God does protect his own - those who obey and trust him.
Most important of all, God has continued to REVEAL NEW TRUTH to his Church. And that is exciting - exceedingly exciting. News has broken recently of how the Allies in World War II had cracked the unbreakable secret German code and learned of all German military planning and strategy, leading in large measure to winning the war. God has a SECRET CODE that is the ULTIMATE - absolutely unbreakable! By it God transmitted SUPREMELY valuable information and knowledge to HIS CHURCH of this year 1982. The greatest scientists and technicians in the world have been unable to crack the code or read the message written 1,900 and more years ago for us in these latter days of this world and its civilization.
Jesus said in prayer, I thank thee, O Father ... because thou halt hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes (Matt. 11:25) - babes in Christ. THE HOLY BIBLE IS GOD'S SECRET CODE! Without his Holy Spirit it CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD. Only the Holy Spirit gives spiritual COMPREHENSION.
What about the prophet Elijah? The original Scriptures, prior to Christ's first coming, close with these words: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come [second coming] and smite the earth with a curse [total destruction] (Mal. 4:5-6).
Was John the Baptist the Elijah that was to come? When asked that question he said, No. Jesus explained that John had come in the power and spirit of Elijah - a different man, but carrying out the mission preparing for Jesus' first coming. This is also explained in Malachi 3:1-5, speaking of him as a human messenger preparing the way for Christ's coming as the messenger of the covenant - the NEW covenant. But this (verses 2-5) is speaking of preparing the way before Christ's SECOND coming!
Now notice what Jesus said: Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things (Matt. 17:11). Notice at that time, John the Baptist already had come, completed his mission preparing the way before Jesus' first appearing - yet Jesus said, Elijah truly SHALL first come. Elijah was yet to come, IN THE FAR FUTURE, although John's mission was already completed and he was in prison. Then Jesus continued: But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not [did not recognize that he was Elijah], but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
John had come in the power and spirit of Elijah, but they did not recognize who he was.
Now why, then, was Elijah YET, in the future, to come - just before the day of the Lord? Verse 11, Jesus said to restore all things. John the Baptist DID NOT do that! Even Jesus did not come the first time to restore all things. He came over 1,900 years ago to announce the KINGDOM OF GOD, which will restore all things. He came to set up his CHURCH - but not then to set up the KINGDOM. The Church was merely the embryo that shall BECOME the Kingdom of God WHEN RESURRECTED - when changed to immortal SPIRIT - at Christ's second coming.
Now notice where Jesus is NOW! He (God) shall send Jesus Christ... back to earth, whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution [restoration] of all things... (Acts 3:20-21).
Jesus shall come, SOON NOW, to RESTORE ALL THINGS! He did NOT restore all things when he first came. John the Baptist did not restore all things. But the one who was to restore all things just before the day of the Lord and preparing the way for Christ's second coming, was YET to come, in the future, as Jesus said.
Now what are the all things to be RESTORED? Restitution means restore to a former state or condition. It DOES NOT and CAN NOT mean restoring things to a condition as they were in the days of Adam and Eve. It was Adam who was given the opportunity to restore all things as they were before Lucifer and the angels SINNED - before Lucifer became Satan and his angels became demons. Before that, THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD ruled the earth. Lucifer sat on the throne of the earth, administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD by the LAW OF GOD! Sin is the transgression of the spiritual Law. It is the GOVERNMENT OF GOD that needs to be restored. Adam failed.
Jesus QUALIFIED to restore God's government - to set up the KINGDOM OF GOD, ruling over the earth, administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Jesus' Gospel Message was the GOOD NEWS that he would (at his second coming) RESTORE the government of God through the KINGDOM OF GOD. That was the true GOSPEL! That Gospel was suppressed within 22 years (Gal. 1:6-7), and was not proclaimed to the world until THIS CHURCH began proclaiming it - within the United States beginning 1934, and going worldwide beginning 1953 - precisely a century of time cycles after it had been suppressed!
Have WE, through this Work, RESTORED anything? Indeed we have! We have RESTORED the TRUE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST? Through us JESUS CHRIST has already begun RESTORING the KNOWLEDGE of what had been taken away the GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Through us the living Christ has been preparing for his SECOND COMING for the PURPOSE of RESTORING ALL THINGS!
NONE OTHER has RESTORED the knowledge of the fact GOD'S GOVERNMENT was established on earth, and then DESTROYED and taken away by the Cherub Lucifer (Satan) and his demons.
Jesus did NOT restore God's government at his first coming. Instead, he proclaimed the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of it. He was crucified for the SINS of the world, he overcame Satan, he qualified to establish and rule God's Kingdom, THEN HE ASCENDED TO HEAVEN.
WHY? To be given the Kingship to RULE the Kingdom, and to be these 1,950 years OUR HIGH PRIEST, preparing us to RULE in his KINGDOM when he comes to RESTORE ALL THINGS!
Brethren, do you realize for WHOM he is now the living active HIGH PRIEST? Over you and me - over the one and only true Church of GOD! Not over this world's churches - BABYLON THE GREAT , THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.[Rev. 17:51]
It is the living JESUS CHRIST who had been ACTUALLY DOING the Work. He has used YOU and me as his INSTRUMENTS! WHAT A PRIVILEGE AND JOY!
I hope this letter REVEALS to YOU a little more of the NEW KNOWLEDGE never before understood, which the living Christ has been revealing to me in recent days!
We are persecuted. I am persecuted. John the Baptist was persecuted. Jesus was persecuted and put to death. Do we realize HOW NEAR we now are to Christ's coming and the final restoration of all things - of PEACE, HAPPINESS, JOY and SUPREME ACCOMPLISHMENT on earth?
Time is now growing daily shorter. DO YOU GET THE SENSE OF URGENCY - OF RESPONSIBILITY TO DO YOUR PART? Pray for me fervently. I sorely need your prayers. Pray for the Work. SACRIFICE FOR THE WORK. Great shall be your reward in the KINGDOM!
With deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong