The year 2012 is now behind us. What a wonderful year it was for God’s Church. Sadly, as usual, it was the worst year on record for all nations of Earth. The masses are frightened as never before about what lies in store for the world—and themselves. More sadly, few understand and almost no one is preparing for the “snare” that Jesus Christ warned of in Luke 21:35 that will “come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” The result will be that few will “escape all these things” (vs. 36) that Jesus described. Millions in the world, but also many of God’s people, think they are “spiritually prepared,” yet will soon wish they had been more careful—more thoughtful—about their spiritual condition.
Each year, these letters have sought to look back on what has been accomplished in God’s Church over the previous 12 months. More than ever, it can be said that we have never had a year like the last one!
Jesus taught, “You shall know them by their FRUITS” (Matt. 7:16 and 20). Mr. Armstrong repeated these twin passages often. Only the ONE Church that Jesus built passes the test when fruits alone are made the standard. All true fruit—that from God—springs from having the truth, traditions and standards of the past, alongside God’s guidance and blessings—which are all demonstrably provable! The many fruits listed below represent what I call the fingerprints of God for those interested and willing to look. In fact, if they were literal physical fruit, as with the Israelite spies returning from Canaan, they would need to be carried “between two upon a staff” (Num. 13:23).
The organizations (small, medium and large) that formed from the Worldwide Church of God in the wake of the apostasy grew very little or in most cases not at all in 2012! In fact many, or even most, declined in size, and in virtually all well-established categories of measuring fruit. Ironically, these organizations each month post their Member Letters before the whole world on their websites in hopes that such “trolling” for members will yield growth. (Why else would one address a letter to one set of people and then send it to everyone else?) But, with God having supplied no fruit to back up their organizations—since He is not leading them—the growth never comes. How is it that they are not embarrassed—ashamed—to post such hollow letters?
Of course, Mr. Herbert Armstrong never sent Member/Co-worker letters to an outside audience—of any kind—never mind posted them for the world at large (of course, there was no Internet). He understood that Member/Co-worker letters were in no sense “public letters,” but rather private ones to supporters of the Work he led! And he knew that he should not solicit—never mind openly troll for—new members. Recognizing the difference between his job and God’s, he knew he didn’t have to. Neither do I post monthly public letters—and for the same reasons. We don’t have to. But we DO have the fruit—TREMENDOUS fruit!—that the other organizations lack. This is because we also DO have God’s leadership, having Christ as the Head of the Church. Hence the reason for only ONE letter annually like this one written to the splinters—not also written to members and co-workers! Our single goal is to show the fruit of God’s Spirit and leadership at work here to those who care—for those who want to know what they are missing.
Today, literally thousands of former WCG members are wondering where to attend—what to do. While some no longer care about the doctrines, traditions, standards—and fruit—of an organization, many still do. These brethren would be carefully examining available options, looking for what they were taught and once enjoyed under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership of the Church. They know these things are visible only to those looking for them! Understanding Christ is not divided, and that all who are led by God’s Spirit will ultimately walk in truth, and “speak the same thing” (I Cor. 1:10, 13), they become candidates to find the one place where Jesus Christ is truly the Head of His unified Church and Body.
God bluntly declares—and warns, “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Psa. 127:1). Of course, the most important “house” on Earth, the only one God had in mind, is the “house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). Teaching only selected—“preferred”—truths, while ignoring or rejecting many others, the splinters are houses (churches) built by men—by leaders laboring completely in vain. Even casual examination proves this to anyone sincerely wanting to know. But you must want to know where the fruit that comes from God is found.
Growth is the greatest indicator of fruit. (But there are other kinds of fruit listed below.) Each separate category demonstrating growth forms another fruit one can measure. In this regard, The Restored Church of God is without peer in every category of measurement!
Mr. Armstrong said time and again, “When our ways please God, He blesses us.” We teach everything Mr. Armstrong taught—no exceptions! No one else does this. Therefore, we are being blessed—tremendously—when no one else is, but think and claim they are. (And “splinter” conditions will only grow worse.) What follows is another statistical tidal wave even greater than last year—in fact, much greater—and we are accustomed to big growth here year after year! The numbers compare 2012 to 2011, but a couple go further back to show a trend:
- The Real Truth magazine
The online subscriber list for The Real Truth magazine had its best year yet, growing in 2012 by 31.1% over 2011, with subscribers now in 233 countries/territories.
- Church Growth
God’s Church experienced almost exactly 20% growth in attendance over 2011! We have now averaged 20% growth for 13 straight years! The first five (2000-2004) averaged a healthy 15.5% growth, while the next eight (2005-2012) have averaged almost 23%—when the baseline number was jumping rapidly, thus making it much harder to grow at even the same rate. Thousands more consider themselves members with us, and their emails say so. While we do not officially count these, and we do not announce our attendance, it is obvious that 20% growth for 13 years running puts our official attendance in the thousands.
- Hires—Field Ministers, Staff and Students
Consistent, strong Church growth requires ever more employees. In 2012, 3 fulltime ministers were added (with about 8 more men scheduled for assignment in 2013). Other men were ordained as local church elders. Another year has passed during which all ministers and wives continue experiencing unique training. This includes Ambassador Center, The Pastor General’s Report, Pastoral Care lectures and an annual Ministerial Conference. Headquarters staff grew from 64 at the end of 2011 to 74 at the end of 2012 (one more started yesterday, making 75, not counting volunteers). The plan for September includes hiring potentially many students (28-hour workload while taking classes) in addition to numerous fulltime hires already scheduled.
Many are interested in the Church’s income. This is natural, but seeing no value other than bragging rights we have chosen (for many years) never to post it. However, I will say a little more this year than any time previously. Think. We are building a $7.8 million building (in exactly one year)—including road, land, infrastructure, and adjacent homes—all with cash, entirely without a bank. This letter will detail many additional things God’s Church has also done for the first time this year, including adding national television and the new hires described above. We expect to be much further into eight figures in 2013. As you read, consider all that the rest of the letter shows was accomplished within our budget would be on top of this brief description.
- Local Fundraising for the Work
As the reader can see, the Church’s effort in 2011 increased by six times—or by $361,249. The goal for 2012 was $1,000,000! God’s people rose to the challenge, expanded their thinking and offered their “blood, sweat and tears” to achieve the goal. What occurred was a fantastic accomplishment and a testament to what happens when the laws of success are practiced—when the kind of zeal we experience in this Church every day is brought to bear! That such a relative few could do so much with enthusiasm and vision proves God’s help. Accomplishment is not through human “power and might,” but through God’s “Spirit” (Zech. 4:6). Such collective efforts could someday be recorded for others’ benefit—perhaps in the unfinished book of Acts!
- Television and Advertising
The year 2012 was jammed with media highlights. Advertising primarily involves the First Commission: preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God to all nations and warning the most powerful nations (descended from Israel). A big goal this year was to improve the quality of Church Inquiries by getting people into our media through the very most effective means. We achieved a “cost-efficiency per visitor” improvement of 19.9%. On top of this, certain popular items continued to see an increase in downloads. For instance, the following books and booklets did very well: Should Christians Vote? (+217.3%)—Is There Life After Death? (+184.6%)—Saturday or Sunday – Which is the Sabbath? (+153.6%)—End All Your Financial Worries (+141.0%)—Where Is God’s Church? (+113.5%)—Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View! (+106.1%)—Are These the Last Days? (+98.6%) and The Awesome Potential of Man (+74.5%).
Looking ahead in 2013, an immensely powerful worldwide expansion of The World to Come approaches! In fact, here comes TREMENDOUS NEWS! We are finalizing plans to be on two more television networks: (1) The Word Network—and on January 23!!!—with satellite broadcasting coverage in well over 200 countries and territories, including all of North and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Middle East and all of Asia. (2) Grace TV—set to begin February 17—which reaches over 70% of all Canadian households! This network is Canada’s largest provider of primetime “Christian” programming, and it will be our first Sunday morning primetime slot for The World to Come.
- Another item we measure is “average visit duration.” This reveals how engaged users are when visiting our websites. These numbers were up an astonishing 151.2% for rcg.org, 345.5% for realtruth.org and 517.5% for worldtocome.org. When people spend more time reading or watching material, we know the ad is reaching the intended audience.
- Of course, we see seasonal statistical spikes during worldly religious holidays. The one-day Easter peak was +71.4%, comparing 2012 with 2011. The Christmas peak was up 35.7%.
- Headquarters tracks how many new visitors come to our websites. This is critical in introducing new people to The World to Come™ program. On rcg.org, 7 of 10 visitors are new. On realtruth.org, it is 6 of 10. (This is slightly lower because of the monthly magazine format.) For the worldtocome.org site, it is 8 of 10 are new!
- A marvelous new advertising technique became available in 2012. It allows a follow-up with visitors in a non-intrusive manner. Google now tracks users who visit our sites and occasionally displays our image ad while users surf the Internet. One ad is focused on The Restored Church of God – The Greatest Questions. Plain Answers. Another is for The World to Come. We are finding that returning visitors who have clicked on one of these spend more (much more) time on our websites.
- The World to Come launch on television on September 12 was advertised on The Drudge Report, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze website (with accompanying full-page magazine ads and what is called an email blast) on The Christian Post, World Net Daily, Google and Facebook. Overall, 5,350,000 people saw these. Millions more were reached with two press releases (which were re-published by news sites around the world) and two full-color JumboTron ads in New York City’s Times Square at the peak noon hour.
- Our social media presence was launched in full force in the second half of 2012 with Facebook and Twitter pages for “David C. Pack,” “The Restored Church of God” and The World to Come. Books, booklets, articles, audios and videos are regularly posted. All of these pages received new graphics to match the branding and color schemes of our websites. We also updated the graphics on our YouTube channel to coincide with the TV launch.
- With our new website design, mobile-based traffic rose 155.7% in 2012 over 2011. This becomes more important as smartphones and tablets rise in popularity. Obviously, it also bespeaks a coming ongoing further explosion of this number going forward.
According to a 2010 report by IDATE Consulting & Research, there will be an estimated 1.2 billion households with at least one television around the globe in 2013. In the U.S. alone, The Word Network will reach 86 million of 114 million TV homes via cable and DIRECTV (this is in addition to our current ION coverage). Latin America has a potential 132.8 million TV households. Europe has 260.9 million. There are another 10.7 million in South Africa. Australia has 8.4 million, with the rest of Asia having another 677.3 million TV households. Although everyone with a television does not have satellite reception, these figures speak volumes as to the potential magnitude of this new worldwide network. To maximize impact, we chose an overnight time slot in the U.S., which airs during the morning hours in Europe and South Africa, and through the prime evening hours across Australia and the Far East.
Two more inspiring items to note that both directly advance God’s Work are that in 2013 we are (3) raising our Newsstand Distribution Program (NDP) budget by one full third and (4) our Internet ad budget by almost 20%. Many additional brethren have wanted to participate, but we have had to suppress our Newsstand program somewhat due to lack of budget while building the new Headquarters building. This increase in the NDP allows ALL who have wanted to participate to be able to do so right now! This is great news.
Adding these television networks was a very sudden surprise to us. We had no idea that two new networks could so suddenly be available to us, and at such a reasonable price. (Incidentally, as just one classic illustration of God’s hand at work on our behalf, one of these networks raised the weekly price by $1,000—or $52,000 per year—later in the same day we signed the contract, leading to our securing the higher-value time slot at the previous lower price!) More television contracts will be added soon, but suffice to say at this point, God’s Work just grew much bigger—and this time, when no one saw this coming! But this is what happens when God leads the Work. In addition to people new to the truth, brethren the world over can also now view The World to Come, as can those in the splinters if they choose. Even though our media budget has grown large, we in fact plan another major expansion in September this year (maybe sooner) of at least 150% more than what we are spending each month now. (Note: See this announcement for news of a dramatic spring 2013 expansion.) The reader is left to ponder a very big statement…
- Headquarters Campus
The first building—the Hall of Administration—is entering its final phases before spring. As the weather improves, we will return to moving forward with landscaping. Magnificent grounds will take shape as we construct the courtyard and install trees, shrubs, gardens, streams and finally turfgrass. Some work has already begun. Over recent weeks, we have cleared unsightly brush, and trimmed and removed over 100 trees from the “South Campus.” The result brings a beautiful majestic feel to those who walk that part of the property. The 90 eight-to-nine-foot tall arborvitae trees planted this fall along the main road brings a “campus feel” to the area.
