Herbert W. Armstrong
Tucson, Arizona 85701
January 18, 1979
Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ:
This may be the most important letter I have ever written. The very life of God's Church and His Work hangs in the balance. This letter may have to be long. I want you to know all the facts about this master-blow of Satan to DESTROY the CHURCH OF GOD through the civil power of the State, in flagrant violation of the Constitution of the United States!
I thought on January 7, when I wrote you, that God had then given us the victory in this decisive LIFE-AND-DEATH assault against Almighty God, Jesus Christ and God's Church. It was reported to me then that the judge in the hearing of that day had said he found NO EVIDENCE of any wrongdoing. And that was true -- and NO EVIDENCE of any wrongdoing or justification for this monstrous outrage against God's Work has been found against us. Nor will they find any in our records -- for few, if any, corporations have kept as accurate and clean-cut records as God's Church.
Yet this case hangs on, and the court-appointed receiver (a cigarette-smoking ex-judge in our executive offices) is making every effort to take over to himself the entire Church and all its assets.
So far, it is precisely like the trial of Jesus, when He was on trial for His life before Pontius Pilate. Pilate said, as has the court in our case, "... I find in him no fault at all" (John 18:38). But Jesus' false accusers shouted, "Let His blood be on us and on our children." Although it was in God's Master Plan that Christ die for our sins, and Jesus had voluntarily come in the human flesh for that purpose, A TREMENDOUS INJUSTICE WAS DONE THROUGH THE COURTS AND JUDGES OF MEN.
I knew 52 years ago, that as they persecuted Jesus, so would they me -- and His people -- if I surrendered and was baptized and received the gift of His Spirit. I counted the cost. And now I am paying it! -- AND UNJUSTLY!
Did you know that the only place in the Bible it speaks of a human judge in the legal sense, it speaks of "THE UNJUST JUDGE" (Luke 18:6)? We are now getting an abominable taste of it!
The ex-judge demanded another $100,000, which I am told is for his personal use. He tells some of our people that seizing our physical facilities is not interfering with our religious beliefs or activities.
Let me illustrate to you brethren JUST HOW this great Work of God started. To start the Work, I needed to broadcast over radio. That required physical facilities for which I had to pay (at that time, $2.50 a week). To print and send out The Plain Truth, I had to have a typewriter, a secondhand one I bought for $10, and an old secondhand ancestor of the Mimeograph, a hand-cranked Neostyle, which I procured also for $10.
This Work always has required physical facilities to operate. Now the receiver is locking up our executive and other office facilities. This Work started with a little inside office room with NO VENTILATION -- no outside window or door -- just a transom over the one door leading to a corridor and another transom over a covered window leading into a large room used for labor union meetings. Tobacco smoke rolled in. We could work in the office only one or two hours at a time, then had to stay out two or more hours until the air cleared -- and the office rent was $7 per month.
These physical facilities are part of the operation of a Church. God commanded His apostles to go into all the world with His Gospel Message. Satan SUPPRESSED that Message from going to the world for 1,900 years. And now he is trying to DESTROY the CHURCH OF GOD in order to STOP that Message from going out to ALL THE WORLD.
I have told you this was actually precipitated by my own son whom I still love in deep sorrow. My son, just before I excommunicated him, stood over me as I was seated, thundering, "Dad, I could DESTROY YOU!" His wife Shirl telephoned saying, "This is WAR!" My son said in a letter that this is a war I can't win, because, he said, it is a nationally known television personality fighting me.
Brethren, anyone can sue anyone for anything at any time. That's the kind of justice system in Satan's world. This present outrageous civil action by the State of California was brought by false charges and NO PROOF by only five or six malcontent former members. It's a tremendous travesty of justice that such a thing can be done.
The VERY PURPOSE of the Church, first of all, is to stand back of and support the carrying of Christ's Gospel MESSAGE out to all the world as a witness to all nations. The second purpose is to prepare those God has called into His Church, in holy, righteous character so that they may enter -- at the time of the resurrection, into the Kingdom of God as a King and/or Priest under Christ when He comes to RULE THE WORLD! But the first mentioned purpose, standing behind the proclaiming of the Gospel around the world, is the MEANS God has given us of developing all in God's Church into that holy and righteous character of God.
God's Church cannot carry out either PRIME PURPOSE without facilities!
But, my dear brethren, let us stop and realize that Christ, the Head of our Church, HAS ALLOWED THIS UNPRECEDENTED MONSTROUS ATTACK BY STATE GOVERNMENT AND STATE COURTS OF LAW to come upon us. God will give us the VICTORY in the end.
