pdf of Pastor General’s Report – January 4, 1980 e-Book of Pastor General’s Report – January 4, 1980 link to Pastor General’s Report – January 4, 1980
Pastor General’s Report – January 4, 1980
Pastor General’s Report – January 4, 1980
The Big Year Ahead

by Herbert W. Armstrong

We enter now a new year – and a NEW DECADE – of great OPPORTUNITY and of great PROMISE – if we get on the ball – and on our knees – and make it a year of great progress in GOD’S WORK!

This may be the most exciting – the most crucial – and the MOST WONDERFUL decade in the history of the world. For it is now within the range of POSSIBILITY that our LEADER, Jesus Christ, may come in Supreme POWER AND GLORY, making the KINGDOM OF GOD a REALITY during this momentous decade of the ‘80s!


That is now within the realm of possibility. Think how swiftly the decade of the ‘70s whipped by! It now seems like no time at all! Yet momentous events occurred in these ten years – both in the world, and in GOD’S WORK!

I believe God has been holding up the progress of world events to give us in His Work time to finish our mission. I have mentioned before, that in the comparatively near future, when God is cutting short the GREAT TRIBULATION and the DAY OF THE LORD is due immediately to follow, how God will then HOLD UP and DELAY pouring out the plagues of the DAY OF THE LORD (Rev. 7:1-plus) until after the sealing of the 144,000 and the great innumerable multitude in all nations are sealed. If God will cause delay in world events then, He may just as likely have caused delay during this past decade.

The Work He is doing through us was not yet finished! I came to a natural death almost two years ago. My heart stopped completely. There was no breath, no pulse – no blood pressure. The nurses worked over me furiously, using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and pushing heavily and rhythmically on my heart. God brought me back – for dual reasons: to be used in setting His Church and College back on the track, and to finish the Work to the world.

Look at what the living HEAD of this Church has done through me since restoring my life! The Church has been set back on the track doctrinally, especially in such doctrines as tithing and healing. The Church has been rejuvenated spiritually. The ministry has been set back on the track – some liberals, malcontents and men not enthusiastically with us have left or been disfellowshipped. It has been a matter of great sorrow to see them go, yet a greater sorrow to realize their condition – and hopefully and prayerfully God may work on some, bring them to repentance, and restore them in our midst.

The college has been started all over again from scratch – freshman class only, except for retaining some loyal students who wanted to continue and graduate. Now it is the same Ambassador College it was more than ten years ago – GOD’S College. It was then, and is again, the ONLY college, so far as I know, FULLY ACCREDITED – by GOD. My son and those then around him wanted the accreditation of Satan’s world. Getting rid of PHDs and others from this world’s universities, and their “tenure” contracts cost the Work TWO MILLION DOLLARS – but was WELL SPENT! Other policies UNAUTHORIZED and without authority from me or the Board, have cost the Work another $2 million.

The PLAIN TRUTH has been set back on the track – and now look forward to a great growth this year!

For the past ten years what has been called “HEADQUARTERS” – the staff at Pasadena, and the Pasadena and adjacent area membership – was the one greatest HEADACHE! It was well spiced with malcontents, liberals, “members” and ministers whose minds and hearts were filled with resentment, bitterness, disloyalty, rebellion against THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Many in other areas around the world never did realize the inroads Satan had made right at Christ’s HEADQUARTERS! But JESUS CHRIST brought me back to life to CLEAN UP “that mess” (as some malcontents sneeringly called it) at “HEADQUARTERS”! Pasadena is like a totally DIFFERENT PLACE today! Now there is PEACE – JOY – UNITY – enthusiasm – loyalty – TOGETHERNESS! A totally different spirit and atmosphere pervades the Pasadena campus today.

Bible Study attendance had dropped to a trickle, and Sabbath attendance was shockingly down. Now the auditorium is well filled both Friday nights and Sabbath, beside the Imperial gym.

This past year saw crashing down on that campus Satan’s “trump card” – his big blow to destroy God’s Church and College, through the power of state government. We are not out from under that foreboding cloud yet – but it is “on the back burner” – so to speak, now, and the status quo is allowing GOD’S WORK TO SURGE FORWARD IN THE GREATEST THRUST SO FAR!

Yes, we have suffered Satan’s persecution and efforts to DESTROY the Work of the living GOD, through Jesus Christ’s guidance and power, and at the same time made marvelous strides during this past year in setting OURSELVES back on the track – a cocking of the gun, as it were, to trigger the MOST POWERFUL LEAP AHEAD since this Work started in 1933!

HOW WE SHOULD THANK AND PRAISE GOD! He has surely been with us, protected us, blest us!