This summer—but maybe as soon as April 1—we plan to begin construction of the Mail Processing Center. Understanding the size and scope that the Work will reach, this facility becomes a high priority for the campus development team. This center will be used primarily for literature production and shipping/receiving, but will include a section for the Buildings & Grounds Maintenance Department.
The structure will be located south of Ambassador Drive, directly opposite the Hall of Administration. The building will be relatively simple to construct. It will be mostly a warehouse style, with an open floor steel structure and a footprint of 10,000 square feet. Inside the center, the management team will operate on 4,104 square feet of office space on two floors that overlook the printing operations. The proposed warehouse space is approximately 7,940 square feet, giving us a total working area of slightly over 12,000 square feet. The civil engineering process is now in progress and we expect this aspect of the project to be completed in the coming months, with the Wadsworth City Planning Commission having recently approved the building (last October). The building should be complete by September 1.
Another building being developed is the crucial Media Center. This smaller building will contain three studio sets to match our plans to become the largest thing in religious programming in the world, within two years maximum. This two-level truly state-of-the-art facility will allow for an expanding production team necessary for such a worldwide media presence. We expect this third building to be done by December 1.
Then there is the Student Center. Although timing of construction may change as the need arises, the plan is to begin construction in late 2013. Although still in the design stage, this facility will be a big part of the center of training for those who will serve in God’s Work here and around the world. The development team has a grand vision for this structure. Located on the north side of the main courtyard, the Student Center, along with the Hall of Administration, will create a “framework” of sorts for the magnificent future Headquarters Auditorium—the centerpiece of the entire campus. In short, these final two absolutely beautiful buildings will further capture the elegance of the former Pasadena, California, campus, as well as the quality, style, and greatness of God!
There are actually a number of other separate construction projects or purchases scheduled for 2013. In fact, there are just too many to explain at this point, or a long letter becomes too long. Just know that some of these are big and far-reaching. These will be announced as soon as reasonably possible.
All of this said, with the Work of God so obviously surging forward in ALL AREAS, the extraordinary campus now under development is but one component of many powerful and inspiring advancements occurring just in 2013. The reader may again stop to ponder what he has read. But there is more…
- Ambassador Center
Ambassador (Training) Center is thriving, with 76 current students (both on-site and distance learners), and hundreds of alumni around the world. The faculty is currently reviewing applications for the spring and fall 2013 semesters, with a new larger number to attend classes in the fall at Headquarters. New courses are being planned, with existing classes being expanded and refined. Also, the third edition of the Envoy, the Center’s elegant, hardcopy annual pictorial record, is in production. Finally, the growing and ever more professional Ambassador Jazz Ensemble continues to provide fine musical accompaniment to Headquarters social functions.
- Mail Processing and Print Services
Tremendous strides were made during 2012 in quantities of literature mailed, as well as employing efficiencies to increase workload. Titles that saw the largest increases include: Are These the Last Days? (+2350%)—Tomorrow’s Wonderful World – An Inside View! (+2100%)—How World Peace Will Come! (+1875%) and Who or What is the Beast of Revelation? (+1750%). Also, the top 15 items in 2012 were up 633% compared to last year! Overall hardcopy literature distribution was up 127.6% in 2012. And this is but the barest beginning of big statistical increases that could be included.
- Powerful Technology
Mobile devices have been the technology success story of 2012. These devices are highly popular in most Western nations. Nearly 131 million people in the U.S. have “smartphones”—56% of the available market. By March 31, 2013, there may be more users with smartphones than home computers! More than half the population uses them while watching television, and popular programs now offer special features for these “second screens” to expand their audience.
In late 2011, we saw this trend developing and began updating our web presence to more effectively harness the evolving technology. The first update was finalized several months ago with the “responsive” redesign of rcg.org. (A “responsive” website will automatically adjust to the user’s device.) Since its July launch, rcg.org has been an enormous success. Visitors now go to more pages per visit than ever before.
The expansive new worldtocome.org redesign is well underway, with plans to launch in March. Like rcg.org, the site will include incredibly advanced features. Three examples: (1) “responsive” design, (2) saving videos to a user’s personalized playlist and (3) “remembering” a user’s location in a video. Visitors will be able to pause, leave the website, and then continue where they left off on their next visit.
By mid-late-2013, all of our websites will be updated to responsive design (including realtruth.org, Member Services and all foreign languages). Next, we will focus on mobile-specific “apps”—making God’s truth accessible to even more people. Some estimates now actually point to mobile visits surpassing desktop and laptop Internet traffic in late 2013. With this in mind, God’s Work is on the cutting edge of technology unlike any religious organization on Earth! But we continue to think of ourselves as “just warming up”…
- Italian Language Website
On September 24, the Church launched our website in Italian. This becomes the seventh language in which we have literature, including English. In another demonstration of efficiency, zeal and rapid productivity, five booklets had already been posted by December 21—in just 88 days. God suddenly assembled a full team of four very good translators. One can only imagine how much literature will be available to the nation of Italy—one of central importance to prophecy for obvious reasons—and other Italian-speaking areas in just one more year.
- Dramatic Healings and Protection
God’s Church continues to experience dramatic healings, as well as numerous other miracles. This has obviously been inspiring—and faith-building!—for the Church. Here are but eight examples from a much longer list:
- The wife of one of our pastors suffered a bacterial infection that led to myocarditis. This very serious condition, which inflames the heart muscle, worsened, resulting in heart failure. She was experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue and abnormal heart palpitations, as well as shoulder and chest pain. After her husband anointed her and sent a prayer request to Headquarters, her condition quickly reversed. She wrote the next day, “This morning, after a sleepless night in which I could not breathe due to my heart feeling like it was too big for my chest, I felt a remarkable change. Everything just went back to normal. It was like a burden lifted. God has healed me and I thank everyone for their prayers and concerns.”
- Another member had been legally blind in her left eye for many years. The same eye had become infected and swollen shut, with the cheek below it also swollen. She was unable to open the eye without pain. Within one hour of applying an anointed cloth, fluid began running from her lower eyelid, along with pus. Opening the eye was a challenge, no longer due to the infection, but from sensitivity to bright light since her vision had been restored. The member wrote, “The legal blindness I had for many years is now completely gone. My vision is clear in my left eye and I can see out of it like never before!”
- One more member was suffering from degenerating knees, greatly hindering her ability to perform basic homemaking tasks and necessitating the use of a wheelchair at Sabbath services. She wrote, “The pain was so intense that a wheelchair was necessary to get around. By Sabbath evening, after the prayer request was read, the pain was gone.” She is now able to walk and conduct routine normal tasks.
- Yet another member was healed of two health conditions. For over four years, she had been diagnosed with multiple fibroids, which sometimes caused her abdominal pain. In early April, the pain increased, causing severe discomfort and difficulty in standing upright. Tests revealed she had an ovarian cyst, which would require removal. The Sabbath before the scheduled procedure, the lady requested prayers and anointing. When the day of the procedure arrived, she was x-rayed. To the doctor’s surprise, the scan result showed the ovarian cyst and the fibroids had disappeared. The doctor acknowledged that it “appeared God had removed them” and she was discharged! When she returned the next day to retrieve a deposit she had left, hospital staff gathered around, expressing their surprise by dubbing her “the miracle woman.”
- A member was involved in an accident before the Feast of Tabernacles. Hit by a car while riding his bike, the result was serious injuries and bruises. He was hospitalized for a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain, causing him to miss the Feast. Upon returning home, the man was experiencing severe pain from his right hip down his leg, making it difficult to walk. After several weeks, the pain intensified and was constant. His leg would sometimes buckle, causing him to fall unexpectedly. At this point he called for anointing. After applying the cloth, he immediately felt his right leg grow warm. He went to bed and the next morning, to his delight, the pain was gone! He walked around his home testing his leg and “confirmed” the healing.
- While carpooling home from services two members were miraculously protected. A van suddenly appeared directly behind them, traveling at such a high rate of speed that a collision was unavoidable. As the van made contact with their rear bumper, instead of hearing a loud crash, they heard what they described as a “swoosh.” The van had passed through their car, appearing immediately in front of them! The van continued speeding down the road and then exited the highway, leaving the two ladies unharmed and the vehicle completely unscratched. On a personal note, this event mirrors exactly miracles both Mr. Dale Schurter and I have experienced and reported to the Church.
- One more member was miraculously protected at work. He reports, “Another man and I were working on a plate welder machine. My left hand was on the table of the machine while it ran through its cycle. When finished, a locking plate opened, pinching my thumb against the table. By all accounts, my thumb should have been crushed and amputated [torn off]. My coworker quickly released the plate, freeing my thumb. It was deeply bruised and swollen. My coworkers then examined my thumb, not believing I even had one left! I said a quick silent prayer for divine healing and washed my hand in the break room under water. I returned to my coworkers and showed my hand to them. There was not a bruise or swelling and it was fully functional. We all were amazed. I went on to finish my shift without incident.”
- Finally, at Headquarters we often read of God protecting His people around the world from storms, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes and other weather disasters, but in the relatively peaceful area of northeast Ohio, there seemed not to be the same need for intervention. Tuesday, July 3, was an exception. Just after 11:00 a.m. the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Wadsworth and surrounding areas. Doppler radar showed a giant storm cell capable of producing a tornado heading directly toward the city from the northwest. Minutes later it became more serious when an official tornado warning was given, meaning a tornado in the area was visible on radar—and only 10 miles from Headquarters and the building project, moving straight toward both. All HQ employees moved to the basement as the storm continued on its projected path. There, I asked for God’s protection over His people through the dangerous storm, and that He would protect the present Headquarters building and the site of the future campus, acknowledging that it is God whom we ultimately rely on for protection. It soon became evident that God had at that moment intervened. Right after the prayer, the HQ staff saw that the storm (via radar online) had dramatically changed direction—during the prayer!—from its southeasterly course to nearly due south, and then later turned again to continue its former course moving easterly to the south of Wadsworth. The city was entirely untouched by the tornado! We received only a little needed rain. Two staff members (who were off-site meeting with people involved in the construction project) actually witnessed the tornado from the west side of town as it turned south to go under the city. Of course, everyone was tremendously inspired to see God’s clear hand of intervention for His people and Work. It was truly faith-building. So was watching Hurricane Sandy suddenly turn 90 degrees north while still in Pennsylvania without which turn there would have been enormous damage to our new building. This is because the storm was coming from the east where the just installed glass was not ready for it on the building’s west side.
Miracles become more inspiring to contemplate when thinking about the many times and ways that God will need to dramatically intervene soon to protect His people—who must eventually be “taken” (Luke 17:34-36) miraculously to a place of safety out of harm’s way. Everyone loves reading of miracles. I love reporting them.
I never cease to be sad when I think of how others could experience what we experience on a daily basis all through God’s Church—and in so many ways. The peace, happiness, love, extraordinary unity of doctrine and purpose, zeal, unrelenting sacrifice, efficiency and production—so much wonderful FRUIT!—are almost physically palpable in God’s Church. (Just our rented office, over 20,000 square feet, entirely remodeled as a labor of love for the owners by volunteer work over the years, would astonish the reader as it does everybody who sees it.) None of this speaks to regular dramatic healings, demons cast out, many miracles, open doors, blessings and incredible GROWTH in all categories. Yet leaders of the splinters so often describe our daily environment as the very OPPOSITE of what it is. (Effective deceivers are wise enough to know they must not let their followers know the truth of what they are missing.) But prophecy reveals—in fact, carefully details how—God will address them soon enough.
Some questions: What happens when the full effect of national television kicks in? And when our beautiful world Headquarters campus opens in May 2013? More doors (some have already) seem to be opening to world leaders. Newspapers across the world are doing articles about us (check the Internet), and we are told by sources that this is just warming up. We will have over 100 employees just at Headquarters by next summer—with more full-time ministers across the world being in addition. Massive high-quality literature inventory is permitting us to follow through with ALL of this! While enemies predict we cannot finish our building project, again, we are not even using a bank! (Time will tell if it stays that way with other buildings scheduled to follow soon.)
During this same period, the reader saw that we were able to undertake national television and hire many more ministers and staff. These are all evidence that GOD IS WITH US—because no man or men could do these things, whether Mr. Armstrong, me or anyone else.
see these things! Ignoring them will come at a TERRIBLE PRICE!
If individual Christians are each by themselves a “city set on a hill that cannot be hid” (Matt. 5:14), like our beautiful, developing campus, today’s Church and Work is truly God’s “GREAT city [developing] on a hill whose fruit cannot be hid.”
An unbelievably powerful Work is underway in The Restored Church of God. This is because we did not break the grand pattern set by Mr. Armstrong—any of it! It is because Jesus Christ actually does HEAD this Church. In one to two years maximum, the profile of God’s Church and true Work on Earth will be beyond imagination. It will take your breath and leave your ears ringing. The good news is that more ministers and members are leaving ALL of the splinters to return to God’s one Church. Eventually ALL with God’s Spirit—every single person—will return to His Church! To see more and more people waking up to the false doctrine, wrong standards, poor fruits and continually worsening condition of their organizations has been most encouraging. Many thousands will join us! (In fact, prophecy reveals this, and that it will be soon.) This means our power, impact and growth will be further affected upward. We expect to be the largest presence—the loudest voice!—in religious television in the world some time in 2014. And this will be backed up by the largest amount of literature ever compiled by any single organization on the face of the earth.
One could only wish that students at UCG’s “Bible” Center, LCG’s “University” and PCG’s “College” could see the Ambassador Way—the true, pure, wonderful AMBASSADOR WAY—still at work as before at our Ambassador Center. Several hundred students and graduates all tell the same story. Even the college Envoys that we produce are of the same quality every year as those of 40 years past.
I urge every reader to view all of our “Behind the Work 2012” film, which presents an eye-opening look at God’s Work around the world. You will be glad you did. In fact, you will almost not believe what you view. You are challenged to contrast it with the truly sad, tragic productions by other groups. See if you do not come away wonderfully inspired by what you may have thought was gone forever!
Ignoring fruit, various leaders love to assert that I appointed myself as the leader of the Church, or as an apostle. But who appointed Mr. Armstrong? Did he do this himself? He said more than once that it was solely by fruits that it was made it clear that God had done this! Sardis leaders certainly did not appoint him, neither of course did Mr. Armstrong ever claim they did. He learned his office by fruit. And the Philadelphia era began when he simply “struck out alone” to uphold the truth Sardis would not. Ironically, these same leaders certainly cannot point to any of their own real fruit—or to real fruit in their organization, the kind this letter describes. And all of them—ALL OF THEM!—teach a variety of doctrinal untruths. As Mr. Armstrong left Sardis, I left these men. As with Mr. Armstrong, it was only years later that I learned my office.
How long does one remain in an organization waiting for good fruit to appear—we could say, any good fruit? Examine the major splinters. Come to grips with WHY your organization does not display the fruits described in this letter. Make yourself list the reason or reasons you would not want to experience them. Take responsibility for the condition in which you find yourself. Start down the road, one step at a time, to full recovery and spiritual productivity in God’s Church and Work! Like the prodigal son, you must repent and return to what you had!
We pray diligently that more will follow Christ’s command to “anoint their eyes” and join HIS Church.
NOTE: Around late February, I will post the most important article that could be written to God’s people. It will be among my last to brethren outside God’s Church (for reasons you will learn later). The article answers the question: Can one remain outside God’s ONE Church and keep the Spirit of God? Through a host of biblical passages, it reveals what Mr. Armstrong knew—that God’s Spirit always leads His people to ONE PLACE!