January 31, 2020 Brethren Letter
The godly character in us, I have stated, cannot be created by fiat. It must be developed. We must yield. We must desire it, seek it. But it comes from GOD. Thus if we keep a close daily contact with our Creator, through His Spirit and through our spirit — for remember, His Holy Spirit “beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16) — then He is fashioning and shaping our characters. (What Science Can’t Discover About the HUMAN MIND – Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong)
All of us experience trials. “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;” (1 Peter 4:12). However, through those trials God wants us to grow in righteous character, HIS CHARACTER and nature! We receive God’s character only through God’s Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Acts 2:38), and no other way! We must remember that trials produce PERSEVERANCE, perseverance produces CHARACTER, and character produces HOPE. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
Tonight, I’m sending excerpts from a Brethren/Co-Worker letter written by Mr. Armstrong in March 1985. We should be continually doing a spiritual “inventory” of our lives. Our future in the Kingdom of God depends upon it. Please have a wonderful Sabbath, brethren!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,
March 18, 1985
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
Now is the time to take a quick inventory of our lives. A man running a business takes inventory of his stock each year. Each individual runs a very important business — his own life — especially if he has been called out of this world into God’s earthly family, the Church of God.
The business each of us is managing is our own lives. What we are building — and we are in the building business — is perfect righteous character, the very character of the eternal God. But in this business, in today’s modern world, we have competitors on every side — those in Satan’s world are in the competing business of building Satan’s character.
To really understand, I say once again we must go back to the beginning. Those of us who have been called find ourselves in the same position that faced the first man, Adam. He had to decide how to live his life — how to go about the business of building character. He had two choices. (We each have the same two choices.) One was to rely on God, the other to rely on himself. To rely on God meant to receive all instructions and knowledge of how to live from God, and receive the power to live God’s way from God. But he chose to rely on himself, to decide for himself the way to live — to decide what is right and what is wrong. And he relied on himself for the power to live the way he chose. Had he taken of the tree of life he would have received from God both the knowledge of the way of life (God’s law of love) — and also the love of God as the power to live that way.
All the world about us — our competition — has tried to decide humanly for themselves what is right and what is wrong — and has relied on self-power and will to live as humanly decided. Mankind has built, under Satan’s sway and guidance, his own society — his own world. Mankind has organized into governments and nations. Each government has its own law-making body — a city council, a national Congress or Parliament or Diet.
But human beings do not know of themselves right from wrong. For example, the United States government right now cannot decide whether abortion is right or wrong. The Supreme Court usually cannot unanimously agree on whether a law is constitutional — whether it is right or wrong. Only God can tell us right from wrong, and he does so by his law, and his law is a basic principle that, if we apply it, will tell us unerringly what is right on any question.
We are God’s Church. The word Church means “come-out-ones.” We must come out of sin, and sin is the transgression of God’s law.
We are taking inventory of the work of God’s Church. We are stewards running God’s business for him through the power of his Spirit. I can report to God and to you that the work is growing now as never before. We must be pleasing God for he is blessing us in his work. But time is short and we must try even harder. We must pray more earnestly and more often.
With love, in Jesus’ name,
Herbert W. Armstrong