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How Does The Bible Count A Generation?
By Herbert W. Armstrong
January 20, 1977
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Today another President of the United States went out of office and a new one was sworn in. A month ago I wrote you of the many heads of governments I had known and talked with privately, who have died, gone out of office, been killed, or forced out.
Of course, in the United States we have a new President inaugurated every four or eight years anyway. But in most of these other countries that I mentioned, the presidents, kings, prime ministers, and one emperor had been forced out by overturn of the government - usually violent - or by death.
But really - the real TRUTH is - all this is not a BAD sign of BAD things to come, but a GOOD sign of GOOD things to come!
Let me explain. Let me make it PLAIN - for it really is the PLAIN TRUTH. Sure, things are getting WORSE and WORSE in the world. We are actually in the first preliminary beginnings of the most terrible times the world has ever seen - the
GREAT TRIBULATION - the TERRIBLE WORLD CRISIS at the CLOSE of THIS AGE.
And that means the coming of the happy, joyful WORLD TOMORROW - the time of WORLD PEACE - of prosperity, abundance for all, happiness and joy of exciting, yet PEACEFUL times - and ETERNAL LIFE at last made available for EVERYBODY! We are the living generation when this will come.
So actually, our mission is to spread the GOOD NEWS of the very SOON-coming WORLD TOMORROW and of WORLD PEACE.
Every day brings us one day closer to WORLD HAPPINESS AND REJOICING! Ever think HOW WONDERFUL it is that we happen to be living in the time when that WONDERFUL NEW AGE will come - in our very generation?
Let me right here make a solemn CONFESSION! In July, 1933 the Almighty God - through Jesus Christ - conferred upon me, personally, HIS GREAT COMMISSION - to take to all the world as a witness for all nations, the GOOD NEWS (Gospel) of Jesus Christ, ANNOUNCING the IMMINENT coming of the KINGDOM OF GOD.
Jesus came and ANNOUNCED this Good News (the word Gospel means GOOD NEWS) of the KINGDOM OF GOD - to bring the world PEACE and SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE in happiness and JOY. That was over 1,900 years ago. Many believed on Him as the promised Messiah, but THEY DID NOT BELIEVE HIS MESSAGE OF GOOD NEWS. After 3 1/2 years, only 120 had believed WHAT HE SAID (Acts 1:15). In 40 years, JESUS' GOSPEL of the KINGDOM had been suppressed! And replaced by a gospel ABOUT the PERSON of Christ - saying the FALSE CHURCH which sprang up in 33 A.D. was the Kingdom already here, saying God was a TRINITY - thus doing away with the fact that we may receive God's Holy Spirit and be begotten as VERY CHILDREN of GOD, to be BORN actually into the FAMILY (Kingdom) of God and doing away with God's law and therefore, God's GOVERNMENT.
Jesus raised up HIS church, the true CHURCH OF GOD - in 31 A.D. In 33 A.D. (Acts 8), Simon the sorcerer started what became the GREAT false church, the "daughter of Babylon" - or in other words, the "Babylonian Mystery religion" (Rev. 17:5) appropriating the NAME "Christian," but DENYING Christ's TRUTH. The true Church, after the terrible wave of persecution, virtually went UNDERGROUND. They could teach the true Gospel only secretly, but not to crowds - no longer to the WORLD! For 18 1/2 centuries the world was DECEIVED (Rev. 12:9, 17:1-2). In all that time Christ's true Gospel was not preached to, nor heard by the world. Only a false teaching.
Just HOW does the BIBLE count a GENERATION?
In counting successive generations in a genealogy (as of Christ), it counts a generation from one's birth to the date of birth of his son (as in Matt. 1:17). But in speaking of an entire generation - like this or that generation, it refers to the entire LIFE-time of a generation, from birth to death. For example, of the generation then living in Moses' day, none of that entire generation then living - from 20 years and above - was to be allowed to enter the promised land. They were 40 years in the wilderness. So that generation was at least 60 years. The present living generation is probably longer.
So UNDERSTAND! Jesus came with the GOSPEL (GOOD NEWS) ANNOUNCING the future coming of the KINGDOM OF GOD, immediately after He had QUALIFIED to replace the former super archangel Lucifer (Satan) on the throne at that time.
The first man, Adam - father and progenitor of the human race - rejected the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, which Lucifer before him had rejected. Adam made the decision to DECIDE FOR HIMSELF what is good and what is evil - right and wrong - rejecting God's LAW of God's government which defines what is right and what is wrong. Adam deliberately CUT HIMSELF AND HIS HUMAN FAMILY OFF FROM GOD, AND ALL CONTACT WITH GOD.
God compelled Adam to make his own decision. Since he cut himself off from God's government and all contact with God, the Master Plan of God called for a 7,000-year period of which the first seven days of creation in Genesis 1 were a type. Six millennial days (6,000 years), for man to run his course, going his own way, cut off from God - devising and building his own society, civilization, and all in it. Man had put himself under the sway of Satan. Satan shall remain on that throne of the earth UNTIL a successor has qualified, AND HAS BEEN INDUCTED INTO OFFICE.
So man, under the invisible sway of Satan, deceived into believing Satan does not exist, established his own GOVERNMENTS, his own systems of education, his own systems of commerce and industry, his entire society with all its customs, and varied and various ideas of what is right and what is wrong. God knew that it would take 6,000 years for man to bring himself to the point of DESTROYING HIMSELF - of erasing all humanity from earth. But just before that could happen, God will intervene.
Now Jesus came over 1,900 years ago. He ANNOUNCED the Kingdom of God - to rule ALL NATIONS of the ENTIRE EARTH with the GOVERNMENT OF GOD - which Lucifer had rejected - and which, in turn, ADAM had rejected for the HUMAN FAMILY. For 6,000 years God adopted a "hands-off' policy toward humanity - except He reserved the right to INTERVENE on certain specific occasions which He deemed necessary for His PURPOSE. He intervened in the incident of Cain slaying Abel. Enoch walked with God - lived GOD'S WAY. God intervened with Noah and the Flood. He intervened in the personal lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. He intervened in the case of the nation ISRAEL - but never promising them any spiritual blessings, salvation, or eternal life. And He sent CHRIST with the GOOD NEWS, announcing almost 2,000 years in advance, the RESTORATION of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, in the form of the KINGDOM OF GOD, to restore PEACE, happiness, and this time, SPIRITUAL SALVATION WITH ETERNAL. LIFE for all who will obey His laws.
All this while - from Adam - GOD HAD NOT CALLED THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD TO SALVATION and the gift of eternal life -except those mentioned, and the prophets.
Jesus said plainly, "None CAN COME to me except the Father draw him." GOD WAS NOT TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD OF HUMANITY - YET! But Jesus raised up HIS CHURCH - THE CHURCH OF GOD. They were specially called - PREDESTINATED. The Father did now draw those called to salvation - the VERY FEW. Once called, it was THEIR PERSONAL CHOICE whether they accepted the call.
WHY did He call a FEW - and WHY only a few? They were called to OVERCOME SATAN and Satan's world, even as Jesus did, TO QUALIFY TO SIT WITH HIM ON HIS DAVIDIC THRONE IN JERUSALEM, even as He had to overcome Satan to qualify to sit on this throne. But ONE THING MORE - VASTLY IMPORTANT - they were called to HELP and STAND BACK OF GOD'S CHOSEN APOSTLES in PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL (GOOD NEWS) OF THE COMING KINGDOM OF GOD!
But before 70 A.D. (Gal. 1:6-7; ll Cor. 11:4; Rom. 1:18,25) Jesus' Gospel ANNOUNCEMENT was SUPPRESSED, replaced with a "gospel" that DID AWAY with the Kingdom of God (calling it the church), did away with being born of God (the Trinity doctrine), and did away with God's law, thus leading a deceived world into SIN.
But by 1927 we had REACHED THE VERY GENERATION WHEN MAN'S 6,000 years cut off from God will be concluded. During this generation - within 60 to 90 years OR LESS - from 1927 - CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN and RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over the entire earth. The dead IN CHRIST shall be resurrected immortal SPIRIT BEINGS - we who are Christ's still then alive will be INSTANTLY CHANGED to immortality - and WE SHALL REIGN OVER ALL NATIONS for 1000 years!
The GENERATION had come during which the happy WORLD TOMORROW, ruled by Christ and the KINGDOM OF GOD (YOU AND ME) will RESTORE PEACE AND HAPPINESS.
SO - the time had come when God WANTED THAT ANNOUNCEMENT - that GOOD NEWS of the true Gospel - TO GO TO all the WORLD of the generation when it will happen.
God had prepared me in a considerable measure for this tremendous responsibility before my conversion in 1927-28. He continued that preparation - trial and test - and in July, 1933 He conferred on me that staggering responsibility of taking this Message to the whole world.
He has called you as CO-WORKERS and Brethren to STAND BACK OF ME and make this tremendous undertaking possible. Each has his part, if only to put your hearts in the work and in your PRAYERS for it and for me.
WHAT A GLORIOUS PRIVILEGE!
God has called ONLY those predestinated to be called at this time so far. But just think HOW WONDERFUL - soon, because of our labors and sacrifices for Him and for humanity, Satan will be bound, Christ will be ruling - when ALL HUMANITY will then be called to this glorious salvation. What a WONDERFUL privilege we have! What a wonderful time in which to be living!
WORLD PEACE AND UNIVERSAL HAPPINESS IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. We are hastening it by our sacrifices, prayers and HELP.
THANK YOU and God bless you.
In deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong