January 13, 2017

Dear Brethren,

I wonder how many of our readers know that the Bible commands us to pray for the heads of our nations? The Bible does NOT command us to take part in this world’s politics — strange as that may seem to many. But it DOES emphatically teach RESPECT for, and SUBMISSION TO the government of man that is over us.

Therefore, whether we agree with the man in office — his religion — his political party — his ideas, or whatever — GOD COMMANDS us TO RESPECT HIS OFFICE, TO HONOR IT, AND TO PRAY FOR HIM!

(Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong)

I was reading this article earlier today. I thought it was very excellent and I wanted to share it with you. As Mr. Armstrong wrote, we as God’s people are to respect the office of the President of the United States and to be praying for him.

Here is a condensed version of Mr. Armstrong’s “Personal from the Editor”, The Plain Truth, January, 1964.

Have a wonderful Sabbath!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

 

January, 1964

The Plain Truth

Personal from the Editor

PROBABLY YOU will always remember precisely where you were, and what you were doing, when you were stunned with the news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Personally, I was teaching a class here at Ambassador College in Pasadena. For some years now I have dispensed with all teaching, personally, except this one class. This particular class I hope to continue teaching for life. It is our course in “Principles of Living”. I teach it each year both at Pasadena, and at the college in England. This class includes the vital and sacred subject of sex and marriage.

Dr. E. H. Owen collaborates with me in this class. It lasts two hours — ten to twelve on Fridays.

The 10:55 buzzer had sounded. I had paused momentarily until the buzzer silenced, then continued speaking. The red light flashed beside the telephone. Dr. Owen, sitting near the telephone, answered. It was a call for me.

As I left the platform and walked to the telephone, I wondered what the call could be. Our switchboard would never interrupt me in the middle of a class unless it was an emergency. Was my wife taken ill? I hurried to the telephone.

“Mr. Armstrong, President Kennedy has just been shot in Dallas, Texas!” came the startling message. “Also Governor Connally of Texas. They have been rushed to a hospital. The President is still alive, but in critical condition.”

All of us in the room were simply stunned. Back on the platform I asked the class immediately to rise. The Word of God instructs us to pray for our civil rulers. As the class bowed, I prayed immediately that if Mr. Kennedy were still living God would spare his life and restore him to a fit condition.

But the President was already dead. It was then just after 1:00 P.M., Central Standard time, in Dallas.

I tried to carry on with the class lecture. It was difficult. I doubt whether the students got much out of it.

Then, some forty-five minutes later, the red light on the telephone flashed again.

Dr. Owen answered.

“The President is dead,” he announced quietly.

IMPOSSIBLE! The President was so young! He was too young to die. It simply couldn’t be — yet, shocked and stunned though we were, we knew it was true.

I remembered, also, how in 1932 I was advertising manager of a daily newspaper. In the newsroom one day, the city editor, reporters, and others got into a discussion as to what possible event would make the most sensational banner headline. The very first suggestion was the headline: THE PRESIDENT ASSASSINATED! A few others were suggested: WORLD WAR II BREAKS OUT! — NEW YORK CITY BLASTED OFF THE MAP!

Then the city editor said, “This one tops them all: SECOND COMING OF CHRIST OCCURRED TODAY!” “Ha! Ha!” They all laughed, in ridicule.

“You’re going to write that headline sooner than you think!” I snapped sharply — and the laughing stopped.

Yes, thank God! THAT event, to eclipse all the world-shaking happenings of history, is nearer than people think! The savagery of the world today, with its assassinations, wars, crimes of violence, causes those of us who know the TRUTH to cry out to God the more earnestly, “THY KINGDOM COME! THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!”

Dastardly crimes like this impel a look once again at THIS ugly world. In the Bible we find THREE worlds spoken of. There was the world that was — “the world that then was, being overflowed with

water,” which “perished.” (II Peter 3:6) also spoken of as “the old world,” (II Peter 2:5). Then there is “this world,” or “this present evil world,” (Gal. 1:4), and also “the world to come” (Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30), also called “that world” (Luke 20:35). This latter is the one we call “The WORLD TOMORROW” — a world of peace, happiness and right ways, GOVERNED BY GOD.

How TWISTED AND PERVERTED, in their thinking about GOD, can men get? After shooting President Lincoln IN THE BACK, assassin Booth wrote: “Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of His punishment.”

I know that I am an instrument in the hands of the true Creator GOD — but I am commissioned to preach LOVE, and MERCY, PEACE and JUSTICE, and the Commandments of God, one of which is: THOU SHALT NOT KILL (do no murder).

Mr. Kennedy was the President of the United States! As such we felt a respect, a high regard, and even a LOVE for the leader of the country of our birth and the country which has blest us so richly and given us its protection, its liberties, its freedoms, its opportunities and blessings!

I wonder how many of our readers know that the Bible commands us to pray for the heads of our nations? The Bible does NOT command us to take part in this world’s politics — strange as that may seem to many. But it DOES emphatically teach RESPECT for, and SUBMISSION TO the government of man that is over us.

Jesus Christ took no part whatsoever in human government — but He did command, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” — meaning taxes, as well as subjection and respect.

Actually Jesus Christ came to qualify to become KING over the whole world. But His kingdom was not of THIS present world. The Old Covenant with Israel “married” (spiritually) that nation to the Eternal. The NEW Covenant is to “marry” God’s Church to Christ. This is to set up GOD’S GOVERNMENT on earth. The Church, then, is the affianced Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:7-9), now ENGAGED, and expected to remain true to her future husband by avoiding fornication. The false church has committed fornication — HOW? By mixing in this world’s politics! (Rev. 17:1-2.).

But though Christ’s Church is forbidden to be a PART of this world’s governments, IT IS STRICTLY COMMANDED TO BE SUBJECT to the worldly government — to honor and pray for its rulers.

Notice: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, PRAYERS, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; FOR KINGS, AND FOR ALL THAT ARE IN AUTHORITY; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (I Tim. 2:1-2).

Again, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever, therefore, resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Rom. 13:1-2). These little assassins resisted — and, in every case, TO THEIR OWN DAMNATION!

To Titus, Paul admonished: “Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready for every good work” (Titus 3:1).

Peter speaks of those who “despise government, … not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (II Pet. 2:10). He says they shall receive the reward of unrighteousness (which is death). “Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings.”

God’s Word teaches us to have RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY. There can be no power, except AS GOD ALLOWS. The Bible does not teach that this world’s governments are righteous, or representing God. But, so long as God ALLOWS them to wield an authority HE established — even though they wield it contrary to His laws — to disrespect the government is to disrespect God.

OBEDIENCE TO LAW is the basic teaching of the Bible.

RESPECT FOR CONSTITUTED AUTHORITY is commanded by GOD!

Therefore, whether we agree with the man in office — his religion — his political party — his ideas, or whatever — GOD COMMANDS us TO RESPECT HIS OFFICE, TO HONOR IT, AND TO PRAY FOR HIM!

Right now Satan is very ANGRY — because he knows well that he has but a short time left (Rev. 12:12). And against whom is he stirred to such satanic fury?

Against those people of God who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17).

This is the Work of God that preaches that very TRUTH so hateful to the god of this world! But Satan is LIMITED in his powers! He can do no more than God ALLOWS!

I well know that my very life must be in the hands of the Eternal Almighty GOD. Unless He protects it, Satan would instantly destroy it! But we here, at the Headquarters of God’s Work, take courage and inspiration to press on in the knowledge that thousands are praying earnestly for our protection and safety, as well as divine guidance and power!

But we should pray, even more, and in renewed fervor and intensity and faith, THY KINGDOM COME; THY WILL BE DONE, IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!

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