But meanwhile we as God's called and chosen people need to ask ourselves, WHY has God ALLOWED IT? He tells us all things work together FOR GOOD to those who love and obey Him. IN WHAT WAY, then, has this very traumatic, monstrous injustice been ALLOWED by our God? Not that He wanted to punish us. Not that He wanted to bring suffering upon us. But because WE WERE DRIFTING INTO A CARELESS LUKEWARM SPIRITUAL CONDITION! God has allowed Satan to bring this upon us. First, to wake us up spiritually and bring us back CLOSER TO HIM, and second, to DRAW US CLOSER TOGETHER and third, to sift out from our midst some of the chaff from the wheat.
Brethren, this terrible ordeal IS ACCOMPLISHING THOSE THREE THINGS! It is a SIFTING TIME. Some "liberals" who wanted to water down God's TRUTH are being sifted out.
It is also the time of Daniel 12:10, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried ..." It is speaking of THIS VERY TIME shortly before Christ's second coming!
God has ALLOWED it exactly as He ALLOWED Satan to take away everything from Job, and then afflicted Job with boils from head to foot -- Job was SELF-RIGHTEOUS.
But also as God allowed Satan to afflict Job, it is really SATAN who has INFLUENCED deceived people to bring on us this terrible ordeal! SATAN WAS BACK OF IT! But some members or former members, some perhaps sincere but MISLED, were in a CONSPIRACY to bring this outrageous thing upon us! Dr. Herman Hoeh was being innocently drawn into this CONSPIRACY. But God opened his eyes to see what really was going on, and he rushed to our Church attorney, Mr. Ralph Helge, with a statement revealing the whole conspiracy. Satan MASTERMINDED it -- but Satan used members and former members (not more than five or six who precipitated it, although a few others were in on the conspiracy, but kept their names out of it).
But just as, once Job came to REALIZE his sin of SELF-righteous-ness and repent of it, God restored to him TWICE AS MUCH as he had before, even so, my brethren -- my own children in the Lord -- God will restore to us and His Work double or much more than double, once HIS PURPOSE, as I stated above, has been accomplished.
My children in the Lord, WE NEED TO GO TO OUR KNEES! We need to FAST and PRAY! True, I need you to stand back of me now as never before in specially generous offerings to fight this montrous miscarriage of justice -- but even more YOU need -- TO DRAW CLOSER TO OUR WONDERFUL AND GREAT GOD.
Don't ever worry about God or Christ forsaking us or His Work. HE WON'T! We need to be concerned about whether we have begun to veer away to some extent FROM HIM -- have WE unknowingly begun partly to forsake HIM?
I said this is a testing time, SOME OF US MAY BE THROWN IN PRISON before this is over, and the living Christ gives us the victory. I myself, stricken with the Asian flu, with a fever temperature at age 86, may be thrown into prison. It has come to me indirectly that the ex-judge receiver, who thinks he is now IN CHARGE of God's Church, has threatened that if I direct your offerings and God's tithes to me here, he will try to put me under a "Contempt of Court" charge, in which case I will be unmercifully manhandled and thrown in jail or prison. If so I will count it a PRIVILEGE to suffer for the sake of CHRIST and God's Work!
We have been put in the position of fighting the battle of FREEDOM OF RELIGION FROM THE STATE, not only for ourselves -- but for ALL CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS. One minister who preaches over the air, Dr. Gene Scott of Faith Center, showed on TV himself mailing to me from his personal pocket, $100, for our defense fund. I have heard of even Roman Catholic priests or higher-ranked clergy and Seventh-Day Adventists, rallying behind me in this crisis. For if we should lose this court battle, NO CHURCH -- NO RELIGION WOULD BE SAFE FROM POLITICAL POWERS!
For the present, REMEMBER, any money sent to me or the Church at Pasadena will go directly into the hands of the court-appointed receiver! Until further notice, send all of GOD'S tithes (which are HOLY TO HIM), and special offerings, addressed personally to ME, at Box 431, Tucson, Arizona, 85701.
This vicious evil attack has WELDED OUR BRETHREN TOGETHER AS NEVER BEFORE. ALSO IT IS FLUSHING OUT SOME FEW WHOSE HEARTS WERE NOT FULLY WITH GOD'S CHURCH!
I call now a SPECIAL DAY OF FASTING AND PRAYER -- not only for the Work and the Church but also for OUR OWN SELVES THAT WE MAY BE BROUGHT CLOSER TO GOD -- ON SABBATH, January 27th, worldwide! WE UNDER CHRIST SHALL PREVAIL!
I thank you with all my heart, and I love you all as never before.
In deep love, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong