WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91123
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PRESIDENT and PASTOR
March 18, 1974
Dear Brethren of God's Church:
It was the second day after returning from Manila that I awakened out of a pleasant dream I could not remember. Suddenly, still more asleep than awake, the stark, hideous REALITY crashed through in my mind.
"NO!" I almost shouted, "It CAN'T BE! This can't be REAL!"
God's CHURCH! Oasis of PEACE and HAPPINESS, and JOY in this unhappy, dark and violent world! The only place on earth where GOD'S GOVERNMENT produced these fruits! Now actually INVADED BY SATAN!
"Oh Eternal GOD!" Now I was literally shouting beside my bed with upstretched arms. "Wake me out of this hideous NIGHTMARE! FATHER in heaven, in JESUS' name, let this be only a nightmare! Wake me out of it!"
By now I was completely awake. It was no bad dream. Satan was ATTACKING GOD'S WORK, pulling out all stops as never before, to DESTROY IT, and to destroy many ministers and brethren with it!
I knew we were not having to wrestle against flesh and blood, but against "the wiles of the devil," and against POWERS, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against powerful and wicked SPIRITS in high places!
It now quickly flashed to my consciousness the letters Garner Ted and I had rushed out to you Brethren and to the ministers -- and the reports telephoned to Headquarters that the overwhelming majority of the Brethren, even in the affected areas, were remaining faithful, staunch and loyal with THE WORK OF GOD. I knew I had to LEAP to the job, seeking Christ's guidance, to SAVE THE FLOCK from this vicious attack by Satan.
Quickly I threw on some clothes and ran downstairs and out to the sidewalk for the morning paper, to see what next attacking defectors had gotten to the press against God's Church.
On page 4, of section 2, was this 2-column headline:
"15 in Strife-torn Sect Fired, Minister Says"
This statement was false! But how like this world -- Satan's world!
Strife belongs in Satan's world. But NOT in GOD'S CHURCH!
In our booklet "This Is The Worldwide Church of God" it speaks of how the Government of God in His Church "is producing a bumper harvest of peace, happiness and abundant well-being, worldwide." It tells of how a professor of Comparative Religions at a great university visiting a Feast of Tabernacles service at Penticton, Canada, with 7,000 in attendance, had said: "I have never seen so many so universally happy as a whole."
And THAT HAS BEEN TRUE OF THIS, the WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD!
But, Brethren, Satan also saw that happy and peaceful condition in our midst. That enraged him! He couldn't stand it to see such harmony and peace and love in (but not OF) his world of strife, rebellion, unhappiness and ugliness.
It seems very likely that we may have now come to the time prophesied in Revelation 12:9-13: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels, (demons) were cast out with him. ... Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman ... (God's Church).
How did HE come to KNOW he had but a short time? Because he knows that when "this Gospel of the Kingdom of God is being preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, THEN SHALL THE END COME" -- yes, the END of Satan's world -- the END of Satan's posing as GOD -- the god of this world.
For 40 years this great Work of God has been proclaiming Christ's GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. For 40 years, however, we were unable to get that GOOD NEWS to such nations as China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh (Pakistan), the nations of Southeast Asia, of Africa, of South and Central America. But now that God is opening doors to those nations, Satan is flying into a RAGE!
The governments in those nations -- starting with the world's largest in population -- control radio and television -- means of mass communication to reach THEIR PEOPLE! Those nations are totally unlike the United States in controlling radio and television. Many of the most populous nations are up to 80% illiterate -- people unable to read or write -- mentally unable to GRASP or UNDERSTAND the Gospel. Those NATIONS can be reached ONLY through the TOP levels.
For four or five years, now, God has been OPENING NEW DOORS -- to meetings with kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and many high officials under them -- giving me ASTONISHING and providential FAVOR, even to the point of AFFECTION, in their eyes. He has caused this to lead to groups of 57 to 100 -- high in those governments -- to listen, with respect, to me, proclaiming to them Christ's GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM. He then caused it to lead to massive PUBLIC MEETINGS, endorsed by the governments or high government officials, starting with Manila, Saigon, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Officials in Manila expected an audience of more than 50,000 to hear that Message Sunday night March 3rd -- and I mean 50,000, including top-ranking people -- the cream of the Philippine responsible citizenry.
Satan moved to PREVENT that great meeting! Ministers he could deceive were used in this!
I want you to read telegrams of just a few high-ranking officials, on hearing of this strife Satan managed to inject into God's Church:
"DEAR CHANCELLOR HERBERT ARMSTRONG. PLEASE DON'T GET WORRIED ABOUT CHURCH PROBLEMS THAT FACE YOU. GOD IS GREAT AND HIS WILL IS SUPREME. NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT HIS DECREE. YOU HAVE MY SINCEREST PRAYER FOR SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTION OF YOUR DIFFICULTY. GOD IS WITH YOU AND YOU WILL SUCCEED.
NAGENDRA SINGH, JUDGE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE"
"DEAR MR. HERBERT ARMSTRONG. LEARNED WITH DEEP REGRET ABOUT SOME PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH CHURCH. PLEASE ACCEPT OUR SYMPATHY AND SUPPORT. MAY ALMIGHTY GOD GIVE YOU NECESSARY STRENGTH AND CLEAR ALL OBSTACLES FROM YOUR RIGHTEOUS PATH.
AMBASSADOR MEKASHA AND MADAME"
Here is a Telex that brought tears to my eyes when I received it. It is from eight high-ranking Congressmen in the Japanese Diet (their Congress).
"DEAR MR. HERBERT ARMSTRONG. OUR SINCERE PRAYER FOR YOU THAT YOU MAY HAVE PRECIOUS DIRECTION AND PROTECTION UPON YOUR PRESENT TASK WHICH WE LEARNED THAT YOU HAD TO GO BACK TO THE STATES. MAY THE ALMIGHTY GIVE YOU WISE WISDOMS, PEACEFUL MIND AND SPLENDID HEALTH SO YOU'LL BE ABLE TO CARRY THROUGH YOUR MISSION.
YOUR EIGHT JAPANESE SONS
BUNSEI SATO AND OTHERS MEMBERS OF JAPANESE DIET"
At the time I awakened out of a pleasant dream into this nightmare, we thought that a conspiracy had taken place which might have as many as a fourth of all our ministers -- and how many members we did not yet know. I am exceedingly grateful to God that it was not anywhere near that many, and that I can now report that several of those affected have since come to see they were misled -- that there were MISUNDERSTANDINGS -- and they have reaffirmed their loyalty to God's Church and Work.
And, further, that the number of lay brethren affected was comparatively small, and that many, if not most of them, have learned they had been misinformed and have remained solidly with God's Church.
Brethren, JUST HOW would Satan move subtly to inject strife and division into God's Church?
How has Satan always moved?
Let me give you the PATTERN! Notice the remarkable parallel with how he has attacked us, today!
Once Satan was the super archangel Lucifer -- Shining Star of the Dawn -- bringer of LIGHT and Truth. He summed up the total of wisdom, perfection and beauty. He was perfect in his ways from the day he was created. He had been trained in the administration of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD at the HEADQUARTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. He had been the anointed cherub whose wings covered the very throne of the Creator GOD!
After this training at Universe Headquarters, he was sent out "into the field," so to speak, to administer God's Government over one REGION of the vast universe -- this earth. The earth then was populated with angels.
As long as the GOVERNMENT OF GOD was administered, the earth was filled with UNIVERSAL peace, happiness, and JOY UNSPEAKABLE! But finally, Lucifer's beauty, brightness and knowledge went to his head. VANITY seized him.
He got to thinking and reasoning.
"WHY," he reasoned, "should God sit up there at Headquarters on His glorious throne, in all His splendor and glory RULING THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, while I am limited only to this earth? Envy and jealousy gripped him. He became SELF-centered. The GETTING and SELFISH WAY began to seem preferable to God's LOVE way of love and obedience and worship to God, and outgoing concern for the good of others. Competition and strife seemed better than cooperation and PEACE.
He became resentful of the HEADQUARTERS GOVERNMENT! Iniquity was found in him -- LAWLESSNESS. God began to seem like a harsh dictator!
In his mind of vanity, bitterness and rebellion he formed the grandiose objective of actually deposing GOD, and taking over the government of the UNIVERSE!
He must have reasoned that his Creator naturally was more powerful than he. But could the Creator be as powerful as ALL THE ANGELS ON EARTH -- possibly a third of ALL the angels (Rev. 12:4)? He must have reasoned in his now perverted imagination, that COMBINED, they could overpower God.
But these angels, though lesser in power and authority than Lucifer, also had been created holy. HOW would Lucifer, now having become Satan, win his angels over to his dastardly conspiracy? He would begin by subtly suggesting to a few, to whom he was closest, that God was not fair -- that they had some grievances against God -- by ACCUSING God, reasoning against God's form of Government, against God's laws and doctrines.
Then they, in turn, would be induced to create ISSUES -- dissatisfactions, and imagined and falsely accused doctrines and rules. Stir these things up, and gradually whip them up into an emotional pitch of resentment, and rebellion: It may have taken years. But it happened. (II Peter 2:4, Jude 6, Ezek. 28:16-17, Isa. 14:12-15.)
Finally, Satan organized his angels into an ARMY OF INVASION. They swept up to heaven to knock GOD off His throne. But Satan miscalculated. God was more powerful than Satan's whole third of the angels. They were cast back down to earth. (See Isa. 14:12-15, Ezek. 28:12-17, Rev. 12:4, 9-13.) That UNIVERSAL sin of REBELLION plunged the whole earth into physical chaos, confusion, and utter DARKNESS!
That is Episode I (Genesis 1:2).
EPISODE II: God renewed the face of the earth (Psalm 104: 30), restoring light and beauty, and creating MAN!
To the first man and woman, God revealed the truth of THE KINGDOM OF GOD, which is both the divine FAMILY of God, into which humans may be born with the gift of Eternal Life -- and also the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, by which this divine FAMILY OF GOD will rule the earth the next thousand years. God offered Adam and Eve ETERNAL LIFE, as evidenced by the symbolic tree of Life. God revealed to them HIS BASIC LAW of HIS GOVERNMENT. This law was set in motion to CAUSE and produce the same kind of universal PEACE, happiness and well-being that had existed on earth as long as GOD'S GOVERNMENT was administered by Lucifer.
But, if they took to themselves the production of the "knowledge of good and evil," instead of obeying God's inexorable spiritual LAW, the PENALTY of that SIN would be DEATH -- they would SURELY DIE! God could not have pronounced the PENALTY of His Law to them, without having told them, clearly, of HIS LAW, and therefore of His GOVERNMENT. Undoubtedly Adam would have succeeded Lucifer as KING, had he obeyed.
But after God taught them, Satan got to Adam subtly through his wife!
Satan subtly said to the woman, "Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Gen. 3:1.) And, in effect, "Hasn't God held out on you? Isn't God UNFAIR?" Satan was stirring up suspicion, grievance, and injecting selfishness into the woman.
Next, after she answered, Satan said, "Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (alternate translation, YE shall be GOD) knowing good and evil." This was an appeal to intellectual vanity. Satan here attempted to create a CREDIBILITY GAP against God. "After all," he might have said, "You only have God's WORD for it. But how do you know you can BELIEVE God?" He placed DOUBT in her mind, and Adam's, just as he has tried to do against me in this present rebellion against the GOVERNMENT OF GOD!
By the same subtle method, Satan produced DOUBT, lack of CONFIDENCE, prejudice against GOD'S GOVERNMENT. Result: VICTORY for SATAN. He prevented the restoration of GOD'S Government on earth, as it might have been through Adam, had he accepted and obeyed God's WORD and God's GOVERNMENT. Now it would require the SECOND ADAM (Christ) to restore God's Government and His Kingdom. Mankind, until now, has followed Adam, disbelieved God, walked every man according to what was right in his own eyes.
EPISODE III: God took the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who had become SLAVES in Egypt, and proposed they accept HIS GOVERNMENT, with the promise of becoming the wealthiest, most happy and powerful nation on earth. If loyal and obedient to GOD'S GOVERNMENT, they would have bumper crops year-round, wealth, peace, happiness. GOD'S GOVERNMENT produces every GOOD.
But Satan got to them. Finally, in the days of Samuel, "all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now, make us a king to judge us like all the nations. ... And the Eternal said unto Samuel, ... they have rejected me, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM. ... they have FORSAKEN ME, and served other gods, ..." (I Sam. 8:4-8).
As long as ancient Israel KEPT AND OBEYED THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD, they prospered, had PEACE, had HAPPINESS. But they forsook GOD'S GOVERNMENT -- which was formed under the OLD COVENANT. The NEW COVENANT will restore the KINGDOM OF GOD, which is the GOVERNMENT, under CHRIST, with SATAN REMOVED! Then we shall have WORLD PEACE. Proclaiming that GOOD NEWS IS OUR GREAT AND PRIMARY COMMISSION AND PURPOSE IN BEING, TODAY.
