January 16, 2005
January 16th, 2005
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Greetings from Charlotte, NC! Today, January 16, 2005, is the nineteenth anniversary of the death of Herbert W. Armstrong. As most of you know, he is the one who taught thousands of us about the fundamental Truths of the Bible. So—although we must not adulate or any way worship him—we in this Work do honor what the living Christ did through him. We pay this honor by teaching the same fundamental Truths of the Bible, by going through the open "doors" of television, radio, the printing press and now the Internet and, as God makes it possible, by "thundering" the Message of the soon-coming Kingdom of God (Matt. 24:14) to a very confused and divided world. Within the Church and the Work, we also follow Mr. Armstrong’s—and the Bible’s—clear teaching on practicing the correct government of God—the very government all true Christians should be preparing to help administer in Tomorrow’s World (I Cor. 6:2-3).
We must never forget that Christ’s teaching was not primarily about Himself, but was a message about the coming world government which He will soon set up here on this earth. Remember, near the end of God’s dramatic intervention in human affairs—at the "last trumpet"—there will be loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Rev. 11:15).
Then, the full reality of the Kingdom of God will be manifested to all humanity! Every single human being on earth will gradually become aware that this supernatural Being has come to earth and is in total command. Today’s sex- and violence-oriented "entertainment" will simply disappear. People will be taught the right way of life which is based on God’s supreme spiritual Law—the Ten Commandments. "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3).
But will Christ personally teach every human being on earth God’s way of life? Will He have a super powered microphone to blast His voice all over the earth, or will He zip around the earth and somehow do it personally? Or will He use His faithful saintsto accomplish this task under His overall direction and inspiration? I think you know the answer.
From the very beginning of His organized government, through humans, God used His servants to "teach" others His way of life. The very first leader and judge of ancient Israel was also a teacher. For Moses told his father-in-law about his responsibilities as God’s human leader of Israel, "When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws" (Ex. 18:16). Moses obviously "made known" God’s laws by teaching them! And in verse 20 we read, "And you shall teachthem the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do."
Throughout the Old Testament, God’s Word makes it clear that His priests were the "teachers" of His Law and His way of life. So it will be in Tomorrow’s World. In Revelation 20:6, God tells us, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." And in Revelation 5:9-10, we read the inspired "song of the saints," "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
Therefore, if you and I are to become true "saints" of God, and are granted eternal life in the first resurrection, we will become both kings and "priests"—assisting Christ in teaching and in ruling this entire world! What a magnificent opportunity and responsibility to bring peace and stability to a sick world, and to bring joy to all humanity! But how can you and I be remotely qualified to teach the multitudes of human beings all over this earth? Are we somehow "smarter" than others?
No way! For God’s Word clearly reveals that primarily—with perhaps a few exceptions—God calls the average people and even the "weak" of the world who are more willing to humble themselves and genuinely "listen" to the Truths of God. Our Creator made this very clear through the Apostle Paul, "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" (I Cor. 1:26).
At this special time, thinking back on the inspiring life and service of Herbert W. Armstrong, I cannot help but remember the late spring of 1953 when I sat in the graduate class under his immediate guidance. For right in front of our eyes, Mr. Armstrong began to postulate and finally to fully understand the awesome purpose for human life. As far as we know, no other man and no other church in modern times has grasped the fact that the great God of creation is in the process of making true Christians His full sons! God is making those who are fully surrendered to Him into a Kingdom and Family of Spirit Beings who are totally capable of ruling this world and teaching all humans the entire way of God!
This understanding of why you and I were born, and the ultimate purpose for human existence, is totally different from—and goes far beyond—what other churches and other religious leaders have envisioned! Yet it is plainly revealed in the inspired Word of God—and has been there all the time!
A brief yet vital "key" to this awesome purpose for our lives is mentioned in Jesus’ prayer in John 17. Jesus asked, "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (v. 5). Jesus Christ, who had been the "Word" of the Old Testament and through whom God created everything (John 1:1-4) was asking that this same divine glory be restored to Him. Then in John 17:20-23, Jesus fervently asked the Father that this very same glory be granted to those of us who truly "believe" the inspired words of His original apostles! (v. 20). Then Jesus continued, "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (vv. 22-23).
As I sat there with Mr. Armstrong and with Herman Hoeh, Raymond Cole, Richard David Armstrong, Kenneth Herrmann and my uncle, Dr. C. Paul Meredith, I began to realize that Jesus Christ was indeed inspiring our discussion and revealing to us a transcendent truth of tremendous significance. Over several weeks of discussion, Mr. Armstrong directly asked those of us in this class to challenge him—to disprove him if we could—on this exciting "new" truth that seemed almost "too much" to grasp at first glance. We tried.
But, as the class continued through that spring of 1953, Herman Hoeh contributed a number of key scriptures and concepts which simply added to the validity of what Mr. Armstrong was beginning to realize. As I was already in earnest preparation for teaching a class on Paul’s epistles, I was able to explain how certain inspiring statements of Paul also added to and amplified this vital understanding. It was an exciting time. In the years since those hearty discussions, it has become increasingly obvious to me that God led His servant, Herbert Armstrong, to a full understanding of one of the most inspiring truths ever revealed to mankind. This revelation by God to Mr. Armstrong—through His Word—was certainly a major highlight of Mr. Armstrong’s life!
Dear brethren and co-workers, when you and I are shocked and sometimes deeply saddened by the enormity of the earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorist acts and soon-coming disease epidemics, let us never forget the transcendent purpose of the great God who gives life and breath to all humanity. For He is allowing humanity as a whole to go its own way for 6,000 years and write in human suffering and experience the "lessons" that man’s ways—under the invisible but powerful influence of Satan—always bring suffering. In the end, evil always tends to predominate, and will until Christ returns and genuinely opens the eyes of all humanity to God’s great purpose and to His wonderful way of life.
If you and I actually "get it," if we are willing to truly surrender our lives now to "live by every Word of God," we will be in that blessed first resurrection when Christ returns! We will have the awesome opportunity to lovingly teach this confused world—under Christ’s active leadership—the Laws and ways of God. And, even now, in preparation for that soon-coming Kingdom, God has called all of us to be co-workers with Christ in preparing the way for that wonderful time.
May the living God inspire each of us to give ourselves to Christ and to His service! Together, we in this Work will have a significant impact on the lives of increasing millions of people all over this planet. Directly describing our eternal reward, Daniel tells us, "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever" (Dan. 12:3).
With Christian love,
—Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. For the most complete exposition of the all-inspiring purpose for human existence, be sure to call or write for your copy of our truly encouraging and inspiring booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. As is all of our literature, it will be sent absolutely free upon your request.