This has been a year of weathering Satan’s mightiest blows – almost turning the headquarters area into liberalism, lukewarmness, division, and hopelessness – as well as dimming the spirituality, closeness to Christ and to God, and a general lukewarmness in the WHOLE CHURCH – and Christ Himself has started the WHOLE CHURCH surging back into closeness to Him, into hope, unity, and enthusiasm and spiritual INTEREST in the Work.

In a word, it has been a year of weathering the storm not only, but PREPARING ALL OF US SO THAT CHRIST CAN USE US IN THE FINAL THRUST TO FINISH GOD’S WORK IN A BLAZE OF SUCCESS! The new ENTHUSIASM is contagious – and the whole Church is catching it!

The year – and the decade of the ‘70s – ended with the most important single event in the Work so far – the carrying of the GOOD NEWS of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD into Communist China – to those now educating, molding the thinking of A FOURTH OF EARTH’S POPULATION! We reached those who are making themselves RESPONSIBLE for the thinking and beliefs of ONE BILLION PEOPLE!

We haven’t even started to turn that billion people into converted children of God. God has not called us to do that. WE HAVE done what God called us to do – delivered the Message that was Christ’s Gospel AS A WITNESS to those God holds RESPONSIBLE for the beliefs of one-fourth of all the people on earth!

And now the door has been opened by Christ to carry this Message into the third largest nation – where, also, the few LEADERS at Moscow are RESPONSIBLE for the beliefs of almost 300 million people in the Soviet Union!

Yes, God brought me back from death FOR A PURPOSE – and the living CHRIST is bringing to fruition that PURPOSE!


Now just where are we, in terms of FINISHING the Work Christ is using us in doing?

Just HOW do we go about MEASURING how far God expects HIS WORK, NOW, to go? Does He expect us to reach EVERY LAST SINGLE PERSON on earth with the KINGDOM OF GOD Message? Of course not! Then how many? 1%, 10%, 50% or more? I think Jesus Himself showed us!

We are “sowing the seed” and the seed is “the Word” – in our case today, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. In the parable of sowing, or spreading the Gospel, by far the greatest portion of the “seed” fell by the wayside. “Those by the wayside are they that hear (or see in print); then cometh the devil and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12). Matthew’s version has the same. In other words, by far the largest number hear or see the Word – hear part, perhaps only 30 or 60 seconds of a broadcast or telecast – have no interest as soon as they see it is about the Bible, turn away. Or, they pick up a sample copy of the PT on a newsstand, and as soon as they see it is concerned with religion, put it back. BUT THE SEED WAS SOWN. In such cases we have done what God expected of us.

Those on the stony places have no root – the seed cannot take root or grow. Those among the thorns may become interested, even repent and be baptized, but the cares and interests of the world, or jealousy, envy, resentment, enter their hearts, and they leave.

It is only the very smallest percentage that remain, bearing fruit, and shall enter God’s Kingdom.

Now we have found, through 46 years experience, and other religious broadcasters all agree – that every request received for literature offered on radio or TV represents 1,000 who actually heard part or all of the broadcast. And, after each year, each subscriber to The PT represents 50 who listened, but did not subscribe. In other words, the circulation is 2% of the number reached on the air during a year.

Using these tried and tested figures, we may assess something of the number we have actually reached.

Remember, we are not commissioned to convince and convert members – but only to proclaim – or announce – the coming Kingdom of God AS A WITNESS.

We are now in the third generation. How many who were hearing the Message at age 70, back in January 1934, have since died? And of course they have been replaced by others reaching their teens or twenties who might be listeners during the 46 years since.

Our records show that in that 46 years, approximately 12 MILLION, worldwide, have for the first time requested literature – the PT, or a booklet, book, or Correspondence Course. Now of necessity there has to be some duplication there. About 2 million of those were received by other offices outside the U.S. IF there were no duplication, then we would have reached some TEN BILLION in the U.S. alone. In three generations, there has been perhaps 440 million who could have been reached if we reached everybody.

But even allowing liberally for duplication, we have to conclude that, to the extent God requires, we surely have reached to some extent about 85% of those 15 or older in the United States.

On the same basis I would estimate we have reached 35% or 40% in Britain – perhaps 15% to 20% in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, and perhaps 5% to 10% in such countries as the Scandinavian countries.

We have, on the same basis, reached 35% or 40% in Australia, and in The Philippines, and perhaps 15% or 20% in South Africa. A smaller percentage in other countries – yet we have members in India, South-eastern Asia, other countries in Africa and South America.

HOW FAR does God expect His Work to go? As a witness, only, now that Christ has opened the doors to China and Russia, I would say He might bring this Work to a close within a very few years, very likely in the first half of the decade we now are entering!


So PRAY for all the ministry, and all the Brethren – as I do repeatedly and daily! Pray for me, and those at Pasadena. We are definitely on the LAST LAP of the race – probably on the HOME STRETCH. Give THANKS TO GOD! Keep praying, “THY KINGDOM COME!”