April 27, 2018 Brethren Letter
Tonight, I’m sending a (condensed) “Personal” written by Mr. Armstrong in the Plain Truth magazine, June 1963. His article gets right to the heart of this world’s troubles, the causes, and where the SOLID foundation of right knowledge can be found.
Please have a good night’s rest!
Your Brother in Christ,
The Plain Truth
Personal from the Editor
LOOK at what is INCREASING today! Knowledge is INCREASING! But so are troubles in the world! Toothpaste production is increasing. So is tooth decay.
In cities everywhere child-welfare organizations are springing up. So, like wise, is illegitimacy.
The number of psychiatrists shows a rapid increase. But mental cases increase MORE rapidly.
Scientific and technological know how mushrooms. So does the threat to the existence of human life on this planet.
Peace Conferences are occurring more frequently than ever before. But world violence, cold war, and threat of world cosmocide mount even faster.
The INCREASE in man’s plans and efforts toward peace, human welfare, good health, are NOT bringing the world closer to these desired ends. Rather, as man’s efforts for peace and for GOOD increase, chaos and EVIL and threat of the total annihilation of mankind increase FASTER!
You LIVE IN THIS WORLD!
Yes, but for HOW LONG?
It’s time we gave heed. What are the CAUSES of this unprecedented condition? Where is our deliverance? How is it all going to come out?
I have said before: this world is what its leaders have made it. The LEADERS are the EDUCATED — not the illiterate. And THEY are the product of their environment — their EDUCATION. That adds up to this: the frightening state of world-chaos and threat of extinction IS THE RESULT OF THIS WORLD’S SYSTEM OF EDUCATION!
Take a quick look at it. Is it RIGHT education? Are the children and young men and women really GETTING the education, such as it is?
Recently the North American Newspaper Alliance gave a test to 5,000 college students. The test revealed that the students are abysmally uninformed about the world, and even about their own country.
On world geography, the composite score was 25%. These college students knew little more about their own country. Less than 50% had even the vaguest notion of their own country’s population. Only 4 out of each 100 could give the APPROXIMATE population of the world. Some thought there were ten million people on earth. Guesses went up to five hundred thousand million. Two thirds thought that Castro’s Cuba was a trust territory of the United States, under U.N. trusteeship. 35% of the students did not even know that U.N. is the abbreviation for the United Nations.
The University of Iowa ranks high in scholastic standards among United States universities. Yet an average of one in five of its senior students flunked a freshman-level test in English Composition.
But WHAT KIND of education is being disseminated?
In Communist Russia today a very high percent of children and young people of college age are in school. The Russians have LEARNED how to fly into outer space — how to make hydrogen bombs. Yet a Moscow Christmas radio broadcast blared out to the world: “Our rocket has bypassed the moon. It is nearing the sun, and WE HAVE NOT DISCOVERED GOD. We have turned lights out in heaven that no man will be able to put on again. We are breaking the yoke of the Gospel — the opium of the masses. Let us go forth, and Christ shall be relegated to mythology.”
What if you saw a man out in an arid desert, trying to build a house on shifting sand, without any foundation under it, and with no knowledge of carpentry or experience in building. Would you think him a fool?
Today millions of scientists, doctors and educators are doing that very thing in building their superstructure of KNOWLEDGE. They have rejected the very FOUNDATION of knowledge.
They consequently lack the right APPROACH to the acquisition of the additional knowledge to build on the foundation that is not there. They are building a house of cards doomed to topple.
Then WE come along. The only true and solid FOUNDATION of knowledge is revealed to us. We accept it, and start building on it. This very revealed basic knowledge provides the only right APPROACH to the acquisition of additional DISCOVERABLE knowledge. Utilizing this approach, proving all things before we accept them, we BUILD on our firm FOUNDATION. And what do the “educators” of this world say of us? They put on an assumed wise and dignified expression, and say contemptuously that we are crazy!
They remind me of the insane man in a mental institution who pointed at the warden and giggled, “Tee-hee! YOU’RE CRAZY!” They are about as truly sensible as the inebriate who, when told he was drunk, grinned and said, “I know it — hic! SHO’M I!”
God Almighty says the inhabitants of this world are spiritually DRUNK on the wine of false doctrines — FALSE KNOWLEDGE. This spiritual wine has emanated from paganism wearing the false label of “Christianity,” and from a false science and error-infused educational system. Their spiritual eyes are out of focus, like the physically intoxicated man who was “counting the moon.”
I have written before of how I have known men of all walks of life. I have found the idle rich, who inherited their money, the most bored; the hard-working rich, who build their own fortunes, the most dissatisfied; the highly educated, the most empty…
Then WHY are the unlearned of this world happier in their ignorance than the educated in their KNOWLEDGE? The reason is that there is so much that is FALSE in what has been built into the structure of KNOWLEDGE being disseminated today.
The baby five seconds old has not as yet acquired ANY knowledge. What ever is stored in your mind today — everything you believe to be fact — has entered your mind since birth.
You are starting, at birth, from scratch. The more FALSE knowledge, erroneous assumptions, untrue ideas you crowd into your mind, the farther away you are traveling from TRUE EDUCATION.
Jesus Christ said, “Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free.” TRUTH will free one from fears, worries, emptiness, boredom, discontent, unhappiness — yes, even from ill health, poverty and misery, when rightly and diligently applied.
There are inexorable spiritual LAWS that govern good health, happiness, success. But these laws are invisible. Man cannot see them. He cannot feel, smell, taste, or hear them. And all the knowledge that has come into every human mind, naturally, has come through one of those five senses.
The knowledge of these laws, which are in themselves THE WAY to peace, to health, wealth and happiness, is a knowledge that must be REVEALED!
What is the FOUNDATION? It is the true knowledge of PURPOSES, of CAUSES, of BEGINNINGS, of the TRUE VALUES, of invisible SPIRITUAL LAWS.
Doctors treat physical diseases with drugs. But do they tell you how to PREVENT these diseases? Do they know the laws that govern HEALTH? They ignore the CAUSE, and treat the EFFECT. Psychiatrists strive in vain to treat neuroses and mental illnesses, while they stumble all around, disagreeing among themselves in their various theories as to the CAUSE, and way to PREVENT such unhappiness. Universities teach students how to produce more terrifying weapons of mass destruction, in the mad race for survival against the enemy. But they cannot teach the way to PEACE, for of that important knowledge they are IGNORANT!
They teach men how to earn a living, in a profession, a science, a technology, or a trade. But they can’t teach what they themselves do not know — HOW to LIVE!
What is the FOUNDATION of knowledge?
It is to know the TRUTH about origins, purposes, causes, and ways. What is the true MEANING — the REAL PURPOSE of life? WHY was humanity put here on earth? How did the earth get here, and WHY, and WHEN? What are the REAL FACTS of origins and developments, of geological formations and biological organisms? Science has ideas, theories, postulates. But the “science” accepted as “fact” today becomes the laughing stock of tomorrow.
What are the TRUE VALUES of life? WHERE is the knowledge of HOW to LIVE? Are there living, yet invisible, LAWS that govern relationships? What is MAN? Is he flesh, or is he spirit? Is he mere animal, or immortal soul in a material BODY, or is he neither? Is he the product of blind, purposeless evolution, or is he a CREATED being, made in the very image of God?
WHY is man? Is there some PURPOSE for his tenure here on earth? Is there real MEANING to life — and if so WHAT IS IT? You won’t learn the answer in the college or university of this world! Does man have a real potential DESTINY? And if so, what are the directions for reaching it?
What is DEATH, and is there any life or consciousness beyond — and HOW CAN YOU PROVE IT? Do you KNOW — or are you assuming or guessing?
Is there a GOD — and if so, is any connection between Him and humans possible, or desirable — and HOW do you gain it?
The starting point is to PROVE whether there is a GOD — a CREATOR. Is there an ALL-mighty, ALL-wise, ALL-intelligent DESIGNER, PLANNER, and CREATOR who planned, designed, and PRODUCED it all?
You purchase a radio set, an automobile, or a refrigerator. You KNOW there is a MAKER who manufactured it. With the product he made, the manufacturer sends along an instruction book. It explains the PURPOSE of the mechanism, and instructs you in how to USE it, and care for it.
Did the divine Maker of MAN send along an INSTRUCTION BOOK, to tell you WHAT you are, WHY you are, the PURPOSE of your temporary existence on this planet, HOW to attain it — HOW to operate and care for and maintain this most complicated of all mechanisms, the human body and mind?
God equipped man with eyes, ears, hands to work with — minds to THINK with.
Man is able to travel, to explore, to experiment, to discover. The REVEALED knowledge supplied by God is merely the true FOUNDATION. It provides us with the basic knowledge to use as our APPROACH — to help us UNDERSTAND discoverable knowledge.
The TRUTH is THE WAY to PEACE. The world does not know THAT WAY!
The TRUTH is THE WAY to HAPPINESS. This world is not happy.
It is this bad mixture of error with truth that is responsible for the world’s ills, and individual unhappiness, poverty, sickness.
We must UNlearn error before we can come to TRUTH. And it is ten times harder to UNlearn what is false than to learn what is TRUE. The farther one goes in the error of this world’s false knowledge, the more he has to UNlearn before he can START to become truly educated.
Paradoxical though it seems, the more of this world’s education one drinks in, the more IGNORANT he becomes. And it is possible to become so steeped in the belief of fable, sugar-coated as FACT, that one can never be freed from its enslavement. Like heroin, one can become “hooked” on it, and beyond cure.
Another generation will see a new and different world — the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW!
There will be, I repeat, a total revolution in the field of education. Of course, there will be just as big a revolution in the fields of religion, science, business, and government. Not only will Jesus Christ, the coming KING of Kings, overthrow all present governments, He will completely overthrow the present systems of religion, education, commerce and business, society, and science. They MUST be overthrown before we can have PEACE. Only the power of Almighty GOD can do it.