Israel divided, and finally both kingdoms went into captivity and slavery.
EPISODE IV: The "SECOND ADAM" -- Jesus Christ -- was born as a baby. Born to be a KING -- to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD over all nations. Satan tried to DESTROY HIM AS A BABY. God caused Joseph and Mary to flee with Him to Egypt.
When Jesus was about 30, ready to start proclaiming the GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, GOD'S GOVERNMENT, Satan tried to destroy Him SPIRITUALLY. The full account is in Matthew 4.
Jesus had fasted 40 days and nights. Hunger becomes frantically intense after 40 days. Satan came, subtly as usual. He gave Jesus, first, a double temptation: "IF thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." That "IF," questioning His Messiahship, was an appeal to vanity. Satan was daring Jesus to prove it. To perform a miracle! And the temptation also was to produce food for His desperate HUNGER.
Jesus withstood that temptation, quoting Scripture, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word ... of God."
Next Satan took Jesus up on the pinnacle of the temple. Again Satan said, "IF thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." In this case, Satan quoted a Scripture, tempting Jesus to put it to a wrong application -- again a temptation to VANITY.
Jesus replied, "It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." When we read in Mark that if we BELIEVE, we shall take up serpents, or drink a deadly poison, we shall be unharmed, Jesus meant if such a thing happened ACCIDENTALLY, we would be protected. But to do it deliberately would be tempting God.
Finally, Satan showed Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world from a high mountain, and said, "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." This was an appeal to lust for POWER and earthly glory. Satan tempted Jesus to TAKE that power, prematurely. Then Jesus commanded Satan to "Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Satan had to OBEY that command.
JESUS THEREIN QUALIFIED TO RESTORE THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH. But He did not, at that time, take over the GOVERNMENT over the earth.
First, He ANNOUNCED the future coming of the KINGDOM OF GOD -- His Gospel -- He taught it to His disciples -- and He gave His life for US that we might inherit the Kingdom of God with eternal life.
EPISODE V: On the day of Pentecost, 31, A.D., the Holy Spirit came from God in heaven, and filled His Apostles and other Brethren. Jesus had given them the Great Commission -- a great PURPOSE to accomplish: "GO ye therefore, and teach ALL NATIONS, the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
Jesus did not raise up His Church merely to form various local social clubs with NO PURPOSE other than to enjoy each others' fellowship. He raised up the Church for a PURPOSE -- to proclaim His GOSPEL -- not merely in their own community, but AROUND THE WORLD -- ALL NATIONS.
For this purpose, three thousand were ADDED to them that very day of Pentecost. A day or so later, the number became five thousand (Acts 4:4). They continued a few days to grow BY ADDITION -- "believers were the more ADDED to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women" (Acts 5:14).
But soon, the numbers in the Church grew by MULTIPLICATION, no longer mere addition: "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was MULTIPLIED, ..." (Acts 6:1).
The Gospel was GOING OUT! These thousands of brethren coming in were either carrying out the Gospel, or backing those who did. And WHAT GOSPEL? The Gospel GOD SENT BY JESUS -- the Gospel of the Kingdom of God -- which is both the FAMILY of God and the GOVERNMENT of God. (Mark 1:1, 14-15, Acts 1:3, etc., etc.) Philip went to Samaria proclaiming the KINGDOM OF GOD. (Acts 8:5, 12.) Paul proclaimed the KINGDOM OF GOD. (Acts 20:25, 28:23, 31.)
But SATAN now influenced a great PERSECUTION against the Church to STOP the proclaiming of the KINGDOM OF GOD. He knows that Kingdom will remove him from the earth and from deceiving the world into accepting him as the god of this world. (Acts 8:1.)
Satan sent into the Church "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15). Even of ministers in the Church, Satan influenced some to try to destroy the Church and the PROCLAIMING OF THE GOSPEL. Paul, meeting with the ELDERS of the Ephesus Church, to whom he preached the KINGDOM OF GOD (Acts 20:25) said, "For I know this, that after my departing, shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves (the MINISTERS) shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (verses 29-30).
Writing to the Church at Corinth Paul feared lest, as Satan beguiled Eve through his "subtlety," their minds should be poisoned against the TRUTH, and proclaiming the Gospel TO THE WORLD (II Cor. 11:3), being deceived by a DIFFERENT GOSPEL, a DIFFERENT SPIRIT (of discouragement, confusion, doubt, bitterness). This was the work of SATAN, working through human MINISTERS -- probably SINCERE MEN, not realizing they were DECEIVED!
Notice, dear Brethren, for YOUR OWN ETERNAL LIFE may depend on seeing through this subtle, deceptive, work of Satan!
Of those ministers Satan can use, God says:
"For such are FALSE APOSTLES, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into (claiming to be) the apostles of CHRIST. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (Yes, they PRETEND that they are RIGHT, and God's Headquarters WRONG.) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (Satan's) also be transformed as (pretending to be) the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Cor. 11:13-15).
Yes, Satan influenced many IN the first century Church to GO OUT. John wrote of them: "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for, if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out (WHY?), that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us" (I John 2:18-19).
Meanwhile Satan's counterfeit church, evidently started by Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8), was growing great and powerful, while the true Church of God, undergoing an ever more powerful persecution, was diminishing. Before the end of the first century, the proclaiming of the GOSPEL of the Kingdom worldwide had been virtually STOPPED!
There then ensued the "Lost Century" in the history of God's Church. The Church continued to exist, small in number. But the proclaiming of the Kingdom of God, and public healing of the sick, as done by Jesus and the Apostles, had stopped. God's Church existed through every generation, small, "the little flock," as Jesus called them, often having to meet secretly. When I came among them, in 1927, they were small and insignificant in numbers (probably not even 1,000 converted, baptized members) and impotent in power -- and NOT proclaiming the Kingdom Gospel worldwide.
EPISODE VI: Even as Moses, the Apostle Paul and others, in early life, had been specially prepared for the special Mission to which God finally called them, so was I. Then it pleased the living Christ to call me by His grace, I did not go to men, or seminaries. But I was taught His truth by the written Word of God. I did not learn ALL TRUTH at once, but a new truth at a time, beginning Autumn, 1926, continuously in a process still continuing.
But God revealed Himself to me, His Law, His Government, and His PURPOSE. After repentance, conversion, giving myself to Him to use as HE wills, and after many tests of faith, He built His Church for this present time with and through me.
In 1933, He raised up, through my preaching the Good News of the KINGDOM OF GOD, the parent Church of what was to become the Worldwide Church of God. It started as "The Church of God at Eugene, Oregon," with 19 baptized members.
As in the first century, the Lord ADDED gradually to that number. Meanwhile God's WORK was growing by MULTIPLICATION, 30% per year, multiplying itself 8 times in 8 years, 64 times in 16 years, and more than 4,000 times in 32 years. The GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM was being announced, first in Lane County, Oregon; then in the Pacific Northwest of America, then on the West Coast, then Coast to Coast nationwide, then, by 1954, starting in Europe, then attempting to reach the nations WORLDWIDE by radio, but finding that impossible -- by that method.
Meanwhile the Church grew only by addition, VERY slowly, until Ambassador College was founded in 1946 -- after 12 years. (The WORK started in 1934). But finally the CHURCH itself grew by MULTIPLICATION, until today Church attendance is around 85,000.
God MULTIPLIED, once again, the growth of His Church that HIS Great Commission might go to the world PREPARING THE WAY for Christ's return to establish the KINGDOM OF GOD to rule ALL NATIONS.
Meanwhile GOD'S GOVERNMENT was established in His Church. In 1946 Ambassador College was founded in Pasadena. The GOVERNMENT OF GOD -- with God's WAY OF LIFE, was established on campus. Its administration was NOT PERFECT, since Christ was administering it through humans -- but it PRODUCED THE FRUITS OF GOD'S GOVERNMENT -- PEACE, happiness, developing and building in students God's CHARACTER. In 1960 the British campus was opened, and in 1964 the Big Sandy campus.
I have been able to point out to heads of many governments GOD'S WAY of life as the WAY to WORLD PEACE -- and violation of THAT WAY as the CAUSE of all the world's problems and evils.
I was able to point out to them that THAT WAY of GOD'S GOVERNMENT had been put to practice, now, 26 years, as a LIVING EXAMPLE of the fruits of THAT WAY -- and of the PEACE, HAPPINESS and JOY in the members of God's Church.
Here, in the midst of Satan's world of evils, confusion, suffering and evils was an oasis of PEACE and joy!
Satan saw this. He knew he had but a SHORT TIME, because this very Gospel of the Kingdom now beginning to go effectively to the leaders and RESPONSIBLE citizenry of the GREAT NATIONS, heretofore unreachable, was the sign Jesus gave of the rapidly nearing END of Satan's world.
So, subtly, Satan produced MISUNDERSTANDINGS, doubts in some unsuspecting minds, false accusations.
He used these MISUNDERSTANDINGS, doubts, grievances respecting physical or material things, to fill the MINDS of ministers and brethren in order to GET THEIR MINDS OFF OF OUR ONE REAL COMMISSION -- TO GET CHRIST'S GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD TO THE WORLD!
After all, THAT'S the ONE MAIN THING GOD WANTS DONE BY AND THROUGH US!
And THAT'S the ONE MAIN THING Satan wants to STOP! The HEAD of this Church, the living Jesus CHRIST, wants us always to keep that Great Commission FIRST in our minds -- and NEVER to let other things crowd it out! For THAT'S what this is ALL ABOUT!
Satan deceived some leading ministers to assume, and spread falsely, that I was unreachable -- that they could not get to me with their problems. They were induced by the enemy to take grievances direct to their congregations (in a few churches). But lay MEMBERS found that Garner Ted and I ARE reachable -- THEY got the news of this situation to us, and found that we would ACT -- SWIFTLY!
These men profess that they are SINCERE MEN. But we have to realize that Satan is more subtle -- more clever -- stronger than we. And he is cunning enough to deceive sincere men!
Brethren, if I did not realize that I am NO MATCH whatsoever for Satan, and that my help lies solely in CHRIST and the Throne of GRACE, this Work would have been DESTROYED before it really got started -- for Satan has fought it from the start!
Satan used all the same subtle tactics he had always used. He ACCUSED -- falsely. He worked trying to assassinate my character and Garner Ted's -- not only among hundreds of MEMBERS, but in the public PRESS WORLDWIDE. He tried to destroy GOD'S GOVERNMENT in His Church! He worked on every possible grievance, true or fancied. He blew up all these NEGATIVE things OUT OF ALL PROPORTION, IN A FEVERISH EMOTIONAL PITCH, trying to DESTROY the CHURCH of the living GOD, His WORK, His Colleges, His MINISTERS, and His PEOPLE!
Repeatedly, all through the Bible -- especially in the New Testament, we are warned that our REAL ENEMY is Satan! He tries to get our minds OFF of our B I G Commission, by getting them on physical and material things that loom up as MUCH more important -- and on grievances or fancied wrongs or manufactured "ISSUES" until we CAN'T SEE THE REAL ISSUE.
Now I am OVERJOYED to be able to tell you that many of the ministers affected by this attack of Satan (and only some 21 out of a total of 648 were) have come to realize they were misled, they had only PART of the facts -- there were grievous MISunderstandings, and they have COME BACK in loyalty to God's true Church!
I pray with all my heart that ALL will come to see that it is Satan, not Headquarters, nor I, nor Garner Ted, nor these Ministers, who have REALLY caused this satanic ATTACK on the CHURCH of the Living God.
EPISODE VII: There remains yet one more Episode: That which we have been called to PREPARE THE WAY FOR -- the coming of CHRIST with all the SUPREME POWER AND GLORY of the CREATOR GOD, as the KING of kings and LORD of lords, will soon come. Satan's time will be up.
An angel soon will come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand, and he will lay hold on Satan the Devil, and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up, and set a seal upon him for A THOUSAND YEARS, that he shall DECEIVE the nations NO MORE for a thousand years!
As Christ descends in a cloud, WE shall RISE TO MEET HIM IN THE CLOUDS, then changed from human to divine -- from flesh and blood to SPIRIT composition with ETERNAL LIFE. Then we shall, if loyal NOW to God's Government, rule ALL NATIONS under, and with Christ, each having our part in that GOVERNMENT, and working with and under Christ as our HIGH PRIEST in then SAVING THE WHOLE WORLD, with no Satan around to attack us!
WHAT A TRANSCENDENT POTENTIAL to ANTICIPATE!
And IT WON'T BE LONG!
Brethren, let's ALL BE TOGETHER THAT WE MAY THEN BE BORN finally and completely into the FAMILY OF THE LIVING GOD.
With deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong